Tag Archives: Knitcol

Christmassing Inexpertly

It’s a tricky time here at Twisted Towers. Christmas has completely unexpectedly lumbered into view. I know that some of the wiser amongst you might argue that the fact it’s on the same date every single year does lend it a certain predictability, but I’m telling you, we’ve been caught totally off-guard.

home-made Christmas bauble decoration

Once upon a time (pre-children), I had time to design and paint silly decorations.

Also, we’re not very good at remembering to water the Christmas tree, so the poor thing is shedding needles so fast that we face gathering round a be-baubled Christmas stick on the big day to open our gifts. The twinnage are happy, though. (Don’t worry, we do remember to water/feed them.) They’ve sneaked off with some of the needles, plus the tiny wreathes that I knitted, and some baubles, to make tiny dinosaur egg nests, which I keep finding in obscure corners of the house. Full marks for creativity, boys.

Let’s hope that the catering arrangements are going rather better. The Stoic Spouse largely bans me from the cooker/oven on Christmas Day because – in his words – “If I left it to you, we’d be having cumin-roast turkey with spiced lentils for Christmas dinner. Probably at 10pm.” He does have a point. I do cook a huge tagine on Christmas Eve, though.

Some of my home-made decorations were a mischievous.

Today, I am finishing writing my Christmas cards, and feeling smug because I’m a day ahead of the last posting date. It’s ever-so-slightly tempting to write “Happy Christmas 2017” in them, thus skipping a year and instantly moving from last in the Great Christmas Card Race to FIRST PLACE (by about eleven months).

So I’m dealing with the chaos of Christmas in the same way that I deal with everything remotely challenging, by interspersing frenzied last-minute activity with picking up my knitting for “just one more row” and writing a blog post. That explains all this progress on the jumper, anyway. Here’s a sleeve:-

And on that note, I must go and finish the cards. Merry Christmas, my fine fibrous friends!

 

 

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The Voice Of Wisdom. (That’ll Be You.)

You were right, of course. All of you. That swatch was never going to work.

Thank you for your comments. Can you believe it, we had a near-unanimous consensus. That never happens online. What even is the point of the internet if you can’t damage your keyboard by violently punching out vitriol like HOW VERY DARE U IMPLY THAT MAGIC LOOP IS BETTER THAN DPNS!!!!!!!!! I HOPE MOTHS EAT YOUR MERINO AND THE CAT CHEWS YOUR NEEDLES!!!!!! You folks are way too sane and reasonable to be pootling about on the web.

Anyway, you spoke as one – or at least as only one-and-a-bit – and you were right. Yes, my plan to knit this fancy jumper (pronounced s-w-e-a-t-e-r outside these shores) in variegated yarn was a very bad plan indeed.

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I love the fitted, scoop-neck shape of it, though. And I love the luscious shades (with NO PINK – hurrah!) in this Adriafil Knitcol, so I’m keeping the form of the jumper but knitting it in stockinette. Oh, and I’m working most of it in the round to minimise purling, and adding the tiniest hint of shaping at the waist. What can possibly go wrong? (Don’t answer that, please. Let me live in my cheery, delusional, bubble for a wee while longer.)

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Obviously it would be a very bad idea to get caught up in knitting a new jumper this week, when there is so much else to do. Yeah, I’d never be weak-willed enough to do something like that. Oh, wait:-

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So, my friends, this jumper may turn out to be lovely, or it my turn out to be a disastrously shouty cacophony of colour, in which case I’ll just wear it around our freezing house to scare the spiders*/bailiffs/burglars.**

I’ve made jumpers in Adriafil Knitcol before: small ones, for the twinnage, and they were lovely (the jumpers, I mean, not the twinnage. The twinnage are monstrous.) Exhibit A of woolly delight:-

adriafil knitcol

…And travelling further back in time, Exhibit B:-

adriafil knitcol

But I had to wait (and wait) until the boys had grown out of all of those before making myself one, because wearing the same clothes as your children would be… well I’m not sure what it would be, but I think we can agree that it would not be indicative of a healthy family dynamic. That said, we’re not above wearing wellies-on-a-theme:-

Rainbow wellies

All of the twinnage’s Knitcol knitwear has now been outgrown and/or has felted when the washing machine broke down mid-cycle (which was NOT AT ALL infuriating, as you can imagine). So I’m free to wear Knitcol. Hurrah!

My headless friend would like to show you some progress:-

Am I mad to think that it might just work?

 

*Just had to Google ‘Do spiders have colour vision?’ after writing that. In case you’re interested, the chunky, lazy, ones hanging around in cobwebs on your ceiling waiting for lunch to come to them, don’t. If a spider tells you that it can see colours, run away now because it’s probably one of the more go-getting types of arachnid, such as a jumping spider. Also – and potentially of more concern – it spoke to you. It’ll be asking you how to access the World Wide Web, next.

**Actually, the twinnage have got that one covered, in their six-year-old style. A large notice has appeared on one of our upstairs doors, saying ‘Burglers [sic] are stoopid. And ther is an il dog in this hous’. Just for the record, we have never had a dog, ailing or otherwise. But the sign seems to be working, because we haven’t been burgled.

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If Freud Were A Knitter

The very last thing that I should be doing right now is beginning a new piece of knitting, just for fun.

So… you can probably guess what I’m doing. If you’re familiar with the Freudian analytic terms, ‘superego’, ‘ego’, and ‘id’, my knitting is, right now, all id. To clarify: your superego is that irritating voice in your head that earnestly lectures you about the wisdom of washing and blocking your gauge swatches before you measure them. Yeah, I tell that voice to shut up, too, especially when it later murmurs ‘I told you so’ as you try to squeeze your full-ish frame into the micro-cardigan that you’ve ended up creating because your tension was way off. Nobody likes a smart-arse.

adriafil knitcol

Your id is the part of you that WANTS TO GO TO THE YARN SHOP RIGHT NOW AND BUY ALL THE PRETTIES, ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW! Successful adulting mostly involves getting that voice to quieten down a little, because it’s 9.00 on Monday morning and you really ought to put in an appearance at your pesky head-of-nuclear-physics-for-NASA job, and anyway NASA doesn’t pay so well that you can buy ALL THE YARN, ALL OF IT! I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT I WANT IT NOW!

Sigh. If you have small children, then you’ll be very familiar with the operation of the id.

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Sitting awkwardly between these two extremists and wishing it could be somewhere else entirely, is the ego. That’s the voice that says ‘Look, just put in a few hours at your nuclear physics job, and then you can go and buy one – or possibly two – skeins of moderately-priced wool at the yarn shop, OK?

It’s generally a good thing if the ego gets a hefty amount of say in what happens, because the id will drain your bank account and alienate your friends, and the superego is that character that you really don’t want to get stuck next to at a party. So for a fully functioning ship, you should let the ego take the helm fairly often.

…So I’ve messed up, there. Here’s my new yarn. Adriafil Knitcol pure wool DK-weight, in case you’re wondering, purchased when I stupidly gave my id custody of my credit card for a while. And the reason for this yarn purchase? I was seduced by a jumper pattern in a knitting magazine.

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There are lots of jumper patterns that I can scroll right past, because they’re baggy and unflattering, especially in the sleeves. But this one looks nicely fitted. It’s in the current issue of Simply Knitting magazine, here in the UK.

The plan is to make it in this gorgeous variegated Adriafil Knitcol yarn, which may or may not work. I’m gauge swatching, (yeah I listen to my superego a bit, sometimes…) and I’m trying to work out whether the reverse stockinette ‘background’ to the pattern is going to look awful and messy in such shade-shifting yarn.

Hmm, that's not really working, is it?

Hmm, that’s not really working, is it?

Because of course in reverse stockinette, you’ve got all those purl bumps to contend with, which can look super-messy if they’re a different colour from their surroundings. Compare the picture above with the reverse of the swatch-in-progress.

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Hmm, I’m not sure whether this works. If it doesn’t, I’ll just have to find an alternative, right-side-stockinette pattern for the yarn, and rip out what I’ve done in order to begin again (she writes, as though ripping out a few hours’ work will hardly cause any emotional pain at all).

So, um, may I humbly ask for your opinion on this weighty matter please?

Also, don’t you think it’s time for a (worldwide) giveaway of beautiful, beautiful yarn with accompanying patterns? Yup, I thought so too. Stay tuned, people, because there’s one coming up within the next week or two. Hurrah!

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The Ugly Duckling And The Beautiful Swan

I’m going to be controversial here, again. First, I want you to imagine something. We’ll call this Scenario A:-

Imagine, you were in the LYS, and you saw the most stunningly beautiful skein of wool. ‘Twas gorgeous, wasn’t it? Pure cashmere, homespun, dyed with love and care. All those rich autumnal colours blended in just the right proportions. Curled tightly in its skein, red tumbled into sage green, and when you squished it, you glimpsed a flicker of orange amongst its browns. Admit it, you were in love.

So, you parted with hard-earned/sneakily-stolen/fortuitously-inherited cash and you bought the amazing yarn, and then you carried it home on the bus, or perhaps Jeeves chauffeured you home in the Bentley that day, and all the way you were smiling, just to know that so much beauty was yours.

And when you got home, you cast aside the afghan you’ve been diligently knitting for your grandmother, and you started to knit the beautiful yarn. Maybe you made a scarf – something simple because a wool this wondrous does all the work itself.

And then you tried it on.

And you thought… “Meh.”

Because the thing is, the beauty of the yarn was displayed with unsurpassable perfection in the ball, and now… well it’s just a stripy scarf. A pleasant stripy scarf, but it is no longer a thing of perfection.

(I’m not posting pictures here, because I don’t want to offend/libel any yarn producers.)

And now, consider Scenario B. You see some yarn. It looks nothing special, nothing you’d want to knit/crochet with. A bit of a cacophony of colour, designed in the dark by someone high on amphetamines. So you pass it by.

But then, you happen to see something knitted in this yarn, and you browse Ravelry and see some more, and you realize that this is the ugly duckling of the knitting world, and knitted up, it miraculously just works.

Or is it just me?

Scenario B is a recent one for me. I have some Adriafil Knitcol, an Italian 100% merino DK. It looks like this:-

Adriafil Knitcol

Adriafil Knitcol

And also like this:-

Adriafil Knitcol

Adriafil Knitcol

Yeek!, I hear you thinking. And I probably wouldn’t have bought either colourway if I hadn’t spotted the shade card and realized that all those jarring, shouty colours settle down to work their aesthetic socks off when they’re knitted, and that those funny stripy bits turn into pleasing alternating stitches of red and white that break up the solids nicely. So the ugly duckling becomes a swan, and we have one jumper for the twinnage in progress, with another planned:-

Jumper for twinnage in progress

Jumper for twinnage in progress

And I’m learning a lesson about not being seduced by beautiful skeins of loveliness.

Have any of you had the same experience?

 

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