Sunday, 1 March 2009

P/hopping and ribbing...and ribbing...and ribbing

Remember the 'Have you checked your breasts socks' that I designed a couple of years ago? I used the 'honesty box' principle for people to donate to if they enjoyed the pattern. Natalie of Yarn Yard fame and Medecins Sans Frontieres have taken this idea and run with it and have come up with the P/hop campaign which is to raise money and awareness of this important organisation. Knitting patterns are being donated for free download with users being asked to donate what they feel the pattern is worth in terms of Pence /hour of pleasure.

I have decided that I will no longer be selling my Cranford Mitts pattern but will now be offering it free in return for a voluntary donation from the p/hop site. Do go over to the site and have a look at what else is being offered and come back regularly as there's lots going on all the time.

Our link person at MSF is the very enthusiastic Pete who until meeting Natalie had no real knowledge of knitting or the knitting community. Imagine his surprise when a donor approached him and said that they would make a substantial donation to the fund...if he learned to knit. Generous knitters donated red and white yarn so that he can knit himself an Arsenal scarf and I offered to get him started with knitting lessons.

He bravely came along to the Golders Green knitting group last week and took to knitting like a natural. Look!

Do visit the site and cheer him on!

In other news my enthusiasm for knitting fitted garments has not diminished. Socks? So last year.... I've now finished the ribbing on my Back to School Vest and have started on the shaped top. Having been used to knitting jumpers in the flat and not knitting to fit I am constantly amused by the shape of these garments as they hang from my needles. This rather reminds me of the hats that Irish fans wear at rugby matches.
I'm enjoying the way that this yarn is knitting up - it's going to be a warm, robust garment when finished with a lovely tweedy but modern look.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was absolutely dying to go through all my pattern books, casting on like a woman possessed. You will be surprised to learn, therefore, that I managed to confine myself to one.
This book is an absolute revelation. Loads of really interesting and modern designs - all knitted from the top down with loads of information on how to get them to fit and to make them our own by changing design elements.
I don't know about you, but every now and again I find a pattern which so perfectly suits my tastes that I have to cast on immediately. This is such a pattern.

Despite all the wonderful information about making the garment my own by changing every element by some spooky coincidence I found the exact yarn for this garment already in my stash - Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool in Bronze and could think of no other yarn which would do as well.
And I started knitting. The construction of this tunic is very interesting. It starts off with a provisional cast on along the back of the neck, knit down to the armpits then stitches are picked up along the unraveled cast on edge and knit down the two fronts then joined at the underarms. The piece is then knit back and forth until the neck and button slit is fully knit then joined in the round and knit down to the hem. Sleeves are then picked up from the shoulder edge, shaped with short rows then knit towards the cuff. Ingenious!

The shaping is further enhanced by gradually 'fading' the bodice into the skirt with wide ribs. Very clever. I have, however, had quite enough of K2P2 rib for the time being.

I hope the acre of stocking stitch that I'm about to tackle doesn't become tedious despite how much I have been looking forward to it as a relief from the ribbing. Where did I put that sock?


Rose Red said...

Custom Knits is a great book - I love that particular pattern too.

LittleBerry said...

I do so love the colour of the rowanspun in your back to school vest but I do love the pattern you've chosen to knit from the custom fits book, I've nver seen that book...

Pete Masters said...

Haha, thanks for the coverage Jane!

I'll post on the p/hop blog about the experience today.

Also, can you thank your friend (Natalie?) for me as I received the white woolm for the Arsenal scarf today?



Auntie Noo said...

Tee hee, just read Pete's take on the knitting! Made me chuckle. Can you remember what it was like to not know why it was all going wrong? I love that Green.... will look fab on you

Mandella said...

OK, I give up. As I seem to see it everywhere I've bought a copy of Custom Knits. Call it a treat for when I finally finish the shawl.

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

what a fabulous colour! and when the stocking stitch gets tedious, put on some music!
well done to Pete for starting his scarf!

Bells said...

Thanks for the p/hop information. I really like that idea.

But what got my attention also, as a fairly new reader here, is you have CRANFORD mitts? I did not know this and must make them. Lovely.

bronchitikat said...

I'm just knitting my first ever top-down cardigan. It's certainly making decisions like 'does it fit?' 'Is it long enough?' - provided I ensure that the needle is long enough to take all the stitches stretched out. Not, however, a travel project - the body rows take around 10 min each!

& the construction of that bronze jumper looks really interesting.