Thursday, September 29, 2005

This blog is on the move!

This blog will not be updated here any more because it is moving house!
Its new address is

Everything looks very similar, and all the archives have been copied over. So please head on over and see what's new!!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Isis is finally complete!

Whoo Hooo I've done it, and I have actually knitted something that is the correct size, feels very comfortable and that I will really wear (in fact I am wearing it as I speak).
As I am a novice in the knitting blog "take a picture of yourself" department here are the various shots that I took before I asked Boo to take picture of me this afternoon.

You can't really see in these thumbnails that I was hiding all the yarn ends that still needed to be woven in!
These are the much better shots by five year old Boo with all ends woven in!

Project details:
Pattern: Isis Wrap from IK Summer '05
Yarn: Knitpicks' Shine & Shine Twist in Grass Updated later (approx 5 balls)*
Needles: US #3 3.25mm
Notes: Pattern gauge: 17sts & 24 rows, my gauge: 21sts & 32 rows. Adjustments to the number of stitches cast on and the sleeve and front shaping.
Three needle bind-off used for the shoulder and top sleeve seam. Virtually invisible (!) side-by-side seaming used for the under arm seam!
Next time need to make sure that the lace pattern repeats will join up at the seams!

Did I say that I love this short cardigan, also known in this house as the Green Thing. It feels just the right weight/warmth for the foggy Santa Cruz days that we are having.
This weekend we went camping at the beach with some friends about 20 minutes from home! It was cold at night with really heavy dew, making mornings not much fun. I wish the kids could sleep in a bit, but usually they are just too excited to stay in bed!
We had a great beach day on Saturday and it actually wasn't foggy at all first thing. The new project was knitted on a bit, but I couldn't work out whether sand really added much to the texture of Rowan Kid Classic! I wonder how Janine manages, as she says that she knits on the beach quite often. Mr KN and the kids had a fantastic time in the water, but for some reason I only got a picture of him on his own

And to round off a lovely day there was a fabulous sunset

*This is very approximate because I don't really know how many balls I started out with! How embarrassingly flaky is that?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Phew, that was close!

I was getting quite annoyed by the fact that the Isis Wrap was still there waiting to be knitted and finished; it feels as if I have been knitting her for ever. Looking back, I started her in July, but as she is lace and has sleeve shaping built in and because I must be quite stupid, I have had to rip the front sleeves back at least three times between them due to various mistakes being made along the way. Also I chose to make her with a totally different gauge of yarn, so the pattern needed some big time Maths to make it work.

So imagine my dismay when finally performing a three needle bind off this evening I dropped a couple of stitiches. These were complicated ssk & yo combination stitiches, and it looked as if the Isis Wrap was actually disintegrating into the Isis Rag before my eyes. Arrgghhh! I tried to be patient and work out what was wrong, but the more I tried the more confused I became. This wasn't helped by the fact that I had background music of my darling MrKN practising/learning mandolin (the same tune over and over).... After a few (badly placed) words the result was MrKN in a huff in front of the computer, but at least I had 5 minutes quiet to work out what on earth I had done....

I am not sure that I recovered everything alright, but by this stage I just want the damn thing finished. And I am almost finished; two seams and a ribbed neck to do, a few ends to weave....

I meant to put in my Broadripple Sockpal socks from KittyKitty, but I am too tired.... Maybe tomorrow???

Saturday, September 17, 2005

First Meme

I have been tagged with a meme by Carola and these are the rules:

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or 13th, modified by Jaqueline).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five/some other people to do the same.

So here are mine (more or less). If I were entirely accurate my 13th post only had 3 sentences and the sentence would be:
Post #13, sentence 3: Now I just have to work out a way to be there and bring my kids who will be 14 & 12 by then - WOW!!
Referring to the London Olympics in 2012

The alternative more knitterly sentence would be:
#13 Once I get used to a flapping needle on the "resting" stitches everything seems to be going quite well.
Referring to knitting socks on two circular needles

And the original 23rd post version is this:
#23 It's amazing how over half a scarf went into about 6 rows of the bag!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

New projects

I have been swatching for two of my next projects. Both of them are with Rowan yarn bought while in Edinburgh.

This is for the Greek Pullover from IK. which has been on my side-bar all summer. I was waiting for our trip home to get the supplies. Most of the things that I have knitted recently have involved gauge changes for different yarn, so I chose to buy the yarn called for in the pattern - Kid Classic, and even chose the same colour as the example in the magazine! I like it so far. But for whatever reason my gauge is way off 20sts & 26 rows instead of 17st & 23 rows on size 8 needles. I don't want the sweater to be knit any thinner, so I will still have to do some maths!

And this is for Mr KN It is from the RYC Classic Winter book and the yarn is Soft Tweed. I'm not sure of my feelings on bulky knitting; I will reserve judgement until later. For this one I got stitch gauge, but the row gauge is also 3 rows to many per 4". The pattern is a fair-isle zip-up cardigan/jacket, but I am considering altering the neckline and the collar, maybe to a half-zip sweater, or maybe no-zip at all. I just hope that it isn't too warm to wear here!

So, those are the reasons I want to finish my Isis wrap...

Getting back into it

The start of the school year for me feels like running straight into a brick wall. Especially when the kids started back 36 hours after arriving back from Britain. Phew!
I think I have worked out the after school stuff; 2 kids' soccer practices, piano and gymnastics, but unfortunately, no swimming. Can't fit it in! But I still haven't really added anything to this blog since July!
So if anyone out there is interested, apart from my Sockapal-2-za socks, I have been knitting the Isis Wrap, started ages ago for what seems like forever. This is knitted in three pieces with the back and the fronts having half sleeves cast on as you go. I like this method, but have found it tricky with lace to get the increases the same on each part.
I thought that I was almost through, but earlier this evening I was lining up the back and the left front, and saw that there was no way I could join them together without gathering the seam! I worked out that I had cast on 7 stitches too many on the half sleeve for the front. I had been hoping for a 3 needle bind-off (even though the picture shows that I have already bound off). I was screwed.

Time to rip back to the last increase.

I was really hoping to finish this and get on with the 5 new projects that are itching to go. I have the yarn and everything...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Socks to go

A long break in the UK with no inclination to blog, but time to knit, resulted in finishing my Sockpal's socks.

The photo isn't great, but I wanted to show location as well.
I had a few problems with finishing the first, mainly because I did not bring my tape measure on the plane to London, and had to guess where to start shaping the toe. This turned out to be wrong, and some rework was required.
The second was nice and quick, and the pair was completed in my parents' house in Edinburgh. They then travelled south to Staffordshire, and then Berkshire before getting the plane back to San Francisco. Back in Santa Cruz, they are taking a well earned rest before being parcelled up and sent on their way to their final home.... Well travelled socks!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

New Felted finished things

Here are the results of the great felting experiment. I knitted the laptop case from IK Fall 05; it was a fast 5 day knit. The stripes are knit as usual, then the bag is made by folding the fabric in half top to bottom, sewing up one side and along the bottom. The triangles formed when the bottom is flattened are sewn also, giving the bag some depth.
Here it is complete with the resident laptop:

I like the overall effect of the felting and the feltings effect on the stripes; the single row stripes almost disappear into the colour next to them. I have not cut the handles yet - I have a fabric cutting phobia - but I am a bit concerned about the strength! I can feel the weight of the laptop pulling the fabric southwards! Once there are handles will the stretch get worse?? I am not sure about carrying the bag and laptop around by the handles too much. My plan for its use is more as a cushioning bag so that it won't get scratched inside my backpack.

Having done the laptop case I knitted a cell-phone cozy - in one evening!! I based it on the pattern in Stitch n Bitch, but made it bigger for felting. I estimated about 20% on top of the regular size and things have come out OK (a little too cozy, but the phone fits!). It came out of the felting experience like this
As usual I was so eager to get the things felted that I forgot to take before photos.
The flap on the cozy gave me a few problems, because I did not want it square. I tried casting off to make a round flap, and ssk & k2tog, but somehow they did not work; so I used short row shaping instead, and it seemed to work out fine.
I then added an I-cord loop and button made from leftover yarn from Boo's stripy Christmas present which makes it look like a kid's play phone!! I love it!
On Tuesday the kids and I are off to Blighty for our annual month of British-ness absorption! I have no idea if I will be able to download photos with the grandparents dial-up connections. So I have a slow and tortuous few weeks ahead!
I have my knitting projects to take and others to purchase for while in the UK. So there will be lots to keep me busy even if I don't write about it here.

If there are any of you out there who can recommend yarn shops in Edinburgh, Derby, Reading/Newbury, that would be great.