Monday 21 May 2007

Bad Attack of Castonitis

Oh dear, oh dear! Despite my best efforts, the number of WIPs just keeps on increasing. In my dreams, I will have one large project and one small at any given time. In reality, the current roll call is:

Colour Blocks: back and fronts are done and joined together. Second sleeve is done but not finished. I just need to tack it in place to check the length before I cast off. Then the dreaded zip....

bpt: I've stopped about halfway down the body but I have a good excuse - I'm out of yarn. It's ordered and should arrive soon.

Elfin Bride: also taking a break. I've done the yoke, partial sleeves and the back triangle. Next up will be the short row shaping for the back.

Unbiased: This is a terrible pic of half of unbiased from Knitty. The small white mark on the left is a safety pin marking the RHS as suggested in the pattern. I read about Sari silk on various websites and thought it sounded really interesting. So when I spotted it on a visit to Loop a while back, I thought I'd give it a go (it's Mango Moon).

To be honest, I'm not really all that impressed. It's quite expensive, for a start (I bought one 150 yd. skein at £11, but I'm going to need a second). Some people have complained about a musty smell from sari silk, but I don't find this yarn smelly at all. It's ok to knit with - uneven, as you might expect but not enough to make it unpleasant. It sheds a bit, but not too badly. My biggest gripe is the colouring. If you look closely, there are lovely individual jewel colours in there, but at a distance it blends into a sort of pink-purple-blue soup. I think I expected something more like a variegated colouring, with short runs of different colours. I'm trying to think what it would be best for - maybe some kind of wrap. I do actually like the result, but I don't think I'd rush to use it again.

Love Me Knot: On to more positive things! Here is my first sock! It's two shades of pink Opal yarn on 2mm needles. I started with a Milward circular and switched to an Addi. Now normally I'm a great fan of Addi needles but I'm not entirely happy with this one as it's warping quite a bit with very little use. The Milward is ramrod straight, but the join isn't as smooth as the Addi. So which one to use? Of course, I could always have a go at using both...

The pattern is a really cool illusion with hearts from slippedstitch, available here. It doesn't show up very well in photos, as it really needs a bit of movement to make the pattern appear, but you can just about see some hearts on the left. There's a short row heel which I think looks a bit strange but it's ok on. Since this was taken, I've done a bit more so it will be finished tonight. I fear the dreaded SSS, so I will try to cast on for its mate immediately.

There are 3(!) more sock yarns in my queue at present. How did this happen? Only a few short months ago I was utterly bemused at the idea of knitting socks.

Witterings: And finally, drum roll, a Finished Object! It's the Witterings hat from My Fashionable Life.
Very clear pattern, fun to do and quite a quick knit, even including the hem. I used Patons 100% cotton DK, which I really like. It's cheap (€4.80 for 100gr) and comes in some very nice colours. The needle was an 80 cm Pym circular 2.75mm, which is quite a bit more pointy than most of my needles. 2.75 is small for DK, but I didn't find that to be a problem. The pattern said to start on DPNs and move to the circular when the stitch count had increased sufficiently, but I didn't bother - I just used Magic Loop for the start. I made a small inadvertent modification on the brim where I got a bit carried away past the point where I should have started the hem, so there are a couple of extra stripes. I blame Horatio Caine - or was it Gil Grissom?

The sewn cast off for the hem was a new technique for me but there is a link in the pattern to a very clear tutorial. Despite starting with what I thought was an unfeasibly long tail, I did need to join it once. I'm supposed to sew Petersham ribbon inside the band, but I don't think I'll bother. Likewise I have no plans to thread cord through the hem.

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