Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Knit Issue 10 Reversible Wrap

After my first winter cardigan was spirited away, I felt an absence in my wardrobe. I needed a new cardigan quickly. (Hmmm, the first one was a quick knit too, I must be feeling a bit impatient lately). Fortunately, there is another quick to knit cardigan in the same pattern book, the reversible wrap.

I knit it in Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed, colour Asparagus, #426. It only took 7 balls, which I thought was pretty good for a big warm cardigan . I love this yarn, and the colour is gorgeous.



I quite like the cardigan worn in both directions, which surprized me, as the deservedly popular Origami top from Knit 7, which is much the same dimensions, really only appeals to me in the shawl collar direction, although the bolero direction does look fabulous on other people.


I like the shaping that the corrugated stitch pattern gives to the back of the jacket.

I did have some trouble sewing up the cardigan, as the SilkRoad DK kept breaking in the arm seams during wear. I have not had this trouble previously, and think it must be due to the high degree of stretch required of these seams near the armscye.
I oversewed with a matching DMC stranded embroidery cotton and have had no further problems. I am wearing this so often that I really think I need another one....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not quite a 1- hour scarf, teaching a child to knit

Teaching children to knit is not for the faint hearted. I have gone through the motions with many children, some of them even related to me, and people ask me quite often for tips on needle types and yarns that are suitable for this purpose.
My standard reply to these questions, is that when teaching children to knit,I like to start with shortish, bamboo needles at about 4.5-5.5mm diameter, and a medium weight (8ply, 10ply) yarn composed of mostly wool. My reasons for this are that little hands cope better with short, not-too-thick needles, bamboo needles are not slippy or sticky (or particularly damaging when poked into someone's arm or leg), and that wool yarn, if selected judiciously, tends to feel soft, comes in great colours, and is less likely to split and slip than cotton, or stick like acrylic, and is relatively inexpensive.
I follow this advice myself, and have started several accomplished knitters for whom I like to take credit. I also have a 14 year old daughter whom has so far only started 3 scarves, of differing types. You can't convert everyone into a knitter :(.
My latest convert is my son. He has been trying knitting on and off since he was 4 years old. He has several partially completed 8ply woolen scarves in his WIP pile. Some of them are rather old.
Only 4 years after his first attempts, he has completed his first project. He did not follow any of my standard advice. Instead he followed the advice I generally reserve for older beginners - pick something you want to wear, and knit that.
He fancied the Sirdar giant balls of yarn marketed as the one hour scarf. This yarn is not only 100% Nylon, but has a chenille effect, so it is a bit tricky to see the stitches. It requires 10mm needles, and both knit and purl stitches. Much more complex than the standard garter stitch rectangles he had fiddled about with previously.
I think it was the colour and texture that appealed to him - don't you think he is sounding like a knitter?
This scarf took about 6 weeks of sporadic beginner knitting.
He has cast on another project already.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Knit 10 Yoke Cardigan and the perfidy of a close relative

The pattern description for this cardigan is rather tempting "Sassy and Soft, the cropped yoke cardigan will fly off the needles and be in your wardrobe in no time at all."
Whilst thinking about a top layer for my Stichers Guild 6 piece winter wardrobe, this sounded just the thing.
I knit it up using Aslan Trends Artesenal in colour 188 Champagne with Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Kid Mohair in colour 634 Damask. The combination of yarns was beautifully textured and a lovely soft neutral. The pattern knit up really quickly, on 10mm needles. I was very happy with it.
However, the very loose knitting means the cardigan is quite drapey, and the edges roll rather more than I had expected.
I found it a bit arty looking for my work wardrobe. I had to pin it carefully so that the fronts were even, and ended up wearing it mostly with weekend outfits for a more casual look.
This was not a problem for me, however, wearing it whilst visiting with my mother proved to be a mistake. First she complimented it.
Next she tried it on, fastening it in a deliberately asymmetrical way that instantly gave it her style.
She looks great in it.
Next she told me some stories about how I used to steal her clothes when I was 13 (that would be the last time I fit into them, so they might be true stories, only slightly exaggerated)
After that it went home with her.
I don't think I am getting it back. She may have mentioned something like "mothers' revenge" as she drove off.
All I want to know Mum, is where is my copy of Knit 10?