Hi, welcome to String Revolution. I'm Léan, I live in Dublin with my husband and two little boys, and I am a dangerous stringy subversive.
My job is to radiate my creative truth, and to help you radiate yours. I create, without exception, every day. I write here when I have something to say.

(learn more about me).

On the Needles

Elizabeth Zimmermann open-collared pullover, almost finished

When I was writing my 100th String Revolution post a few weeks ago, and looking back over the first 99 posts, I was struck by the fact that this used to be a much knittier blog than it is these days.

I haven’t written about knitting in ages. There are all sorts of reasons for that (most notably: I’ve done barely any knitting in 2011 so far…), but I’m going to set them aside for a moment and just write the bleedin’ update, already.

Works in Progress

That up above is my Elizabeth Zimmermann open-collared pullover, which I laid aside late last year, and didn’t pick up again until June. It’s really very nearly finished.

If you follow me on Twitter (ah, go on), you might have seen me yelping for help with this project. You see, I’d left it aside at a point when all the live stitches happened to be on waste yarn. Then Christmas happened. And a lot of quilting. And various seismic changes to my craft storage system.

Result: predictable. When I picked the project back up, do you think I could find the (circular) needle I’d been using?

Reader, I could not. But surely, I’d written down the size somewhere? … Anywhere? No? Oh, dear.

I put out a plaintive cry on Twitter, and various people responded saying I’d need to swatch again, or just pick a needle size that looked OK and prepare not to care. Neither prospect appealed.

Then UnderMeOxter appeared over the brow of the hill on a white stallion and delivered the perfect solution: leave the waste yarn in as a life-line, she said, then knit an inch or two and compare the gauges. Beautiful!

As it turned out, I picked the right needles first time. (4.5mm, for those following along at home.) And henceforth, I will always, always write down what size I’m using!

Sleeve of

Finishing the black jumper will be finicky (I haven’t quite decided how the waist and sleeves are going to end), so for mindless knitting, I found myself starting into this green Twist & Shout. Here’s a sleeve, knitted at top speed the week after I hurt my wrist … and, well, the week before my osteopath told me to lay off all handwork for a fortnight. NOT that these two facts are connected, at all.

My ambition to knit this pattern is auncient and venerable: I queued it in Ravelry on 1 November 2008 (oh em eff gee). I bought the wool even longer ago – as in, before Ireland joined the euro – in the Needlecraft closing down sale.

(Ah, Needlecraft! I still bristle slightly when I walk past the whiskey shop that replaced you.)

Raspberry sorbet

Also technically “in progress” is the raspberry sorbet “Birch” shawl. I’ve been avoiding this project like the plague, because it’s in a sorry pickle and I can’t find it in me to believe in a happy ending. Alas, it’s a stalled shawl.

Here’s the problem: I’m making my way towards the bottom point, and as you can see from the photo, I’m going to run out of yarn well before I get there.

Knitterly nightmare! What to do? Should I leave this as a peculiar trapezoid shawl, with uncomfortable associations that will probably mean I never wear it in company?

Should I try to find a decent colour match and finish it out, risking a visible shade change?

Surely there’s no chance that somebody out there might have…

a spare bit of Kidsilk Haze in colour 583, dye lot 90

…which they’d be prepared to sell me?

The Revolutionary Horde: What are you like? Get on Ravelry and ask, you big eejit!
Me: Yes, I know. I know. I should do that.
The Revolutionary Horde: Why haven’t you done it already?
Me: …it’s complicated.

But yes. Maybe I will.

NOTE: Stories of unlikely success in finding obscure yarns through Ravelry would be most encouraging!

Two halves of a scarf for the Oyster

Here are two halves of a scarf for the Oyster, which just need to be grafted together (the pink, however great it looks, is actually just the contrast yarn for that step). This is an experiment: I wanted to do a cross-wise scarf, but I knew I’d be frustrated by the difference in tightness between the cast-on and cast-off edges (I don’t know of any two techniques that give me identical stretchiness).

I was also obsessed with the tubular cast-on when I started this. So, I knitted the scarf in two pieces, from the outside edges in, and now I must get to grips with the second half of the experiment: a mile-long graft that I’ve been putting off for longer than I care to contemplate, because it’s scary. Wish me luck!

Mystery Object in grey and blues-greens

Finally, I leave you with another project that I haven’t touched in a very long time. This is a Mystery Object, which I’m not going to tell you anything about because it’s ridiculously experimental (for me, anyway) and at an early stage of development. If it works, you’ll see more.

So there you have it. Me and my knitting projects.

Thinking about it, I find I’m slightly averse to posting frequently about the same project. This is down to my curious relationship with progress, which ensures that my sense of frustration at “being such a slow knitter” (thank you, monsters) comes capering to the fore whenever I consider writing a knitting update.

Oh well. Now that I’ve noticed that pattern, perhaps I can work on gently dissolving it.

But now, my siblings in string, it’s time for me to go to work. My fortnight of enforced rest from handwork ends today, and I have a prodigious itch in my fingers that can be eased by only one thing. To the needles!


PS: Unrelatedly, this is the last few days of the Irish Patchwork Society national exhibition in the Botanic Gardens, featuring my Root & Branch quilt. If you’re in Dublin over the weekend, get yourself over there, yes? Remember, I’ll be one of the Nice Ladies on the desk on Saturday morning, so do come by then and say hello (or, you know, visit another time if you’re keen to avoid me…).

2 comments to On the Needles

  • mollydot

    But it is a nice whiskey shop…

    It’s a million to one chance, but it might just work: how about making a feature of the point and make it a beaded one? Thread matching or contrasting beads onto the remaining yarn and knot into a webby netty thing. Or possibly knit or crochet the beaded yarn loosely.

  • Wow, fantastic, a fellow knitter in the choir!

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