Tuesday, May 16, 2006

All in a Day's Work

True to my word, I cast on for Celandine in Louisa Harding Kimono Angora yesterday, starting with the back. Bit of ribbing and then plain st st all the way. It was a devil of a job to get my gauge right and I'm knitting so loosely now, and am so relaxed I'm practically dribbling. And I've still got two too many stitches over the 10cm. But never mind that, the width seems okay. Trouble is over the years I've seemingly taken Trinny and Susannah's advice too literally and most everything I wear is body-skimming (you know, don't have too much excess fabric - it makes you look larger). But tank tops probably aren't meant to be part of the slinky look and I'll wear something under it, so there has to be a teensy-weensie bit of give. We'll see. I must say it's fab just doing st st. I can speak and breathe and everything, instead of counting and repeating and remembering (Ella/Orangina.....). However the drawback is that I have to keep stopping at increasingly regular intervals to scratch my nose. I've never known such irritation - the bits of yarn literally fly and stick up my nostrils. I can feel them. By the time I went to bed last night I couldn't stop sneezing and felt pretty yuk. Is it possible to be allergic to angora? I don't mean scratchy allergic, I mean sniffly allergic?

But I haven't knitted one stitch of Celandine today. Why? It starts with The Needle Debacle. I ordered some bamboo 5mm/40cm needles to knit Rollin Beret with (you know, I had the Debbie Bliss Maya all lined up), but the company didn't have the bamboo. Would I like the Addi metal ones? Or a longer length? No thanks, I said. OK we've cancelled your order, they said. So I ordered them from eBay.

The listing said the item was in the UK. It wasn't - it was in Hong Kong. But I didn't know this at the time. The bloke never answered my mail and the needles hadn't arrived in ten days or so. Then the original needle company sent me my bamboo needles on the cancelled order. But they were the wrong length anyway. So they sent me replacements but they were metal and not
bamboo. So this morning I had two lots of metal needles turn up (the Hong Kong ones finally arrived). Sorry - I hope that wasn't too tedious. I must admit the UK company, Ka@ng@roo said that I could keep the 60cm ones foc and they'd replace the 40cm in bamboo. All's well that ends well. But because I actually had the right size needles this morning, I thought, oh, I'll just cast on with these stupid, slippery metal Addis and see if I might keep a pair (if they knit okay), as I want to start the hat. Couple of hours later and Bob's your uncle. And just look! This is Woolly Wormhead's pattern. Can't tell you how pleased I am and it will look mighty fine placed on my French antique coat and hat stand, with all the other hats. I don't think I've ever mentioned my hats but I'll save that for another day. Let's just say it's a shame you can't see one scrap of the coat/hat thing for all the stuff on it. Obviously the needles

were fine. I used the silver Addi turbos before and found them so slippery, it was quite tricky at times, although I was knitting ribbon with them, so not a good combination. But they were just right with the Maya, which may even have "stuck" a bit with the bamboos.

Right, down to basics. The hat was knitted exactly as it says on the pattern. As mentioned, I used the Debbie Bliss Maya and I sewed a piece of Noro Feathers on it. You can get the Maya and the Feathers at Jannette's Rare Yarns, an e-bay store. This woman is fantastic. Everything I have ever ordered has arrived the following day and her postage rates and prices are really competitive. The Feathers is ordered in 10cm pieces. Mine was one 10cm piece, which I sewed into a circle and then onto the hat. Can't wait to have cold enough day to wear it. Forget I said


  1. I googled and a lot of folk are allergic to angora. What a shame -that's beautiful. I read on one site that washing the yarn would help.

    Smashing hat! I don't suit hats. Love that Noro Feathers on it too. Sorry about your needle trauma. I rate Jeanette too, excellent service.

  2. Thank you Nanatoo. It didn't cross my mind to google it (feathers for brains)

  3. hat looks very posh! I can't use angora for same reasons, as soft as it is- it feels like it could choke a person.

  4. Hat looks great Alice- well done! Feathers are a nice touch :)

  5. Lovely hat Alice - love the feathers too. But will one be enough?

  6. What an excellent hat! Jannette's is a fantastic place to shop, I got the most bargainous Jaeger aran there a wee while ago, unbelievable price.

    Sorry to hear of the needle debacle! Have you thought about the Denise set? I found them pretty good to use when I did the felted bag in mohair. Must admit I'd like to try bamboo circs though.

  7. Lovely hat, I've never seen the Noro feathers stuff before - very stylish.

    Just saw Dreamcatcher has mentioned Denise interchangeables, I have a set of these and I love them so much. I very rarely find I haven't got the right needles for the job now.

  8. Love the hat! I can't wear hats myself and am jealous of stylish hat wearing folk. feathers are definetly a nice touch, now it looks like something you'd buy in the shops.

    Funny thing about needles. Until recently I never really thought that much about them because normally I buy new ones for each project as i tend to lose needles or not finish projects. But the last 6 mos I've been more organised so I'm considering getting 'professional' ones.

    And isn't angora made from rabbit fur? That's why there are all those bits that fly off I think. Lots of people are allergic, just like people are allergic to cat fur and goose down...