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Andraste Knits
Vanessa's knitting adventures
In my endless quest for something new and exciting to knit with, I dug out three sweaters from the back of the closet. I knitted all three of them myself and yet have never worn them. I am about to unravel the poor things and remake them into something new. One is a beautiful Silkroad sweater which I realised, once I got it on, just didn't suit me; one is an intricate cable jumper I made myself about thirteen years ago, which is too short now; and one, I don't remember knitting at all!

Here they are, pre-unravelling...Collapse )

When I have unravelled, washed and re-balled this yarn, I will post pics; and then, to work, remaking and recreating!

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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The stashbusting has not been going all that well, lately. I have rediscovered Sims 2, and also there have been a lot of hot and sticky days when the idea of knitting was complete anathema. I've also been knitting stuff for myself (more on that in a sec). However, I expect to get back on track soon. Someone at work is having a Mother's Day stall to benefit their kindergarten and has asked if I'll contribute a couple of scarves - she offered to buy the yarn ut I said NO! I will use STASH! Since it's Mother's Day, I have till May to come up with some stuff, and I have some cheap crappy novelty yarn sitting around just itching to be scarves. Should be quick brainless knitting.

The knitting for me has been Ene's Scarf from Scarf Styles. I had previously started this and then made a huge boo-boo and ripped it all out. I have started it again and am well past the booboo stage; in fact, it's going so well that i don't want to put it down. The disadvantage is that you cast on nearly 400 stitches using a double strand. It took me fully two hours to cast them all on and then count three times to make sure I had the stitch count right. The first rows are painfully slow, but once you've got past the border, the rows are getting shorter and the pattern becomes a fairly easy rhythm with attention only needed around the edges and centre. I'm doing it in black Rowan 4-ply wool from stash, which I bought on a cone at a secondhand shop for just a few bucks. It's going beautifully and I am now actually looking forward to working on it. I'm already planning another, in cashmere this time.
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I've been a little slow on the FO front lately, but here are a couple of goodies in cashmere.

First off, Midwest Moonlight.


The pic is crappy, it doesn't do justice to the scarf. Here's a close-up so you can see how beautiful it is:


This is closer to the actual colour, too.

This was a surprisingly easy and fun knit. The pattern is from Scarf Styles and it went very quickly; I started it only last week. I think when knitting goes in blocks, it's easier, somehow. It's in DK weight cashmere from my favourite crack providers, ColourMart. The scarf is drapy, long, wide and so soft.

I also made a hat, although it's so close-fitting it's more of a skull cap:


Not sure what I think about this. It's not tight, but it is a little close-fitting for my taste. I have some yarn left, so I may unravel this and make something with doubled yarn instead. The pattern is from d-made and is called Winter Femme Hat - mine is slightly modified because I had to change the tension.

Current Mood: accomplished

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Several weeks ago, I started 'Ene's Scarf' from Scarf Style. I went like the clappers all through the edging and the kind of eyelet rows, and then one teeny jog pulled a crapload of stitches off the needle... stitches with a zillion yarnovers and the like. I couldn't bear it so I ripped it back to the eyelet row and then put it away.

Today I pulled it out, ripped back the entire thing, and started again. This time I cast on the way the pattern tells you to - a knitted cast-on using a double strand of yarn. I had previously scoffed and just used my preferred cable cast-on with a single strand, but I've googled some other Ene's scarves and most people seem to like the cast-on, and I must admit it makes a nifty edge. But I knew it would be a pain.

Well. It has taken me TWO BLOODY HOURS to cast on 375 stitches, double stranded, in that stupid knit cast-on, and then count them about five times to make sure there were 375 stitches, and knit the first row. It looks awfully odd when you slip one double strand and pass it over two single-stranded knit stitcjhes. I don't know why, it just feels wrong.

Now I'm up to the first wrong-side row, all purl, and I'm going to use my first ever lifeline. No way am I risking this project again!

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Current Mood: creative

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I have a lot of stash. I have a large storage system from Ikea which covers most of one wall and resembles the type of shelving unit you get in yarn stores. It is full of yarn. I also have approximately 7 storage boxes full of yarn. Some of it is over 15 years old. Most of it was bought on sale, with the promise to make myself something with it one day; or else was bought because I loved the yarn and am waiting for the perfect pattern; or I became bored with the project (so a lot of this stash is in the form of half-finished or just-begun projects.)

There is not enough room for all this stash in my house! However, while planning my stashbusting, I have realised that I don't really want to get rid of the stash. I like the freedom of seeing a great new pattern and being able to walk into my room, select a yarn and try that baby out straight away. Swatch! Begin! Play! I like the freedom. I couldn't limit myself to just a few projects at a time; it would be creative death to me. I enjoy the process of knitting far more than I enjoy the result.

So my goal is to cut my stash down enough that it all fits in the big Ikea unit. That should be do-able. And I need some proper incentive, so I will be posting all my stashbusting efforts here; pictures and information. This will keep me on track because I'll feel as if people are watching my efforts (even if few to no people actually are!) Here are the first efforts - a kitchen towel, a gorgeous scarf and a headscarfCollapse )
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Well. Revival of the knitting LJ, commence!

Last night I bought an absolute crapload of cashmere from my favourite seller, Richard at ColourMart. Two cones of lavender-coloured 'Punch', which should be enough to knit a nice close-fitting sweater, one cone of 'Tarbert' which is a tweedy red/green/black yarn, and a skein of 'Damask Rose' which is just the colour youd imagine, and will go for a scarf for someone special. All up it cost me rather a lot. But still less than I spent on Rohan's Christmas pressie :) And a cashmere sweater would cost me over $300 in the shops, so I think about $80 for enough yarn to knit one isn't so bad.

I also have at home a cone of 'Crossover' which is a red/purple tweed, and one of 'Purple Shadow' which is an inky purple so dark as to be almost black. Both are destined for shawls/wraps, with probably enough left over of each for a scarf or two as well. I also have a skein of Dragonfly which is a mid-green/mid-purple twist, and one lovely bright red skein (have already used one to knit up a scarf).

I'm having a lot of thoughts about trying to sell my work. The cashmere is costly, but I end up paying under $20 for enough yarn to make a cashmere lace scarf. If I bought only cones, it would end up being about $10 per scarf. I wonder if I could do some scarves and sell them at the local craft market or on ebay. I reckon a hand-knit cashmere scarf should go for at least $50 or $60, and if I had a stall I could round it out with some of the cruddy fun-fur and feathers scarves which everyone goes nuts over and sell them cheap. I just have way too many scarves to wear myself, and while I'd love to give them away, I'm not sure they always are appreciated. It's so difficult to judge the reception of hand-made gifts.

I'm also working on a big triangular shawl, done in pale green and blue ladder yarn. It's destined to be a summer thing to wear at work and cover up my big arms. Easy as anything, I should have it finished really soon. The ladder yarn is so spectacular that I can let it do all the work.

Current Mood: awake

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The new Magknits is out! I really like Donna - good for those of us with boobs *and* waists - and I also fancy Fibonacci, although I'm sure those horizontal stripes would look woeful on me.

Another new pattern I thought was nifty: Sunglasses Condom! This girl has lots of fantastic free patterns - check it out.

Current Mood: knitty

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Well, it's a long time since I've updated here! I'm in a state of flux where the knitting is concerned at the moment. I can't seem to get settled with any one project. I keep adding to my stash and then not using it up - whereas originally the idea was to use up the old crap stuff and buy new beautiful stuff to replace it. Then again, at least I have lots to play with.

Perhaps that's the problem. I have too much choice.

At the moment I'm knitting a silk chenille scarf with hand-dyed silk yarn I got from Kaalund Yarns. It's quite flimsy - the yarn is beautiful, soft and warm, and the colours are luscious, but this is definitely something you can only knit once and don't want to have to unravel. The chenille tufts separate from the binder thread really easily. I've also made a couple of beautiful things using my very special NZ needles - these are hand-turned needles made from kauri with rewarewa tops, and they're just exquisite. Very short, so they've comfy to knit with but you can't knit anything big - but they're just a joy to work with.

On the FO side of things, I've finished an outfit I was knitting for mistio's little girl in red faux fur. Hard to knit with, and harder to sew up, but I think it will look spectacular. I also finished a couple of things which were gifts, so I can't mention them till the recipient has got them, and a gorgeous scarf from some hand-dyed, handspun wool given me by klostes in gorgeous raspberry-pink-mauve-brown tones.

Current Mood: calm calm

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I got some goodies!

While I was in Sydney this week, quokka took me to Greta's. Greta's is a wool shop, apparently something of a Sydney institution, and Greta is reluctantly retiring and therefore it's likely to be no more very soon.

While there, I found some fabulous unusual yarn. It looks like tinsel. It's made by a company called Tiber, and the yarn is called Paille - and incredibly, it's 51% wool! It was ten bucks a ball so I only bought four balls - two in purple and two in a wonderful silver/blue mix. I will have to swatch it and see how it holds up to being felted with a strand of pure wool.

I also bought a few balls of 'Glitz' by Heirloom. It's a viscose/polyester novelty yarn - a black binder thread, coloured slubs, and black and metallic eyelash. Very fancy!

And last but definitely not least, I came home to find my order from Kangaroo in the UK waiting for me. 16 balls of Noro - eight in colour 40, and eight in colour 90. The 90 will go to make a felted bag - bigger than the Booga Bag, but I don't know how much bigger - and maybe a felted hat. The 40 is there for me to play with until I know what I want to make. Happy!!!

Current Mood: knitty

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Behold; my new knitting site! All hail Hope for designing it for me!
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