Mirroring differences

I’d been squirrelling along on my Odilon for days, struggling myopically on the confusing, convoluted and somewhat unclear short row instructions when it struck me that the increases looked odd.
As my first time doing M1P increases, and maybe 4th time doing increases at all, it didn’t occur to me until I was well past the image above and almost at the armpit that one side of the increase looked different than the other. Can you see it below on the left?
I contacted the designer to make sure that the pattern hadn’t been updated to show mirroring increases since my version was purchased, but she said the pucker ‘should even out with blocking’.

Um. The image above is blocked.

Those of you following this blog will already know that I am a little obsessive (ok. maybe a LOT obsessive) about ridiculously small details…so…

Frogging commenced.

Back down to the collar and through the fecking short rows again – which no matter how many times I execute (3), or draw them out (2), can’t seem to get a matching number stitches on the arms and end up having to fudge – and then MIRRORING the damn increases this time – cursing all the while. Deep breath.

(Feeling my irk?)

Here is the difference:
See how the stitch on the left now goes UNDER, mirroring the right side? Yeah. That is why mirrored increases/decreases were created!

This is the first purchased pattern that I have had gotten seriously irritated with and have to remind myself that different people/designers have differing levels of things that they are willing to live with whilst knitting. That said, I guess I expected that a long running publication like Twist Collective to have better tech editing.

Overly critical for a Tues morning?



The big reveal for those of you that haven’t already guessed…the new project I started is Picard by Marnie MacLean!

My partner gave me the pattern for xmas and I couldn’t wait to get started on it. As mentioned in a previous post I purchased a motherload of Rowan Purelife Organic for peanuts at the Knitting and Stitching Show in October, so had my DK yarn – just needed to dye it.

This was a bit of a problem as I still haven’t found a cheap replacement stainless steel dyeing pot after my toxic mercury spill. In a fit of inspiration I decided I would try dyeing some other lovely yarn I received as a gift (thank you again!!) in a large a plastic tub, adding hot water from the kettle until it was hot enough. Figured trying it with 2 skeins would be easier than 10!

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get the yarn hot enough and keep it high enough to exhaust the dye, but thankfully it worked! I am now able to dye yarn once again! Hooray for me! What a relief. I was going into withdrawal.  😉

So on to the Rowan – here it is soaking in a vinegar/soap bath below.
And here it is after dyeing, drying in the loo:
Initially I planned to dye the yarn a deeper peacock colour like this photoshop mock up,
photoshop mock up
But along the way I hit this beautiful French looking grey/blue and just couldn’t go any further.
It makes me think of faded French chateaus and a particular painted panel I saw by Odilon Redon the first time I went to the Musée d’Orsay.

Knit show extravaganza!

I attended my first knitting show/exhibition/fair thing today! It was Twisted Thread’s Knitting and Stitching Show, on this weekend at Alexandra Palace in Muswell Hill.

It was a perfect sunny day to head up the hill and I managed to get there reasonably early, around 11, so managed to catch a good hour of calm browsing before the bulk of the crowds arrived. This is the view that greeted me on entry:

I have to say, I was pretty excited about the whole thing and was very pleased to be around like-minded folk for a day! The atmosphere (despite the numerous school groups of giggling teenagers!) was friendly and blissfully courteous for London; People saying ‘excuse me’ when they bumped into you – a rarity in London – at least until the crowds swelled and the more typical Big Smoke impatience started to creep in!

I decided to seek out a coffee and then start methodically working my way through the aisles when I encountered this scene:

I nearly swallowed my tongue. Massive mounds of sale yarn bundles…and not one – but TWO! This was the Black Sheep Craft Barn, Black Sheep Wool‘s exhibit. People were calmly perched on the edges, demurely looking at the packages nearest to them in calm contemplation. I was astounded. I think I stood there for a bit with flies diving in and out of my maw until I realised what I must look like! Of course coffee was abandoned while I waded in and rummaged for a bit.

I surfaced with a modest 2 bags of Rowan Purelife, organic wool which is naturally dyed, in a light shade I can overdye if I want. At £14.99 for 10 it was too good to pass up! I have used this yarn before in my Knubby Moss Wristwarmers and a stripe in my Miriam, and it is lovely – dense with great stitch definition and wears very well. Oh and NOT ITCHY. With high abrasion it hardly pills, and with low abrasion, just sits there looking crisp and new.

Here is my hoard of booty from the day:

I admit I went a little overboard. It’s been a crappy health week and have been feeling a little down, so I figured I could justify some retail therapy! Nothing says ‘cheer up’ like stash plumping. (Yes, I know I said I was going to ease off on adding to the collection until I use more of it up…but that’s life.)

I managed to track down the Habu Textiles people and went a tiny bit nuts at their booth. I’ll be doing some more posts on the day, so will explain more on this later. It was amazing to finally be able to touch fabrics knit in their weird materials!!

I finally found myself a knitting basket – Lantern Moon, from the shop Addicted2Knit. I had seen these online a few months ago and googled for ages trying to track down a UK supplier, but no go…and then today she was just there waiting for me. How could I refuse to bring her home with me? (The basket. Not the supplier.)

I have also been looking for a tasteful and contemporary shawl brooch…and at the same booth ta-dah:

They had a few lovely ones. This one is a patina-d brass, embossed with an almost fingerprint, or wood-grain like texture (makes me think of a seed, but I can’t think from WHAT. Think a tree.), and comes with a nice thin, dark wood spike. You can see them all and order from their site, along with the basket above.

Lastly, I got 2 kinds of interesting ribbon for button plackets.

The black peacock one was from an amazing Indian flavoured stall, Aarti J’s, that had some really beautiful mirrored ribbons and beaded embellishments. Some really bling-y and over the top, but others that you could use sparingly to great effect. You can see their catalogue here.

The cheery bottom ribbon is from Textile Garden in Henfield. I have just been checking out their online offer and they have tons of fab contemporary wooden and shell buttons and some super cool ribbon. Hardly a gnome-r in the lot, which is super rare for trimmings in my experience!

Check out the raven wood buttons. I was tempted by these, but have seriously cut myself off from any more button purchases at the moment. So Poe.

Or perhaps a little squirrel ribbon for the an inside detail on a button plackett?
Or maybe, just maybe, you might be the type of person who has a dachshund obsession (ahem. Not naming any names.):
Speaking of weiners…check out the wire haired wein I saw and got to paw!
It really was a perfect day.

**update** I lost the shawl brooch the very first day I wore it. Sadness. Guess I have learned my lesson on shawl brooches with straight ‘pins’.