Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Northern Lights

I was given a skein of Kaffe Fassett's 100% lambswool Colourscape yarn in "Northern Lights" by my boyfriend's Mum for christmas last year, and have spent the last 5 months trying to figure out what to do with it. I wanted to avoid a traditionally "easy knit" because it was such a special yarn.

Naturally, it spent those first five months in the bottom of a draw collecting dust whilst I waited for inspiration to hit.

Finally, it hit me! But it wasn't quite the plan I was expecting, it was more like one of those plans that smack you in the face and seem brilliant for about the first hour (like clearing out all the kitchen cupboards and reorganising them- I've only tried this a few times, but I still feel like it might happen again one day), and then you think hmmm... Now that I can't avoid stopping because I've dug myself too deep down and therefore HAVE to finish, was this such a good plan afterall?

I had decided that I would stop being so pretentious and trying to think of something marvellously complicated to do (that I would probably never have finished) and I would take the easy route out.... I knit a scarf.

Worse than that, it wasn't even a vaguely difficult scarf... No cables, no fair isle motif, not even ribbing!! I made a scarf (far) taller than myself, and I didn't even purl.... not once...

Yep, Garter stitch.

So what do I think? I think it's amazing! The yarn itself is so special and has such exciting colours that by making it too fancy I think I would have ruined the effect! Plus, I found out part way through that the yarn thickness changes, so it would have made a fancy pattern look daft.

The photos don't really do the yarn justice but I tried to get decent ones. Now I have something useful (very useful in Scotland), in really cool colours that is super soft and warm, and is made from something I would never have chosen for myself! 

Well, that is my excuse for bailing out anyway....

I did once try to make this skein into a lightening bolt scarf, which looked pretty cool (I will do this one day) but the gauge on zigzags is bizarre, I would have had to buy another skein to finish the scarf and I didn't want to do that, so I took it apart to make this.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Mad Hatter...

The knitting machine is currently steaming with over use so i thought I'd give it a break for a minute and put some pictures of my creations up here.

These were my very first attempts at figuring out how to knit a hat on the knitting machine. I thought it would be easier to make the square hats at first, but actually the beanie thing is surprisingly quick! I need to make it a bit wider though for it to fit a broader age range. (The random clothes peg is for scale.)

This is how i've been making the scarves (which you can see below!) I knit straight stockinette stitch strips, then block them, and sew them onto what used to be a rather delicious black fleece blanket, but has since been transformed into many, many scarves....

I can't take credit for this final set, they were knit by a volunteer for the Mongolia Knitting Project '09 and I think they are very cute! I especially
 like the little scarf!

Sorry about the pathetically dismal setting for the photos (ie the broken office chair which i found in my room one day when i came home) Anyone who lives in Edinburgh knows that today the weather is delightfully damp with a beautiful muggy sky so the lighting is a bit bizarre too! 
But you get the idea anyway. 

I'm also quite proud of this which I hand knit yesterday (for myself!). 

It probably took around 5 hours, at a casual pace, using circular needles and dpns, and an oh so fantastic merino silk blend yarn I bought yesterday morning. In reality the blue is darker, and richer in colour. I started by using the purl beret pattern from the purl bee but altered it quite a lot because, well, because i haven't ever followed a knitting pattern yet, why would I start now?