Friday, 19 October 2012
I was out yarn shopping yesterday which is always fatal. They didn't have any of the yarn I was looking for left but I still didn't go away empty handed. I did buy yarn that was a Christmas present but on a whim I also picked up a ball of Patons, 'Fab Big'. Another one of those yarns that has a scarf pattern on the ball band. I saw it in pink and thought my sister would like it. The pattern was very easy to follow and knits up very quickly. I started it last night and finished it this morning. I would have finished it in one day if I didn't have an exam. Plus it's one of those loop scarf which I thought my sister would appreciate (she loves her winter woolies).
Sadly I don't think the pattern quite delivered what it promised. The loop scarf was far shorter than what the pattern and images on the ball band suggested it would be. There is now way to wrap it round the head again. At least not without throttling yourself. In the image above I have actually folded it in half just so that it sits. My advice if you are knitting this up is to start with far fewer stitches. You will get the length you will need. Plus if you don't want to wrap it again it will sit better without folding. Otherwise you will need at least half the ball of yarn again. It's not a Christmas present but hopefully my sister will like it anyways.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
It's probably the artist in her but my sister loves the strangest colour combinations. The wackier the better. So when I saw this Regia yarn in the sale I had to pick it up and knew they would become socks for my sister. However, as I began to knit the more I was unsure of the colours. Thought it might be too much even for my sister. I was pretty sure I was knitting the ugliest socks in the world. Now that they are finished though I feel better about them and maybe red, pink, orange, white and grey do all go together.....maybe.
This time I used a pattern from The Bigh Book Of Socks by Kathleen Taylor. This is probably my most recent sock book purchase and since it was at the top of the pile it was the one I went to first. The pattern I chose is called Purl Spiral socks (actually adult and yarn type is in the title but I'm not writing that). I call them swirly socks.
You can sort of see the pattern here. It's very basic and follows a six row repeat. All you really need to do is keep track of what row you are on. I kept track of how many repeats too to save me from measuring the second sock. I am very lazy and to be honest I'm always losing my measuring tapes. The purl stitch creates the pattern and I think it sets the yarn off. So much so that this is the first time that I have ever ensured that both socks are the same by casting on at the same point in the pattern of the yarn (I repeat, I am lazy). I also cut off the yarn after finishing the heel and reattached it at the point where the colours would continue in the same repeats along the front of the sock.
The pattern doesn't follow along the soul of the sock but I kind of like the effect there too. I like the fact that the grey section started at the heel there. That was pure accident. The result is that I kind of like the socks and more importantly I think my sister will too.
As for the book itself. I do like a lot of the patterns in there and I know that I will be using more than a few of them. The pattern was very easy to follow and I think a beginner could do this no problem. Ideal for anyone who decides they are bored with the basic pattern but want to move on to something simple. I have two criticisms. The first is with the heel section. It's the first time I have used short row heels for cuff down socks (have used it for toe up socks). The pattern said not to use the wrap method which is the one that I am used to. It's explanation is that the book way prevents gaps. However, that's not what I found. I found that it was a lot looser and the wrap method felt easier to follow. Maybe because it's what I am used to. In both socks though I found I made mistakes (not that my sister will notice).
The second criticism involves the layout of the book. Photo's of the socks aren't necessarily with the pattern. It could be at the start of the section grouped with other socks. This makes it difficult to find the pattern to match the photo (I am sure there is one photo in there not labeled and so not sure which patterns the socks belong to). Unlike in most sock books it doesn't give instructions for how many stitches to cast on, what sort of cuff to knit and instructions for the heel. Instead it sends you to earlier patterns that contain stitch numbers and cuff instructions. Or to the back where all the instructions for different heels are found. Makes for a lot of flicking back and forward which is a little annoying. I think the rational behind it is that more patterns will fit into the book that way.
Having said that I still liked the book and many of the patterns. As I said, the patterns are easy enough to follow and there is something in there for both beginner and expert sock knitter.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Every time I write about this pattern I have Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, in my head. No idea why.
This scarf pattern was first discovered by a friend of mine who is known for finding interesting new scarf patterns. I have a friend known as the sock lady and in this way this friend should be known as the scarf lady. The pattern is by Martina Behm and you can buy it from ravelry for about £2.50. I love the pattern. It's so simple and yet effective. It's an 8 row repeat and all you need to know is how to increase, purl, knit and cast off. It's as simple as that.
The pattern calls for sock yarn and I picked out the Zitron Trekking XXL from my stash. I loved the blues and greens and thought it would make an effective stripy pattern. Which it did. Another reason to love the pattern (if you use patterning sock yarn) is that the effect of the yarn changes as the scarf grows. This scarf is for me and I am looking forward to it being cold enough to wear it.
My sister liked the scarf and I believe even threatened to pinch it. I couldn't have that so I have knitted one up for her Christmas. Knitting two in a row you would think I would have grown bored of it but not at all.
This time I used Noro Kureyon sock yarn. I bought this in a sale ages ago knowing that I would have to use it for my sister who loves pink and black. At first I was unsure whether or not to use it for the scarf. Even in a sale it's quite expensive and the pattern would have to be special to use it on. Glad I did though. If you have seen socks knitted for my sister in previous posts you will know she has tiny feet. So tiny that the socks would have turned out mainly pink and the rest of those colours would have gone unnoticed (unless of course I made her socks uneven). The scarf however starts off all in pink and slowly the other colours emerge until you get this stripey effect at the end. It certainly made knitting it more interesting.
I love Noro yarn. I love the colours which are always bright and unexpected. The downside to it is that it's a little harsh from being over-dyed. The thickness through out is also uneven. This all however, works perfectly for the scarf.
Friday, 14 September 2012
This is mainly what I have been working on the last few months and is now my pride and joy. I was needing something simple whilst I was busy with other things. Something that didn't require a lot of concentration and I could just pick up whenever I had a little time. When I saw this pattern in Cross Stitcher a few issues ago it immediately caught my eye. I'm not usually an orange person but I fell in love with it anyway. The huge blocks of colour were also perfect.
I finished it two weeks ago and I honestly can't stop looking at it. I am even tempted to eventually stitch the blue camper van which was in the same issue. The downside was all the back stitching. Normally I would resent doing all that (any stitcher will tell you it's the boring bit). However, the pattern wouldn't work without it and I liked watching it develop.
The one in the Cross Stitcher had been turned into a cushion and I decided to do the same. I had hoped for an orange flower fabric that screamed 70's but I couldn't find any and I was too impatient to shop around. Instead I went for a rather bright orange. On it's own it's too bright and I had my doubts (like I said, not usually an orange person). However, it fitted the design perfectly.
If any of you follow me on instagram or twitter you will have possibly seen photo updates of the project. I asked people to guess what the orange blob was. When it got to this stage someone suggested that it was two elephants having a face off. Have to say it does look a bit like that. A few people agreed and after that I was often asked how my elephants were getting on.
The pattern was from issue 254 of Cross Stitcher. It was very easy to follow. A perfect pattern for someone relatively new to cross stitch who wants to try something bigger. Or like me you don't have the time to concentrate on it.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
A while ago I blogged about a challenge hosted by my knitting group called Odds n Ends. The challenge was to create something using leftovers only. This was perfect since I had been wanting to do something with my leftover sock yarn. It was far too pretty to throw out. The plan was to make lots of granny squares and bring them together to create a blanket. However, I didn't have enough white to do that and buying more would have been cheating. So as you can see I made do with a cushion instead.
From these odds and ends I had crocheted about 100 squares. From that I picked out 32 and stitched them together with what remained of the white. I have to say there was just enough to do that and do the border that I love so much.
Here it is on the night of the challenge along with my photo of the scraps and a wee blurb about it. I gave it the glamorous name of sock pillow. I still have a bag of leftovers and quite a few squares so I am going to keep going. I don't need to worry any more about replacing the white to tie it all together. So hopefully I will eventually have a sock blanket to go with my sock pillow.
Sunday, 9 September 2012
Oops, it's been a few months since I last posted here. I thought that maybe I would have quite a lot to show you but it seems my crafting has been only slightly more productive than my blogging. Having said that I do have a few things to show you and first up is this shawl I knitted for a friend. The truth is this yarn was supposed to be used to knit a baby present for the same friend. I was on placement at uni on the run up to the baby shower we had for her which is why I didn't get the baby gift done in time. Turns out it was a big disaster anyway (as all my baby knitting seems to be unless it's a blanket, socks or hats). I still had all this leftover yarn and I decided to use it to knit something for the new mum.
The shawl is called Multnomah and was designed by Kate Ray. It's a simple design involving increased stitches, garter stitch and then a fan stitch. I think the fan stitching is quite effective. The pattern itself is very easy to follow and I found that I had knitted it up in next to no time. In the end the number of stitches on the pins was the only thing that slowed me down. If I have one piece of advice though it's to hunt out proper stitch markers. I made do with paper clips since I was too lazy to look for mine (still can't find them). It became a task just to stop them from causing pulls. I don't recommend it.
The yarn is actually a sock yarn that I have used many times before just not in this colourway. It's Happy by Wendy and the colourway is called partie. The photograph is actually an accurate depiction of the colours (my camera normally hates purples of any sort). As I am sure I have said before it's great to knit with. So silky and smooth but can split if you're not careful. It's also a nightmare to use when knitting socks at has a tendency to ladder.
Anyway, a very easy pattern and I think it would be fantastic for anyone relatively new to knitting who would like to try a shawl. It's easy to follow and the stitches used are basic for the most part. If you are on ravelry you can find the patter here.
Monday, 7 May 2012
Ever get the feeling that the bag of cotton is endless? This is yet another cushion from that stash in my attempt to use it up. The third one to be exact. I decided to go for stripes this time. My friend Donna taught me how to crochet granny stripes at last years knitting weekend away. About time I used what I learned.
I even managed to use buttons from my stash this time. In other words I wasn't lazy and hunted through the case to find buttons that match. I love my button tin (which is actually a cute mini case rather than a tin). I love looking through it. I do not love trying to find matching buttons if they aren't staring me in the face straight away. Anyways, I am pleased with them. The only thing I think I should have done is made the flap at the back shorter. What I did was make one large rectangle and then crocheted the sides together so that is looked almost like an envelope. I liked the idea of the flap being long enough to almost reach the bottom of the cushion. However, it's creates gaps at the sides and only buttons running up them will fix that. Would need to get new buttons for that so just going to leave it. i can live with it.
A close up of the stripy goodness. I did each stripe different and I had colours in the same group together with white between each. I quite like the effect. Although my friend taught me how to do this I have seen a good tutorial on one of my favourite blogs if you are interested. It's by Attic 24 (everyone should visit that blog) and you can see it here.
Since I am now in love with instagram here is a photo I took with that. The dangly bit in the bottom corner is a shoe lace from under the table and not my cushion. Apologies for the blurriness. My batter was running out and I didn't pay much attention to how it turned out. Oh, and if you can make it out I did the fan edging again.
I probably have enough to do just one more cushion but I am setting the cotton aside for now.