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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cirkeltroje Progress & Bohus

Well, having found the best possible needles without having to order from the US, I continued knitting the Cirkeltroje and have now finished the main part and just have the sleeves to complete. Here it is, just off the needles and, obviously, unblocked - a big flower shaped piece of knitting with slits in for the sleeves to fit into!

I think I might take up Piglottie's suggestion (thanks, Piglottie!) and try some Crystal Palace Bamboo needles which I think I will have to get from the US or the other option is the Lantern Moon Destiny needles which can be got in the UK but in limited sizes and lengths. In the end, of all the easily obtainable possibilities here in the UK, and although I much prefer wooden needles generally, good old Prym, surprisingly, won hands down over Addi, Clover, etc, (a) because the wooden Addi and Clover haven't got joins that are smooth enough for fine yarn and (b) because all the metal ones I tried other than the Prym (including the Knitpicks Options) were unsuitable due to this particular shade of KSH not showing up enough against the colour of the needles. Perhaps, this explains why Sharon Miller of Heirloom Knitting recommends Prym for lace knitting.

For various reasons, I've decided to get myself a decent photo editing package such as Photoshop. At the moment, all I have is MS Photo Editor which I find very limiting. Some knitted items and some colours are really difficult to photograph and I need to either get to know my camera better or invest in a more sophisticated photo editing package. I may do a bit of both. I'd like to be able to play about with backgrounds more and be able to tweak colours until they more truly represent how they are in reality. Another useful idea, I thought, might be to buy some non-crease material for background. For instance, in the photo of the Cirkeltroje above, I was reduced to using sheets of A3 white paper as I didn't have a piece of material big enough in white! I did round the edges with MS Photo Editor to get rid of some of the paper joins but some lines are left which spoils the effect of the photo I think. I wish I had the time to study photography more because I think I'd find it really interesting. I keep finding myself quickly scanning through my camera instruction book when things don't come out right and reading about how one can adjust different settings such as white balance, etc, yet I just seem to always muddle through on automatic for the sake of quickness.

In the past few weeks, nice things have been arriving through my letterbox including the Large Lace Collar Jacket Bohus Kit from Solsilke. Of course, despite its name, it isn't actually lace. The photo on the front of the kit, I think, doesn't really do it justice but if you go to this page and scroll about three quarters of the way down, you'll see just how lovely this design really is.

I have my skinny toothpick needles all ready to start and am looking forward to knitting a piece of history.

I've also had a yen to knit some traditional mittens for some time and am hoping I can find some suitable candidates from this book . . .

. . . or Selbuvotter which I have on order.

Other bright and shiny things which are calling to me include Norah Gaughan's Russian Coat. Any Norah Gaughan fans who haven't yet got Vogue Knitting Holiday might do well to make sure they don't miss out as her Russian Coat featured in there is magnificent! Then there's the Secret of Chrysopolis. After having done MS3, I did sign up to a couple more secret stole lists including the SofC but decided other projects tempted me more until I saw a SofC stole on Ravelry and that was me hooked! No will power - that's my problem!


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cirkeltroje Started!

I don't seem to have found time to visit blogs recently so must do that in the next day or so but I just want to say thanks to everyone who commented on the Spring Things shawl in my last post.

Remember the circular lace cardi from the Danish book, Feminin Strik, that I was desperate to knit? Well, I've made a start! Here's how far I've got.

I've hit a hiatus until I get some more needles though. The circular needles I have are:

Denise set (inherited from MIL);
Knitpicks Options set;
a selection of Clover Takumi Bamboo;
a selection of Addi needles in both wood and metal; and
various Inox/Prym.

The colour of the Knitpicks Options needles make it difficult to see the stitches against them with this shade of yarn especially as the stitches are so fine (being KSH). Apart from that, the cords are far too long to use until quite a substantial amount of the knitting is done. Why aren't there shorter lengths of cord with Options?!! I checked Get Knitted and, yes, you can buy individual needles with shorter cords but you can't seem to buy shorter cords to screw into the existing needle ends of the set. You can even buy spare needles for the set but no shorter cords! The Denise set, on the other hand, has loads of different cords so you can achieve all sorts of different lengths by combining shorter or longer cords but the problem with them is that the join between cord and needle is so nobbly that, with fine yarn like KSH knitted on a relatively large needle (5.5mm for this pattern) you have to fight to get the loops to pass over. The Clover Takumi also have nobbly joins and I didn't have anything shorter than a 60cm when I initially needed a 40cm. The Inox, Prym and Addi were all either the wrong length or the wrong size.

After having tried, seemingly, all the different methods for a circular start including the famous Emily Ocker one, I opted for a start on two circular needles and achieved a nice neat centre which I'm quite pleased with. The DPNs I have were too long and heavy to start KSH and eight stitches on but I have to admit, having done it on two circs, I find this a really neat and simple way which will probably end up being my favourite. When it was big enough to go on one circular, I had to resort to the Denise needles and I've fought with getting the stitches over that nobbly bit until I'm sick and tired. So, knitting of Cirkeltroje will resume when I have some more suitable needles for the job and I'm hoping, when it's finished, it will look a bit like this.

Anyone else knitting this/any of the other knits in Feminin Strik or intending to, might be interested to know that there's now a group on Ravelry called Feminin Strik Knitters.

In the meantime, I'm working on the Rakuten Indigo sweater (details in this post).

The front, above, is finished and I've almost completed the back. I subbed the yarn for Rowan Bamboo Soft so had to calculate for the differences in gauge and I've also added shaping as I wasn't keen on the A-line of the original.