Lolita legs - finished

I read a post this week from a blogger who takes a very relaxed attitude to frogging any project which isn't working. It was quite liberating to read. So I'm not a huge failure as a knitter if I pull something out and start something else?!

I have a couple of projects which are definitely now going to return to their component parts.

However, I've always been keen on finishing Lolita legs. That may be a strange thing to say given that I started it (them?) in 2007. In this case the lack of activity hasn't been a loss of enthusiasm for the pattern or that I've not enjoyed knitting the pattern.

The problem has been that I've made so many mistakes. And when you're facing pulling half or a whole item and starting again, it's easy to put it aside and difficult to pick it up again.

So they were an ideal project for the Ravelympics 'wipsdancing' event!

And now I have two finished, identical stockings, free of mistakes. And I have a finished Ravelympics project. Hurray!

For the record, the yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino (soft and warm!), knit on UK 10's and the pattern (free) is here: Lolita Legs

Bits and Pieces

I swear the older I get, the shorter my attention span becomes. I just don't have the patience to knit an entire sweater anymore unless it's one of those made with super chunky yarn on massive needles so it's done in a few hours. But those sweaters are too hot to wear, so what's the point?

So, I have been amusing myself with small projects, patterns that can be completed in no time at all.

This is a small purse made with a combination of wool yarn and a little bit of shiny strands of something. The silver is just enough to sparkle here and there. My sister gave me the dyed batting for Christmas, and I discovered a friend in town spins yarn from her angora rabbit. She spun this for me, and I had just enough for the purse.

I used a Lion Brand pattern to knit this shopping bag. It's straight garter stitch all the way through, knitting two strands at a time. I decided to buy some interesting yarn from a small shop instead of using the recommended yarn and colors, and that's the problem. I didn't understand how the two strands were used together, and my colors do not match! What a waste. I was delighted to see my cat, Mike, likes the thing as a pillow at least.

This scarf is a keeper, though. Made from another Lion Brand pattern, it's a simple garter stitch zigzag scarf (start with 2 stitches. Increase one stitch with each row until you have 27 stitches. Decrease one stitch with each row down to 14 stitches, then work back up to 27, and so on). I used two balls of Noro yarn, which is a striping yarn I really enjoy working with, and I always love the results. If I make this again, I'll use at least three balls because I like long scarves that wrap.

Now what will I try, I wonder?

consistency, consistency

For many of my projects I've had enough yarn to knit the whole thing, but some projects I've spin, knit, spin, knit. In fact sometimes I've done this deliberately to keep things interesting, and up till now it hasn't caused a problem.

Over the last week I've spun some more wheatfield yarn for my Swallowtail shawl. I've used a different batch of fibre (with more variation of colour) and a different wheel (single rather than double drive) and a faster ratio. The result is a much nicer yarn for my project - finer and smoother and more 'variegated'.

Having knit a couple of pattern repeats with it, I can't really see that it's different enough to matter. I can see that the lace pattern is a little more well-defined and I can see a little bit of striping starting to happen, but only if I look really hard for it.

The second kind of consistency is with the thickness of my yarn. I guess it has to do with having spun so much of the same yarn, and also starting to think about the best drafting technique for the job (short forward draw) and consciously sticking to it.

My swallowtail shawl is still growing quickly. I've now started the lily of the valley border and looking forward to knitting nups! Seeing it take shape is spurring me on, as is the thought of the Ravelympics starting within the next week (Go Team GB!) I would like to have entered this as a WIP project but there's a rule about not having touched a WIP since 12 Jan. That means that I can enter other projects such as Lolita Legs, but not this one. And I'd like to get it finished before casting on my main Ravelympics project. More late nights!