Soggy recap

I have been wearing the hell out of my Dragonflies jumper since finishing it in March. This thing really has been worth its weight in gold as the weather has been freezing in the UK and it has been keeping me warm nearly daily.

We had an unusually bright day on Monday so I managed to get it photographed after giving it a good shave to make it look fresh again.
dragonflies_jumper_Kettle_Yarn_ Co
Unfortunately the weather turned back to cold and wet the next day so I haven’t been able to get some decent photos of my Silver Bells, which now is completely finished with shell buttons. The best I could do was this low light blurred mess below!
Nightingale_Kettle_Yarn_Co

Let’s all pretend it is a ‘romantic shot’, k? ¬†ūüėČ

Behind the scenes

So we didn’t get much more light, but I wanted to take some photos of this on for my Dragon-fly project page so just got on with it. Apologies for the slight graininess of the photos. Still dealing with low light London¬†winter conditions!

front
dragonflies jumper
back
back2
stockinette seam – I added 10 stitches under the arm for a bit more boxiness in the body.
side
And just so you all don’t think I am taking this too seriously – here is a full body shot so you can see what I am actually wearing. Fashion plate that I am. hah!¬†
candid
(like the slippers and hat combo? That’s right, ALL class, baby.) ¬†;-D

Done and dusted

12 days…¬†12 DAYS!!!

I just entered the end date on my Dragonflies Ravelry project page and saw that I actually managed to knit this whole thing in … yup – 12 days. I am all of the following:¬†awed ¬†amazed ¬†proud ¬†pleased…and a little disturbed.dragons
Just a little, mind. I accept that I can be very single minded when I have a project on the burner, but wonder if this last one was all that healthy an obsession as I begged, borrowed and stole time to finish this as quickly as I could. I have lived and breathed almost nothing but this sucker and Netflix for the last nearly 2 weeks. My wrists ache and my brain has been numbed by the ‘om’ of following a lace chart!

That said, I currently had the satisfaction of looking out just now to see that it is STILL snowing. Yup. In March. (has the world gone mad?) But this means that – hooray- I will get some good wear out of this before it is time to put it away for the season, which is exactly what I was after. It has been freakin freezing in this old house the last couple weeks and this jumper is thick, warm and cosy.

The bamboo stitch that I used on the back makes a thick, heavily textured fabric in the spongy merino aran. I will definitely use this again, and you can see below how it creates an almost lacey effect between the ribs which would be enhanced in a thinner yarn with larger needles. Something to play with in future.
bamboo
On the back panel it is simple and beautiful while having the intended effect of breaking up the drawing in effect of the lace pattern so I could have my intended boxier fit.
back
I¬†have to say, I really like the way my dye job on the yarn shows up on the lace pattern. Exactly what I was after – slight colour variation for interest that doesn’t obscure the lace stitch but enhances the cables:
lace2
Surprisingly I even like it in the stockinette! It grew on me the more I looked at it as the sleeves grew.
stockinette
I did my usual of knitting the sleeves two at a time and ended up doing a few other simple modifications to the pattern –¬†adding sleeve length and more decreases to the wrist dimension +1″, and 2×2 rib¬†for all edges as it felt more appropriate in the thick aran wool. (The i-cord would have been too thick, and I don’t generally care too much for garter edgings.)sleeves
Frankly, this pattern has been such an unexpected, breezy joy!

The process was more meditative than I have ever, yet, experienced thanks to the clarity of the pattern -so clear and well written with detailed explanations and charts for the different sizes.¬†This experience has renewed my faith in purchased patterns (which were nearly quashed by the previous and noxious Picard), and I will definitely be checking out more of Joji’s patterns in the near future.¬†I highly recommend. This pattern made me feel like a confident and experienced knitter.

I can’t say enough good things about it right now! Yay!

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.
neck
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?
OdilonBefore
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:
OdilonAfter
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?

Odilon

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. ¬†ūüėČ

So on to the Rowan – here it is soaking in a vinegar/soap bath below.
yarnbefore
And here it is after dyeing, drying in the loo:
yarnafter
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¬†Mus√©e d’Orsay.