Spring is Here

I’m so glad I took photos of the snow last week as it’s quite hard to believe how much the weather has changed in just a few days! More daffodils have started to bend their necks and open their flowers and there has even been warmth in the air, which the bees have been enjoying as well.

The dentist was able to sort me out last week too – such a relief and they had this magic blue light that set the filling instantly. No injection and no numbness either. Amazing! All the same, I’m hoping not to go back until September!

The cardigan is coming on a treat. I still can’t show you it, but I’m partway through the second sleeve and then I just need to do the border that goes up the edge of one side of the front, round the back of the neck and down the other side.

Knitting this sample has really got me thinking about the difference in knitting for different sizes. The sample is a size 10. I’m not. (No, really? What a surprise!) It’s been so quick to knit the sections of this garment and has used far less yarn than making the garment in my own size would have done. The volume of yarn required also affects the cost (and viability) of making the garment for a knitter. If a ‘big and beautiful’ (as Maggie Righetti gorgeously describes us in her brilliant book “Sweater Design in Plain English“) knitter wants to make a garment, it’s a much bigger (pun intended) investment than for someone working at the other end of the sizing table. The design therefore needs to be appealing, enjoyable to knit, flattering and to FIT properly. This cardigan includes 10 sizes – but these cover TWENTY dress sizes, to fit busts from 28-66” and I’m making very good use of what I learnt during the “A Masterclass on Grading” course to ensure that the garment works properly at each size. Grading truly is a cross between a science and an art.

Anyway, on to things I CAN show you!

I’ve been spinning again. This is the second braid of this luscious fibre, in a colourway called “Faded Blooms” from Fibrehut. The first is all spun up into singles and once this one is done I shall ply the two together. I’m really enjoying creating something a bit more substantial – although I do have to remind myself every now and then not to allow the fibre to draft too finely!

I’ve also been putting some yarn on eBay. I know, it sounds like selling your children, doesn’t it?

There’s been quite a bit of interest already, including some very cheeky offers, but the bidding has begun which is very encouraging with another 5 days left to run on the listings. This very lovely yarn is discontinued and has been for a long time. That means I can’t design with it and the one pattern I have used it for (and why I bought more, in two colours) is one of mine that has not been published. You can tell from the pics that it was made a while ago, while I was studying for my City and Guilds in Hand Knit Textiles (so, about 10 or 11 years ago!). It was one of my assessment pieces. I loved the sweater and I still love the design, but I’ll need to rework it in a different yarn if I want to publish it.

I’d like to publish it, but it will be quite an undertaking. The original single size, designed specifically to fit me, had some quite complex shaping in the bust (dart increases AND short rows) and I’d need to think very carefully about how to handle that in a multi-size pattern. I think going with different shaping options will probably be what I end up doing – I might have that as a goal to complete by the end of next year.

We took more photos at the weekend of knitting (and some of it was airborne!). I’ll be sending my third shawl to RiverKnits in the next day or two and wanted to get some shots of it of my own so I can start to share sneak peeks in the lead up to the release (intended to be in May). Here’s a close-up of one of the pics. I love the way the Chimera yarn (the lighter, more variegated one) works with the Nene 4-ply. This photo gives you a sense of the fabric, but not of the shape!

I started using my ChiaGoo shorties knitting needles for the first time at the end of last week too – I’m beginning a new pair of socks for my lovely wife. I’ll share progress and thoughts on the needles with you next week. I think they might take a bit of getting used to.

Have a good week, stay safe and do something that makes you happy, K x

Leave a Reply