Sunday, 16 August 2015

I promised you knitting...

So here we go.  Crappy self-taken pics and all!

First off, we have the chevron baby blanket, all finished:

It measures 30" x 42" unblocked (not gonna block it.  So lazy).  I added four extra garter stitches on each side, and six rows of garter stitch on the top and bottom for uniformity and to stop rolling.  Each zig-zag is 12 rows.  I used less than two balls of yellow, four balls of grey, and five balls of white.  It's knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (colourways were 'Cowslip', 'Grey', and 'White').  It's not exactly pastel, but still unisex baby colours, yes?

Next up, we have the Tinder cardigan, knit with Cascade 220 in 'Sparrow' (although I think the colour is more reminiscent of a mouse).  My apologies for the bathroom selfie pics, it's been hard to pin Deane down for anything these days, let alone knitwear modelling photography.

These photos don't give you a very good idea of detail - they give you a better idea of the state of my bathroom sink!  I might try to get some better pictures some time.  But in any case, the cardigan fits wonderfully, and I love it.  The collar turns down nicely, it works well with a scarf, it's nice and long, I found some cool wooden buttons to go on it, and although initially I wasn't enthusiastic about the colour, it has grown on me.  Love.  I used up most of the five skeins of Cascade 220, but there was no need for yarn chicken (this may not be the case with the current project on the needles, however).  I knit the body in one piece and the sleeves in the round, which made the construction much quicker and easier - just the raglan seaming, then picking up stitches for the collar and button bands.  A half stitch seam allowance (for the raglan sleeves) can be a little fiddly, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty smoothly.  And taking the time to get it right is worth the nice tidy finish.  Overall I'm very happy with this cardigan, and the pattern was really easy to follow.  Thumbs up!

I knit some yoga socks, wore them once, then decided I didn't like them.  Bare feet are so much better!  I haven't taken a pic of them yet, not sure I'll bother.  I followed this pattern though, modifying it by using 2.5mm needles, casting on 56 stitches, knitting 5.5 pattern repeats for the legs and 3 pattern repeats for the feet, and only increasing/decreasing four stitches around for the heels.

And for a breather (and to use up the rest of the fingering weight cotton I've had for some time) I knit a few dishcloths.  I didn't have quite enough for three full dishcloths, but who really cares?  They're dishcloths!  I held the yarn double to get it closer to the worsted weight yarn recommendation.

Each cloth knit up in about an hour and the pattern is hardly a pattern at all so you can memorise it within seconds.  This makes them super easy to knock out when you've got a bit of time spare.  Must get my hands on some more cotton...

Currently on the needles is a Rocky Coast cardigan.  I'm knitting it in Cascade 220 'Natural', and making the 40" size.  Although my bust is a measly 33.5" at the moment (marathon training, y'know...) the pattern recommends 4"-6" positive ease.  This means I don't have to make the adjustments for the wider arms and deeper/wider yoke and can just follow the pattern as is.  I've split off the sleeves and just have to knit down the body, but the knitting frenzy has stalled of late.  I've moved on to another distraction - vegetable gardening!  Okay, so I haven't actually started gardening yet, but I'm reading all about it and planning what I'm going to plant, where to place the garden/s or pots, where to put the compost bin, etc etc.  I'm hoping that although I have zero gardening experience and can kill a houseplant at fifty paces just by glancing at it, I might learn something by obsessively poring over a multitude of gardening books.  My current favourites are Square Metre Gardening by Mel Bartholomew (have read it cover to cover) and One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein.  A square metre garden seems manageable and I can put it out in the front yard, which appears to be the only available space on this tiny,grass-free section of ours - Deane has already monopolised the deck with a barbecue, pots full of slug- and caterpillar-ridden capsicums, and dead herbs.  The front yard is pretty shaded at the moment and I can't remember what the sun exposure is like out there during summer, but there's plenty of veg that can be grown in the shade, and the rest can go in pots on the deck.  Wish me luck!!

Obviously I will continue to knit the cardigan - the pattern book is due back at the library soon, and I really want another snuggly, oversized cardi that I can throw on in a second - but my current vegetable gardening research obsession, along with running, yoga, and study, is taking up most of my spare time.  I've also got back into the kitchen a lot more of late - I've made my first batch of soy milk, turned it into tofu (which I had for lunch yesterday - yum!!!  Success!), am sprouting some mung beans and alfalfa seeds, made my first batch of vegan butter substitute, and have been enjoying a range of tasty eats from Thug Kitchen and Isa (which are both also due back at the library soon.  Sad face).

Right now, it's time to fit in a bit of knitting and vege garden research before a 12km run later.  Here's hoping it doesn't rain again.  Stupid Auckland weather...  Have a good week!

Side note: Went to my first ever hard house rave last night.  It wasn't horrible.  Probably won't go to another one though - I'm still partially deaf...

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