Monday, 27 October 2008

The Slow Guide to London....................

Last Monday night I was up in town hoping around on tubes having my photo taken with the rest of these knitters to be published in The Slow Guide to London.
Yet another addition to my media appearances or acknowledgements!
Luckily there isn't an actual photo of me here just the others who were along for the ride. I did manage to get a picture of the photographer when he was taking down names.





It was really funny watching peoples reaction to us. There was one girl who actually was about to step into the carriage, took one look, sheer horror seemed to take over her face and she backed off very quickly and jumped on at another door. Poor girl!

I got to meet Gingerknits again after bumping into her at Ally Pally and I met Fingers and toes for the first time and a few others. Craig and Gerard were there representing Iknit - the coolest knitting venue in London.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

OK Possum.......................................

Just a little skein I treated myself to when I was up at Iknit on Monday for a yarny photoshoot - more details on that later.


I meant to go back and buy some from the Jamie Possum stand at Ally Pally but some how I never made it back so I was delighted to find that Iknit were stocking it.

I have wanted to knit the Miss Potter mittens from Issue 3 of Yarnforward Magazine and I decided that one skein of Jamie Possum of the hand dyed by Silkwood variety would make a fab pair.





I just love the way that this yarn gets softer and softer the more you work with it. It was also a really quick and easy pattern to knit up and shows off the varigation well.

NOTE: I did paint my nails especially to take the photos and just in case anyone really cares it's Jessica Nail polish - VIP Room!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Diary of a magazine knitter...............................

Well not so much a diary but an insight into how I spent my summer. Quite a while ago I was asked to knit up a sample of a top for Yarnforward magazine and after I had sent it back I was asked if I would like to knit another item for them. This time a man's sweater by the Rowan designer Martin Storey. I was thrilled. And then I was a little panicked. You see I knew I had reports to write but I had the whole of the summer holiday before the deadline - didn't I?
As it turns out there was a need to bring that forward a little but I did make it just by the skin of my teeth and a lot of patience from the rest of the family.
I have to say I am so proud of the finished item and was so thrilled to walk into my local Tesco's to see the copy of the magazine staring out at me from the rack. Two other proud moments have been seeing it on display on the Yarnforward stand at both the Iknit day and at Ally Pally.

So I originally recieved 24 balls of Rowan Pure Wool DK and a folder with the design. Here is the rest of the story in pictures from patterns, to cast on, to modelling to the final mag and then display at Iknit and Ally Pally.
















Monday, 6 October 2008

In a Prickle.......................................

So here is one of my more recent finished items which if you are going to Ally Pally this week you will be able to go and view on the Purlescence stand.



This is actually an adult scarf but I modelled it on a 7 year old and she loves it.

Robynn asked me to knit this up over the summer to show how the Prickly pattern by designer Huan Hue Chye works out in some of the lovely Jenspun mohair yarn that she stocks.


This has to be one of the softest mohair yarns that I have knit with. Prickle is a mobieus scarf that is knit in the round using the Cat Bohordi mobieus Cast on. Easy once you know how and finally learn how to count the stitches. I finally worked out when knitting this particular scarf why I had so many problems before with the length they turned out. Anyway I have solved the problem and I will now be able to more on to many more mobieus scarves knowing that I finally have the correct amount of stitches.

This little scarf is very cleverly designed as, not only do you knit a lacey mobeius strip you then knit a lacey border which you use to bind off the stitches on the mobeius. Now this all may sound a little complicated but actually it is very simple and reasonably quick to complete. I think a couple more of these may feature in my christmas gift knitting.




Saturday, 4 October 2008

Going loopy........................................

S0 who is going loopy now?
This is what has appeared in the current October issue of Knit Today magazine.


Recognise any familiar faces? Well perhaps this close up will help.


Well this was taken back in the summer on a day when we actually had a bit of sun for more than a five minute slot. It was outside the National Theatre at the Alternative Village Fete. You may remember reading from my earlier post back in July. This loopy sample was knitted up to attach to the Great British Sheep project been run by Gerard and Craig from Iknit London which they took on tour to Camp Bestival. The whole project was to raise awareness of all the fantastic breeds of british sheep that are out there and the fantastic yarns that come from them. Sadly I can't remember which breed of sheep this particular piece was knitted from but I can tell you how lovely it was and how I love the colours.

But this is not the only way I have been going a bit loopy this summer and more recently in the past couple of weeks.

Yes the time has finally come to pull out the long 2.5mm circular needle and learn the Magic Loop. And if that isn't enough I started learning the whole thing toe-up. Finally prompted by the most recent Socktopus sock club pattern designed by Anna Bell.


These arrived in the middle of the summer holidays as part of a larger Knitpicks order I placed and was lucky enough to have a friend pick it for me in the States and transport it home.

So first I had to learn Judy's magic cast on which took a few attempts to get going but then I was fine. I decided as this was a new experience as well as knitting the sock club ones toe-up and magic loop it would be a good idea to have a practice pair going at the same time to work out the construction, pick up, short row heel and all of that.

So here is the first pair, progressing nicely.


I have already learned that the increase in the toes here is too pointy and know what to do next time to stop that from happening. Basically, increasing every round for the first few and then switching to alternate rows, but they are a practice pair so that is the whole point. To knit them and see what works and what doesn't. I am certainly going to have to practice my wrap and turns ready for the short row heel thing which I have attempted before on DPN's with varying degrees of sucess and a bit of fudging.


The yarn for these is the Cherry Tree Hill left over from my secong attempt at my men's cable socks design which took just an extra 15grms of the second skein. I am taking no risks here, with 100grm of sock yarn and toe up, knitting nice and plain and simple I hereby claim a whole pair of ladies socks from the knitting goodess. Thank you.

I have also started Hopscotch which are the toe up sock club socks I have put myself through all this pain to be able to learn to knit. I love this colour and this pattern by the way.


So it just remains to say a big thank you to both Alice and to Diane for spending the day with me recently and helping teach me this new skill to add to my repertoire. Alice and Diane are running a series of sock and spinning classes over the coming year and details are on the socktopus website. Diane is also doing online spinning tutorials which you can download on her blog.