Sunday, October 26, 2008

cast on frenzy

After finishing up a bunch of projects, I always like to get as many more on the needles as I can, as quickly as possible! This week has been no exception...

There's a couple of birthdays in the wind this coming weekend, and as usual, they've snuck up on me.

We've got a "first birthday girl" up in Ballarat, so I quickly checked Ravelry for pattern ideas (oh, how I love Ravelry, let me count the ways!) and came up with Rainbow Dress by tikki.

I wanted to make something easy to care for, as the mum of this little one is about to return to full-time work and I'm sure she's not that interested in having to handwash a dress for a one-year-old.

I've used Patons Smoothie DK, which is (gasp!) acrylic. I know. I bet you thought you'd see me dead before using the dreaded ack, but to be honest - it's OK. It's got a loose twist construction, and is definitely softer, both in the ball and knitted up, than any other acrylic I've handled before. For a child's garment, I think it will be good and practical. Being 8ply, it's knitting up very quickly, which is an added bonus!

Work also proceeds slowly on my Wallis. I've now finished the back, which once I got through the double-knitting on the hem, went quickly.

I find cotton such a tricky yarn to get even tension on and even though I am using a smaller needle for my purl rows (4mm for knit rows, 3.75mm for purl), I have ended up with the dreaded "tram tracks". I'm hoping a good soak and some blocking will tighten it all up.

After ripping out the Spring Pools, I used the same wool to cast on Zig Zag socks, from Vogue's "The Ultimate Sock Book", which I borrowed from my local library.

This has proven a much more relaxing knit, with half the first sock already done. I took it to SnB last weekend and managed to work on it without mistakes, so it must be simple!

and while I was in Spotters getting the Patons Smoothie (on special - yes!), this jumped into my basket as well.

It was on special too, 30% off, and a little hard to resist, with its lush softness and cool handle. I've been wanting to try Bamboo for a while now, so I grabbed 8 balls with the hope that it would be enough for a summer tank.

Another search on Ravelry (again with the Raverly-love. Is it wrong to want to marry a database?) provided me with Taj Mahal - exactly what I was looking for and exactly enough Bamboo to complete it. Perfect!

now, just need to get through all the other things already on the needles and I can cast it on!


sue said...

I love the little dress. The Smoothie is a great yarn to knit with, not squeaky or scratchy at all. I love those socks too, very pretty color and pattern.

Rose Red said...

snap! I bought some of the Cleck bamboo as well - in the burnt orange (and I've started a project with it straight away as well!). The Taj Mahal pattern is lovely.

Madge said...

I've composed a little poem for you. Here it is:

do it
you know you want to
just cast on
it's eco-friendly
what can it hurt?
Do do DO it.

Heh. Taj Mahal is a perfect summer knit.

Pretty Zig Zags. And again with the cute baby knits. You have such a great eye!

blackie said...

Impressive. I can only handle two projects at a time or i get a little frantic. Love the dress...think I'll be adding it to my queue. Don't know how I lived without ravelry.

Jenny said...

I have also used the smoothie on a few projects and think it is pretty good for acrylic too. Love the socks.

Emma said...

Taj Mahal's pretty, it'll look great in that blue.

elaine haby said...

love those socks.... I thought you might like an update on that vest you helped me with so long ago..... it's finally coming along ... maybe ready for this Christmas. (not looking exactly like the pattern) but who can tell?

cher said...

Love the ziz-zag socks are beautiful what yarn are you using?

that blue bamboo, ahhhhh
so pretty...

Cutie Pie dress too!

catsmum said...

The wee dress is so gorgeous. What a lucky young lady!
I have to admit that I didn't much care for the Smoothie myself but I'll happily take your comments under advisement and give it another go sometime ...
the bamboo though - THAT I seriously lovelovelove. I knitted the lace nightie [ really just a long tank ] from IK in it and it is so yummy. Didn't much care for last year's colours though, so bought the Ivory and dyed it purple.
I think I'm going to be much much happier with the new colours ...especially the black and the one you used. Just shows that Damo has been listening to us all on Ravelry!!