Sunday, October 29, 2006

I haven't been lazy - M's Hat

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

First a picture of the hat, now a picture of the DD


Pattern from here. and skull & cross bones chart from here.

Knitted in cheapo DK for the Co-op She chose the colours something to do with Emo? Don't ask me I just do the knitting. Only tok a couple of hours too, Might make one for me as the weather if foecast to get cold this week. Without the skull of course VBG Maybe a yarn & needles motif or two? Ok only kidding :o)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another finish-ish HURRAY

colinette 1
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

The ish is because I can't decide whether to add buttons or not. As this will mainly be worn aroud the house I could live without them, but on the offchance that I decide to WOW the public :o) (hope they've got their sunglasses).

The pattern is from the Colinette Graffiti book and it is in Florentina colourway, graffiti yarn (obviously).

The HURRAY bit is that it has been sitting unfinished in the corner of my front room for a year (I originally wanted to complete it for last winter!) and it is now a FO not a UFO.

By the way, if I stood up straight, breathed in and wore a bra I wouldn't be that shape, I'd be thinner - honest - well, I believe it, but at this time of night (23.29) none of those are likely so you'll just have to have me cuddly and cozy, like my new cardi :o)

This, by the way is the back

colinette 2

Thursday, October 19, 2006

alien cloth

alien cloth
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Told you I liked that pattern :o)

odd ball swap

odd ball
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I must begin by appologising for the truely appauling photo. I should have taken it during daylight, except I'm not sure we had any daylight today as it was so dull and overcast all day! But the attempt at a photo with flash was even worse so please be glad you can see it at all ...

As I cannot help bossing people about and I had missed out on joining the secret summer santa on Angel Yarn's Forum I organised an odd ball swap. Odd balls from stash up to 100gm and copyright free pattern (or from stash) for said balls if possible. Additional pressie if desired up to the value of £5 and no more.

It seemed this might not be as successful as I had hoped, for two reasons. Firstly, and most dimmly, I forgot to put myself in the swap! well, I ask you! But that aside, everything seemed okay until near the end when one swapee contacted me to say she hadn't heard from her swap receiver and could I check she'd got the goodies in case they were lost in the post. No response from swapee. Then the deadline came and went with no parcel for the partner she was suposed to swap with. Oh dear, sad odd ball swapee and sad odd ball swap organiser. So I did the decent thing (all swaps should have an angel just in case of a no show) and sent a swap to the sad swapee.

But today I am happy again. And again for two reasons.

Firstly, another Angel forum member was very sweet and we did a straight swap of odd balls (see photo above) Happy numer 1, and, also the missing swaper has turned up. She had a genuine reason for being late and unable to email to say why and has now posted her swapee's odd balls and publically thanked her sender too.

So all is well that ends well and I am happy too. So nice when people don't let you down.

Oh and did i say my postman brings the nicest things?

I'm off to cast on an Alien Cloth - a little light relief from the lace shawl and gansey. Did I say I wanted to knit stocking stitch? Did I really say that? VBG

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

gansey what gansey?

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Todays blog will be part of this project at history matters.

I've finished the rib, (2x2) 3" of it, and I am having doubts, big doubts! It seems awfully small, ladies, awfully small. I did my swatch, tension 'square', I even remembered to do it in the round as that's how the Gansey is traditionally knitted, so no seams. I measured my man - that was the best bit :o) - and worked out how many stitches, so why is it so small? I am using the longest cord left on my Boye's needlemasters. I say left because I managed to snap the fastenings on the longer one the first time I used them ... put them on the bed (yes, dear reader I knit in bed!) and then promptly knelt on them. The very first time too, I could have spit! But I didn't, of course, I was getting into that bed after all :o). So maybe the smallness is due to the shortness of the cord? I hope.

But this is a very stretchy rib so although it looks at the moment as if it would fit one of littlest DD's dolls I shall press on and knit a little further. After a little stocking stitch I will remeasure my tension and probably change to bigger needles. *sigh!* or maybe frog and start again *even bigger sigh!*

The next section is oceans of stocking stitch. Lovely mindless telly watching thoughtless stocking stitch. After the last jumper (double moss stitch, rememer that one? the prospect of stocking stitch is bliss. Ask me again in a week and I will probably hate it *rolls eyes*

But in the meantime I press on. Initials to be added in Purl after 1/2" and the faux seams to remember. Having read the yarn harlot's dilema over these seams and all the advice I have decided to be boreing and safe and use stitch markers as I can see myself sailing merrily past the seam at every round. Remembering I knit after the kids are in bed, often after my freelance part time other job, and when the day is over (actually managed a row and a half whilst watching CBeebies with Mrs 3 yrs this afternoon!) so paying close attention is not on the cards.


Happy stocking stitching to you all. Good night!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

gansey for DH

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I've started! Here's the makings. 2 cones of the gansey wool (navey blue- of course), 5 ply


I knitted a swatch /tension square*shock, gasp, pass the smelling salts* well more of a tension tube really as I am knitting in the round so i did the swatch in the round too. Started off with US #6 needles (4mm) and it was going to be a string vest! So I switched to the smallest needles in my Boyes needlemaster set. (They're pretty).

Swatch suitable 6 1/2 stitches per inch.

Dh has 40" chest + 2" for ease. I know Gansey's are supposed to be tight but I don't trust my tension enought to be brave enough to try for skin tight *wanders off to thik about DH in skin tight, shakes self and wanders back* Where was I, oh yes, (imagines DD saying "er, old people love, ergh"

42 x 6.5 = 273 stitches round down to 272 to get a number divisible by 4 for a 2 x 2 rib.

Cast on 272 stitches on ridiculously small US #2 needles (2.75mm). Look at all those stitches on those tiny needles and wonder why exactly I thought this would be a good idea?

K2 P2 for 3 " - still doing this bit. When using large numbers of stitches on previous projects (lace) I did at least have the promise of K2tog to decrease into a nice shawl shape. *sigh* 272 it is then, how many rows? I'll let you know :o)

So to keep you amused whilst I knit here are the booksthat made me think I could do this, naughty books, nad, evil tempting boks that made me imagine that I should do this VBG


These books can be bad for your stash decreasing health, it would be much quicker to knit more kiddie cardies or a few pairs of socks.You have been warned!

Talking of socks, swap socks for Angel Yarns forum are tinked, frogged and reknitted, both now the same length at least :o) so ready to post very soon.

Meanwhile I have been thinking about my cq ... more later when I have actually done some sewing :o) I think I may find a few distractions to 'help' me knit my gansey. He'd better love it to bits after all the effort I am thinking it is going to take *Manic light glints in corner of mad eye* I guess this is what they call a labour of love. *sigh!*

Friday, October 13, 2006

gansey beginnings

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Here's the book, it's arrived! Don't tell anyone I had actuallyforgotten that I'd ordered it! Doh! Second hand from America, couldn't get a copy here. But it's here. Is there still enough time to design and knit a Gansey for DH for christmas? Who kows, but guess who is going to find out. I can see myself last minute panic buying for DH this year :o) But, I might just get it done in time.

So plan 1 clear the decks of all other projects - (must finish those socks for the swap *rolls eyes*)

Step 2, get all the books yarn and needles together, dither a bit, as is my wont (want?) and

Step 3 knit like you never knitted before i.e. without interruptions. Kids, tea is in the pizza shop!

Later I'll show you the other books and yarn and then I'll have a go at explaining the design process - sounds ery grand but really consists of taking this bit of book A and adding this bit of book B before subtracting this bit of book C. Easy! Easy? Right? Well, we'll see.

Meanwhile, for anyone who gives a fig, I am writting up the purple T-shirt jumper pattern and it will be available to Angel Yarn's new forum/club/thingy members in the new year... just need to figure out how to scale it up and down for different sizes. Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Ok off to find the other books...

PS lost my knitting Mojo by trying this cozy.. Frogged the thing last night. Couldn't stop thinking that lovely crean Arran should be knitted into a lovely cream Arran *raises eyebrows* sweater not a throw. Couldn't get on with the pattern, which couldn't be much shorter, but still confused me, poor old muddle brain that I am by the time littlest is in bed, so ... obviously what I need is a challenge, right? Come on, bring on the Gansey. Just wish I could find a Cullercoats pattern to look at. But no, STOP, I have enough books now,right? Need to reach a critical mass of books before I can do anything, but I have achieved critical mass in the Gansey book department. Ok, all engines are go. *heaven help me, walks off muttering about needle sizes*

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My postman brings the nicest things!

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

This morning I received a wonderful parcel with a row for the row by row swap quilt in it.

This row is from Belle, in Australia *waves madly to Belle* and the theme of my quilt is ... yes, you guessed, Christmas!

Also in my parcel were 3 knitting magazines, and some blackwork patterns and this


The colours on this photo are shocking and I appologies to David Bailey straight away. The work is black on white, but the flash bleached it out so you couldn't see a thing so we have a low light level compromise here. Belle found this in a charity shop and rescued it, then decided I might like it, which I do! Thank you Belle, very very much for all my lovely pressies.

All this bounty brings me to pondering on the nature of online friendships and the generosity of a person I have never met, and am unlikely to meet in person :( but with whom I have shared a great deal over the past months.

There is something very special about a friendship which is built around a shared interest and the ability to find someone on the otherside of the world with whom you feel a bond. With whom the serendipity of your circumstances is surprising.

I wonder too, sometimes, if it is because we have these friendships on our own terms that they are so prescious to us. We answer each other when we want to, we reveal what we choose to reveal and we refrain from telling what we don't want to be know. Our imaginations fill in for us the parts we need filled but do not ask or are not answered. This person becomes the perfect friend in many ways. Undemanding and reassuring by turns.

This might sound negative, and that is not how I mean it ...My point really is how wonderful it feels when that person does something that lives up to or exceeds the fantasy; when they show thought and care and a knowledge of your likes and interests. When they go beyond the image we have created they reveal themselves better than the thought we have of them in our heads.

In fact when they are a real friend.

Thank you, friend. :o)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thought for today

The good thing about having lots of projects on the go at once is you sometimes get to finish lots of things very close together.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

DD1's jumper

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Do you remember this? Mid August I was wondering what i had taken on. Following all the encouragement and reading books by Elizabeth Zimmermann, I decided I could knit a top in the round so there would be no sewing up at the end. After all the jumpers that lie unmade after the knitting is finished, and bearing in mind the romper suit still unfinished for DS (now 14) and the colinette cardi so nearly completed but stalled for over a year now, this seamed to be the ieal way for me to make a finished garment.

Writing down the pattern as I went, I had fond ideas of embarking on a design career in knitwear. Well here is the finished garment, after many changes and with the aid of the graph paper in the little Knitter's Design Journal by Debbie Stoller.



Said DD is modeling the finished top but was recalcitrant and refused to remove the scraggy old t-shirt that she had on before putting on the magical handmade item. I think she fails to treat it with due reverence already! But if you look past the baggy off white scruffiness you will see I made it with minimum shaping but the double moss stitch is drapy enough for her shape to show, yes, she is sticking her chest out, remember being 13? I do :o)

Things that worked(ish) :-

the no seams thing - big thumbs up
the stitch choice - looks nice but a bugger to knit, two hand movements for each stitch, thinking fondly of stocking stitch ;o)
the shoulder seam - 3 needle cast off - love it!
knitting sleeves down - worked because they are capped, not sure about shaping for loger sleeves
neck band in 1 x 1 rib - think I could have done a rib at the bottom too.

Things that didn't work :-

no shaping in the body - would reduce and increase at waist in future
length - my preference, not hers
writing a pattern - not sure anyone else could follow it as I know what I did, will have to 'test' this by making it available to someone else.

Overall? Pretty chuffed to have finished. DD happy cos I made it for her. I like knitting in the round.

Next big project? Well, I have the yarn for DH's Gansey so ... lots of stocking stitch.

Meanwhile WIP to see to. Lace to finish, socks to knit, cq to sew, and row by row of patchwork pieced tulips to assemble.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

here's a closer photo of the ties, easy pattern and quick to knit, bands knitted with the fronts, and the first time I have done both sleeves at once. So much easier, why haven't I done it like this before? I will again. Back to the lace, it's coming along, photo to follow...

K's cardigan finished

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

And ... sewn up straight away, which is something of a miracle VBG knitted in Opal sock yarn, parrot rainforrest colourway, pattern from Get Knitted. Changed the ties from icord to twisted starands.