Tag Archives: knitting

Winter projects

31 Oct

I’ve got some small ambitions for handmade presents for the holiday season this year. Small, in that I probably won’t end up making too many things myself this year but there will probably be lots of Etsy orders.

As a stash busting measure, and a present trial, I thought I’d see how long it would take to do a version of the Eleventh Hour Scarf with Texere Bella – the answer is, an afternoon on the sofa.

Only downside – matching it with a black wool coat is a bit of a no-no because it’s really sheddy. But at £5.20 for a skein, which makes a perfectly adequate scarf, it’s a pretty good deal. Buying a different coloured coat might make it less of a bargain.

Knit Nation 2010 – Wollmeise, Yarnissima, Knitwitches and more

1 Aug

A quick trip to Knit Nation on Thursday and Friday this week make me realise that it’s time to get back to pointy sticks and tying holes with string, as a friend puts it. I also need to learn to read knitting. That’s another story.

Alice ‘Socktopus‘ and Cookie A are the brains behind Knit Nation, where the motto was Learn Shop Knit Spin. Also ‘Unus Multorum’ but I don’t know what that means. Perhaps “Spend lots of money, have a giggle with your knitterly pals, fondle yarn, raid the housekeeping”.

With some snafus (Paypal related) trying to book classes early on, and due to some changes in teachers it turned out that the classes I was going to take ended up being cancelled anyway. Boo. Seems it wasn’t meant to be. On a whim, I checked what was available on Tuesday and signed up for Yarnissima‘s ‘Baby Spice Socks’ class on Friday afternoon and Helen’s friend had a Marketplace preview ticket that she couldn’t use for Thursday night.  Win!

I refute the allegation that there was a ‘stampede’ to get to the Wollmeise Stall on the first night…especially I was rather near the front of that queue with lovely Helen, as we formed the advance party for our group. We behaved ourselves! Ok, we kind of trotted down the marketplace hall and we did bypass all of the other stalls en route to Wollmeise (we went back afterwards, and the next day). Claudia had brought a metric ton of yarn so really, there was more than enough to go around, and even with hardcore addicts seeking out particular colours it was all remarkably amicable, cooperative and gleeful, frankly. We pawed, we picked, we replaced, we handed over and made others happy.  There was an intense air of concentration as knitters carefully laid out skeins of yarn on the red shopping bags, assessed colour choices, did considerable mental maths to see how the budget could be stretched.  Considered putting skeins back. Rationalised that they were saving the airfare they’d have to spend to get to Germany to buy more, bought those skeins (it’s a bit like carbon-offsetting.  Yarn offsetting).

As ever Claudia had planned stock carefully and there was even enough of the elusive lace to replenish baskets more than once each day. I was reasonably restrained (or so I thought) and came away with three sock and one lace from Wollmeise and then some Knitwitches silk for me and for my mum. I bought some undyed yarn for experimentation from Artisan  Yarns, I think it was an angora/cashmere/silk blend. (not the easiest websites to negotiate, unfortunately – why is this so often the way with knitterly sites?) and some virgin Knitwitches cashmere.  Soooooooft.

Yarnissima’s class on Friday was relaxed and lovely – unlike the baby sock I knitted, which had tension like steel wool and would have only been suitable for an infant with a club foot – and it helped me to get my head around techniques for more interesting sock construction. I usually do top-down, as I love a good heel flap, frankly, but there’s always that elusive ability to maximise your yarn as you can with toe-up. Before class I was able to have lunch with GingerLucy and Klozknitz, two very favourite people, and the post-marketplace preview on Thursday turned into crepes with Lotusen, GingerLucy and Rooboost. It was lovely to bump into Bittersweetie too and to meet Hoxton Handmade.  Work and related night-time events mean it’s been a very long time since I got to see my knitter girls and I miss them so this was all the more valuable.

When I came home I dug out Ysolda’s Ariel wrap I’ve been knitting since the Wollmeise market trip last year and did a few more rows. (I was too in awe of her to talk to her – knitting royalty). I unearthed the Sindelfingen Rainbow Opal socks, yarn procured on the same trip. Much to my chagrin, I also decided to frog and start over on the Lucky Clover because, true to form, I stopped concentrating at one point and then did all sorts of crazy things (doubled up on rows, omitted to finish the row in the correct pattern repeat, frogged and then did it wrong all over again) and it wasn’t getting any prettier. The plan is to cast on some more projects, including the Lucky Clover again. Yes, this might seem like folly but it might also keep me engaged, having projects to choose from.  I’m also working on an idiot-proofing my knitting, as well as learning how to read it in the first place. Imagine not being dependent on written instructions? Chart-reading 101 is in order.