Thursday, 11 February 2016

Rowan's 'Etherow'

I have finally finished 'Etherow' and it has been quite a knitting journey, at one point I thought it wasn't going to see any cold weather and was going to be finished in the Spring but just as I finished the casting off the weather has turned cooler and its going to be great wearing it this next week in Scotland.

The problem for me has been my on going Tennis Elbow which is 90% right and I didn't really think the project through when I got the yarn. How did I imagine I would make a Sweater without seams on 2 needles?  I think the last time I did a sweater like this was back in the early eighties when I knitted an Icelandic sweater for my father: they were all the rage but I couldn't remember that far back!
So I started the project armed with circular needles and 4 pins, I checked my tension and decided to size up to 5mm needles, I used the yarn shades in the pic - Hoby: magenta and Saxon: cream -  and I got started but began to realise a few evenings later and in the mornings that my arm was aching.  Circular needles require more 'holding' than the resting under the elbows of 2 pins and I began to find that I had to rest my arm.  So it wasn't a fast production rate.
Fortunately, holding the weight of the knitting was not an issue as I can report that Rowan's Alpaca Merino DK is as light as a feather and pretty gorgeous to knit with.  Anybody who saw me knitting this was really taken aback when they felt the jumper they couldn't believe how soft and light the jumper was.


I found one issue with the pattern, when I was doing the bust shaping at the front and I was knitting rows rather than rounds when I turned the work I 'wrapped' it round the last stitch and this stopped the creation of 'holes' in your work - you can actually see these in the photo in the brochure.
I also altered the waistband and chose to a plain rib in the same colour rather than the cream striping.   

The sweater came out to size - I made a medium -  having made my needle adjustment and at the end there was only 12 stitches to sew underneath the armpit: that was rather nice to do.  But when I was knitting the main body and not really feeling to be getting anywhere I had to keep reminding myself that I was knitting the front and back at the same time. 
But its finished - so bring on the snow... 

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Edward's Menagerie and my current project....


It's definitely knitting weather here, we've had a good batch of snow and I can finally drag out my stash of winter sweaters.  I remember thinking back in September that the reservoirs around here were really low as we hadn't had much rain but then the rain came and it rained and it rained and I heaved a sigh of relief that we lived on a hill and most of the rain ran down that hill and this lasted for about a month.  Then Christmas came with all it's images of cold wintry scenes - and it was mild here.  But then it changed and it got colder and it really feels like January now and I can get my warm knitwear out at last.
So what have I been up to on the craft front?  Various projects as usual and I'll cover them over the next few weeks but the first I would like to tell you about is 'Edward's Menagerie'....


I had seen this book before but not taken a lot of interest in it, then a lady came to Knit n Crochet Club and said she wanted to crochet and make the animals in the book: I raised an eyebrow - wanting to learn in 2 hours? Then finding out that the lady was left handed?  I obliged but was not optimistic, I taught her how to produce a chain stitch and a double crochet and came to the conclusion that I would not see her again.
So next club date - 4 weeks later - I was really surprised to see her with 4 animals!!! I was overwhelmed! I was so impressed that she had stuck with it, made a wobbly first animal but then she had continued and then next animal was better.  


So having seen this I got the bug and bought the book for myself, I then went on to make Angharad the Donkey as a present for my friends prospective baby. 



The other ladies at our club have now got the 'Edward' bug and are now looking to learn to crochet.
It's a great book if you haven't seen it, really well explained lots of pictures and simple instructions, once you have mastered making the main body you continually use the pattern for the other animals and all of the animals have their own story which is lovely - Angharad used to be a seaside donkey and now she is a surfer that still loves the sand between her toes.

I hope these photos are clear enough as they are from my i-phone but you'll get the idea.  I used Rowan's Sheep breeds for Angharad although the original designs are made in conjunction with 'Toft' yarns.

At the moment I am working on 'Etherow' by Sarah Hatton and I am knitting it 'bottom up', it has no seams and it is knitted on circular needles or 4 pins. I have had my problems with it, mainly due to my lack of understanding as its years since I knitted a sweater like this, but I am getting there and hope to post some pics soon.

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