Ain’t no sunshine …

Okay, that’s a lie. The sun is still shining like mad.

I’m actually a bit weary of all the sunshine. (Did I just say that out loud? Damn.) Let me explain – I love the sun just as any normal minded person, but I also love to sleep. Sunshine outside makes it so much harder to sleep in the day, which is the only option if you have worked in the night.
Ah, well, I’ll get over it.

Wendy
Wendy

Last time, I mused about Wendy Happy, and how much I liked it, didn’t I? I’m sorry to say all has changed. I am no longer in love with Wendy. We broke up. She dumped me. Did I maybe dump her? Who knows … matter of fact, I had to rip the sock yet again, and I didn’t have it in me to start over for the 5th time with Wendy. There comes a time in any relationship where you have to take a long hard look, and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. So back in the drawer she went.

Green and not-so-green
Green and not-so-green

Out came some obscure dark green (probably russian) yarn, and some other stuff without a band – I think it’s some sort of Regia sock yarn.
And again, I cast on … back to my 2.5mm needles, btw.

On the positive side, I have finished my spreadsheet, and got to test it with some new numbers (2.5mm == different gauge). It looks good, I’m pretty positive I can now just change the gauge or measurements and it’ll produce a wearable sock.

Slip stitch close up
Slip stitch close up

I might or might not decide to share it with the world – would you be interested in such a spreadsheet, say? Leave a comment to tell me!

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To the frog pond!

To the frog pond!
To the frog pond!

Around the time this photo was taken, the suspicion had firmly taken hold, and yet, some dark magic stopped me from doing the reasonable thing and try the sock on. Had I listened to that inner voice of mine, it could have been avoided. But alas, so driven was I to finish this project, that I pressed forward, without heed of danger or reason.

And so began what had to happen – the socks are too long. Like, A LOT too long. Not just some ease one would hope a machine wash is going to fix. More like “will accidentally putting them in with the colourfast things shrink them enough?”. And we all know that is not a good solution – when has machine washing socks in the hot cycle ever gone right?

So to the frog pond it is (should any non-knitters actually read this: they are going to be ripped back, so I can re-make them into socks which fit me, not a Yeti). LeSigh.

But me being me, I didn’t stop to fret to and cry, I simply embarked on a new project. And two nights later, here we are with my first cabled socks:

Cabled Socks
Cabled Socks

Ta-Dah!

And with that, dear Readers, I wish you a lovely holiday, whatever your fest of choice is this time of year, and see you again next year!

His Majesty’s Blanket is nearing completion, part one

His Majesty's Blanket nearing completion
His Majesty's Blanket nearing completion

It’s time for an update of how the blanket is doing. As you can see, it’s doing fine.

Since my last post about it, it has been inspected by the soon-to-be-mother, and she loves it.Phew.

Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot to say about it … the yarn still knits lovely, although I’m somewhat worried by the comments I’ve seen on Ravelry.

Sirdar Snuggly BabyBamboo
Sirdar Snuggly BabyBamboo

I’m using Sirdar Snuggly BabyBamboo, which is really soft to the touch and has a lovely shine to it. Reviews indicate it doesn’t wash so well, however – does anybody out there have any experience with it? At least I’d love to be able to warn my friend if it can’t go in the washing machine (which seems to be the general gist of what I’m reading).

Despite those worries, the detail is coming out nicely on the blanket, and I’m now wrecking my head about an edging. Since it has got a rather wide garter stitch, stockinette based lace seems out of the question. So it should be either an applied icord, methinks, or maybe some garter-based edging – which I’ve not seen a lot of, and I’d love to get some pointers to your favourite edgings!

His Majesty's Blanket - Close up
His Majesty's Blanket - Close up

Progress

I’m halfway through the shawl, which means this is going much faster than I expected.

Halfway there

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out – if I’d start this over again, I’d make the bottom border a bit wider (I’m afraid I didn’t count properly and missed a couple of rows, cough) so that it would be about the same width as the side borders.

The re-alignment of the pattern definitely pays off, methinks.

Halfway a bit closer up
Halfway a bit closer up

What do you think?

A few observations

I’m nearly caught up to where I was before frogging it all.

Weirdness at the border
Weirdness at the border

Can you see how the lace panel cuts in and out of the garter border? That’s how it’s written up in the pattern, but I didn’t really like it, so I decided to “fix” the pattern. And please forgive the crappy shot, it was after midnight and I had to frog right then so I could cry myself to sleep after that and wouldn’t lose all of today fretting.

Let me show you what my thinking process looks like:

Notebook
Notebook

At the top left you can see my chart of the pattern according to the Newspaper.

Beneath that is the band from the yarn I’m using, in case I need/want to buy more at a later point – this way, I’ll always know where to find my reference sample (yes, that’s a braided sample right next to it).

Underneath my new, cleaned up chart. I made one further adjustment while knitting into the first lace panel, tho, and that was to take off one stitch at the end. That means what I knitted was 17 stitches garter stitch, 9 full repeats of the lace pattern, one repeat minus last stitch (which would have been the “groove” purl between the single repeats) and finally another 17 stitches in garter stitch.

I am much, much happier with what it looks like now – oh, I also changed from “knit 2 together” on both sides of a lace panel to “ssk” on the right side and “k2tog” on the left sides.

New lace panel
New lace panel

Two more things:

  1. The pattern calls for you to knit the first row into the back of the stitches. I had never heard or seen this before, but will from now on do it ALL THE TIME. Yes, it makes such a big difference, I had to shout that at you.
  2. Always slip the 1st stitch purl wise. It gives a much better finish, no matter what you intend to do with it in the end. The pattern describes a crochet lace stitch to finish this off, but somehow I imagine that being a hazard for little baby fingers, and lean towards an applied i-cord. Thankfully, I have some time to decide on that one.

His Majesty’s Wardrobe

Welcome to my new blog about vintage knitting. Knitting has been part of my life every since I was a little girl, and although I took a break for a few years, recently I have been back at it.

Mostly, I just start knitting and wing it from there. Sometimes, I make design drawings first. But lately, I found myself fascinated with vintage knitting. When I say that, I mean that I’ve been planning to knit something from a vintage pattern for a while – I haven’t actually done it yet.

But now the opportunity I have been waiting for has finally risen, and today I cast on for my first true vintage knit.

It’s a baby shawl, from the His Majesty’s Wardrobe series in The Sydney Morning Herald. This particular pattern appeared on Thursday, March 1, 1934, and it will be a gift for my friend E. who’s expecting her first baby.

The pattern calls for wool, however, I picked a bamboo/wool mix which is very soft and a bit cool to the touch. I have heard great things about bamboo mixed yarns, but have not used any in my work yet. The yarn I am using for the shawl is very soft and feels great to touch, so I’m happy with it. It’s also machine washable at 40C, and I’m sure the young mother is going to appreciate that!

Swatch
His Majesty's Wardrobe - Baby's Knitted Shawl - Swatch

Today, I made a little swatch of the pattern, which I misaligned … this is not what the finished pattern will look like! But I love the sheen and feel of the knitted sample – I am already secretly planning a summer jumper for myself using this yarn.

Then I cast on 254 stitches, and started knitting. Good thing I have several months to finish this … a single row takes about 5 minutes to finish!

His Majesty's Wardrobe - Baby's Knitted Shawl - Cast on
His Majesty's Wardrobe - Baby's Knitted Shawl - Cast on