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The FO Parade September 22, 2009

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Knitting.

(Another long, photo-filled one, I’m afraid.  Take your time.)

Some people are born to socialise.  Some people learn to write letters.  And some people have pen pals thrust upon them.  I am currently thinking of bashing my head against the nearest brick wall – I appear to have morphed into my local church’s link with anyone between the ages of eleven and twenty-five.  Does ‘being at university’ constitute having something in common with someone?  I shall probably be able to tell you soon.  (In case you couldn’t tell, I’m rolling my eyes right about now.  No.  I’m being unfair.  They’re only being a little bit pushy.)

On an entirely different note, following Lucy’s lovely things! (THINGS! stroke stroke) and having finally coaxed my sister into wielding a camera at about eight o’clock last night… here are some of the things I’ve been doing this summer.

The Heber Vale Ishbel (that I made in Somerset) got its own close up so you could see all the pretty colours but none of the mistakes (hurrah for cropping!):


Ishbel is an amazing pattern.  It’s very simple.  It’s triangular, and has a stocking stitch centre (top of picture), which makes it quick, and a gorgeous vine pattern that makes it interesting.  So you can finish it in a few days’ worth of not trying very hard, and it’ll show off pretty yarn beautifully.  It’s also very wearable!


I notice from perusal of Ravelry that an astonishing number of people make more than one Ishbel.  This is unusual – for me at least a pattern either takes long enough that you’re sick of it by the end, or it’s too simple.  This is neither.  So lots of people make two of them, or three, or four.  I may well be joining their ranks.  It strikes me that this is very good present material for the sort of person you wouldn’t mind spending eighteen hours on a present for.

Just before, and while, I was up in Durham, I was working on a shawl with a large garter stitch element that I kept summarily screwing up.  Well aha-ha-ha, for I have beaten it!


This is Damson, another pattern by Ysolda Teague (Ishbel was one of hers as well – as, coincidentally, is the hat, being so ravishingly modelled by my sister here, more on that story later).  This was an absolute pain.  I ended up having to rip it out and restart a good six times, and then check my stitch count every few rows.  Bleh.  That encapsulates why I love knitting, though – it’s all a matter of concentration.  Screwing up happens to the best of us.  And when you do screw up, almost without exception, if you have the patience you can just unravell it and go round again.  Anything you make can be absolutely perfect, if you take enough time over it.  Personally I think that’s a very good lesson, and it irritates me when people say, “Oh, I don’t have the patience for knitting,” because knitting is very good for impatient people: not only do you learn it as you go along, but if you concentrate and do it properly, you don’t actually need that much of it.  Anyway.  Damson took forever, and looks lovely.  Here’s another gratuitous picture of my sister wearing it.  Ooh, the gorgeous gorgeous drape of it.


On the way back from Durham if you’ll recall I started a blue shawl, which has now morphed into this:


It’s Spring Things by Susan Lawrence, and it has BEADS in it, even though you can’t see them from this distance.  They made me far too excited when I was knitting it, and they make me just as excited when I’m wearing it, as you can see from this outrageous attempt not to smile too widely (it’s the only photo in which I’m not grinning like a maniac, I kid you not, and therefore it looks like I’m about to internally combust.  If you didn’t see it before, you’ll see it now):


This might well be my favourite thing I’ve made ever; or it might only be my second favourite thing I’ve made this summer.  Either way it is lovely and soft and drapey and beady and BLUE, and I shall be wearing it a lot.  But if that’s only the second best thing I’ve made this summer, this is undoubtedly the best:


It’s that hat Midge was wearing.  And it is lovely.  Marcus got me the wool (good choice Marcus) and it’s another Ysolda Teague pattern called Snapdragon, and it’s all new and cosy.  And even though Midge looks fabulous in it…


…she’s not having it for it is MINE.  And no amount of sabotage will convince me otherwise.


Not only was this a quick knit, with lots of baubles and cabley bits and general excitement, not only was it knitted in really lovely thick gorgeous wool, but it was also finished on my new Addi lace needles.  Which are spectacular, and so much fun to knit with.  (Oh yes, people, there are differences between knitting needles of the same size.)  I may never go back.  Also, I will be making another Snapdragon, I am informed, because Midge wants one, and really, when it takes five days, is so interesting and on such lovely needles, and looks this fabulous, who am I to disagree?



1. Emilee - September 27, 2009

What beautiful stuff!

stitchthisdarling - September 28, 2009

Thank you so much!

2. gflawrence - September 27, 2009

I will give you as much money and wool as you want to knit me one of those hats. You will have free access to anything in my life that you like, for all eternity. (I bought one from M&S and left it in eastern europe, and elf gave me the weirdest look when I welled up. I really love these hats.)
Seriously. Anything you want. xxx

stitchthisdarling - September 28, 2009

I’ll make you it instead of socks if you like? Not a problem. So much fun to knit. (As long as it can be in tweedy green? I like tweedy green. I’d like to make a tweedy green Snapdragon.) xx

3. annadegenhardt - September 28, 2009

could you give me a copy of the pattern for Isolde? If it’s really as simple as you say (fingers crossed) I might try and make one for my Gran. Possibly. I can at least look happily at the pattern and pretend I can knit.

Also, could you send me another copy of the reallysimplehat pattern you gave me t’other week? I’ve lost it, so was thinking of copying it into my Filofax. Yes, that’s right, my filofax – oh I’m happy 🙂


stitchthisdarling - September 28, 2009

I shall of course give you the hat pattern – I’ll write it out as soon as I get to the house tomorrow. However… Ishbel (I assume you mean) is by a designer who lives off selling her patterns… so if I give you the link (which is thuswise: http://ysolda.com/store/accessories/ishbel/ ) and the assurance that if you can yarnover, ssk and k2tog you’ll have no problem (you can do all of these things; if you think you can’t there’s either Youtube, knittinghelp.com or I can show you)… would you terribly mind buying your own? I’m wouldn’t be this anal about it except this is this woman’s livelihood, it’s only £3, and buying her pattern is sort of also a vote for her to design some more. I’m anal about indie dyers, designers and musicians. Just because they’re worth it 🙂 Hope that’s okay with you xx

4. annadegenhardt - September 29, 2009

I meant Ishbel… oops! Though I’d be quite happy to try and knit a knitting-pattern designer; it’d be a challenge…

Sure, i’ll buy the pattern 🙂
I didn’t know where you’d got it, but I quite agree with you about that sort of thing.


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