Thursday, 27 August 2009

Train in Vain

The journey time between Edinburgh and Cambridge is about four and a half hours; I'm sure I spend longer than that every time pondering what to knit on the train. I had thought I would start this, in this superwash merino which sprung into my hands the last time I was in the K1 Cave of Temptation, thus ending my long quest for a black cardigan.

I've been having some trouble getting gauge, though, so I think instead I might make this with all my leftover yarn from Broderie.

Thanks to my charming friend at the Book Festival, I did briefly consider not knitting at all, and just reading a real, paper book. But, really, the lacunae in my shawlette collection are too serious not to address.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a beret pie

I have finished a couple of things in the last few days. Firstly, the Broderie cardigan.
The yarn is Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Bamboo 4 ply ,which produces a cushy, soft fabric with just a touch of bamboo sparkle. This is the same yarn I used for my Hungry Bees socks (which I really must finish...), and here as there it is a lovely thing to work with. This colourway, 'Lon-Dubh', means blackbird in Gaelic, and is a deep blue-black which to me seems to have an air of Victorian melancholy about it.

This is an excellent, well-written pattern. The only minor modifications I made were to knit the sleeves top-down and attached to the body, and to add a seed stitch hem to the bottom edges to prevent curling.

This may just be my new favourite jumper!

I also completed Ysolda's Rose Red Beret. I've had the yarn to make this for a while; in fact, I think I must have bought it shortly after the tragic failure of my first attempt at this pattern. I was still something of a rookie knitter at that point, and I found the lace so difficult I had to shut myself away from the world and enter a higher plane of concentration to attempt it. When I finally finished, I cast off victoriously... and far too tightly. Trying to get that hat on was somewhat painful, and rather resembled the international sign for loaf roasting.

By contrast, this time around it was a dream to knit, the fuzzy angora blend keeping me company like a little rabbit nestled on my lap. Beret nice indeed...

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Crystal Pink and Blackbird Blue

I am back in Edinburgh for a few days - long enough to savour some more of the chocolate I have been dreaming about since my last visit:

It is produced just round the corner from my house by the Stockbridge Chocolatiers (who appear to be very internet-shy, but can be seen in this photo), and is possibly the best chocolate I have ever eaten. Every bar is wrapped in rice paper reverentially tied with a ribbon. The one above, Crystal Pink, conceals little delectable salt crystals. Its accompanying descriptive slip makes the inscrutable claim that it is 'inspired by the Italians', a people I myself have not found to be especially salty. I have also sampled their chocolate mint, which is flecked through with silver leaf.

In addition, I have been making pleasant progress along this knitted highway, of which more later.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A Net!

After several arduous hours knitting my gift yarn in cafes in Spain...

... and a couple more in rainy Cambridge Annette is done! To underline the celebratory atmosphere of this occasion, I got my friend to take some photos of me in it outside Party Mania, the one-stop shop for all your plastic shark, anchor and mermaid needs.

This is an excellent pattern, and I'm still so excited to have snaffled this lovely yarn for free!

The only mods I made were to lengthen the sleeves, and shape the neck-line with short-rows and finish it with an i-cord bind-off. I am pleased with the smooth finish this gave, although it did lead to a little bit of pattern uncertainty where I picked up the wraps, as you may be able to see in this photo.

It's nothing I can't live with, however, and over all I am heartily pleased. Hooray!

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