Monday, 5 July 2010

Instant Gratification

Buoyed by my recently completion of Gentle Rose, I continued knitting like a mad thing today. I've been meaning to make Biscuit a new toy since he eviscerated the old one. This time, I have proper stuffing, so was able to use that instead of bits of yarn which he might eat and get sick. I still put catnip in it, since it seems to keep him coming back to play with it.

The pattern I like using for his toy is a bumblebee, and I made the first one entirely blue, mostly because I wasn't comfortable with striping. Other than that, I didn't change the first pattern, putting wings and an icord on it so we could dangle it. He had the wings off inside a week, and I found and threw them out promptly in case he would eat those and get sick. The icord stayed on - a testament to my sewing - but I chose to leave that off as well this time round. Consequently, I made a bee - without wings, and no way to dangle it. I may yet make an icord, but I'm not sure. They're very tedious to make and I'll be making a big wide long one for my handbag.
This was my first foray into striped knitting, and I had to do a little research first. I wasn't even sure if I was supposed to cast on with both colours or not, but quickly discovered exactly what to do. I used the fair isle technique, modified a bit because I was knitting in the round and fair isle seems to be back and forth. Holding the two strands of yarn proved very difficult, so I didn't really do it much. I think I'll not be knitting proper fair isle for awhile. Having said that, I'm addicted to lace and cables, so I've got plenty to work on. All in all, I'm very pleased with my striped bee, for all it's the wrong colours (Ok, I used blue and red instead of black and yellow. I won't use good yarn on my cat - and those were the acrylics I had to hand.)

The bee only takes a few hours. I took a (long) nap in between, but I was still done by early evening, and wanted to work on something else. I was going through my projects on the needles, since I didn't have the right size needles to start the handbag I'm planning to make next, and stumbled across the Dream Scarf. It had a tiny bit of yarn balled up at the end, and was about 2 feet long. "Hmm," thinks I, "this won't take that long to finish, if I only use the one ball of yarn." I have three in total of the same colour yarn, and could have gone on knitting this scarf for years, but it was really screaming at me that it was long enough, would never be a proper warm scarf anyway as it's thin and Dutch lace (holes in it really wouldn't keep the cold out) and is really a showcase for my talent more than anything else. So I decided to use up the last little bit of yarn and finish it off. The cotton silk blend I used is mostly cotton, so it really doesn't need blocking to show the beauty of the design. I'm really quite pleased with how it turned out.

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