Holiday Knitting

With the silly season almost ending (new years eve is tonight!), I am ashamed to say that I have done very very little knitting in the last two weeks. I spent my Christmas week out at Kalgoorlie where my bf is currently living and working and wasn't able to do much knitting as I only brought over one ball of wool and went through that way too quickly :(

Since I've come back, I've been busy with a friend's wedding, as well as welcoming back my dad and sister from their holidays!! So knitting has sort of taken a backseat during this holiday season - even though I was hoping the 10 day break away from work would mean lots of finished objects... how clearly I was wrong.

I have however been eyeing a few new projects, but with my growing list of "lust items", I really need to sit down and decide which ones I want to do and finish them first... (gee, isn't that every knitter's mantra???)

Some recent loves:

The cover cabled cropped cardi (right) in the new VK

The two knits on the left from the new Knit.1

And on a final note, have a great New Years!

Phildar Swing Jacket

Ever since I received my Phildar catalogues, I have been lusting over about 10 of the knits in the catalogues (*must wait till i finish other projects first!*). But one of the things that I just *cannot* stop lusting over is the Phildar Swing Jacket for which I have also joined their KAL.

My initial intention was to do the swing jacket in a lovely cream with either a pale yellow or pale purple bias trim.... when I got my bendigo wool in "aran" colour, my initial reaction was *EEK - that won't work*.. but after swatching, i've come to love it. It doesnt have the same effect as if I had used a wool with bits of rustic other colours in it, but I love the clean creamy colour and so, have decided to keep going.

I have cast on and knitted a little bit, but I know this is definitely one project that is going to take a long time to do.. lucky for me, Winter isn't for another 6-8 months !! Yayyy.

On other project news, Jess is dry but I dont have any buttons for her yet so am going to hold off on the "finished object" post until I've done the buttons. :D

Plodding along

I'm still here - though my knitting has slowed down tremendously due to the silly season. My nights, mornings, days are spent at corporate end of year functions, doing the good thing by my company and schmoozing and schnoozing where I can..

So for knitting progress? It's plodding... I have almost finished Jess , and she is at the moment seamed and being blocked... and I just need to find some buttons and crochet covers for them (eek.. i've never crocheted before!). Unfortunately, my blocking setup looks a lot like a christmas ad, so the photo turned out a little harsh to look at :

For my birthday which was last week, my sister also ordered for me some yarns from Bendigo Woollen Mills.. It was my first order from there and I was pleasantly surprised by the huge 200gm balls... ! hehe it's almost the size of my head :)
I wanted the aran colour (white) for my Phildar Swing Jacket, but I dont think it will work :S The rustic elm (greenish) one is for my Phildar big button bolero which I will also start swatching shortly...

New Projects

As mentioned before, I am in love with Amelia Raitte's Jess Pattern and have just cast on and did a little bit of the back.

I am knitting with Heirloom Merino Magic which my dear bf bought for me . The gauge knitted up perfectly, but I am still unsure whether it was the right yarn to use (unsure if the definition of the basketweave is really there).

I will try to have progress pics up shortly :)

I have also cast on for the embroidered cardi from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 06 which I did originally try with babywool but failed miserably as the finished object just didnt have the same drape as cotton.

This time I am actually going to use cotton - and am using Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton in a beautiful darker fuschia type colour. For the contrast, I am using heirloom cotton in white which is not the most nicest cotton to knit with, but as I was only requiring a little bit of white cotton, I picked out a cheaper one than the Jo Sharp (which yes, my dear bf bought for me again - and before you think i'm the type of girlfriend that sponges off my bf, it's actually my birthday so that's why i got so many goodies!)

Cherry Cardigan

I think I may have actually finished a project bigger than a scarf/mittens/beanie that I'm actually going to wear.

I present to thee.... Amelia Raitte/Anna Bell's beautiful Cherry Cardigan which can be found at her site .

Project Details:

Pattern: Cherry Cardigan by Amelia Raitte

Yarn: Jo Sharp Summer Soho Cotton DK

Needles: 3.25mm and 3.75mm straight needles and cable needle. I knitted a little smaller to gauge as my things are often slightly too big for me.

Comments: I loved this one :) The pattern was relatively easy to follow, but was kept interesting with the cabling pattern, and took just over a few weeks to complete. Amelia Raitte writes her patterns really well - for dummies like me, I don't enjoy the whole "do as left side reversing all shaping". I like to be told what to do, and Amelia Raitte does exactly that.

This was also my first time knitting with Jo Sharp's summer soho cotton, and it was also the yarn dictated in the pattern. As an Australian, Jo Sharp's yarns are good value for the quality. The cotton is smooth to work with, gliding over the needles and through your fingers. It's not as harsh as many other cottons I've worked with and in terms of cottons, it's definitely one that I do enjoy. My only angst with the cotton is that it split alot whilst I was knitting. The loosely spun threads kept splitting, and even more so when I had to frog backwards. However, as an averall cotton yarn, I much prefer this yarn to many that I have worked with.

And fit of the cardi? The fit is lovely. The eyelet detail at the waist means you can draw in the cardi as much as you please. I finished the cardi with a ribbon instead of the cord that Amelia Raitte used because the little glimmer adds a little sparkle to the cardi.

It's definitely in a style that I love - cardis with ribbons, and little detailing. Very Alannah Hill-esque minus the beads and sequins. The cardi fit very nicely, but as all cottons go, it is a little heavy to wear. That aside, I am definitely going to make a few more of these cardis in several other colours, and team them for both work and play :)

oooh's and ummmm's

This week has been a rather knitty week for me :) Besides the yummy yarns that have been purchased, and the hours spent turning that yarn into something lovely, I have also received two lovely knitting pattern books/magazines.

The first is Jo Sharp's Knit.2 pattern book which my lovely boyfriend got me - which I also think is her best knitting book to date. The knits don't look terribly exciting to knit (ie. lots of stockinette, minimal shaping) but they're certainly things that I would wear...

And the other is the new Interweave Knits magazine from my lovely dad :

There are oodles of patterns I want to knit out of the two books/magazines but they will surely have to wait as I have all these ooh's and ummmm's already lined up... but on my to-do list for the somewhere future are:

From Interweave:

1.A cardigan for Arwen 2.Equestrian Blazer 3.Waistcoat

From Jo Sharp:

Sweaters and Boleros...

... Accessories and shrugs!!

Sometimes I wish I was a professional knitter, or at least a professsional housewife with the luxury of spending my days knitting and baking ;) Oooh how I'd love that!!

I also picked up an instructional book after all my days of googling "what is the equivalent of psso" and now have a handy reference at all times. I originally wanted the interweave one, but I thought I'd pick up this one instead because of the photographic instructional technique that it employs. I am definitely a visual person - and I often rely on photos as opposed to those little "drawings" of knitting.