Thursday, 2 October 2014

FO: Some catchup in the waning afternoon light

Hello again!   Here I am, I'm back in London.  I have a lot to talk about, and sometimes I have a hard time organizing my thoughts, so forgive me if I'm all over the place in the coming weeks.  Life has not been boring, and I foresee it not being dullsvile any time soon.

So, I made a bunch of stuff.  I thought I should post about it, if only to make me feel better about sending them into the ether.

First up was a crazy impulse knit.  I saw a sample knitted up at John Lewis, saw the yarn deeply discounted in a bin next to the sample, and a few days later I had created this:

It's called the Rhea top, and it's too big!  Yargh.  Bulky yarn (Rowan All Seasons Chunky, a cotton/poly blend) and an open-work pattern meant it was really hard to get gauge and guess how much ease I needed.  In the end, it was way too much.  I'm going to frog this back and re-knit it in a smaller size on smaller needles because I think that this could very easily become an oft-worn summer favorite if it fits right.  It's kind of 80's in the styling, and the cable drop stitches and texture, and I just want to wear this while walking the boardwalk.  I will try again.  

See that?  That's the Scottish Highlands right there, and we made it out the other side alive.  Also, a Windschief hat.

Stephen West makes such great unfussy patterns.  He's been my go-to for hat patterns lately- I tend to make a stockpile of them with no one particularly in mind, and then give them lavishly once the right people appear.  This one is a simple slip-stitch pattern that gracefully arcs around a series of decreases and pared increases, giving it an interesting asymmetrical swirl.

I used a skein of Madeline Tosh dk in "Granite".  It's luxuriously soft merino, and although Tosh is known for doing bright, beautiful colors better than anyone, I loved the tones in the greys on this.  It's superwash, so it's been a good hiking hat, with no fading or color bleeding after multiple washes.  

I spent the summer plugging away on this:

It's the Lace Saddle Tee, heavily modified.  The original pattern just had lace on the sleeves, but I went whole-hog and echoed the lace pattern up the side seams.

I love the way it looks, but again: it's too big!  It fits kind of weird- the front looks okay, but there is all this extra fabric in the back.  I really don't even know how to correct that in the knitting process.  It fits my hips and waist just fine, and I did have some shaping thrown in, but somehow I created too much fabric in the back.

I'm still wearing it though.  I used some very precious Rowan Calmer- a cotton/poly blend that behaves more like wool than unyielding cotton, and this continues to be my favorite non-wool yarn to work with.  The sunshiny lemony yellow makes me happy.

This was also my first attempt at saddle shoulders, which were fun to make but hard to explain.  It took a few tries to get it right, but I like the way they fit.

Finally, this.  I made Groot.

I'm not a fan of the huge amount of comic-book movies that come out every summer.  I didn't grow up on comics.  I spent the first half of the "Avengers" movie not knowing that Bruce Banner was the Hulk, and was probably the only one surprised when Bruce got angry and made the transformation.  Pop culture princess I am not.  

However, I did get dragged into Guardians of the Galaxy this summer, and despite being very confused about back story and bad guys, it was a fun show.  There was a tree named Groot who ended up being the hero of the day, and he dances to the Jackson 5 (as we all should), and when I saw someone had written a pattern to make your very own Groot, I nerded out and got to work.  Finally, a use for that super scratchy yarn from Greenland that I bought in Copenhagen that no one would ever be able to touch without cringing and possibly crying from the pain of it all.  He worked up quite fast, and I had to buy safety eyes and pipe cleaners, and then re purposed a pot  from Ikea that had some rosemary in it that didn't quite make it through multiple periods of neglect.  I had opened up a throw pillow and used some of the stuffing in that instead of buying a bag of polyfill, and then sewed the pillow back up and no one is the wiser that it's missing a bit of umph.  Finally, when it came time to plant him, his giant head flopped over drunkenly.  So I went into the kitchen and got a metal BBQ skewer, put the knob end well down into the gravel, and then heartlessly impaled my creation.  He now stands quite upright.  That smile is fixed.  He's dying on the inside.

Want to make one?  You should, because I'm not going to make another one even though I've gotten dozens of "I want one!" requests.  It's easy; I barely know how to crochet and it only took a few hours.  Here's the instructions on Twinkle Chan's blog.

I've made a few more things, but haven't photographed them yet.  Soon.  I think.

But, cheers to all that.  I find that I miss sitting down to write, and I'm working on getting some post about our hikes and travels up soon enough.  After a cold and dreary August, September was fantastic weather and I took advantage fully.

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