Sunday, December 09, 2007

Shrug !

Last weekend I went away for a short break. The DH had booked a surprise minicruise to Denmark. Just 2 nights aboard ship and about 5 hours to walk around Esberg. We had a brilliant time - which , of course, included some knitting. I had been planning to make the Anthropologie Inspired Capelet by Julesy from the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky that I got in the John Lewis sale last January ever since I bought it. At last it is a reality...It took about two and a half balls . I like Cashmerino a lot - it is very soft. I like this shrug pattern as it is simple and effective. I may well make more of these. It is currently blocking and all it needs now is a pretty brooch to fasten it. Meanwhile, the simple lace stitch shrug from Designer One Skein Wonders is about to get frogged. I found the pattern largely incomprehensible and have ended up with with the lace pattern looking not as I would like. I am torn between giving up and starting again having learnt what I want to change from the first attempt.
My favourite finished object this week is the Noro Kureyon Long Stocking Cap. The pattern is by Nathalie Godbout and is available free on the net. I modified it slightly by knitting 15 rows between decrease rows instead of 19. This was an attempt to squeeze it out of 2 balls of Kureyon. I ended up buying another ball to finish the last inch and make a lovely big tassel. I love this hat. I immediately cast on another one which is or a Christmas present. This one will be slightly longer as I'm going to follow the pattern as written. There are so many fabulous hat patterns available for free. The Jackyll and Hyde balaclava from Knitty is one of my favourites at the moment. I am nearly finished one of these for a Christmas present. Just the mouth to embroider. I love the way it looks like a smart cosy hat and then pulls down into a hilarious scary ski mask. Another free pattern that I whipped up one day last week is this Robin's Egg Blue Hat. I used some of the Colinette One Zero that I bought at the Knit and Stitch Show in October. It took less than one skein. I am not too happy with the black button and am planning a trip to Hobbycraft to purchase a nice green one later today. I think that this wasn't the ideal yarn for this pattern as the seed stitch gets a bit lost in the thick and thin texture and variegated colourway. It is still a great hat though. Finally, here is a picture of Miss Millie disguised as her hero, Clare the Bear. She looks so grown up now.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yet more hats

This week has been all about hats again - some of which are destined to be Christmas gifts. I was lucky enough to get plenty of knitting time at work so these have been flying off the needles. I finished my second version of Ela's Favorite Hat from One Skein Wonders. This time it is knitted from a skein of Debbie Bliss Maya that I have had stashed for ages. There was enough yarn to make the tassels this time. I have worn the hat several times and love it. This is a simple pattern which works well in a variety of yarns. I can see myself making this again.
I also knitted a second version of Woolly Wormhead's Urchin Cap. I used a couple of balls of Wendy Moiselle from my stash. I love the shape of this hat. This version worked out a little larger than the Debbie Bliss Soho version. Clare the Bear has claimed it and it really suits her.
While the Bear was around, I got her to model my Chicken Viking Hat. This is a wonderful free pattern available on the web. I plan to give it as a Christmas gift. The original pattern is for a baby hat but I wanted an adult sized one. I used a cheap acrylic dk doubled and 6mm needles and just followed the pattern as written. The result was a delightful adult sized hat. This is just so much fun!
This little hat is the Edge of Lace hat from Designer One Skein Wonders. I plan to make the matching cuffs this week . It's another simple pattern that looks just great when it's made up. I absolutely love both of the One Skein Wonders books. They are full of brilliant projects, many of which are ideal for gifts. The one skein concept is also very appealing to me - my stash is full of odd skeins that I have bought from sales and bargain bins over the years.
Next up is another Iris earflap hat in Colinette Prism, Fiorentina colourway, to match the Iris mittens that I finished last week. This was a very quick knit. Love the pattern and love the yarn.
Last week I bought a copy of a new knitting magazine that I spotted in W H Smiths called Let's Knit . It came with a free pair of wooden 20mm needles and contained a selection of patterns that used them. I noticed one was a beret made from a single skein of Rowan Little Big Wool. There just happened to be a couple of these in my stash in need of a suitable project. I whipped up a beret in a couple of hours last night whilst watching a double bill of NCIS on the telly. I just got it out of one ball. After sewing up there was about 1 inch of yarn left - very close thing ! It's not a bad little hat. Not sure whether to use the other ball to make another hat or some matching handwarmers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sari Silk belt

This week I have been playing around on the Ravelry site a lot. It's taking ages to upload details of all my finished projects from the last couple of years. I am quite enjoying reviewing them, although I have forgotten a lot of the details such as yarn colours and needle sizes. I used some of the Sari Silk yarn that I got at he knit and stitch show to crochet the Sari Silk Belt from Positively Crochet by Mary Jane Hall. I love this pattern it is easy to crochet and the finished belt looks really effective. Ideal for this type of yarn. I have yet to find a decent toggle or button but a temporary toggle is in place for the moment. Mary Jane sent me a mesage on Ravelry when she saw that I was making up this pattern. She is such a friendly and multi talented lady. I am probably going to make the Sari Silk bag to match my belt.
I made the Iris hat and mittens from Colinette Artyfacts a couple of years ago as a Christmas present using some Rowan Chunky Print. They turned out really nice. The recommended yarn, Colinette Prism, is less fluffy than Chunky Print but still turns out really well. Prism is one of my favourite yarns at the moment. This was a skein in the Forest colourway that I purchased at Knit and Stitch 2007. I love the hat and should be able to squeeze a small pair of handwarmers out of the leftovers. I decided to make a matching set with some of the purple Prism in my stash and have completed the mittens so far. I love them. They may get to be a Christmas gift if I can bear to part with them.
A single skein of Colinette Point Five knitted up into the Pansy hat from Artyfacts in jst a couple of hours. All the Colinette patterns seem to be knitted flat then seamed. I hate sewing up really chunky items, so I used circular needles for this. I had about two inches of yarn left at the finish of this one - extremely close ! I just love the colours of Colinette.
I tried out one of Woolly Wormhead's hat patterns with a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Soho from my stash. She is an ace designer of woolly hats. This is the Urchin Cap. I knitted it up yesterday evening and it is now my new favourite hat. The shape is just great and works really well in Soho. I used 5.5mm circular needles. I like it so much that I've cast on another one using some Wendy Moiselle from my stash. This is slightly chunkier than Soho so I'm going up a needle size and making the smaller hat.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Super Speedy Chunky Jumper !

I managed to knit up this little number in just 2 afternoons and 1 evening - it really did fly off the 15mm needles ! The yarn is Colinette Shimmer Five that I purchased at the Colinette stand at the Knit and Stitch Show 2007. I used the pattern "Sylvie" from the Colinette Shimmer Five booklet that came free with the yarn. It took just over 6 skeins. I am hoping to make a hat out of the leftovers. I really hate sewing up chunky garments as it is so hard to keep things neat. All in all I'm quite pleased with the finished jumper.
Mel's Funky 3-Way Hat is finished and I love it. It really is quite funky despite being incredibly simple and quick to knit. This may be largely due to the wonderful Koigu Kersti Merino Crepe yarn which was a joy to knit with and amazing colours. It is slightly lighter than the recommended yarn for this pattern so I went down a needle size and made the largest hat. It worked out perfect.
There was enough yarn left to whip up the Little Ruff from One Skein Wonders. This would be much better made in a heavier yarn as it turned out a bit floppy. I enjoyed practising short row shaping and would make this again with a more appropriate yarn.
I've had some skeins of Debbie Bliss Maya in my stash for ages that I'd bought on sale. I used two shades of blue to make up Kim's Hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I made the version with earflaps in the largest size as it is for a man. I'm really pleased with the hat . I love the way that this pattern can be adapted. I can see myself making up variations of this to use up oddments of yan left over from other projects.
Sadly, Wilhelmina Witch did not get finished in time for Halloween. There is very little left to do but I just can't bring myself to make thise fiddly little trimmings and sew them on. I also don't like the feel of the acrylic yarn , although it is probably ideal for this sort of toy. I do intend to finish it as I've got this far...
I am currently making another Punk's Not Dead Hat from Pretty In Punk. I love this pattern it always turns out spectacularly. I'm using Lambs Pride Bulky in Onyx . I think it will look great in plain black.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Ravelry !!! and more hats...

My invitation to join Ravelry came through and I have been playing around with the site for the last week. It's brilliant. It will take ages to load up details of all my finished projects but it will be worth it. It's really easy to see what other knitters have done with a pattern. Still lots of knitting going on ...

The Aspen Hat from Twinkle's Big City Knits knitted up in about an hour on the largest circular needles that I've ever used - 15mm. I found the buttons in my old button tin and they look great on it. I think I would prefer it in a solid colour and may try it again. I also finally finished the short sleeve ribbed cardi from Fitted Knits. Prism may not have been the perfect yarn for this project but I still very much like the finished garment. Again, I think that it would have been better in a solid colour to show up the detail.I used the ball of Silk Garden that I got at Ally Pally to make Ela's Favorite Hat from One Skein Wonders which is my favourite pattern book of the moment. There wasn't quite enough yarn to make the tassels on top but I still like it a lot.Also from One Skein Wonders and using Noro Iro from Ally Pally is the Short and Sassy Shawl. I did manage to get this out of one skein. It is a great scarf/shawl and the colours are wonderful. It makes me want to buy a ton of Noro yarn !I bought some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in a lovely shade of green to make the Twirly-Top Toque - also from One Skein Wonders. I like the shape of this hat and it was enjoyable to knit. The lace is easy to remember. It only took a day to finish. I cast on for Mel's 3-Way Funky Hat as soon as I'd finished the toque. The Koigu Kersti That I bought at String in NY is only a sport weight yarn so I used a smaller needle and made the large size. It 's almost finished and is looking very funky indeed. What next...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

You can never have too many hats...

Two more neck warmers have been added to my collection , just because I love knitting them. I've memorised the pattern and it is a nice project to carry in my bag - small but interesting.

I found a really simple pattern for these arm warmers on the knitting stall in Watford Market a few weeks ago. They are knit flat and then sewn up. This is always a dilemma for me. I may knit them quick but they are likely wait a long, long time for the sewing up. My pile of UFO's really doesn't need adding to, so I forced myself to complete them and am lad I did. They are really cosy. I had picked up another very simple hand warmer pattern at the same time . These are also knitted flat and then sewn up. They are a great stash buster - I got 2 pairs out of one 50 g ball of Sirdar Click DK. They look cute on , so I may try some more in a nicer yarn.A beret and curly scarf were next. These were crocheted from a couple of balls of Rowan Soft Lux that I picked up last year in the John Lewis sale. I love this yarn . The pattern for the beret was free - it is called Pretty Puffs Slouchy Hat. The scarf is one that I've made many times now in a variety of yarns.

I enjoy making this scarf and whipped up another from a fun ball of yarn that I picked up for 49p in a charity shop - what a bargain! It is a cheap acrylic, but the colours are great and it has a sparkle thread running through it.The Knit and Stitch show at Ally Pally was fabulous as usual. I must admit to a few additions to my stash. The Natural Dye Studio had a great stall and I purchased a kit for a fun pixie hat. I knitted it up in a couple of hours when I got home. The yarn is a fabulous hand dyed boucle, very soft and warm.

This crochet beanie is from Vogue On The Go Crochet Hats. I love it. It was a bit fiddly as you have to make the little squares separately and join them together later. It was well worth the effort. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino dk which comes in such lovely colours. It takes 5 different colours, so there is enough left to make another hat or perhaps a matching scarf.
I am about half way through making Wilhelmina Witch from Simply Knitting for Miss Millie. I am using the reccommended yarn which is a cheap acrylic. I don't particularly enjoy knitting with this stuff but it's a nice pattern. This has to be finished by Halloween !

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New York and neckwarmers

Firstly, I have to say that the trip to New York was brilliant. I think it is an awesome city. It was also a very relaxing and much needed break. I love the city...
and the way you can stumble across the most interesting things. We came across this amazing farmers' market just off 51st Street and were stunned by the beautiful produce . Just had to take a picture of these beautiful squashes, you don't see stuff like this at home. Of course, we went looking for a yarn shop. String. It was wonderful and run by a totally charming woman. We also found a delightful store called Tinsel Trading which was run by a very lovely lady called Terry. She was totally inspiring and really took the time to chat and show us around the store. She had been working on some altered books which she showed us and explained the techniques she had used. Karen is now keen to have a go at this. I made this silk flower when I got home after seeing some really stunning examples in the shop. Since returning , I have made no less than three versions of Urchin from the latest edition of Knitty. The first is my favourite, knitted from a ball of Jaeger Natural Fleece that I got in a sale last year. This one probably fits me best. Having enjoyed this pattern so much I immediately cast on again with some Colinette yarn that I have had in my stash for years. I had been wondering what to do with a single skein and this was the perfect pattern.

Having memorised the pattern I couldn't resist making another one with a skein of my handspun which was slightly thicker . The hat turned out very big and looks rather stupid on me - even allowing for the fact that oversized knitted berets are very "in" this year. I need to find someone with a very big head or some serious hair to give it to. This week , I have made another 5 Luxe Neckwarmers and am working on a sixth. I just love this pattern and they make great gifts and are fun to wear. I forgot to take a pic of the green and pink Sirdar Click ones but here are the two made from Denim Ultra, and the orange one knitted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran doubled up.