Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Update and Ally Pally

So, carrying on from last week's entry, an update on progress on my WIPs.

Burridge Lake Afghan - haven't worked on this as firstly I had #1 child off sick for a couple of days as a precautionary measure so the sniffles she had didn't develop into the full-blown coldy virus I went down with the week before. As she had her school's music concert on Weds evening and plays the clarinet and treble recorder, she was at home Monday and Tuesday. Secondly, the weather's got hot, so knitting aran-weight yarn into cables is hot work.

Child Surprise Jacket - finished, except for finishing off and buttons. Not going to worry too much about this as the end of the school year's in a couple of weeks and it's too hot for cardigans anyway.

Tempest Cardigan - finished the back and left front of this and am getting used to the skinny yarn on 4mm needles. Trying to match the way the contrast yarn's pooling in the stripes on each front, but not going to beat myself up about it if they don't.

Granny Square blanket - one more 'patch' or block made. Need another couple of colours of yarn to make 8 blocks before I crochet them together and do a border (unless I decide to make it bigger than that).

Last week I mentioned the 4-ply silk yarn I've got. I cast on for a Clapotis. First off, used circulars, but the non-stretchy nature of the yarn made this hard work, so I switched to bamboo straights. I'm just not in like with this yarn, let alone love. Still, I think I'm going to carry on until I get to the part of the pattern where the dropping-of-stitches occurs and then see if I like it. If not, it'll get frogged and I'll probably admit defeat with the yarn and see if anyone else wants it.

In the meantime, I've cast on a pair of socks. Last year I knitted something like 16 pairs of socks and became a bit socked out. This year, I think I've knitted two pairs. The first pair was Wendy Johnson's Sunrise socks, using the Wendy Sunrise yarn from Lorna's Laces dyed to match up with the pattern. I love these socks. They fit well, wash well and the yarn behaved nicely so there wasn't any weird pooling. The second pair I knit was out of Natural Dye Studio Unicorn yarn in a pretty pale green/pink colourway. I made it into a pair of toe-up vanilla socks for #1 child, who likes them (but may not get another pair if she continues to shuffle along the carpet wearing only socks, thus felting the soles a little bit). So, I went into my Ravelry queue and saw that the next sock pattern I'd got in there (I'm trying to be well-behaved when it comes to my queue) was Jules by Kate Blackburn. The pattern's a sort-of waffle/slip stitch rib, worked over 14 rows. Written for a cuff-down construction, I'm making them toe-up as I prefer to knit socks this way. I went through my stash of sock yarn and decided on the pink/purple colourway of Koigu I bought on sale at Get Knitted at least a year ago and cast on. I've got 8 rounds to go before I start the gusset increases and am really enjoying knitting these. The pattern works with the yarn and they're pink and pretty.

In other news, having booked the weekend off work to go to Ally Pally in the autumn, I'm now not sure if I'm going to go after all. I've got yarn coming out of my ears, including at least enough sock yarn for 15 pairs (possibly 20 if I'm honest), plus yarn enough to make five cardigans/jumpers, plus several balls of acrylic (which will probably become scarves and hats for various charities). There are also quite a few balls of cotton, destined to become market-type bags and/or wash cloths, plus some eyelash yarn (including some that's been OTN for ages to make a cushion cover for #1 child) and various left-over balls which are, again, destined for charity knits. In short, I've got enough yarn to keep me going for a good while (and the above doesn't include the 1200g I've still got knit up for the aran blanket) and I know that if I go to Ally Pally I'll probably end up coming back with more skeins of sock yarn which, although I know will be pretty, I can buy online. There's also my mitred square blanket, which is coming along very slowly (it's a project I knit on while #2 child is in the bath, or last thing at night when I want to do a few rows before I switch out the light). I've been saving up money for Ally Pally since last October by putting £1 in a tin for each 50g of yarn (or 25g of laceweight) and it's amassing (hubby put £10 in there as well, which was lovely of him), but I'm just not sure I want to pay the travel costs for me and #1child just to end up with a few skeins of sock yarn that I don't need. Anyway, I broke the news to #1child today that we might not go after all, so she's miffed with me. Maybe if she actually gets out her knitting rather than gluing herself to the PC at every possible moment, I'll change my mind. In the meantime, there's a good chance that I'll use my stash-busting money to pay for either new shoes, swimming lessons or music lessons for her, all of which seem to creep up on me and catch me unawares in an 'oh bugger' kind of way. Maybe if I leave Ally Pally another year, I'll have knitted up some of my stash, #1child will be a more proficient and enthusiastic knitter and we'll enjoy it more than we will this year.

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