Loved this one – it looks complicated but was really easy to get it’s rhythm. For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
At least now I’ve found a recipient for my blanket! Poppy is almost 9 months old now and still absolutely tiny! She loves my handknits but has an annoying habit of trying to lie on them whilst I’m still knitting! She also has a bear I knitted as a test which she carries around by one arm.
It’s amazing how big this blanket gets without any real effort though. It’s now got to about the size where I can lay it on my lap instead of leaving the weight of it to hang annoyingly from it’s ten stitches on my needles. I’ve already knit up all the yarn from my failed project and have almost knit up a further 50g ball as well. I have 250g left to use (which is only half of what I bought) but I’m worried if I’ll have enough to make a big enough blanket! At the moment one 50g ball goes around about one and a half times so I’m looking at maybe another sevenish revolutions, maybe less. Watch this space!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This is what a Prosperous Plum Tank Top looks like when it’s been undone and reknit into a ten-stitch blanket. I’ve had to quickly learn how to do short row corners and they’re coming out pretty well, even though I’m still a bit under confident about doing them. The pattern gives a really easy method though so that’s really helped things along.
The yarn is Sirdar Denim Tweed in Hyacinth, which I bought from Dianne’s Knitting Yarn at a great discount, since the colour had just been discontinued. It looked great in the ball, but horrendous knitted up (especially in stockinette stitch) although the colours haven’t pooled as badly in garter stitch. Some of the yarn has gone to waste as it barely survived a first knitting, let alone a second. The yarn has a tendency to unravel as you knit no matter what you do, and even worse is that the plies break rather easily. In my balls I found little hard bits of cotton, a bit like you sometimes find in cotton wool, and you can’t remove them without breaking bits of the yarn. This was probably just a dodgy batch because Sirdar still produce the yarn in other colours besides hyacinth, so they can’t be all bad.
Monday, December 7, 2009
- I’m using Double-knit not Aran or Worsted like I intend on using
- I don’t want the curleyness of stockinette/reverse stockinette so I’m trying to use garter stitch with two stitches either side of the cable in reverse stockinette. complicated isn’t the word
- The pattern for the logo is too big, and finding/making something smaller is far too much brainwork for me right now!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
My mum is getting on with her toasty arm warmers as I write this and so far so good. She cast on, although I knit the first two rounds to show her what to do (she’s never knitted on DPNs before) and she’s done about an inch so far. I’ll take pictures as soon as there’s something more to show!
I keep eyeing up this little fella here with a view to knitting him. He’s by Jean Greenhowe from her “MacScarecrow Clan” collection, and he’s called Scamp. I acquired a number of her pattern collections quite a while ago, but apart from Blue Teddy I’ve not used them yet and I’m looking forward to having a go. FunkyKnitter over on Ravelry came up with a bigger version by both doubling the stitches and the rows, which looks like it has turned out well so i may try that. This I think will be one of my “no purpose” knits, but with Christmas coming up i don’t think it’ll stay that way for long!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Mum wants to knit some long hand/arm warmer thingies with the leftover yarn from her jacket (of which there is plenty) and wanted a plain pattern to work from, so I spotted Toasty, on the A Friend To Knit With blog. I’m just hoping she doesn’t struggle with holding the DPNs when it comes to doing the fiddly thumb part, else I’ll end up having to do it for her!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This is the front, Sorry for the blurry image! It’s not meant to be yellow, thats just the way it looks because of the lighting in here. If it helps, the background is meant to be white! The front is pinned together at the moment from lack of zip.
This is the back, note the hood! First time I've knitted a hood and boy was this a strange method! I had to cast off either side, and then knit a middle bit, and then sew it all together afterward! That answered my questions about why I had to pick stitches up for the border – the stitches were picked up from an assortment of side and cast off stitches. I guess you could say how much I now appreciate the value of a short-row hood!
- The Pattern: Stylecraft Life Aran 8259
- Yarn: Hayfield Bonus Aran from Kemps Wool Shop
- Needles needed: 1 pair 4mm straights, 1 pair 5mm straights (although i used circulars for comfort’s sake)
- Other stuff needed: cable needle, row markers, row counters, measuring tape, pins, sewing needle, chocolate
- Knitting Time: Roughly about a month, on and off
- Amount of sewing up to do: quite a lot, it took me about a day, all told
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The pictures that follow are just a small sample of the variety of colours, patterns and sizes we have. They are all made in silk and I’ve pinned them out as best i can without putting stress on the yarn.
According to my mum, my nan and her neighbours, friends and female relatives would all come for tea and cake and crochet or knit – just goes to show that despite the internet and all our mod-cons, time hasn’t really moved on!
In sharing these I was hoping that some clever and observant soul could possibly point me to the pattern so I would at least have a name for it!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
here, here and here) is coming back to haunt me!
The pattern is relatively simple - a diamond with moss stitch inner, and bobbles at each end which I’ve memorised already.
After the sleeves, and not including the mountain of sewing I’ll have to do, I still need to cast on for the back, right front, and hood (which is picked up from the back and fronts, rather than cast on). I keep telling myself it won’t take long at all, but I think I might be wrong!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
It still has no sleeves, which will be quick and plain with plain ribbing (famous last words!) and no collar to match the cables at the bottom. I’m concerned that I’ll need to add a few stitches to the collar so I can get it over my head, I’d forgotten how much cables pull the fabric together – much more than ribbing does! Still, I love the way that it pulls in and shows off my figure!
The cables made my fingers ache by the end so it stops just above my hips but even then I had to add little flares at each side so that it didn’t ride up so much.
Knitting on this has paused while I try and get the jacket done for my mum. I’ve done the left front before (of course) realising I should have done both at the same time to get them equal. I’ve learn my lesson though and I’m about a quarter of the way through knitting both sleeves together!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I took my mum shopping on Tuesday, and on a rare visitation to an actual Yarn Shop (instead of just the online variety), she actually found a pattern she liked! It is pattern number 8259 from the “Stylecraft Life Aran” range – it has a hood, can be used as a jacket or a cardigan, and it has a zip. I’ve just ordered two 400g balls of Sirdar/Hayfield Bonus in Granite Tweed (tweed is very fashionable this winter!) so fingers crossed they should arrive on Monday.
My actual reason for going into the yarn shop was for something entirely different. I’ve settled on a shawl to knit – Shipwrecked from Spring ‘09 Knitty. Luckily I wont be starting this project soon because not only is the yarn eluding me but so are the beads! Firstly I can’t decide on what colour yarn to buy - I’d like to knit it in turquoise, or possibly a sea green, but I need beads that will either accent or contrast the yarn. I’ve spent days just looking for the right sized beads, let alone the right colours!
Finally, I have a little project up my sleeve that may bring in a few pennies but it remains a secret still for a few weeks until I get some other projects out of the way!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So these are the hats I managed to do whilst I was away. Mum did a few and i did a few, mostly I'm trying to get rid of the icky cottony yarn stuff I've got! My favourite is the one that looks like a little sunhat, second from the left.
My jumper still defies all attempts to count its stitches, and to calculate total number of stitches into some sort of pattern! It's well and truly in the naughty corner now!
Friday, September 18, 2009
I'd say it was that time of year again, but actually it's past that time of year again and I'm a bit late! i'm going away for the weekend tonight with Jennie and mum, and we've decided to do our bit by knitting as many of the big knit hats as we can. We've all got lots of scraps lying around that can be put to use, and frankly, I keep looking at my jumper and feeling guilty that i dont want to work on it just now. More about that when i get back!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So I have opted for a mock cable, which basicly looks like a cable but is made my cleverly increasing and decreasing in the right places. I've picked the mock cable pattern from a pattern in Stefanie Japel's "Fitted Knits" called "Saturday in the Park Perfect Dress". My idea is to have the "cable" alternate with a plain rib, hopefully it will look a little less busy and be a little quicker to knit!
I've actually added a lifeline before i start the cables and ribbing, which is a peice of yarn threaded through all of the stitches on my needle and means if I need to rip back to where I started, those stitches with the yarn threaded through won't undo and I can reinsert my needle without having to worry too much about dropping stitches. It takes the pressure off, worrying that this might not be the right combination of cables, and means i can go back and pick another if I need to.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
That baby jumper, although it was well received, was a bugger to sew up because of that blue stripe - took two of us to do it! Must find a baby raglan pattern for future projects, any ideas?
I've not really been knitting over the summer (hence the silence), it's just been far too hot! Instead I devoted most of my time to my horse, my new puppy and my other hobby - Family History. Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get my act together and start blogging about that too. I finally picked the needles back up when I went for a weekend of relaxation in Sunny Suffolk, and I knitted away at my Great American Aran Afgan. I Promise I'll go into it in more detail in a future post, hell - I could devote and entire blog to it!
While knitting squares for my afgan, I was also cruising for ideas for a new winter jumper (preferably one I could wear away from the farm!). The idea for my current project was born when I came across "The incredible Custom-Fit Raglan Sweater". Now as anyone who knows me will agree, I'm quite skinny and I find it hard to find patterns that include my size, so i thought I'd have a bash at this one. My plan is to knit a plain yoke, but start the ribbing a lot higher than normal, and intersperse cabling within the ribbing, similar to the Palindrome Scarf I finished last year. I'm also going to add a polarneck using that pattern, so lets hope I have enough yarn! Speaking of yarn, I've decided to use Patons Caressa DK in Cream (4550) which I found at http://www.kempswoolshop.com/ for 59p per 50g Ball - a huge bargain given it retails for about £3.50! Keep your fingers crossed for me on this one though, it's the first time I've mashed patterns together like this so I'm in completely new territory.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Had a bit of a find today - about 1.5gb worth of knitting patterns appeared on my computer, ones I swear I've never downloaded or even seen before! Been doing some catalogueing and I'm slowly adding them to my collection. They're all 70's and 80's style patterns for kids (so far!)but there's some really cute things in there, like little chequered jackets ad lace christening shawls.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I had quite a lot of white yarn left over from knitting a blanket, and some sparkley white from some other baby clothes, and some blue from knitting that teddy. All Acryllic and all DoubleKnit, so I've started knitting my friend's 7-month old nepphew a jumper. The pattern I'm using is for the jumper in leaflet number 4273 by Stylecraft, which is plain stockinette stitch and is already intended to be knit using different colours. I cast on both sleeves at once, so I could be certain they matched, but I have cast on the front and back seperately, since I don't have straight needles long enough to cast on both!
The plan for the body of the jumper is blue cuffs and neckline, and two blue stripes starting below the sleeves with the white sparkley stuff between them. I've even drawn it all out on graph paper!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Really loved the pattern, although I can honestly say these are unique since I've somehow managed to reverse the cabling on one sock! This was only my second pair of socks, and I have to admit I do prefer the toe-up method using a provisional cast-on rather than a figure-8! Again, the short-row heel is far easier than a heel-flap but i did find knitting all those wraps quite annoying. I did find a blog post here which explains an alternative method to wrapping stitches, so I'll give that a go next time!
Pattern: "Boyfriend socks" by Alice Bell
Yarn: Stylecraft Life 4ply in Mint Green. Used 68 grams.
Needle size: 2.25mm (My Purple Pins, reviewed on Dooyoo.co.uk)
Size: I made the small 9" circumferance, and the socks are an American size 10½.
Time Taken: 12 days, but i had a day's break between socks!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Just to briefly explain the progress bars - They're a nifty bit of code from the clever people at Ravelry which relays how much of your projects you have completed. So at the moment you can see Aaron's socks there, and my Great American Aran Afghan, but when I first added the bars to my blog, you would have seen Pioneer and the Afghan. No doubt some time in the not too distant future, both will be finished and this bit of blurb will make no sense at all :-P Still I thought it was a pretty cool way to keep you all up to date on all my projects.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I actually had a bit of an accident casting off the main body - instead of using a good lace castoff (k1 *k1 ssk*) I did some sort of variation on knit two together, it was only until i was in bed that i realised what I'd done wrong, so whilst watching an episode of "Girls of the Playboy Mansion" I undone and re-cast-off. Now I can get it on over my head!
Even though most of the detail is on the back and sleeves (which everyone else can see because I'm not so tall) The Sleeve edges and bottom edge are knit in double moss-stitch, which i hate knitting but like the fact that it breaks up the rather plain front.
I won't win any awards for my crochet however, as for the life of me all those crochet stitches it listed looked completely the same and so i just crocheted 5-stitch chains and joined them to each stitch on the neckline. It sort of folds inwards, but to be honest it doesn't look that bad.
Pattern: "Pioneer" by Kbomb, Featured in Knitty
Yarn: Stylecraft Life 4ply in Mint Green. Used about 108 grams.
Needle size: 5.5mm
Size: Extra Small
Time Taken: Roughly about 7 days of assorted knitting time. One of these days I will time myself!
Friday, April 24, 2009
I started this pattern, "The Prosperous Plum Tank" by Joanna Cohen at the end of February this year, and it took me three attempts at the picot edging before I got it right. This aught to have been the first warning.
The pattern itself wasn't so bad, mostly it was just two charts although you had to keep an eye on increasing and decreasing for it to fit. Now I'm usually a bit warey when a pattern is intended to be fitted, as I'm a pretty old-fashioned shape - small and skinny, but curvey up top. I find with a lot of modern sizing that even the extra small sizes are still quite baggy and in future I'll be resizing a lot of the knitwear I make for myself. This leads me to the second big red warning sign - four whole inches of negative ease, when I'm already knitting the second to smallest size, and (as i realised later) using a stretchier yarn than they recommended! Needless to say although I thought I could wing it with the next size down, I can infact fit two, or maybe even three of myself inside the finished garment.
The pattern called for a DoubleKnit 100% cotton yarn. I substituted for Sirdar Denim Tweed in "Hyacinth" (hence why I renamed it) which is a 60% acrylic, 25% cotton, 15% wool mix, somewhat stretchier than intended. It was a bargain - almost half price when i bought it (as it was discontinued) and I loved the colours IN THE BALL. As you can see it knits up in a cammoflage pattern suitable only after an extended session on acid.
I knew this was going to be one of those projects that I was never going to be entirely happy with, but at the time it was just good enough to live with. But then i cast off. What really made me mad about this top was that I'd measured the straps, measured myself, held it up against myself at various stages, and allowed for that fact that due to the weight of the rest of the garment the straps would stretch, so i subtracted a few inches to be on the safe side. After all this, i tried it on and it didn't even cover my chest, I was mortified. The sizing too is all wrong, the chest increases are too numerous and start in completely the wrong place. Add to this the stretchy yarn and you'll see why it's now sat under a pile of washing, still the crochet needle stuck out of a half-hearted and messy crocheted edging.
I guess the lesson for today is that no matter how many wonderfully complicated and correctly sized things fly off your needles, there will always be one to bring you back down to earth.
Monday, April 20, 2009
A few months ago i tried my hand at teddy knitting. I knit a traditional bear from Jean Greenhowe's "Traditional Favourites" in blue acryllic. Although the baby for whom it was intended was still a little small to really understand it, mum on the other hand was thrilled, and has asked for some more! I'm now debating the football mascot doll from "Mascot Dolls" also by Jean Greenhowe, knit in their favourite team colours.
Between (and sometimes during) knitting, I've had a manic week. I met a lovely bloke on friday night wihlst at a friend's house - is picking up an escaping ball of wool the modern equivalent of picking up a lady's hankerchief? Sunday was spent at a horse show, sitting mostly in the sun watching the ponies go round. Took plenty of photographs but I will only bore you with them on request. Oh, and i might be getting a puppy...
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Still, nice to wear over vest-tops in the summer.
In other news, Kita (my horse) has lost about 25kg so far on her diet and exercise regime. This is great because I've found a really good dressage instructor but in order to get lessons I need to take my horse to her yard and (to put it bluntly) I'd be embarassed by the state she's in at the moment.
I've got 3 days left of working this week, and then on sunday I'll be stewarding at a show at Abram Hall Riding Club. Can't wait!
By the way, if anyone knows of something i can put in my hair to use with curling tongs to make curls stay in for more than 5 minutes, let me know!
Friday, April 10, 2009
I've finished a few bits and peices, like the fern and waves lace scarf for my mum on mother's day and Amused from Knitty winter 2008. I'm also about a third of the way through knitting The Great American Aran Afghan. I joined a knit-a-long for this one, but it's not particularly taxing - just needs a lot of concentration! The real challenge will be joining all the squares together, there are 24 and a border!
I seem to be having issues with socks. On the whole, sock knitting is not difficult as long as you follow the instructions, listen to advice people give you and concentrate on you're grafting. My problems are with sizing. I tried a pair from the Violet Green Sock Generator which weren't too bad, but a bit short - not a problem when you can just add a few extra rows. I did however find them really baggy and I can't decide whether it was the pattern or the yarn. I've done maybe three rows of Media's Socks from "Favourite Socks" by Nancy Bush, but they've gone on the naughty pile because I'm not even 50% sure they'll fit me!
I've just ordered 300g of Stylecraft "life 4ply" in mint green for Pioneer from the latest knitty (spring 2009). Not 100% sure I love the colour, but will have a bash at it anyway, if in the end I hate it, I'll frog it and turn it into something else - I have a friend who loves that colour and I'm sure I could find a pattern to make her smile!
On a related knitting note - The Angel yarns forums went down in dubious circumstances, so we have all moved to Pheonix Knitting Forums.
I've been doing lots of non-knitting related stuff too. I got my first peice of coursework back from my degree and got a really good mark, so I'm really proud of myself for that! Exams on the 2nd of June though! It's going to be tough because I work as a polling clerk, and polling day is on the 4th of June this year so I'll be dead on my feet by the end of that week! I've also been seriously thinking of putting my horse in foal, but given she's a little fat at the moment, step one is getting her fit and it's taking a lot of work!
Finally, I've spent a lot of time reviewing products on DooYoo.co.uk under the nickname Poison_kitty. Currently I don't have that many knitting-related reviews, but the few I've written have been received really well, particularly a review on Denise Interchangable Needles which earnt me my first crown! Future reviews will feature more knitting books, so pop over and have a look.