Sunday, 21 June 2009

Waddya Mean 'Not Knitting'?

I expect this post is sort of that 'tree falling in the forest' type of post -- we'll answer that age old question if a blogger suddenly blogs after a long and unexplained absence does anyone read?

When last I blogged I was on a bit of a strange scarf in summer thing. I had just completed the very colourful drop knit scarf (good news - there is now an errata on the Vogue site!). A couple of other scarf projects were waiting in the wings (until today) for blogdom and since then -- I haven't knit a stitch.

Not a stitch. None. Zero.


The new job and learning the vagaries of HMRC (taxes!) has kept me occupied I guess....but I'm keen to start something soon. It was my best friend's birthday today and I took her out on Thursday for some yummy cocktails (cocktail bar near London Bridge called The Old School Yard)(comfy sofas, nice staff and amazing drinks - heaven!) and dinner and she turned up wearing some skinny white jeans, a black t-shirt and the wrap I made for gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve at Christmas. (We won't depress ourselves too much by dwelling on a woman who can fit into her 15 year old daughter's clothes.) The point was that she looked fabulous and it inspired me to make something for Gen's birthday.

But I'm still in inspired rather than 'doing' mode so I'll finish up this post with a bit more about last month's scarf mania.

Around the time I finished the colourful scarf I also tackled Victorian Ruby from Victorian Lace Today in a pale peach linen yarn. I decided to take the lazy approach to blocking this scarf, I just washed it and then laid it out flat to dry - no wires, no pins. I shaped it so that the ends flare out which I quite like.

It's a useful summer scarf - the linen means it's light and mostly decorative.

I also tackled a wrap in the most luscious sea foam Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend yarn - a single 100 gr skein was enough for this project. I decided it was time to tackle a mobius wrap and discovered that like most things in knitting it's pretty straightforward.

There are a few methods out there (Google is your friend) here's what I did.

I cast on 130 stitches using backward loop method onto some very long and very flexible circular needles. To get the famous 'half twist' on the first row you don't knit into the stitches. Put a marker on your right needles and then you turn all the stitches upside down and knit into the little piece of yarn between the stitches. (This is muchharder to describe than do!)(Probably easier if you have knitting in front of you.) You knit all these 'between stitches' loops until you are back at the beginning -- and NOW you start to knit the stitches you cast on originally. When you are back at your marker you have completed your first round.

I alternated 5 rounds knitting, 5 rounds purling to get the wide bands of stocking and reverse stocking stitch. I just knit until I was almost out of yarn. I cast off and heh presto - there it was.

It's modelled here by gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve, worn fetchingly over her school shirt.

My final scarf project (and perhaps it was this one that caused my mini knitting hiatus) was an attempt to make my mother a pink Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style. My mom likes pink and I found some mystery pink yarn in my stash (unknown brand) and decided it was about the right amount for a scarf.

My mistake was choosing a scarf design that started at the long edge. Scarves that start at the long edge do not give you the option of deciding that the scarf is big enough if you run out of yarn. You can't just decide to do the border in another colour.

Nope - when you run out of yarn on a scarf that starts at the long edge the scarf just taunts you with the gaping hole in the centre of your scarf. It mocks you for deciding to make a scarf that starts at the long edge with a yarn with unknown yardage that you can't even identify a brand, colour or (ha!) a dye lot for.

You can almost hear the scarf laughing in this picture.

It sits on the needles still - waiting for some knitting miracle to deliver another skein of the mystery unbranded yarn. A knitter can dream.