Archive for September, 2011

September 26, 2011

Constanze: Now with charts!

One of the most common things I get asked is if there’s any chance I can create a chart for Constanze. I have always struggled a bit with this because I could only find chart making software where you had to click each square to make a stitch and Constanze is  70 stitches wide and contains some really odd little stitches and ugh … too much room for error.

So today I was really excited to find something that made this a lot easier! Thanks go to the incredible makers of Chartgen for creating a tool that turns written instructions (with a bit of formatting) into a chart!

Here’s a newly updated version of Constanze with charts, and if you have an existing version of Constanze and just want the chart, you can find it here. But please read the notes below before starting the chart. Constanze charted up well but with a few subtleties that need explaining!

Happy knitting!

Notes on the chart

1) This chart has not been test knit – please contact me if you spot an error. It is based on the written instructions for Constanze so if you are ever confused, refer to the text instructions above.

2) The right side rows (odd numbers) are knit right to left – the wrong side rows (evens) are knit left to right. The seven rows of garter stitch to start off with are not charted (see section ‘starting out’ above), but the garter stitch border is.

3) All stitches are shown exactly as you should work them – ie if something says “purl” on a wrong side row, you purl it.

4) Constanze has four ‘weird’ cables but Chartgen only allows me to create three ‘special’ stitches. The big 6-stitch crossovers (6RC, 6LC) are explained properly in the chart key. However, I had to use one symbol for both 3RC and 3LC. You’ll see these appear on rows 5 and 9, and they are right next to each other both times:

3LC = [slip 2 stitches and hold in front, p1, k2 stitches from cable needle].

3RC = [slip 1 stitch and hold in back, k2, p1 from cable needle]

On row 5, when you come to this, work 3LC then 3RC. On row 9, when you come to this bit, work 3RC then 3LC. Row 9 is basically reversing the cabling in row 5 in this case. If in any doubt, check the written instructions for those rows in the original Constanze pattern.

5) The chart instructs you to perform a 4RC on row 7 – if you compare this to the written notes, you’ll see that I actually alternated between 4RC and 4LC on every other pattern repeat. This is optional and I didn’t chart it because it was going to make life too complicated!

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September 25, 2011

In the style of Bridget Jones

Knitting progress, hence publication of new patterns, delayed by unpleasant bout of the flu, likely brought on by combination of working too hard and not enough sleep. Lemsip consumption up by 800% in two days. Boyfriend helping somewhat, having provided lemsips and chicken soup. Normal progress to be resumed soon.

September 23, 2011

An autumn wedding present

I remember musing a few weeks ago about a particularly intense project I was working on, that was secret because it was a present for someone. Well, it was finished – albeit at the 11th hour (literally, 11pm the day before the wedding) and mostly knit on the East Coast Main Line en route to my boyfriend’s house, for his sister’s wedding.

Congratulations and thank you both for a wonderful day. I made this for you – although I feel one of you will get more use out of this than the other.

Simon and Christina – 17th September 2011

Pattern: Baltic Blossoms by Evelyn A. Clarke

Yarn: 1 ball of pure Orkney Angora 4ply in “Snow White”, purchased at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

September 15, 2011

A Yarn

I have occasionally mentioned that I’m not an entirely solitary knitter. In fact, I have a craft club, and an awesome one at that. They haven’t even kicked me out for changing jobs.

A couple of weeks ago (the Friday before Wednesday the 23rd, to be precise) I met up with a co-crafter for a few too many drinks and he reminded me that another of our craft buddies was going on maternity leave, and the following Wednesday would be her last craft club.

I had always planned to knit her something for the baby – in fact, I knew exactly what I wanted to knit – but as of that Friday night, it was just a collar stuffed under the sofa somewhere. But I’m not afraid of a challenge, and I secretly think I knit faster than I actually do, so undaunted by words like “3ply”, “lace” and “heirloom knitting”, I decided to plough headfirst into Lucille by Courtney Kelley, and knit like a woman possessed.

By the end of Friday night, I managed somehow to finish the yoke, which is all the more surprising considering how drunk I was. Saturday, I think I had split the arm holes. By Sunday, I was here:

So not bad progress – I was just about on track. But on Monday …

Well, that’s where things got a bit messy at work. I had to work late every night that week and in the end I missed craft club all together because my brain was so frazzled I thought it was cancelled and just didn’t show up. I’m not proud.

But there’s a happy ending to this story. Things calmed down at the end of the week, and by the Friday, I was here: (not sure why I decided to just stick a sleeve on there, I think I was a bit bored of endless purl rows)

Then Saturday, I was here: (and I’d clearly found time to paint my nails)

Then here:

And on Sunday, it blocked. I forgot to mention, on Saturday I blogged about it.

On the following Thursday, I took a trip up to North London on the strict condition that nobody went into labour anywhere near me, and delivered the present. I hope she likes it.

Excuse the crappy photo, but I took this at work using a colleague’s blackberry. It’s lucky I even managed to retrieve the photo because when I tried to email it to myself I ended up taking about six photos of my own feet. Sorry to the girl who has a blackberry full of pictures of my feet, but I hope you understand.

September 1, 2011

A quick plug…

My housemate is a graphic artist, and he’s designed this amazing poster for the English National Ballet’s My First Sleeping Beauty.

There are two good reasons to vote for it. 1) It’s the best poster by a long way. 2) If he wins, he gets two tickets to the ballet, and that means he has to go to a ballet especially for little girls. Which I think would be hilarious.

Vote here!

And here it is in all its glory.