Following the case of the already-finished wristwarmers, the other being-worn-and-no-longer-on-the-needles project is this jumper for Stashlet.
Made as one of my make-it-up-as-I-go-along quickies because the Drops tank top is in 4 ply and was is still taking for ever, and knitted in the Schoeller+Stahl Big Ball yarn which you might remember I bought in Germany a couple of years ago.
Half way through I got a bit worried that, once finished, it might look like it had been knitted from dog hair but I think it turned out alright.
The yarn is pretty fluffy so I suspect that it will get a bit matted with a lot of washing but it's been through the machine once already and came out looking a lot better than I had thought it would. It is very light and very warm, and knits up to the same guage (at least with me) as Rowan Polar so I've cast on a jumper for myself as well.
Stashlet doesn't seem to find it itchy, which is good. He sometimes wears it with a pair of narrow cords and looks like a total beatnik.
The plan was to make the jumper long enough to allow for some bean-shooting on Stashlet's behalf, and with sleeves that could initially be worn with cuffs turned back and then with no cuffs as he grew. However, as usual, and despite making the jumper loads longer than any tops Stashlet is currently wearing, it turned out just right for now (ie. no extra length for growing), but not long enough to get another year's wear. Ah well, I'll just have to knit another...
Has anyone out there in Stashavalanche-reading blog land used Japanese crochet or knitting patterns? The diagrams seem to be pretty thorough; are they enough to be able to work the pattern out?
I'd love to hear about any clothes you have made from these types of books.
Onwards and upwards with my crafting catch up.
Er, still life with tank top, anybody?
Following on from the stripey tank top I made last year for Stashlet, I decided to make another to get him through that tricky winter-into-spring/ spring-into-summer fashion dilemma of wanting to wear a t-shirt but the weather being too crap. Or probably, more a case of me wanting to put him in a t-shirt...
Anyway, this was another make it up as you go along, this time without the shoulder fastenng of the last one, and it worked out pretty well except for sizing. Too big. Poor Stashlet nearly looks like he's got a dress on if he wears it at the moment so this is definitely one for the autumn or possibly even next spring.
By which time it will probably fit fine across the chest but be too short. Sigh. Perhaps I should learn to measure before I knit.
The yarn is Patons 100% Cotton DK which, if I remember rightly, was knitted up on 5mm needles. I started at the front hem and kept going til I reached the back hem, with a bit of dividing for the neck in between. I don't remember there being any major splittages when I was working with it, and it made a nice soft fabric. The only problem is that the shop where I get it from does a very limited range of colours so I shall have to do a bit of gratutious internet shopping before I make anything else with it.
The advantage of working in a shop is that there are quiet periods when there are no customers, and you have straightened up everything that needs straightening up. Small knits like this one are perfect to take to work and they easily go under the counter if a customer comes in and needs some fabic cut, so this top was mostly knitted at work. Here's my retrospective pattern writing if you want a go.
It's been a while but I hope I can get back into the swing of blogging. I have a few projects to show you and I want to try to get them posted in chronological order – that is, if I can remember what order I made them in.
First up is this cardi which I knitted a couple of months ago after the lovely blue cable version sadly turned into a cropped top.
Stashlet seems to be bean-poleing at a rate of knots. At 16 months old he's now 12.5kg and getting taller and taller (I need to measure him again – her was 80cm on his birthday but I reckon he's put on a few inches since then). So another cardi was definitely in order.
This was going to be knitted with two strands of yarn but I soon realised I wouldn't have enough so I started again. It's another one of my make it up as you go along cardigans, and frankly I'm in two minds about it.
I hmm-ed and haa-ed about doing another cable version but in the end, thinking I'd be quicker, I opted for a garter stitch stripe. As it turned out, my efforts to be quick were all in vain: somehow I managed to make a mess of the sleeves and ended up pulling them out and reknitting them twice. What a pain!
The hood was another experiment in short row shaping and what I learnt there was that garter stitch stripes and short row shaping don’t really marry that well – the stripes seem to make the short rows a bit too obvious. Another note to bear in mind for next time.
The yarn is San Marino from Lidl. It was reasonably nice to work with although it did tend to split a bit if I wasn't paying attention. Made up though, I do find the colour a bit on the dull side.
The fit worked out pretty well. It's certainly long enough, and there's room for elongation in the sleeves too, although the cuffs ended up a bit tight. Wearing it has not worked out so well. The yarn seems to catch a lot and there have been more than a few occasions where stitches have got pulled. I'm not sure if that is something to do with the yarn itself, or my knitting tension.
The weather being what it is, it's still getting some wear but I hope it will still be big enough to wear in the autumn, bean pole factor not withstanding.
ball band gauge info: 21 stitches and 28 rows over 10cm/4” on 5 mm needles
my tension: (agh! I can''t remember, I'll have to measure again) over 10cm/4” on 5mm needles
yarn composition: 55% pure new wool and 45% polyacrylic
The little brown cardigan has been temporarily put aside for cooler weather so here is yet another make-it-up-as-you-go-along cardigan, this time in Tivoli Cruise 100% cotton DK (white and navy blue).
I was inspired by a wonderful dusky blue and white stripey top that Stashlet has, and while the cardigan's blue does not come close to the inspirational blue, it does satisfy my need for stripes. I've probably said it before but babies and stripes are made for eachother..
I was in need of a quick fix so I knitted two strands together using 5mm needles for cuffs, waist band and neck band in garter stitch, and 6mm needles for the stocking stitch body. The ball band says 22st x 30 rows on 5mm needles (for a single strand) and my tension was 14st and 20 rows.
I'm not entirely sure about the garter stitch cuffs and hem, and as with the brown cardi, the cuffs could be a little bigger, but apart from that I'm happy with it. Also as with the brown cardi (which I forgot to mention) the sleeves are a bit on the long side and have been turned back, but I'm ok with that as I want this cardi to last a while. Oh, and the red zip was a last minute bit of divine inspiration which I think works rather well.
You may now turn over your paper.
Here's the thing: call me fussy, posessive or whatever, but I generally only make things for people who I know are going to appreciate what I made. If I know that my gift is going to get stomped on and left out in the mud, I don't give it. I put love into the things I make and I suppose I expect people to respect that.
This includes food by the way, but we're talking crafting here today.
Conversely, giving hand made things to people I hardly know can be an eye opener in terms of whether they are my kind of person or not. Give them something I made with love and see what they do - a distracted "that's nice" and forget about it, or actually appreciate my time and effort, and be grateful for my thoughtfulness.
Outside the cozy bubble that is handmade blog and crafting land, making things by hand still seems, to some people at least, to be the cheap way out, with a nice box with Gap or whatever on the front being the preferred option. Strange that spending time and making an effort takes a lower place than buying something made by a machine or a poorly paid worker half way round the world.
I'm not sure if I'm taking things too personally (after all, once I give it it's theirs to do as they wish with it) or whether I have the right to expect respect. I think mostly think the latter.
Oh dear. here's one of those posts which I wrote 99% of three weeks ago then never had time to find one vital bit of information and so it stagnated in my drafts folder...
About twice or three times a year they do knitting yarn. You have to be selective because some of it can be 100% acrylic but they often have cottons and wool mix yarns too, and these are clearly very popular as they're often nearly all sold out by the end of the first day. I am terrible; I buy loads and then it sits in my cupboard until I can think of something to do with it.
Which is how this little jumper came into being. I got a pack (6 x 50g balls) of this yarn a good while ago. It's called Monte Carlo and it's 74% polyacrylic, 10% alpaca, 10% wool and 6% viscose, which is not my ideal choice but the colouur was too pretty to pass over. I'd already made a little cardigan from it and I found that once it's washed it becomes really soft and snuggly, perfect for baby knitting, so I thought I'd make Stashlet a jumper for this winter (although at the moment it's more like the tropics here) and make it big enough so that it will hopefully fir him next winter too.
Because my knitting tension frequently tends to be nowhere near what it says on the ballband (in this case the ball band says 14 stitches and 18 rows on 7mm needles and my tension came out at 16 stitches and 23 rows on 5mm needles), I knitted a little swatch and then drew up the pattern using some knitting graph paper I printed (I use this site the most).
The body was knitted in the round and the sleeves separately and then sewn in. I've never 'designed' a set-in sleeve before but I thought that, if I measured how tall the arm opening was and converted that into a triangle of decreasing rows, I'd get a reasonable sleeve top. Somehow, though, this didn't work (too many rows) and I ended up winging it on the basis that the yarn knits up quickly so I could always pull out a few rows and try again when it didn't work.
This is the kind of knitter I am, I'll carefully work out tension and size, and then not pay any attention to the details: I have no idea how many stitches I picked up round the neck but it worked out nicely to create a little polo neck effect. I put one button hole in the shoulder, and one in the neck itself, and with the colour of the yarn, it had to be mother-of-peal buttons.
The fit is big, as I expected, with few inches of growing room in the arms. I'm not sure how it will fare lengthways, as Stashlet seems to get taller and taller by the minute, but I have a little bit of yarn left over so I could always lengthen the ribbing at the bottom if necessary.
I have to say, I'm really pleased with it, and am all set to do another one. The Lidl stash needs using up, you know!
Remember how I was enthusing about that ripple knitting? Remember how I thought it might made a great jumper for Stashlet?
Cue big unhappy face.
It's not that it didn't work, but the more I knitted, the more lacy it got. I didn't realise what a difference knitting in stocking stitch would make. The k2tog s1k1psso combo (to get the 'valley' of the ripple) develops a little gap even when I try to knit really tightly and the more I knitted (I've done about another 10 rows since I took that photo) the more girlie the whole thing seemed to feel.
So I'm going to pull it all out. I might... just might... try knitting it again in garter stitch but I feel kind of wounded by the fact that it didn't come out how I expected so I'm feeling a bit delicate about the whole experience at the moment. I shall sit on it for a while and see what I think.
So there. You live and learn. Go forth, you mothers of girls and knit a lacy ripple jumper, because I think it will look really pretty. Just not so suitable for a toddler of the male persuasion.
Oh, and let me know how you sort the sleeves out, will you?
We have a water filter that sits on the kitchen counter next to the kettle. And for years it has sat on a rather unappetising looking folded J-Cloth, which I have always meant to sew together (my grandmother always sewed her J-Cloths in half) and never got round to.
I've been looking at it lately and thinking things have got to change.
At the same time, I've also been thinking about knitting ripples. So at some stage - probably around 4am - I had a mild brainwave, put the two together, and decided to knit a J-Cloth. Does that sound odd?
So I hunted around on Ravelry and found that there are quite a few patterns which produce varying results. Some are curved waves, some are very angular, some are very lacy. I wanted to end up with a tight, angular fabric so I went for this one. The pattern (knitted in multiples of 11 stitches) is very easy to remember:
Row 1: k2tog, k3, k3 into next stitch (into the front, into the back and into the front again), k3, slip1 k1 pass the slipstitch over
Row 2: purl if you want a stocking stitch finish (or knit if you want a garter stitch finish)
Here's the J-Cloth...
That's 33 stitches knitted in DK on 3.25mm needles. I knitted every row so the result is a nice firm garter stitch ripple, and the swatch ended up about 3½" wide and 5" long. The yarn is Patons 100% cotton.
So now we have a fancy cloth for our water filter to sit on.
While I was knitting it, I realised that, because this pattern has no 'extra' stitches (as in "cast on multiples of 13 plus 8" etc... ) , I could knit it in the round. And I could knit stocking stitch with 'stripes' of garter stitch to emphasise the ripple. So now, I have a ripple jumper on the go for Stashlet. Adding the sleeves is going to prove an interesting exercise...