Wednesday 29 January 2014

Brioche and double knitting

Camel cardigan in progress by Asplund
Camel cardigan in progress, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Unexpectedly, I haven't bought any yarn so far this year - nothing related to knitting, actually. Instead, I'm making - enjoyable - efforts to decide how to make use of what I've already got.

2013 was a brioche and double knitting year for me. I learnt the basics of brioche knitting as a child and always liked how it feels, but it was only after seeing Nancy Marchant's projects and reading her book Knitting Brioche that I began to understand its enormous potential. Last year I also decided to learn double knitting at long last, which took my knitting mind in new directions.

What I'm making now (among many other things) is a cardigan combining the two techniques: a brioche cardigan with double-knitted edges for buttons and buttonholes. Nancy Marchant's "The Book Exchange Cardigan" (Ravelry link) is my inspiration, but with some modifications.

This wool is 90% camel: wonderfully soft and incredibly warm. I live in an old building, which is incredibly charming but cooold. I love the colour, but I will probably look like my dear old teddy bear Åsanalle.

Last, some great advice which I forgot to bring up when I wrote about finishing my "Alba" cardigan recently.

Right before I started cutting the steeks I mercifully remembered the scissors needed to be cleaned carefully as I had been cutting fins off herrings earlier in the evening! So, don't forget to clean your herring-and-steeks scissors - unless you want your fishermen's sweaters as authentic as possible, of course.

Monday 20 January 2014

Kitchener stitch and horror cowl

Kitchener mosaic by Asplund

First of all, thanks for all the nice comments on my previous posts!

I've returned to my double-knitted jacket to take care of the shoulder joins. Kitchener stitch is the ideal technique in this case, I think, but I do it so seldom I always have to look it up. There's a great description at Knitty. For this project I will get a lot of practice since there are four seams to take care of (2 for each shoulder) but I still don't expect I'll remember how to get started next time I chose this method.

Almost three weeks of January have passed and I still haven't bought any new yarn! Mind you, I'm lucky enough to work extra hours in my favourite yarn store, so I'm often subject to temptations of the third degree. (I'm planning what to get in the future, though.)

Instead of adding to my stash, I recently made a remarkably ugly brioche cowl with yarn from it. Combining Rowan Felted Tweed 145 ("Treacle") and Kidsilk Haze Stripe seemed like a good idea - and in a way it is, but certainly not this particular combination. The lovely tweediness disappeared completely, smothered in Kidsilk fuzz, and the unfortunate distribution of green and purple which I thought would look wonderful with the brown wool - well, it makes me think of wine spilled on mouldy bear skin.

mouldy bear with wine stains

However, it actually turned out to be at least as comfortable as hideous, so it will be spared and even worn. A bonus is that I can't see it when I'm wearing it! Otherwise I'd wear sunglasses, but that would look rather strange in the middle of winter...

imprint on snow: more pleasing to look at, but less comfortable

Monday 13 January 2014

A promising start

"Alba" jacket (Starmore) by Asplund
"Alba" jacket (Starmore), a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
The "Alba" jacket is finished, which I think was a great way to start a new year! There wasn't much point in trying to take photos of it until today, though, since the sun seems to have been on vacation for a few weeks.

Speaking of promising, I never bothered much about resolutions, but on 1 Jan I decided to try not to buy more yarn but use what I already have in my stash. Not for a whole year - but maybe for a month at a time?

What happened was that I was looking for a circular needle to pick up stitches along the fronts. Nowhere to be found - but I kept finding more and more yarn that I apparently have bought. And I didn't even look in the two suitcases that I know are bursting with wool!

Not buying more yarn for the time being is worth a try at least - and I'm actually eager to work with what I already have since I only buy yarn I really want.

The needle I was looking for? It was already in the project!

shoulder join