Friday, March 30, 2012

WIP-Wednesday-on-a-Friday: On Finished Things

Whoops, sorry I'm late again, but for once I was actually busy out of the house. 
Yeah, I do sometimes leave the house for reasons other than workity work work. Last Wednesday I went to see the try-out for Bavel Izz Music, a sort-of-local to me Night-of-the-Promsy-sort-of event with an eclectic mix of music, song and dance, of which I knew at least one participant. In a bid to get people to buy tickets to our (Nootwaar's) own show on June 16th (do YOU have your ticket yet)* I think it's important to guilt-trip other amateur performers by going to their shows. And, it's always a good night when you get to sing along with someone else for a change.  

Yesterday saw me working like a mad-woman, hand stitching my fabric postcard together so it could be sent today (which I did, hurrah!). Obviously I won't show you a picture yet, because that would spoil the surprise. But I was very happy with it, for a first try, so there we go. Depending on the Dutch and Canadian postal services, we may be able to see more soon...

Tomten the Third is finished and delivered, even if its tiny recipient isn't here yet. His or her auntie was very happy with my work, so it'll be a good present for her to give... I think the little ducks brighten the whole thing up, and it was a joy to knit. Oddly, this sort-of boring pattern of garter stitch after garter stitch row is the one and only think I ever made more than one of. 

If you don't have a pom pom maker yet, go and get one. It's all I do these days, pom pom making...

Well, and a bit of spinning. I think I overdid things when finishing the Sound of Music-edition I mentioned before. When everything hurts, you should seriously consider taking a break.

In my head, finishing the spinning and transferring the yarn to another bobbin to make nicer pictures is sort of taking a break, right? Behind it what must be a linen/silk sort of blend in a rich golden colour. Behold below some finished yarn. I mean, feast your eyes. No, really, just look at it, isn't it gorgeous? It's 550m, at a light fingering/2-ply lace weight so it'll become a nice thing for summer wear. It's nothing I would've chosen by myself, but I love it all the more... Even if I bruised my fingers spinning and plying it all...

*yes, I'm talking to you

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday: I Spy....

...with my little eye... something Blue...

Looking at my wardrobe, most of my handmade and bought shawls and most of my current projects, 'something blue' could be anything! Even the sky promises to be blue for a few more days at least, so the Spring sun gets plenty of airtime... I suspect we'll need to have a bit of rain at some point, or we'll get all of it on my days off I'm sure. 

Some sad news this week. Do you remember Tanit's Jacket, and how it was taking me to get anywhere? Last time you saw it, it looked exactly like this

If you remember the jacket, and have any clue about making anything by hand (crafting, cooking, you name it) you know that feeling. The feeling of a tiny little thought in the back of your head, getting louder only ever so slowly until at last, you can't ignore it any longer. You've checked, double checked, triple checked and checked all over again, until you can't deceive yourself any longer. 

In the case of the Tragic Tanit's Jacket the thought was thus: the button hole is on the wrong side...
I checked if I read the instructions wrong,* I checked for errata on the pattern website,** I turned and turned the WIP around and around to match the pictures on the pattern. I asked Mom. She told me I was right. I found others who knit the same jacket on Ravelry. At least one of them mentions the button holes being on the wrong side. I now know I'm not alone in either reading the pattern wrong or noticing the pattern is in fact wrong.

I frogged, and I frogged, and I frogged 4 balls of yarn. 

I guess there's a good side to all this frogging. I was wondering if I had chosen a size too large to start with, since I didn't do a great deal of gauge-getting, so now I'm knitting it a size smaller. If nothing else, there will be fewer stitches.

To make up for it (and because I really wanted something else on the bobbin), I spun, and spun, and spun and spun some more. You think you buy 100 grams of the stuff, but there's no end to a braid of Tardis fibre. I shouldn't be surprised, really. 

Here are the two full bobbins together. Now all I have to do is spin another 100 grams of white merino/nylon mix to make the third ply for this supposed sock yarn. 

Before I do that though, I get to do some selfish spinning. I love making for others, but sometimes, it's time for Me! Me! Me!

So when I got Tardis spun up, I quickly settled in to prep the latest instalment of Dutch Wool Diva in the colourway Sound of Music. I decided on very short and irregular colour changes, so I divided the braid into lots of narrow pieces.

I intend to ply it with some unknown fibre on a cone which I got a few years ago. I can't seem to find a cone with a label on it, but I'll try a bit before committing to it. I just thought they matched so well together!

I seem to fly through the little balls of fluff, so I expect it to be finished a lot quicker than most things I've spun this year. 

Finally, last week's budding leaf has grown into this already! It truly isn't winter any longer, the equinox was yesterday and people are still dumping rubbish amongst the daffodils. Not everything changes...

Keep knitting, touch wool!

*I didn't
**there weren't any

Friday, March 16, 2012

WIP Wednesday-on-Friday: Jump!

I hope you didn't all just jump off your seats, but it seemed like a good way to start a slightly late blog post. You see, I was busy, tired and have very little I can show you, so I felt a little uninspired. Fortunately, no one tells me when to write to you but me, and I gave myself two evenings off to deal with being me (and appointments). Since then, Spring has arrived, and since Spring is Dutch for Jump!.... well, you get my drift*

The reason I can't show you much is that much of what I did last weekend is a big secret. Recipient of said secret is currently 13,5cm (plus another week's worth of growing) in size, so he or she can't actually read this. Since at least half of the expecting parental unit reads this I'm only revealing the picture below.

100% 4-ply BFL, soaking

I had a lot of fun playing with colours, but you'll all have to wait about 6 months to see the result of the dyeing session. A little swatching happened, and I'm a little giddy just touching it. Oh! the softness! the springyness!** the colours! I can't wait to learn to dare to do some steeking.***

Below you will find a few pictures of some bootees that I knit. They were ordered by the happy recipient of some gift bootees late last year. I took some inspiration from the original (hello? multi-colour knit-purl ridges? how cute is that?) and re-imagined and modernized them to make the purl rows look a bit like icing, dripping down from in between layers of cake. 

They are knit from the sole up and in the round, leaving you with nothing more to do than weave in a few ends after finishing. There is also some slipped stitching, and a few short rows to cover the top of the foot.   

A yarnover-k2tog combo creates little holes to pull the string through with which you can secure**** the bootees. As you can see, there is a bit of colourwork going on, carrying the cake or icing colour for about 5 stitches behind the work. I choose to secure them, just so little wandering fingers or toes won't get caught in the float.  

I think the pom poms really finish them off, don't you? I really, really like the Clover Pom Pom Makers I got myself last Christmas. One of these, from start to completely finished (including trimming), takes less than 5 minutes! To boot, you don't have to mess around with cardboard when you use these...

Layered Cake

And finally, proof that Spring has really Sprung.*****
Enjoy it, and whatever you do, don't throw your litter in between the daffodils I pass on my way into work. You're spoiling my mornings, whomever you are. 

*I did just spell it out...
**Yes that is, in fact, a word. Casually insert it into dialogue.
***Technical term. Actually.
****Babies and bootees. There is never a guarantee they will stay on, but the string helps.
*****No seriously, it has. Even if I still have cold feet in my wool socks right this very moment.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

WIP Wednesday: No Knitting for Me

Making up for it with cake (lemon),

Woollen dress, tights and handknit socks in Noro,

and some spinning. 

Obviously, the yarn this will be when it's done, is not for me. 
I swatched.

for this, which is also not for me. I think this is its 4th incarnation, and I'm currently rows away from finishing its 5th and final incarnation. It's been a journey...

I took a delivery, for me. 

But I think I need some crafting, for me. 

When things are done, finished, taken to the point where it can't be taken further, then I'll make something for me. 

This week was, and still is, a bit of Craptastic. Just a blip...