I thought I'd surprise you all today and – shock, horror! – discuss knitting something other than socks.
This neglected beauty is set to be a cardigan, which I started way back in September. As that turned out to be such a, err, eventful month involving overseas travel and job loss, I put it aside and haven't really touched it again until now.
You see, the reason I find socks so great and focus on them so much, is that they're portable and require little concentration. I can take them to work and knit absent-mindedly on the Tube or at my desk. Cardigans? Not so much. They're too bulky and, for the most part, require more concentration than a simple pair of socks.
The pattern I'm using is called Chance of Snow, designed by Elena Nodel (click here to see project page on Rav). Like most of Elena's patterns, it is constructed in a way that minimised the number of seams. The pattern itself is also very thorough and includes very clear instructions. Unfortunately, that means there's quite a lot of pages when it's printed out. It would probably be best to follow it on a tablet but I never trust myself to remember to pack my iPad in my knitting bad. I much prefer to print patterns out, even if I do lose pages and subsequently complain about it…
The yarn I'm using is Cascade Ecological Wool in shade 8016 (Natural/Undyed). It is 100% pure plied wool and I have three huge 250g skeins of it, to ensure I make a sufficiently long cardigan that covers my hips. I don't mind admitting that my trusty old Royal ball winder and swift struggled with this task. I guess they're far too used to little balls of sock yarn.
You see the cabling and rubbing underneath the arms? That combination really drew me to this pattern when I was picking it out. I chose to use 'twisted ribbing', which is done by knitting through the back loop of the K stitches in standard 1 x 1 ribbing. I think this gives it extra definition and makes it 'pop' that little bit more.
Right now, I'm just knitting plain until I reach the point that the pockets need to be put in. I guess you could call this the mindless stage; this is excellent because I'm looking forward to watching Making a Murderer on Netflix and everyone seems to be insisting I watch it. Even though peer pressure didn't work with Breaking Bad – I've still not watched it – I'm a big fan of the Serial podcast and it appears Making a Murderer is in the same vein. But I digress…
I make no apologies for what comes next.
In fact, you probably knew it was coming because I've already proven, in a blog post discussing a cardigan, that I cannot abandon my wholehearted love of sock knitting. In fact, I mentioned socks in the opening sentence.
Regardless of how you might judge me for the sock obsession, I'm coming back to them, because I have some yarn porn to show you (I'm still justifying this with the following: a) I need some to make 2 pairs for my mother and; b) Sock yarn doesn't count as stash).
Check these out….
First up: more Regia! The one on the left is Regia Fluormania (again, as I've said, I'm a huge fan) in 'Neon Berry'. The other ball is 4 ply color in Exotic Color 3726.
God, I love Regia (and Opal, for that matter) because of its sheer durability and cost. The cost to durability ratio weighed against the length of time that a pair of socks made with this lasts, ensures that when I see a nice shade or some on offer, I can't resist it. It's an investment.
Next up, I bought a couple of balls of Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball. I won't lie: I don't particularly like how this yarn feels. It's itchy, scratchy and a bit splitty. But it lasts. More 'high wear' yarn. It's a shame it's not as good quality as Regia, but there are some interesting hues to be had.
I've saved the best to last: this is a ball of iKnit's Ziggy Stardust yarn (which has stellina spun into it) in the shade 'Lady Stardust' (not available to buy online, sorry!). This will definitely be used in a pair for Mum.
I'd love to know what you've been knitting this week.
Whilst I hope to focus most of my time on the cardigan, I'm aiming to finish my Neon Beach socks and maybe find a sock pattern to go with that Ziggy Stardust.
So, what's on your needles?
Linked up with Keep Calm Craft On