Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I decided not to attend our regular fortnightly knit group meeting tonight, because of a) an exceptionally social week (by my standards at least) and b) I felt like saying in and make some progress with the booties I'm knitting for my forthcoming nephew. As penance for being a hermit, I'll update the blog before starting on the DVDs.

There is another two months to go before my sister's due date, and apparently the baby already weighs more than 2kg, so I'm not exactly aiming for the newborn size. The pattern is Stay-on baby booties (scroll down for the English version), and I'm using the leftover Madelinetosh Sock from the Ishbel I finished over the weekend. I had 39g left over, and decided that the wool was too lovely to hibernate in the leftover stash pile. I've been using both straight and sock needles, depending on the requirements of the section. I'm using 2mm needles, and when I switched to knitting on another project for a while (Ella's cardigan on 4.5mm's) it felt like I was knitting with tree trunks. I was worried about running out of wool, so I made the leg 6cm instead of 8cm as stated in the pattern. I'm almost finished with the first bootee, and as usual my panic was baseless, I should have more than enough wool to finish comfortably.

The Ishbel I finished was supposed to be a gift for someone else, but once it was finished I decided that I deserved to keep something pretty for myself for once. I think the result is lovely, and I'm likely to use the pattern again for another of my Christmas knitting projects. The Ishbel takes my count of completed lace shawls to 5 in the last 10 months, with one more in progress and another one planned before Christmas. I'm currently knitting (in the vague 'it's in my knitting basket' way) Ruffle my feathers in autumn colours. Somehow I've become distracted by several other projects lately, and once I finish the booties and Ella's cardigan I really should get back to the Christmas shawls.

I also finished two hats - one for me and one for a friend's 5-year old son. A few months back, whilst in Dublin, I received an email from my friend A. She was in Leeds at the time, had noticed Baa Ram Ewe, and like a good friend was asking whether I needed anything. And like a good friend, in return I said I had plenty of wool, thanks, but to pick up supplies if she needed anything knitted for her or her family. She came back with some King Cole Merino Blend Aran (100% wool but machine washable) for a hat for her son, and I duly (eventually) knit it up into the Marsan Watchcap. A boring knit, but at least he should not be able to find too much fault with it. I did make the hat longer than the pattern stated, so that it could cover his ears (as opposed to the hat that I knitted him last winter, which did not quite...).

The other hat was a Meret, from my first attempt at hand dyeing wool. Which I still want to blog about. I loved the pattern, and found it a quick knit. I'm just not so sure of the look on me - either I need to get used to how I look wearing a beret, or I need to find some other person that can wear this hat successfully. It did whet my appetite for knitting more Woolly Wormhead hats, so watch this space. Although where I'm going to fit that in considering the current queue, I'm not so sure.

Submit to the knit!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scotland 2010

I've been putting off this post for ages, because of the mixed feelings evoked by Knitcamp 2010.


  • Met many, many interesting people from around the world. Just wished I was more pro-active in getting contact details for some people.
  • Gained more confidence in my knitting. Will try and be less of a perfectionist in future and just experiment a bit more.
  • Enjoyed most of the classes I attended.
  • The Marketplace - managed to keep myself to a budget, but it was hard going. 
  • Beautiful location (and the uphill back to the accommodation might have helped a little in compensating for eating three substantial cooked meals a day).
  • Some lovely outings - my own or those organised by Knitcamp - such as visits to Edinburgh, Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, Loch Katrine and New Lanark Mill. 
  • Not as advertised - in the end I only did one class that stayed unchanged from when I booked it in terms of tutor or content. Also various other niggles during the week, such as the saga of the goody bags (Ravelry link). Never got mine.
  • Lack of communication from the organisers when things went wrong. 
The stash was enhanced (although it probably did not need more enhancement). I came back with:
  • 10 balls of New Lanark Mill Aran in Ecru - I won this in a prize draw during the trip to New Lanark Mill. Have been using it to try hand dyeing for the first time (will be reported on in a separate post).
  • 3 skeins of Old Maiden Aunt Alpaca Silk DK/Sportweight, colour Dreich. This had been on my shopping list for a while, it is destined to become a Goodale (Ravelry link).
  • 1 skein of Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Cashmere/Nylon 4-ply, colour Bluebells, destined to become a shawl for my sister. It is superwash, so hopefully it can survive her attitude towards laundry.
  • 1 skein of Artist's Palette Smoothie Sock, so that one day I can try and make nice socks.
  • Lovely buttons from Textile Garden. Will need to seek this shop out again for future button purchases.
  • 3 100g Bluefaced Leicester rovings from Freyalyn in beautiful blues/greys/greens. I'm having trouble photographing the colours successfully, but I'm really looking forward to spinning these - I plan to ply the three slightly different colourways together.
  • I also bought a necklace and some soap from Injabulo, for a small taste of South Africa.
Enough now, better get off to work so that I can afford more fibre!