Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Update on Socks and Cardigan- not much to report!

There was little knitting progress to report over the last week or so and then when I did manage to finish my pink socks and get back to work on the cabled cardigan, the broadband connection went down. I hadn’t realised how dependent I am on the internet. A few hours of knowing I couldn’t go online and there seemed to be endless things I needed to check or find out. Not to mention no access to email and Ravelry . This is not meant to suggest I do anything important or productive online - I don’t- but I still got withdrawal symptoms almost instantly.

My knitting has been on and off lately. I enjoyed knitting the embossed leaves socks but the little cabled cardigan has been getting on my nerves. When I did finally make myself try to finish it I picked up stitches for the button band on the wrong side (the seam edge)! I couldn’t believe I could make such a stupid mistake but it serves me right for chucking it aside to cast on the socks. I’m back sorting out my mistake now and it shouldn’t be long until it’s finished - just the collar and sewing up to go.

Here are my finished pink socks. I like them a lot and will probably knit this pattern again. I didn’t break the yarn at the gusset; one of my favourite thing about socks is you don’t break the yarn until you’re done. Also, at the toe I decreased until I had 20 stitches then grafted them together but other than that I followed the pattern. I bought some Ranco Solid sock yarn this week which would look good in a lacy pattern so maybe I’ll knit some green Embossed Leaves.

The alternative would be to knit Monkey socks from Knitty.com, just for a bit of variety but I’m not sure I like the finished sock as much as Embossed Leaves. I tell you what, why don’t I stop worrying about what to knit next and go and FINISH THE CABLED CARDIGAN!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

I Need a Bit of Colour!

I'm fed up with muted, neutral shades and so rather than finish the cabled cardigan (it only needs a collar and button band) I cast on a pair of Embossed Leaves socks. I've wanted to knit these since I got the Favorite Socks book and I've had the bright pink Fortissima Socka for months.

So far I like the pattern, the rib is indeed as crisp as the pattern promised and the "leaves" look OK too. What I'm really enjoying is the pink which is brighter than the picture shows (due to lack of sunlight in Scotland in April). Sometimes you just need a little colour to brighten your day!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Arty Knitting

I love knitting books. I’ve whiled away hours in bookshops and on Amazon looking at all the books available and every now and again I give in to temptation and buy one - or two. The last couple I got were gifts, although they were chosen by me. One was Knit Knit by Sabrina Gschwandtner.

Knit Knit is more of a coffee table book than a traditional pattern book with profiles of knitting designers / artists . There are lots of very nice photographs and each designer has provided a pattern. I knew the work of some of these designers before, Teva Durham , Erika Knight and Annie Modesitt among others, but the more artistic knitters were new to me. Now, I am very interested in art but my taste runs more to painting than conceptual art and my knitting is mostly about following patterns and creating attractive, practical garments. Combining knitting and art can be effective but I find myself torn by some of the projects in this book.

Dave Cole’s knitted Fibreglass Teddy Bear was probably really impressive as an installation, I’d imagine the scale would be disconcerting. As a photograph however it doesn’t really move me and I’m not even interested enough to read the knitting pattern he used to produce the work. It just all seems a bit pretentious. A few of the art works profiled in the book seem like that to me but if they do inspire others , fair enough, that makes them worthwhile. I did like lots of the projects in the book and the profiles of the designers are interesting - it’s amazing how people from all sorts of backgrounds end up knitting.

The knitted wedding dress is surprisingly beautiful and the pattern provided by it’s designer Eugene Ong for a backless top is very pretty.

The book does have patterns that make you want to knit them rather than just look at them. There is a hobo bag pattern by Nora Gaughan and I plan to knit Joelle Hoverson’s Favorite Yoke Sweater. The sweater is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sweaters which tells you all you need to know about me and my knitting. I may buy arty knitting books and flick through them for hours, consuming far too many cups of coffee but when it comes to actually knitting something it’s well conceived, well written patterns that I turn to. I’d like to be a creative pick up the needles and let’s just see where it takes me type but I’m not sure I can be. Still, it doesn’t stop me admiring this quality in others. On that note, a quick update on my current WIP.

I've just about finished the sleeves on the cabled cardigan for my nephew. It felt pretty slow going knitting both sleeves at once but now that they are almost done I'm glad I did it this way. Following a good old fashioned cable pattern has it's merits too.