Friday, 29 July 2011

Debbie Macomber

If you are a knitter who likes to read novels then you've probably read
Debbie Macomber's Blossom Street Series of novels.

A friend introduced them to me and I have gradually acquired them all, though I have read them out of sequence.

In the UK the titles often vary, such as Wednesdays at Four and Thursdays at Eight are alternative titles for two of those below:

Borage says Have you read any? What did you think?

I found them to be enjoyable undemanding reads.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Intuitive Knitting ~Yarn Along

What are you currently knitting/reading. Why not Yarn Along

Do you knit intuitively or are you anxious about making mistakes and wait to be told?

Being a largely self-taught, intuitive knitter has its plus and minus points.

It means I can tackle harder projects than some inexperienced knitters

BUT it means that others think I have more experience than I do

AND I can make some amazingly naive mistakes when it comes to interpreting what the abbreviations mean.

In this Owl Pattern by Kate Davies the SSK (slip, slip knit)abbreviation is used. This is explained as: Slip 2 stitches indivdually knitwise, insert left needle tip into stitches from left to right, knit together. Left slanting decrease.

Now that all sounds fine until I had a go and was left with the bizarrest set of stitches on the next round. Heaven knows what I did.

So, I checked youtube and there was this handy video clip of what I needed to do:

I am amazed how quickly this jumper is knitting up. I guess because it uses 6mm needles and Aran weight (Fisherman's/medium weight) yarn.

Oops just realised I shudda changed to 6.5mm needles after the rib. Aaaaaaargh! Okay should I be worried now?

This book is excellent for helping with those areas of knitting which others understand and the patterns often assume such as press the garment, pick up stitches etc.

So how are your abbreviation interpreting skills, or were you taught well?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Charity Knits

Have you knitted for charity?

Last Christmas my friend gave me a Knit a Pudsey Pack for BBC Children in Need.

While it didn't quite contain enough wool for the project, once I had acquired the right shade of yellow wool from elsewhere I made this cute little fellow.

I've Knitted Teddy for Tragedy with my knitting group. He's the furthest one at the back with the red jumper/sweater:

The Donkey Sanctuary has some donkey knit patterns to raise funds on their stall, though beware one of their patterns makes up a tiny donkey.

There's a website Knit for Charity with some ideas, too.

Tarragon, our 12yr old ginger princess, says: Knitting is exhausting!

Too many projects?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

How Many Projects is Too Many?

I often have several projects on the go at the same time and then feel bad I haven't finished any.

So I then decided ONE AT A TIME!

Now I realise that different projects work in different situations and that having more than one project on the go at any one time means that there's always something to pick up and do.

My latest knitting project
Tarragon and Borage say: 'Did someone mention owls?'

Some projects are easier to handle on the train, like small crochet projects, while others require much more concentration and fewer distractions.

My latest Crochet project

Also I attend a knitting group and if there's a hitch with one project, rather than sit and just chat, I can have a standby project in my bag.

How about you? How many projects do you have on the go?

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Just Off the Needles ~ Yarn Along

I still had wool left over after I made an Aran cardigan for my friend's little girl
(who isn't into girlie pinks). So, w
ith the remaining wool I found a quick knit hot water bottle cover with cable in a magazine from Simple Knitting by Erica Knight

It uses 4mm and 4.5mm needles(size 6 &7) and Aran wool (Fisherman/medium weight)

It is fabulous pattern, though there were typo errors in the number of rows for front and back.
It also said the pattern would make a standard size cover, but this is a child's size bottle.
I wonder whether using 4.5mm and 5mm might make it the required size for a standard hwb cover?

I've just finished reading a Marcia Willett Echoes of the Dance which seems more full of whimsy than her usual novels, but she does characterisation and human psychology so well. I love textile crafts reading and writing too.
What are you currently knitting or crocheting and reading?
Join in at Yarn Along and let us know.

If you have some time let us know how you cast on here

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

How do you Cast On?

I started with the thumb method, which I found gave an untidy erratic edge.

35 ways to cast on??  Here's the others I know:

I progressed to the 2 needle method, which is a neater, but tighter edge:

Then I learned the long tail method

Then I learned the cast on between the stitches called Cable Cast On method

This one is by far the neatest.

How do you cast on?

Monday, 18 July 2011

Why would anyone want to knit a cake ?

Why would anyone want to knit a cake?  You may well ask.

I knitted the 2 doughnuts and the chocolate gateau slice. Honestly I yearned for a piece of chocolate cake while I was knitting that one!

What I learned was that
  • it was great knitting practice for using dpns (double pointed needles)
  • following the pattern instructions was a great learning experience
  • The cakes would make great toys for a children's Wendy house.

    I also knitted a Rooster cosy like the one in this picture out of a single hank of Colinette wool.

Have you knitted food or would you regard it as a pointless exercise?

I visited a Café in St. Ives, Cornwall that had a display in their window. It looked great.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Triumphs and Disasters

I was so proud of this jumper. Made from Bamboo and Merino I didn't realise that it would  s  t  r  e  t c  h when I washed it.
I'd made the sleeves a little longer because I have quite long arms, but once out of the washing machine and dried the sleeves were practically down to my knees!

I decided to unpick the sleeves not realising that I'd have to take out each sleeve from the shoulder and rather than just start at the cast on edge. Now my wonderful masterpiece is in a mess abandoned in a bag until I have the stamina to tackle it again.

Have you any such knitting triumphs / disasters?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

What's Your Knitting Yarn?

I started knitting when I was just 11 yrs old. It looked like a map with dropped stitches and added stitches. Disaster! My Grandma, Betsy, taught me to crochet when I was 7 yrs old.

I didn't then knit again until I was 21yrs old. Then at Uni I decided to knit a mohair sweater with the help of the girls in my Halls of Residence. The mohair got everywhere. Even places I'd never been! (Most incriminating!)

Over the years I started projects on my own only to lose my way and abandon them to the loft.
Then I met a great friend, Sally, who'd been knitting since she was 7yrs old and at the same time a new weekly magazine came out:
The Art of Knitting. I was hooked!

I have now successfully completed several knitting and crochet projects.

I have also enjoyed the Art of Crochet.

So what's your knitting yarn?
Do you crochet?