Tag Archives: craft

false start…

Whenever I am teaching someone about knitting, one of the main things I like to get across is this. If you’re not prepared to pull your work apart, you’re not ready to knit. This is something my Mum always used to say when she was teaching me to knit.

Realizing that you’ve made a mistake in your knitting can be a really disheartening moment. You’ve worked so hard, and concentrated for so long, and you still manage to screw it up. Pulling it apart and starting again can sometimes be a hard thing to swallow.

I cast on the gorgeous Kit Cami last week, and got all the way through the 2.5 inches of half linen stitch, before I realized that I had cast on for the wrong size. How on earth did I do that..?! I blame watching The Vampire Diaries while casting on, obviously I’m easily distracted.

I cried about my mistake to my friend Nyome, whom I’ve been guiding with her knitting. She smiled, and said “If you’re not ready to pull it apart, you’re not ready to knit!”

Touche!

Frogging this at lunch time today...!

Frogging this at lunch time today…!

two little FO’s…

It’s been a while since I posted about a finished object! There are a few reasons..

  1. I’ve had a few different things on the needles at the same time
  2. I’ve been doing a little more drawing, and other crafty things
  3. I found a hole in the sleeve of the jumper I’ve been working on, and it made me SO MAD that I threw it back in the bag, and haven’t had the stomach to pick it up again since

I will finish that jumper.. I will, I promise.. Just, not any time soon..

ANYWAY! Onto something I have finished!

Yes, it’s another cowl! I know, I know, I need to do something different, but I just love this pattern, and I can’t talk enough about the wool! This is Manos del Uruguay Maxima, in the Mixed Berries colour-way. It’s squish and beautiful, I just can’t get enough!

Using 6mm circular needles, I cast on 146 stitches, gave the cast on a single twist, then used 1 stitch joined the round. I worked in seed stitch until I ran out of wool.

Just like my last cowl, this one is long enough to twist and slip over my head, making a super thick neck warmer. This wool is really gorgeous, you can’t see any distinct twist, it’s almost like the strand has been felted. Love love love!! And, I probably don’t need to share this, but I have another 4 skeins at home, waiting to be made into something gorgeous!

I did say that I had 2 FO’s for this post.. And here it is! Haha, it’s not very exciting, just a hottie cover-up! I chose this to teach myself how to knit in the Continental style. I’ve always been an English knitter, but I was curious about Continental. What I found, is that the knit stitch is easy and really quick! The purl stitch, however, is a bit trickier, and weirdly, it hurt my right thumb when working on the back side. Anyway, I feel confident enough to switch between the two styles, depending on the project, and my mood.

Which style of knitting do you prefer? Have you tried both? I’m very interested to know how many people are in each camp!

strawberries & cream beanie…

After I posted a picture of my blue snowflake beanie on my Instragram, a friend of mine asked if I could knit one for her. With no other stranded knitting projects on my list, I took the opportunity to practice some more.

This is the same pattern as I used last time, with a few alterations. I went up a needle size, and increased the stitch number. This made my slightly tight beanie, much larger and slouchier. When I knit the ribbing, it was way too loose, so after I finished the beanie, I went back to try and un-ravel the cast on. Lesson learnt. It doesn’t just un-ravel the same as when your ripping from your needles (probably why the ‘provisional cast-on was invented!). So, I had to cut the ribbing off, close to where I started the colourwork, and slowly pick up the live stitches. It’s still a little loose, but I think it will be fine.

The wool is my favourite work-horse, Luxury from Bendigo Woollen Mills, in Cream and Brick. This wool is so soft, and a dream to knit with, I just love it!

I feel like I’m getting better at stranded knitting, I’ll have to have a look for some more patterns that I can practice on. Maybe some mittens!

spreading the knitting love…

Me, and 2 of my students, Claire and Farzarna

Me, and 2 of my students, Claire and Farzarna

I’ve had a few conversations around the office about knitting (as you do!), and most of the people I talk to often say “Oh, I wish I could knit..” I always come back with “You can! Let me teach you!” So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been teaching some of the girls to knit during our lunch break! I am so very proud of my “students”, and I wanted to show off their progress.

Although Claire knew a little about knitting (from her mum), she had never actually learnt how to do it. After she got the hang of casting on, Claire has been improving out of sight. She mastered garter and stockinette, and even dabbled in a 2 x 2 rib. Over the weekend, she put aside her “practice” yarn, and started to make her first scarf. Today, she asked me if it was OK to work on more than one knitted project at a time. Of course, my answer was a resounding YES!

Farzarna had no pre-knowledge of knitting, she was a true beginner! She was so excited to get started, and the concentration on her face was almost comical. Each day, she’d turn up to work and whip out her knitting to show me. I was really impressed at how quickly her knitting sampler was growing. As you can see, she’s trying out a few stitch patterns, which I think is a great thing to do, as you can really see the difference between each stitch.

It is really interesting teaching the girls, because they both understand directions differently. Farz remembers things like “wrap the wool from right to left”, where Claire feels more comfortable with “wrap the yarn under, then over”. I do most of my knitting without thinking now, and to help the girls understand what to do, I’ve had to break each step down, which I’ve really enjoyed.

I am so happy that I’ve been able to share knitting with the girls, it really makes me feel good that I have passed this craft onto someone else. To see them improving each week just makes me warm and giddy! I can’t wait to see what they create, and where their imaginations take them!

 

SSS is a real thing…

I tried to make it work, I really did.. Frogging is my worst nightmare! I despise ripping back row after row, I feel like it is such a waste! BUT. I know it must be done.. * sigh *

You might remember when I wrote about my new sock knitting project, and the line about not wanting to have to frog. Well, I might have cursed myself there.

This is how far I got with Rainbow Sock #1. I was quite proud of my efforts, as this is the first toe-up sock I’ve tried, and the first time I used a Provisional Cast On (thanks PurlBee!). I did, however, have a few problems.

Other than the fact that it was a little baggy around the toe, I wasn’t happy with the construction. As you can see on the left where I did the Provisional Cast On, that dramatic colour change was going to bug me, even though it would be on the sole of the sock. I think this method would be really fantastic if I was using a solid coloured yarn, as you wouldnt be able to tell where the join was. The other problem came with the ribbing. I was freaking out a little about it not fitting up my leg, and ended up increasing in the rib at weird points. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to remember which row to increase on with the next sock… so…

I pulled the whole thing apart. To knit, the sock took me the good part of 2 weeks. It took 1 minute to frog * que dramatic music *

Towards the end of this socks knitting life, I felt like I was coming down with a bad case of SSS (Second Sock Syndrome). I was really excited to see how the colours would change on the next sock, but I was so demotivated by failed sock #1. The cure? Buy two 2.75 circular needles from LoveKnitting, and learn how to knit 2 socks at the same time!

After one night, this is my progress. I am one very happy girl. All credit of my efforts goes to Heidi from Heidi Bears, without this brilliant tutorial for Judy’s Magic Cast On, I would never have got anything on the needles. Plus, she has another wonderful tutorial on knitting 2 socks at once. I was a little scared by the thought of this process, but honestly, it’s not as hard as I thought it was going to be. If you want to try this method, please head on over to Heidi Bears, you won’t be dissappointed!

vintage print cushions…

Our poor lounge has been in want of some cushions, and Reags has been bugging asking me to make some for ages now. We had a lazy-Sunday-at-home planned, so I thought I’d drag my sewing machine out and make them!

I started by making a simple 3 piece pattern in the measurements below . My cushion inserts are 46cm square, and I wanted them to fit snug inside the covers, so I made the finished size 45cm square (adding a 1cm seam allowance to each side).

a = front, b = back top, c = back bottom

I made the back in two pieces so I could add a zipper for easy insert-removal. With the zipper in, I stitched the front and back together, with right sides facing. Turn it right size out through the zipper hole, shove the insert in, and DONE!

The backs

The backs

These were so quick and so simple to make. They add a great burts of colour to our loungeroom, and I’ve actually had one behind my back while writing this post! I can report, super comfy!

tammer shrug completed…

I’ve finished my Tammer Shrug from Dairing! It’s made with 100% silk (which has a nice texture to it, like raw silk), and I love it! It didn’t turn out exactly like the patteren promised, but I don’t mind at all.

The arms don’t reach my wrists (as intended), but instead hug my elbows. I made the bottom section longer than the top, so when worn one way, I have a long shrug with a little collar (seen above).

Or if I flip it over, the longer part falls much further down my shoulders (seen above). I think I prefer this version, but I will always have the choice, depending on my mood.

The entire shrug is knitted in gater stitch, and I really like how the silk shows off the stitches. This was brilliant to work, all in one piece, with easy shaping. Perfect to do while sitting on the lounge watching TV.

Reagan and I drove to Kiama for my photoshoot (hehe). It’s an easy 2 hour drive from Sydney, and a really cute little town. The perfect excuse to get out of the city for a day!