Well that was productive

Happy Bank Holiday Monday!

I do love a long weekend, nothing quite beats the feeling on a Sunday night of knowing you don’t have to go into work the next day. Don’t-cha think?

There’s also the lie-ins, the good food and, you guessed it, all that knitting time. And this weekend I’ve really made the most of all that knitting time, finishing all three (that’s right three!) of my Works In Progress.

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The silk top finished it’s blocking…

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…the Madelinetosh shawl has grown somewhat…

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…and my magical dream socks are finally done!

It’s a lot to take in. I know. Let’s work in reverse. These bloody socks. They’ve been on my needles for around 6 months. That’s a long old time for a pair of socks. I had a misfire, pulling back sock number one to start again with more stitches, and then I just got a bit bored of them. Odd, isn’t it? To get sick of multi-coloured, sparkly things (Ooh La La by A Stash Addict, to be exact). But I did. Then there was the fact that it was my lunchtime project, which only gave me 45 minutes of knitting at a time, so it’s no surprise really that I didn’t ever make much progress. But here we are. Half a year later they are done, a bit snugger than I would like, but then they still need a good block so let’s stay positive, people!

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(It’s so bloody hard to take good photos of your own feet! Photo by me.)

Remember my Multnomah shawl? I used just shy of a skein of Madelintosh sock (purchased on honeymoon) and I loved it. With a bit of wear though, I discovered it was a little small for the way I wanted to wear it – round the front, neckerchief stylie. So I undid the cast-off, picked up the stitches and added another set of 5 pattern repeats. It had a slightly hurried block (I needed to hoover where it was pinned out) but it looks perfect, see!

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(Cheesy grin for my accomplishment. Photo by me.)

Last but not least. My beauty. My shining glory. The best thing I have ever knitted. My Purl Bee Summer Sweater. I LOVE IT. Yes the caps are necessary. I put it on the first time yesterday and it fits perfectly. I was stunned, Steven was stunned – he even said “Wow that looks really good” and he never says that about my hand-knits! The Debbie Bliss Silk is light, soft and glorious to wear. It all came together.

I added bust darts, to increase the finished chest measurement by 10cm. I also increased the sleeves by 13 stitches (I only meant to increase by 8, but my maths went a bit screwy – I’m glad my maths went a bit screwy, the extra space is very welcome). Both adaptations seem to have worked wonders and I, for one, am shocked in a very happy way.

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I had way more yarn than the pattern called for, so I thought I’d be laughing, but it turned out that I had to unravel my tension square to finish the last row and cast off for the neckline. Clearly my added fabric ate up a whole heck of a lot of yarn. It just means that there are some contrasting finishes on the neck and sleeves. Finishes, by the way, that happen to be my first ever attached I-cords.

Let me just take a moment to say that I love attached I-cords. They are therapeutic and steady and I don’t have to pick up a gazillion stitches. (Two things I dislike greatly in knitting: picking up stitches and sewing pieces together, closely followed by casting on.) Not only were they wonderful to work, they were the very last finishing touch – no seams! My kind of pattern.

And, because I promised, here’s my take on the Purl Bee’s photo. It’s rubbish, but hey.

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So now the question is, what to knit next? I have 390 yards of Madelinetosh left and I can’t decide what it’s destined to be. I’ve learned recently that I don’t really wear hats, gloves or mitts, and I don’t really want to knit things I won’t wear. So will it be a cowl? Another, different shawl? Or super posh socks? What do you guys think?

I hope your weekends were lovely, and filled with plenty of crafty fun!

P.S. I haven’t forgotten the duckies! They need a photo shoot of their own…

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Let’s talk about KNIT baby!

It’s been a while, after all! And besides, I’ve got a Finished Object to show you…

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Jaunty angle, ‘cos I’m artistic, innit.

When we were on our honeymoon, I did a geeky thing. I dragged Steven to the wonderful, to the amazing, Purl Soho. Actually, I dragged him there twice; once when it was shut, and once when it wasn’t…oops. Purl Soho is a knitting mecca. It’s a warm, bright, lofty space, packed to the ceiling with yarn, needles, patterns and haberdashery. I spent far too much time and money in there, cooing over squashy things and enjoying an opportunity to be warm and dry. Steven was an oasis of calm and understanding. There’s a reason I married him.

Alongside some yummy merino and silk that became mittens right there on the honeymoon (more on that story later) I bought some Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in scrummy Nightbloom. It’s a sockweight yarn, which is my favourite to work with, but I didn’t want socks from this. No, no. This was to become a shawl. Something casual I could wear everyday, whether for work, a cuppa or a walk, and think of rainy NYC in May 2013 whenever I wore it. And that’s exactly what it has become.

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Shawl on a wall, go on say it…yeah, you’re welcome.

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Such pretty Feather and Fan details.

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(Photo by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie) Mandatory shawl on railing shot. Right outside work. ‘Cos I’m that kind of nutter 🙂

I love everything about this shawl, from the shape, colour and pattern to the nature of the yarn and the way it matches almost everything I own. The pattern is a freebie from Ravelry, called Multnomah. It was simple and easy to follow (once I’d read the whole thing, duh!) and didn’t actually take that long in knitting hours. One of the best things about this shawl is that it has left me with a whole skein to play with. Matching gloves? Slouchy beanie? Socks? Suggestions are welcome! But until then I am truly madly deeply in love with this shawl and everything it reminds me of.