Saturday, September 03, 2011

Beelzebub lives

Hey everyone, I bet you thought I'd been eaten by moths didn't you. Well, I live on and I am still knitting. Here's a quick news update.

I still have moths. They are the bane of my existence. I think it says something that when I sat knitting at my desk last night, I was extremely surprised that not even one came fluttering around my lamp and monitor. I am forever dropping my knitting and clapping my hands, trying to kill them. Sometimes I succeed. I think all the practise is giving me faster reflexes. The one good thing about the onset of winter is that the little fuckers will go into hibernation for a few months. I still have not managed to pinpoint whatever part of my clothing or yarn stash they are using for food, and since they are not living on fresh air, that is a lovely surprise that still awaits me.

Sunshine Sweater
The Sunshine Sweater is coming along! It is synthetic yarn so I don't fear that the moths will eat it. As you can see from these rough photos taken just now, the front and back are knitted and the neckline has been attached. I am now working on the sleeves. That red yarn is temporary and gets taken out later, you'll be glad to know.
I have recently lost some weight and if I keep that up then I should be able to fit into this sweater in due course. I am excited by the thought of being able to fit into sweaters that I bought the yarn for back when I was a skinny size 10.

Joe's Autumn Scarf

Since the moths arrived I've been very keen to reduce my stash and I've had quite a lot of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran hanging around in bags and boxes for a long time, so I am turning it into a cosy scarf for Joe. Possibly I may make him a hat and gloves to go with, we'll have to see. This is a single rib scarf and I think it will eventually have 11 blocks of colour in it. It is coming along well.

In other news, I'm making a slightly unpleasant acrylic pram blanket which is at the office, for those times when I need some absolutely brainless knitting to get me through a long phone meeting, and I have made a little tiny bit of progress on that Jalapeno sweater that I've been working on for about three years.

I bought a couple of knitting books recently and I have plans for new projects! Specially now that I'm keen to use up my wool stash.

Okay, so the first book that I bought is this one by the marvellous Nicky Epstein:

I bought it because I have been thinking for a long time about making a blanket. When I saw this book in Waterstone's I was initially attracted by those fabulous looking blocks on the front cover and even more attracted when I saw that inside there's a pattern for making a spectacular blanket called the Academic Blanket that uses those blocks. It is really something else, look:

I can't wait to make it and am totally obsessing about what yarn to use as I work on Joe's scarf. I can see that there are a few aspects of this blanket that need taking very seriously if you want it to look as good as this dramatic picture. Firstly, the yarn has to be perfect. It has to be lovely quality with perhaps the very slightest hint of a sheen. The colours have to be extremely subdued. The colours have to be perfectly balanced, for instance if those plain-knit panels are too bright you will throw the whole design off kilter. The sewing-together has to be perfect. Finally, the various 3D motifs have to be plenty large enough to fill the whole block that they're attached to and they have to be exactly, perfectly placed. Going wrong in any one of these aspects will result in something like a large, lumpy dishcloth. I therefore deduce that this is in fact an extremely difficult blanket and not for the non-perfectionist.

As if that were not enough, there is a most delightful bag in the same book that is made of blocks with giant wheel-shaped ruffles attached to them. I love it so much and want to make one for my sister, it is just her sort of thing. So I hope to have pictures of one or both of those projects to show you in due course.

The other book I bought was this:

I have decided there's no reason why I can't have a shawl. They do look a bit funny with jeans, possibly, but I don't have to wear jeans all the time, do I. I wished I had one the other day when it was not cold enough for a jacket but just a little too cool for my light top. If I chose a neutral colour and a nice shape then I'd get lots of occasions of wear out of it, day-to-evening sort of thing, as well as being able to use it at home. This book has lots of lovely shawl patterns which I'm enjoying browsing. I want something big but not blanket-sized, probably rectangular (I'm less keen on the triangular ones where a point hangs down in the back) and possibly with a fancy edge. We'll have to wait and see.

That's all my knitting news for today! I am glad to be back and I'm looking forward to lots of knitting now that the summer is drawing to a close.

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