Project Spectrum Green, Yellow & Pink

Being the last day of May, I should be posting pictures of my finished Project Spectrum items. Weeeeell, I haven’t quite finished that project. You see, I decided I was going to use all three colours at the same time, because the craft I was reviving was linocut printing, and the point of printing is being able to produce multiple copies.

This is the linocut:

And these are the resulting prints:

All I need to do now is decide if I’m going to stick them onto cards, or in the order shown as an artwork. I’m rather keen on the latter, and of incorporating lines of text – probably quotes that mention roses.

Reviving a craft was my intention, and I did manage that at least. Maybe I’ll wait until I’ve completed the next revived craft project before I finish this composition because it, too, will need framing. I can frame them both at the same time.

What’s the next craft I’ll be reviving? Well, it also involves ink and paper. And words. I once practised it obsessively and dreamed of making a living out of it. Any guesses?

Holey Moley!

A few years back I tried knitting up a fingerless mitts pattern in a fancy schmancy new knitting magazine. I won’t say which magazine or which pattern because the troubles I had with the ‘gauntlets’ were mostly of my own making.

Well, first I tried converting them to knit in the round with limited success. I wasn’t able to work out how to reverse the purl side of the lace pattern so I just replaced it by repeating the picot edge yarn overs and k2togs every 4 rows. I didn’t realise I was supposed to fold back the hem to get the picot edging, but then the photo of the ‘gauntlets’ wasn’t particularly clear so I couldn’t see that the hem of mine looked any different anyway. I liked the texture it made, a bumpy, holey lattice.

Pretty soon it became rather obvious that these gauntlets were more like oven gloves in size. I had the correct gauge, so I can only conclude that the model was a giant and the props she languidly draped herself over had been made large-scale to hide the fact.

So I frogged and started again, making up a pattern as I went. Soon I had some cute little fingerless mitts that I loved, and wore every winter while driving my heating-challenged car.

Unfortunately, I’m good at mislaying gloves. A few days ago I gave up on my wistful hope these fingerless mitts would turn up again, bag slung over one, er, thumb and tell me thrilling tales of their adventures before accompanying me out on drives again. I dug up my pattern and started a new pair.

Then came the inevitable ripping and rewriting as I was seized by the idea that if I just tweaked a bit here and there I could improve the pattern and offer it up free to the knitterly world. A few hours later I had a pair of mitts. Next I realised I had to offer a medium size, since my hands are a touch smaller than the average person. That led to some maths. And to some test knitting.

(I haven’t yet finished test knitting the medium sized version yet, but once I have I will make corrections – if there are any – and delete this paragraph.)

They’re a fast project, done in a few hours, and are great for using up leftovers, that single ball that someone gave you or you bought simply because it was pretty. The k2tog rounds alternate with ssk rounds to minimise twisting, but I still got a little bit of twist in the cuff – just enough to be interesting.

Holey Moley Fingerless Mitts
by Chocolatetrudi

Yarn: 1 50g ball Patons Fireside or any similar 8ply/thicker dk weight
Needles: 4mm dpns, Sizes: wrist measurement sm 16cm/6.25inches (med 19/7.5”)

Cuff:
Cast on 24 (32) stitches, arrange on dpns 12/6/6 (16/8/8)
Rounds 1-3: knit, in the round
Round 4: *yo, k2tog* rep to end of round
Rounds 5-7: knit
Round 8: *yo, ssk* rep to end of round
Repeat rounds 1-8 2 times
Knit 3 rounds

Gusset:
Rnd 1: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k1, m1, k1, *yo, k2tog* rep 6 (8) times
(right) *yo, k2tog* rep 6 (8) times, k1, m1, k1, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 2: knit
Rnd 3: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k3, m1, k 13 (17)
(right) k 13 (17), m1, k3, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 4: knit
Rnd 5: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k5, m1, k1, *yo, ssk* rep 6 (8) times
(right) *yo, ssk* rep 6 (8) times, k1, m1, k5, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 6: knit
Rnd 7: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k7, m1, k 13 (17)
(right) k 13 (17), m1, k7, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 8: knit
Rnd 9: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k9, m1, k1, *yo, k2tog* rep 6 (8) times
(right) *yo, k2tog* rep 6 (8) times, k1, m1, k9, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 10: knit
Rnd 11: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k11, m1, k 13 (17)
(right) k 13 (17), m1, k11, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 12: knit
Rnd 13: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k13, m1, k1, *yo, ssk* rep 6 (8) times
(right) *yo, ssk* rep 6 (8) times, k1, m1, k13, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 14: knit
Rnd 15: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k15, m1, k 13 (17)
(right) k 13 (17), m1, k15, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 16: knit
Rnd 17: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k17, m1, k1, *yo, k2tog* rep 6 (8) times
(right) *yo, k2tog* rep 6 (8) times, k1, m1, k17, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 18: knit
Rnd 19: (left) k 10 (14), m1, k19, m1, k 13 (17)
(right) k 13 (17), m1, k19, m1, k 10 (14)
Rnd 20: knit

Finishing:
Rnd 1: (left) k 11 (15), cast off 19 st, k2, *yo, ssk * rep 6 (8) times
(right) *yo, ssk * rep 6 (8) times, k2, cast off 19 st, k 11 (15)
Rnd 2: (left) k 11 (15), pick up 1 st in first cast off st of prev row, k 14 (18)
(right) k 14 (18), pick up 1 st, in first cast off st of prev row k 11 (15)
Knit 2 rnds
Cast off, sew in ends.

Look into the reflector, Podcastling!

I’m enduring a bit of stealth vertigo today (it sneaks up on me just when the world has stopped spinning for a bit and I get my confidence up) on top of lack of sleep caused by the wind rattling the verandah roofing the plumbers didn’t finish off.

Knitting only makes the vertigo worse, so I’ve been listening to podcasts. A few new ones have appeared recently:

Changelings Knit and Stitch – good, by an Aussie
Christa Knits – really good, want more!
JustLindaOnlineKnitting – a likable chatty show I’ll definitley be downloading old eps of
Knit Science – interesting and a bit like Knitting News in tone
Lixie Knits It – oops, I just realised I haven’t tried this one yet. Have to listen to it right now. (Added later – I like it. Nice to hear a Brit accent!)
Moonlight Stitches – the music/talk ratio has balanced out as I hoped. Good show.
Socksinthecity’s Podcast – oodles of enthusiasm – a bit like a cross between Lime & Violet and Knitting Psychos
Stitch Stud and His Bride – only sampled 15 minutes so far but I like what I heard (I have to admit, I fell asleep but that was only because it got dark and started to rain and that was the final straw – I succumbed to the inevitable consequenses of an interrupted and restless night)

I’ve also been enjoying rediscovering It’s a Purl, Man. I like it best when Guido interviews someone. He has a gentle and enthusiastic interview manner, naturally comes up with interesting questions, and the interviews often end up sounding like interesting chats between friends.

Unwound wound up (har har) with a final episode. It’s sad to see the end of this podcast, but also so nice to have a podcaster finish off like this instead of the podcasts suddenly no longer appearing.

Little Miss Take Rib

So. I did it.

I frogged the Hello Possum Hat back to the start of the ribbing and knit mistake rib instead, and was relieved to find it was worth the effort.

The scarf is a little narrower and shorter than I’d normally make a man’s scarf, but a) I only had one ball of this yarn to use, and b) the recipient is well known for his lack of neck and I’m pretty sure he’s told me this can be a problem when wearing scarves. (In fact, if I’d had more yarn I would have only made the scarf longer, not wider, because of this.)

Pattern: mine – I made it up as I went. Yarn: Supreme Possum Merino 8ply.

Conversations With My Cat

“So, Peri Peri, did you miss me while I was up in the new workroom this afternoon, spinning and chatting with the lovely Natasha and Danielle and having a wonderful time?”

“Meow!”

“Were you satisfied with the quantity of attention you attracted when we returned to the lounge to eat cake, slice and cookies with our tea?”

“Meow!”

“Did the level of patting and scruffing satisfy you? Was there adoration worthy of your high cuteness status?”

“Meow!”

“Was… what’s this? Did you hide the chocolates that Natasha brought so I would forget to serve them with the tea?”

“MEOW!”

“That’s terrible! What do you mean ‘now you can scoff them all yourself’?! I would never…!”

“Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

“Why you evil… noisy… distracting… cute… what was I saying? Oh yeah.”

Thanks for bringing the chocolate, Natasha. Sorry about forgetting to serve them with the tea. I’m a bit embarassed about that.

Sideways Spencer

I approve of my latest fo:

Peri Peri approves of empty wip baskets:

(Pattern is Sideways Spencer from Interweave Knits Fall 2004. Yarn is Cleckheaton Country 12ply. Pattern adjustments started with knitting the waistband to a 24cm length, then picking up extra stitches along the waistband for the front bands. Two extra buttons were needed. That’s it. Last night, when I finished and tried it on, it was so comfortable I didn’t take it off again. It was also so warm I wound up turning the heater off.)

WIP it, WIP it good!

Suddenly I have a lot of WIPs. Thankfully, the bout of startitis I’ve had this last month seems to have ended, and suddenly I’m content to be finishing things.

The Sunrise Circle Jacket - haven’t yet basted the seams and tried it on. I’ll do it just as soon as I’ve finished the…

Sideways Spencer - having finally found the yarn to finish it, I’ve spent this week frogging back the collar and front bands, adding quite a bit of length to the waistband, and reknitting the front bands and collar. I just have to sew in the ends and sew on the buttons and it’ll be done. It’s been so easy this time around, it’s almost spooky. When I did the buttonholes, I discovered I’d added enough rows to the waistband that I picked up exactly the right number of stitches to add another buttonhole to the front band, with exactly the same spacing between them. Spooky, but a good spooky.

Mum’s Black Crochet Hat - I had the itch to crochet something a few days ago, and Mum keeps mentioning how much she’d like me to hurry up and knit this. I’m up to the brim and should be done soon. Now if I could only find the boning I bought to support the brim…

Hello Possum Beanie and Scarf - still working on the scarf. Still trying to talk myself out of frogging back the ribbing on the hat and doing mistake rib instead.

Mega Red Socks - I haven’t touched these in a while because I’ve had no need of transit or waiting room knitting. I’m sure that’ll change soon, but for now I’m happy just finishing the other wips.

Red Blanket - what red blanket?

I Knew It Might Take Some Frogging

On Friday night and Saturday morning I dug out the Sunrise Circle Jacket and finished one ‘front’.

Changing the pattern from what I’m guessing is a 10ply yarn to a 12ply yarn should be relatively simple. Angles shouldn’t change, so if you start with the right number of stitches to match the measurements of the pattern (A) increase at the same rate and stop when it’s the right length (B) the width at the top (C) should be the same as it would be if you knit in the thinner yarn.

I did that, and it was spot on.

The armhole-to-neck raglan bit, with the circular front, ought to follow the same principle. If I decreased for the raglan at the same rate, it should finish up the correct size (D). The increases for the circular front bit should just end a little earlier than the pattern directions did.

Unfortunately, the raglan decreases ended a little short of the measurements for the length of the raglan. The front circular bit… well, IK don’t provide measurements for that bit (E), but when I pinned it to myself I realised it wasn’t yet deep enough to cross over at the front like it did in the picture.

To get around this, I continued following the pattern, but with no raglan decreases, so I had a thin strip at the top of the raglan. However, when I was pinning it to myself I began to suspect that the fit for the sleeves was too tight anyway. I decided to finish the piece and block it, then baste all the seams and try it on. If it is too tight…

… maybe I should insert pictures of yummy blocks of chocolate right here, bought from The Essential Ingredient

… I’m going to… Look! 3.5 kilograms of couverture chocolate for use in my chocolate fountain bought at the same place. The 2.5 kilo bag of Lindt was $43 and great value for money (if you do buy some, make sure you get the Ecuador one, which doesn’t have butter fat in the ingredients). The 1 kilo block of Kennedy and Wilson was $25…

… have to frog the whole piece and knit it again, a few cm wider. That should solve the raglan-finishing-too-early problem as well as the too-tight-arms problem.

I Want To Make A Mistake

A year or two ago a New Zealand friend gave me two balls of Supreme Possum Merino 8ply. Soft and robust, it said “man’s hat” to me in a firm way that I knew better than to argue with. And my New Zealander friend would be the perfect recipient, being male and the yarn gifter, and living in a country that has relatively cold winters.

My friend is a cartographer so I entertained crazy ideas about incorporating a mariner’s compass design into the hat… right up to the third time I frogged it. Then, chastened, I knit a perfectly ordinary beanie.

By then I was in love with the yarn. Being sensitive to mohair, any yarn with ‘halo’ tends to repell me. This yarn has fuzz, but it doesn’t get up my nose. Also, I’d read feedback on this yarn on a blog, and the blogger hadn’t liked it, so I was expecting the worse. In fact, it’s soft, robust and easy to knit with. I’d definitely buy more, but since I couldn’t find a supplier on the net I suspect I’d have to go to New Zealand to get any.

I finished the hat on Friday:

And immediately I was faced with a dilemma. It had used only one ball of yarn. I had another. Should I knit something for myself in this delectable yarn, or make a smallish scarf for my friend?

If I made something for myself, what could I make out of one ball of yarn? I certainly don’t need any more hats. If I made a scarf… I worked out that I could probably make one that was 80-100cm long and about 10cm wide. A simple 2×2 rib would pull in and make the scarf even narrower, so on a whim I tried mistake rib.

Darn it. I like the effect so much, I really wish I’d used that rib on the hat. I’m not going to frog and reknit the hat. I’m not going to frog and reknit the hat.

I’m not going to frog and reknit the hat.

No.

I’m not. Just stop it.

Curses and Miracles

It’s becomming very clear that, while ordering a magazine through a newsagent does seem to circumvent the Subscriber Curse, the Magazine Ordering Curse rises to fill the curse vacancy.

On Tuesday I happened across a newsagent I haven’t been to before while picking up a chocolate fountain for myself. I was very pleased to finally find the last issue of Vogue, but a new issue of Interweave Crochet.

Yesterday I popped into my local newsagent to buy and post a card, and the lovely staff there told me my magazine was in. I’d seen Interweave Knits appearing on a few Aussie blogs, but last time it took four to six weeks more before it arrived in my newsagent, so I was surprised. The young woman produced Interweave Crochet with a flourish.

“Er, that’s not the right magazine,” I told them, then went on to explain that crochet isn’t knitting.

What’s strange about this is that when they looked up the magazine code a week or so ago to check the order was still in their computer system, the only Interweave magazines in the catalogue were Interweave Knits and Interweave Beading.

(Telling this to the beau last night, he said. “It could have been worse. It could have been Interweave Macrame.” Then he chuckled. “Or Interweave Bondage.” “Why Bondage?” I asked foolishly. “All those different knots you might want to learn,” he replied.)

Anyway, yesterday I popped into Spotlight Bayswater to continue my hunt for the yarn to finish the Sideways Spencer. The yarn section has moved back to it’s former position, and suddenly they have a good range of Cleckheaton and Patons yarns again. Well, except for Patonyle. I found the yarn I needed, then I spied this in the baby wool section:

It’s machine washable baby yarn, but it’s 70% wool and 30% nylon, which makes it Clayton’s sock yarn – the sock yarn you have when you’re not having sock yarn. It’s very soft, so I’m wondering how well it’ll wear, and comes in white, this coffee colour, light blue, light green, pink and violet.

Somehow it ended up in my possession. Later, wondering why I’d lost all yarn buying resistance, I realised I had stumbled upon a motive for buying yarn that I’d not yet succumbed to and so hadn’t gained any resistance against: Buying Yarn To Encourage or Reward a Yarn Maker.

As if me buying two balls is going to convince Cleckheaton to keep making this yarn. Riiight.

I might have come to my senses and put the yarn back before reaching the checkout, but at the crucial moment I was distracted. Turning a corner, I stumbled upon the pattern and book section. Instead of the usual pamphlets and “hip” teen knitting how-to books, there was a spread of really decent knitting books. Books like Knitting on the Edge and its siblings, Illusion Knitting, and the Harmony stitch guides. Decent books in Spotlight? What is the world coming to?

So this came home with me:

It helped that I had a $10 voucher to use if I spent $50.