Monday, 29 August 2016

Knitting Inspiration: Autumn Is Coming

I know, I know, it's been pretty hot here lately and I am sure not many of you are thinking about autumn yet. Nevertheless, this is the best time to get ready for some autumn knitting so I have scoured Ravelry once again to bring you the four best seasonal knits to get you in the mood. Of course orange had to feature heavily. I just love how it makes the knits stand out and the colour does make me look forward to that season of falling leaves again.

So what should you be knitting right now?

1. Why, an acorn, of course! And this one's for free as well, so it can't possibly get any better. Knit it as a decoration or to cuddle with. It will make a great little gift, too, if you need something extra for a knitworthy friend.

2. Ysolda's patterns are well known and you have probably come across them before. Ishbel is a very popular shawl so if you haven't made it yet, this is your chance. It is perfect for lace lovers and is available in two sizes for one or two skeins of 4-ply, repectively. 

3. I have been following Amanda's blog, Owl Print Panda, for a while now and her knits and spinning are always fantastic. It comes as no surprise then that Baile, a beautiful cardigan with lace panels at the front, is so tempting. It will definitely keep you warm when the first chill of the season sets in.

4. Of course you can't have a selection of knits without a pair of socks. We will need plenty of them as it gets colder so why not get knitting now? These Jelly Rolls are fun to look at and knit. I want to wear them right now - never mind it's around 20 degrees C here at the moment. These socks are knitted in two colours, feature a double rolled cuff and are perfect for using up leftover yarn, too. Sold?

What autumn knits are you working on right now (or planning to start)? I will be making a shawl from Blacker's Tamar yarn that I got at the Edinburgh Yarn Fest earlier this year. I have four colours to play with and am really looking forward to it. Happy stash diving!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Wedding Shawl: Update 4 - The Beads Are Back

At last! The beads arrived quickly thanks to great customer service at Debbie Abrahams. I had to exchange my original purchase of size 8 beads for size 6 because I forgot what my go-to size was. Here they are now and I have been knitting away eagerly to make up for lost time.

That said, this shawl is a much faster knit than expected. Today I noticed I have only one chart left to knit. Amazing! This gives me lots of time to knit the pattern again, perhaps in another colour. I may end up with a choice of shawls on the big day!

How is your knitting going at the moment? Are you about to finish a project as well?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Passing the Time

So what do you do while waiting for beads for your current WIP? Read a bit of Yann Martel's latest novel and dig out very old WIPs, of course.

It's embarrassing to say how long I have been working on the Beekeeper's Quilt, really. I have made a large number of hexipuffs, but not enough for the full quilt, mainly because I have run out of all my leftover sock yarn. Luckily, I found the last bits of yarn from Handdyed by Kate that make up incredibly soft hexipuffs thanks to the cashmere in them.

I have also knitted parts of a small bag Mark's mum is making for me. The pattern is a bit confusing and we both had problems with it, but completely different ones. So I tried to figure out what was going on and I hope any issues can be resolved because I couldn't actually find anything wrong with the section Mark's mum found dificult. 

Another WIP I picked up in the meantime is a shorter version of Viajante made from some of my earliest handspun yarn. It was a big skein of unknown yardage, so I just knitted on until I ran out of yarn. It is long enough to cover the shoulders so it could be great in winter instead of a scarf. As this shawl still needs blocking, I can't show you any photos yet.

Keep your fingers crossed for the arrival of my beads so I can continue with the wedding shawl. I miss knitting it.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Wedding Shawl: Update 3

I have hit a snag.

I have made a lot of progress since my last update, mainly thanks to finally adding stitch markers and a lifeline to this WIP. As someone who makes stitch markers, I should really have done this much earlier, right? I am very good at not taking my own advice, as you can see.

Anyway, the markers now divide all the repeats so I'll notice straight away when I make a mistake and the stitch count is off. The lifeline prevents me needing to undo far more than necessary if I do have to rip back sometimes. All in all progress is much quicker now and knitting is far more fun, too.

And yet I have been forced to take a break. Why? Because silly me bought the wrong size beads.

I was just about to start adding the first bead when I realised that I couldn't get my crochet hook through them. Hm. That never happened before. I bought the beads from the same place as usual and I had been very confident about the size. After all, there are only two to choose from. Unfortunately, I forgot I tend to buy bigger ones than those meant for lace and 4-ply yarn so now I need to exchange them for the correct size

Until then I will have to be patient. In the meantime I have finished a Christmas knit that I started over a year ago, made from some of my very first handspun. That only took one evening, so now I think I will pass my time with reading that book I started not too long ago and put the needles to one side even though I can't wait to get on with the shawl. I am very much enjoying knitting it!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Review: Wollmeise Wool Wash

When I went to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival I bought a hank of Wollmeise lace and didn't notice that I got a small sample of wool wash, too. Can you tell how excited I was about the day that I didn't even see this? It was a nice surprise when I found the small bottle in the bag nearly a week later! 

It didn't take long for me to give it a go, bit for some reason I simply assumed it was a wool wash like Soak that doesn't need rinsing. Oops. It says right there on the bottle that you need to wash and rinse your knitting. Luckily, my mistake doesn't seem to have caused any problems, though.

My sample was the scented variety (there is also a scentless one) which is quite strong, but nice if you like florals. To me it had a typical detergent smell, if you know what I mean. Not unpleasant, but it reminded me if laundry soap. There was no doubt this is for washing fabrics. I used the contents of the small sample bottle to wash a cowl, a hat and some gloves that I had been wearing quite a lot in Edinburgh. For some reason I only ever go there when it's cold!

I checked the Wollmeise website for more info later on, which states that the ingredients are eco-friendly and of high quality. It is gentle and can be used for wool as well as other delicate fabrics. You can use it to wash your woolly things by hand or in the washing machine as long as you do not exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Wollmeise recommends 15 ml for every 10 L, though I have to say I measured by eye.

My freshly washed knitting was nice and fluffy afterwards so I would recommend it, especially if you use Wollmeise yarn a lot as the wool wash was made specifically for this yarn. It could not top my favourite Soak, however, which comes in a variety of scents and requires no rinsing. Perfect for lazy me.

Have you tried the Wollmeise wool wash yet? Do you like it?