Saturday, October 20, 2007

I've joined the Ravelry waiting list....

There are 14659 people are ahead of me. I'm #46355 on the list!

I'm also on loads of Yahoo! groups, which I mostly don't read, like

  • antiquepatternlibrary - fantastic resource of out-of-copyright patterns and books (if you have any, consider contributing), or just eye-candy and craft-porn, as you wish.
  • brumstitchnbitch - Birmingham UK, that is. Mostly an announcement site.
  • Crazy_Knits - for newbies and the more adventurous.
  • CrochetLace - for lace makers who like to include crochet in their lace projects. Covers crochet lace from many countries, but most especially Ireland and Romania.
  • double-knitting - Make seamless tubes (glove fingers, socks, etc.) on two straight needles. Knit two socks simultaneously on one set of double-pointed needles. Knit a reversible two-colour blankie/dishcloth.
  • FFCrochet - Lively, friendly, helpful free-form crochet (think doodling with yarn) group, with some of the top fibre artists in the world as members. Love it or hate it, it's amazing
  • incrediblesweatermachineclub - Another very helpful group, for the Incredible Sweater Machine/ISM/USM, EZ Knittr or Bond. And one day I WILL set mine up and get going.
  • Irish_Crochet_Lovers - This group is dedicated to the creation, care and collection of Irish crochet. Learned this from my granny as a child, though it's a bit of a mystery where/how she learned - it was mostly taught by Roman Catholic nuns but she wouldn't have had any contact with that route! I still do a bit now and again, but I'm too impatient and goal-oriented for this kind of work.
  • knittycontributors - Maybe one day...
  • knittyreader - An announcement site for upcoming issues.
  • nezumiscrochetclub - Often quiet, this group covers any type of crochet-from Filet, Hairpin, Tuisian, Hairpin, Broomstick, Irish to Granny Squares. Less daunting than ICL, where the RC Nuns theory runs strong...
  • wool_soaker_group - Quite chatty and friendly, dedicated to making wool soakers for use as diaper covers (nappy wraps) in all forms: knit, crochet, fabric, recycling other materials, etc.
I'm also a member of AranKnits and Ethnicknits, but too recently to pass comment...

Friday, October 19, 2007

I give you...

... the Glory that is Begotha - the Gothic Aran!

Also known as a black mystery-yarn sweater with a bit of cabling and moss-stitch. Still, TH is happy. He's had it on a few times since, but usually whips it off as soon as he comes indoors because "it's so warm", so even when I've had the camphone there's been no opportunity to snap it. Yesterday, though, he came home early and I cornered him in the back garden and wouldn't let him in till I got the pics.

And here it is, photographing well for black thanks to our wintery sunshine - the stitch detail shows up beautifully. The turtleneck collar is 2x2 rib, over about 76st I think. Clumping a little at the sides because of TH's simian posture and his habit of mugging for the camera, but otherwise a lovely fit for a nine-stone hank of string.

Sadly, TH is not looking his lovely best. His workplace organised the staff flu jabs yesterday, and he had a bad reaction - hence the early homecoming. We were supposed to be going out to a work do of mine last night, babysitter organised and everything, but in the end I went alone, leaving him with his head down the loo, loving spouse that I am.

Apropos of space-filling, and pointedly ignoring a certain 2yr-old putting in some practice for the Toddler Olympics (All-Out Tantrum event), here's the Bob the Builder sweater thus far. There's only 3 or 4 rows of 'face' left before I get into the helmet, and the first 4 rows of the logo on the back are in place - not enough to photograph though. And yes, those are nappy pins - I use them to hold the nyims* of yarn not in play. TH's aversion to washables - odd given he's happy to be coated in all manner of shite from disintegrating disposables - left me with a surplus. The hair is done in a knit version of bullion stitch for a curly look ... that was the plan, but we shall see.

The second pic shows the reverse: all in all, quite neat; most of the tails are on the (inside) left, due to the way I am knitting on the colours (i.e., leaving a long tail to be knitted on the next row). Hopefully this will be tidier in the making-up stage. I really do not enjoy putting garments together, and tbh I would not be dying about picture-knitting/intarsia if it wasn't for seeing the picture appear row by row. Such a pity knitting in the round and intarsia don't go together...

WOOT! TG4 is on the Idirlíon!! Ros na Rún here we come!!!

Oh for Pete's sake - Aran? Irish? black? Begorra? Begotha? Catch up peeps...

* - a mangled anglicisation of the Irish mion (m-YUNN), meaning a very small amount, what can be held in the palm of the hand with the top finger-knuckles straight and fingertips touching the mid-palm.

Friday, October 12, 2007


The Gothic Aran is finished!

Apart from one thread inexplicably left hanging from a sleeve, it is done, laundered, and tried on by a very chuffed hubby. Back-to-front at first, being himself, but ye gods what a fine fit when it was on. I short-rowed the back of the collar as prescribed in EZ, which was rather nasty with the moss-stitch panels, but what a difference it makes. Fits him like a glove. Pics later, once my camphone is recharged.

IBC's Bob the Builder sweater is well under way. I'm putting the face on the front - it's up to the mouth atm - and the logo on the back, which I haven't got to yet. The sweater shape is reversible (front same as back, not inside-out reversible), so it would be nice to have a different view on each side. I'm knitting in the round again. I read somewhere that intarsia couldn't be done in the round, but didn't get why, since Fair Isle is traditionally knitted in the round. Now I do. Duh. Wool ends up at the wrong end of the knitting. I've got a partial solution which cuts down on the bitties of yarn hanging at the sides: leave a long tail when starting a new colour, that can then be used to knit the next row. In the case of the outlining black yarn, the tail may be enough to complete all stitches required.

And I've started a little something for Halloween - rush job, special request from TH. Fingers crossed...

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Not a lot to say, nothing completed.

TH's Gothic Aran proved trickier than anticipated - not disastrously so, not even challenging really, just fiddly around the collar. It worked in the round, which is good, but TH's broad shoulders and slender frame mean that while the front and back are completed to the base of the neck, I need to knit up the shoulders another inch/inch-and-a-half to reach the same point, nibbling off stitches from the front and back as I go. Oh yes - I decided late on to go for EZ's fake raglan method of reducing the yoke, which looks well, despite some very awkward fudging when the decreases started cutting into the moss-stitch panels. Now this shoulder problem is turning it into a combined EZ raglan/saddle sweater.

But this is what comes of taking a pattern for an aran, running it according to another intended for Fair Isle, then changing mind 3/4 of the way through and finishing via a third for a plain sweater, discovering that the final bit needs to be fudged via a fourth (also plain), all the while using an unidentifiable yarn and a needle size not recommended in any of the patterns - and therefore a totally different number of stitches. Hey ho - at least I did swatches this time. I do get TH to try it every so often on to check the fit (so far, perfect).

I do feel that I'm working in the true EZ spirit though, winging it and not being scared. And occasionally lying down in a darkened room to recover.

I have also made it through the ribbing and into the body of IBC's Bob the Builder sweater, and have done the charts - modified one of Bob's face to fit better on the sweater, and made another of the Bob logo, though I think some surface embroidery is going to be necessary to get the detail in on it. I'm also very taken with the idea of a knit or crotchet BtB 'hard' hat... Hmm. When am I going to get my stockings made, I ask you?