Monday, 4 April 2011

And so we move into spring...

I want to say thank  you to everyone who emailed or commented kind messages and words of comfort.  Blogger doesn't let me reply directly to all comments -- but please know that all of your thoughts and prayers all meant so much to me.

Here it is April 4th and London weather is warming up. That with the little bursts of sunshine we get convince us that summer is on its way.  

I stayed in Canada until early March and while sorting through pictures with my family I found two that I thought I'd share with you.  The first is one of my mom in the early stages of her Phentex Checkerboard Slipper jag.   

And the second is a very happy me clutching a 'how to crochet' kit early one Christmas morning-- look at that smile - I was always in love with yarn!!

As many of you suggested it would be knitting has been a comfort and while I was in Canada  I was seldom without needles and yarn in my hands.

My first project was a pair of mittens for the delightful Dylann -- another in the annual series with her high school's initials and the year knt into the palms.  Dyl was frightened by my sister telling her in September last year that she had given me a 'great idea'** for Christmas gifts -- according to my Mom Dyl's reaction was 'But I like my mitts!!'

Luckily for her - I liked knitting the mitts as well so there was no need for her to be concerned. This pair (a Drops pattern) will be the final high school pair as next year she starts university -- I wonder what those colours will be?

I really wanted to make my Dad a cardigan so on our trip to Bathurst we found 'The Spinning Wheel' yarn shop (no website that I could find - but if you are in the area you'll find it in the phone book!).  It is a lovely little shop with a really wide variety of yarns.   The owners were really friendly and it became a regular stop in our trips to town after that!

I wanted the cardigan to be easy care so I opted for some Sirdar Denim yarn in a brown colour (which doesn't appear on the website so perhaps it has been discontinued - too bad it was a nice colour.).  It's soft to touch and I really liked working with it.  Finding the right pattern was pretty straightforward - a bit of searching and I settled on Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan -- available for free from Knitting Daily.

The cardigan flew off my needles.  The body is knit flat in one piece to the sleeves, and the sleeves and shoulder caps are knit separately.  The knitting was done within days - and I had seamed the main pieces together but when my dad tried it on we all agreed that the body was too short and it needed a couple more inches

This meant I got to impress no one but myself by fixing this problem without the need to unravel days worth of knitting! 

What I did was snip the yarn in the row above the body ribbing and then very carefully pull the yarn through the stitches to separate the ribbing from the main body.  As I did this I carefully placed the stitches from the main body onto a needle.  Luckily, knitting doesn't unravel upward so this wasn't too stressful!

When I removed the cuff, and picked up all of the stitches I proceeded to knit the additional 2 inches of body downward, followed by the ribbing. 

This sort of fix isn't always possible for complicated patterns  (or maybe it is and requires more thinking power than I have!) but for simpling stocking or ribbing works quite well.

Now, only a quest for buttons kept it from 'finished' status.  Trips to Zellers and Walmart were fruitless but I struck gold (or brown button) at an old sewing shop where the owner kindly went through EVERY button in stock to help me get the right ones.

The finished cardigan was well received - and my Dad showed it to everyone who dropped by. Naturally, he hasn't worn it - but I know he loves it!

The rest of the time was spent making socks. 

Socks, socks and more socks. 

Not all were photographed as some were claimed pretty much as soon as they came off the needles.  I discovered that I could knit nothing but socks all year and STILL there would be feet in need!!!

Most of the socks were knit plain in self striping yarn.  The red pair were Diagonal Rib Socks (another freebie from Knitting Daily) a pattern I expect I'll use again. Straightforward to knit but just a little more interesting than plain socks.

I think in the end I knit about 10 pair!

I haven't knit a thing since I got back to London but I can feel the urge to start a project building.  I think a browse through my books and magazines for some inspiration is in order!

** My sister's 'great idea' will be revealed later...I don't have any photos of the finished objects  yet!


fleegle said...

Soo, everything flies off your needles :) But they are all handsome!re

florapie said...

Love the photo of your mom and the checkerboard slippers-we certainly had those in our family, and a checkerboard tea cosy version as well!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy you are back blogging. I am glad you got to spend some time with the rest of your family in Canada. It must have been bittersweet.

I laughed outloud as I read about your dad loving the cardigan, isn't that just the way sometimes.
Take Care.

LittleBerry said...

Lovely projects Soo as always and nice ot have you back...

Joan said...

Nice to see you back, Soo! Sigh, I wish I could knit HALF as fast as you!

The Caked Crusader said...

Love that photo of you - you haven't changed a bit!!! It's exactly the same expression you had when you used to get your yarn delivered to the office (ah, the good old days, when I'd come in and give your latest purchase a squeeze!)

Ann said...

Great photos and projects, welcome back, your fans missed you!