Friday 10 June 2016

Here's One I Made Earlier ...

In the last few months I've had a few projects on the go, whether it be finishing off a project that's languished on the needles, knitting a present for a mum-to-be, or suddenly getting the urge to use up a few balls of wool from my stash. Now they are all finished, apart from one jumper I'm stuck on - Kate Davies' Catkin sweater - which has gone to my godmother, both fairy and actual, to sort out. The problem involves moving stitches on the circular needle around the stitch markers and I'm baffled as to what goes where.

Still with Kate Davies, I attempted casting on her Keith Moon sweater using her own Buachaille yarn. Trouble is Buachaille is DK and the pattern requires aran weight. My attempts to resize using DK and shortening the length went belly up, so I cut my losses, frogged the whole thing and have found another jumper pattern to use the Buachaille for.

The rest of my projects I"m very pleased with. So in true Blue Peter style  - here are those I made earlier!

Summer Palace Cropped Sleeve Jumper

I was sent a ball of Blacker Yarns' Lyonesse DK in the rose quartz shade to review.  On I discovered a free pattern with a vintage vibe from West Yorkshire Spinners that I thought would go perfectly with the yarn and I bought more balls from BritYarn, benefitting from owner Isla's great customer service and knowledge of which yarn would work well with which pattern. Blacker Yarns is reviewing its Lyonesse range and I've heard a rumour that the rose quartz shade will be discontinued - a shame as it's my favourite colour in the range and its linen/wool blend is perfect for summer garments.

Baby Blanket in Butterfly Stitch

It has become a tradition that I knit a baby blanket for my friends' new borns, however when I started I didn't realise how many babies they'd go on to have! This blanket is going to my friends Rachel and Si's first child, due any day now. For a change I chose a baby blanket pattern from Simply Knitting magazine that I'd never tried before and saw it as a great opportunity to learn butterfly stitch. Sadly I didn't use a British yarn because for best results I chose to use the yarn recommended in the pattern.

For copyright reasons the pattern I used is not available online but this free download is a good alternative. My blanket knitted up well and was transformed by blocking it at the end to stretch it to an even shape. Here's a close up of the butterfly stitch:

Toddler Jumper With Alphabet Buttons

Another pattern from Simply Knitting magazine published to use with the alphabet buttons that were that month's free gift. The original pattern had lots of stripes in but I decided to knit it in one colour that would contrast with the pink buttons. I've knitted it for my friend's toddler, Katharine, and wanted to avoid the 'all pink for girls' stereotype. Instead I used up one and half 100g balls of West Yorkshire Spinners' Illustrious yarn that I won in the shade sea glass. Here it is on the blocking board (I've had so much better blocking results since I ditched the old towel and forked out for a KnitPro blocking kit):

When I sewed up the jumper I realised that the head hole probably wasn't big enough. My work around was to cut the button side of the neck, stitch up the ends safely, then add a tie in pink wool to fasten when little Katharine has the jumper on. Have you ever come across the problem with head holes?

Moss Stitch Cowl

We've had some lovely sunny days here but evenings have been cold. One nippy night last week inspired me to look through some leftover Rowan British Sheep Breeds Wool I have. Rowan is currently streamlining its range and I think that the British Sheep Breeds Boucle is to be discontinued. I bought three balls a few years back whilst on holiday in Whitby. Originally I was going to knit a bolero but with only two and a half balls left I thought it would be perfect for a cowl.

After a bit of trial and error to work out the right width for me I decided to cast on 17 stitches. I then knitted a simple moss stitch pattern until the cowl was the right length for me, cast off, and sewed together the ends. The moss stitch shows the boucle effect off well and looks the same each side, perfect for a cowl that's looped a couple of times round the neck.

What's Next?

I've plenty to keep me busy and lots of patterns with yarn to choose from in my stash. There's another cowl I'm going to knit using Loop's alpaca tweed; the Catkin sweater when my godmother has worked out where the stitch markers move to; the Vaara t-shirt from Pom Pom Quarterly 17, which I'll blog about soon; the Dottie Pullover, to use up more of my Illustrious yarn; and finally finishing the Hermione cardigan from the Illustrious pattern book.

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