Friday, November 30, 2012

FO Friday: It's been a while!

I've been doing a lot of knitting for craft fairs and Christmas commissions, but by the time I get home there's not enough light to take decent photos.

I found time to knock out a hat for myself though!

The pattern is from my recollection of this one, which has sadly disappeared, and it's knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I knit it as-written the first time, but it came out far too big. I ripped the whole thing out straight away, knocked fourteen stitches off the cast-on, made it shorter, and ended up with something I'm far happier with. I don't mind repeating things - it's a trait which makes me suited for a career in science, hopefully - but if I leave redoing something for too long it becomes a looming gargantuan task that I can't possibly tackle.

Every other hat I've made has ended up frogged, gifted or sold, but I have a good feeling about this one! If nothing else, I can pretend that I look like Link for as long as it's cold.

My aunt asked for a few neckwarmers and scarves to give as Christmas presents.

I really like how the green one turned out. It's knit with Studio Donegal Soft Merino, which, incidentally, can be bought by the kilo.


I got around to making a physical Christmas knitting list, because I do love me a list, and between commissions and "You know that [item] You made X? Could you make me one of those for Christmas?"s it's a little bit longer than I'd like it to be.

But since taking that photo I've finished the last entry - it's blocking on my floor now, so I couldn't take photos - so I'm pretty much half-way there.

My sister didn't believe that the first entry was 'circle scarf', so I had to show her how I write the individual letters in 'circle' in order to convince her. I wasn't just practising at the top of the page. Over the Summer I worked with some teachers with beautiful hand-writing, and resolved to improve mine, but apparently it hasn't taken.

I won tickets to the RDS National Crafts and Design Fair this Thursday through May Fly, so I'm very much looking forward to that. Can't argue with free! :)

I also posted some pictures of my craft-fair knitting here!

Friday, November 9, 2012

FO Friday: Moone Boy hat, owl gloves, and a scarf

My favourite part of working for free is that they don't expect me to come in if there's nothing to do. I had a day off on Tuesday, so I got a commission started and finished while watching David Attenborough documentaries. A girl in the year below me in my department had asked me to make a hat for her boyfriend like the one the kid in Moone Boy wears. I couldn't find a pattern, so I kept this picture open to peer at and worked away. (Image is from this page.)

The bobble may be too big. It was hard to get no glare off it.

I used Katia Big Merino on 6mm needles for this. I could have made a more accurate hat with slightly finer yarn, but that wouldn't have been as warm, and also, ain't no-one got time for that much fair isle.

Sure it's a nice Christmassy hat, if nothing else. I haven't given it to her yet, so hopefully they both like it!

I can also post my last October birthday knit, since it's been unwrapped! I made a pair of Owlings gloves for a friend who's inexplicably enthusiastic about owls. I really like the subtlety of the pattern. (When I made it it was still free - given the reasons listed for it now being charged for, I'm not sure if I should donate. It was beautiful and I got use out of it!)

I knit these with Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton, as their person is vegan. (I need to stop getting close enough to people with wool aversions that they merited knitted gifts.) It took less than one skein to make the pair, and I knit them larger than the pattern recommended to fit man-hands.

A close-up of the owls. Hey, remember when there was sunshine and vegetation could grow?

I made this neckwarmer yesterday during my downtime at work and when I got home, to sell at a craft fair at the end of this month. I made my first trip to The Constant Knitter on Monday - one of them women recognised me by the scarf I was wearing, as we'd had a conversation about the yarn at the Knitting and Stitching Show the day before! - and bough a skein of King Cole Riot because I liked the colours and wanted to see how it knits and I'll hopefully be selling it at the end of the month anyway and it doesn't count as part of a stash and DON'T LOOK AT ME.

I'm getting a bit wary of how much Christmas knitting I have left to do, but it'll be grand so it will.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I had a productive weekend!

I graduated, and got to wear a wizard's robe all morning!  So now I'm a real zoologist!


I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS! My brother was visiting and I had to catch up with friends who were back in Dublin for the weekend, so I was pleasantly strapped for time, but I've missed it every other year and was determined to go. I got there less than an hour and half before it was due to finish up (I thought I had another half hour!), so I had to zoom around and didn't see everything as well as I would have liked to. Didn't leave empty-handed though!

I don't know what the two fabrics on top will become - they both feel a bit lightweight for a skirt - but one of the stalls had a bag made out of the atlas material which looked gorgeous, so one of them will be earmarked for that eventually. This is why samples are a good  marketing strategy - I wouldn't have looked twice at that pattern if I saw it in a book. The pattern and fabrics were both from Fabrics Galore, I think. The yarn is from some very nice British men, the name of whose shop I can't remember. It's 100% silk, and a warmer turquoise than the photo shows up. I have a rule about not buying yarn unless I have a specific project in mind, but I might never see that make and shop again, and I graduated, I deserve a treat! (See also: "But it's on sale, this might be my last chance to get it," "But I sold a lot at a craft fair, I should get some nice yarn for myself", "But it's my first pay-cheque from this job, I should get something decadent," "But I just got my results," "But I just finished exams," and when I say I don't know how I have so much yarn, feel free to call me a liar.)

I finished the first of my sister's Christmas gloves! I'm using the Amy gloves pattern, knit with some Louisa Harding Ondine I bought on sale. It's probably slightly too heavy a yarn, but I had already bought it with a view to making her gloves for Christmas when she asked if I would make her a pair of gloves like these for Christmas, and it is too perfect not to use for her present. I wouldn't be concerned about the weight of the yarn only I don't know whether she wanted the gloves to have the same pattern, or be similarly snug. I made mine quite snug so that I can wear them to knit without my needles snagging, but I have child-hands, and she has normal-sized hands, so it seems like gloves which are small on me would be impractical on her. I'm worried they'll grow with blocking, but the yarn is 100% cotton, so hopefully I'll be able to shrink them in a hot wash if needs be.

I've signed up to sell at a Christmas craft fair in college (I didn't quite get around to leaving, I'm volunteering in a lab in the college where I did my undergraduate degree, though it's a different department at least) at the end of this month. After these gloves, the only Christmas knits I have left to make are toys, and they are a bit too finicky to knit on public transport or on lunch breaks, so I should have time to build up a solid stock. Now that Hallowe'en is over, I don't feel bad about feeling pre-emptively Christmassy anymore.