FO: Ruffled and Ruched Scarf

Two days after returning from Melbourne, I finally finished the Ruffled and Ruched Scarf. I had hoped that I would be able to finish this last week and be able to wear it in Melbourne, but alas that was not the case. But it turned out fine anyways, because Melbourne wasn't cold enough to wear a scarf (25 degrees on the weekend that I was there), and after my dramas at the airport (not being able to check in my luggage and having to downsize my melbourne wardrobe to a tiny handbag worth) it was probably a good thing..

Anyways, for some FO details:

Pattern: Ruffled and Ruched Scarf, by Pam Powers. Ravel it!

Yarn: Reclaimed Heirloom Merino Magic (DK weight) in red.
This is the third time I have used this yarn . The first was my illfated Jess Cardigan (too heavy to wear), then my first foray into the Lush and Lacy Cardigan (wrong weight yarn) and on its third attempt, it managed to become something. I used approximately 4 balls of yarn though I can't be accurate in saying how many yards that is because my balls were odd sized due to my "reclaiming" of yarn.

Needles 4.5mm

Comments and Mods
There are two versions of this pattern - one in DK weight, and one in a thicker weight. The scarf I made is based on the DK version and overall, the pattern is extremely easy (if not mundane) and took approximately 2 weeks for me to complete.

It all started when I learnt how to do a provisional cast on. A few botched attempts ensued, but after my third go, it was all smooth sailing from there . I made no purposeful mods to the patterns, but as I did not swatch for gauge (lazy i know, but it was a scarf so I didn't really care about fit) my scarf grew quite fat and so I did not do all the increases. In saying that, I was also surprised at how much yarn the scarf ate up - due to the garter stitch rows, and the increases/decreases throughout.

Kim Hargreaves : Patterns and New Book

I got a rather exciting email in my inbox the other day - one of my favourite knit designers has come out with a new book, and has made individual pattern buying possible on her website (without the need for a kit).

Rather than blabbing on about it, check it out for yourself :)
(HONESTLY, how can you say NO to this much loving?)

PS. I failed in my attempt to finish the ruched & ruffled red scarf. Knitting for 30 minutes while i'm on site rarely results in an FO. Oh well. No red scarf outfit for melbourne then . And thanks to all those who provided tips on wear to go for yarnie goodness in melbourne - i'll be heading off tonight :)

Ruffles, ruching, roses.. Bliss!

Continuing on from attempts to move away from black and grey winters and towards a colourful accessories filled season, I have cast on for Pam Powers' Ruffled and Ruched Scarf in Merino Magic red yarn ( a third reincarnation of this yarn who went through such projects as the Jess Cardigan to the first attempt at the Lush and Lacy Cardigan, and now as an accessory).

It was love at first sight for me and this scarf. Ruffles, ruching, roses, all wrapped around the neck - just perfect for the girly girl in me!

The project didnt start off so well though.. I learnt for the first time the Provisional Cast On. It took me about three goes before I was confident that the two colour swirl of a mess at the start somewhat resembled those in the photos... but since then, there haven't been any hiccups and I've completed the first section of the scarf. One more section and a rose to go!

I'm off to melbourne for a short four day trip to see some pals, and given that there can often be four seasons in one hour in melbourne, I'm hoping that the scarf will be ready because i have just the perfect little outfit for it. Ooh excitement.

Speaking of melbourne, I've been looking at yarn stores and wool related places I can visit on the Friday (my friends will be at work so I will have friday to myself). I've got a few on my list, but if anyone melbournians read this blog, please drop me a line and let me know . I'll be catching the train to get around, so preferably stores near the cbd or easily accessible :) Thanks

PS. Does anyone else really struggle with photographing RED? Any tips would be appreciated :)

Handsome Mittens

Some people think that where I live is the "desert". Some people think that I live in 40 degree (celcius) temperaure for 365 days of the year (plus one on a leap year).
These people are wrong.

Yes I live in the country, but i wouldnt call it the desert. It's definitely very red, but I believe that is because it is a resource rich area, rather than dry and arid. And they are certainly wrong about the 40 degree living. Yes, it does get extremely hot in summer (as does most of Western Australia I should say), but in winter, boy is it cold. The thermostat says it's about 11 degrees most days in the winter - and while for some people living in cold areas this might be reasonable, to me it is freezing.

So when winter rolls around, i love donning my scarves, my winter tights (fashionable or not), my beanies and my gloves and mittens. This year I have tried to escape my classic winter colours of grey and black (too drab), and decided to bust out some brightly coloured mittens with hopes of at least putting a smile on one's face..

Project Details:
Pattern: Handsome Mittens, featured in Interweave Knits winter 08 issue.
Yarn used: Half a ball each of Cleckheaton Country 8 ply (blue) and Heirloom Merino Magic (pink).
Needles : A set of 4 4.5mm dpns. The pattern calls for a set of 5, but i only had a set of 4 and wasn't going to go out and buy another set just for one needle. That said though, it would've been easier to make these if you had the extra needle (counting wise and fidgeting wise).
Comments and mods: The colour changing took me two goes to get it right. The first go I had a terrible line going up my mitten showing where the colours had been changed.. But something in my head kept saying "nah that's fine keep going" until I had almost finished my first mitten, and then of course, the painful feeling of frogging the whole thing and telling myself "i told you so" hehe.
The pattern itself is really easy to follow , and as mentioned above, if you have the extra needle, should be fairly straightforward. In general, I don't think i made any mods, and i think the whole thing went fairly smoothly.

Wedding bells

Sorry for not blogging in the last 11 days. It's been a crazy week and a half as my younger brother and his college sweetheart became man and wife. The bride was beautiful, and the groom glowing with happiness..

It was a beautiful ceremony and wedding reception, with both paying tribute to their respective parent who had passed away, and to the incredible journey that they have been through together.

All in all, a lovely day and one in which no knitting was done ;)

PS. My sister ended up wearing the cream jacquard floral dress cause she's smaller up top, and it fit her beautifully. Yay!

Casting on: Handsome Mittens

I adore mittens. There's something insanely cute about those little round pockets for hands.. something so cute about not being able to fully grasp anything properly. Perhaps it reminds me of little babies and their pouch mittens. Or perhaps it just brings up ideas of playing in snow.. Whatever it is, there's something uniquely youthful about them that gloves do not possess - something that just keeps me coming back.

When I flicked through my Interweave Winter issue, I immediately knew I wanted to cast on for the Handsome Mittens. I loved the striping pattern, the use of the reverse stockinette stitch, and the way that the model's mittens had contrasting thumb colours. Could it be - More cuteness than normal mittens!?

Here's me casting on and starting to knit...

Almost there

As I mentioned previously, the sweet Phildar tie up sweater is a mindless knit. Rounds and rounds of reverse stockinette stitch and little shaping made perfect tv knitting. But by golly, the finishing is taking awhile..

First there was the puffed sleeves..

Then there was the slit sleeve finished off with a loop buttonhole

Then there was the bottom band...

Then there was the TWO neckbands that form the tie..

Almost there.. almost there...