Tuesday, 27 November 2007


It's been an age since I last posted - I've been crazy busy. Which is not to say that there hasn't been knitting - there has. All on the Mohair cardi. I am now finishing off the first sleeve, then it's just the second sleeve to go! Hoping to get some more done on it this week.

I did my Christmas shopping this weekend (having taken a couple of days off work to do so). Guildford shopping centre is officially the seventh circle of hell. And it wasn't even a weekend day... Despite getting dangerously close to homicidal at several points, the Christmas shopping is now done, and I did not weaken and go in the yarn shop (Pandora's). Although I was tempted.

I'm thinking about doing a bit of Christmas knitting. Not gifts for people - I'm going to stop at the socks in terms of gifts - but I thought it might be fun to make some decorations. I get ludicrously over excited about Christmas. I can't help myself. I knitted a tiny tree decoration last year which wasn't too stressful (ie. you can knock it out in a day, so no real deadlines!). I also made stuffed snowmen, which are just the cutest (and you can find the pattern at www.knittingpatterncentral.com). This year I think I should do something different altogether...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Finished Socks of Rock

Another finished item (or in this case, items) to add to the pile! The socks are done, here they are in all their glory on my feet.

These were quick to knit, and the yarn is fabulous. It was my first experiment with self striping yarn and I was pleased with the result, and pleasantly surprised that I managed to get the different colours to pretty much match up. Where there are differences, I'm also happy, as it just makes them look a bit more hand made.

A close up to give a better idea of the pattern of the yarn. The sock pattern itself wasn't much of a challenge - it's a 2x2 rib all the way down, but in my defence, I'm still new to socks so all the fun is in turning the heel etc. for me at the moment.

I used 3mm needles, Regia yarn (the ball band is in German so I'm not entirely sure of the name of the colour... "Jacquard" I think?), and the Legendary Cath's 70's sock pattern. They will be a Christmas present, although I'm not sure who the lucky recipient is... probably my Uncle in Law. Or my Grandfather (who often mentions how he would wear hand knit wool socks back during his years in the navy for weeks at a time, without his feet becoming sweaty or smelly or anything. Bearing in mind my entire immediate family have the worst smelling, sweatiest feet in the world - we're not proud, but hell, we're realists - this is an impressive boast, and makes us all very jealous).

As with every sock I've ever knitted - it was enjoyable during the knitting, but I'm delighted to get them done... now back to the Mohair cardi full time.

I finished the left front last week (in one day!), and cast on the right front. Then I decided to get a nasty cold and put it down for a few days. I shall be picking it up again today or tomorrow - whilst I'm not going to set myself a firm deadline, I would like to get it done in the next 2 weeks. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Brief and to the Point

A flying visit today, simply to report that the back of the Mohair Cardi is now complete - always read the pattern, kids, you don't want to be ripping back six rows of mohair. I managed to salvage everything (after much swearing and pleading with the yarn), and the back is complete and done. I am casting on the right front today (it's half the number of stitches for the back, so I'm guessing I will probably be halfway through it by the end of today).

Also managed about another inch on the sock last night - slow progress, but this still remains the fastest sock I've ever knitted.

I'm suffering with some sort of illness at the moment, which apparently involves not feeling bad enough to take to my bed, but coughing like a walrus and feeling all round shabby. Progress is therefore slow - but there will be pictures as soon as I can be bothered.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Stripey Ear Flap Hat

It occurred to me that I have not blogged the pattern for the extremely funky and cool ear flap hat that I'm wearing in the picture (for which I did make up the pattern). Why deprive the world of such a cool hat! Modelled here by my mother :)

Materials: DK (light worsted) weight yarn in 6 colours (which we shall call A, B, C, D, E and predictably, F). Probably about 25g of each, this was a stash busting exercise for me.

4mm circular needle and 4mm straight needles.

Ear flaps (make 2):
Using A, cast on 7 stitches.
Row 1: K1, P to last stitch, K1
Row 2: K1, KFB (knit into front and back of stitch, creating 2 stitches), K to last 2 stitches, KFB, K1.
Repeat rows 1 & 2, change to B.
Using B, repeat rows 1 & 2 (13 stitches), change to C.
Using C, repeat rows 1 & 2 (15 stitches).
Row 3 - K1, P13, K1.
Row 4 - K.
Repeat rows 3 & 4 (so 6 rows have been worked in colour C in total). Change to D.
Using D, repeat rows 3 & 4. Change to E.
Using E, repeat rows 3 & 4 twice (so 4 rows total have been worked in E). Change to F.
Using F, repeat rows 3 & 4 (2 rows total). Change to A.
Repeat rows 3 & 4 twice (4 rows total). Change to B.
Using B, repeat rows 3 & 4 (2 rows total). Place work on a spare needles. (I generally weave in ends here, saves time and effort later).

Place first ear flap on circular needle (always make sure that the right side of the ear flap is facing outwards) - attach colour C and knit across stitches of ear flap (15 stitches), then cast on a further 38 stitches. Place the second ear flap on the circular needles and knit across those 15 stitches, then cast on a further 32 stitches, and join up with the first ear flap (you'll have 100 stitches total on the circular). I also find it handy to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round.

The pattern for the main body of the hat is as follows:
K19, (P2, K2) repeated 8 times, P2, K49.
I also changed colours as follows (starting with the colour you cast on the main body of the hat with):
Colour C - 6 rows
Colour D - 2 rows
Colour E - 4 rows
Colour F - 2 rows
Colour A - 4 rows
Colour B - 2 rows
Work the same row as many times as each colour dictates until hat measures 17 cms from the cast on edge of the main body (You might want to measure your own head for this - mine is ENORMOUS).

Decrease row 1 (keeping the colour change pattern as for the main body - you may also want to change to 4mm double pointed needles): (K2 tog, K8) repeat to end of round.
Decrease row 2: K
Decrease row 3: (K1, K2 tog, K6) repeat to end of round.
Decrease row 4: K
Decrease row 5: (K2, K2 tog) repeat to end of round.
Decrease row 6: K
Decrease row 7: (K2 tog, K1) repeat to end of round.
Decrease row 8: K
Decrease row 9: (K2 tog) repeat to end of round.
Decrease row 10: K
Repeat row 9.
Cut yarn leaving about 20 cm. Thread needle then thread remaining stitches through, tie tightly. You can opt to plait some of the yarn you used in the knitting to make funky tassles for the ends of the earflaps - just plait about 30cm of yarn together, secure at one end and fasten the other end to the ear flap by sewing.
Voila! Cool stripey hat to amaze your friends and relatives.

Progress on the sock and the mohair cardi continues - nothing really exciting to report, but hopefully photos after the weekend.