Archive for March 2011


Last post I promised sunny. The weather has been anything but, so I’ve had to make some sun instead.

Gaptastic Cowl by Jen Geigley (rav link)
200g Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 12 ply, Sunflower
8.00mm needles
Start: February 2011
Finish: March 2011
Modifications: Smaller needles, cast on more stitches, knit fewer rows
Ravelryed: here

This is such a straightforward pattern, but the result is very pleasing. The pattern suggests making it 15 inches in width, but I only made it 8.25 inches. I never wanted to make it 15 inches wide as it would just be too bulky for me, but as luck would have it, I ran out of yarn just after half way. As it is, I’m really happy with the width.

For a long time I was anti-cowl, but this pattern has made my steely resolve waver somewhat. I’m still not a huge fan of the smaller cowls, but there are a few longer cowls that I might consider making in the future.

The yarn started life as a diagonal lace scarf. However, it curled badly so I ended up with a kind of draught stopper/rope thing. It seems much happier to be a big seed stitch cowl. It’s possibly a little rough for use around my neck, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

I’m starting to feel like the kiss of death for certain Bendigo Woollen Mills colourways. Sunflower and the light grey I used in my Golden Hands striped vest, were discontinued a few years ago. This run continued last week when this year’s shade card arrived — two lovely rusty red colours, Rust in Rustic and Tuscan in Classic, have also been discontinued. So, if there are any Bendigo Woollen Mills colourways that you’re not a fan of, let me know and I’ll start liking them. It’s a surefire way to get them discontinued.

As a postscript to my last post, I’ve decided to frog Pickadilly. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that they problem lies at the yoke. I’m determined to make it work, but it does mean reworking the pattern (again) to make it fit well. As DrK mentioned, top down raglans aren’t as easy as they appear on the surface, even though they’re often put forward as the ‘easy’ jumper pattern. While seeing a jumper or cardigan (slowly) appear before your eyes is very alluring, it doesn’t make it immune from fit issues. This pattern is a perfect example of that for me. Thank you everyone for you input, you all helped me take the in out of indecision.

Giving up is not really giving up

At what point in a project do you decide to frog? Usually I have no qualms about frogging something and starting again if it’s not right. However, I’m currently in the midst of a project where I have a nagging feeling that perhaps I should completely frog, but I can’t quite bring myself to take the needles out and spend some quality time with my ball winder.

The pattern is Pickadilly. Since starting it in July last year, I’ve had issues the yoke, the waist shaping and the sleeves. It’s such a shame because I was so excited to start on this project, thinking that I’d found the perfect pattern to go with the Grignasco Tango I had in my stash.

I still think the cardigan looks great in the smokey blue tweed. After re-knitting the waist, I think I’ve got it pretty spot on for my body. However, I’m now onto the sleeves and thinking about frogging the lot and trying it again sometime in the future. A few people on Ravelry have mentioned that they have needed to modify the sleeves and I’m no exception. I’m now on my third attempt at the sleeves and even with heaps of decreases, there seems to be too much fabric around the underarms and the sleeves seem too baggy. To me that suggests that there’s issues at the yoke which means a lot of frogging, but it may also just be a side effect of knitting a raglan from the top down.

It pains me to think it might be best to cut my losses and frog the lot. It’s almost a point of pride that I’ll finish a project no matter how long it takes; Matt’s suave sweater is testament to that. But this feels different. As much as I like the idea of the cardigan, I’ve really struggled with sections of the pattern and I’m frustrated with it.

I really must apologise for the tone my posts have been taking of late. While I’m not a particularly cheery person in real life, I try not to be too negative here. Thank you for bearing with me while I vent my spleen a little, I promise you slightly sunnier posts are on their way!

Golden Hands striped vest

It seems ridiculous that we’ve reached the third month of the year, and I’ve only just finished my first knitting project. If I’m being accurate, it was finished in late February, but that fact doesn’t seem to diminish the level of ridiculousness. Anyway, enough grizzling. Onward and upward!

Striped vest

Tailored waistcoat from Golden Hands Volume 1 (page 6)
About 180g Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 8ply, Graphite
About 100g Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic 8ply, Flannel
4.00mm and 3.50mm needles
Start: November 2010
Finish: February 2011
Modifications: none that I can recall
Ravelryed: here

I’m mostly pleased with how the vest turned out. The curved front pieces are a really nice touch, as is the invisible cast on which was used on all the ribbing. Almost all the ribbing was knit as separate pieces and seamed, which was a necessary evil given the cast on. I did notice though that the ribbing did not hide sloppy seaming; I ended up having to redo the ribbing around the armholes because my sloppy finishing resulted in the ribbing bulging out. Once I stopped being lazy and started paying attention to what I was doing, the ribbing came out really nicely.

curved front

At the moment I’m hesitant to call the vest a success because of two pretty big things that I’m uneasy about. The first is the waist shaping: the shaping from hip to waist is pretty severe which makes that section jut out a bit. It’s possibly only noticeable only to me, but if I had my time again, I’d space the increases out a little more.
too short?

The second is the length: as I was knitting the back it looked like it was bordering on being too long, but when I tried it on, it was bordering on too short. I’ve given it a pretty severe blocking, but am not sure it’s helped much. Unfortunately I’ve run out of graphite, so it’s not possible to add in a couple more stripes. I’ll just have to learn to live with it.

Although I have a couple of reservations (none of which I might add are fatal flaws, but merely things to be wary of), it is a pretty straightforward pattern and it makes for a nice plain vest. If you are interested in this pattern and are located in Australia, it’s worth scouting around op shops as I often see copies of Golden Hands in the ones I frequent.

Now that I’ve finished something, it feels like my crafting year has finally commenced. It’s such a relief to know that I’ll have at least one finished project this year!