Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Llama Knitting

While working on the Pretty as a Peacock Shawl, I've been nutting out a few items ready for Llama's arrival (theoretically 'mindless knitting').

First, a prototype for a baby jacket.

I couldn't find a free pattern for a top down, raglan, bolero-style baby jacket. So I made up my own. I like the I-cord edging - nice finish without sacrificing the stretch.

Yarn: Patons Serenity (bamboo)

Needles: 4mm

Size: Based on the size of a 00 wondersuit. Fits my friend's 5 month old son.

Next version has been started on 3.5 needles for a firmer fabric, will have a slightly modified neckline & trim, and will be a little smaller.

Also, a bib.

Nothing too special ... nice and big (to cover clothes). Floppy fabric, so it can be used easily to wipe. The strap is too long, but I'll unpick and shorten it when I have a baby to measure it on.

Yarn: Adriafil Floris (sportweight cotton)

Needle: 4mm

Patterns for both of these will be coming as soon as I sort out the kinks (and decipher what I've written).

Sunday, 12 October 2008


Thursday night I was congratulating myself on saving around 7 hours of tinking and reknitting.
Here's the mistake I found (luckily in only 2 repeats of the pattern).

See how the 'v' of the feathers is skewed to the left. This is what happens when you think you know the pattern, and don't bother counting.

With no lifelines, and the knowledge that each row takes around 1/2 an hour to knit. I decided to be brave. Armed with a couple of dpns and a crochet hook, I slipped the offending section of stitches off each needle, and unravelled them down to where I'd gone wrong (being careful to keep each row's strip of yarn carefully organised).

Then using the dpns and the crochet hook, I reknitted the stitches, one row at a time. It wasn't too bad, and I think it turned out ok. There is one lot of YOs that are a bit looser than the others, but a good block should sort that out.

I felt soooooo clever. I was ready to shout my cleverness from the rooftops.

But then, last night, I was looking at the key for the pattern again, and realised I'd made an even bigger mistake ...

Can you see?

The double decreases change partway through the project. Uh oh. When I picked the project up after months of neglect, guess who didn't double check the symbols on the chart. The change happens around the beginning of the second lot of 'eyes' (that's a lot of knitting ago).

I'm not unpicking it!

The thought of unpicking all that knitting - and even worse, rewinding the yarn onto the cone and ball (I'm using two strands held together) - is just too horrible to contemplate. This mistake has now tranformed into a 'design feature' (even though I like it better as written).

To finish off, here is a photo of a 'perfect' avocado that formed part of my delicious lunch on Thursday. Yum.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


As I said to my husband as he left for work yesterday ....

I am now a housewife.

So how was my first day as a lady of leisure???

I folded the washing & ironed work shirts (not mine ... they're sitting in a bag in the garage for the next 12 months).

I watched CSI from Sunday night & did some more work on the Pretty as a Peacock shawl (nearly finished chart G!)

I made curtains!

Here's the first one up. The second was heaps quicker ... until I realised that curtain tape has a right & a wrong side. Unpicking 6 metres of stitching (and collecting the bits of cotton as I went so there wasn't green thread all over the lounge) added an extra hour or so to the process.

I photographed the llama's pram blanket.

The grafting got better as the project progressed.

I am now totally down with the whole grafting/kitchener process (thanks EZ). The blanket is a pattern from the Knitters Almanac. Made from 24 squares, grafted together, with centre sts picked up and knitted up, and then the edge stitches picked up and worked in garter stitch, with a sewn bind-off (so sloooooow). One of the things I like about the pattern is that it's tricky to tell where it starts - which is what intrigued me initially. Except I just gave away all the secrets - so now you know.

Knitted in Panda Pure Wool (~4 ply) - a little scratchy and stiff, but softer after a wash (and was lurking in my stash), on 3.25 mm needles.

You may notice that there are no sheets on the cot. I decided to make my own. So far I've made one. It's ended up a little trickier than I thought. In a Spotlight induced moment of insanity, I bought fabric that wasn't quite wide enough to tuck around the mattress - I did get enough length, though, to add strips to either side. All was going well, till I realised that I'd managed to have the edges of the seams facing a different way on each side.

I managed to fix it up a bit, but I'm not too concerned - it's only sheets! But I think it was a good reminder of why I don't sew that much .... I loose concentration and stuff it up (like the time I made shorts and sewed straight down the side seams, blocking any access to the pockets I had so carefully pinned in place).

So what's planned for the rest of the week????

Today was spent with a friend and her adorable little boy (5 mths old). Thursday I'll reorganise the yarn cupboard while the aircon guy does his stuff (how exciting). And Friday I'm planning a mini-road trip with my SIL.

How did I ever find time to work?