The heat is really wiping me out (and playing old hob with my sleep patterns), so this is the first time for a few weeks that I've felt like blogging here. I managed a Still Life post the other day, because I don't use photos there and all I have to do is type. (And think. Which can be a problem area... )
Anyway.... I am really enjoying myself investigating other designers' patterns. I learn so much from seeing how other people construct things, and communicate the instructions. I'm also loving learning lace!
In a recent Knit Today there was a free booklet with some beautiful lace patterns in it, including this beret by Mary Hickmott, called 'Lime Lace':
It was a breeze to make, which really surprised me, as I'd been expecting to get thoroughly confused by the decreasing lace pattern. I used a glorious sunshine yellow yarn because I was fed up of knitting neutrals :)
It's destined for charity, as I don't know any children it would fit. I just wanted to try out the pattern. Some cold little head in Afghanistan or Mongolia is going to get a very posh hat. And why not? Why do we associate charity knitting with boring patterns and unpleasant colours? I'm sure that cold people across the world like pretty things to wear as much as we do.
I'm also making good progress with my Christmas presents. I've made up the Rowan Dolly Bag kit (from my Rowan International subscription a couple of years ago) for my mother, and bought some beautiful rose-patterned fabric from Free Spirit at Get Knitted to line it:
The only changes I made to the original were to replace the bobbles with eyelets (I don't like bobbles, and trying to make them in inflexible cotton was a real pain!), and to work a plain cast off edge instead of a bobbled one.
I'm also making progress with my neck warmers. I finished one for Richard's paternal grandfather, made with two strands of Sirdar Denim Tweed DK held together, worked on 10mm needles:
The fabric this made was wonderfully soft and warm, with a lovely scrunchiness to it. I'm very pleased with how it feels.
I'm also working on one for my brother, who is about to move up from Luton to Bridlington, so he'll need a warm scarf when he walks the dog. I'm using the Palindrome scarf pattern, and making it up as a moebius when I finish (twist the scarf 180 degrees in the middle, then sew the ends together). My method is a cheat, as a moebius should be seamless, but as I am a knitter and not a mathematician I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it :)
I picked this pattern because it has reversible cables, something I have been wanting to try for a while. And of course, because they are reversible, it doesn't matter which part of the scarf is facing outwards - you will always see the front of the cables! They're not as obvious on the photo as they are in real life, so don't think I've gone mad talking about cables that aren't there :)
I'm making this on my trusty 10mm needles, to create a looser, springier fabric, as I have done with the others. This also creates a more thermal effect, like the string vests Polar explorers wear under their specialist gear!
I'm using a ball of Rowan Tapestry, left over from Penny's jumper, together with a basic cream-coloured acrylic. The shading of the Tapestry is really showing up beautifully, and it's growing fast.
Finally, on the presents front, I've almost completed a last gift which I can't blog about as the recipient reads this blog (hello Linda!).
I've also started a little something for myself. When I resubscribed to Yarn Forward, I received 1000yds of a cashmere/silk blend laceweight yarn called For The Love Of Lace:
A kind friend is still rolling it into a ball for me - silk sticks to itself really easily, so it's a nuisance to roll up. I had tried, and got into a tangle, but I'm using one of the little balls I made to swatch the Shetland Shell Lace Scarf. I wanted the pattern I used to have something to do with the sea, because of the beautiful turquoise colour of the yarn (much greener than it looks on this photo). It's exactly the colour of the North Sea as it hits the beach on a sunny day.
I haven't done much yet (on my new Addi Lace needles!), but I'm enjoying it:)
Well, it's finally cool enough to have a go at sleeping, so I shall sign off.
Tigger says: "I have no idea why she finds it so hard to sleep, you know."