Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pullover KAL Progress

My pullover for our Wildflower Wool Monday night knitting group KAL is knitting up super quick. 

It's simple knitting, no colour work, no cables, no lace just round after round of knitting to make a warm, comfy sweater.  I know some Knitters dread endless rounds of mindless knitting but I love it.  So, after a week and a half of knitting here it is all squished onto one long circular needle.

It always surprises me how big (sigh....) the sweater looks once the stitches are spread out onto 3 circular needles so it can be tried on to see if it fits.

It appears that it does.  I have been modifying the pattern as I have been knitting to make it more fitted.  So far so good.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Next Steps - Fair Isle Knitting - 1st Pattern

With January coming to an end very soon, I wanted to give you an update on my plan to knit every project in the Patons Next Steps Eight - Fair Isle Knitting pattern book over the next 12 months (roughly one a month, and two months for the sweaters).

The first pattern in the book is a simple headband and it is a great project to learn the basics of Fair Isle knitting. Using only 2 colours keeps the knitting simple and with a short pattern repeat there are no long floats to have to deal with.

Pattern - Graphic Grid Headband
Yarn - Patons Classic Wool in colours Lemongrass and That's Purple
Needle - 4.5mm 16" circular

There are clear instructions with each pattern that explain what techniques are used and how to knit them. You build on your skills as you work your way through the sections of the book with the projects increasing in skill level as you go. This headband is a small enough project to be easily finished in an evening but gives the Knitter enough practice dropping the old colour and picking up the new colour to feel comfortable with the basics of Fair Isle knitting which also gives you such a neat wrong side to your knitting.

Overall, this was a quick, fun knit and something that I would knit again.

In fact, I had so much fun knitting this headband that I started and finished the next pattern as well!! More on this cowl in February. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday

My new sweater project is on the needles!

As you can see, it is knit top down all in one piece. So far it is knitting up great.

Pattern - Top Down Trapeze Pullover
Yarn - Pattons Classic Wool

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Finished Felted Clogs

They are finished!

These are fast to knit - the pair can easily be done in a weekend - and the clever construction with the double sole make them fun to knit. 

I am thinking these would make some great Christmas gifts next year.

Pattern - felt clogs
Yarn - 100% worsted weight wool
Needle - 9mm
Modifications - none
Overall happiness with project - Very happy :)

finished clogs

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Last Gift is Finished!

The last of my Christmas knitting has been finished and delivered to my Mom.

my Mom
This pattern was a fun stitch that I found in our guild's monthly stitch patterns and I made it into a scarf.

close up of the stitch pattern

I will be writing up the pattern and offering it for free to anyone else who would like to knit this scarf.  I already have the yarn picked out to make another one!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Felted Clogs

One of my weekend knitting goals was to knit these felted clogs by Fiber Trends.

All the knitting is finished. I just have to join the outer sole onto the second slipper, seam both slippers and toss them into the washer for a cycle or two of felting.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Project

It seemed appropriate on New Year's Eve that I should stop into a LYS. (That seems logical to more than just me right??).

While there I saw this pattern book and quickly decided without looking at it, that I needed it for two reasons. 1) I love Fair Isle knitting and 2) I have all the other books in this "Next Step" series. Again, this makes sense right?

I am so glad that I came home with this book. I love the patterns and it is going to help me with one of my knitting goals for this year.

I have always wanted to find a book or magazine that I wanted to knit all the patterns in it. This is the book.

My challenge:
1) begin at the front of the book and knit the patterns in order.
2) there are nine patterns so if I figure one per month and two months for the sweaters and that still leaves me one month for catch up if needed to have everything knit by the end of the year.
3) this book is divided into sections. Each one gives instructions for the techniques needed to knit the projects. Each section is more advanced but stops short of steeking. Even though I have knit lots of Fair Isle projects some of these techniques are different so I am going to give them a try and knit the project using the books directions.
4) since Patons Classic Wool is one of my favourite yarns and I have loads and loads of it in my stash, I am going to knit everything from stash yarn.

January's project is a head band.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Starting Over

I came to the conclusion that substituting yarn in the pattern I was knitting was causing all kinds of problems. The garter at was uneven, I had misread the pattern and the different yarn changed the row gauge and for this pattern it mattered. So I pulled it all out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wool Dyeing Day

Yesterday morning was spent dyeing the last skeins of wool for the afghan being donated to Keeping Kids Warm for their charity auction.

Nothing brightens a dull winter day like bright skeins of wool!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

 Well, 2013 is here and I have started it knitting with some wonderful alpaca yarn from Ziraldo Alpacas, a local alpaca farm just outside of London.

Isn't this this skein gorgeous!  It is their "farm yarn" which is a mix of the natural fibres from some of their different alpacas mixed with some Merino wool .

 This skein was to be knit into a cowl for my sister in law for Christmas.  This was her reaction to once again, opening a gift to find a ball of yarn, not a knitted item.  Hopefully this will change next year!

The pattern I decided to knit is Salt
Needle size - 10mm
Mods - had to omit the last 3 rows of the pattern as I was running short on yarn
Would I knit this pattern again - YES!!
Would I use the Farm Yarn again - YES!!
Here it is started.....

half way.....

finished.  That tiny tail was all I had left.

The fact that I ran out of yarn was totally my fault.  I knew it would be close and decided to chance it anyways.  My goal with this alpaca was to make a soft, warm cowl and that is what I ended up with so I am pleased. The yarn was a delight to knit with.  I will be in line for the 2013 farm yarn.  (Debbie, can I put in my order for 2 skeins this year!!)

Now I want to knit Salt again to get a fully finished salt cowl that shows off the wonderful lace pattern.  Check the pattern link, my version doesn't do it justice.  The designer says this is a quick knit and she is right.  This can be knit in one evening.  I think it took me about 5 hours of fairly slow, relaxed knitting time to knit this and that wasn't solid knitting time.

Maybe I can talk the soon to be new owner of this cowl to model it for us this afternoon.  If you are on facebook, check out Wildflower Wool's facebook page for more pictures.

Happy Knitting!