Friday, 24 October 2008

Sweaters and Shawls

After much deliberation I frogged this. Much as I love the pattern, there's a mistake in the chart. After trawling through other Ravelry projects, some genius had also found the problem and posted the solution, so I plodded on. It worked and I was very happy, but then I made another mistake, goodness knows where, and it suddenly went belly up again. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind a challenge. I consider myself an experienced knitter and can cope with most yarn enigmas, but what really bugs me is errors in patterns! Especially in publications like Interweave! The errata page on their website only mentions a mistake in the yardage, so no help there. I think this yarn is the yarn of doom; it's gorgeous, soft, I love the shade, but everything I start with it gets frogged. It has gremlins so I shall leave it for a while and console myself with more Ally Pally goodies!
Such as this - Cascade yarns Heathers in a deep blue-green. It's aran weight, I bought 7 skeins from Get Knitted. This year I went to Ally Pally with some specific projects in mind, this was meant to give me a bit of focus to avoid the crazy fibre frenzy that makes me buy things I don't really want or need, and this will be a Lana Grossa pattern I've wanted to start for ages.

This is also destined for a queued project - Greenland from one of the Vogue magazines, fall 08 I think. The yarn is UK Alpacas DK and I think will be a comparable substitute. I was really impressed with their yarn; they do other weights as well as the DK, all very soft with an excellent colour range, and very economical too. These are 2 projects that I really want to start, so now the stole is frogged, I might just cast on for something new.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

More Goodies

So today some more of my Ally Pally haul, 3 skeins from Knitwitches. All are laceweight, but different fibres and colours, so I'll have plenty of scarves/shawls to choose from! First up, 100g/1200m of dark lavender; this is 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere, so it's unbelievably soft.
Next photo is 120g/1116m of 100% cashmere. The colours haven't come out too well, but it's described on the ball band as "Sage Blush" which is a pretty good name for it - more muted colours of sage green with pinkish brown contrasts. The weight is 3ply heavy laceweight, so not quite as fine as the other two, for a bit of light relief fromfeatherweight yarns!
And finally, this gorgeous kid mohair, again 100g/900m and I just adore the colour! Described "Aqua Ice" on the band, and it really is the most beautiful shades of aqua. It's so fine though, that whatever I make will probably be a labour of love. Watch this space!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Sock Yarns

Today, I thought I'd show you the two skeins of sock yarn I bought at Ally Pally. The first one is from the Natural Dye Studio; it's Blue faced Leicester and very soft with a lovely haze to it. I think the resulting socks will keep my toes toasty. They also had lots of patterns to go with the yarns - I got one called "Dragon Scales" which they unfortunately don't have a picture of on their website, but if you can imagine the cuff of the sock made of rows of overlapping triangles, you kind of get the idea. The colours are a mix of soft pinks and apricots with a splash of teal thrown in.

Next up, I got this from the Socktopus booth; there were some very individual yarns on sale, I assume from small independants, so I got this from Brooklyn Handspun, superwash merino in shade Red Robin. It's not quite as strong a red as the name would suggest, but is a blend of softer shades of red, and the result is really pretty.
Away from the knitting, I flew to Belfast on Friday afternoon to spend a little time with my daughter and her partner. I had a really lovely time - thankyou Carly, if you're reading this! - and I came home yesterday, but today I ache from the small of my back downwards! Nobody ever said plane and train travel were comfortable, but I did about a half mile sprint in 8 minutes so that I could get the next direct train to Cambridge. I made it by the skin of my teeth - as I leaped onto said train, the doors closed on my bag! But at least I got home half an hour earlier and I don't feel like I should go to the gym for a day or two!

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Perils of Ally Pally

The perils of Ally Pally are many. From the moment you hand your ticket over to the heavies at the entrance your senses go into overload with that glorious rainbow of colour that is Colinette. And that's only the beginning of the veritable fibre frenzy that is the knitting and stitching show. I didn't go last year so I had plenty of catching up to do. I was as good as I possibly could be; I didn't buy the first thing I saw but wandered round with a notebook to jot down stands worth a second visit and a bottle of water, so refreshment stops didn't encroach on yarn time. I've left it until the show's over before posting purchases so that I didn't spoil the surprise for those who went on Saturday and Sunday, and although it's difficult to pick out favourite buys, I went for these two first. The top photo is some Handmaiden Camelspin, a real luxury buy. This is so soft and silky and will make a scarf, I think. The colour was very difficult to capture on my little camera, but it's a very dark midnight blue with a lovely sheen to it.
The picture below is some Touch Yarns Possum and it has to be my favourite! Another peril of Ally Pally is the certainty that you'll find something that little bit different, and I was won over by the softness and warmth of this beautiful yarn. I bought a pattern to go with it, a ribbed sweater with a cable panel at the right front and a ribbed shawl collar. Four 100g skeins to make a ladies size medium, so quite economical, between DK and 4ply weight, and I'll be starting this soon.
More photos soon, but I thought I'd do short posts so as not to bore you!

So, what did you buy at Ally Pally?

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Better late than never

At last a finished object to blog about! I'm pleased with how this has turned out; I wasn't sure if I'd made it too small but it's ok. I think it'll be quite versatile, worn alone or layered, and the flecks of pale pink and mint green in the yarn mean it can be worn with lots of things. So, the lowdown:

Brocade Leaves pullover by Kathy Zimmerman from fall 08 Knitscene

Yarn: I have to admit to an acrylic blend of something obscure that my mum gave me during a de-stash, but it's quite soft and I liked the colour.

Size: 38", but I used 3.5mm needles as my tension was way off on the 4mm the pattern called for. I made the sleeves a couple of inches longer to allow for my longer than average arms!

Now I'm returning to a couple of projects that I started before the Ravelympics, an aran polo neck and the cobweb lace stole from Interweave spring 08.