Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A Speedy Hat For My Grandfather

My parents came over on Sunday. I made bread pudding for them, which sounds awful but actually comes out beautifully. We had some wine too, which went surprisingly well with bread pudding. But that doesn't matter for now. They mentioned to me that my grandfather (who is 81, and in the prime of health) has mentioned that he wants a hat. For presumably, he has a cold head. So obviously, I knitted him one.
I used up some King Cole Aero which I had in the stash, and which I don't actually intend to use ever again, as it just feels wrong. The yarn is chunky, and looks like small strands plaited together. I've been trying to get rid of it for a while, and that hat was a good excuse. I knitted it on 7mm DPNs, over 56 stitches. Simple 2 by 2 rib for the bottom, then stockinette for the main body. Here it is, modelled effortlessly by the lovely P. Easy peasy, and took me about 2 hours to knit up. G'dad will never go chilly again!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

I Never Felt So Good!

The bag turned out so much better than I imagined it would. I actually finished the knitting a while ago - I've been faffing around over the straps. I made 2 i-cords which I intended to felt and twist together, and they just took ages (you know that magic sort of knitting where your fabric gets to a certain length and then just stops growing? However much you knit?)

Eventually they were done (yay) so I put everything into pillow cases and stuck them in the washing machine on a boil wash. I was a bit nervous about breaking the washing machine (I put plastic boxes filled with water in as well to "agitate", and the sound it all made was horrendous, grindy breaky expensive noises) but everything came out well - I was really surprised how much it shrunk by.

I blocked the bag body by filling it with paperback books, and just laid the straps out straight. It didn't take that long to dry, so I sewed the straps on the following day (deciding not to twist them as planned, they just looked good sewn on straight) - added some flowers, made a closure out of some plaited yarn which just hooks over one of the flowers. It looks really cool, much better than I thought.

And already I have more projects on the go. I ordered some yarn from the US to make Clapotis for my mother, so that's underway - the yarn isn't quite right so I get the impression I might have to do more pattern repeats than the pattern says, but I'm not worried at the moment. Also got a quick hat for my grandfather and a cricket sock for P (in his team's colours!) on the needles. I am putting a yarn ban on myself for this month - I want a new kitchen, which I can't afford thanks to the paltry payrise my company gave me, so all my savings are going towards that.

Mind you, I've promised myself that before....

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Knitting Buckets

So I'm knitting some sort of big red bucket. This thing has begun to spiral out of control (as my knitting tends to) - I started with a pattern (free on the interweb, as most of the stuff I knit tends to be) and messed around with it.

This one involves knitting a rectangle (done), picking up all the stitches round it (done) and then knitting in the round in plain stockinette until you have a bag (doing). The picture here looks pretty good to me (although the bag only just fitted in the tiny square of sunshine I have in my flat at this time of day), but it just feels like it wants to be a bit longer - so I'm going to give it another inch or two before casting off.

Then I'm going to felt it. In a pillowcase in the washing machine, like you're supposed to. Then I'm going to block it by filling it with old videos. Because they fit, that's why.

I have no idea what I'm going to do about straps/handles - I'll play with it when I cast off and see what works best. I have an idea about embroidering it after felting, although I'll make decisions about this when it's done and I can see what I'm dealing with!