Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Posts tagged ‘knitting’

WIP…something day? Scatter brained edition

Ok, so, phew, I survived my three weeks of slight insanity. Umm. Crafting kinda fell by the wayside, with the result of it all wanting attention NOW. Unfortunately, my holiday is now over and therefore I have to do the work thing…

Anyway, what has been happening? Well, I was in York at the weekend for Pride, so much knitting was accomplished on cockatoo brae (long train trips are made longer by delays…amusingly, the train ticket I had was a complimentary one due to the delays I had coming back from York from my viva…this makes claiming compensation rather awkward…) Anyway, cockatoo brae is coming along well ahead of schedule! As well as all the rows I planned to do this month, I have started the increases as well ๐Ÿ™‚

(Isn’t all the brown lovely. Find the sarcasm in the last sentence…)

This weekend I will be teaching my aunt how to crochet jellyfish for premature babies. Naturally, this means I a) need more yarn(and crochet hooks), and b) need to crochet one in the first instance so I know what’s going on. 4ply yarn and a 2mm crochet hook are fun! Fiddly, but fun.

My mother’s socks have been started…just. I really need to get on with these, but I can’t take them home this weekend, since I’m visiting her…These will become my priority when I finish Mildred’s socks.

Speaking of Mildred’s socks, I have one finished and the other one past the toe. Before Pride at the weekend there were three members of knitsoc in a cafe, all knitting socks, all from the toe up, (two on circular, one on DPNS), in various colours and patterns. It was rather surreal to be sat there, and have someone ask what we were knitting, and all three of us saying ‘socks’ in unison. Anyway, these socks need finishing soonish. ๐Ÿ™‚ They’ll be coming with me at the weekend.

Finally, the cross stitch wedding sampler has been ignored. But you can have a picture on what was done before but not photographed. Hopefully I’ll come back to this after the weekend (it’s probably a little bit optimistic to think it might happen before the weekend, given how it’s all going!)

Right, that’s me pretty much caught up I think (except for what I’ve been spinning/knitting but that should end up being a blog post by itself sooner rather than later…)

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May/June plans

May’s goals! I completely destroyed all of these, so either I’m being productive or I’m not challenging myself enough…

  1. Finish the cardamon bird socks. Thatโ€™s less than one sock, should be doableโ€ฆ
    Done! This was harder than I anticipated, I just wasn’t interested in knitting them. Which is somewhat awkward since one of my June goals is to knit another pair…
  2. Finish the cockatoo brae sleeves and start the body. This involves a blog post about sleeve length because I need some advice on itโ€ฆ
    Donedid ๐Ÿ˜€ I didn’t write a blog post about it in the end, I just decided that I’d done enough (and if I haven’t then I can remove the cuffs and knit more down)
  3. Post the blog post about knitting left-handed. All it needs is a couple more pictures. (And finish knitting the main section of the pocket)
    Managed ๐Ÿ™‚ And I started teaching my lefty friend how to knit. Now to find the time to teach him the purl stitch…
  4. Complete the middle square of the wedding sampler. By square I donโ€™t mean the outside border, or the shading around it (that would be too awkward to count, and is best done with the boarder or square next to it).
    So far above and beyond this one I hid orbit ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also managed the ‘I do’ square, the heart about the main square, the ‘Promise’ square, and started the ‘Quarrel’ square. Go me!
  5. Spin something pretty. I bought lots of lovely goodies at Woolfest yesterday, including 4 batts. I should spin something pretty, for funsies ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I wonder how thin I can go on my lil turkish drop spindle, it was pretty fine when I tried it out.
    Managed, and it’s amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m currently blocking a small thing I knitted with a single, then there should be a blog post about spinning coming…
  6. Bonus: do some research for the best way to do something clever with the back shaping for Buttonbox. I think I have a good idea about the rest of it (note to self: do a blog post about it at some pointโ€ฆ)
    Yes. No blog post about it because that particular thing doesnt need anything special doing. There is another blog post I should do about all the mods I want to do about it, but finding the time is always a challenge! Crafting is a bit more exciting than writing about crafting!

There were some other things getting done as well, such as the first sock for another pair for a friend…ok, maybe it was just that. So, what should I do next month???

 

  1. Knit another pair of bird socks. (This also involves choosing which pair to make, whcih I think will be the harder choice…)
  2. Finish Mildred’s second sock. It’s basically vanilla, with some striping. Easy peasy (And therefore I will totally procrastinate on it…)
  3. Crochet a flat preemie octopus to get the hang of it before I teach my aunt…That lesson will probably be happening on/around the 17th, so I should get a move on with this (when I go back to Salisbury and can get my crochet hooks…)
  4. Cross stitch Q-S of the wedding sampler (bonus: also start X)
  5. Do ‘some generic amount’ of cockatoo brae. Umm, I need a definite amount to knit, otherwise it won’t get done (it may not get done anyway, it’s just stocking stitch in the round now… Tedious much???) So…reach bust shaping? I’m knitting the third size, so that’s the set up round then 7 sets of 7 rows and the 9 lain rows between the waist shaping and the bust shaping. 59 rows. Hmm. Having had a very quick look at the other patterns, I don’t need to make it any longer. We shall see I guess…
  6. Bonus: Knit another 10 squares on my scrappy blanket. That will finish the complete ’round’
  7. Bonus: blog posts about spinning, buttonbox mods and/or the afterthought pocket

3 socks, a crochet project, a (probably) decent amount of cross stitch, a decent load on cockatoo brae and some bonus things. I can’t decide whether this is too much or too little (I have very little actual work to do and some long train rides coming up). We shall see I guess. And if I finish these all early, there’s no reason I can’t do new goals before July…

Flurry of finishes!

So, things have been busy here, and I have brief moment of calm in the eye of the proverbial storm! And I have some finishes to show off to you all. Firstly: the cross stitch stockings from…ooh, a while ago!

Finished! I’m really happy how these came out, although I have no intention whatsoever of replicating these ever again! Working with the felt was definitely a challenge, but now I’ve mastered it, (basically how to angle the needle to go through the hole cleanly), I don’t feel the need to try it again!

In other news (and another finish!), I finished the second pair of my mothers socks! I’ve had a quick look through my queue for which pair to start next, and I’m overwhelmed…*facepalm*. I’ll have another look tomorrow I think.

And the wedding sampler. I had no votes on which way to go, so I’m going around really! The ‘I do’ square (ignore the fact it’s a square out, it doesn’t matter that much…) was really fun to do

It’s finished now, and I’ve done most of the heart above the middle section. Busy busy busy ๐Ÿ™‚

Left-handed knitting- an introduction

Please note: left handed knitting (where the knitting starts on the right hand needle and ends up on the left hand needle) is different to backwards knitting (done so you can avoid purling in stocking stitch, commonly used in mitred squares, entrlac etc). I’ve used backwards knitting quite a lot- I taught myself for entrelac, and (I think) it’s fairly intuitive. That being said, I’ve always held the yarn for it in my right hand, which definitely I find easier. Ahh, the glorious ease of long practice!

The main difference between left handed and backwards knitting: the way you wrap your yarn around your needle to make the stitches. In backwards knitting, you want the leading leg of the yarn to be facing you without turning the work, in left handed knitting, you turn the work and then want the leading leg to be facing you.

Question: what do I mean by leading leg? (Ok, I had to look this up- I had an intuitive idea, but wasn’t able to verbalise why). The general consensus is that the leading leg is the one which sits closer to the tip of the needle. (Disclaimer: I’m not pitching this at complete beginners).

 

Fig 1: left hand knitting after a row of knitting:

 

The important thing to note here is that the leading leg of the stitch is at the back of the work(the tip of the needle is on the right), rather than the front. If you were to knit right handed after this, all the stitches would be twisted- hardly a deal breaker, but something to bear in mind. Also, the yarn would be at the other end…

(Right hand knitting after a row or knitting looks exactly the same as after a right hand row of purling, and so I’m not going to provide a picture of that)

Fig 2: left hand knitting after a row of purling (knit side):

 

 

This now has the leading leg at the front on the knit side, ready for the next knit row. (Bear in mind that the tip of the needle is on the left here).

Note: in both these pictures, the yarn loops are facing the same direction. What is important here (but I couldn’t photgraph due to needing to be close enough to the yarn to see the direction of the loops) is where the tip of the needle is.

Either way, you ideally want the leading leg to be facing you, whichever end has the point of the knitting needle. Otherwise, all your stitches will be twisted. Second disclaimer: of course, you might be going for twisted stitches, and you can untwist them as you knit/purl, but that’s more awkward (most of the time).

Ok, so how to knit (and purl) left-handed? Flippant answer: copy someone knitting righthanded in a mirror. Everyone gives this advice when someone asks how to teach a left-handed person to knit. Either that, or to just teach them continental (as though putting the yarn in the left hand is all there is to it…)

Full disclosure: this is why I learnt to knit left-handed. I agreed to teach a left-hander to knit and want to do it properly. (Word of the year is still preparation ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

So, knit stitch. Insert working needle (left needle) through the first stitch on the holder (right needle) away from you, wrap the yarn around the working needle by going under the needle towards the holder needle then over away from it (see picture). Pull the yarn through the stitch then push the stitch off the holder. Please note: this is exactly the same as the instructions for the knit stitch right-handed, just with the working needle and holder the other way around. This shouldn’t be a surprise to people, but I wanted to highlight it. Second note: the leading leg of the new stitch should be at the back of the work (the needle then gets turned around at the end of the row to bring the leading legs all to the front of the work).

 

And the purl stitch: insert the working needle towards you through the first stitch on the holder, wrap the yarn around the needle by going over the needle away from you then under the needle towards you (then over the needle away from you to get it back in place for the next stitch) (oh boy was that one hard to master!), pull the yarn through the stitch then pull the old stitch off the holder needle. Same tricks about this being the same as right handed purl and the trick about the leading leg still apply. As does the picture under this paragraph ๐Ÿ™‚

So, now that I’ve talked about how to knit lefthanded- why? Well, for me it was originally so I could teach a lefty to knit. But I’m going to keep going with this technique- it’s fascinating to go back to being such a beginner! I had to go back to holding both needles in one hand to wrap the yarn in the beginning. I’m struggling with my purl gauge, and the idea of having to completely learn how to knit again, just because I’ve mixed my hands up is taking a bit of getting used to! However, I’ve recently been knitting so much (right handed) that my right arm is *very* unhappy with me, and learnign to knit lefthanded would be an excellent way to knit twice as much! On different projects- ooh, I wonder if my gauge left-handed will end up different to my gauge right-handed. That would be fascinating!!!! I also have this strange idea about knitting garter stitch with two colours, but one row of each colour. I’m not sure whether my idea will work, but I want to try ๐Ÿ™‚ So many new ideas I have from doing this!

April/May goals

So, another month gone, where are they all going???? We’re a third of the way through the year already…So, let’s have a look at last month’s goals:

  1. Finish the sleeves on cockatoo brae.
    Not done- but nearly there, I think. I’ve finished all the increases, and only have a couple more inches to knit. I should measure this and work out how much more…
  2. Carry on with the wolf cross stitch (Iโ€™d like to finish but think it unlikely given that this final quarter is more complicated than the last and I only just hit 75%)
    Done! I completely blew this goal out of the water! Very happy about this ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. Knit up and write a blog post about afterthought pockets. (I want to in the end do a series on different pockets, and I figure that an afterthought one is probably the easiest to start withโ€ฆ)
    Umm, nope? But I have a blog post about left-handed knitting *nearly* finished, so that should get done next month
  4. Knit another pair of the bird socks (or at least get the first one done. Iโ€™m planning on doing the socks in their pairs, so this next pair will be cardamon main colour and bluetit cuffs, heels and toes).
    Well, the first one is done, and the second one is started… Then I have another pair of socks started, and I feel like I haven’t been crafting so much this month…
  5. Bonus: start knitting something with my handspunโ€ฆ This one is slightly terrifying, because itโ€™s my handspunโ€ฆBut I also know that knitting it will allow me to see whatโ€™s going on with the yarn a lot more clearly than just eyeballing it! Bring it on! (I reserve the right to not talk about how bad it is if itโ€™s truely awfulโ€ฆ)
    Yes! Although I need to frog it and restart, and that’s not going to happen for a while because I have other priorities right now, (such as more spinning).

Ok, I realised the other day that we’re also a third of the way through the year, and so I figured I should have another look at my plans for the year, and see how they are getting on.

One of the cardigans is done, the small cross stitch is done, one of the cards is done and one pair of socks are done (and I’ve mentally reduced the number from 9 to 6). That leaves:

3 cardigans, 2 blankets, a card, a large cross stitch and 4 pairs of socks. Totally doable…yeah right! I think I’ll drop the blankets, and add in a free-for-all spinning, just to remind me that it’s fun and I like it. And the pockets for the guides…

So, thinking about these yearly goals, May’s goals are:

  1. Finish the cardamon bird socks. That’s less than one sock, should be doable…
  2. Finish the cockatoo brae sleeves and start the body. This involves a blog post about sleeve length because I need some advice on it…
  3. Post the blog post about knitting left-handed. All it needs is a couple more pictures. (And finish knitting the main section of the pocket)
  4. Complete the middle square of the wedding sampler. By square I don’t mean the outside border, or the shading around it (that would be too awkward to count, and is best done with the boarder or square next to it).
  5. Spin something pretty. I bought lots of lovely goodies at Woolfest yesterday, including 4 batts. I should spin something pretty, for funsies ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I wonder how thin I can go on my lil turkish drop spindle, it was pretty fine when I tried it out.
  6. Bonus: do some research for the best way to do something clever with the back shaping for Buttonbox. I think I have a good idea about the rest of it (note to self: do a blog post about it at some point…)

This might all be slightly over the top, but we shall see. I’m into the last week of teaching, but I’m still going to be busy afterwards, with teaching essays and job applications (oh my days, the job applications!)

FO Friday- double edition

Yes, that’s right everyone, two new shiny finished things to show off ๐Ÿ™‚ I am clearly very productive over holidays!

Firstly: the pillowcase. Technically this isn’t yet finish-finished, but eh. The knitting is all done, so I’m unilaterally deciding it counts.

Now it’s done, I’m going to take a break from scrappy knitting (at least, knitting with my sock scraps. I’m still working on the other scrappy project, because that’s not really scrappy.) I need to build up my scrap collection again before I do myself a pillowcase. In mitred squares. But in a while. ๐Ÿ™‚

And my second finish: the wolf!!!!!!

I am soooooooo glad this is finally finished! In the end, I raced to the end- there is a lot of backstitching in the bottom left corner, and I did a ‘will I finish or throw it accross the room and ignore it for three months’. Luckily, I finished first. I’m completely ignoring the mistake I made with the wolf whiskers- they’re supposed to be done in a different colour, but I can’t tell the difference between thin blue and thick blue lines, and I’m not fixing it now. Now to find a frame for it- it’s 6 by 8 inches so I should be able to find a suitable photo frame for it. Now, onto the next cross stitch project ๐Ÿ˜€

WIP Wednesday- blanket edition

So I wasn’t going to write about this blanket again for a while, but I kinda sorta accidentally (not really) finished the two things I did think I could talk about, so this blanket it is ๐Ÿ™‚

According to ravelry I started this in November, which is slightly problematic since the yarn was (supposed to be) an advent calender to myself…oops. Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter since I haven’t yet finished the yarn I got (but have ordered quite a bit more ot carry on, since I have nearly finished it).

Isn’t it pretty???? I would say that I dislike following the crowd, and this blanet is no exception. Most people do mitred squares sock yarn blankets, my first one was hexagons. The second (the pillowcase) and third (this one) are using the ‘traditional’ mitred squares, but with different construction (corner out for the pillowcase, and middle out for this one). I also stick the decreases on the wrong side rows beause I dislike the ridge they form. The other side looks so much prettier in my mind ๐Ÿ™‚ This is the back of it:

Well, that’s all from me for now. New post on Friday, since I have shiny finished things to show off ๐Ÿ˜€

SO Sunday- double edition

Two things to talk about today! Aren’t you all lucky ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Firstly: new socks! This weekend is 4 days due to all the bank holidays we have floating around! And how better to spend it than b starting a pair of green Spring socks? (Other than working, but I couldn’t do that thanks to my building being shut ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ). So, new socks! I am particularly impressed with how the ribbing ended up being framed in the way it was- I was willing to do a complete new colour in order to do it, but it turned out that two colours being framed like this results in 1 inch perfectly ๐Ÿ˜€

And the pattern is just flying off the needles. The thing I am most excited about project bird socks is pushing me so far out of my comfort zone. I’ve borrowed a number of sock books from someone in my spinning group, and I chose patterns as best I could based on what traits in the yarn I wanted to display (so Spring colours for this green), without looking at how the sock is constructed. I’m looking forward(ish) to doing new things I haven’t done before (or maybe only done once or twice, and then ignored). Here’s to learning new things!

 

The second thing is also about learning new things, or at least experimenting. For my OLAS cardigan (the big cabled thing), I want to put in pockets, but not afterthought ones. Which got me thinking about what has been written about knitted pockets (not much), and what is possible. So now I’m experimenting with different pockets, and will discuss each of them on the blog. (As mentioned in the last blog post, where I mention my monthly goals). And how better to try new things than by killing two birds with one stone, and knitting it left-handed??? (I want to learn proper left-handed, which is different to knitting backwards to avoid purling so I can teach a lefty properly ๐Ÿ™‚ More on this at a later date). So here I am knitting essentially a gauge swatch, but will have a trick up its sleeve later, feeling a lot like a beginner again!

FO Friday- March goals edition

Another month gone…where are they going??? So, before I get inot the goals, firstly I want to show off my new finished things.

Socks! Who doesn’t love socks? This pic is of them drying after they’ve been worn for the first time, because I had to wear them straight away!

This pair have afterthought heels, which I really dislike because of the kitchener stitch…

And secondly, another sewn card! (Note: I say another…it’s been quite a while since the last one I did. These are done by punching holes in the card with a large stabby needle, then sewing them in a set pattern with a smaller needle and metallic thread. The companies which produce the cards are form-a-lines (for the A6 size) and…I thought there was a sister company for square cards but I can’t find them again so maybe I imagined it or something…)

This is for a couple I know who are getting married in April. I had to change the pattern slightly so that both hands are holding top hats- in the original design the hand on the right had a handkercheif. I’m very pleased how this came out in the end.

Finally: a bird! This is a generic one done to see how large they are when finished- I think it might be a smidge too large for the planned use, so I’ll have to go down to embroidary thread and *very* small knitting needles (1mm I’m thinking)

So, the March goals I had:

1) Finish my mother’s first pair of socks. Done! The ends are even woven in, that’s how done they are:)

2) Carry on the wolf cross stitch. Done! I hit 75% at the weekend, so go me!

3) Sew the wedding card. Done! See above ๐Ÿ™‚

 

4) Get gauge on cockatoo brae. Done! Sleeves are half(ish) done! More up to date picture of sleeves so far:

5) Stick all my sock yarn (not the stuff for project bird socks) on ravelry and find projects for them. Done! See my ravelry account. (Link opens to my stash page filtered to only include yarn with projects associate with it in a new tab). Obviously, this isn’t all my stash, but it’s all my sock yarn here in Bristol. Bonus: I actually also added all my yarn here in Bristol (including my handspun, although I’m not convinced I’ve done that bit correctly…), and found patterns for almost all of it (including my mothers bird socks). This brings me to a total of 28 projects in my queue, of which 26 are socks…

So, next months goals..

  1. Finish the sleeves on cockatoo brae
  2. Carry on with the wolf cross stitch (I’d like to finish but think it unlikely given that this final quarter is more complicated than the last and I only just hit 75%)
  3. Knit up and write a blog post about afterthought pockets. (I want to in the end do a series on different pockets, and I figure that an afterthought one is probably the easiest to start with…)
  4. Knit another pair of the bird socks (or at least get the first one done. I’m planning on doing the socks in their pairs, so this next pair will be cardamon main colour and bluetit cuffs, heels and toes).
  5. Bonus: start knitting something with my handspun… This one is slightly terrifying, because it’s my handspun…But I also know that knitting it will allow me to see what’s going on with the yarn a lot more clearly than just eyeballing it! Bring it on! (I reserve the right to not talk about how bad it is if it’s truely awful…)

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday- 4 ply edition

I have been…rather busy, and I have a lot to tell you about in my end of the month post, which I will attach to a FO Friday post. Which means that I’m going to be talking about other things today, and in particular I will be focussing on 4 ply yarn (aka sock yarn).

But not socks. Well, there is a pair of socks but they’re at work and I’m not, so…

Instead, two things. Thing the first: an update on Kita’s pillowcase. Apparently I haven’t talked about this recently on here, so this has come along quite a lot since the last time you all saw it! In fact, it’s nearly finished!!! In fact, the little bit on the top left takes it as high as it needs to go (I think!) I will check when that’s done, but I think it’s just these last two and a bit rows and then sew it together. Very exciting!!!

And the second thing: the sleeves on cockatoo brae. Much less exciting! I have done 11 of the planned 18 increases (I reserve the right to do more if necessary!) *lesigh* The solution to these is to put something on my laptop to watch and just mindlessly knit (with the odd increase round added in!)

Right, that’s all from me for now. Bigger post to come on Friday!

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