I always have a little giggle to myself when I hear someone mention that knitting season in back. Knitting season? What is this crazy talk of knitting being seasonal? It’s a concept that doesn’t quite register with me, although in Ireland, we rarely get the kind of summers that include a lot of summer-like weather. The one year we did, I had a broken hand so knitting (and writing and cutting up my own food) was off the table for that summer anyway. Or maybe it’s because the thought of not picking up my needles for one day, never mind a whole season, sends me into a panic. It’s ok though, my Instagram feed tells me that I’m not alone in this so as far as I’m concerned, my obsession is perfectly acceptable. So, on that note, I’ll crack on with showing you my recent FO’s. I’ll throw in a quick round up of all my summer projects at the end just to prove that knitting and knitwear are not just for the colder months!
Owlet by Kate Davies
First off the needles was Saoirse’s Owlet (finally!). This one was a bit of an ordeal, and I spent the entire time wondering will I have enough yarn to finish it. Turns out I didn’t. I’ve talked about the first attempt here, so won’t go into again. Second time around, after dropping down a size but adding in extra length, I managed to get to the end of the short row shaping and ran out again. I figured, feck it, I’ll try and cast off and see what it looks like. 5 stitches left to cast off, no yarn left. So I gave up and threw it into a basket, told Saoirse the bad news and we left it there. One afternoon then we were talking to Mick’s sister, the knitter who had made the initial jumper that the yarn was recycled from. I regaled the woeful story to her and how it just wasn’t meant to me, when she announces “I have some of that left over, I’ll get it for you now!” Much excitement ensued, I went straight home, ripped out the cast off, finished the neckline, scoured the button box (because I wasn’t paying upwards of €14 on buttons for a jumper that started as a thrify recylced project) and lo and behold, we have an Owlet! The buttons are a bit mismatchy, she’s not going to get more than one winter out of but she’s happy, I’m happy and there’s a promise of a bigger one for next year. Hoo Hoo!
Despite the whole running out of yarn twice ordeal, this was a really enjoyable knit. I’m still not sold on bottom up sweater construction (she says as she knits another bottom up sweater for herself). I think I’d like to try convert the pattern the next time, maybe knit the yoke with a provisional cast on and then add the rest. All and all though, a well written and quick project.
Slipt Socks by Clare Devine
My happiest of happy socks. My Orange-Mocha-Frappacino-Countess-Ablaze-Blue-Faced-Baron-Knit-Share-Love-Slipt-Socks. Need I say anymore? The pattern is by the wonderful Clare Devine, who designed this slipped stitch sock specifically to show off the wonderful colours in variegated hand-dyed yarn. The pattern is very well written, and it graded for the littlest of tiny feet right up to big man feet. It’s a very relaxing and medatitive knit, but the repeating slipped stitch pattern keeps those of us who bore of stockinette stitch easily, interested. I was also pleasantly surprised to see how method of turning the heal and knitting the gusset meant no little holes, that you often get when knitting socks. The yarn, as expected, is gorgeous to work with and wear. Even better, I reckon I have enough left for a pair of Rose City Rollers as it is a light fingering and I have Size 4 feet.
Grey Rose by Thea Coleman
Next up is my first ever fair isle project. The pattern is Grey Rose by Thea Coleman and I used a merino yarn by Ice Yarns. It took me a while to get the hang of keeping my floats even, and having the few of rows with a 3rd colour did make it extra tricky. But I got there in the end and Saoirse loves it. I knitted this as part of the Tin Can Knits Paintbox KAL, which required you to knit at least 3 swatches first. If nothing else, it gave me a chance to really practice stranded knitting before jumping into a project. It also showed me that, you really don’t know what will or won’t work with colour combinations until you try it! I will be knitting this hat in at least one of the other colour combos that I swatched.
Gondola Shawl by Anniken Allis
I’ve mentioned this shawl in previous posts. It was a mystery KAL with Anniken Allis KAL. Although I normally wouldn’t be a pink person, and when I started this shawl I thought it would be going into my Christmas gift knits but having finished it, I love it too much to part with it! It was a very fun knit and the Ellie and Ada Merino Singles was just a dream to work with. While I was blocking it, I got a little fright to see the water turn so pink but it didn’t loose it’s vibrance at all. There is a warning on the ball band about the colour bleeding with the first few washes but after one wash at least, I can assure you that there is nothing to worry about! I do wish that I had used bigger beads for my shawl as they are a bit lost in the design and yarn. I guess I’ll just have to make another one!
I entered the last 3 projects into the Yarniacs Colours of Fall 2016 KAL as well, which is still ongoing until the 22nd September, if you happen to have something on the needles that meets the requirements or you fancy whipping up a quick hat! There are a bucket load of prizes to be won and, as always with the Yarniacs Ravelry group, there is a load of chatter going on in the thread. I cast on a sweater on the 6th September which I’m flying through so that will be entered as well!
Summer FO Round-Up!
Here’s a little round up of all the projects I finished this summer, most of which have also been worn. So for whoever says knitting and knitwear are only for the colder months I laugh at your crazy notions. This round up doesn’t even include any WIPs that were cast on over the last couple of months, and a look at the Ravelry project section will tell you that there are plenty of other knitters out there who were happily clicking their needles away all summer long and donning their finest summer knits.
Another good thing about being a summer knitter? Loveknitting’s Summer Hot Tag competition in which Saoirse’s Lush cardigan won me a £100 shopping spree on Loveknitting. The excitement was a bit much to bear for everyone around me when I got the email. I’ll tell you about my bounty from this next week!