23 December 2007

Mittens done

The Mark II stripey ones that is. All wrapped up and given away before I even remembered that I hadn't taken a photo. They were navy & red - quite cute.

Started another scarf as an in-between project, or for when I need something that requires no brainpower. Everything else is still in the procrastination pile, though I must get something organised to take down the coast with me. I should start on the 2008 jumper & birthday season... or at least have an idea of what I'm planning to knit. I think I'll spend tonight browsing patterns for inspiration.

07 December 2007

Stripey mittens II - the return

More stripey mittens on the way - for a birthday pressie that needs to be wrapped by next Tuesday morning. I have about 30min of knitting and probably about an hour of sewing up to do... And yes, I'm procrastinating in front of the computer instead of finishing them because it's still hot and sticky after this afternoon's thunderstorm. It meant to be a bit cooler over the weekend and also next week. Hopefully that will help with the motivation.

Still have lots of plans going about in my head. Need to get a couple of them down on paper - and one better - on to the needles.

17 November 2007

All sewn up

The mittens that is. Spent Wednesday night sewing up mittens - all done! And the decision has been made - the stripey scarf does need a fringe...

14 November 2007

Stripey mittens

Complete! Sewn up even (which means they overtake the mauve & green ones). Will do more sewing up...

10 November 2007

To fringe or not to fringe

Yes that is the question. I'm currently trying to decide whether the stripey scarf will look better with or without a fringe. The knitting's all done, but I haven't quite decided whether it's finished or not. While I procrastinate about that, I have started & finished one red & grey stripey mitten (sans the sewing up). I'll probably start it's mate tonight.

I've bought buttons for the blue mandorla, but have got no further with the sewing up. The beads have distracted me... lovely shiny beads.... So instead of finishing the knitting I've been making necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

14 October 2007

2 pair o'mittens

Mittens are great... 2 nights work & some sewing up and you have a present sorted. Both pairs are made with Cleckheaton Country 8 ply. The light green pair are done on 3.75mm needles and the mauve pair are on 4mm needles. All the knitting is done, but I need to finish sewing up the other green mitten and both of the mauve ones.
The beauty of this pattern is that it is simple and scalable - that is - just use varied weights of wool and the appropriate needles to get bigger or smaller sizes. For a 3-4yr old, use 8ply + 3.75mm, slightly older use 4mm etc. It's a 1940s Patons pattern called Cezanne from the Patons Knitting Book R.10 (p10-11). This book has lots of lovely gloves, mitten and hat patterns. Unfortunately my copy of the book is missing the front & back covers (which does include some of the pattern info).

12 October 2007

Time for some pics

Here's where I'm at with the mandorla... more procrastination to follow...

On the other hand the scarf is coming along quite nicely still.

04 October 2007

Motivation lagging in heat...

The very warm weather has meant that I'm just not inclined to pick up the enormous bulk of the mandorla jumper - which is currently in the process of being sewn up. Probably still 3 hours work left sewing in all the ends and the two buttons and figuring out exactly how I plan to fix the front opening (or whether I bother).

In the meantime the vastly more portable scarf has come on well, into the second ball now. Have also 3/4 finished a pair of mittens. I had forgotton how quick the mittens are to finish. May do a few more sets as they don't end up on top of you the way other projects seem to.

I sense that the knitting evenings may be restricted to the colder days now. Though last year the start of spring was gorgeous and then winter took hold again til nearly Xmas - I'll see how it goes.

18 September 2007

A sleeve, then collar

A quick update:
Blue mandorla - I finished off the first sleeve last night and cast on the second. Once that's done, need to work out exactly how I'm going to manage the collar...
Stripey scarf - it's getting longer, quite like the pattern & stripe combo...
White cardi - fits the recipient who then managed to get green texta on it - washable green texta at least. It worked very well with her pink dress over white leggings combo - very cute.

Have been doing a bit of sewing - a ballet slipper bag and a frock for miss, taking up trousers so I can actually wear them, plans for a few new bits & bobs...

06 September 2007

Busyness other than knitting

Haven't made much headway in the last couple of weeks... Cast on the first sleeve of the mandorla jumper and have done approx 10cm of it! It's a big project to lug about though, so the far more portable scarf has been growing steadily. Must finish one before starting anything else.

Have a big bunch of mending to do as well. That must get done this weekend - it's supposed to be miserable weather so hopefully there will be some opportunity for sorting it all out. May even drag out the sewing machine and make some tops & skirts out of the material I bought ages ago.

Lots of ideas swirling about in my head at the moment but the general busy-ness has swamped motivation. I'm sure the tide will turn again soon...

29 August 2007

Sleeves to go

Work on the mottled blue jumper is progressing, though slower than usual due to other priorities (non craft related). The back and front are finished and one sleeve has been started. One thing that I didn't consider when re-designing from rib to stocking stitch was that the front "overlap" would curl. D'oh. It's salvagable without having to re-knit the whole piece, just annoying that I only thought of the consequences halfway through the second front neck section. Managed to restrain myself at Spotlight today - even with Jet, Inca and Caressa Express on sale. Must finish other projects before buying more for the stash.

The "brainless" knitting project is also coming along - about 20cm so far. This is the easily portable scarf in the multicolour self-striping wool. Would definitely use the stitch combo again on a scarf in nicer wool as it knits up prettily.

17 August 2007

Piggle MkII

It's being given away today, so I thought I'd better take a photo (or two). Knitted in Cleckheaton 8ply country in a pinky mauve colour. Photo above with flash, below without.

14 August 2007

60's makeover

Ok, so I didn't quite manage to finish anything off before I started on the jumper made out of blue mandorla (pictured above). I couldn't find anything that grabbed me, so went searching back through the old knitting patterns (I inherited both my mother's and nanna's knitting patterns and I have a fantastic selection from the 30's through to late 80's, especially the early 60's stuff when mum was at the height of her knitting). Waaalaaah! Change a fisherman's rib collared pullover to stocking stitch without a rib edge, keep the toggle neck opening & wide collar and a modern style emerges!
What's even better is that you knit this on 7mm needles so it knits up really quickly. Have finished the back and I'm up to the neck shaping on the front now (though that's lower than usual).

I've also finished Piggle Mk II - knitted on 3.75mm needles with Cleackheaton country 8ply. Much nicer to work with. Have also planned a few small mitten/beanie projects as pressies so have bought 2 balls each of Cleackheaton country 8ply in a light green, mauve & grey. Also bought a bunch of enormous diameter needles to play around with for scarves. And 2 balls of a mottled acrylic/wool mix called 'Spell' which is meant to be self-striping. Have started a kids scarf in Andelusian stitch to try that out and it seems to be working, though the proportion of acrylic is too high for my taste. The colours are really cute though.

06 August 2007

The finished summer cardi

Finished the crochet etc last night... Here is the cardi:

I'm quite happy with the end result but would not knit sleeves in the round again. Hopefully after a few washes, that will even out a bit.

05 August 2007

Photos - recent and historical finished projects

The piggle Mk1 (above), the blue jumper knitted at Uni (before I learned mattress or running stitch method for sewing up seams - below)

The summer cardi in white cotton knitted at Uni with tulip pattern detail close up below.

Cardi knitting finished

The actual knitting part of the white cotton cardi is finished. I ended up using a variant of old fan lace (from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the edge book) to give the bottom edge some interest (it's knitted from the neck down...). Now I just need to crochet around the front & neck, weave in the ends and it's done. Will definitely need to block the cardi - which will also be a first as i am a bit slack about that usually. I'm a bit nervous about the crochet as I'm nowhere near as neat or as confident with crochet as I am with knitting.

Photos of the finished project to follow...

Also rummaging around in my jumper drawer, I came across the summer cardi and the plain winter jumper I made for myself when I was at Uni. Need to take photos of these + the piggle Mk I and post them up.

Must finish next piggle and then move onto cleaning up some of the old projects...

02 August 2007

Knitting history

I thought if I were to make this a proper record I should add the older stuff. Completed between 2002-2006:

Large photo: pink jumper for 3yr old - Pattern from Patons, in Totem.
Small photos (down):
Red mittens in Cleckheaton 8ply wool
Blue jumper in Cleckheaton 12 ply wool (for 3yr old)
Feathers beanie and 8ply fingerless gloves
Ladies pink jumper in Paton's Jet (pattern from Paton's Jet book)
Men's red jumper in Cleckheaton 8ply wool (pattern from Magnum classics, modified to fit)
Girl's pink/purple jumper in Paton's Caressa (pattern from Cleckheaton macro classics, modified with lace edging)
There's also a number of things made & given away before I took photos including many pairs of mittens, a light green mohair beret, a girl's cardigan in navy blue , boy's vest in blue. Must see if anyone has any photos of them...

31 July 2007

Piggle - Mk I

Bought some wool in a lovely bright purple for Piggle Mk I. Not entirely happy with the yarn as it is a bit stiffer than I thought and harder to knit with - especially on the ssk. Will definitely use a softer yarn for the next one. Why a next one? Well the other thing was that I followed the pattern (mostly) which requires 2.75mm needles for 8ply yarn. Didn't have a set of 2.75, so I used 3mm and even now it looks like it will be a snug fit for a small girl. Will go up to the 4mm set for the next one.

Must say that knitting in the round when dealing with ribbed patterns is so much easier as the "bumpiness" isn't so obvious as it is with stocking stitch. So yes, there will be several more variants to be knitted up and given away (it's only a few nights of knitting to finish them) and also I'll get to play with other variations of 3x2 rib and lace patterns.

Have also worked out that the next mini-project will be a matching beanie & mittens for the vest (in between piggles) and have thought of a cunning plan to solve the white cotton cardi edge issue... still pondering the next major project. Should reeeeeaaaaally finish one of the long lost projects - but can't bear to knit with black at night, it's just too hard.

28 July 2007

Finished vest

Finished up the vest this afternoon and took some photos. It does fit - thank goodness! Given the multiple colours it can look quite different in different lights. Here are some close-ups of the stitching:

The short row bust shaping worked really well - something I'll certainly use again! Also doing the neck and armhole bands on a pair rather than a set of needles made it much neater and quicker, even if there was just a tidgy bit more sewing up involved.

19 July 2007

The vest

The vest is knitting up well, but not sure if I got the sizing right - only time will tell. The pattern looks really nice with the multicoloured Jet wool. I was a little worried at first, but getting 20-30 rows in the colours really started to come together and look lovely. It's a simple rib variation (89 stitches front & back) in k & p stitches on a 4 row repeating pattern:

r1: k3, p1,*k2, p1 repeat from * to end
r2: p1, k1, *p2, k1 repeat from * to last 3 stitches, p3
r3: same as r1
r4: k all stitches

But I keep forgetting that on row 4 you knit all stitches until I get to the end and have to unpick the row (which is a bit tedious). Also, I'm going to try the short row technique to shape the bust which will also be a first and may require some effort and brain power. Need to knit up to 30cm in pattern first... won't take long on 5.5mm needles. I am using one of the Magnum Classics 12ply patterns as a base, but forgot to allow for the fact I was changing the stocking stitch to a mild rib - we'll see how it goes.

18 July 2007

Hooray for the internet

I have just found a site with little video clips (for free even - yay!) showing you how to do certain knitting stitches. Hooray! I now understand the ssk abbreviation from knitty.com and have seen how you do it! I have added it to the list down the side but here it is: http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/abbreviations_explained/
Lovely when you can find what you are looking for! And it's how mum-in-law explained it - she's so clever.

12 July 2007

Pink scarf the third

Yep finished already! Combined Cleckheaton country 8 ply with Caressa 8 ply on 9mm needles (19 stitches to a row meant it knitted up in no time). Garter stitch 12 rows, doubled row single moss stitch 8 rows - repeated til it was about 160cm long. Easy and matches the jumper finished in April.
Still have the cardi to finish, still needs some thought as to the edge pattern. I might start on the vest tonight. Have also got the piggle pattern off Knitty.com. They are soooo cute (beanies with holes for pigtails). Nanna had made one and it's such a big hit that I might make them for birthday pressies for others. The other great thing is that it only takes 1 ball of wool, so I could splash out on some of the really nice stuff.
Popped into Tapestery Craft briefly yesterday to lust over the nice wool. The Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino is so soft and lovely - way too nice to be just for babies. The other one that really caught my eye was the Alpaca Kid Lustre by Jo Sharp - that feels divine as well (and can be knitted up on bigger needles) and well frankly any of the silks. Have resolved however that the stash needs to go down before more is purchased. They will just have to stay on the "want it" list for a while.

09 July 2007

Scarves are addictive...

So I'm halfway through pink scarf number 3... It's a double moss stitch interspersed with garter stitch (or is it the other way around?) and I have discovered that scarves are very addictive knitting. You only have about 19-25 stitches (if you are using big needles), you can play with patterns that are likely to bore you in big quantities, they don't use a huge quantity of wool and they are perfect to knit in front of the TV!

The summer cotton cardi is currently languishing beneath my ability to come up with a pattern for 167 stitches knitted up towards the hem - I'm sure I'll find something suitable when I'm looking for something else. I haven't dared start on the vest - must finish another project before starting on that. But here's a pic of the wool to keep me inspired...

03 July 2007

Fringe action

Pink scarf the second is done! Very quick & easy...

In other news, the cloak is finished, the tabards are done and the queen frock only needs a couple more hours and a chemise... Sure it can be done!

Then it's on to cunning plans for new projects. Have designed a vest cribbed together out of a 'Classics' pattern book, combined with a texture pattern and short rows to add bust shaping. It's going to be the first experiment with the short rows technique & made out of multicoloured Jet. Hope it works.

I also finally found the Hurry Knits Patons pattern book at the local Spotlight and bought it. Looks like you could substitute almost any 8 ply wool in the patterns. Further experimentation to come. Have also promised a scarf to match the jumper for N... haven't promised a timeframe. Bought another 3 balls of pink in order to match the pink & purple Caressa and will knit on big needles - probably around 7-8mm, so it should knit up quickly.

01 July 2007

Did it again

In the excitement of finishing the first pink scarf, I started something else instead of picking up the older projects that need finishing. So pink scarf the second is underway. My only defence is that it is in chunky wool on 10mm needles so in about 4 hours I've knitted over a metre. Here is where it is up to. It's the first experiment with the dropped stitches method. I'm not sure that it really works with a plain wool - I think it would look better with a varigated or fluffy type wool. This one definitely needs a fringe once I'm finished with the knitting bit...

30 June 2007

Pink scarf - the first

Yes! Finally the pink scarf is done. Moda Vera 'Vixen' in pink & rainbow colours 12 rows garter st interspersed with Paton's Jet in hot pink 6 rows garter st. Knitted on 7mm needles with only 2 minor mistakes (which I didn't bother to undo as they are hardly noticeable). It's approximately 150cm long. Decided a fringe on this one would be overkill. It's lovely & fuzzy, with the Jet giving enough structure to keep it from curling up.
Also slipped and bought some more wool yesterday - not much and with specific scarves & beanies in mind. The balls were either 'big', textured or fluffy as I have heaps of plain odd ball remnants that will work in well. Today had another minor slip... I have been after a book of stitch patterns. Have been looking in bookshops for the book that I usually borrow from the local library when I found "400 Knitting Stitches" by Murdoch books (a translation from the Marie Clare French version). It's luscious... and came home with me - a relative bargain for $39. I will spend some time drooling over the patterns and working out which ones I'm going to use in the next scarf.

21 June 2007

The guilt list for today

Knitting currently in progress (piccies above):

  • pink scarf (started May 07)
  • white cardi for N (started Jan 07)
  • bedsocks for N (started around 2005, won't fit them now even if I finish, but could give them to another)
  • black aran jumper (started 1991)

Embroidery currently in progress:

  • Large sampler (started around 1990) - x-stitch finished, need to back stitch & bead
  • Pressie (started 05) can't say more - it's secret, but probably needs a good month of evenings to finish
  • really, truly ancient stuff from when I was about 10yrs old - do I bother?

Other stuff:

  • Felt weather board for M (started 03)
  • Quilt for P (started 01)
  • N's queen frock (started Jun 07) but needed for the party...
  • Tabards for party (started Jun 07)
  • Mending... a few trousers that need shortening, skirt that needs mending and shorts that need the button sewn back on
And that's what started... will leave the cunning plans, material & wool stash etc for later.

20 June 2007

The first post

Thought I'd give the blogging thing a try... more to keep useful but unrelated info together and share useful stuff that doesn't fall into other categories. And most importantly to nag myself to get my craft projects (ranging over the last 30 years) finished and done with and off the black cloud list. Intend to have a bit of a play about with templates and settings and stuff - won't be posting many pics apart from the crafty stuff. If you want what I'm up to etc - you'll need to head to Flickr.