Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Stripes of Doom...A New Hope

Though this time, a bit less doomy. Yes, I have been watching Star Wars.

I finally finished the Milla Mia Lova Babygro I was moaning about the other week (it turns out that if you just buckle down and concentrate on one thing, you can finish it- who knew?!).

The ribbing round was such a relief after all the stripes, even if it was in 1 x 1, I didn't pick up the number of stitches it said to (I had a few more) yet somehow still got my buttons to be evenly spaced out:

I can't tell you how much I would have stressed about the discrepancy between how many stitches I picked up and how many it said I must pick up a  few years ago, but I am now past that, and can usually find my way through things (a good skill to have acquired when you can never get row gauge, I can tell you).

The buttons are simple blue four hole ones, I sewed them on with top stitch tread,. This thread is a revelation to me. It doesn't tangle, it doesn't snap, and you can imagine your buttons never, ever falling off (I buy Guterman thread, always)

So here is the finished item, packed up waiting for its recipient who is currently cosied up in North Yorkshire with her Mummy. It's a bit big yet but if this perpetual winter continues then I'm sure it'll come in handy.

All the knitting leaves here with a sheep postcard (until I run out of sheep postcards):

(I admit, having recovered from this project, I've introduced another stripey item into the pipeline)

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Scottish garment (no, not a kilt...)

A lunchtime browse of Ravelry (I know, dangerous stuff!) led to me stumbling on the 'maud' thread in the Kate Davies group. I don't remember reading about it on her blog but I suppose I would have done, only at a point when I was less interested in sewing than I am now. She wrote one of her marvellous essays about  the 'maud' (I like the tasselly one in particular, so I may have to make two) and later published details of how to make one for yourself .

I had a lot of material given to me a while ago, amongst it was a pretty long length of tweedy stuff with a blue/yellow colourway, and some smashing (possibly Liberty) prints, so I chose this blue/green for the lining:

I cut the pieces on Thursday afternoon and sewed them into the L shapes using my trusty ancient Bernina (it goes back at least to 1982,  my Mum got it for me from my old school  when Thatcher decided no-one needed to learn how to cook or sew any more...but that's a whole other rant!) on Thursday evening:

I may be ancient, but I've still got it...

I did all the pressing as directed (pressing makes such a difference, like blocking, of which I was ignorant for so many years...):

Also, an ancient ironing board cover...
and sewed round again:

Until I finally had a finished 'maud' - here it is, wrapped around a chair...

Chairs can wear them too
 ...because by now I had the un-commonest common cold known to humankind, and there was no way I was going to self-photograph. So I nested myself on the sofa, wrapped in my lovely new maud, knit a sock and watched 'Argo' until school pick up time.

It is very warm, but tends to slip off my shoulders a bit (all coats and wraps do this on me) so I shall need to get kilt pins if I want to 'go about looking like a Victorian re-enactor' (and I will, I'm a morris dancer - I'll never look stranger than I do when doing that!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Stripes of Doom

Hello. I have been knitting a stripey Baby Gro. I seem to have been knitting it for decades. And it's really not Milla Mia's fault, I have been doing this knitting thing for a long time now and should have known it would start to suck the very soul out of me.

It'll be a pretty baby-gro when it's finished, and frankly I have a lot of  love for the turquoise yarn, but I should have realised that a 3 x 3  stripe in stocking stitch on a garment which is frequently only 2.5 inches across can be mentally challenging:

Yarn changes?, we got 'em!

It can also be challenging to the dexterity of the knitterly hands to juggle needles, attempt to change colour without leaving a huge loopy first stitch AND try to weave in as you go* while remembering to k2tog or skpo at the same time.

Also  it's in an odd number of rows per colour so the keeping of a tally sheet is (for me) SUPER important as some of the decreases are on a grey row and some are on a turquoise row, no mental cue of a colour change there to remind me - just don't lose that Post-It note! Oh...

Sometimes I didn't remember to do the weaving bit, but having ENDS, I tell myself,  is not as bad as having the wrong number of stitches** is it?:

Escapee ENDS of frustration
I am not over the moon about the seams, if I'm honest:

Seams, I would like them to be somehow different
I don't know why it's taking so long, because I honestly haven't been distracted at all, and really I haven't got a quarter of the way through a Windward (I'm blaming the Yarn Harlot for that one) when I should have been doing STRIPES. And I may also have only been doing some beginnery noodling on my new bass guitar,  a little bit...but you know, not so much...

So I still have to do the hood, the ribbing, with (argh) BUTTONHOLES and then sew on ONLY TWELVE (laughs hysterically) buttons. 

Here is the current status of this garment, looking somewhat like a curly rag (because that's the other thing, stocking stitch, of course, curls like a bugger until you sew it all together):

Not far me.
I may weep, I may crawl into the Talisker bottle at some point, but it will get done, as the little one it's intended for is already growing like the clappers. And it will be worth it in the end.

*Well, thank god I know how to do that at least. But, ah, I hear you say, why not carry the yarn up the sides? Well, I have (after the sucky stripey shenanigans) to pick up and knit ribbing all round the thing. My perfectionist streak is already struggling with the not so  deeply neat seams, let alone pick ups on top of carried strands]

**this may have happened once.