the journey home

Thursday, July 28, 2005

We are home at last! Hat and scarf complete, with much washing, shopping, cleaning, injecting of IVF meds etc to be done.

Jesse in his Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran El Hatto Negro and double rib scarf
Hat Pattern: El Hatto Negro,
Hat Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in colour 300105 (chocolate brown)
Hat Needles: US 4 & 6 Boye Needlemaster interchangeable needle and a set of the worst 4mm DPNs in the world.

Scarf Pattern: 34 stitches of 2*2 ribbing,
Scarf Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in colour 300105 (chocolate brown)
Scarf Needles: 5mm Addi circular

Jesse in his Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran El Hatto Negro

Read on to see all the photos of Jesse’s hat growing on the road home.

(There is more where this came from … )

sometimes not getting gauge is a good thing

Monday, July 25, 2005

I spent pretty much all of yesterday tracking down 8 skeins of Rowan Magpie Tweed. The only colour I can get is nice, but not really what I had in mind for Rogue so before I buy it I am waiting for office hours to arrive in Perth so that I can call Jo Sharp’s studio and ask if I have a dodgy batch of yarn that can simply be replaced. I really want to like this yarn, and I love the colour. I joined the Rogue along and none of the participants who used JS Aran Tweed have mentioned gauge problems that I can see, though none of them seem to have used this colour. Suffice to say I am not quite prepared to give up on my yarn yet but I do feel much better having a back up plan.

In the mean time I have swatched and cast on for Jesse’s hat. I am using’s Julia’s pattern El Hatto Negro and I am even more wildly off gauge with this than I was swatching for Rogue. Only this time being off gauge makes me happy. Jesse’s head is enormous, 25″ type enormous, it does match rather nicely with his 6′7″ frame and size 16 feet, but never the less the hat would not have fit him as written and being off gauge means it will fit and I don’t have to do any maths myself.

I cast on using the same alternate cable method I used for Shedir and then found that due to the way the broken rib works the ribbing moved over one stich two rows into the hat and looked really awful.This morning I ripped back to the first row and re knit the second and third rows with a slight modification to prevent this jumping effect:

row 2: *slip 1 st knitwise with yarn in back, k1* to last stitch.
round 3: After row 2, you will keep working in the same direction, With yarn in back slip 1 st purlwise from left needle (it was already slipped knitwise and twisted on the previous row) and this forms the join to work in the round, place marker and follow pattern as written.

I would show you a photo but this yarn is too hard to photograph and I don’t have the time to win the battle with my camera. Instead I will leave you with a photo of our kitties. After two years living with my mother they will be moving back in with us in only a few months time and we are all so excited, though the cats are hiding thier excitement well.

Poppy and Jazz

chocolate brown is really hard to photograph

Friday, July 22, 2005

So last night I cast on 34 stitches of double rib in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to make Jesse a scarf. This thing is nearly knitting itself, I knit the first ball last night and a ball and half tonight so I am about 75-80% done. The cashmerino is just divine to knit with. I took about 40 photographs of it this morning (after the first ball). I was outdoors, under a nicely overcast sky and not one, not a single one, of those photos is worth sharing.

Today we decided to delay our return to Sydney by three days so this is well and truly going to be done before we leave, heck I may even have a matching hat done before we leave. And you know what that means - nothing but Rogue the whole way home. Well, if I can get myself organised to get to a book store there may be a little Harry Potter distraction but I am itching to get started on Rogue. Perhaps I will swatch tomorrow, so I can actually wash my swatch for once, before starting a hat. Impatience to get started has always prevented me from washing swatches but I really want Rogue to fit perfectly and if I have something else (quick) to knit while the swatch dries perhaps I will find the patience.

So, any hat recommendations? The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (18 st to 10cm/4in) and the hat is to match a simple ribbed scarf.

bad news, good news

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Bad news: I did run out of yarn, and only about two rows later - so it’s not worth another photo.

Good news: Kangaroo had another ball in the same dye lot!

I am probably only going to need a few meters of the second ball so I decided to order two and make a second Shedir at some point in the future. I am really enjoying the process of knitting Shedir and there are a few people in my life that I think would be pleased to receive one as a gift. For now I am going to knit Jesse a scarf.

how many times can you cast on one hat?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sophie has gone to my mother in law’s house for a holiday as she has her fire going twenty four seven at the moment, which offers the best chance of getting Sophie dry in time to gift her on Saturday. I forgot to take a photo before sending her off but she felted quite well. Doubling the yarn for the base didn’t turn out to be be the best of ideas but after two trips through the machine and some serious stretching of the body she is proportional enough not to require cutting the bottom off and reattaching it after trimming some excess.

With Sophie done it was time to cast on for Shedir. Or at least it was time to try. I sat down with The Knitter’s Handbook and a ball of calmer and I tried valiantly to make a Tubular cast on. Then I tried the Channel Islands cast on. Then I tried the Alternate Cable cast on. Then I gave up. I actually got close with the Alternate Cable cast on, but I couldn’t be sure I was putting the new stitches on to the needle in the right direction so I ripped that out too.

This morning I went to The Needle Nook to collect the Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed I had ordered in Posie for Rogue.

Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Posie

At first I thought they had a fairly small range, but it was just really tightly packed. Amongst other things they had the best range of Debbie Bliss yarn I have seen so far. I am itching to make a pair of socks and there is really no nice sock yarn available locally, this store had the only colour/fiber combination I have seen so far that I could live with, which was a nice chocolate, but I am pining for something a little more feminine. They also had a Debbie Bliss wool cotton in my favourite shade of pink and I nearly bought it on the spot but I just don’t know if it would be appropriate for socks - what do you think? I was immobilised by indecision and got nowhere with the sock yarn choice. But I did buy 4 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a nice chocolate brown to make Jesse a scarf (he doesn’t own a single scarf and had to borrow mine when we were in the snow).

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in chocloate brown

While I was wondering around the store I overheard the sales assistant talking to an older customer who was sitting near the counter working on her knitting (this is the first time I have seen a customer actually knitting in an Australian yarn store by the way). Just to be clear the customer was the one doing the educating in this conversation. They were discussing cast ons for single rib and I was so excited I had to butt in and ask for a demonstration. I think she was as chuffed to be asked for help as I was to find someone to help me. So pulled out my ball of calmer and she showed both of us the method she had been describing, the Alternate Cable cast on no less. It turns out that I had been doing it pretty much the right way but seeing it in person really gave me confidence. I came home and tried to start Shedir one last time. Success at last!

Shedir cast on

The calmer is oh so lovely running through my fingers. Oddly enough I seem to knit much looser on smaller needles than I do on broomsticks - I never would have guessed. Then again maybe it is just the nature of the calmer.