Saturday, 8 March 2014

When knitting attacks...

For some reason my knitting has been biting me on the you-know-what this week.  I sometimes listen to the Knitmore Girls podcast and they often have a segment called 'When Knitting Attacks' (intoned in sepulchral voices) if they've had a knitting problem that week, and this was definitely my week for being attacked.

I'm knitting the shawl collar on my gilet now.  It's knit in two halves so I picked up for the first half, knit it, and tried it on.  I'd picked up my normal ratio of stitches to rows, and it was hopelessly too tight - hoiking up the hemline by several inches.  So I pulled that back and picked up again, this time going into every possible stitch.  I reknit it and cast off loosely and it seems to be fine.  So I picked up for the other side of the collar.  I was very careful to start the 2x2 rib with the right stitches so that my back-neck seam will be invisible.  I knit three rows and realised the rib pattern wasn't matching at the bottom hem.  Turns out I knit the first two stitches at the back neck exactly right in knit stitch, then knit the next two stitches in knit stitch as well instead of switching to purl.  Grrrr.  So I had to pull that all out and start again.  I'm still working on that.

Then there was the lace edging for my Haapsalu Shawl.  I had managed to cast on 631 stitches accurately, and have now launched into an extremely simple eyelet / double decrease lace edging, a repeat of 10 stitches that draws the long edge up into shallow scallops.  I haven't got stitch markers for every repeat because that would require 63 markers, so my markers are every 50 stitches.  It seemed to be going fine and I took it to knit night at my LYS.  The next morning on the train I was knitting along and discovered a mistake two rows below.  Then another mistake, then another.  I started un-knitting the two rows so I could fix that portion, and kept finding more and more mistakes.  In the end I had to undo a stretch of 40 stitches where I had apparently just been increasing and decreasing completely at random like I'd been drinking Tequila Slammers rather than tea at knit night. And the mohair yarn is quite hairy and kept sticking to itself. In the end it took me about 2.5 hours to sort out, spread over two train trips and part of a lunch hour.  It's fixed now (apart from a nasty crooked set of eyelets that I've decided to ignore) and thank heaven I didn't have to pull out all 631 stitches.  However, I am rapidly running out of yarn which is very disheartening after all this work.  I think I will stop this edging section now and cast on for the second one and see how far I can get on it before I run out.  Perhaps I will have to have a very skimpy lace edging around the main panel.

The Fimo miniature food has been going better.  I did have a session making completely unrealistic-looking bread - I'm working from a first edition of Angie Scarr's book from several years ago, before people cottoned on to using pastels to colour the Fimo, so she was suggesting using caramel fimo to simulate a baked top to the bread. My buns came out looking like donuts. But then I tried her Hot Cross Buns and a seed cake and they came out much better.  I also got some cheap pastels from the art store to colour them with.  Then I made some salami which I'm fairly pleased with.  I say 'some' salami - I'm still inexperienced about judging quantities and have actually ended up with about 20 salamis so perhaps I will need to create a deli or a market stall.  I got the train to Kettering to visit The Dolls House Store and picked up some cheap plates and platters to display my creations upon.  I'm going to the next Miniatura show so I can look out for more then.

Earlier in the week, before knitting started kicking my b*tt, I needed some commuter knitting so pulled out a pattern for a baby hat from my files and knit it up in acrylic DK.  This is the 'Baby Leaves Hat' by Paula Dean Nevison, and it's really adorable.  I wouldn't mind an adult version for myself but I can't get my head around how you would make it increase quickly enough.

 I finished Clue 5 of the Desolation of Smaug mystery shawl KAL.  It was fairly easy but we have to wait two weeks for the next clue, presumably because of the number of stitches.

I've got to dismantle my sewing room on Monday or Tuesday because DS is coming home next weekend and wants his room back.  I guess I will have to hide everything away and put the machine cabinet (without the machine) into the garage for six weeks.

I've been enjoying watching The Great British Sewing Bee which has 10 sewists competing for the title of Britain's best amateur sewer.  For some reason (probably because it makes good television) at least half of the contestants aren't actually that great at sewing.  But it's so good to see craft on primetime TV (very rare in the UK) - last episode they were actually explaining what an overlocker was.  I was never that great at dressmaking when I was younger but it makes me want to have a go again. I actually have an old overlocker which I bought 20 years ago to make clothing for my son.  I even made a few quilts with it a la Eleanor Burns, but haven't used it much at all the last decade.  One day, when I have a sewing room again (and a house), perhaps I will try some simple patterns for a skirt or some pyjamas.

2 comments:

swooze said...

Nice buns!

Sophie said...

Love the hot cross buns! They look so real!

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