Saturday, May 19, 2012

ready for winter

So in the midst of all the birthday knitting I've been knitting this cowl for me on the side. And I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.

The yarn is from Quince & Co. The colours are great. And now that it's been washed it is so soft. It's this great American wool made in a New England mill and is quite reasonable if you buy it directly from them with the current exchange rate.

Anyway, an american wool with an english pattern, thanks to The Shetland Trader. After loving her 'norie' hat, see here, I thought I'd give her cowl pattern called 'sylkie' a go. I love the looking glass pattern, and it's a fun knit with slipped and crossed stitches to keep things interesting, but it's pretty easy to read your knitting, so you can figure out where you're up to. 

I also like that you can either wear it doubled or single for when you walk in to a warm place - you don't have to take it off (and then potentially lose it as I would). The versatility of a scarf but less knitting required and less fiddly to wear. 

The other super clever thing about the pattern is that you knit the i-cord edging as you go. It's such a nice finish but you don't need to fuss with it at the end. Genius.

Now I just have to get my brown coat out of storage :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

a little ray of sunshine

The first thing Giggi asked me was 'is it my birthday soon?'. The reason: I was knitting him a pair of socks :-) It isn't. I was just knitting for the love of him, and because he asked me for a pair of rainbow socks. A request too cute to deny.

It was pretty tough to find some true rainbow yarn. I would have loved to knit with trifolium but it never was available while I was looking. I should have emailed them directly.

Anyway we decided on this:

It's a great yarn from Colinette Jitterbug, colourway popsicle. Slightly garish perhaps (understatement of the year???) But just like he always goes for bubblegum flavour ice cream if given half a chance, this was his choice.

Because the yarn doesn't have any nylon I knit it down a needle size - hoping for some durability. The unfortunate consequence of that was that my hands hurt so much I had to stop knitting for 2 days but it's all better now.

I used Ann Budd's vanilla sock pattern for 8 stitches an inch gauge socks. It's available as a free download from Interweave in their ebook '8 free knitting patterns for children'. It has a great formula for whatever gauge yarn your using and in 2 kid's sizes. It was great to knit from - I just don't love the super pointy toes. Although to be fair it is more noticeable because I knit them a tad on the big size for extra longevity. Anyway I ravelled them here.

The verdict: 'I should wear these every day'

Thursday, May 3, 2012

and the sock gifts continue

Well it was a week or two ago now but we had the birthday of the newest addition to the family, a brother-in-law. I decided that I'd try a sock club pattern the wonderful Nanaimos. Named after a coastal town in Canada (very specific I know) - there is also a chocolate slice native to the region, but it seemed just a little too complex to do fructose free. I'm hoping that my brother-in-law who is excellent at making sweet things will give them a go.

Anyway it's a basic but effective pattern. And the yarn from misti alpaca is sooooo soft. It's a little fuzzy, what with all the guard hairs etc but I think they will make excellent house socks for this winter. I've ravelled these here. And it was an interesting exercise in making a basic modification to the sizing. I would consider these an XL size and the pattern made only up to a large. So I used a thicker yarn at a gauge of 8 stitches an inch (instead of the pattern's 9 stitches per inch) and it worked out perfectly. Too easy.

Now for the June birthdays :-)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

our new normal

I thought I'd better post a 6 months on update in our low fructose experiment. It really is our new normal.

Our shopping habits are established.
We know what we prefer when we eat out - I must admit we haven't attempted Thai food - it seems the one thing which might just be too hard.
Giggi asks for a ham and cheese sandwich or a green apple if he's hungry (not a biscuit, cake, chocolate etc.)
I've become an expert at home ice cream making.
My cake of choice if we're having visitors or if I need to bring something elsewhere is David Gillespie's butter cake with a handful or two of frozen blueberries.

I might eat too many croissants...

I'm not sure what else I have to report. I'll get back to you in another 6 months or so... But I can't see us ever going back.