Sunday, 29 August 2010

No Knitting For Now...

As I plod on with the blanket, I'll update you on the baby's room. DH and I are currently trying to work out where best to place furniture. DH cunningly came up with a plan on graph paper (no, I didn't let him borrow my special knitting graph paper), and even cut out moveable furniture pieces.

Since then, he has become even more manly, and mapped out the shapes on the floor of the room.

Pea and spinach fritatta I made last week for dinner.

I'm about two thirds of my way through the blanket, and progress is going quickly now. DH and I are going to the Cotswolds this week for a last break as just the two of us, so I should be able to make some progress on the blanket then.
See you when we get back.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

What's New?

Yes, I know: it doesn't look like much, but I thought I'd better show you what I'm working on while it's in progress, as it'll be a while before I can show you photos of it finished.
This is the Cabled Baby Blanket from Simply Baby. I really thought I'd get fed up with all of those cables, and the fact that there isn't a single area of mindless stocking stitch where I can catch up in speed, but in fact I'm really enjoying it. I've always loved cables, and these ones are forming a nice visual pattern. The wool is very soft and it's going to be very snuggly for a little one.
Here are the cables up close. I'm knitting much looser than I normally would so that it stretches well when I block it. I don't want it to end up handkerchief-sized!
I promise to document my progress on this WIP.
Above is the most wonderful pompom, designed and made by my friend Louise's Sister Ruth. She's so talented; I just think this is the most original idea. I've been meaning to show it to you for ages, but kept forgetting.
It hangs in our bedroom and brightens even the most grey morning!
Ruth has just had a little boy, and people are always encouraging her to sell her goods more; maybe she'll have some time now. I hope she does; she deserves to get credit for her creations. If so, I'll let you know where you can buy them (they come in all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes).

Monday, 9 August 2010

Araucania Rainbows

Do you like these miniature socks? They're really, really tiny, and took very little time to make - bonus! They're baby-sized and I'm not sure how long it will take before a newborn outgrows them, but I really don't mind. I just couldn't resist knocking up a quick pair.
So that's what I did yesterday...

They're Great Baby Socks, aka North Country Cotton Socks from Cherry Tree Hill Yarns. The pattern calls for a "light worsted", but I made these in Araucania Ranco Multy, which my Mum gave me as a present when I was last up in Scotland.
The colours are so beautiful, though like Koigu the yarn is nicer up close than from a distance.

There's not much to say about these, as they're so tiny and were so quick to make that the whole pair went by in a few hours. I would recommend the pattern though. I can't say enough how refreshing it is to read a pattern which has no mistakes.

Edited to add: the only modification I made was to use Magic Loop instead of DPN's.

The other point I would make is that they're great to make if you've never made socks before. They take you right through the entire construction process, in exactly the same way that adult socks are constructed. There's no complicated, reinforced slip-stitch heel or anything, but that's not exactly required for someone who won't be puitting any weight on their feet for a while! I feel this way about most garments. Jumpers and cardigans are the same: they're constructed in the same way, but you see the results so much quicker and the entire process is therefore more enjoyable.

I can't wait to see these little socks on our newborn when the time comes. In the meantime they're joining the ever-growing pile of baby FO's!

Doughnut Peaches

Now you may not know just how much DH and I like our peaches, but these are particularly good. They're called Doughnut Peaches and I've only ever had them in France and Italy before but they seem to have made it over to Portobello Market in London now. White flesh and pink, pink skins are the best combination, though I don't mind yellow peaches at all, either. Or nectarines mind you (white or yellow).
Anyway, these are flat, not round and very juicy. Rebecca at work very kindly brought them in one morning and I sent her off for another load the next day to get DH and me through the weekend. Have a peachy day x

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Let's Swing

It's finished! This is my version of the Swing Jacket by Chesley Flotten from my Mum's book, Soft & Simple Knits for Little Ones by Heidi Boyd.

It has a sweet little I-cord tie as a closure...

... fluted sleeves which echo the swing back,

and it's edged in garter stitch round the sides and bottom.

The neckline is edged in what looks like an I-cord bind-off but but it's actually 6 rows of garter stitch.
Knitted top-down, it suited me because as you know I like to make things in one piece, which this is, and it’s unusual to find a pattern like that (usually I convert them all).

Although pleased with the result, I didn’t enjoy this knit as much as I wanted to. And I was knitting in Aran and big needles (usually my favourite). This may partly be because I knitted it far too long and had to frog about 8 inches of the entire jacket!

Despite following the pattern to the letter, the stitch count did not match at the point when you divide the sleeves from the body. I fudged it and went with my count, because the pattern count just didn’t work. Everything else was fine though.

I love the way the back kicks out; this is a style that really suits adults, and I'm sure will look lovely on a little one-year-old. Can you see in the photo below, the way you increase around three stitches in the centre of the back as you work down the garment? It's very neat and looks good.
This was not my favourite knit, but I'm pleased with the outcome, and I think it will look great on (probably in the winter due to the weight of the yarn). By the way, I used Artesano Alpaca in Aran. I have used their alpaca many times before, and like it, but only in finer weight, so I was delighted when I found this while I was in Scotland. It was really the colour that drew me, but the softness, halo and weight were also great.

Can you see the resemblance between the blue yarn and blueberries (something I eat far too much of)?
Now the little jacket is finished I've started working on a white cabled blanket (from Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby - what a useful book!). More news on that soon (or at least when I've made more progress than a garter edge and first cable repeat). In case you're wondering why I've made so many knitted baby items, DH and I are expecting our first baby! It's due in December (so it could be a Christmas baby). It's currently a very exciting place here at Rowanberry HQ.