I went into McAree’s yesterday and immediately got told off by Cayt for not blogging enough. In my defence, I had been meaning to blog for ages, and had been saving up photos. But circumstances (and life in general) kept conspiring against me – I’ve just bought a new Mac, which I adore greatly, but it’s taken a while to figure out how to use iPhoto (can I just say it is my new favourite thing? It reads the RAW files straight off my camera, edits them in quite sophisticated ways, and uploads them as Jpegs to Flickr, which it used to take three separate PC programmes to do!). And then I’ve had router issues which meant that photos wouldn’t upload.But enough excuses; on to the knitting!
A few weeks ago I was in Nepal on a teacher exchange thing. We were lucky enough to get back to Kathmandu with a day to spare before our flight home, and we spent a really lovely day wandering around Kathmandu taking in the atmosphere and doing some shopping. I loved Kathmandu. It’s a fascinating city, incredibly busy and chaotic – to cross the road you have to dodge cars, motorbikes, cyclists and rickshaws – and I found the people to be really friendly. We were staying in Thamel, the most touristy district, and there were lots of shops selling pashminas, knock-off North Face gear, and various souvenirs including brightly coloured Nepali knitwear. My Dad had requested I bring him home a hat, so I ventured into one of the shops to purchase one.
I settled on a traditional Nepali hat in manly greys, and had a wonderful conversation with the owner of the shop about its construction. It was obviously handknit in the round, with a cosy fleece lining hand-sewn into it. I was wearing my much-loved Baby Cables sweater, and the shop owner said, “That’s not a Nepali sweater, is it?” Which led to a conversation about Scottish vs Nepali wool.
And here is the hat in question, which my Dad loved:
I had taken some crochet with me to amuse myself on our various flights (as well as my Kindle, which was fantastic). I decided to make a Calm Cowl, as it seemed relatively straightforward. An over-enthusiastic security lady at Kathmandu airport nearly confiscated it when I was on my way home, as she thought I might strangle someone with the yarn. I don’t think she’d ever seen crochet before, and she wasn’t bothered about the hooks, or even the safety pins I’d mistakenly left in my bag. My yarn and measuring tape, though, were apparently deadly weapons. Eventually, after some discussion, another security lady gave them back to me and I stuffed them back in my bag and scurried away gratefully.
I did get the cowl finished on the plane, and I’m really happy with it:
In the last couple of months I’ve finished off a few other winter accessories. I made a hat for my Mum:
It’s the Sprouting Cloche had from Brave New Knits. I was ill a couple of days after getting back from Nepal and fit for nothing but sitting on the sofa knitting, so I got this finished pretty quickly. The last few rows of the chart are wrong, and the final stitch count is off, but it’s fairly easy to “read” your knitting and work out you should be doing by that point. I sent it off to Mum along with Dad’s Nepali hat and she was really pleased with it. It’s made from Rico Baby, which is 100% acrylic. I’d never normally touch 100% acrylic, but Mum finds animal fibres scratchy, and this particular yarn is very soft. Definitely one to remember for future gifts.
After repairing Chris’s Manly Gloves (or, as friends have nicknamed them, his Fagin Gloves) at least 3 times, I decided it was time for a new pair.
These are the best ones I’ve made yet, in terms of fit. Good old Felted Tweed, and this time I went down to a 2.75mm needle for a nice, dense fabric.
And finally, possibly my greatest knitting achievement to date! Yes, I have finally made a beret that fits.
It’s my second Rose Red beret, this time in Shilasdair Luxury DK to match my Hawthorne scarf. I foolishly didn’t write down what needle size I used, but I think it was something in the region of 3.5mm. Definitely much smaller than my previous Rose Red, which I knit in Fyberspates Scrumptious on 4mms and which turned out far too big.
And finally, while I was looking up at the sycamore tree that towers over our garden with great excitement – it has buds on it!! It must be spring!! – Chris snapped this picture:
3 FOs in one picture! Rose Red, Calm Cowl, and my beloved Baby Cables and Big Ones Too.