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Posts Tagged ‘cashmere’

Earlier this week, I won a new fibre related gadget–a set of ball winder and a swift! The set was a vintage wooden set made in the 1940s or 1950s, with a yellowed instruction. It must’ve got stored away during these years. I was just watching a ball winder, not wanting a swift, but how could I resist a lovely set as such?

my new toy 3

Here are two of its earlier tasks: one’s showing a wound skein I am going to use for a stole and another was a result of frogging a drop-stitch stole. Not that I didn’t like the latter but not having enough of the same yarns hence the frogging. With a little help of a wool winder, why afraid of frogging? The moment the white ball was wound completely, I had decided to frog two 2007 FOs and save those yarns for better use (I shall write more later on them).

my new toy 1my new toy 2

(my poor blythe dolls silently sat there watching a knitting activity not devoted to them…)

I don’t consider I am into sock knitting but the past few days this particular genre had more than its share of knitting time.

I managed to finished my first sock, a variation of Cookie A’s Baudelaire.
P1200610 The curse of late completion must be to do with my dislike of the poet with the same name and getting bored with the pattern, so it was stuck for months when there’s only two pattern repeats away. And the cashmere yarn is a joy to wear now, but not so when I knitted them, because they were oiled.

Then I am a lover of herringbone patterns, so I decided to use two different herringbone patterns for a new pair. There were many sock yarns in my stash, but this is the first occasion I am actually using one–all those changes of colours dazzled me, even just a bit. The two herringbone patterns would look better with a solid colour. But I will knitted the second sock. I WILL. I’ll also write up the pattern later.

herringbone zigzag socks-looking downherringbone zigzag socks- side
Then a third pair, haven’t got a decent photo yet.

I also have to take photos of my two other FOs of 2008–both from Linea Rossa booklet. 🙂

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I know I will thank myself for keeping knitting notes, the sole purpose of this blog–I shall keep this blog alive! here are notes of the week.

*Few notes on Heartening

Last week, I wonder if I should knit another “Heartening”, so I can show you the slightly different version with the heart jointed. What harm can be done for just one more vest? Or better, making “Heartening” as a puff-sleeved, collared top just like Number 22 from the latest Vogue Knitting? I do have Soft Tweed in Twig enough for a sleeved top! I cast on after I found myself couldn’t sleep one night.

Making “Heartening” is fun. But even though the whole process is lovely, it would become dull had I gone through the same procedure again. I eventually didn’t survive the waistline and had my mind changed: Twig is a lovely shade and it would suit my boyfriend perfectly! Why didn’t I just do that but play with the same pattern?

Indeed so. I stopped after the waist shaping. But since I was with the WIP, I may as well knit a semi-swatch to show you the different Row 18 of the heart shaped cable pattern. The one on the right is Row 18* and the one on the left is Row 18. This semi-swatch is unblocked, so it looks a bit ugly, but enough to show their differences (I put some notes directly onto this shot on my flickr, please click to link to my flickr if needed).
heartening hearty shapes

If you like Row 18* more and you knit from the chart, please also read the pattern instruction first! The chart is showing the effect seeing from the right side, however, you will need to knit Row 18 from the wrong side!

And two picture showing FO done months ago.
Wintery stockingsLana Grossa wraparound

It seems I have the tendency to take photos after FOs are wore, and got felted? I post these pictures on my flickr first, but only manage to blog them here now. I am quite surprise to know people love the Highland Stockings! It’s absolutely gorgeous! It is quite a pity that Rowan didn’t provide a chart but with written instruction only. Moreover, Rowan put the skill level as most difficult one. Certainly reading the pattern is punishing to me so, as I put in another post, I charted them out when I decided to knit the stockings. I was convinced that had them put up charts the pattern would be popular.

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Knitting for me should be very relaxing. Solely for this reason, I can say that I don’t really enjoy double knitting. Meanwhile, I can’t stand the slow progress of making the albeit beautiful argyle scarf! So I ask myself: don’t I need to make life easier at this time of the year, when pressure isn’t lessened AND there are some other Christmas knits to be done?

So I decided I need to make another scarf for the intended recipient! I flipped through my Stitchionary for inspiration. Before long, a new decision is made: I’d make a scarf with herringbone pattern! The pattern is mindless yet the completed piece will have a sophisticated look, just the perfect thing for my recipient!

See how it grows:
this will be the replacement scarf

I literally follow the pattern 176 from Stitchinary 1. That’s how I make it if you’d like to know.

1. The yarns:

A: Lana Grossa Pashmina, gray. 2 to 3 balls.

B: Contrasting colour in 4ply (use two strings together) or DK. I am using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4ply in off-white.

2. The pattern (not a very conventional style of noting):

HB: Right side, wyif slip 2, knit 2; Wrong side, wyib slip 2, purl 2.
A (RS) K1, *HB*, K1
B (WS) K1, Pl, *HB* until the last two sts, P1, K1
C (RS) K3, *HB*, do the last st as K1
D (WS) K1, sl 1 in pattern, P2, *HB* until the last two sts, sl 1, K1

3. how it goes:
Cast on 38 st. (you need to cast on a multiple of 4 plus 2, and probably using needles two size bigger than you’re going to knit), purl one row if preferred (using the normal size).
Do (A, B, C, D) x 3, (C, B, A, D) x 3 (so thetotal repeat is 24 rows.)

Edge stitches on both side: After three 24-row repeats, on right side, slip the edge stitches, on wrong side, knit them.

After a desired length, break off yarns. Use two strings of yarn B, work 5 rows of St st. break off yarns, reattach yarn A and continue the herringbone pattern (work both sides of edge stitch as garter st). After 2.5 24-row repeats, knit one row then bind off very loosely.

Lightly block or ironed if needed.

The result will be a herringbone pattern on a stock st base, with garter st edge. If you’d like to have a broader edge for either garter st or moss st, just add more sts on both sides. There ere are several other way to do herringbone, other than slip stitch. For example, this one and this one. Slip stitch version is my favourite (I love slip stitch patterns) but it will grow slower than the abovementioned patterns.

As for the argyle scarf, my boyfriend quickly said that he doesn’t mind waiting if he could have that!

Ps. I did a google search after drafting this entry and found that Henry from Knitty (Fall 07) was using exactly the same pattern, though in different style of pattern writing. The knitty scarf was knitted lengthwise. Judging from my experiences of slip stitch knitting, you would really need to pay attention to both cast-on and cast-off.

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It’s been a long while since I posted my last entry, and Christmas is coming next week!?

I’ve been knitting and writing, but it always seems time flied pretty quick. I just hope that all my WIPs will be finished by the time we say goodbye to 2007, and I’ll cast on the Ranoch dress as my first 2008 project.

However, at this moment, I wish I can finish at least four of my Christmas knits. These are: a daisy scarf (I’ve done one for myself–how pretty!), a dotty vest, a pair of lacy socks, and a double knitting argyle scarf.

I know I’d like to knit an argyle scarf in two tones for J. I started by looking around Ravelry before I set out to chart a pattern of my own design. But the search result brought me a big surprise, because this one, the uncle argyle scarf, was exactly what I wanted! so why spent time designing a different pattern?

While I merrily took out yarns I reserved for this gift, it stroke me: what am I suppose to hide the running thread on the wrong side? Before long, I realised that this design is meant for Double Knitting! no wonder people are showing two different background colours for the same project!!

I’ve never done double knitting before (for many reasons that will need a long entry to explain), but since my mind’s been set on this argyle pattern, I decided to give this pattern and double knitting a try first before brushing it away with another argyle of my design. So I charted the pattern, then figure out what would be best for this project–slip one knit one one side and then slip one knit one back? or doing one row at the same time? It’s quite easy to choose, right?

This photo shows how it goes:
Christmas knits

I know, there were “mistakes.” Usually I won’t tolerate one single error but, but it grows so slow and I need it to be done very soon! I decided that no time for frogging, and believe J wouldn’t notice. 😀 You can imagine the other side: it is blue in the background with mustard diamonds.

The one underneath the argule scarf is the daisy Scarf I made for Y’s mom, and the one on the left is the dotty vest for bf.

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There were so many knitty things worth mentioning since the last post here, but browsing around Ravelry had taken up nearly my online quota hence the no-post. (I am ambling there.) It is indeed that every serious knitter should make Ravelry a must visit.

I’ll start with my third pair of socks. They are stockings to be precise! The pattern, “Highland stockings,” is published on Rowan 42, using kid classic. I’ve been wanting it when I first spot the pattern, but back then, I haven’t demystified the secret of sock knitting, so my eyes were set on the Rannoch dress only.

Since I am bored with the second sock of my first pair, and the temperature dropped suddenly this week, I decided to cast on my third pair. (My second pair were long finished…my first finished pair of socks) My kid classic are reserved for the dress, so I am using Rowan classic’s Soft Lux instead (uuurrhh, I’ve got tons of them…). I’ve seen so many woolly leggy recently on London’s street, so why shouldn’t I?
highland stocking--all cabled uphighland stocking-moss diamondhighland stockings-cast on

I charted the whole pattern (I cannot knit with written pattern like that. I prefer to labour myself charting first, then harvest the enjoyment of chart knitting), then started the first one from toe-up. I’ve tried different methods of toe-up knitting, for example, the magic cast-on and the Eastern cast-on. But what I like most is my own way—there must be someone writing about it before me though. Long tail cast-on is my preferred method, and I am using it for socks, too! It’s actually very straightforward, if you use two needles while doing the long tail cast-on. What you have to do, for toe-up socks, is just casting-on stitchs, alternatively, onto both needles, so you would have, says, the odd numbered on the needle closer to you and the even numbered the one away from you (instead of on both needles). After both needles have enough stitches, you just have to carry on the first row knitting in the round. Simple enough!

The pattern is very pretty (albeit girlish if not childish…). They are just a combination of ribs, cables (very simple ones!), moss stitch, and single row bobbles!! Even some dislike making bobble would not object making these (because they aren’t real bobble stitch!). Don’t let Rowan’s long instruction barred you from knitting a beautiful pair! Mine will be a long pair, up to the thigh…

I also start knitting my first top from Linea Rossa 3:
a WIP
It was started as a knit-in-the dark project, and a side project of my Pashmina pull-over.

Speaking about Pashmina, I got a parcel from German, from the generous fbz, that packed some balls of Pashmina! I’ll be using them for the felted sleeves of this wrap-around two yarns.

And I have created a Ravelry group, Lana Grossa, mainly because I’d really love to see other works using Linea Rossa patterns! Please join us there!

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I spent sometime today to knit my first sock, then I put it on and play with camera. My right foot has an odd angle and looks fat in this shot but it was fun to take picture as such!! It reminds me of cats chasing yarn tails. ^^

KIP-socks

It must be the long written instruction on short row shaping that barred me from sock knittings. It was surprisingly easy and straightforward when I went to the heel part. It seems sock knitting is indeed very addictive (though I do prefer to save 4ply knitting for blythe knits)! It’s so easy to just get a stitch pattern you like then put it on your sock!! I don’t think I will be using someone else pattern for my next pair because I was already flipping over my stitch dictionaries and online photos (like this site) to get ideas for my second pair, and a third pair! Probably plus one pair for someone and another pair for yet another one. The list grows quick, much quicker than I can manage. And what yarns should I use for them! (why there are still 3000 people ahead of me in the ravelry waiting list? *sigh*)

I plan to piece together the knitted Cressida bolero this week but my sewing is much slower than knitting, so this hasn’t done. Must do it soon.

(afterthought: I think I’ll use some RYC’s cashcotton for the Highland socks in the latest Rowan magazine, minus pompom… or this pair look great, too! )

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It seems I will have to keep away from flickr for few weeks—I’ll keep posting photos but I may not allow myself to visit all your streams, like good old days.

It seems I, too, have many knitting notes to jot down but too little time (I was tempted to write “too” for three times in this short sentence. Too many XX but too little time…). But I have, gradually at least, learned when to knit and when not to.

It seems I must be tired of dealing with words during the day so I prefer to write simple sentences here.

Anyway, here’s what for today:

my first encounter with pashmina!

The pattern book underneath my knit-in-progress is Linea Rossa 3, the latest pattern from Linea Rossa that I was so eagered to get hold of last week. I was pleasantly surprised when Parcel Force buzzed last Friday and handed us a box, with 2 books I ordered from the website dacadi. It was a speedy service: The order was placed on late night 25th, they shipped my patterns on 26th, then arrived on 28th just before I went out. And they are located in Germany! If you were considering getting knitty products from Germany, I would for sure recommend the site. You don’t even need to create an account with them, just to fill-in the order and the web will direct you to paypal.

I’ll certainly talk about this pattern book more in the near future. At this moment, I must say the presentation in Linea Rossa 2 is better than 3. The model in 2 is probably the most beautiful knitwear model in my humble opinion.

Here we swift to Linea Rossa 2, and the little swatch just above the pattern book: it is a sleeve I am making! I know I will have to negotiate with the pattern a bit, to make it 2 size smaller than given to suit me, but I can’t stop myself knitting it, once the puzzle (given by errata) has solved, partially. I finally take one ball of pashmina with me on Saturday and started the cast-on.

The yarn is exquisite just by look, and soft by touch. What I didn’t know, before the cast-on, was it is beautiful to work with: for the first time in my life, I prefer to slow down my knitting, just to make sure I have sensed every move of each stitch. For this reason, the top will take long to make. I think I care not for once. ☺ I do regret not to buy two lots when I had the chance.

(ps. by the time I typed this entry, the sleeve has grown to 10cm. not quick, you see.)

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