Monday, November 27, 2006

Quick WIP

Have started the first of my summer knits! Although progress is slow considering we've had several days of 35+ degrees (Celsius) in the past couple of weeks.

It's the short sleeve bolero in the Jo Sharp Knit 2 book.

I'm using some Debbie Bliss Cathay in silver I got on eBay for a sweet sweet price. Here's where I'm at so far.

I decided to knit the back and fronts in one piece, then separate the stitches from the sleeve shaping, but still knitted right across - to avoid losing count of rows (this means I'm working with 3 balls of yarn at the same time - which has its moments).

The DB Cathay is unexpectedly soft to work with, considering it's a cotton blend, and has a really nice sheen to it - looks much nicer in reality than in the photo.

The project is meant to be my holiday project when we go to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree this Christmas (can't wait) but I think at this rate I'll finish it by then. I might make a singlet with the leftover yarn instead.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tea Towel Bags

ISBN 4579110412

I've been meaning to share this Jap craft book for a while now (it's one of the few books I actually bought IN Japan).

Some really great projects apparently made from just tea towels... including bags, seat covers, heat mats, tissue covers and MORE BAGS!

As with most Jap craft books, this one has some really stylish photos despite the simplicity of the objects.

Here's a picture of the materials...

This bag was the reason I bought this book...

I'm yet to find a tea towel that actually has that lovely flower pattern though.

I remember looking at haberdashery shops in Japan and they actually sell fabrics similar to the ones used in this book! Those lucky buggers in Japan....

Anyway, a few more pics in my flickr for the really keen.

Ta Ta!

The long awaited photo shoot of the finished Asymmetrical Cardigan turned out to be a bit of an anti-climatic hurried job. Done in about 2 minutes before we ran out of the house to go to work this morning...

And with the buttons undone...

This is a dancing back shot (very silly, yes)...

Overall it was an enjoyable and interesting knit. The 'star of David' pattern took a while to get the hang of so it maintained my interest. Also I LOVE things that are knitted in one piece.

For this cardigan, the fronts of the cardigan including half sleeves were knitted separately up to the collar then joined to knit in one piece. The only slightly annoying thing was that it got too big and heavy after the fronts were joined and I couldn't carry it around on the train anymore, hence the slow progress towards the end.

The collar and button bands were also knitted in one piece then sewn onto the cardigan. I was a bit dubious about how the asymmetrical collar would look in the end but it worked out exactly as the book illustrated. A highly recommend project!

So, project details...

Pattern: Asymmetrical Cardigan from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan
Size: Petite (I'm nowhere near a petite but the book has quite generous sizing)
Yarn: ALL of 14 x 50g balls of Nundle Woollen Mill Pure Wool 12ply in Grey (I unraveled the gauge swatch to get enough yarn)
Needles: 5mm and 5.5mm
Notions: Shell buttons from my LYS
Modifications: Pretty much to spec except I added an extra button

1. Right front neck shaping... BO 4 st ONCE, not twice (to match the left front neck shaping)
2. Back length... only knit 10" in pattern (NOT 13") and then 3" of 2x2 rib

Friday, November 10, 2006

Some Asymmetrical Action

The Asymmetrical Cardigan is almost finished! I'll be getting some buttons from my LYS this weekend. (Also hopefully some 'hair' for the poor neglected zebra.) Here it is all seamed up!

And a close up of the collar...

I must say I had some doubts about how the collar would turn out before I seamed it. Aside from its odd shape, it also looked too narrow compared to the collar on the cardigan. But after some serious steam iron blocking, it actually worked out well!

I was also worried that I wouldn't have enough yarn for seaming but thank goodness I left long enough tails at the end of each piece. In fact when I finished I had about 5 inches to spare (I already undid the gauge swatch in order to finish the button bands). Phew!

I lightly steam ironed the whole thing once it was seamed and that's also made a world of difference. The yarn actually feels softer and the stitches are a bit more even. The ribbing especially has flattened such that the whole piece fits quite nicely (I was worried I'd made it one size too small).

Anyway, hopefully will have more photos to show next week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

New Stash Update 2

I promised more stash update in a previous post but I've been too busy with work and managing my eBay sales.

Anyway, here it is...

For years now I've been salivating at the publications by the French yarn company Phildar - they have a huge number of knitting magazines, or 'catalogues' filled with interesting and modern designs. But they've always been in French! Until now.

They've just launched their English website and online store in October. They only have 6 of their catalogues translated in English so far and postage is exorbitant, but I got two anyway. (The magazines were 8.28 euros ex. VAT each but postage was 16 euros for both!!!) I suppose it's really expensive because the magazines are actually quite thick, and the English translation is actually a separate magazine.

The one shown above is the Winter 1 magazine. You can flip through all the projects in each magazine online, which is great. The few things I have my eyes on are...

I also got the Special Twenty magazine, which has a Kate Hudson lookalike on the cover and a few interesting pieces like the poncho below...

Monday, November 06, 2006

ARGH! I've Run Out of Yarn!

This work in progress of the Asymmetrical Cardi is long overdue. It'll be a month tomorrow since I started working on it but I have been distracted by a number of other projects - like the zebra, and Fetching.

Last night I finally finished the collar and neckband - that's the strange looking piece in this pic.

All weekend I have been haunted by the dread that I will run out of yarn. I had to undo the gauge swatch to finish the 2nd neckband - with only around 3 inches to spare!

I still need more yarn for making up the cardi, but thankfully I left long tails of yarn after each BO. Now we have to wait and see whether that's enough. I managed to do the left sleeve and side seam last night using the tail from the left cuff. Looking good so far...