Monday, 11 April 2011

Spring Kouyou.

The sun has been shining here in London, which means light, finally! Here's an in-progress shot of the shawl I have been working on for the shop.


I knitted a few rows in the park after work before getting a pizza nearby on a Friday evening. Bliss!

The project is the Kouyou Shawl* in the lovely-dovely Quince & Co Chickadee in Petal.

*Apparently Kouyou means Autumn in Japanese, but with a yarn called Chickadee in a colour called Petal, it must be Spring!

Friday, 25 March 2011

EZ Evangelising.

This week I finished knitting the adorable Annabel Cardigan as a sample for the shop. Not only was I lucky enough to get a sneak peek of this wonderful yarn before it arrives over here in the UK in this month, but I managed to squeeze a new technique into the mix as well.


It was a very simple cardigan to knit in and of itself, being a top-down raglan in plain garter stitch, but that construction presented a problem to me which I have continually encountered and wanted to resolve. I've never been really happy with previous techniques I've used to weave or darn in ends in garter stitch. I'm not usually too much of a stickler about these things, especially when it only shows on the wrong side, but as I wasn't just knitting this for myself, I wanted a nice finish. So I went to a couple of knitting "bibles" but there wasn't anything specific to garter stitch, and the information just generally wasn't particularly helpful. Luckily we've been getting a lot of traditional books in stock at the shop, including Schoolhouse Press books, and so I turned to a copy of knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop for guidance.

She's a genius clearly. She waxes lyrical about the joys of weaving in ends, and then she gives the best advice I've ever had on the subject:

Basically, tie your two ends in and overhand knot.


Then separate the plies of each strand.


I had 3 plies in one strand of Quince & Co Osprey.


Thread a sharp darning needle with one ply and then skim the the surface of the stitches (make sure to go through both the bumps from the garter stitch AND the flat "knit" rows between the bumps).


Pull the fabric a bit to even things out, snip the end of the strand close to the fabric, and marvel at your amazing invisibly woven-in ends.


I imagine this works just as well with stockinette and just about any other stitch pattern. Rest assured I will be using this method almost exclusively in the future.

I showed this to at least 5 people in the hour after I tried it and all were suitably impressed. And you will be too. Go on now, try it!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Spring Awakening.

This is why I love spring.

Note the ever-lovely frank ochre Ishbel in the background. Perfect for spring days.

More spring knitting to come soon!