Friday, 17 December 2010

Mainly a Progress Report

I haven't done a huge amount of knitting this week.  There always seems to be so much to do in the run-up to Christmas.  Not just the shopping (although that's definitely time-consuming whether it's going out to the shops, or ordering over the Internet) but card-writing and other activities, especially where children are concerned.  Last week, C's school choir was singing in the annual carol concert at a local church so, as well as attending the lunchtime performance, I had to drop her off and then pick her up again that evening.  This week, it was R's school play on Tuesday morning.

A few hours have been taken up with decorating the Christmas tree (I don't think a single bauble or piece of tinsel was left in the box) and the lounge/dining room (all manner of brightly-coloured hanging foil decorations, shiny garlands and paper chains).

But, I have been doing some knitting and since last week I've finished off the body of my Marble sweater:

I have no idea how many rows I did for the body, but it comes to lower hip level.  I just kept knitting round and round until I finished the first 200g ball of  yarn.

I also knitted a sleeve.
Using EZ's percentage system, I cast on 31 stitches and joined them in the round (I always cast on one extra stitch than I need and then knit the first and last together at the end of the first round), and then used her increase methodology of two stitches increased every five rows.  This makes it easy to remember when to increase - basically, on every row that ends in a 5 or 0.  I increased up to 50 stitches and then worked straight until the sleeve was long enough.  This was 90 rows.  12 stitches put on waste yarn for the under-arm and the rest on another piece of waste yarn, ready to be joined onto the body once the second sleeve's finished (as you can see from the photo, I've made a start on it - I think I've done 20 rows or so).

I can't decide if I prefer making seamless sweaters and cardigans from the bottom up or top down.  Both have their advantages.  With top down, if you knit the sleeves before the body, you can make the body as long as you want, or until your yarn runs out.  With bottom up, you get the bulk of the knitting out of the way before doing the decreasing part of the yoke.  Plus, decreasing the stitches up to the neck (on a raglan or round yoke) means you're working on fewer and fewer stitches, which means the rows knit up more quickly.

Anyway, that's about it.  It's the end of school for both girls today and I think both of them are feeling the effects of a long and busy term and will appreciate not having to get up so early (except on Christmas Day!).  Cara will be 11 next week and is definitely a pre-teen.  She suddenly seems to have gone from being an early-riser (6am-ish) to having to be roused in the morning to get up and ready for school.  Rianna's a different kettle of fish.  Autistic people often have skewed sleep patterns and she certainly fits the mould, not going to sleep until 10pm-ish at the earliest and then not wanting to get up in the morning, plus often being up in the middle of the night.

I also need to visit my parents today.  I bought the birthday present they're giving Cara so need to drop it off so they (well, Mum) can wrap it up.  It's a beginner weaving loom, which I hope she'll like.  She's tried knitting and crochet and can do both, but patience is thin on the ground for children of her age and the results weren't quick enough for her so I hope she gets on better with the loom.  I also need to deliver the two pairs of trousers I shortened for Dad yesterday and the socks I knitted for Mum.  She bought the sock yarn in Lidl and I made up the pattern myself.  They're toe-up with a plain foot, gusset heel and a k4 p2 ribbed cuff, which I staggered so it forms a sort of V.  For the cuff, I did k1, p2.
The colour's not that exciting but at £3.99 for 4 x 50g balls of sock yarn, you can't expect too much I suppose.  I'll probably make her another pair in something prettier for her birthday in May.

Not sure if I'll find the time to make another blog post next Friday as it's Christmas Eve and, as well as Cara's birthday on 23rd, it's hubby's on 22nd, so if I don't, may I taken this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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