Sunday, 30 June 2013

Toadstool bootees

Remember my fondness for the Fly Agaric? You can read about it here... or here.... or here... I was having withdrawal symptoms from the fly agaric, it's so long since it featured in one of my projects, so I just had to make this pattern, when I spotted it in a knitting book at the library.

The book is called Knitted Bootees for Tiny Feet. It has lots of lovely patterns in it, so much so, I'm actually considering a book purchase (gasp! not something you see every day!)

This pattern combined knitting (for the bootees) with crochet (for the bobbles, plus joining the red mushroom tops to the green soles). They are knitted in cotton yarn so will not be too hot for the summer months. I should think they'll be perfect for a little pixie, so I shall send them to my baby nephew, now nearly 4 months old.

Stashdown #6: June 2013

In June I bought 1 skein of madelinetosh merino DK - 225 yards - and one ball - 92 yards - of Rowan handknit cotton, so I could make a pair of bootees.

I knitted up:
  • 846 yards malabrigo lace in my hawkmoth sweater
  • 135 yards of the madtosh DK into my bluebell hat.
  • 75 yards handknit cotton making a pair of baby bootees.
I've also got some discarded yarn to report, as I put 325 yards of Alchemy haiku (I had it in a swap package several years ago...I'll never use it. I don't care for mohair, really) and 52 yards of leftover cotton into the get-rid-of bag.

So the position as of end June:
-375 brought forward end May
+317 bought yarn in June
- 1056 worked up
- 377 discarded
New total YTD: -1481

BTW, if anyone reading this would like the Alchemy haiku, please send me an email with your address. I'd love to dispatch it to someone who would really like it, as most of my discarded yarn goes to a church knitting group of mainly older ladies, who like knitting in baby and dk weight yarns. I'm not sure this laceweight would be truly appreciated. It is dark brown, if you're interested.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Laceweight Sweater

I've finally finished some meaningful knitting, in the form of my Hawkmoth sweater, that I started with the intention of doing a DADA OWL back in January. I failed that OWL... end of March came, and I was only on the first sleeve. However, I have now finished it.

Yarn is malabrigo lace in the Noviembre colourway: I used two 50g skeins to make this smallest size. The pattern is the Hawkmoth sweater, a paid download from Interweave knits.

This is the first and possibly the last laceweight sweater I will make. I found it hard, especially the seaming, which took ages.  Although the FO is pretty nice, and taking my time over the seaming gave a good result.

I wish now I'd worked a couple more inches on the sleeves. I followed the pattern dimensions for the selected size exactly, but it is more comfy as a three quarter length sleeve sweater, and that wasn't really what I had in mind. The body however really does fit me well. Overall it's much better than my last sweater attempt: I think I'm learning.

Also, the yarn is a wonderful colour set. Even dh commented. This is the yarn I bought whilst on holiday in New York last year, so it's pretty special. I'm glad I used it in this sweater.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Yarn into Hat

I finished my blue hat:

Lovely yarn (it was Madelinetosh merino dk). And really fabulous pattern too. This is the pressed leaves hat from Alana Dakos's recent book, Botanical Knits. It is full of lovely patterns; I can see a cardigan, a lace sweater, a pair of mittens and possibly even a shawl in my future.

Friday, 7 June 2013

In the loop

This week, I had occasion to go to London - for work, but owing to the booked train times, I found I had nearly an hour to spare in the afternoon, before I had to catch my train at St Pancras. So I jumped on the Northern Line, got off at the Angel, Islington, and made my way to Loop.

I'm on a yarn diet, so I was trying to be just looking. My stashdown rules do however permit me to buy yarn for a single identified project at a time, with the intention of an immediate start.

That's the only yarn I bought, and I call that a win. I intend to wind it later and start on a hat from this book:

My stashdown doesn't say anything about not adding crafting books, and this is the first one I bought this year. It has some beautiful patterns in it, so I'm hoping it won't join the large number of books in my library I still haven't actually made anything from. Maybe that will need to be addressed as part of sustainability in the future, to do with making the most of what I have?

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Bluebell Woods

Yesterday, I went to meet my parents for lunch at Clumber Park. The bluebells were out. It's difficult to capture their true glory with just my camera phone, but here's a picture I took:

English bluebells are an endangered species now. Reductions in ancient woodland is reducing their numbers, since they usually grow best in the shade of a woodland canopy, plus there are other, non-native species that are replacing or interbreeding with the native British version. These ones were definitely native bluebells, in an ancient woodland area which is part of Sherwood Forest. They are beautiful flowers, with a typical droopiness. Read more about them here. I was careful not to tread on any, and took these pictures from the edge of the bluebell carpet.

Clumber Park is operated by the National Trust, a UK environmental charity that protects historic houses, gardens, mills, coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, nature reserves, villages and pubs, and opens them up for public access.