muninnhuginn: (Default)
Another knitted artifact, pattern courtesy of Dee Fray (blackrayne):
Knitted Skull
Read more... )
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
Yup! I've been mending:
On the left, the inside; outside on the right (almost invisible).


Nov. 20th, 2016 02:59 pm
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
"Right," I said. "I've reached the bit with the gussets. That'll get me to 300-odd stitches a round."
M looked puzzled. He apparently beleived that gussets only figured in pants and couldn't work out where they'd go in a gansey. ("Where they Go in a Gansey" ought to be the title of ... something ... rude ... in a music-hall sort of a way ...)
"Think about the patterns for tunics for re-enactment costumes," I said (thinking guiltily how I owe him a new Middle Earth-ish tunic, but hey! I'm knitting him a gansey), "and what a gusset actually does."
A pause.
"Extra room," I said. "Under the armpits."
Anyway, this got me thinking. Lansallos has features that make it seem more like a woven fabric garment than a knitted one. The underarm gussets, for one. The almost smock-like appearance some of the stitches give it. It makes me wonder how the features of knitted garments may have developed from sewn garments that preceded or were contemporary with them.
Also, "gussets". "Ganseys". Why do they both sound so rude?

Almost as bad as "district nurse" or "stocking tops" or--deep breath--"black and white kitchen darwers". (Gosh! That felt really naughty ;-)
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
Or, what to do with several samples of handspun and not quite enough commercial yarn

muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
I've not wanted to knit much recently. Last month, in fact, I achieved only a handful of hexipuffs for the bedspread. Nothing bigger. Nothing finished, but at least nothing else started to add to the looming UFOs.

I was spinning away this evening, wondering what use I'd put this new howspun to, when it suddenly came to me why this is. I only want to knit with yarn I've spun.

So that's understood.
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
So here's the thing. The cold was (and still is a little bit) not something to take out and about, not with the streaming (bleeding) nose and the tendency to head towards a fever. But today's my holiday: my annual trip on the glitterbus (the company both ways and the pile of purchases on the way home definitely add to a sense of sparkle) to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally. And I'm not on the bus. Not late and nearly missing it like last year, but at home having sent my excuses.
I'm going to have my day all the same. Not all of it: even Ravelry's forums aren't quite a replacement for the craic on the coach. But I can browse, shop, fondle yarn and floof, do a workshop, find some exhibits, from the comfort of my <strike>armchair</strike> posture stool and laptop. I'm getting quite excited.
(The photos might not be all that interesting.)
Part the first--getting ready
Dress the part, smart but comfortable. Seasalt courduroy skirt, bright red cashmere cardie, favourite green sampler shawl (have to wear a hand-knit of my own), and socks (also hand-knit). Earrings, non-dangly, don't want to catch on all those dangling skeins. Don't need to choose boots or shoes; don't need to ensure the Kindle's charged; don't need to panic about whether I've got enough cash; don't need to find a bag big enough for the camera, or spare batteries for the camera. All set, in fact.
Part the second--planning
On the agenda:
1. Practising parsimony (workshop). OK, this is merely darning some holes in M's best sweater. But it does mean going through the stash to find a likely match for the darn.
2. Learn to use a lucet (workshop). I found an email tutorial for this. And I've let the first few pile up. So I'll tackle at least a couple of these.
3. Fondle yarn. Part of 1. to find the darn yarn, but I might cross check the piles of stuff against my Ravelry stash to make sure it's up-to-date. Sort out what is stored where.
4. Buy yarn and floof. I have a list, but I'll wait to buy from that (many of the vendors are at Ally Pally). Instead, I may check out folk destashing on Rav. I may see what offers I get in my Inbox. I will have to order new face cream. (What? It's neither yarn nor floof, but I do buy it regularly at K&S. Last year I bought a duvet, too.)
5. Find an exhibition.... This one's more of a challenge. <strike>Google</strike>DuckDuckGo may have to be my friend.
6. Eat, drink.
7. Take photos of Ally Pally. Hard to do if I'm not there, but I could upload some of the past years many shots to share with other folk.
Part the third--I'm off. Back later with a news of my progress.
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
For Tour de Fleece 2016, I created 50g and around 175m of something mostly approaching fingering weight, think slightly skinny sock yarn. However, there are stretches that are thread and some chunkier runs, too. There was one knot, since cut off and the ends spliced during knitting. There were definitely two areas where one strand on the 2-ply broke but the yarn itself remained intact. There are also some patches of overtwistedness where little spikes of highly-twisted thread stick out. They're not much more obtrusive than the odd hair--sheep or added cat--and disappear mostly into the knitted fabric.
I'm giving myself a generous 6/10 for it.
Knitting up, it's like a Shetland yarn, grippy. It's also very forgiving: I've pulled or knit back several rows and it's not broken or tangled and has knit up again quite happily. It's a little splitty in places, but not horrendously so. And the big test, the nupps with the make 5 from one and purl 5 together on the next row, is fine. Possibly the easiest experience I've had with that particular technique.
Maybe 6 1/2 out of ten for the quality of the yarn.
As for the pattern I chose: "Crunchy Leaves". (I called the yarn "Parsnip" so I suppose my project is "Crunchy Parsnip".) It's a long narrow lace scarf with nupps. I worried that the lace and texture would not work with a more than slightly irregular yarn with flecks of colour in it. But, the irregularities are mostly evening out and the nupps and coloured nepps are hamonising nicely with one another. "Crunchy Leaves" is a first for me in that it's a lace pattern with a changing stitch count going from row to row. I've always fought shy of that particular complication. I like my rectangles or regular patterns of increases or decreases. But it's fine. I had, admittedly, worked out the stitch count for each row and I check pretty much every row. The first time it was off, I unpicked a couple of rows until I trusted things to be right and recommenced. The second time, I saw the problem and fixed it on the next row so it doesn't show.
I'm three-and-a-half repeats (of a suggested nineteen) in and the slightly stiff beginnings to the fabric are now loosening of as it develops some length. The lace pattern is clear (if place on a dark background) and it doesn't feel too prickly. Washing and blocking is going to be necessary to produce the wavy-edged shape and soften the fabric a little more.
I have no worries about continuing with this successfully. It's a comfortable yarn to knit with. And a pattern that's crunchy without being too hard. (I happily carried on with it whilst watching "The Secret Agent" on TV, and even Beck where I have to read the subtitles.)
So, fairly soon, I'll have a new scarf for the Autumn. Cue a heatwave? (I bought a new coat on sale in May and the sun cracked the rocks for the next week or more. So I wouldn't be surprised.)
And plans after this? Spinning-wise, more practice. I'd like to produce 100g of something knittable with a more consistent thickness. I want to do this both fingering (or finer) weight and something chunkier. I find thicker harder and scarier. A slow spindle is less trustworthy than a fast one. I'd also like to extend the project: go from fleece (I have some) right through to a knitted up pattern (one I design myself, maybe).
Before that, however, I have a red camisole top to sew up and the lace edgings to knit. I have a shawl to pull back--yet again--and restart. Third time lucky. This time without failing to read the bit that says all wrong side rows are purled. (No, the all-knit rows version is not showing the lace up well enough for me to continue with the error.) This latter project needs tackling soon: I find I can only see what I'm doing with it in very bright natural light, i.e. outdoors in the sunshine. If it's not done by sometime in September I guess I'm putting it away again until next year. (I put it by previously because the elderly white cat pee-ed on the bag and made it all stink. The smell, like the cat, is now gone.)


Apr. 20th, 2016 05:48 pm
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
Bits 'n' bobs of yarn now thoroughly catalogued in Ravelry and tidied away:
behind cut! )
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
So, today I finished some socks.
Inspired (en-hubris-ed) by my productivity, tonight I downloaded a pattern and ordered the yarn for a dress. Which I'd like to have done for Easter.
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
I hate the final stages of knitting: blocking, pressing, sewing seams, weaving in ends. Which is why, although I finished knitting the shawl the weekend before last, I've only just finished it. I've put on soothing music, woven in all eight loose ends, gently washed the shawl, squished the surplus wet out in a towel, and pinned it out to dry:
I did have some help:

The shawl was almost dry by the time I'd pinned it out, so I don't think--beyond a wet bum--there's much of a problem. He moved as soon as I started making lunch.

So, credits for this piece of work:

  • Pattern from The Knitter magazine, issue 91

  • Yarn from John Lewis

  • Crystal beads from Bluestreak Beads

  • Tiny beads from Hobbycraft

  • Eucalan from The Sheep Shop (possibly blocking pins, too)

  • Music from Annie Dressner, Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names

And about 25 hours work.
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
Took Wednesday off and knit other stuff elsewhere.
Days 6-8 saw me tackle the big Swarovski crystals, the lace pattern, and the beaded edging. All mostly OK. One dropped stitch and miscount recovered.

My queries:
1. Switch from k2, p to last 2 stitches, k2 to k3, p to last 2 sts, k2 is puzzling. Stuck with the former throughout.
2. If there were a single additional column on left of chart (all knits on RS, all purls on WS) the shawl would be properly symmetrical. And 2 sts wider.
3. If the final stitch count were 278, then p2, place bead, to last 2 sts, p2, would actually work. With 276 sts, you end up with 3 sts at end.
Lack of symmetry irritates.
4. End pattern with right side facing. Work a beaded rwo (on RS). BUT this is followed by cast-off row that's also labelled as RS. (Think it should be WS, but who knows?)

So, apart from an itchy nose, Kidsilk Haze is survivable. Shawl knit from rectangular tab is fine. Beading is fiddly.

Tomorrow: ends (weaving in), blocking, ends (trimming).
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
Crystalline Shawl 1
Progress after day one.

Yesterday was another slog through the easy section of the shawl to seven rows before the start of the pattern. Not helped by the fact that it's now big enough to be worth a cat making an attempt at occupation.
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)
So, I bought some Rowan Kidsilk Haze yesterday and some beads (when did John Lewis stop stocking beads?! and thank you to Hobbycraft for being on our walk home) and am waiting for an earlier order of crystals in order to make something new.

It's a shawl (from the booklet from Issue 91 of The Knitter (can't find a big photo of it... yet!)), knit from a tab in centre back, which I've never successfully done before.

It's also beaded, with two different weights of bead. And these are knit-in having previously been threaded onto the yarn. This is also something I've not tried before. (The odd bead attached using a crochet hook during knitting, yes. Not this way.)

And... It's in Kidsilk Haze, which I've avoided for years. Everyone uses it and I'm too much of a yarn snob to follow the crowd. Also....

Wind back many, many years and picture me watching the RSC production of A Doll's House at The Other Place in Stratford on Avon. We're sitting on the far side of the auditorium having walked across the set and climbed up stairs at the far side to get to our balcony seats. It's summer. My neighbour on one side is wearing perfume (probably L'air du Temps) and a new mohair sweater. I get an violent attack of hay fever. I cannot leave, as far as I can see, without crossing the set. I suffer through the performance by hiding behind handkerchiefs and trying tot to sneeze too loud or too often. I've avoided hairy yarns ever since. (Happily, I saw the same production of A Doll's House when it later toured to Newcastle, and so I got to enjoy Cheryl Campbell's wonderful performance properly.)

So, back to the knitting, new yarn, new techniques.

The knit a tab, pick stitches along its side and base, technique, especially with a provisional cast on to unpick, is as much of a fiddle as I feared. I nearly had it twisted. It was hard to tell if it was successful until I'd knit a dozen or so rows. But, I did it. It looks fine. I'll do it again. (At the time I thought the hairy yarn was a hindrance, but I think that it's probably very generously hiding any imperfections.)

The yarn is sticky. My heart sank when I had to pull the end away from the ball and it resisted. This is not a ball of yarn that is going to unroll and escape away from you across the floor exiting pursued by a cat. As a solution, I stuffed it in a yarn bowl with a rim that is smaller than the ball and it unrolls easier with the bowl holding it under a little tension.

It doesn't grip the needles, though, sliding on (and off: oops!!) my Symphonies and over the join from needle to cable very smoothly. It just likes to hold onto itself!

The yarn is also, as I mentioned, hairy. I'm fine with that. No sneezes at all. I've had to exaggerate my knitting style, throwing the yarn much wider so as to trap less of the halo of fibres round the needles. I'm terrified of ever having to pull any back, so the extra care is worthwhile. The fabric I'm producing is light as a feather, but feels plump due to the depth of that halo. It knits up fast, too, and I've already got 108 stitches of the 204 I need before border pattern and beading begin.

A good experience, with the beading to look forward to.

[I may also have acquired some neon shades of sock yarn yesterday to spice up the beekeeper a little. It was both gorgeous, and in the sale.]
muninnhuginn: (Default)
So, as well as getting rid of stuff, I'm making use of stuff.

I'm in the process of finishing a summer dress in a length of fabric I failed to make into a dress well over twenty years ago. (Good thing my tastes haven't changed too much.)

I've also started a Beekeeper's Quilt to make us of as many bits and bobs of 4ply and sock yarn in my possession (easier to get at as I've had to move stacked boxes from the corner of the bedroom to under the new bed so the widdling cat can't find any floor to make use of). It's modular, and I'm aiming big--four foot square--so it'll take some time.

I also discovered the downside of disposing og things: I ran out out clean duvet covers (the worn-out or incorrect-sized ones went a few weeks back). Sometimes decluttering means reacquiring jsut the right stuff.
muninnhuginn: (alien kitty)

They're joined by a flexible cable, too ;-)

Yup. A knitting problem. I didn't dare wrecking the tension on the last little bit of the slipover I' ve been working on since Xmas. And plastered up and begloved left hand would almost certainly do that. So I started a shawl so I could try out a triangular construction with the, to me, messy-seeming rectangular tab start. It's simple, garter stitch. I've gone from seven stitches to a handful over 100 (227 is the target for this section). It's mostly OK, but a couple of eyelets at the centre increase a a little... off. No-one will ever notice. Someone might notice. I'llknow.
Do I pull the whole thing back and start again?

muninnhuginn: (Default)

All the sock/4ply lace projects for Xmas were really a precursor to this:


'Cos I'm a coward and that yarn is almost as fine as standard sewing cotton, almost too soft to feel between the fingers, and fragile as hell (no pulling at tangles: it breaks). I've not blocked it properly yet, just given it a quick run over with the steam iron, so there is still the odd dangly untrimmed end showing.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with it. Hence the several pictures via the camera on the spare mobile phone*.

And the dead needles?

I'd decided that the past weekend would be when I finished. I'd hoped it would be Saturday, but watching 3 1/2 episodes of Forbrydelsen** slowed me up somewhat. So, on Sunday afternoon I disappeared upstairs to knit along to Professor Challenger on Radio 4 with Ozzie and Socks for company. Ozzie dozed at me. Socks sat on the stool level with my shoulder and watched. He'd evidently never encountered knitting before and was fascinated. Then he had to join in. First he hooked the end of the nearest needle with his paw, lifted it to his mouth and chewed it a bit. (Not entirely pleasant as we'd given him Little's rejected breakfast [Sheba with Trout***].) The bead on the end proved insufficiently tasty so he came round to the other end and chewed the points a bit. (Yes, I let him do all this. He was slow, cautious and remarkably gentle.) This wasn't such a good idea as the bamboo had already become very slightly split (I've been sandpapering the points regularly to keep the snagging to a minimum) and kitty spit exacerbated the situation; kitty weight dangling from the end has enhanced the bend in one of them too.

I will need to replace the needles. Unfortunately, the carbon fibre ones I want only come as dpns and not straights. I assume cat teeth won't harm something used for the outside of spyplanes.

* So the quality's not great.

** Yes, I'm utterly addicted. By the time I've watched it all, I may have learned some spoken Danish. Total immersion.

*** To be added to the unacceptable-to-small-anorexic-cats list.


Jul. 1st, 2007 09:19 pm
muninnhuginn: (Default)


  • Isaac Asimov, I, Robot
  • Robert Aickman, Powers of Darkness
  • Allen Steele, Spindrift
  • Josef Capek, Karel Capek, R.U.R. and The Insect Play


  • T184 Social robots 
  • T184 Optimization
  • T184 Exploring space with robots
  • T184 Futures


  • T184 CMA



Sep. 6th, 2006 02:49 pm
muninnhuginn: (yarn)

So I knit Fetching--twice. (A further pair has been requested by the wearer of pink.) The green pair took a tad over the single ball of Cashmerino Aran, but I had some spare, so no problem there. For the black pair I had only one ball of yarn: a reduction of three rounds in the plain part of the hand was spot on for yarn requirements.

The one other change I made was to even up the ribs so that the mitts are a proper mirror image (look at the picture on the index page of the Knitty site just above the start of the thumb and see how the lines of purls in the rib aren't quite mirrored--I know it's marginal, but I likes my symmetry). The solution on the second glove was to finish the final round of the main section of 4x1 rib three stitches early and commence the knit in waste yarn section for the thumb there. Simple, but pleasing tweak.

big piccies )
muninnhuginn: (yarn)

... with one ball of sock yarn?

It helps that Opal Petticoat is so pretty.

So far, with some yarn remaining, I've done my watch strap, Looby Loo's socks (well it is sock yarn), a dress (for Barbie), and two dresses for her little sisters (with a correspondingly small pattern design--yup, it's a small, square post it note).


Jun. 13th, 2006 02:04 pm
muninnhuginn: (yarn)

I think that's what I'm calling them. There's an associated half-remembered quote (from my 'O' level music notes, no less, so there's little chance of chasing it up). They're certainly perversely (left and right socks mirror) elaborate (picot edging, lace panels, beribboned eyelets) enough for the description. I rather fancy them whilst lounging, semi-d|shabill|e, in my imaginary salon. Fingerless gloves in complementary design most defintiely required.

But first to write up the pattern... properly.

sox )


muninnhuginn: (Default)

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