Monday, March 26, 2012

A sock. Really.

Prepare to be amazed people - I've knitted a sock!


It has a heel! I even managed to pick up stitches along the side of the heel flap without making too many holes!

Aren't heel-turns just magical?
And the best thing about this project is that it's bus-knitting size! And it fits easily in my handbag - given that my commute is over an hour each day, I should be able to finish a pair over the next week! Now I just have to brave the mythical Kitchener Stitch and survive to the end.
As you can tell, I'm pretty excited about this sock knitting thing. My next pair will be yellow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday socks

I've always heard that you're not a "Knitter" with a capital K unless you can knit socks. I've tried to avoid buying into the label thing, but it has made me think about the range of skills I have and what I need to work on. So I've started my first sock - it's accompanied by Saturday breakfast, smoked salmon and a poached egg on wholegrain toast, a great start to the day!

I'm using the Lion Brand Free Basic Sock pattern and Regia Eskimo Color sock yarn, and 2.75mm Addi fixed circulars. 
My only problem is the pattern is written for dpns, and when I get to the heel flap and heel turn, I don't have a clue how to do it on circulars. If anyone has any suggestions, it would be appreciated! I still have three inches to go before I get to the tricky bit, hopefully I'll figure it out before then.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The wall

I'm not an athlete, but I've hit the wall with my current project. Not in the sense that I'm avoiding it, but in the sense that it's actually not growing. I've done rounds and rounds and rounds, but it still seems the same length as it did last week.
I'm trying really, really hard to not start anything else, and that's not easy when Wool and the Gang has launched it's Spring/Summer 2012 range, and when the weather is starting to get colder here. I'm sure I need to make a jumper, or a cardigan. The shops are full of cabled crew-necks at the moment, if I start now I could make one in time for winter! Since I'm loving Kate Davies' patterns right now, maybe I'll make her Owls sweater. I bought the pattern over a year ago, but didn't feel confident enough to make it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The half-way point

I've reached a milestone with my Funchal Moebius - the half-way mark. And I'm really happy with how she's looking.

I'm getting much faster at the pattern too - I've got to the point where I'm memorizing the repeats and only having to check when I start a new row. I hope I'll have all of the knitting finished in the next few weeks, it's just been hard finding the time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

St David's Day and Welsh woolly traditions

Although my family left Wales in 1995 to live in New Zealand, we still wish each other a Happy Saint David's Day on 1 March every year. If I have all the ingredients, I'll bake Welsh cakes (imagine a cross between a biscuit and a sweet scone) and remember the times when I was a child and had to wear my traditional Welsh bonnet and shawl to mark the occasion. 

While browsing on Etsy this afternoon to find something suitably crafty and Welsh to blog about, I discovered something amazing - Welsh blankets! I never knew Wales had a woven wool blanket tradition! How did I not know this? They have beautifully distinct designs, and are woven in local wool, and are a source of inspiration for contemporary design.
Jane Beck has an amazing resource online and sells vintage and new blankets. 
Some more can be found on Etsy, like this one in A Rum Fellow's shop.

Woven Welsh tapestry blanket

And here are some stylish contemporary cushions and purses found on Etsy.

Printed Welsh blanket cushion by Peris and Corr

Printed Welsh blanket purses by Peris and Corr

I think I'm going to save up for a nice Welsh blanket. Since 1 March also marks the beginning of autumn here in New Zealand, I think I'll have a good excuse to get one and keep warm.