Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 in knitting

So, the end of another year. Time to look back on what I've been knitting over the last 12 months.

I must say that 2011 wasn't great in terms of knitting output. It all started quite well but then things got a bit hectic in the summer and then, well then we found out about the upcoming new addition to our family! I was very lucky to not really suffer with morning sickness, unfortunately I did suffer with crushing exhaustion and lethargy and even picking up my knitting needles felt like far too much effort. This meant I only finished 6 items in the second half of the year.

Oh well, let's have a look at what I've knit in 2011...

6 pairs of socks
3 adult sized cardigans (admittedly most of one was knit in 2010 but I finished it in 2011!)
1 adult sized jumper
1 neck warmer
1 adult hat
1 baby hat
2 gadget socks
1 pair of gloves

That's just over one item a month. I have also finished the year with 6 WIPs still on the needles (one is currently missing from my Ravelry project page but I'll get on it) which is pretty poor. I really need to finish or frog those.

Oh and there is one more FO I'll share at the end of the post.

Looking back on my knitting goals from last year...well...erm.

2011 Knitting Goals
Finish blasted cardigan of doom <---did this!
Learn how to do colourwork (I've knit a little on my Christmas stockings but I want to do more and do it faster) <---nope
Design my own project (I got a "design your own knits" book last Christmas which I've flicked through but I haven't attempted to do it, I'll probably go for socks) <---nope
Knit 12 pairs of socks (got to have this one in there!) <---sadly not but I did manage 6 pairs
Knit another adult sized garment from stashed yarn <---yay! I actually knit THREE adult sized garments from my stashed yarn
Reduce stash (ha!) <---I think so, it's definitely three jumpers and a few pairs of socks lighter at least and I didn't buy much yarn

Also a quick share of my final finished object of 2011, the little red cardigan for our baby! Just a note that our baby's gender is remaining a mystery until birth so any knits will be in bright colours or more neutral shades anyway. Also I think babies look awesome in bright colours, who needs pastels?!

My project page with details of pattern, yarn, needles and so on can be found here. Please excuse the wild variations in colours in the pictures, it is a bright red shade but we're still finding our way around the settings on the new camera!



Hope all my readers (and people who don't read, just everyone generally!) has a wonderful 2012...I'll try to be back tomorrow with my knitting plans for the next 12 months.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Little knits for little people are very quick

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that Father Christmas left some lovely things in your stockings or under the tree. Mr NM and I received the rather exciting present of a fancy new camera. It's very exciting and shiny, I just have to work out how to use it now!

This year was low on the knitterly gifts but that was my choice. I know my knitting time will be very much eaten into in the new year and so did not want to get masses of yarn and books and needles that would only be added to the stash and not utilised. I did however get the latest Yarn Harlot book and a book from the One Skein Wonders set of books, perhaps it will encourage me to use up some stash before April!

Another little someone-to-be got some knitting goodies though as my mother-in-law pointing out, the baby can't knit, oh dear! I had to do it for him or her then, blast!

Mr NM had very sweetly picked out a cardigan pattern, some scrummy red yarn and some adorable little teddy bear buttons. It is vitally important to play with your new toys on Christmas day so I cast on (and Mr NM played with the camera)


I have shots in various stages of the knitting process...


Also that last picture, that's the window in my in-laws' living room, it overlooks the Albert Dock and is a pretty special view. I like being in a house but their flat does make city centre living rather tempting at times...not that we could afford it!

Anyway I knit and knit and it grew very quickly, I suppose that's the way things are when you're knitting such teeny tiny garments! Yesterday, finally back home, I picked up the stitches for the right button band, I have a picture of the picked up part but it was dark by the time I'd finished and I didn't bother with another picture.


Now I just need to knit the right button band, sew it all together and give it a little bath to even out the stitches, then I'm done! Super quick and actually good fun to knit.  I'm sure I'll have FO pictures to share very soon.

For those interested in such things (and I know people are) the yarn is Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in Teddy Red, the most accurate picture for colour (on my monitor at least) is the picture of the back of the cardigan on top of the knitting pattern. It is an absolute dream to knit with, so soft and such lovely stitch definition, I rather wish I was knitting a cardigan for myself with it!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Accidental Christmas knitting

We're at the in-laws, all ready for Christmas.

I brought some knitting with me. You may or may not remember some gloves I was knitting way back last February with the intention of finishing them for her birthday in March.  Needless to say that didn't happen!  Well I was determined to get them done and picked up the second glove again last weekend.  I had to pull out what I'd already knit as it had clearly caught on something and has a big hole in it.

I'd been working on them during the week and cursing glove knitting (fiddly fingers, yuck!) but the reality is that gloves still knit up quite fast, particularly gloves for my mum who has tiny hands!

So when we got here yesterday afternoon I had this:

By bedtime last night I had finished them! I didn't take the pictures then, I waited for some sunlight this morning.

The pattern is designed with commuting in mind and the tip of the index finger and thumb on the right hand are left off making it easier to read on the bus, use a touch screen phone (my mum doesn't have one of those!) or just do those things where only a bit of grip is needed and you really don't want to remove your full glove.

I hadn't intended them to be a Christmas gift but why not! I've wrapped them up and they're under the tree ready for my mum tomorrow.

Rav link here for yarn and pattern details.

I'm hoping I made the nice list this year and that Father Christmas visits tonight as I'm hoping very much for a new camera and not always having to use the one on my mobile phone. Fingers crossed! Still, he wont come if I don't head off to bed.

Merry Christmas to anyone who reads my blog, hope you have a wonderful time whatever you are doing with yourself.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The knitting of others

I thought I'd share my mum's current WIP (not that I don't have plenty of my own to share!) as it is rather special. She is very excited about the prospect of becoming a grandma and there's only one thing for a keen knitter with a grandchild on the way to do, get those needles clicking!

Whilst I have the level of knitting skill to knit the same things my mum can she has one thing I'm rather lacking in, patience! Also she knits like the goodness that lady is quick! I suppose that happens when you've been knitting for over 50 years though. Anyway her patience and speed are being used to knit something I'd never get through due to my issues with startitis, a lovely baby blanket.

Apologies if the picture is a touch dull, the natural light was very thin and grey yesterday. Still the blanket is looking just wonderful and I can't wait to wrap my little one up in it...well I can wait as I want them to stay put until they're due but you know what I mean!

I can also confirm it's definitely Christmas in the Northern Monkey household. The tree has been up for a week and I still get giddy with excitement every time I switch the fairy lights on. I LOVE having the Christmas tree up...I hate taking it down but I love it when it's up. All sparkly and colourful. This year we've only got our 3ft tree up (we usually have a 7ft one in the dining room) so all my big tree decorations are on that. I don't care if it looks a bit over the top, I love it!

Oh Christmas tree

So, it's Sunday evening (completely dark out at least favourite thing about winter) a roast is in the oven, MrNM has football on TV (his team already won earlier today, such a relief!) and I'm ready for a long evening of snuggling up and knitting in front of the TV as all my chores were done earlier in the day. Fantastic!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The most exciting WIP ever

A couple of weeks ago I hinted at having a very exciting work in progress at the moment and promised to tell all later. Well now I'm ready to share it.

This is possibly the most exciting (and difficult) WIP I imagine I will ever work on but I am also thinking it could be the most worthwhile one.


Baby Northernmonkey is expected to put in an appearance some time in late April or early May depending on how punctual the little monkey is.

This is partly my explanation for why I've done so little knitting to blog about lately, up until the last few weeks I've been so tired that even picking up the knitting needles has felt like a bit of a chore. I'm hoping that now I'm past some of the exhaustion the knitting productivity will increase again. I suppose it had better with a little person to knit for as well!

Monday, 5 December 2011

New technology get!

Mr NM and I are both suckers for technology, sadly our budgets don't really match our desire for gadgets but there are times when shiny new things with buttons are a possibility.

Rather excitingly the weekend was one of those times. I got a message last week saying we were eligible to upgrade our mobile phone contracts, very exciting stuff! Now it's about 5 years since I upgraded a phone contract, I used pay as you go for a while before nearly two years ago deciding to go back to contract and joining the smartphone generation. Unfortunately those phones were very much on their last legs so the opportunity to get something new and shiny was thoroughly appreciated. Apparently these days instead of the phone company telling you what phones are available (as was the case last time I was on contract and upgraded) you can just choose anything they do, amazing.

We picked up our new phones at the weekend but with such shiny new things we saw a problem, too many opportunities to scratch shiny touchscreens! The cases available in the shop were rather expensive and with no reviews available we decided to wait until we got up, read reviews and order on-line. In the meantime I got my knitting needles and sock yarn leftovers out to knit up some little gadget socks to keep those fancy screens safe for now.

Gadget socks

His is the larger sock, his phone is bigger than mine though I must confess I did misjudge and cast on too many stitches so it's a tad big. I offered to re-knit but my offer was declined. I used some leftover Regia in one of the Flusi The Sock Monster colourways (his choice) and then for mine some leftover Laughing Yaffle in Spring Fling. I'm hoping these will keep the phones safe and scratch free until proper cases can be purchased.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fallberry mitts - WIP

Looking out of my office window it’s pretty difficult to believe that this time last year we had to walk home from work as the buses had stopped running and that this was out street.


Compared to last year November has been so mild and it doesn’t seem likely to get as snowy as that any time soon. You watch it happen now I’ve said that! I am just hoping and crossing my fingers that if there is to be any snow it holds out until after Christmas when our visits to family across the Pennines are out of the way!

It may be mild but there is still a chill in the air so I thought it was a good time to cast on something to attempt to combat that. Having finished my Morven I felt rather good and positive about starting something new. I realise this is still ignoring my other WIPs, very naughty but so what, I am the boss of what I knit so there!

I need new fingerless mitts, I hate knitting fingers so any hand warming things I knit are likely to be full mittens or fingerless ones, as I still have last year’s mittens doing the full hand coverage duties and as I said, it’s not that cold yet, I definitely wanted fingerless.

I also knew I had this lovely stuff in my stash, far too soft and pretty to hide in boots! Also it doesn’t feel like it will survive being socks though I may be wrong on that one. Anyway, I didn’t want to hide it and I did want to use it so out of the stash it came.

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Next was finding the right pattern, something pretty but simple with a memorable repeat and a proper thumb gusset, not just a gap to stick my thumb through. I know a couple of bloggers whose blogs I enjoy (josiekitten and snoopydog, check them out if you don’t read already) are big fans of Anne Hanson. Now I’m on a pattern purchasing ban but it just so happens that she has a pattern in the Winter 2011 Knitty for some mitts that fit my requirements pretty perfectly.

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I started them on Sunday and am now at the increases for the thumb so not too shabby, I could knit them more quickly really as the pattern is simple to remember and good fun to knit but obviously there’s still that blasted issue of actually finding knitting time! I am happy so far though, I love the colours and I am thoroughly enjoying the pattern. An all round winner I’d say.

Also I must confess that whilst we're being pretty frugal this year and I'm not doing any Christmas knitting I can't help but be getting a tad excited about the upcoming celebrations.  Attempts to be scrooge-y about it always fail, I just love it and am a complete big kid!  As it's now December I'm totally allowed to mention the C word anyway, just need to decide when our decorations are going up.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Morven - FO

Finally, an FO to share!

I have, at long last, finished my Morven sweater. It absolutely should not have taken me as long as it did. It's knit in the round using chunky yarn and is really very simple but life got in the way and alas, it took longer than planned. Still, it's done now.

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It is SO warm. I love the colour as well, I'm not huge on yarn that has colour changes like that but I like the purple and it was very cheap which is always a bonus!

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The cable on the front was fun to knit and then the plain sleeves knit up really quickly (when I got round to it) Also there's always the bonus with a handknit that it is pretty perfect fit wise. Somehow in spite of being a pretty average 5'6" I apparently have the longest arms ever and most shop bought jumpers, cardigans and other long sleeved tops are too short. Easily fixed when I knit it myself as these sleeves are just perfect for me, even if I lift my arms they stay at my wrist but aren't so long I keep catching them.

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Also length wise I made the body long enough to come past my waist and part way over my bum, I also hate it when shop bought tops ride up at the waist and expose my lower back if I bend at all.

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So all in all I'm very pleased. The pattern was simple and the finished result is great so I am a happy monkey. If we have the temperatures we did last winter at least I know I'll be snuggly and warm.

Pattern: Morven by Sarah Hatton (from issue 23 of The Knitter)
Yarn: Sirdar Peru, 50% wool, 40% acrylic, 10% alpaca (very cheap from Readicut, £9 for a pack of 10 balls I think, I used 7 plus a few metres of an 8th)
Needles: 5.5mm and 6.5mm
Mods: none aside from making it a little longer in the sleeves and body than stated in the pattern
Started: 13th August 2011
Finished: 27th November 2011
Rav link for anyone who wants that sort of thing.

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You may also note I found my camera charger, huzzah! We're getting a new camera for Christmas though so I am incredibly excited about that.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Things that spark my curiosity

Since getting this in my change I can't help but wonder who Amanda is...


Still no cable for my actual camera, still no great knitting progress to speak of, I'm a bad, bad blogger. I do have a very exciting project on the go actually...more on that some other time though.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tiny quick things - FO

Sometimes all the knits in your knitting basket, even the easy ones, just seem to take too much brain power.  I know I should be finishing the sleeves of my jumper but I need to count every round for that, heaven forbid.  I wanted something truly mindless but also something quick, I needed a bit of instant gratification.

Say hello to the Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat it's as easy peasy as the name suggests.  I did a stash dive for some sock leftovers (I have plenty of those!) and found some lovely Claudia Handpainted Fingering left from my Lime Cookies (who said babies must always be in boring pastels!)  Once the yarn was picked and cast on it was quick (though I didn't do it that quickly really, mostly I kept picking up and putting it down) and super simple.  A perfect quick knit should you need a last minute baby gift.


I knit the pattern as written but used a 3.25mm needle instead of a 3mm as I knit tightly and was hopeful there'd be a newborn it would actually fit!  It does rather need a quick bath to even up the stitches but hey ho, this picture will have to do.  As you can see I'm still without my proper camera and am using my mobile phone.  I must have another hunt for that charger cable.

If you want more details on the hat (though really there aren't any I don't think!) my project page on Ravelry is here.

Now I really must finish those sleeves...

Friday, 28 October 2011

A public service announcement

This is a public service announcement.

I will not, I repeat WILL NOT be producing any knitted Christmas gifts this year.

I look forward to watching other people completing their Christmas knitting and other Christmas crafting whilst I knit away on enjoyable things for me (and my mum's gloves). I may finish the socks I'm knitting for Mr.NM in time for Christmas, if that's the case I'll wrap them up but they are not specifically Christmas knitting.

Did you know you only have 8 weeks left?  Don't hurt me for reminding you...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Morven - WIP

This morning it wasn't raining, hurrah! It wasn't grey or overcast either, double hurrah! I stepped out of the front door and took a deep breath of cold, refreshing air and was reminded of my love of autumn (which is lacking when it's raining all the time!). This is probably my favourite sort of weather. Cold but clear and bright. It's just fantastic. I can wrap up in woolies but I wont get soaked to the skin.

My camera charger is still MIA so I put the camera on my mobile phone into use, it's not a bad picture for a mobile phone and the bright morning really helped.

My morven is getting so much closer to done. I'm just working on the sleeves, I'd rather hoped to have it finished for this weekend (we're visiting family) but as I'm at choir tonight and have stuff to do tomorrow after work then we're travelling on Friday evening it's not going to happen. Still I'm over half way through the first sleeve and it does fly once I get going, stockinette in the round knit in chunky, can't complain!


A closer look at the cable, this was fun to knit but I'll confess I got a bit bored of it closer to the end of the body.


I'm a bit bored of the knit full stop really. I've enjoyed it and I know it's going to be a great, warm jumper and it fits (I tried it on quickly before starting the sleeves to check the body length) but finishing the sleeves is always a bit boring. At least I don't have to sew it up afterwards though!

I'm planning my next project for after this. I'm still working (slowly) on my lace scarf and have plain stockinette socks but I want something inbetween that in difficulty/attention needed. I shall have to nosey through my queue and see. The cold weather is making me want gloves but I hate knitting the fingers so that's a no! I'm almost tempted to buy some gloves for this winter, dreadful I know but those fiddly fingers…I just don't enjoy it.

That reminds me actually…I need to finish knitting the gloves I started for my mum ages ago…ho hum.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Photography fail

We've had some beautiful sunshine, it's not warm but it's bright and sunny.  Perfect photo taking weather after the recent seemingly endless grey.  I want to share pictures of my knitting, I do.  I ran into a small problem.

I can't find the charger for my camera anywhere and the battery is dead.  Blast.

It seems the universe is conspiring against my blogging efforts.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

At attempt to look sophisticated

Apologies again for infrequent updates. My knitting progress is slow so I don't have much to share on that front and the dismal grey weather is rather hampering any attempts at photography.

I thought I'd share a recent non-knitting purchase.

I must confess I am not the most well presented person. It's not intentional, I have great ideas on how to dress and how I want to look but I'm a dishevelled mess half the time no matter how hard I try to look smart. I am also rather indecisive on clothes, I buy things on a whim and don't wear them and then will wear the same old things over and over again. My major issue in recent years has been my winter coat.

I bought my old winter coat in 2003 when I was in my second year of university. It's a navy duffle coat from Topshop and has been worn every winter since. I adore it but it has started to look worse for wear in more recent years, 7 winters of wear will do that to a coat. It has a large hole in the lining, it's wearing thin at the cuffs and there is a small hole in the sleeve where some charmer walked into me with a cigarette. It really needed replacing.

I've been attempting to find a suitable replacement for about 3 years but repeatedly failing, nothing ticked all my boxes. I wanted a good percentage of wool in the blend, a natural fabric as a lining so it was breathable and then other important things like a nice colour (not black, it doesn't suit me) and a nice shape. It also had to be within my budget which was where the issues arose.

Last week in that brief snapshot of beautiful, sunny weather, I found the perfect coat. I snapped it up and am very much charmed by it. It's PURPLE, a purple coat, how lovely is that? I will finally part with the "Paddington Bear coat" as the old, navy duffle came to be known.


The only problem (it's not really a problem) this coat is REALLY smart. Far more grown up and sophisticated than my old coat. It's a lovely cut and looks very sophisticated, this means me attempting to look sophisticated in it. I think I'd better get a move on with that lovely grey laceweight scarf which will look just perfect against the purple. Perhaps I'll have to actually move towards co-ordinating knitwear, the horror!

I'm hoping (if my photography is up to it) to be able to share some knitterly progress soon, remember that purple jumper? Well the body is finished...hurrah!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Estonian lace is not TV knitting

I do quite a bit of knitting in front of the TV. My lovely lacy scarf is NOT TV knitting which left a little hole (well it didn't, I have other TV friendly WIPs I just didn't want to knit on them) so I had to cast on something simple.

I went with my go-to project when I want something simple and mindless, stockinette socks. For once though these are not for me, hurrah! A moment of not-selfish-knitting. Quite unlike me really as I'm a terribly selfish knitter generally. These are for the lovely Mr.NM (that man with the size 11 feet, that's A LOT of mindless sock knitting!) in yarn that has been in the stash for ages which he chose.

The yarn is Four Seasons Gr√ľndl Marathon Pompeji, a pretty standard German sock yarn which I'm sure will wash really well and be hard wearing which is necessary in his socks as he wears through standard, shop bought socks at an alarming rate. The pattern is nothing exciting but fits well and there are more details on my ravelry project page.

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I'm using magic loop which has become my standard for stockinette socks, I'm terrible for getting ladders using DPNs but don't with magic it doesn't fall off the needles so yay.

I have also returned to my purple jumper with the cable down the front in a determination to finish it so it's ready for a real turn in the weather. I think I have one or possible two more repeats of the cable to do for the body then I can knit the sleeves which should be quick and simple. We'll see.

I need to do more interesting things with my time or at least knit a lot more so I can get back to frequent blogging!

Hope everyone is well and has a lovely week.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Lovely Estonian lace

I've been rather neglecting my poor blog of late, almost a month since my last post! Whilst I've felt rather guilty about it I've also failed to find anything much to blog about. My knitting has been going at a snail's pace and I haven't been doing anything interesting non-knitting wise to share either. I have not forgotten you though followers and I have not abandoned my blog or knitting, I promise.

In an attempt to feel the love for my knitting again I gave in to the urge to start something new. I had been so very well behaved sticking rigidly to my chunky woolly jumper that I'd gotten bored by the whole thing. This urge was to start something very specific. It seems so many of the blogs I read have been having lace adventures lately and oh how I wanted to cast on some lace. I resisted and resisted until I got to the point where I could resist no longer.

A quick stash dive (and some input from Mr NM) came up with this, Juno Alice Lace in Shadow Cave.

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Oh my it's LOVELY. A blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere in an absolutely divine silvery grey. It's so unbelievably soft with a slight sheen and I adore it.

I did not particularly adore winding it. Laceweight is something that really gives me the urge to buy a ball winder and swift, it took absolutely ages to turn it into a ball. Sadly we have a long list of household "needs" and not enough money to buy them so a ball winder and swift falls way down the list. I watched some TV worked with what I had.

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I picked a pattern from Knitted Lace of Estonia which is a fantastic book if you don't have it but are a fan of lace. Lots of history of Estonian lace knitting, some great tips, lovely patterns and a section on stitch patterns so you can create your own Estonian style lace shawl. I used a pattern from this book last year when I knit my MiL a scarf for Christmas (which she has never worn grumble grumble).

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The pattern works in much the same way as the previous one I knit from this book. You knit one end piece first, put it on a holder, knit the scarf and then bind the two pieces together so the ends match. Actually the pattern says knit the bottom end and body of the scarf first then put that on a holder and knit the top edge but that sounds like a recipe for running out of yarn to me! It's a double strand cast on to make that edge a bit tougher and I do think the pattern is just lovely. It's called the Lilac Leaf Shawl though my intention is to wear it as a scarf as I don't really go to events where a shawl or (I think in this shape it's more a stole) is necessary!

I've finished the top edging so now onto the bottom edging and main scarf, the pattern even has nupps and whilst I left them out last time I knit a pattern from this book (as there were loads and I feared running out of yarn) I intend to do them this time as they're just in the bit of pattern where the edging meets the main pattern repeats for the length.

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I can't wait to wrap this snuggly softness around my neck. Obviously at the moment it just looks like a crumpled mess but we all know that's what the magic of blocking is for.

Friday, 19 August 2011

FOs - Gretel and Citron

So today I have not one but TWO finished objects for you! Quite amazing. Admittedly one of them was finished a few weeks ago and I only recently got round to photographing it (and still the pictures are rubbish…oops!) but the other was a reasonably recent FO.

Whilst I still seem to be busy busy busy I am managing a bit more knitting time and am hoping to really be able to get some more things done. It helps that I have absolutely no plans to knit any gifts for that thing with the C word that is 4 months away so I can concentrate on my favourite recipient of knitted things, me! I am such a selfish knitter it’s true but at least I know if I am knitting for myself I will love and use the item. That has not been true for some of the gifts I have knit for others in the past.

On to the knitting as I know that’s what you’re here for :-)

I finished my Gretel

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This was a fun knit, being a worsted/aran weight hat it didn’t take particularly long to do and the cables were interesting enough to keep me hooked whilst being perfectly manageable without a cable needle (always a bonus!) Absolutely none of the pictures I have taken have really been able to capture the colour though. The colourway is “Frank Ochre” but in photographs it comes out either with a strong green tint or a much more mild yellow and I’ve tried every type of lighting. It’s clearly just one of those colours a camera can’t pick up. The picture above is about as close as I got but it’s yellower and not so bright as that. I love it anyway and that’s what matters, it should keep my head nice and cosy through autumn and winter.

As for the FO from a few weeks ago, it’s my Citron. Definitely a slice of orange rather than a lemon or a lime. I knit it in Kidsilk Haze after seeing one on Mooncalf’s blog (which I know was sadly lost to the washing machine so mine will NOT be going near the machine!) and thinking KSH worked so perfectly with the pattern.

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I think it was Josiekitten who said that she’d heard this took people ages to knit (sorry if that was someone else, I know someone said it!) Well on my project page it looks like it took me ages to knit, in reality I knit like mad on it when we went to Edinburgh in March then didn’t pick it up again until July! The first few repeats absolutely flew by but I’d agree the latter ones seem to take ages due to the stitch count. Really though it’s mindless stockinette so it doesn’t take that long, it just doesn’t have a lace pattern to add interest which often makes it easier to deal with the big stitch counts in lace projects. If you’re a fast knitter I would say it’s a quick enough project and it’s good TV knitting. Also the end product is so worth the possible boredom!

Thanks for dropping by to look at my FOs, not sure when I’ll have any more to show but it does feel good when I am able to get an FO Friday post in. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Morven - WIP

I decided it was time to start another big, sweater shaped, project. This is also partly stash-busting as this yarn has been in my stash almost since I started knitting, it was a very cheap offer from Readicut, about £10 I think for 10 balls of chunky Sirder Peru. I then really wasn't sure what to knit with it, I had a few ideas of projects but never actually started them.

A few months ago this jumper was in my copy of The Knitter

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A Sarah Hatton pattern knit in the round with chunky weight. The recommended yarn is Rowan Purelife Renew but it was a pretty similar colour to the Sirdar Yarn in my stash so I thought I'd go with that. I thought that back when I got the magazine in winter, it only took me until August to actually cast on!

It's top down and I'm just ready to seperate the sleeves from the body now. So far it has been easy, the cable pattern is easy to follow and it knits up quickly being chunky yarn on 6.5mm needles (the pattern calls for 6mm but I knit tightly and no amount of relaxing or changing my knitting style has helped that so I've accepted it) I've not had a great deal of knitting time but still it seems to be growing which is excellent, just what I like in a pattern!

The first picture gives you a better look at the cable pattern but the second is more accurate for colour.

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So far I'm enjoying it and am hoping it shouldn't take too long as long as I you on it, apparently projects don't miraculously knit themselves, who knew?!

I'll have FOs in my next post, exciting stuff!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Getting ready for autumn

Following the rather distressing felting incident with my Rose Red I knew I'd need another hat for autumn and winter.

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I decided on another Ysolda pattern, Gretel using some Malabrigo Worsted from my stash. I apologise for the hastily taken camera phone picture but so far the knit is going well and very quickly. I've not had a great deal of knitting time lately but I'm already on the decreases and loving how it's coming out. It will keep my head snuggly warm right through winter...providing I don't stupidly felt it!


I'm hoping this will turn from a WIP into an FO very soon.

I felt silly at first thinking of autumn and winter in August but it was chilly and wet this morning so I know it will be upon us soon enough. I will not deny the fact I'm looking forward to wrapping myself up in handknits which is rather unappealing in the summer!

Friday, 5 August 2011

FO - Maggie

I must apologise for my absence, things have been pretty busy round here leaving little time for blogging, I wish I could say I've been on some wonderfully exciting holiday but alas I haven't.

I do however have something to share. I finally finished my Maggie or as I think I shared that information previously I finally took some pictures of it! They're not the greatest pictures but here we go.

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Finally a really not very good or flattering picture of me wearing it...I need to send Mr.NM on a photography course, he's worse than me! I think my silly red slippers really set off the pretty, girly cardigan!

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I do love the cardigan though. As annoying as all the picots were it was a well written pattern and the fit is great. The sleeves are probably a tad shorter than my general preference but I do have monkey arms and when I wear sleeves at the length I like I ruin them by playing with and pulling on them anyway so just at wrist length was probably the way to go! The buttons are from John Lewis and were 25p each, slightly less bargainous than I'd hoped button wise as I tried raiding my mum's button tin and found nothing so had to buy some. Still I like them and I think they go well with the cardigan.

Knitting notes for anyone who doesn't use Ravelry (seriously, why not?!)
Pattern: Maggie by Kim Hargreaves from Precious
Yarn: Rowan Luxury Cotton DK (a cotton and rayon blend with a bit of silk, now discontinued, a bargain from Kemps) I think I used 11 balls or just over
Needles: 3.75mm for the edging 4mm for the body
Mods: None
What I love about it: it fits me really well, the photo may not show it but I do find it quite flattering worn with the right outfit
What I hate about it: nothing really but the picots got old really quickly! The yarn was also splitty as anything, I'm really not sold on knitting with cotton.

I've got myself as starting on 22nd April and finishing (including sewing on buttons and weaving in ends) on 14th July but I didn't really knit on it late May/early June in favour of some other knitting, I forget what. The actual knitting on this was pretty quick if only I were more loyal to my projects!

I have another FO just waiting to be photographed, I'll try not to take three weeks to do so this time!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Fluffy orange fuzz

I am being incredibly well behaved and am currently working on finishing an older WIP. I felt motivated by finishing the socks that had languished in the WIP pile for some time and picked up my Citron again. This was started back in March when I went to Edinburgh with Mr.NM to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I whizzed through the first three sections whilst on the train there and back then put it aside when I got home. I've no idea why, something else will have distracted me with prettiness (it would seem I was very distracted in March, that's when the mystery socks were set aside as well!) and I didn't pick it up again.

Last week I did pick it up and I carried on. I'm glad I did. I'm now on the fifth section and in spite of the pretty massive stitch count I really feel I'm getting there.

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I'm not a big wearer of orange but after seeing a few on Ravelry I knew I wanted my Citron in Kidsilk Haze and couldn't resist this bright and cheery colourway appropriately named "marmalade". I'm not sure whether I'll use KSH again...I love the colour and knit up it's fuzzy and soft and lovely but it's not much fun to knit with. It tickles my nose and sticks to me, itself, anything else lying around...not fun at all...even worse if I make a mistake and have to attempt to tink...and I make A LOT of mistakes. Pretty though, so very pretty.

I'm hoping it will be finished soon.

I'm also hoping to manage to take some good photos of my finished cardigan soon, I bought and sewed on buttons but no good pictures yet. Ho hum.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

FO Friday - Cadence socks

Such a busy week, I'm incredibly glad that Friday is finally here! We're visiting our in-laws so it's not exactly a quiet and relaxing weekend ahead but it's better than being at work I suppose.

It's FO Friday and I actually have a finished object to share! It's not Maggie (the lilac cardigan) which is still button-less (but visiting the in-laws will include visiting John Lewis where buttons can be procured) but a pair of lovely socks.

I started these back in March when they were the mystery sock pattern for the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry and in spite of thoroughly enjoying them and actually keeping up with the first two clues as they were released they were then cast aside in favour of something else...I'm not even sure what now.

Such a pity for such beautiful socks. Recently I picked them back up again, apologised for my bad behaviour and knit the feet which was all that remained unknit. Now they are done and I am thoroughly pleased with them.

This is actually shown in reverse order as I put them on the sockblockers for photos (as honestly it has been very warm for modeling woolly socks! Plus I'm rubbish at photographing myself) then I washed them in soak and put them back on the blockers to even out the stitches. Still I'm sure you don't mind me shifting the timeline around in the photos!

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They look like they are cabled but it's lace, a combination of yarnovers and decreases giving that illusion. I love this pattern.

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I'm also very fond of the colour combination, I love green and purple together. I couldn't quite capture the colour accurately but it's closer to the colours in the shots of the full socks than in the close-up of the pattern. The yarn is Laughing Yaffle sock in "Spring Fling" and as with all Laughing Yaffle yarn it's just gorgeous with fabulous colours.

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I think the combination of colours is just enough, a bit more interesting than solid or semi-solid yarn but not so varied as to obscure the charming pattern as you can see below. As I said these pictures were taken before the socks had a bath and I evened out my knitting whilst it was wet...the stitches look a little sloppy here.

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All in all I'm absolutely delighted with these socks and so pleased I got them finished.

For more details on yarn, needle size, just how long they took me (oh the shame) my Ravelry project page is here

I hope everyone who is going to Knit Nation this weekend has a wonderful time, I'm not jealous, not at all, not me.