Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Almost Forgot...

...to mention that I made it down to Ally Pally for the Knitting and Stitching Show (though quite why there were so many beading and papercraft stall there is beyond me. It's a knitting and stitching show, damnit - not a general all purpose crafting show). Did I go to shop? Absolutely. Did I buy a veritable feast and abundance of yarn? Sadly not.

I saw lots of lovely things - a peacock shawl that would make you look like you were wearing wings, but I'm not really into looking like an escapee from The Battle of the Planets. At the risk of sounding tight-fisted I didn't see many bargains either - I know I can do better on eBay. So, I bought some gorgeous "Sirdar - Baby Bamboo" (at a decent discount) to make a cardigan for Niece No 2 and the "Colinette - Jitterbug" at the bottom of the picture was one of the few things that leaped from the stalls into my hand.

Not a bad selection of purchases but not quite the hauls of Ally Pally Expeditions-past. Am I going off yarn?

No. A gorgeous shop called Purl City Yarns has opened up in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. You haven't been there? Quick! Go now! Take my car. Actually don't, get the train. It's a great shop selling all manner of loveliness and I called in on my way home from work on Friday.

L-R: "Green Eyed Monsters - Silkling"; "Manos del Uruguay - Silk Blend"; "Austermann"

The "Green Eyed Monsters" is handmade in Manchester and that's about as local as I can get, though I am yet to see sheep roaming Platt Lane Fields or in Debdale Park, so maybe it's just hand-dyed. I'm looking forward to trying it and comparing it with the "Manos" - they're the same blend: 30% silk and 70% merino but there is more of a sheen to the "Manos". Obviously, it's for experimental purpuses that I was forced to buy this yarn.

And finally it was my birthday last week and my fab SIL baked me a cake!

I have never had a novelty cake before. I was very excited!

White Noise

I've finished one of the Sanqhar Gloves - they of the shonky pattern - and I am very pleased with the end result. These are going to be toasty as the weather cools.

Obviously, one glove alone isn't much use to me so have started the second. Spot the deliberate error.

Yep, I forgot to reverse the pattern - this requires a reversing of the colourwork, not just the structure - and instead of black stripes up the back of the hand, we have white stripes. This is what happens when you gleefully have a couple of glasses of wine whilst knitting a complicated and shonkily-written pattern. I couldn't be bothered to unpick the rows to correct it.

Those stripes are going to get filthy aren't they?

Friday, 8 October 2010

Sanqhar Gloves

I'm going to Ally Pally on Saturday for the Knitting Show. (The incisions are healed and I feel fine though I won't be pushing myself). Two years ago I bought a glove kit for Sanqhar Gloves. Sanqhar, apparently, is a small town in Dumfrieshire and the patterns (included in the kit) are variations on centuries old designs. I'm knitting a verion called "Shepherd's Plaid", because it has a red trim and is the only design without monogramming. (I'm not a fan).

I'd show you a picture but the copy of the pattern is rather poor and the picture was summed up by the BF as "white noise". As the name suggests the pattern is black and white tartan - laceweight so I think the finished result will be rather elegant.

As for the instructions... well, they are rubbish. I have never followed (or attempted to follow) such a shonky pattern in all of my life. My usual approach is to start knitting, having read a few lines of the pattern, rather than reading the entire list in detail because I often put myself off in thinking it's too difficult for me. Big mistake. For the first page (of five), all of the instructions refer to rounds, so my interpretation was that these were knitted in rounds. It's only on the second page that I discovered these first rows are knitted on straight needles - on page two, we convert to DPNs. These kind of errors abound throughout the pattern - it doesn't use charts but lists the stitch colours and does so, badly.

I'm a fairly experience knitter so I've been able (so far and with low levels of swearing) to overcome these problems. However, I am really appalled by the amount of errata in this pattern.

Anyway, stage 1: knitting the cuff on straights. The piece is then looped over and the cast-on edges knitted into "working edge" before continuing...

in the round (stage 2) - moving into the tartan pattern.

Althought it's laceweight, the Fair Isle technique means that the yarn is passed behind the work, making a thicker material. I will be toastie warm when I wear these.

Stage 3: Thumb gusset and stripes up the back of the hand.

Consideration: the pattern offers no advice on whether to stitch the two sides of the open cuff together. I think I'm going to leave it open - for room and because I rather like the look with the red lining showing.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Being off sick has been productive. (Hmm, that's possibly not what sick leave is for - fortunately I'm going back to work next week). I've finished the gloves for Martin's Tante who is visiting from Denmark next week...

...and I've finished the TARDIS Socks for my SIL too. I am really pleased with these and am going to give them to her this weekend. They were intended as a Christmas gift but she's having a rotten time at the moment - divorcing her abusive husband. (Usual pattern - years of undermining her and when she finally decides she's had enough, intimidation, threats to prove her an unfit mother, followed by a sudden and unexpected desire for reconciliation. Is there a textbook out there that these scumbags all share?)

Anyway, bring on the sonic screwdriver.