Monday, 25 May 2009

Whose filthy fingers are these?

They would be mine...

These are not the fingers of an elegant knitter attending closely to a delicate piece of lace or dainty socks on fine needles I hear you say. More of that later.

My hands are in this state because it's the time of year when householders across the country are cutting, trimming,weeding, potting and planting as the gardening season gets underway again. Tuning in to Gardener's Question Time or hanging on to Carol Klein's every word.I am no exception as you can see:

I have planted beans and peas, tomatoes and peppers, courgettes and cucumbers, aubergines and salad leaves. I have tended and repaired my herb garden and cut the grass.

Now I want to sit back and watch them grow. Here is my vantage point. As knitting spots go I think it's rather lovely.
What have I been knitting? The first of the On Hold socks is finished. It was a fun knit, the texture of the Posh Lei is lovely and the sock feels wonderfully soft. It is, however, tricky to knit with as it tends to split and has at least one knot in so not an unreserved recommendation.

Whereas my fingers are not the well manicures digits of a lady who lunches there are other ways to be girly. Hot on the heels of my deep lipsticky pink sock is this frothy confection. This is the Leaf Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clarke which I have made on a number of occasions in nothing finer than a 4ply. This time it is made in Knitwitch's 100 per cent cashmere laceweight. It's lovely, if tender yarn to work with and, whilst the work feels like it weighs nothing at all, the halo on the yarn makes it feel quite warm and substantial. It was a good idea to practice working with laceweight yarn on a simple and familiar pattern as I can concentrate on the yarn and making my motions less tentative and exaggerated.

I have ordered some laceweight yarn from the Yarn Yard which is much finer than this. Whilst it slumbers gently at the Post Office it now holds no fear for me. In fact I might go and pick it up tomorrow if the desire to cast on immediately isn't too strong and I run the risk of cheating on my cashmere.
I must focus on dreaming how nice it would be to wear a scarf this soft against the skin.

Of course, I haven't abandoned myself entirely to lace knitting. Allow me to introduce you to another one in the series of favourite jumpers knitted ages ago. This is a very simple top down raglan cardigan with three quarter sleeves knit from one of my good standby Knitting Pure and Simple patterns in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in a cheerful leaf green. It is the perfect thing for late spring mornings and I always swear to myself that I am going to knit half a dozen of them as they are so useful. Of course, in reality my butterfly brain only allows me the maximum of one per season until I'm off playing somewhere else.

Here, however is this year's summer cardigan which I've chosen to do in this beautiful, warm yellow. As you can see I've just divided for the sleeves which means the rows get a bit shorter. I've now got to work down the body remembering that my friend Sue reckons I always make my stuff an inch or two too short. Must control my impatience! I also think that being generously endowed in the boob department means that the back of a jumper has a tendency to ride up to compensate for the difference between front and back. I have allowed a couple of inches extra fabric in the front of the cardigan and hope that will improve the fit.

Observant readers will have noticed that I have embellished the front of the cardigan with a touch of eyelet lace on each front. Even more eagle eyed knitters will have spotted that it is the same lace pattern that I used for the Lace and Cable socks from Socks from the Toe Up which lends itself perfectly to being upscaled and used in this way.

So, like most modern women I run the gamut from filthy fingers to frothy pink lace and all points in between. I think I enjoy being a girl!


Hat said...

A few short rows a la EZ seem to help the dreaded riding up syndrome.

dreamcatcher said...

There are all sorts of gorgeous colours in this post, I particularly like the leaf green (lovely cardi) and the yellow. Your plants look great too, we've got a pretty similar collection going - of course the weather changed to rain and strong wind as soon as we put the tomato baskets out!

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

nails can always be scrubbed clean. I can never understand why women put acrylic nails on, do they never do anything remotely creative/messy/interesting ? enjoy your spot in the garden!

picperfic said...

my goodness you knit so much so fast! I have an urge to knit some lace, not too fine, any recommendations?

Ice Princess said...

Everything looks gorgeous as usual.

annmarie said...

what a lovely touch to put the bits of lace on the cardigan! very, very pretty. :)

Jenny said...

Jane, the pink cashmere laceweight is lovely! :-)

beanz said...

I LOVE that pink lace.
I too am a knitter with grubby nails.

Lin said...

Busy bee! I love sorting the garden out. The cardigan looks great and the socks.

Anni said...

Gorgeous knits. Love them all. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.