Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ain't too shabby

So, as I was briefly in no prizes for guessing Paris for my job last week, this large and famous icon of that wonderful city was part of my commute for several days.

I was working at a conference in this luxurious Hotel and I have to admit it was nice to be surrounded by such wealth and luxury. There was even champagne.

Not that I wouldn't infinitely prefer to be in Paris with DH, Little Monkey and Little Mouse, in a cheap little bistro with some free time and some knitting. Honestly.

Still, this made a nice change.

(Great to get home tho'.)


Monday, April 21, 2008


Many thanks for the wrist sympathy guys. It's a lot better from wearing the splint but I'm not going to try and knit for a few weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to wrestling with the Jolly Green Giant then.

In the meantime, look what Chez Plum sent me last week? It was surplus to requirements was offered as a gift on her blog. I bid for it as the perfect present for my French friend who is about to adopt a baby girl. Even tho' she teases me mercilessly about my 'granny' pursuits (i.e. knitting etc) I know she will be touched to have it.

Merci Sylvie!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Seize the Tunnel

So how much knitting am I going to do under these conditions? Not a lot is my guess.

Yes folks, I hate to say it, but the 2 words that strike fear into a knitter's heart have been uttered. Carpal Tunnel. Can you say 'Ow'?

After much denial I've had to admit to and address this painful condition. Let's hope that the splints can reduce/eliminate the problem. Turns out that it's not caused by knitting either, but more likely computer use.

Also turns out to be Carpal Tunnel, not Carpe Tunnel (as in Carpe Deim, Seize the Day) as I've always thought. Who knew? Well, everybody but me probably.

No matter. Whatever you call it, it's a bl**dy nusiance!



Friday, April 4, 2008

Jolly Green Giant Update

Finally some progress to report on the Jolly Green Giant (JGG).

I confess that this project has been sadly neglected and the only reason that I got back to it was that I left my other projects at a friend's house and turned to this for lack of something to knit.

Nothing on the needles? A state of affairs not to be endured.

Funnily enough, despite the fact that this project is very large, it knits up quite quickly as it's in chunky yarn. If it 'twere a child's garment it would be finished and off to school by now.

This is the back portion, grown a goodly bit from previously. I am determined to eliminate seaming for the raglan shoulders so I have put a halt to the back and have started on the sleeves. The plan is to unite all parts with the front and knit in the round from there - oh in a decade or so.

Since this is that category of project which can be called 'makey-uppey', I was free to pick any stitch pattern for the sleeves. After much thought I selected this pattern sometimes called 'Hugs & Kisses'.

(Apologies for the hazy pic. I got up too close and out of focus. A better view of the pattern is to be found here and here.)

For maximum effect I'm knitting the pattern in 2 columns of alternating patterns, i.e.

Hug P K P Kiss
Kiss P K P Hug
Hug P K P Kiss
Kiss P K P Hug


You might notice in the pic that the stitch pattern actually starts with half of each motif, a 'Hu' and a 'Ki' as it were. After knitting for a while I realised that I couldn't live with this demi-motif at the start of the pattern, spoiling the Hugs and Kisses theme. Especially when I realised that they would be sitting at the wrists MOCKING me at every turn. So I frogged the 1st sleeve and started again. Much better (as you'll see another time when I get back to a camera).

Why the Hugs & Kisses pattern? Well this is for my Dad after all, and it's for the giving and receiving of both in abundance.

In these here parts you're likely to get knitting.

And sentiment.

And very often both together.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ribbed Cardigan Update

Well! Just look at this elegant thing. Isn't it wonderful?

(If I say so myself. And it seems that I do.)

This is the back view of the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Cardigan which has been hibernating for an age. There are lots of reasons for delays on this project, but the most recent was that I lost the pattern book with the collar instructions. Found it recently and managed to find the time to get back to it.

It was this back view of the collar in the book that sold me so absolutely on the project so I'm thrilled that the collar has turned out so well.

This part was a real joy. Well the results were. The actual process was a bit more tricky.

When seaming the fronts and back I briefly considered grafting them - and had even left some of the shoulder seam stitches live with that very intention (i.e. didn't cast them off, but left them on spare yarn). However, I recall reading somewhere that seams add structure and strength to the garment and they shouldn't be abandoned just because grafting is an option.

So I seamed the shoulders and was very happy with the result...even tho' it took a few tries to line up the ribbing at the top of the shoulders. I'll try and get a photo of this soon.

The instructions for picking up the collar stitches were a bit confusing however. First you are told to pick up the stitches with 'right side facing', which is clear enough. That's with the right side (i.e. the outside) of the garment facing you.

So far so fine.

However, the very next line gives the stitch instructions (K6, P3, K3. etc) also with 'right side facing'. If you take it (as I did) that you're still on the right side of the garment it soon becomes clear that the ribbing is now 'out of step', i.e. you are knitting where the purl rib is and purling where...ok, you get it. Plus the garter stitch edgings were turning into stocking stitch, which seemed wrong also.

So far, so not fine.

I mulled over this for ages and even knit on a few rows but I still wasn't happy so I finally tinked back and decided to just reverse the instructions so that it would come out right.

And then I realised.

The 'right side facing' in this 2nd instance is in fact the 'right side' of the collar.....and therefore the inside not the outside of the garment. In other words, between the 1st instuction 'right side facing' and the 2nd instruction 'right side facing' on the very next line, you TURN THE PIECE AROUND to reverse the way the garment faces.

In fact it does make sense, because you are just turning around ot the wrong side of the garment and knitting back the way you came in the usual way of knitting. But that's NOT WHAT IT SAYS. I'm just sayin'.

(Funny enough, it wouldn't have happened with straight needles since I would have no choice as to which direction to go in. Never thought there would be a downside to my beloved Addi circulars.)

If you're still with me on this one, go off and get a coffee or strong beverage. I nearly had to lie down in the dark with a cold compress. Guess I just take the written instruction too literally. The point is that you need to watch what you're knitting and respond to what's happening in front of you as well as read the instructions. Between the two methods I might get there eventually.

Anyway, the results were lovely.


You'll notice the bobbles? Well, I tried to omit them here, but the purl part of the ribbing is increased in the last few rows to give the right flare. And dammit it just looked bare and lumpy without the bobbles. So they were reinstated. Still don't like them much, but what the hell. I don't think I'll be able to see them when I'm wearing it.

Now for the simple task of setting in the ribbed sleeves and finishing seaming. Might take another few months.

Oh and to find the perfect buttons of course.