Posts Tagged ‘purple’

Summer of the shawlette

March 20, 2011

One of the nicest things about being a knitter is knowing other knitters. Especially when those knitters knit you something rather beautiful. You really appreciate the thoughtfulness and effort that someone’s put into a knitted gift when you’re in the habit of doing the same thing yourself.

This beautiful citron shawlette was made for my birthday in December by my good friend Suzie, who is an amazing knitter and deserves to have minstrels sing ballads in her honour. And being a knitter who understands the needs of other knitters, she kindly included the ball band in the gift, to satisfy my fibre curiosity. Naturally I have since lost the label but if memory and tactile examination serve, it’s got a large amount of something wonderful like cashmere or alpaca, and some merino. That’s about as precise as it’s getting today, people.

Everyone comments on this when I wear it. And I’ve discovered something even better than saying, ‘I made this myself’. It’s saying, ‘My friend knitted this for me, she thinks I’m worth all the time, money, and effort she put into this, and don’t you think I’m just the most blessed person on Earth?’ Which is rewarded with many strange looks, as the non-crafters just don’t understand.

Luckily everyone can appreciate the subtly varying shades of lilac and smoky blue, the beautiful softness, and the meticulous construction. None more than me, though!

When January rolled around I realised Suzie’s own birthday was coming up soon, and what better way to thank her than in kind? Luckily we are kindred spirits and I happened to have a skein of Malabrigo sock in my stash in a purple I knew she would love. And damson seemed like the obvious choice of pattern.

Because I’m an adult who’s completely capable of organising her own life and not at all prone to unrealistic assumptions about how much time I have, I of course started this shawl at T minus 2 weeks and knit feverishly every evening, every lunchbreak and at most social events. Totally not overestimating my abilities at all.

Because wonders will never cease, I managed to get it to Suzie only a week after her birthday. That’s me: reliable, realistic, and winning at life. Still, Suzie seemed appropriately pleased, and the project made me realise that damson really is a fairly quick knit, and shawlettes are probably the best knitted gift you can give a female friend or relative, given the lack of sizing issues.

My purple damson is ravelled here.

My favourite FO this year

November 27, 2009

Is without doubt my purple Liesl cardigan. You can tell by the silly grin on my face!

I’ve been wanting to knit this for ages, so I’m understandably ecstatic that it’s done. The pattern is Liesl by Ysolda Teague, and I used the beautifully bulky, squishy single-ply Freedom Wool by Twilleys of Stamford. It’s a thicker yarn than the pattern calls for—something I didn’t realise until I swatched—but luckily that meant I just had to knit one size down to get the size I wanted. A nice change from having to knit several sizes up for my owls sweater. And I’m in love with the buttons too—purple-dyed shell, which I got at Tangled Yarns when I was in Brisbane in September. They aren’t exactly the same tone, but they match the yarn better than these photos suggest.

The thick woolliness of the yarn I used has made my purple Liesl warmer to wear than I expected, but this means it will just be a Spring-and-Autumn cardigan instead of a Summer-evening cardigan. Given the number of cardigans I’m planning to knit in the next few months, I’m pretty okay with that.

A slight word of warning if you choose to use this yarn: it’s soft, and squishy, and smooth, and almost the opposite of itchy, but being a thick single it’s loosely spun and does develop something of a halo pretty quickly. I’ve heard it’s easy to felt too, but I’m being anally-retentive-careful with this cardigan so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’m hoping it won’t pill too badly, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, cue more silly grins at the lacy prettiness, more sly snuggles of the epic softness, and many, many boasts of the general purple loveliness. And probably a good deal of wearing it, even when the weather’s really a bit too warm.

I’m a knitting demon

October 20, 2009

Those purple socks really seem to have gotten me into the habit of doing a lot of knitting. I think I’m enjoying the process a little more these days, instead of thinking only of the day when I’ll be able to wear/use/give away the finished project. Or maybe it’s just that everything I’ve been knitting lately is either small-sized or large-gauge (or both), which means things are finished quickly and I get a lot of healthy variety in my knitting diet. Who cares? Maybe I should buy a bumper sticker that says ‘I’d rather be knitting’ and stop analysing.

Anyway, there are a couple of new things to show you. I made another cute baby hat for Liz, in a style that I like to think of as ‘Wee Willy Winky’.

wee willy winky hat

Isn’t it ADORABLE? I think she really liked it, and the pumpkin hat too. It’s the Candy Cane pattern from ‘Itty Bitty Hats’ by Susan B Anderson, made in Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton, which is nice and thick and definitely the softest cotton yarn I’ve ever found. I modified the pattern very slightly by attaching a large bell to the point of the hat instead of a pom pom—I thought a bell would be a bit safer for a baby, and it was much cuter in the end anyway. ‘There’s something about a man who tinkles gently when he moves’ — Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies.

The project is Raveled here. There are two important lessons I’ve learnt from making this hat that I’d like to share with you:

1. Cotton dries much slower than wool. Block knitted cotton gifts with plenty of time, and

2. Balls of yarn make great baby-hat-models.

In any case I think this hat definitely gets the tick of approval—almost everyone I showed it to (including me) now wants an adult-sized one.

On Saturday night I finally started my Liesl cardigan! I’m using that gorgeous squishy bulky purple wool I bought with Amanda. It’s so soft and snuggly and beautiful that although I suspect it will probably develop a halo and pill pretty quickly, I don’t care very much. I’m getting a larger gauge than I should but hopefully knitting a size down means the cardigarn will fit me in the end. From the initial try-ons (I love knitting top-down!) it looks like once blocked, all should be good.

Apart from being a dream to knit with, the bulky yarn means Liesl is growing very quickly. Here she is on Saturday, after I’d downed tools for the night:

liesl1

and on Sunday at the same time:

liesl2

so much bigger! Although apparently I’d knitted too much to be able to take non-blurry photos. I’m making the sleeved version, so those cap sleeves are on spare circulars waiting their turn at the moment. I’m going through the wool quicker than I thought, but hopefully there will be enough for decent sleeves.

My owls jumper is just about done too—it’s still missing buttons, but that hasn’t stopped me from giving it two outings already. There will be proud pics as soon as all the owls have their eyes!

Purple lace socks

October 14, 2009

Here they are…ta dah! Finally, the secret project that took so much of my time. I can now reveal to you that I was working on a pair of socks for my downstream pal, Kate, in Secret Pal 14.

socks1

They’re the finest-gauge project I’ve ever knit, and the first time I’ve done lace on socks. But I think they turned out pretty well, and I was very sorry to take them off, block them, and send them away. But I think Kate will like them. It turns out we share a love of purple!

socks2

The pattern is Crosshatch Lace from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks. It’s Raveled here.

It’s lucky that Summer is coming up—although I enjoyed making these socks, they took it out of me and I don’t think I’ll be knitting any more socks for a while. At least a few weeks…

My favourite hair colour

September 11, 2009

Purple!

purple

A hint of the exciting peeking out from the tame. Purple goodness amongst the brown. Enough to be different, surprising, luxurious, but not over the top.

purple

I have to thank the wonderfully talented Sissorlove for this colour and style. After the high maintenance of spiky blue hair when I was 17, I was hesitant about non-natural colours . But she managed to pick something that was subtle with a secret thrill—just perfect. The great thing about the positioning of the purple bits is that they sometimes peek out, but sometimes hide. I’ve had my hair like this for almost two years now, and still every now and then someone who I see every day says ‘how long has your hair been purple?’ I love it.

purple

So, thankyou for your insight and creativity my lovely, and I can’t wait to see you soon!

My favourite skein

July 1, 2009

It was purple. It had flecks of many different colours. It was soft and slubby. It was vibrant and comforting and breathtakingly beautiful, and it made me smile every time I pulled it out of my stash and snuggled it. I loved it, I really wanted to wear it, but I had to find the perfect project. I was sure inspiration would present itself one day, and in the meantime the skein was safe in my stash, waiting for its moment to shine.

favourite

A couple of weekends ago, its moment finally arrived. It had been building up for a while. I had known for a few days I wanted to make a hat out of it, and I browsed several patterns on Ravelry, and thought about how to use the skein to its best advantage, and generally let things settle in my mind. The way autumn leaves settle onto water, gently. And one morning I woke up and the answer was there in my mind: Urchin.

I had already made one Urchin, as a birthday present for Libby a little while ago. I love the way the pattern is designed to show off the texture and colour of a unique skein of yarn. I wanted mine to be a bit more slouchy than the green one though. I didn’t want to have to modify the pattern (sometimes mindless knitting is something we all need) so I made a larger size and knit really tightly on the stitches that would form the brim—and it seemed to work. Which is lucky as otherwise it would have been far too big and might have slipped off comically at awkward moments. At least, it fits after one blocking, but I guess we’ll see how it goes with further washes. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to ensure a continued fit, though.

I love it so much :)

urchin

I’m such a sucker for multicoloured hand-dyed yarns. They look so good in the skein but I’m not a big fan of pooling and I’ve been disappointed before with how something knits up. But I think the radial slashes of colour add something, instead of detracting from the colour and structure of the whole. Kudos to Ysolda and her amazing design skills!

purrrty

(And please excuse my terrible photography skills—turns out it’s quite hard to take a photo of the back of your own head.)

It makes me so happy when projects turn out as beautifully, if not more so, as I imagined. I don’t even miss snuggling into that skein.