Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Finished Item

Earlier this year I completed the purple cardigan from a Sirdar pattern.  It was a neat design, with some very simple features, such as a very narrow garter stitch lower edge and an unfinished back neck.

It occurred to me that any open work pattern could be used for the fronts - anything with a ripple effect to it.  I had some handspun, hand-dyed russet toned yarn, bought at Woolfest three years ago - the sort of yarn which is lovely in the skein, but unimpressive as a block by itself.  So then, I located a stitch pattern in Barbara Walker's "Treasury" and made the sleeves.  I thought a knitted hem might be neater than the garter stitch, but in the end settled for the rolled edge this created.  Working on the front was going well, but then it struck me that the wave effect was directional and that the peaks would form at a different place on the cast-off edge.  So, then I knitted the fronts as separate pieces and stitched them on.

I am quite pleased with the finished effect; certainly the russet yarn shows very well against the dark green.  It is just a little snugger than the purple version, probably because the yarn is a smooth DK.  It took far less yardage than the pattern stated, so I have lots of spare yarn once again.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


My favourite time of year, and, after thirty-five years of full-time work, I have moved to three days a week. Hopefully those golden autumn days will see me out on a hike, instead of emerging at dusk with a pile of marking still to do. We'll see.
A bumper onion harvest this year, after a dry season, the rain only arriving once they were out of the ground. Our fear is that white rot will have set in and they won't be keepers. But for now, the store is full to bursting. Garlics grew for the first time, too.

Pears from our two trees, and apples various. Pears are a mixed blessing: so luscious but ripening all at once so that there is a glut which can't be saved or stored. We have our own apples but the Bramley has been cordoned and produces a small quantity. This year, for the first time, I spotted a tree with huge cooking apples in the hedge on our allotment ground, while picking brambles. So we have been enjoying Brown Betties and Charlottes and Eve's Pudding.

And on my first day off, a quick trawl of the charity shops after a hair-cut unearthed a harvest of a different kind: two brand-new blouses in Liberty fabrics. Cost to me: £3.50 each. Cost from the companies on-line: £55.00 each. My pleasure in wearing them will be massively enhanced by this knowledge.