Dune's the Pits and River Rules, Okay!
Since I last posted, I've added an icon photo to my blog. This is Knitbear. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you'll see that Knitbear is actually a bear sitting in an armchair clicking away with the old pointy sticks! Knitbear lives just outside my kitchen door next to my kitchen herbs and opposite Reclining Bear. Knitbear is also in the Bears' Gallery which is now open if you fancy a browse! I've also added a link to Knitspeak under Knitters' Terminology in the sidebar. I'm still looking for definitions for knitchick, knitflicks and eXtreme Knitting. Please make any comments on the Knitspeak blog where they will be most welcome!
As regards actual knitting, well, I thought I should carry on with my good intentions and finish UFOs as well as start USOs to use up some of my stash. The first USO (which, in all honesty, has alternated between USO and UFO status due to being frogged on several occasions) is something knitted in Sirdar Dune - actually a poncho! There I said it! That unutterable word PONCHO! I just don't do ponchos! However, Dune (which, in my opinion, is an acronym for Disgusting, Unreasonable, Naff (Embodiment of) looked interesting enough in C&H Fabrics for me to buy it. Momentary lapse of sanity? (Sincerest apologies to all those good people who think Dune is wonder yarn). Something different I thought. Never mind it's 100% nylon, it'll be interesting to see how something like this will knit up. I bought a pattern for a top and came home and started to knit it. Sanity returned with the thought that wearing a top knitted with this yarn would be like wearing a plastic bag in that the nylon wouldn't allow my skin to breathe. This led to panicked thoughts as I considered my hormonally compromised status and imagined myself flushing and dripping with perspiration wearing this bright pink (coral) wonder! Suffice to say that, since that time, it became a wrap and now a poncho - not a long poncho - but a short one which is less evil. I describe this yarn as unreasonable because, if by misfortune a loop is dropped, there is no way on this earth you will ever find that loop again. It just somehow vanishes into another dimension or disappears into a black hole or something never to be seen again!
Anyway, here's a picture of one side of the poncho knitted up and don't let me hear you gasp with horror!
All I need to do now is to make another identical bit, sew up the shoulders leaving an opening for the neckline and add a fringe all around the bottom. Then I'll decide whether to consign it to the bin like Knitty Fred did with the Dune poncho he knitted or to actually wear it!
Moving on to something much nicer, I now have the beads for the Patagonian Night Sky Scarf but seem to be suffering from displacement behaviour in that I find all sorts of excuses and other things to do in order to avoid actually commencing work upon it. I eventually realised that, deep within my sub-conscious, I am probably afraid that I'll ruin that horrendously expensive but beautiful cashmina yarn by my lack of experience in the beaded knitting department. Tips in books come to mind such as, don't put too many beads on the yarn at any one time as the yarn may become frayed and avoid too much friction between yarn and beads as this may cause damage to yarn, etc, etc. This was what led me (and this is my excuse and I'm sticking to it) to buy some Kid Silk Haze in the colourway, Dewberry, in order that I might start a more modest beaded knitting project as practice. The Kid Silk Haze along with the beads are shown in the photo below.
And what did I plan to make with the Kid Silk Haze? Why, River, of course, from Rowan 38! Only the knot has beads knitted into it! The state of play is that I'm almost half way through now. The photo below doesn't do it justice as the camera flash came on automatically due to the rainy, dark weather and so the colour is all wrong but, anyway, here she is .....
..... and the beaded knitting may be easier than I thought thanks to this link which Tracy provided. Apparently, it's possible to do beaded knitting without having to arduously thread all of those beads onto the yarn first. This is done by using a very fine crochet hook. Ingenious!
Quite a few people were commenting that the stitch detail of River was not very clear in the photo in Rowan 38 so I include a close up below for those who may be interested. This photo and the photo showing the yarn pictured with the beads both depict good likenesses to the Dewberry shade of the Kid Silk Haze as in reality.
The pattern itself isn't that difficult and, if a mistake is made, it's easy to spot early on so I haven't bothered with lifelines. However, one caution. For those who haven't used Kid Silk Haze already, you should know it's a nightmare to frog because the combination of mohair and silk along with the extreme fineness of this yarn means it clings to itself and knots very easily. I found that tinking (stitch by stitch) was the best way to go back when I did make a mistake. The large diameter needles with such fine yarn also took a bit of getting used to but the effect is well worth it. It looks so delicate and gossamer-like as to be almost ethereal. After all those boring baby blankies, in the words of the dreaded Ronald MacDonald "I'm loving it!"