Dyed in the Wool
A dyed-in-the-wool knitter shares mainly fibre-related information, updates and musings (with the occasional moan about the weather!).

Just say no!

Thursday, January 26, 2006
Here are some of the knitting things I'll be saying "NO!" to this year:

  • The Knitting Olympics - are you kidding! I have enough self-imposed pressure, without any other kind of deadline thank you!
  • Any kind of Secret Pal exchange - see previous blog posts about being stuffed-over by my original pals (emergency secret pals for SP3 not withstanding)
  • Any kind of sock exchange - see my previous effort for a reason why.
  • Knit Alongs that I have no realistic expectation of starting, never mind finishing.

Things I'll be saying "YES!" to:

  • Free yarn (a girl can hope) - it will fit into my no-yarn-buying policy
  • Rogue - I will cast on for this as soon as I've finished erm... I Do? Martha?
  • More wooden needles - made by myself or purchased
  • More published patterns - there is one for definite (Magknits again) and I have an idea for another that I'm currently working on.
  • A shed-load more socks - my aim is to alternate a pair for me and a pair for my mum, but we'll see how well that works out!

I've not been well for over a week and a half now and as a result I'm averaging two rounds every 30 minutes at the moment. Coupled with the gusset increases it makes for slow going. This means it's not looking likely that I'll be finished for the prize-draw in the KAL (14th of Feb), but that's not why I joined in the first place anyway. I have another 12 rows to go before turning the heel, and that always goes (relatively) quickly.

I Do:

Progress has halted for a while, but as soon as I finish Jaywalker, I'll get going again.

Other stuff:

Whilst I'm not able to knit I'm designing - either on paper or in my head. I'm currently working on two definites- one for Magknits and another for an as-yet-undetermined location. I don't have the yarn for the Magknits item yet, so it's all calculator and guess-work for the time being. I've not had word from Kerrie yet as regards the publication of my already-done item, so I'm assuming that it will be in the March issue. Or it could be that between her proper job, Hipknits, Magknits and two sick kids she hasn't has a spare nano-second! Poor woman!

ETA: I forgot to mention this - if you have a spare moment, just pop over to UKnitty and leave your best wishes to "C". She's in hospital at the moment, and her boyfriend posted a message letting us know. She's been supportive of my Arien-designing process (and my Welsh)!
12:40 pm :: 0 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

B is for ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
31-12-05 002

Boob cake!

I made this for my brother's birthday at the end of December. It's basically two muffins stuck on a plate with some icing over it - but he loved it!

B is also for ...

Brilliant new hairdo!

The highlights are a kind of caramel colour (hmm... caramel...) and the hair is a lot shorter than it was - about time too!


Why yes, there is:

It's the I Do shrug. D'ya remember her? The 21st of August was when she last made an appearance. All of that progress you see is from Saturday evening when I cast on. Why has it taken me this long to get going again? Oh, yeah, exams, my mum's cardigan, socks ...


The Jaywalker socks have moved on a little, but not enough to photograph. I've learnt that I can only work on them for about 10 minutes at a time and then I have to take a wee break. I'm not sure whether it's because of the needle size or the needle material.
I'm normally a 2s2c gal, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'd be better off on d.p.n.? I've got my hands on some wooden skewers that are about 3mm in diameter, so I'll file them down and try making some socks with my Lorna's Laces left over (2 and a half skeins) from the Lotus Blossom shawl.

Promises update:

So far, so good on my bendable promises. No yarn of any sort has been purchased, I put the Arien Pattern up and I'm up to date with my uni work. OK, so I've not actually started the uni work yet, but lets not split hairs!

Ta, ta!
9:53 pm :: 6 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Arien - the pattern?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

So, here goes. It's not comprehensive and frankly some of the bits are missing. However, armed with Barbara Walker's "Knitting from the top", or any of Stef Japel's patterns, you should be fine! My Magknits pattern is waaaay better than this - don't worry!

Resources and links are at the end of this blog post. Good luck!

Yarn: Plymouth Stone Cotton - 52% cotton, 48% acrylic. 12.5 x 50g (106yds) ~1325 yds/1212 m (always round up!)

Tension/Gauge - 4.5 sts and 6.5 rows = 1" (really helps if you put this in first time around - doh!)

Needles: US7 (4.5 mm) Denise Interchangable needle set (invaluable for top-down knitting)

Measurements: To fit 41"/104 cm chest.

Finished chest size 44"/112 cm


(for combined method knitting)

K2tog = knit two together

SSK = slip 1, slip1, place stitches back on LH needle and k2tog

(For conventional knitting, for k2tog do SSK and vice versa.)

P2tog = purl two together

P2togtbl = purl two together through the backs of the loops.

C6B = slip 3 stitches onto cable needle and hold at back of the work. Knit 3 stitches from LH needle and then 3 from cable needle.

C6F = sl 3 to c.n. and hold at front. K3 from LH needle, and then 3 from c.n.

Kfb = knit into the front and back of the stitch

M1 = make a stitch by your favoured method

Rem. = remaining

Beg. = begin/beginning

g. st. = garter stitch

c.o. = cast on

c. off = cast off

w/ = with

w/o = without

Cable (from Harmony guide: 220 Aran Stitches):

Worked over 16 stitches, beg. with RS row:

1. P2, K12, P2
2. K2, P12, K2
3. P2, C6B, C6F, P2
4. K2, P12, K2
5. P2, K12, P2
6. K2, P12, K2
7. P2, K12, P2
8. K2, P12, K2
9. P2, C6B, C6F, P2
10. K2, P12, K2
11. P2, K12, P2
12. K2, P12, K2
13. P2, K12, P2
14. K2, P12, K2
15. P2, C6F, C6B, P2
16. K2, P12, K2
17. P2, K12, P2
18. K2, P12, K2
19. P2, K12, P2
20. K2, P12, K2
21. P2, C6F, C6B, P2
22. K2, P12, K2
23. P2, K12, P2
24. K2, P12, K2

For the cables running down the front, only 2 purl stiches are needed, because the cable is bordered on the opposite side by the garter stitch button band.


Cast on ??57?? sts.

The stitches are as follows:

1 front stitch/1 raglan seam stitch/12 sleeve stitches/1 seam st/27 back sts/1 seam st/12 sleeve sts/1 seam st/1 front st.

(I'd highly recommend placing a marker where there is a "slash")

1. Increase in the front stitch (kfb), m1, k1 (seam st.), m1, k12, m1, k1, m1, k27, m1, k1, m1, k12, m1, k1, m1, kfb.
2. P4, k1, p12, k1, p31, k1, p12, k1, p to end.

Cont. inc. as set in row 1, and start cable pattern now, with cable row 3.

Cont. inc. at front until the piece reaches kinda the collar bone - you know the bit that sticks out either side of your throat.

At some point you will have noticed that you've got the required no. of sts to begin the cables down the fronts. You can plan this part and therefore will have included the framing purl stitches that are part of the cable. Or you could do what I did - realise too late that you've reached this point, panic, and drop two stitches down to the neck edge and use a crochet hook to turn them from knit stitches to purl stitches. I'd recommend the first method - much less stressful!

At the beg. of row, C.O. half the number of sts to needed to reach right around the neck, plus 4 sts. do the same at the end of the row.

Keep the 1st 4 and last 4 sts in g. st. through, and STOP INCREASING AT THIS POINT!!!

Work these increase rows until the raglan "seam" equals the raglan depth, ending on a WS row.

Work the stitches on the LF only and stop when you reach the left sleeve marker. Slip all the body stitches onto spare yarn. DO NOT BREAK YARN!!!

Cast on 3 stitches using backward loop method. Knit the rem. sts. on the sleeve (keeping cable in pattern) and c.o. 3 sts at end of row. Rep. this for R sleeve, using a second ball of yarn. (I always try and knit both sleeves at once - it's a time-saver in the long run and if you make a mistake on one, you've done it on the other as well!)

Sleeve decreases:

Dec. 1 st each edge (1 st in) every 4 rows 16 times and then every 5 rows 9 times (some of the last decreases will be on WS rows). Work the 1st RS decs as K2tog (combination) and the 2nd dec as SSK. Work the 1st WS dec as P2tog and the 2nd as P2togtbl.

Work erm... 8 rows g. st.?


Cast 6 sts onto needle and then Rejoin yarn at the left side of the back and complete the suspended row that you started when you began the sleeves. Cast 6 stitches onto needle in between the back and RF.

Knit straight until you loose the will to live reach the desired length.

Work the same number of g. st. rows that you did for the sleeves. C.off.

Starting at the RF, pick up sts around the neckline (approx. 1 st. picked up for every one cast on/increased) and work in g. st. for ??8 rows?? C. off.


If there are any glaring omissions leave a comment or email me using the link in the side bar. And remember - I did this for the love of the knit, so if you're nice, you'll actually get a response from me!


Barbara Walker "Knitting from the Top"

Harmony Guide "220 Aran Stitches"

Backward Loop cast on

Step Japel a.k.a Glampyre

P2togtbl technique

SSP technique

Combined knitting:

Annie Modesitt - Knit stitch and Purl stitch
Grumperina's fantastic stitch "translation" glossary

Pictures of the cardigan are in this blog post.
12:00 pm :: 1 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Bendable promises

Thursday, January 12, 2006
I love lists, and so here's one of what I consider bendable promises:

  • I promise not to buy any more sock yarn until I've used (almost) all of my stash up. I reckon that's about 20 pairs of women's socks assuming I use all the left overs.
  • I promised that I'd put the Airen pattern up. Oops! I can't understand my own notes and I can't even find out how many stitches I cast on. I can always scan the bits of paper and put them up so everyone can interpret them?
  • I promise to keep up with my university work and I will not get behind this year (!)
  • I promise not to buy any yarn of any kind until I've made all the stuff that I already have yarn and a pattern for (that's another list for another time!). Unless it's for a present, of course!


I'm into the gusset increases now:

I'm not too sold on the toe. It's a bit pointy for my toes. Guess who'd they be perfect for - my mum! She ain't havin' them!


I had a bit of a cruddy birthday. I was woken up at a quarter to three when my drunk, diabetic, 16 year old next-door neighbour came home and started shouting "I WANT MY PHONE!" over, and over again. And then, in the evening, I was told that my grandpa has had cancer for three and a half years. You know how people say they were knocked side-ways with bad news - well, if there hadn't been a wall in the way, I'd have fallen over.


I'm still working on deciphering my notes (really, really should have paid attention to what I was doing) and I should have something semi-concrete by Saturday.

Well, I think I can call that random Thursday! See y'all on Saturday then!
10:28 pm :: 2 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

Arien - a finished cardigan

Sunday, January 08, 2006
It's late, but it's done! I gave it to my mum today (the 8th) as a "Thanks for giving birth to me" present. I even wrapped it!

arien finished rs 001

arien finished rs 004

arien finished rs 003
Side (action shot!)

arien finished rs 002
Side (still shot)

arien finished rs 005

Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.

I'm leaving the issue of fastening the cardigan for now. The reason for this is because my mum very, very, rarely fastens her cardigans. If she does, it's usually snowing!

I've been thinking about the pattern, and the possibility of publication on somewhere like Magknits (assuming Kerrie would take it).


1. More people would get access to it than the twenty-or-so regular readers who pop by here
2. I like sharing
3. I'm quite pround of it


1. Somewhere like knitty wouldn't take it becuase I've blogged about it
2. I don't have the confidence to do multiple sizes
3. I don't have the confidence to publish a proper adult garment
4. It looks too similar to Stef Japel's stuff to be published
5. I have weird row gauge and the pattern wouldn't work without it!

So, having said all that, the notes will be up as soon as I've found all the bits of paper and deciphered my own handwriting!

ETA - pattern notes now available here.
7:23 pm :: 6 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink

A knat's whisker

Saturday, January 07, 2006
That's how close I am to finishing Arien. I'll save the detailed photos for the finished item (probably after my birthday tommorrow). In the meantime, I'll give you a little tease of the pocket opening:

06-01-06 002

Details on how to do that are found in "Cool Socks, Warm feet" by Lucy Neatby (a book I got for Christmas).


I'm about 2.5cm (1") from the gusset increases. For comparison, I've laided it on my "Star Trek" socks.

06-01-06 001

Future plans:

My course is set to start in earnest in a few weeks, although the work load will be no where near as heavy as last year. this means I should be able to do a lot more sewing. With that in mind, I've got myself this pattern, from Simplicity. It's from the Khaliah Ali Collection, and it's designed for women like me (super curves!).

In knitting-knews, I plan to pick up the Sirdar lace cardigan and get going on that as soon as I've finished mum's cardigan.

Look for the showcase of the finished Arien cardigan (notes and caveats will follow a few days after that).
3:18 pm :: 1 comments ::

AmyP :: permalink