Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Test Post

Good morning!

I haven't been able to post any blog posts from my phone in ages so today I'm attempting to sort this out.

I've got my fingers crossed that you all see a lovely mini skein of wool that looks like a little bit of Spring on another snowy day.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A little organizing turns up......

Happy Monday Knitters!

The sun was out yesterday so maybe that's what gave me the motivation to do a little organizing.  I have a couple of baskets that hold my finished hats, mitts, scarves and shawls; this is what I picked on for the first of my spring cleaning.

I have probably just totally jinxed myself but as I was sorting, matching and refolding (the baskets  didn't look this tidy when I started!) I put the warmest stuff on the bottom and pulled out the more spring like shawls and scarves and put them on top.  Yes, I know, I have just guaranteed that it will snow tomorrow by daring to be optimistic but lets keep our fingers crossed for nice weather!  
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Guess what else I found in the bottom of the large basket?  You guessed it, a secret stash of yarn that I had mostly forgotten about.  I knew that the blue Decor was in there but not all the rest of it!  There are a couple of full balls but most of it is just more odds and ends and part balls.  


I think I'll use this week to knit the acrylic into kids hats. The ball of sock weight yarn really wants to be cast on for a scarf but I'm not sure about what the pink fluffy stuff wants to be yet.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Odds and Ends

Between feeling under the weather and not having the energy for any elaborate knitting and having this urge to use up all the small balls of cotton that I've had around for what seems like forever, this is what my knitting has been for the last few days. 


 These little odds and ends have randomly become useful dishclothes. I've been knitting one a day and haven't even started to make a dent in my cotton stash but regardless I am feeling productive seeing my pile of finished dishcloths grow and it is a good feeling to know that all these little balls that would have otherwise remained unknit have a purpose now :)

This is probably my least favourite as the colours are totally random so I'm not sure why this was the one I took a picture of, lol.  I guess this proves why I'm only attempting dishcloths right now and nothing more complicated!  Better pictures to come!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Nurmilintu Shawl

Another finished project!  This shawl/scarf was fabulous to knit in Malabrigo Sock yarn in the colour way Terracota.  The lace pattern was simple enough to knit but as with any lace you need to add markers every so many pattern repeats or read your knitting to ensure you pick up any mistakes right away so they can be fixed before getting to the end of the row.


If you have knit the popular Hitchhicker scarf you will find the shaping similar.  You start out with 4 sts, and work increases on one side and decreases on the other side making the cresent shape.  

 The body of the scarf alternates with garter stitch and lace sections that get longer every other row.

The shawl is finished with the lace section and a picot cast off.  I had extra yarn so I added an extra repeat.  The picot cast off takes extra yarn and this tiny little ball is all I had left.

 The last step before wrapping this gift up was blocking it.  This opened up the lace pattern and by pinning each picot point out straight it really opened up the edging and it looked amazing. 
PatternNurmilintu Shawl
Yarn - Malabrigo Sock in Terracota
Needles - 3.5mm chiagoo lace circulars
Modifications - added an extra repeat of the lace patten

I loved knitting with the yarn and would love to work with it again.
I found the pattern fairly easy to work.  A good balance between easy, repetitive, relaxing garter stitch and an easy lace panel that adds some interest.

Yes, I'd knit this pattern again :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wurm

With the end of winter fast approaching I thought I'd share some of the last pictures of the snow I took last week.  With the warmer temps this week most of the snow has melted.  It looks like Spring is on its way!




 This is a skein of Alpaca yarn that I got for Christmas.  As you would expect with Alpaca it is super soft and wonderful to knit with.

 For my first cast on I used the knitted cast on.  I didn't like how it looked so I pulled it out and tried again with the long tail cast on.  This worked much better.

 I also received a new project bag handmade by a friend.  I love it!  It is reversible, it has a fun way of closing, the handles loop through one another and it is the perfect size to hold a larger project or two smaller ones.  It's my new favourite bag :)

I knit a pattern that has been in my favourites for a long time.  It was easy and fun to knit and I'll definitely knit more of them.  Here is a view from the top and the side.  I love the stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch ridges.
Pattern Wurm
Yarn - Ziraldo Alpaca's Tweed an Alpaca/Merino blend
Needles - 3mm for the ribbing, 3.5mm for the body of the hat
Modifications - Ribbing instead of the stocking st folded hem, I didn't knit the last repeat of the pattern as I was running out of yarn but I'm happy with the length.  It fits perfectly.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Find

I stopped at our local library and they were organizing books for a book sale.  I'm always on the look out for older knitting books to add to my collection and it didn't take me long to find what I was looking for!


 Here is a quick look inside

Shetland lace has become one of my new obsessions and here is a gorgeous shawl pattern

There was also a section on lace edgings

A pattern for a knit doily; another obsession of mine

A page on picot knitting with some cute embellishment ideas

I just liked that this fair isle pattern was used as a filler at the bottom of the page

Embroidery is something that I would like to pick up again; either on its own or to embellish my knitting

And what better way to make a purchase worth while than actually make something using one of the stitch patterns from the book.  This is just a practice piece but I'm happy with the pattern and think I'll cast on again to make a scarf.  I'm really happy with my $4 book find!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Beginnings of a Crocheter


For the last while I've been thinking about crocheting.  I think it would be pretty accurate to describe my crochet ability as "free style".   I'm sure I made the crocheters in my knitting groups cringe when I said I was going to crochet a border onto a knitting project!  My crocheting would go something like this.  Grab the first hook I could find (size didn't really matter as long as it was close to my needle size) then I would do a yarn over the hook, pull it through a few loops, yarn over again and finish off the stitches in one manner or another.  If I was lucky I would do whatever I was doing for the entire edge but now that I've brushed up on my crochet stitches I'm sure I was randomly mixing in double and half double sts all along my edge.  Whatever I was doing it was good enough for me, until now.  Now I want to learn to crochet properly.


I went looking for my crochet hooks and found that for not being a crocheter I had a pretty good collection ranging in size from .75mm to 15mm and a good variety of makes of hooks.


 The majority were the old favourites Aero, Boye and Susan Bates but I also found Milward, Red Heart, Prims, H.A. Kidd, Unique and Esprit.  Most are plastic, some are metal and one was bamboo.  One would think this would get me off to a good start brushing up on my stitches; but no, instead I was on a quest to find "the best" hook on the market.  

Starting a snowflake in the round using Patons Classic Wool

This led Santa to leaving me 3 new hooks in my Christmas stocking.  The hook above is an Addi 4mm with an ergonomically designed handled.  The hook is nickel, the same as their knitting needles which was nice.  It took me a few tries to get the hang of how to hold onto this hook.  At first I found my hand sliding up onto the hook and I found it more comfortable not to hold onto the handle.  It got easier the more I practiced.

A finished snowflake using left over sock yarn
My second new hook was also an Addi 2mm comfort grip hook.  It seemed to work well and I found it easier to hold onto and if price is a consideration this hook is $9 compared to the first Addi hook at $18.


My last new hook was the Clover 4mm Soft Touch.  This ended up being my favourite of the three.  The hook picked up the stitches nicely, I liked the feel of the handle and it is reasonable priced at $8.  This is the hook that I used most often to make the snowflakes that I was practicing on.  In the end I didn't find "the best" hook.  They all did the job and I will use them all again.  It's just like knitting needles; wood, metal, dpns, circular, pointy, blunt, fixed or interchangeable it's all about personal preference.  

Beads next time??

 I had fun crocheting these snowflakes and it gave me lots of opportunity to work on my stitches which I apparently needed, lol!  The finished snowflake was to have 6 points.  The first one I made had 6 points, the next had 5 points and the one after that had 7 points and the one pictured below ended up with a lopsided point!  Ooops!  


Made with crochet cotton and a 2mm hook

I didn't pull any of them out.  They say no two snowflakes are the same right and mine are proof of that.  I'll get to look at them every Christmas and remember the year I made them during the week between Christmas and New Years.
 

I blocked them and hung them on the tree. I don't want to jinx myself by saying that I've perfected the pattern because it's totally possible a picot might be missing on one of the points but I'm doing much better.


Not to worry though, I'm not giving up my knitting for crocheting any time soon.  In between snowflakes I'd pick up a sock and knit a few rows.  It felt good to do something familiar!


I'm still working on snowflakes but Valentine's Day is around the corner so hearts seemed in order :)



If you want to read a review of crochet hooks and check out a great crochet and knitting blog take a look at Stacey's blog over at FreshStitches.  She's an amazing crocheter and knitter.  

This is the link to the video on how to crochet the snowflake.

And here is the link for the heart pattern.  Enjoy!



Happy Knitting (and crocheting)!
Louise