Friday, 29 August 2008

At Long Last: Firestarter

It does make me wonder why I can knit a sock without ever looking at the pattern, but if I follow it closely, things just don't work out. It's a mystery.

Since my first attempt to knit the Firestarter socks didn't work out at all, I decided to give it a try by simply knitting it the way I think it should be done. This didn't solve the problem of the heel that, for some reason, never looks the way it is meant to. In this case, I thought I would leave it and just knit the heel without paying attention to the details that were the reason for the problem. It looks good the way it is even though it isn't perfect.

I have made these for a friend's birthday and I hope she'll like them. I tried them on myself and they fit very snugly (note to self: add a few stitches for my own wide feet). For an improvised design this isn't bad at all.

Stitchmarker Obsession Strikes Again

Well, it couldn't be helped. I have no idea when or if I will ever get to use all my stitchmarkers, but I simply had to make some more. I have so many beads that I have no other use for anyway, so it was the most productive thing to do.

I shall describe the markers from top left to bottom right (click image for bigger version):

  1. A pink and gold glass bead from Beadies, daisy-shaped metal spacers, garnet.
  2. Green and white glass bead from Beadies, smaller green glass bead rescued from another necklace, metal spacer.
  3. Yellow and white glass bead from Beadies, small coloured plastic beads and metal spacers.
  4. A new box for storage. It used to hold Japanese sweets and is made of cardboard and origami paper.
  1. These feathered markers are probably my favourite ones f all new ones pictured here. I tied three feathers together with nylon string, threaded two pink glass beads from Beadies onto it. It was as simple as that and looks stunning. Can't wait to use them!
  2. The blue-green-golden beads are, again, from Beadies, but the smaller blue plastic beads are taken from old bracelets. They are separated with metal spacers again.
  3. The coloured pink bead (yes, you guessed where they are from) are complemented by semiprecious lapislazuli and a spacer each.
  4. I love how the bottom of the storage box unfolds into a flat square when pressed down. It's very clever and offers enough space fo all my markers.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Mr Jones Revisited


Once again, as every last Wednesday of the month, our knitting group "Kreative Mittelhessen" met at Mr Jones' in Giessen for some chat, knitting, crocheting and a good time. We were fewer than last time, but some new people joined who will return for more meetings, we hope. It was easier to talk to everyone since there weren't too many of us this time around and you didn't have to strain to hear what someone at the other end of the table was saying. The many buses stopping nearby, however, added a lot to the noise, but it died down towards evening, luckily.


As usual, Nadine booked two tables for us and I was the first to arrive. Since my train reaches Giessen half an hour early, I spent the time perusing the shelves of the bookshop only to regret I didn't have enough cash on me to buy anything. As always, there were quite a few English books I would have liked to have. I comforted myself with the thought that I still have far too many unread books waiting for me at home, including my favourite author Ondaatje's latest novel Divisadero that I wanted so badly.

Since the chair was terribly uncomfortable last time, I remembered to take a pillow with me to sit on. That made a world of a difference! It still wasn't perfect, but much more bearable than last month. Anyway, once I was (semi-)comfortably seated, I just had to have another one of Mr Jones' milkshakes. I discovered that they have a Bailey's shake! I hadn't had Bailey's in ages and since Mark and I recently spoke about it my choice for the day was clear.

I must say it was delicious! Nothing can possibly top the chocolate shake from last month, though, I am sure. I will have to try some more from their selection to be sure, just for completeness, you understand. I've got an eye on the coconut shake now, and perhaps the raspberry one too. And, of course, I need to make sure that chocolate still maintains its high quality and will have to give it a try again. The lengths I go to to ascertain the menu's quality!

Again, I didn't eat at Mr Jones', but that may have been for the better, really. I don't want to knit with sticky fingers if possible. Still, sometime i shall have to give the food a try because it looks absolutely gorgeous. Remind me to take more money with me next time. But enough talk of food and drink! Back to knitting.

This time I remembered to take all I needed with me. The four hours I was there I knitted my grandmother's pillowcase in the round. Since it is a simple, boring knit (all k-rows), I was able to do it without needing to be too attentive. That was it didn't interfere with the chat, which was nice. We admired each other's work and choice of yarn. Some knitting books were handed around and probably sparked off an idea or two. Tanja, one of the n00bs, suggested how I could finish the pillowcase, a problem I hadn't yet solved to my satisfaction. I will definitely take up her idea.

Nina brought me the crimps I need for new stitchmarkers, so I am really excited about starting to make some more tomorrow. I already have more than I will ever use on an item, but I have so many more pearls that I need to do something with them. Anyway, stitchmarkers are pretty and I am all for shiny little things.

We have decided on regular meetings so that we can all plan ahead, which will make getting together much easier than before. I hope lots of people keep coming and contribute to the relaxed and chatty atmosphere we experienced today, on another very warm and sunny late-summer day.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Where There's a WIP, There's Not Always a Way

Well, it turns out that I can't work with the Sheherazade pattern after all. It is so full of errors that it drove me mad every few rows. I had finished the entire foot and heel section when I realised that there were mistakes all over even though I stuck to the pattern. So I have given up on them and unravelled this sock completely. One day I would like to try it again, but I won't trust the pattern anymore. Instead, I will try to improvise and see if that works any better.

So now that I have some more blue yarn, I decided to start a pair of Christmas or birthday socks for Marie-Noelle. Luckily, she and I have the same shoe size, which makes the project a lot easier. I am improvising a design and am enjoying it very much. Right now I am using the cable pattern from Firestarter. How the rest will look, I am not yet sure. I just know that the gusset and heel will be different from Firestarter because that caused me a lot of trouble last time. I may use the same rib on the leg, but I am also considering a different cable patter. I will decide once I get there.

Monday, 11 August 2008

WIP: Sheherazade

Since I am not really making any progress with Susurra at the moment and it is a bit frustrating to say the least, I decided it was time to find another project in the meantime. Shehrazade (the original pattern is named Scherherazade's Slippers - I renamed them because I don't think this is how you spell it and that just drives me nuts) is a sock pattern I have had my eye on for a while. I had some yarn for it and decided to give it a try, but my goodness... this is a tough one. Not because it has any difficult stitches, but because the pattern is so terrible to read. I wish there were written instructions to go with it because the few notes that come with the diagramme really aren't very helpful. I had so much trouble only a few rows in that I had to start over and over again! It took me three days only to get this far. I can't seem to knit more than a few rows in one sitting because it takes ages to do for some reason, I always have to stay glued to the pattern, and mistakes easily creep into the knitting. It's all because of the stitches that need to be slipped from the instep to the sole.

Still, I know that when I finish these socks, they will be beautiful. I have no idea when that will be though!

Friday, 8 August 2008

WIP: A Neverending Project

Oh dear. It's been ages since I started working on Susurra. I was glad once the top half was done since I had had to knit it three times, and once I started on the lace section I didn't expect too much trouble. Well, I was wrong.

I finally finished knitting it today and used up all of my two skeins of Schachenmayr Nomotta Catania only to find that the whole thing doesn't fit. At all. I will need twice as many stitches, as I suspected at the beginning, so I have now frogged the lace section and doubled the stitches. I hope that's enough! I will give it another try and see if I can afford to buy some more yarn. It is not looking good at the moment though.

Nevertheless, when I tried on my Susurra it felt very nice and comfortable. I am sure it will be worth all the trouble in the end - whenever that is.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Glossy Insignificance


Materials:
  • 50 g Lana Grossa Binario Print
  • 3mm DPNs
  • waste yarn
  • tapestry needle
Abbreviations:
  • pm - place marker
  • sm - slip marker
  • m1 - make one between stitches
  • CO - cast on
  • BO - bind off

CO 40
Knit 5 rounds of k2 p2-ribbing
Knit 12 rounds


Continue with:

Left glove

First round: pm, m1, pm, k all
Second round: sm, m1, k1, m1, sm (3 sts). Knit rest of round in pattern.

Keep increasing the sitches in the thumb gusset in this manner until there are 17 stitches between the markers.

- Knit 7 rounds
- Place gusset sts on spare thread
- Knit 1 round

Begin pattern across the knuckles:

- (k1 p3) for 20 sts, k20
- k all
- (p2 k1 p1) for 20 sts, k20
- k all

Repeat these 4rounds 4 times in total.

BO

Return to thumb and remove waste yarn. Distribute sts on 3 needles and pick up 3 sts where it joins the hand.

- (k1 p3) for 20 sts
- k all
- (p2 k1 p1) for 20
- k all

BO


Right glove

First round: k20, pm, m1, pm, k all
Second round: Knit in pattern to first marker. sm, m1, k1, m1, sm (3 sts). Knit rest of round in pattern.

Continue as with left glove.

Note: To prevent the palms from rolling at the edge, knit the last round in k2 p2-ribbing on the palm side only.