Saturday, May 12, 2007

A blast of steam - and the 'Stella' presents

Today, mothers day in our house, a quick blast of steam improves my fair isles appearance, 45% of pair of socks, and then I'm planning to take on my first lace sock.
First mothers day - hope all of you who do duty in some way as mothers at least got a kind thought or deed. Mothers day around here is a very one sided affair, being only me, both chris and I are sans mothers. Oh we had them, but in that particullarly Brittish way of putting it - we must have been careless so 'lost our mothers'. Chris's was quite elderly and had spent some years in a nursing home because her meds needed careful control beyond what we could do. Mine misplaced herself a long long time ago, way back in my very early teens. But she did teach me to knit some years before going.

Any way -Chris took our two to town to make beaded knitting markers, one each. Poppy's creation is the butterfly, and Toby's is the gold tubular one. Very nice, and within our small folks meagre pocket money budget. Around here pocket money is $1 per week per year, and half must be saved. That buget is for the kids, some times I think Chris and I should get the same deal. Chris stepped in to supplement with four kinds of dark luxury chocolate, that man knows me well. It don't get much better than four foil wrapped dark bittersweet chocolate bars, two swiss, one italian and one german. And our in-family joke - one was a Stella. Of course I do quite well from the name joke, the one where you buy things that have the name of the recipient in the name of the product. I get Stella McCartney perfume and body lotion, and Stella chocolate.

Sylvie shared her knit-kit contents after the last post. Very cool extending to DIY stitch markers, cut from straws and from electric tooth brushes. She also mentioned scissors, needles, a pencil, measuring tape and safety pins. Even though we are a half world away it seems we have the same stuff in our knit kits. I substitute snips for scissors, and don't use the safety pins - other wise the rest of the kit is the same. And she is knitting the pomatomus sock so has just ordered a magnetic chart holder.

So when fair isling - tension on the strands is everything, I stretch the stitches out across the right needle as I knit to keep the floats long enough. A helpful hint from Wendy. But some times the knitting, even though formed flat, finishes up looking slightly puckery. Not good. I know in theory part of this is from knitting on a circular slightly smaller than the knitting round, so the fabric bunches up. Partly the bunching also occurs as you squish stitches up towards the end of the left needle to feed onto the right needle and the fabric seems to set into this bunched shape. My Fana inspired cardigan is now a little over 15 cms tall, and was slighlty puckery thus, but as shown in the 2nd image - a quick blast of steam, a few gently pats, and flat as a pancake. I am beginning to realise this one will pill, its merino - so almost inevitable. Maybe thats the price for so-soft yarns. From sewing with silk, I know the loose fibres cling to everything, so I am expecting that to help the floats felt a little across the back in the first few washes.

And the latest socks, Toby's ribbed regia stripe sock, as patterned in the last post. Nearly finished. just an inch or two of 1x1 rib and cast off, then the second sock to go, so I figure I must be around 45% of the way through. Until now I have not suffered from second sock syndrome. Usually socks take just over a week - there never time to get board. This time however - I have belatedly discovered Cookies socks, starting with Monkey and then it seems after everyone else in the kniterverse Potatomus. that knitter seems to have a gift for socks with wow factor. Top down but - hey I can do that. These are of course the 'free' patterns, but I can just see that I will be signing up for both German and the sublime twisted flower sock, and maybe others. With inspiration like that well - I'll just have to get Toby's second sock out of the way quick.

and fish ... I've got to get some more fish knitted.