Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Textiles in Focus

Last weekend was Textiles in Focus weekend, a fabulous little trade show that takes place at Cottenham Village College during half term week in February. I usually go on the Friday afternoon, on my way home from work, so I get there about lunch time, and this year things got off to a great start with lunch with some of the lovely ladies from Ely and Cambridge ktogs - Tigerchilli and her mum, Picperfic and Caughtknitting, and Deborah (sorry, I don't know if you have a blog to link to Deborah!). Then a pleasant hour or so browsing the varied stalls on show. There's always so much to see - embroidery, beads, art supplies, patchwork, sewing machines, and exhibitions of really exquisite work.
This is a photo of the stuff that somehow found it's way into my bag! Rather than do a photo overload, I've just dumped it altogether in a heap. If I try to place things artistically it always ends up looking contrived, hence the "just tipped out of the bag" approach. So, from the top clockwise some laceweight from Wibbo's Works in a wonderfully cheery colourway called "Happy", then Unwind Yarns sock yarn, Manos del Uruguay silk and 2 skeins of Fiddlesticks laceweight all from Woolly Workshop. Oh, and a small bag of multicoloured roving - I want to ttry some thrummed mittens.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Although I started off the year with good intentions, I've been a bad blogger of late, but the last couple of weeks have been hectic, this week has been particularly bad for a reason I can't go into in the public domain, but I have managed a little knitting.

I started these socks using some Brooklyn handspun that I bought at Ally Pally. The stitch pattern is adapted for working in the round from a stitch library and is working quite well, I think.
It's called Tiles, so that's what I've called the socks too (I'm nothing if not original!) and this is the reverse side according to the book, but I prefer it to the "right" side, which isn't as defined as this.

And Catriona is finished at last. In fact, I completed it a couple of weeks ago but only got round to taking photos today. I loved the cables the first time I saw it and they really stand out even in this acrylic brushed yarn. Again, I adapted the pattern to work it in the round up to the start of that very deep v-neck, then back and forth in rows to the armholes. No armhole shaping required, so I split it into back and front to work them seperately and did short row shaping at the shoulders so that I could work a 3-needle bind off. Are you getting that I didn't want to do any sewing ?! I even did the armhole and neck ribbings on circulars. I'm pleased with the result, I love the colour, and it's a useful little vest for all year round - unless we get a really hot summer this year - haha!

Friday, 6 February 2009


I took this photo of the veiw from our office window on the Cambridge science park just before I left work at lunch time. Look at all that lovely snow! It'd been coming down hard all morning and was still snowing at noon. A winter wonderland.

Not 30 minutes later and 12 miles down the road this second photo was taken of my garden - where's all the snow?! You can see grass! Ely has been curiously devoid of the white stuff for most of the week whilst everyone else in the entire country (or so the press would have you believe) has been labouring under several inches of it! What you see in the photo are the mere remnants of the couple of inches we woke up to yesterday morning. The road outside is a slushy mess.
I love the snow. I wanted to build a snowman and make snow angels! I don't doubt that there are plenty of folk out there who've had a really bad time this week and can't wait for the thaw; perhaps they could send some of their snow to Ely?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Monkey socks finished

My Monkey socks are finished. These were the first pair of socks I've made in a year and they were a good re-introduction to this gentle art! The patterns fairly easy and works well, even with this variegated yarn.

They're shamelessly unblocked - I'm afraid I don't see the point; they're going on my feet - who'll know? Well, apart from anyone reading this, of course. The eagle eyed amongst you will notice a marked difference in the toe shaping. Sock #1 on the left was knit to the pattern instructions and there's nothing wrong with it, except I forgot I have ridiculously pointy feet and a very stubby little toe, so normal socks with this squared off toe shaping leave me with a baggy side bit where anyone elses pinky would fit, but not mine. So I modified sock #2 and knit more decreases to create this pointier, better fitting (for me and the elves) shape.
So the knitty gritty:
Yarn: Sockotta Italian collection, 414yds/100g
Content: 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon
Needles: I like my socks longer than most patterns are written for, so I started on 3mm for the rib and knit an extra pattern repeat; the larger needles made the cuff that little bit bigger to fit higher up the calf; then on 2.5mm for the remainder of the sock.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

So here we are on the first day of February and to my shame I have failed to knit up a complete ball of yarn! January would appear to have been a knitting free month, although I do seem to remember picking up the needles on more than one occassion! In my defence, I'm working on 3 projects which aren't very good stash busters - monkey socks (1 ball), laceweight stole (1 ball) and the yarn I'm using for the Catriona cabled vest comes in 100g balls of brushed dk that seem to go on forever. I'm hoping to finish the socks today, if not then tomorrow for sure, so I can at least start a tally of balls/skeins knit throughout the 2009 stashdown challenge. The stole could take a while, but that's the nature of laceweight shawls; I expect that to rumble along in the background for quite some time. I'm doing the fronts of the vest now, so I could finish it quite quickly if I put my mind to it. But what I really need to do is sit down with a couple of good stahbusting projects, then I might start to see some impact on the yarn mountain! So, no photos today because there's really not much progress to show. I must go - there's knitting to be done.