Spacecrafty » Posts in 'Knitting' category

Hare and Tortoise-ing

One of the few advantages to all my stuff being in storage (Not for much longer! New flat located, moving at end of September!) is that I have to work on the few projects I have with me, instead of flitting about casting on new ones. Not that this has stopped me from trawling around Ravelry and plotting future projects, mind!

But it does mean that I have some finished objects! Whoo! And some no longer hibernating WiPs.

FO:

Yes! It is my Cherry cardigan, finally creeping off the needles in 2012, having been started in 2009. It spent a year or two sulking in a bag and occasionally being worked on and I’m no longer the size I was when I started it, so it now acts as a swing cardigan. Technically, I finished it in April this year but it took a while to sort the buttons out and actually get photos taken. But it is done! I now do not have a WiP that is earlier than 2012!

One pair of Dead Simple Lace Socks, a pair of toe up socks started back when the packing started so that I had something simple and small (and one less skein of yarn to pack) to work on between throwing my life into boxes. They’re not as long in the cuff as I would do usually because, well, I got bored but they serve well as a pair of indoor socks for wandering around the house in.

The yarn is the 2010 Knitting Goddess’ sock club Halloween shade – not a colourway I’d have chosen myself but the base yarn is lovely.

Works in Progress:

My hare and tortoise gauntlets are back out of hibenation! They had been put aside because I discovered that I’d managed to put 3 and 3.5mm needles on my interchangables, instead of two 3mms. D’oh! There were fears of having to rip out what I had done and I was struggling with the floats (especially at the join.) so they went for a wee nap in their bag. But, thankfully, I discovered that the 3mm needle was the one that did the work, so before I packed everything up, I swapped the 3.5 out for the right size and trundled them back to Brighton with me.

Having finished the socks, I spent some time over the long weekend untangling the yarn and bagging each one separately and picked up where I left off. I was still struggling with the floats but then I saw that Kate recommended turning them inside out. So I did and it has been much easier since. You can see where the tension changes but I don’t really mind and am haring along at a fast pace now. I’m up to the third chart repeat + thumb chart at the moment and I think I’m going to make them fingerless as I don’t have my full set of needles to hand. Gauntlet #2 will be knitted inside out from after the Vikkel braids.

Other than that, my secret blanket project continues onwards after a brief hiatus caused by not wanting to undo/redo some rounds – but I have and it looks much better – and I’ve fallen into the Hexipuff/Beekeeper’s Quilt trap, so use any small amounts of time (lunch time at work, waiting for people in the pub etc.) to construct them. I am aiming for a lap blanket, so I suspect that it will not take me quite as long as if I were going for a double bed sized one! But we shall see!

Day One: It ain’t easy being green


Green Leaf of a Bio Plant in Nature
Image by epSos.de, creative commons licensed.

I’m attempting Knitting and Crochet Blog Week again, this year. Today’s topic is Colour Lovers (3KCBWDAY1), which is quite apt, given that I remarked to Jam recently that one day I would crochet something that didn’t involve cream and green but I didn’t know when that would be. Technically, the giant crochet blanket of doom did not include cream but I immediately launched into the secret blanket I’m working on at the moment which features cream and green as two of the main colours and the the first blanket I crocheted was, yes, green and cream, so I think the balance is firmly in favour there.

Green features in my knitting as well, a quick scan of my Ravelry project page flagged up at least four hats (not all knitted for me), two pairs of socks, a shawl, a pair of baby shoes and a baby cardigan. I just, I like it. It can be so many shades and moods, it’s gender neutral for babies and it makes me happy. I associate it with spring and freedom and outside. And I’m in good company there, Karie is also a green fiend!

Oddly enough though, I haven’t yet made a garment for me in green yet but I doubt that will last long. The full sized garments I’ve made so far have been neutral – Coraline is camel, Owls is dark brown – but I am definitely contemplating something green for the summer.

FO: Owls

The Owls have Eyes

With this, I am down to only one active knitting WiP and a historical WiP. It’s quite refreshing! This is Kate Davies’s O-w-l-s, which must be one of the most knitted patterns going at the moment. I started this just before my birthday in late December last year and it was blocked and being worn by February (I appreciated it a lot in the Feb cold snap!) but the Owls remained eyeless until last Friday, when I took it and the buttons down to my local craft shop (the lovely Stag & Bow) for their Friday Night Social. Several teacups of wine later and the majority of the eyes were in place, so I just carried on when I got home.

I knitted size 2 (34 inch), which fits almost perfectly (see structural modification note below), in the pattern yarn (Rowan Purelife Chunky; colourway Mid Jacob), which was a very sheepy yarn. I did enjoy knitting with it but it does need a layer underneath at the moment (I refer to it as my all-seeing hairshirt…) but is getting less itchy with wear. The pattern was very clear and I will use it to make another one in the future, although possibly with a different yoke design. The only structural modification I’ll make next time is to knit another inch or so before the back decreases, just because I have quite a long torso and the pattern as-is does mean I tug at the bottom a fair bit to bring it down to my preferred length – it’s by no means too short but just not quite long enough.

So, this now leaves me with Kate’s Hare and Tortoise Gauntlets (active WiP) and my Cherry cardigan, which has been almost finished since, er, 2010? Perhaps I will finally deal with that one now! Or rush off and cast on for new and shiny things. We shall see. There’s also some crochet FO to post about but they’re gifts that will be given this Friday, so will probably make an appearance here next weekend. And there’s also a crochet WiP that is trundling along but that is also a gift.

Ravelled here: Hoot Hoot!

FO: Elsinore

Elsinore Shawl

I have a lot of free time at the moment, due to finishing my last contract at the end of Feb, so when Karie at Fourth Edition released her latest shawl pattern, I was on it like a flash. It’s a very simple yet pleasing knit that I really enjoyed and it took me a week of my copious free time to knit.

Although it is modular, I knitted it without additional repeats, as I only had one skein of the Knitting Goddess Luxury sock yarn (A sock club colourway from 2010 called Icicle) and as it was, I had to finish a cast off with a white 4-ply alpaca. I tend to run out just at the end of a shawl if using one skein, so that was almost certainly an issue on my side.

I’ll definitely knit it again, this time experimenting with the modular nature; I really like the geometric nature of Chart B!

Pattern: Elsinore by Karie.
Rav details: http://ravel.me/halcyonday/3xzwa

Ridiculously warm, double-layered, Arsenal-striped alpaca scarf

Ah, failure to update both this and ravelry. Thus begins this years resolution to update both more regularly, and so to start, this:

Dad's birthday present 2012

is a new scarf I knit for my dad with an improvised pattern.

My younger brother recently moved to Chicago –FOR SCIENCE– taking with him my dad’s Arsenal scarf. The the one he got for free from the stadium, the one made of the finest acrylics, one he wears to matches and can wave over his head at appropriate moments. This sad loss forced him to buy one of the hideous cheapo ones on sale on the stalls on the way to a game, one for cheap he was forced to wear another scarf underneath to keep warm, and that? That obviously forced me to make him one.

(Helpfully, this was about a month before his birthday, also solving the problem of trying to figure out what to give him for that. And he specifically said that he wanted one, a warm one, when I mentioned maybe knitting one for him.)

The scarf had to be red and white striped (because those are the team colours), warm because it can be pretty freezing up there in the stands), with no obvious right side and wrong side (because it annoys me when scarves have that) or ugly switching of colours (ditto) and also, not be too dull to knit.

The last bit ruled out a stocking stitch tube-style scarf, which would have been the quickest, not wanting to see the purl-colour bump ruled out moss and seed stitch, so I ended up with this, the stupidly warm herring-bone stitch alpaca double-layered scarf.

Things to note:

I used 5.0mm circs, at the upper end of the suggested size for this yarn, and I had to make a point of knitting very loosely. Herringbone makes for a dense fabric without a lot of stretch, and for a scarf, you don’t want it too stiff. I had to undo the first set of stripes because they were just too dense a knit, especially compared to the rest. And I tend to knit loosely anyway!

When I said this was ridiculously warm, I wasn’t kidding. It wraps up really nicely and stays in place pretty well.

The other thing to note is that righthand decreases (k2tog) and lefthand decreases (ssk, k2togtbl) are not exactly symmetrical. This means that the seam on the finished piece will drift slightly. The seam on this is not invisible, though you can fitz with it a little to make it less obvious. SSK is more balanced with k2tog, but slightly slower to knit than k2togtbl, so pick your poison there.

This scarf is knit as a tube, which will have a bit of a twist to it. In practice, this doesn’t make much difference (the scarf still folds flat), but the seam doesn’t stay neatly to one side. It travels across the flattened tube.

Stitch notes

Herringbone stitch in the round:

Row 1: Knit 2 tog, but only drop the first stitch off the left-hand needle, leaving one stitch on the left-hand needle (plus the new stitch on the right-hand needle.

Row 2 As above, but knit 2 tog through the back loop (k2togtbl). You can also ssk, but it’ll be slightly slower.

When you come to the end of the round, you will have to shuffle the stitches a little– remove marker, slip the last stitch held over from a k2tog onto the LH needle to join the first stitch of the next round, K2togTBL, replace marker between the stitches.

If that doesn’t make sense, there are more detailed, nicely photographed instructions over on purlbee.com, which would have been handy for me to find before starting the scarf.

Instructions

This barely constitutes a pattern, not least because I pretty much worked it out on the go. It’s really more of a general guideline that will give you a scarf of appropriate size.

5mm circs, 1 skein each Berroco Ultra Alpaca (roughly 2 x 200m worsted weight yarn).

Cast on 80 stitches on 5.0 mm circs, in Colour1. Join in a loop, being careful not to twist.
Herringbone stitch in colour1 for the next 14 rows.
Change colour. Herringbone stitch in colour2 for the next 14 rows.

Repeat until you’ve almost finished the yarn, or it’s an appropriate length. I like my scarves to be at least as tall as I am.

To finish, you can either cast-off and sew the tube sides together or (slightly neater) you can graft the two sides of the tube together or do a three needle bind off to join the sides, whichever you prefer.

At the bottom, Cast-On end, either sew the sides together or undo the cast on and graft (or three-needle bind-off) the two sides together. Since I had to unpick the starting stripe, I ended up picking up the stitches, reknitting an extra stripe at the base and finishing it with a three-needle bind off.

I also added a fringe, because it’s a football scarf.

Dad's birthday present 2012

In case anyone is curious, I gave it to him before the next match he had tickets for, where we got the winning goal in the 95th minute. I’m not saying that was the good luck caused by my scarf. I’m just saying.

FO: Tarnished Karise

Tarnished Karise

I’ve had two skeins of Oxford Kitchen Yarn Sock yarn in Tarnished Gold sitting in my stash for ages. I’d just not found the pattern for them until Fourth Edition released her Karise pattern and suddenly, I knew where one skein would be going!

Tarnished Karise

My Karise (Rav Link) used just over one skein of my yarn – I had to break into the second skein to do the bind off – and I knit four repeats of chart A and three repeats of chart B. Aside from the occasional moment of user error – I was constantly dropping unwanted YOs from beside SSKs that didn’t need them! – it was a fabulous pattern to knit. It’s modular so you can knit as many repeats of Chart A & B as you want/have yarn for. I very much anticipate knitting it again, I definitely want to try it in lace weight!

And the yarn! Well, the colour was gorgeous. It made me smile every time I took it out to knit further and it feels so nice, which is crucial when I have it wrapped around my neck! I am very pleased to see that Katie has opened her shop again and I very much recommend purchasing yarn from her!

All in all, it was lovely to knit something designed by someone I know in yarn dyed by someone I also know. It’s one of the things I really love about being crafty and having friends who are also crafty, sort of a circle of crafty life.

FO: Coraline plus xstitch

Coraline

My Coraline [Rav link] is done! Hooray! I took advantage of my current copious amounts of free time and the recent sunshine to sit down and knit a lot. The end result being that after some disgruntled cable needle wrangling (I hate cable needles and normally do cabling without one but the smocking required it) I started the smocking yoke and finished it in fairly short order. Then, I blocked it and let it dry (took forever!) and then after a couple attempts at the sewn button loops, I gave up and did self-yarn crochet chain loops using a 2mm hook. About 7 chains for each loop and then reinforced with the sewn in ends.

And, when I haven’t been knitting like a crafty lizard in the sun, I’ve been cross-stitching. Which is probably my original gateway craft. I have picked it up and put it down multiple times over the years but very much am back in the mood for it. I’ve got a plan for some geeky charts brewing but while I work on those ideas, I’ve done some small pieces.

Lovebirds Bits and Bobs

The Lovebirds is a mirror case that came as the free gift with Cross-Stitcher Issue 237 with a few tiny modifications and the other thing is a felt envelope that I made for my Hivemind so she has somewhere to store loose bits and bobs (heh) while she’s stitching – I may have helped get her hooked at the Stitch and Craft show, mwhahahaha! – and uses the chart that came with issue 239 of Cross-stitcher for the label.

Not yet photographed, because I haven’t assembled it yet, is the pincushion from Issue 238. Heh. Must get on with assembling it as it would be trĂ©s useful while I am stitching (oddly…)

Finished items and catching up

I had planned to do some more sewing this weekend – a coin purse to go with my bag – but instead, I ended up doing some object finishing in regards to knitting, which brings me down to one piece on the go and that’s my Coraline.

Which is a good place to start, actually.

Coraline in progress

It’s actually even further along since that photo this morning – the sleeve is now halfway done and I’m finishing the last few rows on the back at the moment. Which will just leave me with the sleeves to do and then it’s the yoke and then I’m laughing (and wearing a v. nice cardi.) Hooray!

The finished objects are:

My Cotton Reel Mittens:

Cotton reel mittens [Rav link to original pattern]

Which are also my first colourwork project. I’m quite pleased with them; my tension stayed fairly even through out, I really like the construction but I do think that next time, I’d probably drop a needle size after the start of the thumb gusset as they’re a bit bigger than I like my fingerless mittens to be.

And a stealth ‘must knit that now!’ project, also Ysolda (I’m knitting from patterns I have at the moment!), the Lee hat.

Lee Hat

Mine was done in Rico Essential Merino Aran, in blue (Jeans) and Natural. The construction of this hat is fantastic (although fiddly at times) but generally worth it! I’ll almost certainly knit it again in other colours.

The sewing will happen, although probably not for a couple of weekends now, as my next two weekends will be spent somewhere other than my flat/sewing machine. But I do plan to do some prep work for them when I’m home.

Hello 2011

*draws curtain over usual silence*

Things, things I am making in 2011!

Cotton reel mittens

Cotton Reel Mittens by Ysolda, in some of my treasured Sheldridge Farm 3ply, Mash Mallow (yellow) and Pussywillow (grey). These are my first attempt at colourwork and I am enjoying them greatly. The join is a little messy but frankly, they make me smile and they’re my first two-stranded project, so I don’t care.

Also on the needles:

Coraline

Very exciting photo, of course but that is the start of Ysolda’s Coraline, which I’m knitting in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, bought in the John Lewis sales last summer. I’m now past the hem (hooray!) and knitting away at it while watching stuff, so I’m not expecting massively instant progress.

Other plans include a cover for the Kindle I’m buying shortly and some goddamn sewing, instead of suffering from Teh Fear of my machine.

Stashbusting and other such stories

I am knitting from my stash this year. After hauling out my yarn boxes and sorting through them, so I could add photos of the ones I didn’t have to my Rav stash, I came to the realisation that I Must Knit The Stash before, well, it knits me. So there we are, the main goal for 2010 is that, along with learning to crochet and to finish some WIP.

I started the stashbust with a Calorimetry, which used up the remains of some Artesano Aran in green and maroon. It’s a little big and I didn’t think the colour change out too well, so there’s no photo for the blog, but you can see it on its Rav project page. I am mostly just happy with something that keeps my ears warm and used up some odds and ends.

The next stash bust was this, a Hap Blanket from Ysolda’s Whimsical Little Knits, which rejoices under the project name of The Hogswatch Hap.

FO: Hap blanket

It originally started life off as a Hemlock Ring Blanket but I stuffed up the feather and fan and decided to just frog the whole thing. I only had the one colour with me because I was working on it at my parents’ this Christmas, so it became a single colour hap. I absolutely love it! It did get a little awkward to knit once the edging was started but the end result is large enough, delightfully warm (I am sitting under it as I type) and used up a significant chunk of my stash, consisting as it does, of 7.5 balls of DROPS Alaska. It’s definitely on my list to knit again, this time with a contrasting colour.

And excitingly and also, more on the WIP finishing resolution than the stashbusting, I finally stopped sulking about the sleeves on my Cherry – er, round about August I knitted them and discovered that one was about an inch and a half shorter than the other, cue some knitterly sulking and the project being stuffed in a bag – cast on for sleeve attempt number three (the return of the electric boogaloo…) and ended up with a matching pair. Now all I need to do is sew it up, pick up the buttonband and collar and I might actually get to wear the damn thing for this spring/summer! Miracles may never cease, I tell you.

So, so far, so good and I’m determined to carry on with my stash knitting. So, here is a short list of things I am going to knit and the yarn from the stash that matches. (all links are Ravelry)

This is not the full list of course but I’m slowly working through my queue and rearranging/assigning yarns. I’m looking forward to making a dent in both the stash and my long list of queued patterns.