Monday, June 30, 2014

Mitred blanket of many colours

in retrospect (that means, once i recovered from weaving in ends and sewing the strips together) I really enjoyed making the Jo Sharp Mitred Blanket (enlarged), and almost immediately started a new version, which started out as a tasteful subdued version in pale blue, cream and darkest brown.


This was to coordinate with an Ikea print which is on the covers of the armchairs in my daughter's flat.

Somehow, all the other colours in the Ikea print crept into the blanket - and some more shades that didn't exactly match the print snuck in as well. Fortunately there are another 2 armchairs in a dark neutral where I can drape the blanket instead.

I find it quite easy to get carried away with stripes and colour creeping.


I did plan these colours, so the blanket had a 9 patch appearance, but when you see the thing overall, I can't see the 9 patch.


It seems to have become one of those scrappy colourful blankets that are cheerful and warm, but not terribly sophisticated, and that is just fine with me.

Mostly I have used Sirdar Baby Bamboo, Jo Sharp Soho Summer Cotton, Heirloom Capri and Aslan Trends Glaciar Del Celio. These are all 8ply (DK/light worsted) with less than 50% wool content. I wanted a no-itch blanket for the people who don't cope well with animal fibres against their skin, and it seems to be working, there is an "it itches" boy inside this, and I didn't hear a single complaint. Maybe I should start another one....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weasley Jumper Pair

You may have noticed that I have more than one daughter. This frequently means that I need to make more than one jumper, and the Weasley jumper was no exception. This doubling of the knitting project however, was nearly entirely my idea, as I found the idea of having daughters with the correct intials for Harry and Ron jumpers quite amusing. They are kind daughters, and are humouring me, just not in public. Naturally, I had to make the H version in green. Once again I used free pattern by Alison Hansel, this time in the textured Ivy, with a little Willow, from the lovely colours of Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed


 This version, although the same size in circumference, had to be lengthened slightly in the arms and body, and I used an extra ball of the main colour (10). With the contrast yarn (1 ball) I again put a few lines at the neck, and also at the sleeve cuff. I also made a slightly higher and doubled over neck for extra warmth. I had to wait a long time to get a paired shot, as one of my daughters now lives in Brisbane for university, and I am pretty sure they have a pact to not both wear the jumpers on the same day, but here are my Weasley jumper pair.


The occasion is a family trip to the newly opened pick-your-own-strawberry fields at Cooloola Berries. The strawberries are delicious.

 By all reports, these are excellently comfortable and luxurious feeling knits. I wonder why my son doesn't want one? I suspect it is too cute to all have matching jumpers!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Peggy Sue Addiction

I made another one. I might be addicted. This is such a quick little cardigan. Peggy Sue by Linda Wilgus again, in Baby Bamboo again.
I still didn't get to wear it, but this time, I had actually made it for someone else. My older daughter has 2 versions, and this one is for my younger daughter.

I love the twisted cable detail on the sleeves


I love the fitted waist using the same cable


and like how the cardigan looks good both buttoned and worn open.


Its lucky for me that Baby Bamboo comes in so many colours. .

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weasley Jumper

It is not often that I get a detailed knitting request from my family, usually its something like "Do you think you could make me some gloves/a scarf/ a beanie from this yarn" and I get to pick the pattern myself, but recently, I had a very precise request from my younger daughter. She wanted a maroon Weasley jumper with her initial on it - this being the same initial as Ron Weasley's from the Harry Potter series.

Fortunately for me, I was able to show her the free pattern by Alison Hansel, which met her requirements perfectly - even to having the beautifully soft and luxurious yarn used in the pattern, Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed, in a gorgeous shade of a deep, dark maroon with flecky bits that looks great with jeans (colour now discontinued, sorry).

I made the size Child L/Adult Small, using 9 balls of the main colour, and 1 for contrast, and found it a very easy and quick knit.
The pattern does not include an R initial, but it was not difficult to adapt the included H.
I used a knitting graph paper from this site to make the R
 I knit this in, using intarsia, rather than doing duplicate stitch afterwards, and I also adapted the pattern to knit the bottom in the round up to the armscyes, and the sleeves in the round on double pointed needles. This meant that I had to break off the yarn after each line of the initial intil the front/back division, but as this is only a 1/3 or so of the initial the weaving in was not too painful afterwards.
There is an extra few lines of the contrast yarn in my version at the neck, as this idea took my fancy as I was finishing off the jumper.
The only other thing I can say about this jumper is that it is in terrible danger of wearing out in a single season due to overuse!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Peggy Sue Two

Last year, I made my daughter a little navy blue cardigan from the free pattern by Linda Wilgus, Peggy Sue. She has been wearing it frequently, and I coveted it myself, so I started to knit one, in the next size up, in Flirt. This yarn by Sirdar has the same composition as the very popular Baby Bamboo, 80% Bamboo, 20% Wool (I used the Baby Bamboo last time), but the Flirt yarn is marketed as being in a  more adult colour palette (personally, I think the Baby Bamboo colours are mostly excellent for grown-ups), and has its own pattern book for women.
I chose a quite beautiful purple, called "Hypnotic" (255). Like the Baby Bamboo, this yarn has a very slight sheen when knitted up. I was thinking I would like the cardigan for casual social events during summer  - a BBQ at a friend's house, or something like that.

The teenage fashion panel approved greatly of the colour, and for Christmas, my daughter was given a lovely print blouse with exactly the same shade of purple in it.
It was not very surprising that the cardigan ended up in her wardrobe.

Here she is wearing it to go out to a "Colour" themed party

Here she is wearing it with her work clothes.
It really is a most versatile cardigan, and I still want one for myself!

Once again, I modified the pattern. This time I lengthened the waist twisted rib slightly again used short rows to raise the back neckline.
I started knitting another one almost immediately, and will show you what happened to that one shortly.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Killorgin: Artesenal yarn in cable

I promised actual garments, and here is the first of several unreported projects.


 I have been a very long time posting this cardigan, because the construction is a very long story. I started it in October 2012, on a long car trip (to Winton, very outback, so lots and lots of passenger time). Killorgin is gorgeous a top down construction from Carol Feller's Contemporary Irish Knits.

You can see from its appearance on the cover that it is a covet worthy cover project. I was really keen to knit it, but wanting it to be worn a lot, had to think carefully about my yarn choice for our relatively warm climate.

I picked a fabulous Queensland winter weight yarn, Aslan trends Artesenal, which has a wonderful tweedy look, whilst also containing enough cotton to make it suitable for the subtropical-excuse-for-winter cardi. Its other fibre is Alpaca. I had not used it before for a close knit cable pattern, so was interested to see how it behaved in comparison to a wool blend.

 My tension swatch worked out perfectly, so I thought I was good to go, and gleefully knit down to the waist shaping, then tried it on. Unfortunately, the size I made placed the central spaces of the largest cable "circle" directly over each bust apex. Having sufficient bust to feel somewhat self conscious about this I ripped out a good 20 cm, of the whole darned front AND back, and knit a bit more with some less bullseye placement of the cables. If I hadn't been in the outback at the time with no alternative knitting project and no yarn shops in 1000km in any direction, I think I would have given up at this point.Frogging this much is very discouraging. By the time we had returned home, I was back to the waist again, then discovered a horrible cable error (of mine) in the middle of the back, which involved ripping back 20 cm again, as it was too complicated an error (and cable) for a local fix.

 Guess what, other projects took over.

 It languished about until October last year, when I got it out to finish for a trip to New Zealand. I thought a nice knit jacket would be a bit smarter than polar fleece for lolling about in National Parks. I finished it off with a few minor modifications ( doubled neck for robustness, and grosgrain ribbon as backing for the zip insertion).

 It looked absolutely terrific until I had been wearing it for 2 days, when it assumed gorilla arm proportions and mysteriously elongated in the body by about 10 cm.  In wear, the yarn was too relaxed to keep the tension gauge properly. I was not happy.


 However, my younger daughter adopted the cardigan for a stretchy grunge look -not what I quite had in mind (fitted smart jacket was more my idea) but at least it is being worn.

 I love the pattern (aside from the cable space placement) and I love the yarn, but they are not a good combination. If I can work up the courage, I will be trying this again in a yarn with high proportion of wool, just like the designer intended ;). Artesenal is much better in more relaxed style projects.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Soup socks

How are socks like soup?
Knitted socks, anyway, are usually beautifully warm and good for winter.
They are just the thing to make when you have no particular plan in mind.
They're easy to make.
You can make them in small segments of time then neglect them for a bit and they'll still turn out well
Everyone can use some soup, or some socks.
You can make both socks and soup from left over bits and pieces


 StitchBliss Child's sock pattern

Actual garment knitting has been occuring here - more to show very soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Luxurious Mitred Blanket

I have incredible delusions about my knitting. When I started this blanket, from Jo Sharp Knit 9, I seriously thought that I would be finished in a month or so. What could be nicer than sitting in front of the television with a very simple knit from luxurious yarn? Hardly anything of course, but I failed to consider several important points.


1. I don't watch much television
2. I have a lot of works-in-progress, all sitting next to the couch and keen to be worked on.
3. A 5 square blanket is not very big, and lends itself to expansion.
4. Sewing up is not my favourite thing.


I've ended up with a 8 square x 6 square blanket. Clearly it is no longer according to the pattern. I do wonder if this is what always happens to mitred blankets, as there are a plethora of patterns for them on Ravelry - everyone must make their own version!


It is beautifully soft and snuggly. I feel quite decadent wrapped up in a mix of wool, cashmere,mohair, silk and alpaca, and would never have thought of making such a luxurious blanket without Jo Sharp's pattern. She uses alternating strands of Alpaca Kid Lustre, Silk road Aran Tweed and Classic Double Knitting Wool in her version, with the same colourways throughout, but my version slips in a bit of DK silk road tweed, and uses a few more colours for some subtle variation between the blocks.


I am sorry to admit that it took me nearly 2 years of patchy work to finish this project, but the good news is that I have already started another one - in cottons!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sock Love

I did knit over summer, but as usual, mostly small things.
Now that the weather might be showing some signs of cooling down in the evenings and early mornings, I am very glad that I have new socks all ready to wear.
The problem is, that I have made so many of these lovely plain yet interesting socks before, that there is very little to write about them. (The other problem is that once my daughter models them for me, I don't always get them back, but with this pair, so far, so good)
The pattern is my own.
The yarn is the delicious Aslan Trends Sante Fe, colourway Earth, with a tiny bit of Patonyle grey for the toes, as I was finishing the first sock whilst travelling, and did not have a second skein of the Sante Fe for the last centimetre of the toe ( A 50g skein of Sante Fe sometimes just makes a long enough sock for me, and sometimes is a tiny bit short).
They are very comfortable, and the variegation did not pool at all. I haven't had this happen to me yet with Sante Fe, but it is always a possibility with one of these multi colour yarns.

I may  have another pair or two to show you lurking in my almost finished pile - Don't you think that sounds so much better than UFO pile?