My husband has warm feet

socks-musee-jacquemart-andreSo as Australians, it is a bit of a cold shock to visit Europe in winter. Our hand knitted socks have been in high rotation, and I finished these ones for the Fireman on the flight from Sydney to Hong Kong.  Their first day out was a visit to the Musée Jacquemart-André, one of my favorite small museums in Paris.  I tried to persuade him to pose with the socks closer to the art, but this shot was the best I could extract.

socks-in-actionWe are now in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and the sock model was feeling a tad more co-operative – the absence of museum guards, and the the lure of a glass of red might have helped.  Don’t be fooled by the pose into thinking that the weather has been warm – when the socks were hanging on the line today after a wash they froze!

socks-hangingTechnical details here.

I went to Iceland in January and I didn’t buy any yarn

In Iceland, there is yarn for sale in lots of places, but so far as I could see – it was all Lopi. As a wool lover, I feel like I should really like Lopi, but, I really don’t.

Part of the problem is that I was knitting this scarf while I was in Iceland.

20170114_144806It doesn’t look like much in the photos, but the yarn is the softest I have ever felt.  When I went to the Nordic Knitting conference in 2009, I felt the original Raha scarf as knitted by Nancy Bush, bought the yarn, and let it age in my stash.  Last October, my mother and sister went to the Nordic Knitting conference (without me! the traitors!) and I thought that the time was right to knit up my qiviut.

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I followed the pattern pretty closely, but did a provisional cast on and made it into a cowl.  I pretty much knitted until all the yarn was gone. More technical notes on Ravelry.  It is the softest, lightest cowl and feels like an angel is caressing my neck. You can buy some here.  I finished it last night in L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, and wore it today.  It makes even slightly scratchy yarn very difficult to contemplate.

More striped socks

These were commuter socks. Inspired by a lot of beautiful stripy socks around including Sabs, Linda, and Siow Chin.  After quite a few years of knitting socks, I think that the Regia promise of 10 years is a reasonable one – these socks are 6 years old and are still going strong.

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I only found one skein of the Regia at Spotlight when alerted (I think by Donna) to the fact that it was on sale there for a ridiculously low price.  I think I paid $1.70 for one 50 gram skein?  The Wollmeise leftovers from these socks padded out them out.  I will be very interested to see the relative wearing properties of the two yarns.

 

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The dog decided to add his foot for scale.

Speaking of Regia – I am now knitting socks using the first range of Arne & Carlos Design Line.  They are the prettiest faux-isle patterns that I have seen to date.

Put your feet in the air

Noro Striped Socks These socks were my slow commuter knitting project.  They went to the naughty corner several times because I had persisted with trying to knit from the centre of the skeins. I ended up with a great snarled mess of knotted yarn.  Things moved much more quickly when I broke the yarn, and started knitting from the outside of the skein. The downside of this approach was that somehow it involved me missing the pretty aqua part of the colourway of the Noro Kureyon Sock, but that might also be the mystery of Noro working it’s charms. IMG_1538 I was very concerned and annoyed when I knitted the first sock, and realised that instead of the regular 2 skein stripe that above the heel (on the left foot in the photo below), I would have a 3 row stripe. I almost frogged the whole heel, but at that stage was on the knitting tour of Estonia, and the message from the Estonian knitters that we were meeting, was always to knit on. Certain imperfections are to be expected, and time spent unpicking is time wasted. They similarly were not worried about the “jog” that can occur with striped socks and I resolved to be more sanguine. IMG_1553 The advice must be working, because the three row stripe is almost undetectable. I will however, also remember that the next time that I knit striped socks, to only knit 1 row of the heel colour prior to starting the heel, so that the 2 row pattern is maintained after the heel… For more technical details – the Ravelry link is here.

It all began at the Guild

Late last year I joined the NSW Knitter’s Guild. When I attend (which is highly intermittent due to teaching and family commitments), I have a great time, and at my first meeting I purchased some 3 skeins of Silkbloom Fino from Suzy Hausfrau.
wingspanThrough the Guild (and Jane), I heard that if I entered the Royal Easter Show, I could receive free tickets to the Arts Preview. As I paid $30 for that ticket last year, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, spending $11 to enter the show seemed like a good deal.

Delynn worn

I found Delynn after searching around Ravelry. When I turned up to the show preview, I ran into Margarita and Lynn, who completely surprised me by telling me that I had won a prize! I will admit to enjoying the sensation – future show entries are likely.

Delynn at the Easter ShowAs for the Silkbloom Fino, those of you who are familiar with the late lamented Kiama might get a sense of deja-vu.  I don’t know where it is spun, but the resemblance is astonishing. Needless to say, I love it.

Admitting defeat

These socks are too small.  I’ve known it for some time, but continued knitting.

Virve's stockings

I discussed the issue with my knitting group, who advised me to at least block the sock before continuing, but I continued knitting (with a little less vigour and enthusiasm).  They socks have lovely lacy bits at the top, that threaten to cut off the blood supply to my lower extremities

IMG_0073I love the little stripe of colour work, but it is the tightest bit of it all.  I need to tug and grimace to get it over my heel.

Virve's colourwork

I’ve blocked them, and I still can’t get them on, or off without 10 minutes to spare, and the colourwork is clearly tighter than the rest of the sock. Farewell, fair sock.

London Sweater

As I sit in Sydney, lightly sunburnt after a day on the water following a very dear friend’s wedding, it seems a long time ago that I finished this sweater.Seamless Hybrid outside Buckingham PalaceToday is Saturday and we left London on Tuesday (or New Year’s Day).  We were away for nearly 3 weeks, and my poor husband had to wait until the second last day of the holiday for his new sweater.  The photos were taken on New Years Day outside Buckingham Palace (with a couple at the cafe at the Serpentine Pond in Hyde Park).

Seamless Hybrid back detail

He greeted its finish with delight, helped by the fact that we had packed very light, and the 2 sweaters that he had with him were starting to look very familiar and tired. The sleeves seemed to take forever to knit, and they are slightly too long!  If they grow at all, I might need to do some surgery, but for now they are fine with the ribbing folded over.

Seamless Hybrid shoulder detail

It is a very basic Seamless Hybrid with a discreet cable down the torso under the arm. Any requests for further adornment were not entertained. More technical details on Ravelry.

Chain detail

The yarn is superb, and if you can track down any from Colourmart or in a destash I highly recommend it.  I washed it using my usual washing soda technique (the medium strength solution on the linked page) and really enjoyed knitting with it.