Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I finished my grandmother's River, and it may not have any flaws. I can't find any yet. All that's left to do is blocking - I'm hoping for fine weather and a patient Trouser on Saturday morning so I can use our bed as my blocking "station". If it's big enough, otherwise I guess I'll resort to several towels pinned together.

What this means is that I'm back to Martha again: last night I knat* a grand total of 21 rows on the back. It took me awhile to get back into the pattern, but I'm pleased with my efforts. I really hope my tension is similar to what it was previously - though with judicious blocking I guess you may not notice.

Martha is officially my only project on the needles at present, so I'm hopeful of some quick progress. The sooner I get it done, the sooner I can block it, sew it up, ans see if it looks completely mad over my wedding dress, in a kind of "it's late at the reception and I'm finally a bit cold, but I've made something beautiful that goes with my dress, not for this specific purpose at all, but I have such beautiful clothes that they look great together" kind of way.

Ambitious much? Not me. The good bit is that if it does look naff, and I need to knit something specifically to wear over my dress, I will have time. Maybe.

*Knat - the past tense of the verb "to knit". As in, "I knat and I knat and I finally made some progress. Catchy, no?

Monday, November 06, 2006


The obligatory detail shot, which makes you feel a bit drunk, and is too fuzzy to give you a great idea of the colour or details really.

Memo to self: learn something about phoptography, or get The Trouser sufficiently interested in knitting so he'll do all the knitting-related photos in future. Seriously.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Martha has sleeves

I'd show you my beautiful close-up shot, but I can't get Blogger to insert it. Again...

She doesn't have a body yet - neither fronts nor a back - but she has sleeves.

As I've probably mentioned before, I find starting with sleeves to be the best way to knit a new cardigan or sweater. Fewer stitches, so if you screw up the pattern, there's less to undo. It also makes for quicker progress, which is always encouraging.

After all, how many times have you done the back, then the front(s), and just been too over it by the time you get to the sleeves. So the project languishes, unloved, as a WIP until guilt gets the better of you...

My only quibble with this pattern so far - and with Rowan patterns generally - is that you *have to* knit the back before the fronts, because the lengths of the fronts are dependent on the # of rows of the back. So I'm forced into knitting the back before the fronts. Hello, Rowan? Where is my freedom of choice?

I'm also a little concerned about the pattern in terms of sizing. I've done a size large (97cm across the bust) in a similar Rowan pattern before - and it's a bit loose. But cotton gives so much I'm worried that a large in this cardigan will just be huge. So while my sleeves are a large, the back I've cast on (and made scant progress on) is a medium size. It will be interesting to see how the fit goes.

What I am very happy with is the yarn I'm using - Panda Regal Cotton 4-ply in... the dirty green colour. Only one of the 4 balls so far has had a knot in it, and the beads thread on relatively smoothly. As I suspected, the colour of the cotton on the ball is less intense than when it's knitted up (ok, I tested it by swatching - but not this particular shade), so it didn't matter that this batch was particularly pale and uninteresting-looking in the ball.

At any rate, I'm very happy with my progress so far. And just as well, because Martha is now on a hopefully brief hiatus as I attempt to complete a River in a month and a half (my grandmother's Xmas/ 95th birthday present). I really, really hope I'll be able to pick it back up with the same tension in a month or so!

Martha progress

Rather crappy photo of my Martha progress! The back is done! I see the logic in doing the sleeves first, but I always do the back first because it's the worst part. It just takes soooo long.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

One down!

And up next, Martha:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Only a temporary glitch

I went home all fired up to start Martha last Monday... and realised that the two different colour batches of yarn I had were hugely different. Gahh, back to square one!

Luckily, I caught a lurgy and was home sick from work on Wednesday and Thursday, so I called around and took a trip to Spotlight, where I found enough cotton from the same batch to actually start Martha.

Phew, that was close! I've promised The Trouser I'll only buy yarn with a purpose in mind, since we're moving in 4 1/2 months - and 9 balls of mismatched cotton didn't really cut the mustard with him.

I've decided to make a start on a sleeve while I get accustomed to the pattern. I like having a smaller piece to work on when I make the inevitable mistakes, since it's smaller to unpick. And there's something so dispiriting about having the back and fronts finished, but still having the sleeves to do, so I'm trying a different approach.

At any rate, so far, so good. I love the colour I've chosen (will post pics later), and the pattern is easy enough, but not mind-numbingly boring. I've taken to calling this the honeymoon cardigan, since I plan to wear it then - but I could easily see myself wearing it a lot leading up to the wedding, if I ever get it done!

Monday, October 09, 2006

On your marks, get set...

I feel guilty as hell about not having started on Martha yet, but the time has arrived.

Last Friday afternoon I drove across town - twice - to get the requisite cotton yarn, and beads that I sincerely hope will fit. I do have some green beads left over from my last beaded cardi, but I like the new beads better for this project.

- And just quietly, over 1,000 beads? Really? Are we sure that isn't a typo? -

I've chosen a lovely pale, pale green cotton and pearly white beads. The cotton is deceptive - it looks washed out as a ball, but is much prettier once it's knit. I'll post a pic once The Trouser takes one for me (my very amateurish photography really must be avoided as much as possible!).

Over the weekend I toiled on my outstanding WIP, a Forecast for my mother. Last night I did the final bit of sewing required (I really must try knitting sleeves in the round, I'm sure it would make me happier once I got the hang of it), thoroughly wet and blocked it.

So that's it - the decks are cleared for Martha! I may even cast on... okay, load a bunch of beads on... tonight!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yarn choice

Updated: fixed the link.

I'm going to be knitting Martha for the KAL, but I'm still thinking about my yarn choice.

I haven't seen Rowan Cotton 4-ply myself, so it's hard to know what it's like as a yarn, compared to my bog-standard 4-ply from Spotlight or the LYS.

I'm suspicious of how the colour will actually be, as opposed to on the web. I've learned this lesson the hard way (12 not-very-silvery skeins of tweedy 4-ply, anyone?). I'm not overly fussy about colours, but I like to know what I'm getting.

And there's no LYS in Auckland that stocks the yarn. There is a woman who runs a studio of sorts, but her range is limited, and I'd have to make an appointment to see her, which means I'd feel obliged to buy yarn.

(I realise that buying yarn is generally a good thing, but with a big move in sight, I've promised The Trouser to temporarily cease all yarn-buying that is not project-related.)

And onceyou get the yarn, there's the bead choice. I do have *a lot* of beads left over from my modified Bianca, but then do I really want two beaded cardigans with the same colour beads? And such heavy beads at that!

So I'm still thinking...