More NaKniSweMo

Argh!

So I thought I had 10 balls of yarn.  Turns out I have 9 balls of yarn.  Of a discontinued yarn.  So my plans for a nice deep rib are out, and its most likely going to be 3/4 length sleeves.  But I’m still confident that I can get a sweater out of the yarn that doesn’t look like its been short changed.

Current stitch count: 41,860

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I put the body stitches on a holder cable and worked a ball of yarn on the sleeve just to see how far a ball will go.  I have two balls left plus the one in the picture.  I’m planning to knit the rest of that ball, use one for the left sleeve and the final ball to do the ribbing on the sleeves and body.  I will have little choice but to play yarn chicken.  Hopefully, I won’t need to unravel my swatch…

On the plus side, I absolutely love the sweater.  It has knit up sooo nice and soft, fits perfectly and I think I will be wearing it a lot!

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NaKniSweMo Update

Current stitch count: 31,868 stitches

Arendal

I used a tubular cast on for the ribbing, in the past I’ve always used the stockinette version and I’ve loved the neat finished look but not the hassle of undoing the provisional cast on and picking up stitches.  This is the first time I’ve done a tubular cast on for 2×2 rib though and when I googled it I found the long tail method.  Gotta admit, it might now be my go-to method for tubular casting on.  It’s a lot quicker and just as neat.

I have made a little mistake, you’re supposed to change to 4.5mm needles after the ribbing (and I thought I had) but a couple of inches into the main body I checked my needles and found out I hadn’t.  I tried it on and I think I’ve gotten away with it, I like the feel of the fabric and it fits so I’m carrying on.

I did have to rip back a couple inches at the underarms as it was a smidgeon too tight and I didn’t like the decreases in the pattern.  I added a few stitches each side and its much better for it.  The best bit of a seamless top down sweater is being able to try it on as you go!  Baring any other major issues, I think I’m still on track to finish in November.

*Fingers crossed*

NaKniSweMo Challenge

NaKniSweMo is short for national (or should it be international?) knit a sweater month.  It was inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which challenges people to write 50,000 words in November.  Swap words for stitches and you have NaKniSweMo.

I’m not sure if my sweater has the required number of stitches but my challenge for myself is to knit and finish a sweater in November.  Emphasis on finish because its not unusual for me to finish knitting a sweater only for it to languish for longer than I’m willing to admit waiting to be sewn together and blocked.

I’ve stacked the odds in my favour by picking a top down sweater that’s knit in the round.  Seriously, the only thing I have to do is sew up a few inches under the arms and block it.  It shouldn’t be too hard, right?

I’m making Arendal from Drops out of stash yarn; the sadly discontinued Rowan Lima.  Its a gorgeous blend of 84% baby alpaca, 8% merino, 8% nylon and knits up so soft.

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So far I’m on track to finish, wish me luck!

Still Knitting

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on my allotment recently, but I am still knitting I promise!  Currently on my needles is a pattern by Cath Ward called Lazy Ocean Shawl. I’m making it out of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace a luxurious, 55% merino and 45% silk blend.

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I cast on sometime in March (I’ve gotten really slack at updating my project pages on Ravelry and I can’t remember when exactly).  Its on 2.75mm needles and laceweight yarn so I’m not expecting to finish it any time soon either, but I’m past the halfway mark and really enjoying taking my time knitting it.

The pattern only has four other projects on Ravelry but I can’t imagine that staying that way for long as its a lovely design and well written with both charts and written instructions.  In fact, I recommend checking out Cath Wards pattern page as its full of pretty lace shawls and scarves that are all available for free.

I made a few modifications; I added some width, omitted a couple of the eyelet stitches at the edges and didn’t do the border at the start as I wanted to have as much of the stole in the lazy ocean pattern as possible.  If you’re interested in the details of the mods, you can find them on my project page.

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I think of this as the ugly duckling stage of lace knitting; it doesn’t look like much now, but I know this will be beautiful when finished.

Manchester

I was recently in Manchester to visit a friend from university and see Muse on their Drones Tour (they were absolutely amazing!)  But this isn’t a music blog so I’ll keep it mostly on topic.

While I was there I visited Abakhan’s fabric and knitting shop.  I could have spent hours (and a lot of money!) in there, rummaging through the stacks of remnants and bolts.  They also have 50% off Liberty fabric and I’ve wanted to try Liberty Tana Lawn for ages so I bought enough of this beautiful feather design to make a dress.

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I’m not certain what style of dress I’m going to make yet, but I’ve narrowed it down to something from one of Gertie Hersch’s books, possibly a variation on the shirt dress in her first book.  I’d definitely recommend visiting Abakhan’s if you’re in Manchester as their stock varies from what’s available online and you get to touch the fabric and speak to their helpful staff.  In my opinion, their knitting range isn’t worth going out of your way for; very standard brands that are easily available anywhere in the UK.

We followed this with tea and cake at Teacup Kitchen where I couldn’t resist ordering a slice of Rainbow Cake.  You can’t help but smile when you have this in front of you!

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I’m not a big tea drinker, coffee is my beverage of choice, but when in Rome… so I ordered Indian Chai with a touch of honey which was very lovely indeed. These people take their tea very seriously; I’ve never had it come with its own set of coloured egg timers so you can brew it for exactly 3, 4 or 5 minutes!

The trip also involved many hours on trains (one was delayed for over an hour at Nottingham!) so plenty of time for knitting.  I like to take socks on train journeys; they’re perfect small projects.  I’ve been working on this in The Knitting Goddess‘s merino/nylon sock yarn:

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I love each and every colour in this yarn, it’s so pretty.  I wanted a simple pattern that would show off the colour and not get lost in it so I used slip stitches and mini cables.  I think it works quite well and it also means it knits up fairly quickly so it won’t be long before it moves from the needles to the feet.