Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time to reveal all.....

I've been keeping a great big secret.

A couple of years ago I scored 11 balls of gorgeous lilac Elle cotton yarn for 50p each, at the emporium of all things acrylic that is my local yarn store.

I've almost cast on about twenty projects for Minxie with this yarn but just couldn't bring myself to take the plunge.

After much deliberation and yarn stroking, I did cast on, and knit the back and half the front of a very big and complicated cable cardi.

However, I made a fatal error.

I blogged about it.....

......and then got stopitis.

It has sat there, in my knitting bag, taunting me for 19 months and 19 days!!!

Today - this very day - Saturday 9th May 2009 - I have finished Minx's cardigan!

I'm calling this Version II.

After ditching the cable and making it up as I go along.... it is.

Shown off in Minx's best robot pose ;-)

Initally based on this pattern - a fantastic top down knit, done on a circular needle that requires no making up!

I soon realised that although I'd cast on the adult small size, the fact that I'd used DK instead of bulky yarn and used a 4.5mm instead of 6.5mm needle, meant I needed to keep on knitting more and more rows on the garter stitch bodice until it fitted Minx.

The great thing was, she could try it on as I knitted and I could adjust the number of rows accordingly.

Once the garter stitch bit was cracked I started on the lace.

This is where I started swearing. Lots.

Try as I might I could not get the lace repeats right - always ending up with too many or too few stitches. I ripped this back four times before throwing in the towel.

Quite remarkable behaviour from someone who avoids ripping back her knitting at all costs!

I didn't give up totally though. I trawled through every knitting book or pattern that I own, spent hours on Ravelry and eventually found a lace pattern, with the right multiple of stitches, in my Mum's old Good Housekeeping Encyclopeadia of Needlecraft.

It took me until I was more than half way down the lace to realise that the reason the lace was the 'wrong' way up to that in the picture was that I was knitting top down instead of bottom up!

Luckily, I'd already decided I like it that way!

There's one mistake on the lace. It's barely noticeable but now I know it's there it screams at me!

Can you spot it?

I'm now totally sold on top down knitting.

What a fantastic idea!

This cardi used 5 balls of that bargain yarn - and cost the grand sum of £2.50!

I'm feeling very self satisified :-)

Having finished 'the big project' I feel that I can move onto other things.

The first of which is a crochet cushion cover - using granny squares that I made two years ago and cotton yarn that has been collected for no specific project over about three years!

Just lookee at me.......Mrs Stashbuster!

That'll be more room for new yarn then ;-)

Oh my goodness! I was just about to publish this post when we realised Minx's little gerbil Nibbles had died. We've just had a very special and very tearful gerbil funeral. Prayers have been said and flowers have been laid.

Rest In Peace Nibs

Minxy aged 5 'holding' Nibs for the first time



dottycookie said...

Oh, poor Minxy - I remember when each of our hamsters died, and it was always so very, very painful :-(

Lovely cardi and cushion action, though, Mrs Moogsmum!

wonderwoman said...

so sorry to hear about nibs - god rest his little soul.
lovely crochet and amazing knitting Mrs Moog!!!


Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

Poor Nibbles - is Moogsdad coping????

Love the cardi and the cushion - very swizzy!

Locket xxx

joe said...

Vale Nibs - go peacefully into that good gerbil night.

loving your £2.50 worth of cardigan Missus but if you factor all of that swearbox money.... is it still such a bargain??? ;-)

Ali said...

Poor nibs :(

I am knittting the very same cardigan and have come a-cropper on the lace. Rip rip. It's my first lace knitting effort and it's a swine. I have paused. It may be some time before I resume.

Even if Minx's version does look utterly gorgeous.

monda-loves said...

Amazing knitty skills there Mrs Moog.
Poor minx - it's so sad when a pet dies, but a really great thing to have a funeral for nibbles too. When our pet cat died (when I was little) I used to go to the spot that we burried her for a chat every now and then - daft really, but I guess it helped me.


Julie said...

Poor Nibs :o(

Beautiful cardi and an excellent model in Minx. Well done for getting to the end, I'd have given up long ago.

Kitty said...

I much prefer the cardi you've finished to the cabley one you WERE going to knit originally. I think it's fab.

So sorry to read about Nibs :-( Hope the Minx and Sausage Monster are ok with it in a few days.


Calidore said...

Ohhh aren't you clever. Love the cardi and the colour is amazing. Minx looks wonderful in it. Ohh and yes I can see the "mistake" but who cares - for that little bit I wouldn't have ripped it out either.
Poor Nibs - it's always hard for kids to loose their pets. I hope Minx is ok now.

maria said...

The cardi looks great. I tried a lace pattern once and it was a disaster, well done for persivering.

Jodie said...

I don't speak knitting Moogs but I do speak pet - I hope nibs had a happy gerbil life!

marit said...

What a great cardigan! Well done- even with the swearing and ripping... And I think this was a better choice than the cables.

So sorry to hear about Nibbles! Good of you to have a proper funeral. My kids have buried both birds (wild ones) and rabbits...with crosses and coffins and the lot.

est said...

oh my! the cardi is so beautiful!! really. and i love the color too! great job! this is so worth it.

sorry about nib.

Gina said...

Sorry to hear about Nibbles... hope Minx isn't too upset. Lovely new cardigan though... and cushion!

silverpebble said...

Oh so sad about Nibbles. Has Minx ever seen 'I really did love you Nibbles' - the episode of Charlie and Lola? Very relevant indeed. It might help a tiny bit.

That cardigan is just GORGEOUS. I have no clue what top-down knitting is. Is it like turn-around-touch-the-ground-no-returns? Whatever it is it's produced something that I envy very much! Clever lady.

Hope Mr Moog continues to improve


silverpebble said...

The episode was called ' I will not ever forget you Nibbles'- here's a summary, although I can't find it on youtube for you - sorry

julie said...

well done you for finishing off minxie's cardi after all that time - it looks great and no-one will ever spot the mistake. Love the cushion too - you're on a roll! Sorry to hear about Nibs - sounds like you gave him a lovely send-off though.

jo said...

Love the cardi and cushion, sorry to hear about Nibbles.

Jo x

JuliaB said...

I am in awe of that cardigan! It's lovely!! are you making a full size one for yourself?... Sorry to hear about poor Nibbles. I expect he had a lovely life though. x

Lina said...

Sorry about Nibs.

Thank you for putting a name to the affliction that constantly plagues me - stopitis. Wonder if there's a cure? Great knitting and crochet!

Thimbleanna said...

Oooh Lesley -- it's beautiful. It fits Minx perfectly (the cardi, not the cushion haha -- the cushion is just lovely too.) And doesn't that just drive you nuts when you find a little mistake? I have a 1-stitch mistake in the sweater I'm currently knitting. No one will ever notice it but me!

Leanne said...

Well done on the knitting I'm hopeless if I deviate from the pattern. Oh I love ....well loved Nibbles. We don't get Gerbils in Oz they seem like cute little pets.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Wonderful little looks really sweet.

Sorry to hear about hard to lose a family pet...even when they are small.

Jane said...

Sorry to hear about little Nibs, poor Minx. Beautiful lacey jacket and crochet too. lovely colours. jane x