Posts Tagged ‘knitting

07
Nov
09

An experiment…

…well two actually. The first experiment was trying out a new yarn, New to me at any rate. I thought I’d give some microfibre a try. Called ‘Smooth DK’ and made by King Cole, it promised to be soft and I had seen some colours that suited a project I had in mind. So I bought some, and yes, it is soft and very nice to work with. Not quite what I expected, but I think that is more me than a fault with the product. I don’t know if I am the only one who has thought about this, but I wonder if others hae also concluded that DK nowadays is more akin to 4ply. Or to put it another way, 25 years ago, I am sure I remember double knitting being thicker than it is these days. Frequently I pick something up thinking it will be 4ply, only to find that it is Double Knitting. Perhaps it is me, suffering memory loss, but I have to say that given the quantity of knitting I did throughout the time my children were growing up, you’d think I’d have remembered. It would be interesting to find out if gauges have changed. Needle sizing changed, just to confuse everyone, or rather the needles stayed the same but were described differently, now in mm which is mercifully much easier to understand when reading patterns from across the pond.

 P1190063ed

I’ve started to use King Cole Yarns more often in recent months and like them. I love the feel of this one, and the nice stitch definition.

The other experimental part of this tale, is the pattern I was working on. I decided to try and do a woven design, just for the fun of it, and I was really pleased with the way it turned out, although I have to say that I think I should have done another ribbon or two each way to make the weave tighter, but you live and learn through such experiences. This was the result, a little fragranced pillow  (lavender scented) made with the King Cole Smoothie. It’s a bit of a fiddle, but I really like the result so will undoubtedly do it again in the future.

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05
Nov
09

Splash of colour.

A few days ago I finished a project that was really enjoyable. I decided to make a cat blanket, using scraps of yarn left over from other projects. The result was amazing. A rainbow of colours. Are cats colourblind, I wonder?  If that is the case, it may be a blessing, otherwise they might be dazzled.

I made approximately 100 little 2.5 x 2.5 granny squares, with a well known pattern (I see it all over Ravelry and other crochet sites), and double crocheted them together. The yarn I used was one of my favourites, Patons Sorbet. I think I have mentioned it before. It’s a cotton blend, aran weight (worsted weight for those who are in the States and Canada), and its good for things like bags or something that needs to be fairly thickish  or rugged, like a bathmat. So should be good for a pet blanket 🙂

P1190011ed

I enjoyed making this so much, that I am now making something similar, though not for a cat. It’s so easy to pick up, do a few squares and put down again and makes my 50,000 stitch target for NaKnitMo, a breeze, (at least I think it will). I’m so proud of the girls who are doing this challenge, (actually, I think there is a male in there someone as well), but the totals some are racking up every day are incredible. For the rest of us, it’s just a chance to pick up unfinished projects and get them finished, make presents ready for christmas, and generally have a lot of fun. It’s surprising how quickly the stitch totals increase and several people have upped their targets already. I don’t think I will be doing that yet. I am managing to keep up with this blog for the NaBloPoMo, but haven’t done much for NaNoWriMo. I have been planning my plot, but not writing the book! Ah well, tomorrows another day.

04
Nov
09

Dangerous pursuits

Well, I’ve heard about people sustaining injuries after accidently sitting on knitting needles, but yesterday I surprised myself by knitting a splinter into my skin. I had just started a new project and had tested out a pair of metal needles; didn’t work. Plastic needles; didn’t work, so decided that my wooden needles would probably be just right. I’d only done half a dozen stitches when I nearly shot through the roof in pain. I had a small splinter completely wedged into the skin of the index finger of my left hand. With a bit of help from a sterilised sewing needle and lots of patience, I managed to get the wretched thing out, rubbed some anticeptic cream on and changed knitting needles…again

P1190052edP1190050ed

The offending knitting needles (above left, and centre of right picture)were a pair of cheap bamboo needles. I got them free with a magazine, and I have to say, that cheap they may be, but they are normally lovely to work with. They had quickly become one of my favourite pairs of needles. Not any more, or at least, not until I have got my partner to sand them down and smooth them and generally make them safe to play with. I’d sand them down myself if I could find out where he hides the sandpaper! Anyway, I began knitting again this time with a pair of very beautiful wooden needles, made of a japanese wood… However, the yarn still didn’t like the needles, or vice versa, and finally I went back to a second pair  of plastic needles, slightly larger than the first pair, and now we are speeding along!

All of which just goes to show, two things, mainly. 1) needles are out to get you, and 2), it can be trial and error to find the best pair for the job in hand…well that what I have concluded from the experience. The yarn I am using is Wendy Rembrandt, DK which is a wool blend (46% wool) boucle, and wonderfully soft.

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The finger is bearing up well today…so we’ll just put it all down to experience:)

27
May
09

Dribble dribble, toil and bibble!

Remember the lovely swap parcel I received from my new friend in Australia last week? Well I decided that I would use some of the yarn today. A friend’s daughter has just given birth to a baby girl and I thought it would be useful to make some pretty bibs. My swap partner had told me that she uses the bamboo for dishcloths, so I though it might work well for a baby’s bib. When I knitted it up I found it to be so soft that it will be lovely for wiping baby Libby’s mouth. Less harsh than cotton. I hope the bamboo stays soft. I’m sure it will. The colours are very modern and bright, but very pretty and cheerful. I hope the new Mum likes them. The yarn, by the way is the Moda Vera bamboo/cotton (70% bamboo and 30% cotton). The second bib turned out a bit better than the first, but I think Ted models them well!

 

Bib 1                                     Bib 1

 

                              

 

                                                             

Bib 2

 

 

                              

Bib 2 a

23
May
09

Swap from down under

I received a swap from my Australian swap partner a couple of days ago. This was a yarn swap, organised by one of the groups on Ravelry. I am thrilled with the contents. I asked for Australian wool, since J is in Australia and she sent me some gorgeous Cleckheaton Country Naturals, which is 8ply (DK) and 100% wool. She also sent me two skeins of Moda Vera, bamboo / cotton, which is 70% bamboo and 30% cotton, which I am also dying to try. Having read my blog, J remembered that I prefer knitting with shorter lighter needles, (unless I have 200 sts ) and sent some adorable little duckie needles. Obviously they are for children, but I am not proud. I frequently knit with children’s needles. There was a really pretty postcard of a little Kaola to remind me of Australia, along with a keyring, and also some pretty papers and adhesives to do some papertole work.
I loved everything, and just hope J enjoys what I have sent her too. Thank you for a wonderful swap.

Yarn swap

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of what I had put together for J. So I hope she takes a photo and posts it on the relevant thread to remind me.

08
May
09

Beanies and Berets

It’s a long time since I made a hat. When my children were little I seemed to be forever knitting hats, balaclavas (remember them?) and a weird and wonderful assortment of gloves and mittens. Hats with pom poms, tassles, ears; gloves with lacy trims, whiskers and noses, and fur cuffs. Those were the days! So when I had the oppoerunity to join a hat swap group on Ravelry, I grabbed it, thinking it would be a good short term project. I relished the choice of patterns I knew I’d find on Ravelry. All I had to do was wait until I was assigned a partner and then ask her for her design prefences and colours and yarns. Likewise I had to think about my own prefences.

I made a beanie as requested for my partner. I used a pattern called Christina’s Beanie  and embellished it with my own flower and leaves. I hope she liked it.

hat 1

Meanwhile I received a wonderful beret from my other swap partner in Canada. She chose a wonderful pattern, and the perfect colour. I asked for a raspberry colourway, but never dreamed she’d manage to get the exact colour of my coat. It’s a perfect match and so pretty. It’s also lovely and soft and warm. Almost makes me regret it’s spring as I’ll have to wait until the end of the year before I can wear it. Not only did my partner make me a beautiful beret, but she sent a parcel full of goodies. It was like Christmas all over again. One of the items in the parcel was some Rooibos tea. It smelled lovely so I put some in the pot and had a cup without milk, and then one with milk. I liked them both, but do prefer it with milk. It’s Rooibos spicy chai and it tastes gorgeous. I will definitely be getting some more. Thank you so much Melinda,  for your generous parcel and my lovely hat. I am well chuffed.

hat

My hat!

 

My hat!.5jpgMy hat!.6jpg

08
May
09

Scarf Travels – International scarf section three

beekeepers scarfI received the next scarf in the International scarf travels group on Ravelry, ready for me to knit section 3. I have to say this is becoming more and more exciting because each scarf that arrives presents a different challenge. I am learning so much and stretching my abilities, learning new stitches, techniques, and experimenting with colours and texture. However, the main challenge I have is actually trying to keep the scarf width even. Most of the participants are in the USA, but some are in Europe, New Zealand and Australia and consequently we have the differences in knitting and crochet terms, plus the different yarn gauges to contend with. We have tried to iron out these difficulties but it  is still a problem as can be seen in my attempts as well as some of the other scarfs. Perhaps we’ll get better as we go along. Anyway, this is scarf three which will eventually belong to a lovely lady who lives in Illinois.All three sections have been knitted in various yarns by Noro.

 Bkeepers scarf two sections

bkeepers scarf, my section.

 




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