Christmas Special by Jean Greenhowe (give-away)

In this part of the world the days are becoming shorter and cooler – so I had the first thoughts about the next season.

I know that some knitters have already been working on their Christmas presents and decorations, which made me think of this cute booklet by Jean Greenhowe: Christmas Special.

I am giving away an unused copy – it’s very simple to participate: just leave a comment on this post by Saturday 30th August! The winner will be randomly selected. 

Christmas Special contains many knitted patterns for the Christmas season (but not only). Below is a gallery of images covering some of the patterns.

Christmas Special - cover

Christmas Special – cover

Mrs Claus

Mrs Claus

Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings

Tea Cosies

Tea Cosies

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations

Robin on a log

Robin on a log

Robin Christmas decoration

Robin Christmas decoration

Cinderella - inside-out

Cinderella – inside-out

Snowpeople

Snowpeople

Best Friends

Best Friends

Which one is your favourite? Mine are Mrs Claus, the robin and the tea cosies.

Thank you for taking part and good luck!

 

WIPs and other things

Quick recap – some little progress on a couple of projects and a few more WIPs that need to come out of their hibernation state.

The Holiday Vest got s bunch of rows added and a snap pic of the current state of the back part:

IMG_5780 IMG_5781 

Not long ago I started a stash-busting mindless project: the 44^2 Blanket. It’s just made out of squares in a Native Americans colour theme (which I’m probably the only one to see!) – it’s reached its 25% mark thus far:

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Two further projects that need to be brought back to life are the Kingfisher Old Shale Shawl and the Thistle Lace Scarf. And perhaps the Feline Draught Stopper… with the new season approaching we’re all very busy, so this step may not happen yet!

I also bought some more yarn – it was truly a one-off opportunity… auctions ending on a sunday with hardly any bidders! So, on that front I’m well into the BLE mark. I also had fun swatching some green Shetland wool. Photos below…

angora+wool 1ply lambswool 1.5ply lambswool 1.5ply lambswool 1.5ply lambswool+cashmere fine 1ply wool 1.5ply wool 3plyIMG_5771

Finally, I ‘ve poking around tech stuff – which is a separate matter, so I won’t bother you with the details :)

Enjoy the weekend!

(a long one for those based in England)

On holiday without yarn

With cabin luggage only, there was no space to bring yarny stuff. 

But then I wanted to knit, so the easy solution was to get some yarn locally: I chose Avantgarde from Adriafil, because it’s locally made pure wool and can be machine-washed. I liked the pale blue shade with bits of colour.

I made up a simple pattern for a vest – nothing very special, just a simple project. 

After coming back from the holiday, things became quite hectic: I graduated and started interviewing.

Today I finally resumed work on the back part of the vest and, despite the 4ply yarn, the progress is visible – better, it would have been visible if I had taken recent pictures!

The project is ravelled as Holiday Vest. Some old pictures – apologies for the rather poor quality:

Holiday Vest - front

Holiday Vest, the front

Holiday Vest - waist

Holiday Vest, waist part

I fully appreciate that photos from the holiday sightseeings would have constituted a far more interesting post content!

 

Is it destiny?

I restarted work on the Old Shale Shawl, but after about 20 rows of 200+ stitches, there was something not quite right: while the total number of stitches was correct, their distribution was slightly out of the main axis. After checking and counting again, I spread the shawl open and, horror, I noticed where the issue came from:

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The main axis was shifted by a couple of stitches.

Is it destiny that I unravel it back to that point? That’s more or less the same point where the shading didn’t fully match.

Of course, I would rather not do that, considered the 200+ sts in each row – about 20 of them. Also, it seems difficult to place a lifeline following one row, because the horizontal pattern is not laying straight.

Alternatively, I could perhaps attempt something that I’ve read about, but have not much confidence in trying out here: unravelling just a vertical line of ~4 stitches. It’d probably be an easy task for an experienced knitter, but this is not the case for me :)

What would you do?

Silk sea

The silk forest theme is awaiting for a decision and more silk yarn (ordered)… meanwhile, I wanted to try out how the knitting with this silk would have been.

Using a skein in Seaweed shade and summery colours, the test Sea Top was born!

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It is based on the free pattern Simple Irresistible by Espino Susunaga. My idea is to have an easy-to-wear, cool and lose top to juggle over a summer outfit – while at the same time testing the silk yarn behaviour.

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To get a loser fit, I went up two needle sizes and casted on some more stitches. The top has no waist shaping and I’m going to use a smaller needle to achieve a slight tapered effect in the centre. After knitting the bottom section, ideally I should put that on waste yarn and try it on… I doubt I’ll bother though. Obviously, there is the risk of it being too lose…

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The silk so far has proved to be relatively easy to knit, a bit “papery” looking in some spots, but with a nice subtle sheen and easy drape. The lose fit gives the top some nice bouncing.

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Silk forest?

While I’m pondering on how to proceed with the Old Shale Shawl, I was tidying up some of my stash. We shall not go into details of the stash, though.

I rediscovered some silk yarn I purchased while ago because of its colours – greens, with shades of blues or browns. Not a surprise, lol.

Looking up on Ravelry, there were quite a large number of patterns for the “forest” keyword. I didn’t get through even a fraction of them and already found many a beautiful one – some even free.

Though, I have never knitted with silk yarn before and don’t know what to expect. I understand that it has little to no elasticity, which is confirmed by the feeling while balling up one of the skeins.

These are the colours I intend to use:

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and these are some of the patterns I perused thus far:

Hidden in The Forest by Veera Välimäki

Pine Forest Baby Blanket by Ingrid Aartun Bøe

Olympic Forest Baby Blanket by verybusymonkey

Gothic Forest Scarf by Janelle Martin

Queen of the Forest by Amadeit

Deep Green Forest by Espino Susunaga

I would love to hear about your experience with silk, how did you find knitting with it?