Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yarny Bits

So I've been busy the last few weeks. I have finally finished the Checkmate sweater. The hardest part was sewing in the shawl collar. It looks amazing and I can't wait for the weather to cool down enough for Jayden to wear it. :) Yes, I sewed it up by myself!!! I am so pleased with how it has come out. I managed to get all the checks to line up properly and set the sleeves in evenly and neatly. YAY!

I bought myself a set of Knitpicks Harmony Straight Knitting needles, as they were ordered in to my LYS (thank you!) They range from 3.5mm to 8mm with room for more sizes. I can't wait to use them. This was my Christmas present to myself, from last year.

I've recently returned from a trip to Sovereign Hill, Bendigo and Echuca. I was told that I simply must visit the Bendigo Woollen Mill while I am there. So I did. Mwahahahaha!

I have never seen so much yarn in my life. This picture is only about 1/6th of the store. It was amazing. Needless to say, I bought a few souveniers and I am now on the mailing list. I bought:

1 200g ball of 12 ply Merino in a creamy beige colour. I am going to use it for trim yarn for when I finally knit my second set of Belladonna Longies with the Goodmama yarn.

2 200g balls of 5 ply crepe for various projects.

4 200g balls of 8 ply merino in different colours for stash expansion.

I felt like I could have bought a lot more, but I restrained myself. I have shade cards and there are new shade cards coming out in the mail in a few weeks, so I will be able to peruse them and plan projects and buy yarn accordingly. You know, sensibly? :D

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Checkmate photo's and some yummy yarn

The Checkmate sweater is coming along really well. I finished the second sleeve last night, now I am working on the shawl collar. The pattern is.... interesting.

Cast on 134 stitches O_o
Row 1: P1, K2 (P2, K2) 10 times, (P3, K2) 9 times, P3, (K2,P2) 10 times, K2, P1
(the first row made my mind melt, just a little bit. All that chaning in ribbing and keeping track of how many stitches to do how many times....)
Row 2: K1, P2 (K2, P2) 10 times, (K3, P2) 9 times, K3, (P2,K2) 10 times, P2, K1
(so basically the opposite of the first row.... this is how you make ribbing, duh. pretty easy since the first row is already done, you just knit the purls and purl the knit)
Row 3 & 4: Repeat 1st & second rows once more (again, easy to follow)
Row 5: P1, K2 (P2, K2) 10 times, (P3, K2) 9 times, P3, (K2,P2) 10 times, K2, P1 (row 1 again, easy)
Row 6: K1, P2 (K2, P2) 10 times, (K2tog, K1, P2) 9 times, K2tog, K1, (P2, K2) 10 times, P2, K1. You will now have 124 sts on the needle
(decreasing in ribbing.... argh!)
Next Row: P1, K2, *P2, K2, repeat from * to last st, P1
Next Row: K1, P2 *K2, P2, repear from * to last st, K1
Last 2 rows will now be referred to as 2x2 rib. Continue in 2x2 rib until collar measured 4in/10cm, finishing after as WS row.
Cast off in rib.

So, the first row was just hard to get my head around, possibly due to Miley Cyrus singing on my computer. After some intense concentration (and the song finishing) it got a lot easier. Now I am trying to wrap my head around the decrease row (row 6). Should be.... fun. I hope the phone doesn't ring, I might fly off the handle at that person who breaks my concentration. ^_^

Did I mention that once I have finished the collar, I only have to sew it all up and it done? :D

I'm already thinking about the next pattern I'm going to knit. A pair of longies with the gorgeous Goodmama yarn in the "First Love" colourway, with a big chunky cable running down the outside of each leg. Still planning the pattern in my head, lol. However, I need to buy some trim yarn first. Still deciding what colour I am going to go with, and what brand. I think Cleckheaton have just released a new range of 12 ply yarns; Wide? Sounds like a visit to Simply Stitches is in order.

You want to see photo's? Ok, you twisted my arm :P

Ok, so this is all the pieces that I have knit of the jumper... all laid out flat so that you can see how big each piece is.

This one shows what the jumper will look like after it's been put together... except the collar is not finished yet, but bear with me. It's the wee little bit on the needles, right up the top.

The Goodmama/Selah "First Love" yarn in bulky weight. OMG I love this photo. I've finally figured out how to turn off auto focusing on my DSLR and I am very happy with the results. I went 100% manual to take this photo, as my subject was nice and still, for once. (Pssst, I've been mainly using Aperture priority mode or partial Manual control, tweaking the F stops or White Balance)

For you photography techy friends:
Olympus E-420
Lens: 14-42mm (my only one for now.... *sad*)
ISO 200
F 3.9
Flash: Nevar!!!!! :p
WB: Indoor lighting (fluoroescent)
Manual focus length: 18mm
No photoshopping except for a crop and resize

The amount of fun that I had taking this photo is equal to the yumminess of the yarn. I should take photo's of my whole yarn stash, but I'm kinda lazy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wonderful Woolies!

Beautiful Autumn weather was the perfect excuse to go the park over the last two days, so I put my little boy in the longies that I knit for him last year.

The Belladonna Longies! I love these so much. They are a little long, but they fit him well in the waist and over the cloth bum. They will fit him all Winter, and hopefully next Winter too when he is out of cloth nappies. Isn't he a little poser? :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Checkmate update + a Christmas Jumper

I took the little one to the park today to feed the ducks.

The weather is cooling down now, so today, I put the wee toddler-saurus in his Christmas jumper, lovingly knit by his Great Nanna. It is knit in 5 ply Bluebell and it is a wonderful jumper. She is a very talented knitter. :)

Now, on to my project:

This is Checkmate. I have been knitting it for a while and it is making good progress. I have completed the back, the front, 1 sleeve and 1/3 of the second sleeve. I am really hoping to have it all finished in a fortnight so that I can sew it up at our next knitting and knotting night in a fortnight. I want to be able to show my parents this sweater, as they will be here in 3 weeks. I think a few late nights for the next few nights should see it completed.

I'm already thinking about the next project. I am going to modify a longies pattern I have and make a pair of cabled longies. I am also changing the waistband a fair bit. I am going to knit the longies with a lovely bulky weight variegated yarn, so they should be fast.

Or, I could knit myself a cabled pair of ankle socks. I have almost a whole ball of rainforest green variegated opal sock yarn that has been begging to be knit up. I don't have a pattern, but I am imagining some possibilities. A nice twisted rib around the ankle, straight into knitting the heel flap and a decorative cable that runs all the way down to the tippy toes. Maybe I should try to make my own pattern? :D Am I being creative enough..... lol!!!

What do you think? Socks first or longies first?

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