Brooklyn Tweed

Ravellenic Games: at the start of Day 7

Ranger cardigan for Brother - Ravellenic Games 2012

Just a little update on Ravellenic progress: I finished the second sleeve last night, finally, then suddenly realized that I hadn’t taken into account whether my brother would like them longer / shorter than the pattern’s measurements. I got him to measure his favorite similar thing and, yup, that has sleeves that are 2 INCHES longer. Grr. Luckily, I can just add length on and don’t have to worry too much about the increases, that should be fine. My pub knitters all agreed that since the pattern has you knit all the increases, then knit straight until the correct length is reached, adding just an extra inch on top (I won’t necessarily go as far as 2″) should be fine. That’s ok, though a Big Fat Bummer to not really be done with the sleeves after all.

BUT. I know this yarn will grow when washed because I swatched 6 months ago like a good girl, and I accounted for the growth in the sizing — but somehow did not write down row gauge for the washed swatch. Said swatch is nowhere to be found; I suspect I was a dumbass and frogged it to re-knit into the sweater, so I had to waste time last night knitting a new swatch. I’ll need to know that row information for the body anyway. While I wash and dry it, I’ve moved on to the body, then can go back to add length to the sleeves if needed.

So last night I cast on 196 stitches for the body, knit one row of ribbing, then felt really sorry for myself for having to knit 2.75″ of 196 ribbing stitches today (have I ever mentioned how I hate ribbing with the burning fury of ten men?) and went to bed. I’ll try to power through it as fast as possible today and hopefully have some actual body progress to show after the weekend. I better start knitting faster than I have been, I’m already running out of time!

Big Week Off: Knitting

So, as mentioned yesterday, I took last week off – pretty much just for funsies. When you’re part of the unemployed hoard and trying to make a go of the crafty thing, at least as much as you can in the meantime, there’s an icky guilt that comes with any time ‘off’, so you kind of stop taking any. But even so, progress is still so much slower than I’d like, which makes me even less likely to take any.

But your brains do still need some rest from time to time. So I spent the week doing, well, crafty stuff. But crafty stuff that was just for fun, not really useful in any way, and did things as I felt like it. Very relaxing! I hurt my arm / hand somehow, so there wasn’t as much knitting as I might have done otherwise – but even injured, I ain’t no slouch. I finished the Terra shawl and pinned it out for blocking:

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And, sadly, frogged the Umaro lap blanket and started over with fewer stitches. I’m not sure it’s going to be big enough to bother with at this size, but it’s awfully fun to knit, so I’ll just keep on for a little while and see how it goes. I really love knitting this one, there’s something so deeply satisfying about the pattern:

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And then I started some plain stockinette Noro socks. Pretty much just to watch the amazing colors emerge from the skein:

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Yum, I can’t wait for that red section to come out and play!

Christmas Gifts 2011: Mom

In my Giveaway Day post the other day (go check it out, there’s still a few days to enter!), I promised to tell you about the gifts I’m making for Christmas this year. Other than one friend, I really only exchange gifts with my immediate family members: Mother, Father, Brother. Because there’s just the three people for each of us to shop for, we used to go all out on each other. For the last few years though, with the world being the way it is at the moment, and us all freely admitting we can barely get to all the stuff we already have, we’ve gone for a more low-budget handmade-or-thrifted approach.

I blogged about it last year, but the rules are that we can spend about £15 on each person, maximum. Last year I did fine with that part, but started working on my handmade presents way too late and panicked towards the end. Seriously, people, there were tears. It wasn’t pretty. I was smarter this year and although I’m not finished yet, I’m not really freaking out. Um. Mostly.

Handspun Hemlock for Christmas

For Mom, I knit Brooklyn Tweed’s amazing Hemlock Ring lap blanket. It’s a classic. I made it actually lap-sized – perfect for when you’re sitting at a desk and catch a little chill. I didn’t want it to be too big and unwieldy for that purpose. I actually got this one done pretty early – according to my Ravelry project page, I finished it on September 20th. Hey, well done, self! Too bad I didn’t get the more difficult presents started right then. I could be taking a nap right now. But I digress.

Handspun Hemlock for Christmas

Anyway, I couldn’t find any decent yarn that could do the job within the budget, so I had to spin it myself. This is undyed, navajo-plied bulky Corriedale wool, 500g / 550m (and I knitted up every last inch, just about) from World Of Wool* for about £8 or so. I thought it would take me ages to spin all the wool, but I enjoyed the process a little more than usual for some reason and it was spun, skeined and washed in under two weeks. Corriedale is a lovely wool – it feels very cuddly and woolly, but its slight sheen makes it feel a little fancy. As for the knitting itself, anyone who’s knit this pattern will tell you that it both knits up freakishly fast and is strangely addictive. That makes for a fast enough project that I kind of feel like Mom’s getting robbed!

Handspun Hemlock for Christmas

So I’m also making up a jar of Vanilla Lavender Sugar Scrub (mostly using stuff found around the house), bought a vintage book from a charity bookshop (a couple of pounds), and still have to knit a hot water bottle cozy (from stash yarn). Of course I decided this morning that none of the available hot water bottle cozy patterns suit my mother or my yarn, so I have to make one up. You know, because I don’t quite have enough to get done in the next week and a half.

* It’s a WORLD of Wool. I want to go to there.