Friday, October 19, 2012

Summer Sweater Knitalong Finished!

Well I didn't quite finish by my September 30th deadline, but I did finish! This cardigan needs a proper photo shoot, iPhone photos don't do it justice.

I had 73 rows to go at the time of this photo and I thought the end would never come, those "short" rows for the sweeping fronts are a killer! But it was all worth it.

So soft, so light, so smooshy and comfortable! I haven't wash/blocked it yet and I'm a smidge nervous to do so because *right now* it is the PERFECT size and shape. But I will block it...soon.

In terms of specs, all up it took about a month, it's all garter as I decided to knit the sleeves flat (so they could stay garter, as I don't see the point of a garter stitch anything being knit in the round, THE POINT OF GARTER IS SO THAT KATIE DOESN'T HAVE TO DO PURLING!). It's 9.3 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino (DK), in the Indicita colourway. You can't tell (because the colour still pooled somehow) but I striped the skeins in sets of 2 or 3 stripes all the way through. iPhone photos show the pooling more than real life though.

If I were to knit it again I would add another set of button holes, I don't think the button hole placement should remain the same for the whole size range of the pattern, as there's a bit of pulling at the bottom, but overall it's a truly excellent pattern and was a lovely (if neverending) knit!

YAY for Summer (Winter) Sweater Knitalong! Thanks Shannon for encouraging me to knit at least one sweater every year :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Summer Sweater Knit Along

For a very long time I've been reading an absolutely beautiful blog Luv In The Mommyhood written by the amazing and talented Shannon.

It's always full of inspiring projects, gorgeous photography and fun things to think about, and do, and make. Including things like quilting, sewing, knitting, Starbucks addictions (a girl after my own heart or what?) and fun weekend wishes.

One of my favourite parts are the relatively new "knit alongs". The Summer Sweater Knit Along is happening right now and I thought I was going to miss out, but, armed with my 4.00mm needles and a big ol' bag of Malabrigo silky merino, I AM IN!

you can click that clicky-linky box to see all about it, the knit along ends Sept 30 so I am going with all guns blazing to finish by then.
I'll be knitting a Shift of Focus, and right now, it looks like this; a bit of a collar...
*crickets chirping* BUT! I only started it on Tuesday night, so it's not as dire as it seems. No really, I swear! And I have 8 hours of knitting on a plane in the next few days (I'm off to Perth for my godsons Naming Day), so it'll happen!

Striped Scarf

and it's all done!
I get a bit addicted to seeing how the stripes come out with these stripes, and this was no exception, 4.5 days of knitting and it was all over! I used Soak to wash it this time, and mymymy it's the softest Silk Garden has ever come out for me. So thanks Knit Camp '11 for the sample, I know what I'll be ordering next!
all done! stripey stripe stripes!
and I'm very happy about how happy the lovely recipient seems to be! And added bonus, we may get to do a bit of a craft tradesies later on when I have some sewing up to do!

scarf in the sunlight, lovely

Friday, September 7, 2012

Stripes are my knitting crack

stripes again, you say? why, YES! These stripes are for a dear friend who has been quite keen for a Noro Striped Scarf (ala Jared Flood) for quite a while. And since I am a pro at that particular scarf (I've knit it thrice already) I offered up my services. Let's be honest, any chance to get my hands on some Noro and I am in. All the way in.

these are the beautiful colours she picked out
the starting lines
it's always amazing to me how different Noro looks in the skein, compared to how it knits up. I mean, looking at the first photo, were you expecting an almost night sky colour scheme to be happening at the start of the scarf? Magic!

I really love knitting for other people, I don't really have room in my house for much more knitted stuff, but these hands need to keep busy and keeping other people warm and cosy is as good a reason to knit as any other that I can think of.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fattie Flattie Hexipuff Blanket

I love hexipuffs, I love the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern, I REALLY love the mind that makes all the Tiny Owl Knits patterns.

So basically this blanket is full of loves, and lots and lots of stitches. It is heavy, dense, soft, cashmere-y and basically delicious. Final size is around 1.1 x 1.1 m, I haven't blocked it or washed it, and I already sewed it together (REBEL!) but it was never going to happen if I did that.

So without any further delay, the fattie flattie hexipuff blanket!

all sewed up with nowhere to go
the basic idea for this blanket was that it would be the perfect size and weight for being either a floor play rug, a pram blanket, or a winter weight cot blanket. I don't think I'd use it as a cot blanket early on as it is *QUITE* heavy/weighty and I would worry about suffocating, but a bigger than 12month old would be fine. So if/when I ever have a baby of my own, we're all set blanket-wise! YAY! It's been put away in the cupboard until then :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

lots of things

finished Springling Shawl for E
finished the knitting and sewing up part of a blanket for me
still needs backing and machine stitching together (to hide the colourwork floats)
a birthday vest for a very special little wolfcub!
all the knitting is complete for the fattie flattie hexi-blanket
this photo is from a few days about, I only have 2 long seams to go!
and a half-linen stitch cowl for me using my first schoppel-wolle
 so that's what's been happening on my needles. Next projects will be a Spring-weight cardigan for me and more work on the beekeeper's quilt! HEXIPUFFS OF DOOOOOOM!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


all done!
my first go at Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, I did it all in knit as it's for garter and it's made the edging look VERY similar to the increase ridges in the body, which I like a lot for this project.
I am still unsure about whether or not I like it for other things.

so here it is, the Springling Shawl, in 399gms of BWM Luxury 10ply in Leaf
now to soak, block and hand it over!

Monday, July 9, 2012

since we last tuned in...

Lots of lovely Australian yarns in this post!
Bendigo Woollen Mills (even if the staff member on the phone was so rude to me I just about burst into tears and cried BUT I JUST WANT TO BUY YOUR YARN PLEASE DON'T MAKE IT THIS HARD down the phone at her), and some rare-as-hens-teeth Ixchel hand dyed baby shetland/angora 4 ply!

... the springling shawl continues to grow at a snail's pace. it is lovely, warm and comforting garter stitch, it's a good thing I like that (and the recipient!) or the time it takes would be a bit sad! it is so snuggly to have on my lap while I knit it and is perfect for knitting while watching tv, and I can't wait for E to wrap herself up in it (after I wash my plague off of it /overshare).
smooshy, squishy, warm and springy
then came my first ever proper commission, for the most delightfully cheerful young man who has just turned one! His mum found this clever (and super quick) Acorn hat pattern on a blog and asked if I could knit it up for him - how could I resist?

you might not be able to tell, but I sort of really like the BWM luxury yarn, it's SO versatile, and machine washable and lovely. the pattern asked for a super chunky, so I held the yarn doubled.

how stinkin' cute is E?

Amy's birthday was last month, and even though I haven't managed to see her yet (trip to Sydney, and now the plague) I knit up this cowl ready to give her on her birthday. I used Rowan Cocoon (more of the extra yarn from my Stockport - the project that keeps on giving!) and made a cowl with a mixture of cables. can only hope she likes it (because I do, and I'll keep it if she doesn't. that's a joke... probably)!

I also knit a special and super fun AVENGERS cowl for S-J for her big birthday and it has been showing up all the places and this makes me SO SO SO happy. If you want to make this knitter happy just wear the heck out of anything she makes you and you will be doing it right. I forgot to get permission to post photos of her wearing it, so just, use your imagination.

and most recently of all, a Calorimetry headscarf/headband/headcovering for S for her birthday! It's knit up in the Ixchel baby Shetland/angora 4ply hand dyed yarn (held doubled) and it looks great on her! and is perfect for keeping hair out of your eyes when launching rockets and being loved by your two adorable children!
Big thanks to whoozqueen (via her Flickr) for this lovely shot!
so that's all for now, next post should include the finished Springling Shawl. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

in the background... while Effortless was on my needles, I admit that I cheated a little bit. I knit on several other projects here and there, sometimes for gifts, sometimes just to prove I still knew how to knit a hexipuff (oh, poor forgotten beekeeper's quilt) and sometimes just for funsies.

the most important and exciting knitting I was doing was for my Flattie Fattie Blanket (aran weight, unstuffed hexipuffs). This is going to be the most RIDICULOUSLY expensive blanket that I will ever own/make/boggle at. It's knit from Debbie Bless Cashmerino Aran, is double sided (because puffs are double sided) and it is magnificently soft and squishy

I had thought that I might use the ends of each colour to make striped puffs to fit in with the plain colours, but now I'm feeling a bit 'meh' about that idea. However, my feelings are fleeting, so team, what do you think?

so with stripes
without stripes
I have about 7 more colours to add (mainly blues and pinks) and two more neutrals. this would leave enough leftovers for an additional 5-6 striped puffs too.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Completely Effortless

so perhaps this is a little bit like a pregnancy... the knitting of the thing was at times painful, never ending and sometimes even boring for long stretches. But now that I have the finished, lovely, soft and precious thing? Can't really remember what that was like, and knitting another cardigan is seeming like a better idea every day.

see the project here

sexy pajama shot, straight off the needles
no bra, i'm super stylish
then i sewed in all the end (ALL of them, stripes GAH!)
and set it up for a nice warm soak
after a gentle air spin in the washing machine
a light blocking, the next day I wove wires through the bottom
and across the chest (to keep the sections together) and hung
it over a clothes horse so air could circulate
and then it was finished
could i BE any more matchy-matchy? no, i don't think so.
this cardigan is all the things it promised to be (except for effortless, there is a surprising amount of effort - loads of picking up stitches, lots of math to make things fit right, knitting a cardigan that is TWICE as round as you are is not a cake walk) comfy, squishy, drapey, and just plain lovely.

I can't wait to knit my next sweater!

Monday, June 4, 2012

creeping ever closer...

... bottom rib!

This week (and most of this weekend) I had been CONVINCED that the knitting fairies were sneaking in during the night and tinking back this cardigan.

pretty much stayed this length, defying logic, for about 4 days
No matter how long I knitted, no matter that I had added in new balls of both colours so I *knew* progress was being made, the damn thing wouldn't grow! then last night, all of sudden, it was 15 inches in length from under the arm seam and it was ready to start the ribbing! MAGIC! so now begins the thousands of repeats of k2p2 on allllllllllll the edges of this not-small cardigan. It's going to be SO worth it.
right now

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

help a girl out?

so i am 50% done with the Effortless Cardigan

which of course means that now i am getting itchy hands over which cardigan i should knit next.
the options are as follows:


all are 10 ply patterns and i am leaning toward the BWM Rustic yarn for whatever pattern is chosen, so help me pick! does one seem more suited to me than another? have you knit any of them and had good/terrible experiences? help! thank you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

knitting for tiny people

i sort of really like this pattern, a pair takes about an hour
for me, one of the greatest things about being able to make things with your own two hands is that when you make them for someone else, a little piece of you goes into that gift and makes it extra special. this is not to say that things i buy as gifts aren't special too (because they are! money is special, i'm quite attached to it) but it's a bit more personal when i've literally put sweat into something (don't worry, I always wash and block hand knit items before gifting!) and picked it out and made it just especially for that person. plus, little people knits take less than a week (except for blankets pretty much) and they turn out so lovely!

made it from scratch! a molly weasley inspired knit, original design for an original little man

honestly though, even more than this, making things for babies is truly a special thing. a few friends of mine have been making some of the most wonderful and precious humans and i've been lucky enough to have my handknits be a part of their first winters! there is nothing more adorable than a cute baby in a handknit, it really can't be beat. from beanies to booties, cardigans to socks, mittens and soakers and onesies, there is nothing you can't knit for a little body to snuggle into! even toys and blankets and more! 

one of my most favourite knits and my first attempt at fabric dyeing! SKIRREL! ARTY!
i've found that you can put knitted stuff in anywhere you like, the key with baby stuff - using washable yarn. there is not one single, solitary, new or old parent out there who is thinking "gee, i wish i had more hand wash only, dry flat in shade, speshul snowflake knitwear for my poo-machine to wear", it is just not a thing. seriously, put down the stuff that felts if you look at it with a heated expression, DO NOT WANT! no one will be happy if bubs wears it once and then it gets washed and ruined. 

a very racist blanket and a monkey wearing people clothes
sometimes you knit things that don't quite turn out how you expect them to, but babies aren't really all that possessive of their stuff, so they don't mind if you give their stuff to someone it might suit better, the blanket above was originally for the older sister of my youngest godchild, but she went and grew up before I finished it (so inconsiderate) so instead it was gifted to him for his cot instead when it was finished. and that offset wraplan cardigan (with puffy appliqued ice cream cone) was made for Ryder, but his dad thought it was a bit too girly (we all thought he was going to be a girl, including the people who did the ultrasounds! whoops!) i don't think orange/coral is too girly, but he's the dad and he decides, so instead we passed it on to the next baby in their family, Ryder's cousin Lexi, who was born 11 months later! i really don't mind who wears it, i just like it best when my work is worn, loved and worn out!
 things go from quite cute to extremely cute with the addition of squishy babies!
the other great thing about knitting for babies and toddlers - they don't make difficult requests. as long as you use lovely soft, non-scratchy or overly fuzzy yarns, most babies are pretty happy to wear anything that keeps them warm. they don't worry about bust shaping, colours that don't suit their hair (they don't have any!) or not being this seasons latest trend. plus, as a big bonus, usually you get sent the greatest photos of them wearing their handknits!
knitted cotton washcloths are lovely and soft for sweet little faces

a special thank you to all the parents for letting me use their bubs for this post!