Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Butter Yellow Poncho

It was hotter than hell last week and there I was, finishing off a poncho!  Typical!  The cable edging was the most boring thing under the sun to knit, so I was most relieved when it was done.  I've not done anything like this before and was delighted with the outcome.
Debbie Bliss Como.  Colour:  19017.  90% Merino wool, 10% Cashmere.
The pattern for the cable edging couldn't be simpler:

Cast on 8 stitches.  Stocking stitch for 7 rows starting with a knit row.  Eighth row is the cable row:  knit two, put four stitches on a cable needle to the back, knit four, knit four from cable needle.  Repeat these eight rows several thousand times and you've got your edging!  

It took nearly 300 rows to get around the poncho!

Doesn't it look just like a rope?
I overlapped the end and added a button just for show.

Now I just need a cold day to wear it!

ps.  A virus recently attacked my computer (everyone's nightmare) and I had to restore my computer back to factory settings.  I managed to save everything that was important onto a memory stick, but not my photos.  I still had all my photos on the camera card, though, so it wasn't the end of the world, but I have lost all the cropping and crimping and work I did on the photos.  I can't imagine doing it all again!  Fortunately, the best ones are still here, on my site, for my pleasure, at least!

Friday, 11 May 2012


Not the best pic of me (are they ever...) but just wanted to give an idea of the "rescued yarn" cardi.  It's actually quite warm and comfortable...bit of a home cardi, but still.  I just so pleased that I managed to get something wearable out of a failed creation!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

On the needles (5)

My daughter's poncho was so successful, I decided to knit one for myself.  I fancied one in an elegant cream with a simple cable and twist pattern.  But then I remembered my huge stash of Debbie Bliss Como in pale, creamy yellow (17) and thought I'd use that instead.  The trouble with chunky wool that although they make lovely, er, BIG cardies or jumpers or whatever, you can't wear them under a coat in winter, which means you're stuck wearing them at home.  Honestly, I've got enough ancient jersies to wear at home, so it was an ideal choice for the poncho.  I bought it on a sale at least two years ago (or was it only last year.....?!) and liked the colour so much that I bought another bagful, thinking the colour was about to disappear forever.  There are a few places on-line that you can buy it but the colours that remain are lovely.  On some websites, the colour looks very yellow - it isn't.  It's quite a gently creamy yellow.

I then started work on the cable pattern.  I think I did this really just to relax - I haven't had so much fun for a long time!  Turned out to be a huge waste of time but it doesn't matter.  It's nice to know I can do it.  I used Excel, about which I've forgotten more than I ever knew, and by the time I got to the end, I began to feel quite expert!  This is the cable pattern I came up with.  It's part of another, very large cable pattern.

I then got going, only to discover several crucial factors.  It's murderous cabling with a very soft chunky wool.  No matter how tightly you pull the wool when knitting, you end up with a ladder next to the cable.  Also - time consuming!  And not the sort of thing you can do while watching TV!  Well, I can't anyway, not being any kind of cable expert.  I was hugely impressed with my twisted stitch though, as I've not managed that before.  The thing that finally turned me off though was the realisation that cabling tightens a garment which means I would have ended up with a very small poncho!

Oh dear....
So I restarted it and in less than two days, am already more than halfway!  I'm going to knit a cable edging to go around the whole thing.  I thought that would be a bit more grown-up than tassels!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Wool with a history

At last - something to wear
Followers of this blog might have become familiar with this cream wool and it's long and (not so) illustrious history.  It started life in South Africa, where my mother knitted me a cardigan, using two strands of wool to make it thicker.  And thick it was, so thick and stiff that it was virtually unwearable!  It was too tight and there was something odd about the sleeves - there seemed to be too much of them under the arms!  A couple of years ago I braved old memories and pulled the cardigan apart, reknitting it into another cardigan, with short sleeves and two buttons at the front.  It was still too thick and too stiff so I never wore it.  Time to think of something else....
Unraveling the second cardigan was murderous, but finally it was done and I began my own creation, copied from a Rowan pattern.  Except that it was supposed to be a softly draping silk yarn.  Disastrous.  I didn't even photograph the final result because it was just too hysterical for words.
By this time, I'd finally realised that half of what was wrong was the wool itself - those two strands knitted together just didn't work.  So I decided on another cardigan, knitted with a single strand.
Have you EVER unraveled two strands of yarn????!!!
Torture!  It took hours and hours and hours.  The knots were Biblical in proportion.  I thought I was never going to get it done.
But then it was...
Same pattern as my last cardi - wonderfully simple and very smart

Held together with a hair pin!!

I knitted into the back of each stitch for the first row, giving a neat edge
Why bother?  Why all this work for wool that is some kind of cheap acrylic?  Nice colour but was it worth it?  Yes.  It was the last thing my mother knitted for me and I wanted it to be something that would please both of us.