Almost two months since I last posted?? I’m sure it hasn’t been that long…. but the date stamp doesn’t lie (well, not unless I change it, anyway, which I haven’t!)

In between writers conferences and festivals and new books out and book writing, there has been knitting – although some of the WIPs listed in the WIP stocktake in my previous post are still WIPS. But I HAVE finished a couple of things:

Pattern: Cleckheaton rolled brim hat Yarn: Bendigo Classic 8ply

Pattern: Cleckheaton rolled brim hat Yarn: Bendigo Classic 8ply

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague. Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague. Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock

So, of the WIPS mentioned in my previous post, this is the status:

1. Daniel’s hat – finished, and given to Daniel (a young waiter at my regular café, who asked for a beanie).

2. Lauren’s fingerless mittens – not finished

3. Deciduous Lace Scarf – almost finished. I had to redesign the border so there weren’t stitch increases making it flare, and now I have to undo the first border and re-knit it to match the second.

4. Plain socks – one sock finished, second sock 40% done. the yarn is dark in colour, so it’s been hard to knit these at night.

5. Biance inspired jacket – no progress

6. Shawl collar jacket – I finished knitting the collar, and have sewn up two-thirds of the seams. I could have it finished with about half an hour’s more work.

7. Fisherman’s Gansey – no progress

New projects started:

Ishbel shawl (above) – started, finished, and blocked!

Venezia shawl – I started this with Sea Silk and 4.5mm needles, but think I will frog what I’ve done and try it again with a less-slippery yarn and slightly smaller needles

Pattern: Venezia Lace Shawl Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk

Pattern: Venezia Lace Shawl Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk

Shetland Triangle – nice and easy knitting, doesn’t take too much concentration. The yarn is leftover from a weaving workshop I  ran several years ago – I like the colour, and the beads I ordered to go on it arrived yesterday.

Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark. Yarn: Bendigo Colonial 5ply

Pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn Clark. Yarn: Bendigo Colonial 5ply

I confes that I’ve also done some shopping lately! I bought a couple of Japanese knitting stitch books from yesasia.com, and three knitting books from bookdepository.co.uk

Japanese Knitting Stitch Books

Japanese Knitting Stitch Books

Lace books - and Top-Down sweaters

Lace books - and Top-Down sweaters

The Japanese books are all in Japanese, with only a couple of headings in English. No, I don’t speak or read Japanese, but nonetheless, these are great – there is a chart for each stitch pattern, and a section at the back has illustrations for each chart symbol.

Sample page - photo plus chart for each pattern

Sample page - photo plus chart for each pattern

Directions for each chart stitch symbol

Directions for each chart stitch symbol

While some of the lace patterns are standard ones found elsewhere, the books have a huge range of patterns and an innovative way of putting them together – Japanese design styles are beautiful. There are no garment instructions in these books, but there are a couple of garment photos, to demonstrate some of the stitch patterns in action. I’m impressed with these books, and yesasia.com provided a good service, with the books arriving in less than two weeks… so I’ve ordered a couple more knitting books from them – these have garment designs in them – once again, all in Japanese, but with clear diagrams and illustrations, so I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out! (And, if all else fails, they’ll be beautiful to look at!)

To celebrate the publication of my second book, and the contract offer for my third and fourth books, I ordered some lace yarn form KnitPicks. It’s coming via a US friend (Knitpicks don’t post outside the US), but she has sent it on, so I’ll be looking out for taht to arrive in the next week or so.

Oh, and I’ve done some sorting out in the yarn/fibre cupboard, tossing out and giving away some fleeces which I will never get to spin, and thus making room for the knitting and weaving yarn overflowing outside the cupboard, and for more to come 🙂 But I did keep two fleeces, and there’s still a box full of processed fibre of varying sorts, so when I get to spinning again, I’ll still have plenty to spin.

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