Archive for January 2011

When knitting attacks

For a long time, podcasts and I didn’t get along. Concentrating for long periods of time does not come easily to me, so I felt podcasts were out of the question. I mentioned this to a couple of knitting friends late last year, and I’m sure they found it all a bit odd. Then Matt started listening to Radiolab. He played a couple of interesting episodes to me, so I thought I’d try them again.

The last time I looked for knitting podcasts, there were only one or two about. My, how things have changed! The number of podcasts about knitting now borders on overwhelming. Based on tidbits I’d heard when my friends discussed podcasts, I started listening to the Knitmore Girls. So far I’ve only listened to a couple of their podcasts, but I’ve found them all quite enjoyable. The mother/daughter presenters have a really good rapport, and their conversational style makes for easy listening. In writing all this, I’m sure I’m probably the last person to discover the Knitmore Girls and that this is old news to knitters everywhere.

The title of this post is a blatant ripoff of the Knitmore Girls’ segments, where they discuss issues they’ve had with their knitting. To be fair, in my case ‘when duffers attack’ is probably a more accurate title as the knitting is not at fault at all.

Soon after my last post, I ripped out my first attempt at Lyttelton and decided that it was probably too big anyway. ‘This is my silver lining’ I thought, and cast on again with one less pattern repeat. By the time I got to the sleeves yesterday morning, it was clear something was amiss again.

Comparing the shrug to the swatch, it appears I’m not starting each pattern repeat correctly. This means that the cable and trellis stitch was moving diagonally with each repeat, rather than straight up. Even though it was a fairly silly, simple mistake, it was subtle enough that it took me a little while to work out what I’d done wrong. It was also subtle enough that I can’t really capture it clearly on my camera. So yet again I shall frog, and hope that the mantra of ‘third time lucky’ holds.


As punishment, I’ll hold off from casting on again until I’ve finished the bands for my stripy vest. It’s a fairly trivial task (famous last words!), but each row is 433 stitches. Of 1×1 rib. I like to think of it as the knitting equivalent of writing out lines. That’ll teach me… hopefully.

The quest for a silver lining

It’s been very humid here over the past week. Miserable weather is generally associated with the cold, but for me, this is properly miserable. Sticky, energy-sapping and generally uncomfortable.

Because the weather is so, I haven’t been knitting very much. However, I did decide that it was far too hot to be working on my two wool projects, so I cast on Lyttelton in grey (did you expect anything else?) Rowan Cotton Glace.


The rows are a lot more time consuming than my usual stocking stitch, but the lovely trellis stitch makes it all worth it. Having said all that, I’m just about the rip out the whole lot as I don’t like how I’ve incorporated the pattern into the increases. It seems a shame to rip out all that work but it’s much better to start again than persist with something you’re unhappy with.


While contemplating ripping out Lyttelton I reverted back to knitting with wool and started on the armbands for my stripy vest. All was going well there until discovering that I’d lost one of my knitting needles between the house and the train station yesterday morning. Chalk that up as one more reason to buy circular needles, something that I will do after writing this post. I’m also a bit concerned that there might not be enough yarn for the bands at the front, so I’ll think happy thoughts again, given how effective it was for Matt’s Dashing Jumper.

The mildly grumbly tone of this post is completely unwarranted given the terrible flooding in Queensland (and since I originally wrote this, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania on a smaller scale, and also Brazil and Sri Lanka). It’s terribly disarming watching the news and reading the paper, knowing I cannot help with sandbagging or cleaning or fostering animals… or just not be completely useless besides donating money. Having a few problems with my knitting projects pales in comparison.

Matt’s Dashing Jumper

Thank you everyone for your kind words and new year wishes. I hope the start of the year has been nice and relaxing (or completely frantic, depending on your preferences).

It seems difficult to start with the new year with the past still lingering in the background. As mentioned in the previous post, I’m really pleased with 2010’s last finished knitting project.

Dashing jumper

Shirt from Patons book 929, Quiet Days in Jet and Skol
5.5 skeins of Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers, Bainbridge
3.75mm and 5.00mm needles
Start: September 2010
Finish: December 2010
Modifications: Shorter body, lengthened sleeves
Ravelryed: here

This is the second jumper I’ve made for Matt and I think it was a much greater success than the first one. Most importantly, this is the first attempt at knitting it, as opposed to the one and a halfth or second or whatever version I got to on the suave sweater. It’s also a bit more fitted than the first one so I think it’ll get a bit more wear. All in all, another win for Patons knitting patterns from the 70s!

Like most of my knits these days, it was largely stocking stitch, but I don’t remember getting bored at all. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’m in slight mourning that I don’t have to work on it anymore. That’s not to say I’ll be unravelling it and starting again though…

Cascade 220 was great to knit with. The yardage/meterage was fantastic and the colour matched the pattern well. Initially I had concerns the twists would disappear in the slightly flecky yarn, but I think it looks fine. Most importantly, 6 skeins was exactly the right amount. There’s probably enough left over for a hat, but not much more.


The buttons, as usual, are from Buttonmania.

Normally the end of a project signals the beginning of another. In this case, finishing Matt’s jumper brought me back to two works in progress which is my usual number. I’d love to start something new, and have already chosen my next project, but really must finish something off first!