Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Starter shawl.

citron mosaic

So I've joined 2,068 others in casting on Citron, from the winter Knitty. Now I'm not usually a shawl kind of person. I can appreciate the gorgeous lace, dainty nupps, and perfectly blocked points of the thousands of beautiful shawls fellow ravelers have knit, but they're just not something I've been keen to wear... until now, of course.


I actually made this one for a friend of mine, whose birthday it is today. It's pretty simple, but with a really lovely, ruffly, ruched result. I prefer to wear it "backwards", but she could probably wear it in the traditional way for a wedding or other more formal event. Now I'm hoping it will be the first (apart from my wedding shawl, here on ravelry) of many more to come.

The details:

Some lovely (and not too old fashioned) examples to check out (rav links):

Ulmus and Andrea's Shawl both by Kirsten Kapur
Mara by Madeline Tosh
Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn
and, as if you didn't already know, Ysolda Teague's sweet Ishbel and Damson patterns.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Mmmm... toast...

Photo 33

FO: Toast by Leslie Friend (rav link)

Another one of those projects I've whipped up in the last month. I decided to frog the Cashmere Drop Stitch Scarf I started on waaaay back when, as I really wanted something that would show off this yarn to its best advantage. I don't usually go for variegated yarns (in fact, I usually hate them), but the colours in this Handmaiden 4-ply Cashmere just called out to me and man it's soft. I am almost a little bit sad it's getting warmer out and I won't be able to wear them much longer. Almost.


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Fills me with...

Ok, so I promised more, and here it is. I have a confession to make.

I love Glee.

There. I said it. But so does everyone else and anyone who says they don't has no soul. We're still on the first season here in the UK, and gradually everyone is going, "I am so embarrassed to admit this, but I love Glee." And then everyone else says with relief, "So do I!"

One of the biggest talking points of the show is Jayma Mays' wardrobe as lovable guidance counselor Emma Pilsbury. Finally, librarian-chic is cool, and some well-deserved glory goes to the humble cardigan. The clincher for me though is her adorable array of sweater clips:

Clearly I am not the first to notice these as evidenced in this post.

So I had a wander around Etsy, and I caved in.


These vintage clips came from the lovely Vintage Fifteen shop.

Now, here's the problem: I don't actually own a cardigan that requires or can accommodate sweater clips. Solution: knit one! Which leads me to another problem: which cardigan??? I have seen a few, but none so far that fill me with... well you know. Any suggestions?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Spring Substitute.

Remember I said I would work backwards? Ok, so this one came sometime before the scarf when I was feeling the need for some instant gratification, just before I started the new job.

Photo 40
Note the cat in the background, oblivious to the fabulous knittedness behind her!

It's a really clever pattern from Veera Valimaki, who designs some seriously covetable patterns. (I would make any one of them in a flash if only I had enough yarn and time.) The cleverness of the pattern lies in the fact that most of the shaping is made by the shapes of the leaves, which look so pretty, aside from being functional. The lovely leaves put me in mind for spring, even though London is still really rather cold, and give me hope (as did the crocuses I saw sprouting in Acton on my way to work this morning - really I did!).

Photo 38
Lovely leaves!

Now in spite of all the cleverness, and all the lovely ravelry projects I had seen the sweater in, when I first tried it on I felt like an American football player in full padded gear - perhaps because I was just not used to bulky sweaters. However, I test-drove it at work today and got loads of compliments! I think with the right top on underneath and my hair worn down, I manage to avoid making my head look teeny-tiny in comparison with my shoulders - a good thing, yes.

Designer: Veera Valimaki
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia, doubled

Listening to: Laura Marling
Eating: Homemade sandwiches at work. Hooray for honey mustard!

ETA: In the spirit of spring substitutes, I have had the Australian, a graphic designer, finally tweak the look of the blog. Hope you don't mind :)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Working girl.

Photo 37

Okay, so it's been awhile. I've been busy! I know, it's no excuse. It's been almost a month! Bad, bad.

But as I said, I have been busy. I have knit a whole slew of things, which if I am not too lazy - I mean busy - I will post very soon. But there is news to get out of the way first.

1) I have been writing. (No, not on this blog, but elsewhere and I am excited about it! More on this sometime soon, I hope.)

2) I have been taking an Italian class. This does not mean in any way that I can speak Italian. But I try.

2) I will be moving. Staying in London, but heading East. Woohoo. Everybody who lives East tells me they love it. I am excited.

3) I got a job! In a yarn shop! Lots of woohoos! It's all very exciting. I am doing my best not to spend the money I make on the yarn I sell. It's hard.

So that's the news out of the way. Let's get to the knitting. I guess I'll go backwards, since I just finished a project today that I am too excited about not to share. It's one I have improvised, to fit my friend Naomi's specifications. I kind of hope she doesn't like it, so I can keep it for myself.

Photo 53

It's in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK; a lovely pinky colour. I used mostly garter stitch, added a ruffle,some mesh crochet and a little fringe. I wasn't really sure it was going to turn out ok at first, but I have to say, I really like how it turned out and I am already plotting about making one for myself. I put it on ravelry, with more photos, here.

More soon, I promise.