Archive Entries for 2008

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Sunday October 5, 2008

Alison: Done - at last

I have finally finished River Rock...having thought this would be a quick knit, it took me ages.


I did not much like knitting with beads - something about having the weight of the beads on the yarn, and having to keep pushing them along out of my way. I also am not so keen on the way the beads hang - but don't know if this is due to using lighter yarn. I also had (and still have) problems with the beads migrating out of the 'rocks'...I twisted both the knits and the purls on each side of the rocks - which helps, but does not prevent the problem.

Having said all that - finished item looks pretty nice. I did not exactly follow the pattern; I faded the beads out of the center section and then faded them in again pretty randomly.

Posted by Alison at 11:16 PM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Monday August 4, 2008

Christina: Done and dusted

Here is my pleasing skinny scarf. The true colour is seen here, as the photo was taken in natural light.


Unlike Alison, I enjoyed knitting this so much I am planning another - I plan to use thicker yarn and fewer bead rocks in my next attempt.

Posted by Christina at 9:12 PM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Sunday June 22, 2008

Christina: First panel

This is the first half of the scarf. It seems for both Alison and I, it's hard to get a good colour photo of this yarn with the beads. Both are rich deep colours - mine blue (almost navy) and hers a dark rich mahogany brown.


After the first ball of wool, I am knitting a plain section, in order to make the scarf longer.

I really love knitting this - I like the beading and the way it's turning out.
Mmmm shiny things....
However, the fuzzy picture below shows that the beads do sag a little - which is not ideal. It seems to be caused by the kntting itself rather than simply gravity, as the direction of sag is the same regardless of orientation.


Posted by Christina at 10:49 AM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Tuesday June 17, 2008

Alison: River Rock not flowing

I started the River Rock, and while I have knitted about 10" so far, the knitting is rather stalled at the moment. I think this is partly because the knitting is boring, and partly because the beads make it less portable than, say socks. I might try to take it away on my next business trip which would force me to knit on it some more.


However, the effect is really nice. I think the slight wobbliness at the edge will block out.

Posted by Alison at 11:05 PM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Saturday May 31, 2008

Christina: Whitby Gansey - complete

Now on the long weekend away in France with George's parents, I finished sewing in the extra ends generated by the new neckline, and handed over the finished garment to George Senior. He wore it for the first 10 minutes of gardening in the chilly early morning but basically it is too hot to work in a guernsey at the moment. Looks good in it though eh?


Posted by Christina at 7:22 AM. Category: Ganseys

Tuesday May 27, 2008

Christina: Whitby Gansey - revamped collar

George's Dad liked the gansey but he (and everyone else who tried it) had a problem with the neck being too high at the front. I think, comparing it with Alison's, my neck is much tighter and this does not work with a style having the back and front alike. So I undid the collar rows, leaving the live stitches, and picked up the two sides across the saddle and back neck the same as before. However at the front, I picked up stitches diagonally down about 12 rows, and then straight across about 12 stitches, for the front neck. I unravelled the rows between and will cut the threads and sew in the ends.


I then reknitted the collar.

We are spending next weekend with George's parents in France, so George Senior might be able to wear it then - especially if the weather doesn't improve!

Posted by Christina at 8:34 PM. Category: Ganseys

Monday April 28, 2008

Alison: Casting on

I am getting ready to cast on my River Rock scarf. This is from No Sheep for You.


My yarn is Naturally Dawn - same brand as Christina's, purchased at the same time from Full Thread Ahead - in a deep rich shade of brown. It's a 50% silk/wool blend from New Zealand.

Posted by Alison at 7:18 PM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Sunday March 30, 2008

Alison: Caister Gansey - The Final Unveiling

Though I finished the sweater late in 2007, I wanted to wait to give it to my father in person.
They just arrived to visit us and so I was able to hand over the guernsey.
Here he is modelling the finished garment:


I did have a small concern that it might not fit well as the sizing was based on secret measurements taken by my mother. However, not only does it fit really well, but in the 5 days since he received it my father has not removed the guernsey which is very gratifying...almost gratifying enough for me to knit another...almost!

Posted by Alison at 4:05 PM. Category: Ganseys

Saturday March 22, 2008

Christina: Frogging

I messed up the fancy edging at the sides somehow; it wasn't very noticeable but I decided that (a) it's a quality item so worth getting as perfect as I can, and (b) knitting it is such fun that I don't mind having to do it all again... So I backed out about a dozen rows.

Posted by Christina at 10:58 PM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Wednesday March 19, 2008

Christina: The pattern emerges

Knitting with this silk and wool yarn is such a delight that I have knitted the lower edge and started the main pattern chart in record time.

The yarn is thinner than the recommended one, knitting 36sts and 46 rows to 4 inches on 13 (2¼mm) needles, and I have gone down two needle sizes to number 9 (3¾mm). I have not increased the number of stitches, so my scarf will not be as wide as the stated measurements - fashionably thin I hope...

Posted by Christina at 11:53 AM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Tuesday March 18, 2008

Christina: River Rock (Dawn) - thread the beads

Alison suggested we do this scarf as a Knitalong when I visited her last October. A bit less of a challenge than a guernsey! We chose our yarn and beads together at Hollis' shop Full Thread Ahead. We spent ages mooching about in the shop trying to decide from the fantastic range available - it's such a a great environment there that mooching itself is half the pleasure. I finally picked Dawn from Naturally Hand Knit Yarns of New Zealand - for its lovely feel - wool and silk - and its lovely petrol blue colour (there was also fabulous rich chestnut colour). Hollis' advised me to get smaller beads than those recommended in the pattern, to better suit the yarn.

To thread them I used a (fairly common I think) technique that I was shown in the beaded bag workshop in November 2006. I have illustrated it here with a large eyed needle and wool. First thread the needle, say left to right, as normal - note that you have already checked that the needle is small enough to go through your chosen beads! Then wind that end round and thread the needle again in the same direction, left to right. You have created a loop.

The loop is to thread your working yarn through (just seen above). You push your beads on to the needle, past the eye, onto the looped yarn...

and finally on to the working yarn.

I actually used a much finer needle, and dental floss to create my loop. The initial double threading of the needle can be the most difficult part - especially for very fine beads. So once you have threaded a needle in this way for beading, you may wish to leave it permanently threaded up for future use (!).

This technique made "thread 767 seed beads on your first ball of yarn " a complete breeze.

Posted by Christina at 2:26 PM. Category: River Rock Scarf

Thursday January 31, 2008

Christina: Whitby Gansey - finishing touches

Completed in the nick of time, ready for the weekend, when we see all of George's family for the birthday merriment... and I hope to find a person suited to my gansey... starting with George senior (whose birthday is the day after mine). Use the image pop-up to revel in the glory of the stitch detail.


I am still uncertain who exactly it will fit, but it's the thought that counts apparently!

Two final confessions:
On the ribbed collar I have one purl st where a knit should be - but luckily it is on the inside and completely unnoticeable. [I'd be surprised if that's the only error, but it's the only one I have seen so far].
I have left the threads at the cast off ends of the sleeves, so that I can adjust and finish them on the day, if necessary.

Posted by Christina at 12:07 AM. Category: Ganseys

Wednesday January 23, 2008

Christina: Whitby Gansey - collar

I paused in my work on the sleeves, in order to finish off the neckline. Its bascally a k1,p1, ribbed collar, but with an overlapping band of garter stitch on the left shoulder side, with 3 buttons; however I think the band is loose enough not to need buttoning really. I must say also, I am not sure I have interpreted the pattern correctly (and - again - it needed interpretation!) as it seems a little odd, but it has worked out.


The objective here was to allow George to try on the gansey at this point and see how the sleeve length was going to work out. This turned out to be pretty good - I have 7 or so more inches to knit on the sleeves, which is pretty accurately what the instructions for the decreasing dictate. The bad news is, George is complaining that the gansey is tight around the chest, and as his Father is larger that does not bode well. Looking at the old pictures of ganseys, they are tight to the chest, but George says he "would not want to wear it like that".
So - George's brother-in-law, Tony, who also has his birthday this month, is now a candidate for the gansey as he is "very skinny", (or lithe and fit, I would say!).

Posted by Christina at 9:29 AM. Category: Ganseys

Sunday January 20, 2008

Christina: Whitby Gansey - first sleeve

This is "most" of the first sleeve. Although it does not look very long, it is down to the narrower part, so less knitting to do per round. This was as far as the ball of wool went, so I have started the other side, to avoid forgetting how I did it, and to try and make the sides symmetrical!.


Posted by Christina at 12:53 PM. Category: Ganseys