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August 2010

#Stashbustarmy part one

If you haven't heard of the stash bust army, it's a twitter-based knit-a-long where instead of everybody doing the same project the aim is to clear out all those odd bits and pieces lurking in your yarn cupboard/box/bag/under the bed. I was intoruced to the idea by Voolenvine of the YarnGasm podcast [].

As I know of a lot of new babies on the way, have a niece of an age to enjoy soft toys and various other gifts I could be making, I'm embracing the idea with the aim of being able to close the cupboard door by November.

The first is this little cardie adapted from a Debbie Bliss pattern Lace Edge Cardigan in Simply Baby.

Broke the yarn diet but it's lurvely

I stumbled across a new yarn supplier the other evening, Nimu,
I'd not heard about them before but they had loads of tempting laceweight, sale items and I'd just finished a project. And so I fell off the wagon.
So now I have 1200m of this soft green 50% alpaca, 20% silk, 30% merino. It feels soft, and I like how it runs through my hands but I suspect it will be a while before I can provide a user review. On the other hand the Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig is calling me.

Favourite Autumn hat

Time for something different from a beret. This stylish little number could look quite vinitage.

It is the Crown of Leaves Hat by Faina Goberstein in Twist Collective Fall

Thanks to @arizonaknitter who included this in a YouTube video -- Fall 2010 Hat Pattern Review

One women went to Knit Nation...

... and came home with many lovely things

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Knit Nation at Imperial College in London was a great pleasure to attend.

Knit 002aAmong the best things were meeting people I'd only previously spoken to online and the compliments from complete strangers about a knitted cotton top I was wearing.

It was Never Fails to Please from Jane Waller and Susan Crawford's A Stitch in Time and even Susan who was signing her new book seemed to think it was a good job.  

I also met hat designer Woolly Wormhead and the lovely Ysolda Teague as well as having a good rummage around the fabulous range of yarns from mainly smaller suppliers.

But it wasn't just the big names - the place was full of happy and enthusiastic knitters who were keen to chat about yarn, projects, books etc with complete strangers, exchanging Ravelry names as they went.

Given I'm trying to close the doors on the stash cupboard I was trying to be restrained on the yarn buying side so only purchased a skein of black rainbow 4ply from Babylonglegs which will become a baby hoodie for the expected niece/nephew and some fab deep pink Knitwitches Seriously Gorgeous Laceweight silk/cashmere.

Baby longlegs Gorgeous pink

But then I won some Old Maiden Aunt turquoise 4ply along with some lovely rosewood needles, cable pins and seaming pins in the Medicins Sans Frontieres p/hop project's raffle.

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If you don't know about p/hop;it is a charity fundraising scheme where knitters can download patterns or collect them from shows like Knit Nation and donate based on how they value the pattern. P/hop means pennies for hours of pleasure - and given the lovely patterns designers have donated to the scheme there is plenty to be had.

And if all that wasn't enough I also managed to attend an Advance Lace Knitting workshop with designer Anne Hanson which left me enthusiastic and confident and raring to go on more complex lace projects (family should be prepared for the scarf and shawl avalanche).

And then there were the lovely free books from my Knitting magazine subscription.

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Great day out - well done to the organisers. I can't wait for next year.


Advanced Lace Knitting

So what did I learn from designer Anne Hanson at Knit Nation yesterday?

Lace (in knitting terms) falls into 3 basic types:

  • Eyelet - where there are distinct patterns of holes in a stocking stitch or garter stitch ground
  • Lacy knitting - patterns of holes made with yarn overs and decreases across the whole area worked in on direction (right side) with rest rows (no decreases or yarn overs) in the other
  • Knitted lace - the holes can be made on both sides with no rest rows. So a finer and more lacy effect

Complex patterns might include both the second and third types. 

Provisional cast on using a crotchet chain - none us proved very good at the unfurling the chain part

The theory behind knit on edgings - Anne explains it well and I now understand it better and knitted the sample easily but not sure I can articulate yet.

The impact of yarn choice on fabric feel and stitch definition - Anne brought a range of swatches to demonstrate the effect.

And we started a sampler to perfect our techniques.

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Three hours came and went in a flash. I would love to do a whole day with Anne but even it what seemed like a short time I came away with more confidence about my technical ability and with a determination to learn more and start to develop my own lace design project.