Monthly Archives: October 2008

New Project: Druid Mittens

Ok, as promised, here’s a knitting update from my half term holiday.*

I started my Druid Mittens on the flight over to Italy. In the end I decided not to go with the raspberry colour that I had in my stash, but a very kind lady from Jamieson‘s kindly sent me an emergency(!) package of a lovely salmon pink colour of Shetland Spindrift, called Sunset. Well, I say salmon pink, but what I adore about this yarn is the number of colours it incorporates: blue, lilac, yellow, green and red. The colours are subtle but truly enhance this beautiful pattern.

And this really is a lovely pattern. It is complex and intricate and, using no fewer than seventeen stitch types, is covered with texture. The little garter stitch panel below separates the front and the back of the mitten, and the cables that will form the thumb section are just emerging into view.

I didn’t get my Bacall Shrug finished in time to go to Rome, but in the event the weather was so warm that it would have been too hot to wear anyway. I have very nearly completed it – I am just sewing up the seams now and then it’ll be done. I’ll post finished pics in the next few days.

And here’s how the mitten looks if your camera only has autofocus and it decides to play sillybuggers:

*Note to self: DON’T FORGET to use handcream before photographing hand otherwise hand will look like elephant skin…

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Rome was … astonishing. We did, and saw, so much in such a short space of time. I thought I’d share some of the (very many!) photos I took. There are lots of ruins and statues here, so if that’s not your bag, come back tomorrow for a knitting update!

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The kindness of strangers

Recently, I wrote about how much I love Brookly Tweed’s beautiful, intricate Druid Mitten pattern, but that I didn’t want to buy Vogue knitting magazine just for that one pattern.

Well guess what? Michele incredibly kindly offered to send me her copy, all the way from Oregon! I was extremely touched by this offer, which I accepted, and the magazine arrived this morning. Thanks, Michele!

The mittens are knit in Jamieson’s Spindrift, a fingering weight yarn, some of which I just happen to have in my stash. I’m picturing myself riding on my bike, wearing a cape and these elegant pink mittens, and I can’t wait to make that vision a reality!

Next week is half term, and we’re going away for a few days. There’s a flight involved, and I’ve already starting planning what knitting to take with me for the trip. So far I’ve got the second of my lacy cable stockings to complete, some yoga socks I want to make for Socktober, and now these beauties to add to my list!

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Bacall and Bond…

Never one to make life simple for myself, I’ve set myself the target of finishing my Bacall shrug by the time we go away for half term, in just over a week. Two impediments may make this target even more ambitious than it would otherwise have been.

The first one was a false start based on a yarn change. Last winter I made myself a Cherish shrug, from Kim Hargreave’s book, Heartfelt. It was quick and fun to make, and looks really cute. The problem with it is that the wool is so warm that I feel snug and toasty in it – except for my lower back, which ends up freezing. Well, last Sunday, after knitting just a few rows of this latest shrug in the Rowan Kid Classic I had chosen, I remembered the Cherish, and realised that I was in danger of repeating this mistake.

So, on Monday, I took back the unused balls and replaced them with Rowan Kidsilk Aura. The colour is a touch less bright than the Kidsoft, but is still a luscious, rich red.

I’m making great progress with it; so far I have completed the back and all but a couple of inches of the first sleeve. I’m hoping to finish most of the second sleeve today, which brings me to the second obstacle to my target. Next weekend I’m going on a yoga retreat, which I’m hugely looking forward too, but I’m not sure they’ll be any time for knitting.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I sat next to Daniel Craig the other day? Yup, that’s right, Daniel Craig!! We were at our local theatre, and Steve pointed him out to me across the bar. Normally, if I see someone famous, I’m pretty cool and collected, and basically just pretend I haven’t seen them. But this time? I turned into a complete gibbering, giggling jelly!

We sat down (our seats were at the back) and Steve pointed out that there were some empty seats next to us where he thought DC and friends would most likely sit. And guess what? They did! OMG!!! truly seemed the only rational reaction to make, which I did (in my head, thankfully!) for the whole production. I have no idea what happened in the play!

At the interval, I had to make sure we sat back down really early, because I really couldn’t cope with the prospect of climbing over James Bond! (As Steve said, that’s not a sentence he ever expected to hear come out of his wife’s mouth!) Sigh. Happy day!

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Finally! A finished project!

I’ve actually finished something! Woohoo!

Some of you may recall my recent rant about this pattern. Briefly, the pattern underestimated the yarn requirement by almost a third, as well as having errors serious enough that  I had to pretty much re-engineer the pattern from the picture.

I am, however, very pleased to report that the dyer in question has bent over backwards to rectify this situation. She offered me a full refund for the yarn, but she also dyed an extra skein of the rust colour just so that I could finish this beret. It’s for a Christmas present, so I am really happy to be able to complete it.

The extra yarn that she dyed was very slightly lighter than the original, but I got around this by knitting alternate rows of the two shades. I think it’s worked pretty well, I actually like the resulting marled effect:

Pattern: Beret pattern, from Devon Fine Fibres

Yarn: Pure Cashmere 4 ply, from Devon Fine Fibres

Needles: 2.75mm

I finished this on Sunday, but today is the first chance I’ve had to photograph it in daylight. Here are some of the out-takes from my photo shoot with Steve this morning:

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