Thursday, 26 August 2010

Reading knitting

I decided last week that I needed some knitting that I could do while reading, watching television, etc.  In  theory, the Marion Foale cardigan is straightforward enough, but  actually if I don't pay attention the results aren't as even as I would like.   So I have embarked on another cardigan.  This is from Rowan's Classic Knits for Real Women.  (In this context, "real women" evidently means "bigger and/or older" - in comparison to most of the models that you see in books and magazines.)   The design is a jacket that has two versions.  Both are mainly stocking stitch, but one has beads at regular intervals, and the other (the one I chose) has an occasional  purl stitch on the right side which gives  a similar effect.     

Textured jacket
 The pattern is for double knitting weight yarn, and I  am using Rowan wool-cotton, in a lovely soft green colour called Verdigris.  The 'beads' are on every 6th row, and otherwise the stitch pattern is plain stocking stitch.  So I only need to pay attention on the 6th row - although I also need to check at the start of every knit row to see whether it is the 6th row, which I am inclined to forget to do.  So it is ideal reading knitting.  

I started the jacket last week.  This week I am at a workshop at a research institute in the Black Forest in Germany - quite taxing for my retired brain, but very stimulating too.  I had a long journey to get here, involving a train to Manchester airport, a flight to Frankfurt,  another train, and finally a taxi.  Altogether I spent more than 3 hours on the various trains - very productive knitting and reading time. (I didn't attempt to take my knitting in my hand luggage on the plane, because I have heard of even bamboo needles being confiscated.) I had nearly finished the back by the time I got here, and I expect to have a lot of the first front done by the time I get home again.  

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Visiting Rochdale

Yesterday we went on an expedition across the Pennines, mainly to look for two buildings designed by Edgar Wood, an Arts and Crafts architect who designed several buildings in Huddersfield, but who came from Middleton, near Manchester, and did most of his work in that area.  We didn't have much success in finding them - one we could not find at all, and the other (a pub) was boarded up and had apparently been closed for a long time. But the journey was not wasted.  We visited a cemetery (one of J's interests) and two war memorials (ditto).  One was the splendid Rochdale memorial designed by Lutyens.  Those flags, folks, are painted stone.

Rochdale War Memorial

We also visited the Rochdale Museum and Art Gallery, which is inexplicably called Touchstones.  (What's wrong with "Museum & Art Gallery"? At least people know what that means.)   It's housed in a purpose-built Art Nouveau building with some beautiful stained glass.
Rochdale Museum & Art Gallery

 And we found some knitting too - over the entrance to the museum was a stripy piece of knit graffiti, made by artist  Sophie Horton for an exhibition of  contemporary knitting and crochet. I'm sorry to have missed the exhibition, but this piece (called Front Cover - get it?)  has been left in place. The Touchstones blog has a post about Sophie Horton installing the knitting, and her ideas in designing it.   
Front Cover - knit graffiti over the entrance

There is also a knitting circle called Knitty Gritty based at Touchstones that meets in the cafe once a month. I love their publicity photo - that cake looks good enough to eat.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Fingerless Mitts

My daughter asked me to knit her a pair of fingerless gloves (which she likes to wear) but I said they would be too fiddly, so we agreed on fingerless mitts.  We chose Jasmine by Anne Sahakian  - the pattern is a free download from Ravelry.  The yarn is Sublime baby cashmere merino silk 4-ply (though it ought to be called merino silk cashmere since it's 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk and only 5% cashmere).   It is beautifully soft and good to knit with.    

S is away visiting friends, so she hasn't seen them finished or been able to model them for photos (there will be some later).  But she tried on the first one (before I tidied up the loose ends) and loved it.

They were fun to knit and didn't take long.  Much more fun than socks.  The stitch patterns are interesting without being too complicated (the cuffs are basically double rib, with the knit stitches twisted every four rows). 

And they took less than 50g of yarn, so were very  economical.  I actually bought two balls of yarn, so I shall knit some mitts for myself with the other ball.