Sunday, January 29, 2006

First DPN use!

Yesterday I finished my second Blackberry sleeve, and sewed it all together - hoorah! It's nearly finished - it looks good so far, appears to all fit'n'stuff :)

We were then invited to visit some friends to watch 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou'. I wanted to keep on a-knitting of course, but I didn't feel I could continue with Blackberry. All I need to do now with it is knit on the border, but I've never had to pick up stitches before, and also I know that it will take a lot of thinking as to their placement (to avoid the 'pouch' effect).

Instead I decided to finally try out those DPNs I ordered months ago and start the Tempting sleeves! I realised once I'd started that I hadn't checked the gauge, but I've compared what I've done so far with the body and they look the same. The DPNs are the same size, but my Denise needles are resin and the DPNs are bamboo - my gauge changes hugely with plastic and metal, but appears to be pretty constant with resin and bamboo.

Anyway, here's a progress pic on the sleeve. The bamboo DPNs look so beautiful against the wool :) They are a delight to knit with as well - gorgeous to touch. I doubt I'll get any more long bamboo needles due to my RSI, but I'll certainly get more DPNs.

This is the first time I've knit with DPNs, and although it took me a few attempts to get my head round it, I found it pretty simple in the end. I'm using 4 needles rather than 5 as I figure the more stitches I get per needle the quicker I am, given that it takes most time to switch needles.

Anyway, now we're going to watch Underworld, in preparation for going to see Underworld 2, so I'm going to have a go at finishing Blackberry :)

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Friday, January 27, 2006


You may remember back in December I posted a link to some easy fingerless gloves. Well, I actually wanted to make them for a friend for a Yule present. This friend had a pair of proper fingerless gloves (i.e., with short fingers) when she was a child which were black with a rainbow of stripes in the middle. She really loved these gloves, and they still fit her, but because they were so old they were falling apart and so she stopped wearing them. She always said how she wanted another pair made.

So I wanted to make some black-n-rainbow gloves for her! Of course, if I were following the pattern above they wouldn't be exactly the same (not having any fingers at all), but they'd be similar enough and I thought she'd appreciate the thought :) Plus this friend can be reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally hard to buy presents for.

Except I couldn't knit for Christmas.

No worries. I planned to knit them for her birthday instead, which is in July.

Fast forward to last night: I was at my friend's house, and her housemate was there too. Her housemate is a really good knitter, and was making a sock. My friend watched her knit a while and then cried, "I know what you can get me for my birthday!" and dashed upstairs. She came down with... the black-n-rainbow gloves. She asked her housemate to copy them for her.

Sigh. So now my really cool surprise has gone out of the window. Her housemate is a much more experienced knitter than me, and has already made one pair of proper fngerless gloves so I'm sure they'd be a lot better than mine (even if I attempted proper ones). I just couldn't believe it when she came down with the gloves. I did mention it and my friend said I could knit them if I wanted, but I said her housemate could do it: after all, I think hers will be better, and I kinda liked the aspect of the surprise more. I had really wanted to see the look on my friend's face when I presented her with these gloves I'd remembered about (she stopped wearing them in about 2000 and hasn't really talked about them since)!

Anyway. In better news I'm about half way into my second Blackberry sleeve. I hope to finish that over the weekend, and hopefully get it sewn up too so I can begin the border. I did baste the first sleeve and try it on - it looks cool! I hope it all fits when it's finished.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Some links

I must make sure I do read over my journal from time to time and follow the links I save here!

Here are some free online knitting videos, to help with any advanced techniques I get stuck on.

Here's a helpful article on downsizing - ie., making a knitted garment smaller without frogging it.

And here's a pattern for a circular shrug from Peony Knits, via Craftster. It looks interesting.

I should be working but I just read through the Blackberry K-a-L. I really want to finish my Blackberry! I hope it fits... lots of people have found that their's didn't :-/ I think I might baste the sleeve together later and check it fits before I get too involved with the next one. I'm not sure blocking would help me given that it's 100% cheapy cheapy acrylic (plus I still don't really get blocking).


Sunday, January 22, 2006

I-wanna-finished-product-NOOOOOOOW: Coif

I've always loved Coif in Knitty. On Friday I was feeling a bit bleurgh (had insommnia Thursday evening and didn't sleep a wink) so I decided I wanted to knit. And I decided I wanted to knit something that I could finish. I think it's the frustration of knowing that I won't be able to finish Blackberry or Tempting for so long. So I decided to make Coif.

It took 6 hours :-0 Don't tell my chiropractor ;)

However, I enjoyed myself, and I iced my arm thoroughly afterwards and used my anti-inflammatory gel. I didn't get the 'burning bracelets' sensation, though my wrist felt stiff. And I've taken it easy on the knitting since 0:-)

I used the green acrylic I'm using for Blackberry, as I'm going to have at least 4 balls (if not 6!) left over and don't think I can return them. Plus the green looks pretty against my hair. I only used one strand of it though, as the gauge was smaller.

(yes, I know that a dark blue towel is the wrong background :P )

I haven't yet worn it out, but it's nice and cosy :) It looks better tied under my hair rather than under my chin - I think you have to have a cute little pixie face like the designer of Coif to wear it under the chin :P But I'll probably try it under the chin sometime.

Here I am wearing it. I think that weird patch of grey hair is actually the flash.

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Back on the knit!

I've been 'allowed' to knit by my chiropractor for about 2.5 weeks now! I've just been really slow at updating this.

When I first sat down to carry on with my Ws-i-P I just sat with the wool in my lap for ages, I was almost too scared to start again! But start again I did. Just slowly, about an hour max every couple of days, and I'd ice my arm afterwards, to keep any inflammation down. Then after 2 weeks (where I'd probably knitted about 5 times) I saw my chiropractor and she was pleased with my progress (of my injuries, not my knitting ;) ) :D

So, what was I doing? I decided to continue with Blackberry - I'd like to get that finished before it gets too warm to wear it ;) I have now finished my first sleeve!

I've made a start on the second sleeve now. I'd finished the fronts and back before I had to stop, and then after the sleeve is finished I need to sew it all together and then knit on the border.

I found a Blackberry knit-a-long on Craftster, but I'm not sure whether to post as it's not been active since November. But I should certainly read the thread!

I'm taking it a little slowly right now though, as I may have overexerted myself the other day, when I had a need-to-make-something-and-have-it-finished moment ;) See the next post for that...

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