Friday, May 31, 2013

Starting and Finishing

One project finished......

one project started :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Double Knitting Fun

Last fall I was lucky enough to take a double knitting class in person with Lucy Neatby.  When I saw that she was teaching the Foundations of Double Knitting on Craftsy, I couldn't resist and treated myself to the class.

Three patterns are included with the class; a cell phone cozy, a larger bag with a pocket and a pair of socks.  I decided to use a ball of my hand dyed wool for the cell phone cozy.  It was a bit of a trick to get the skein wound without Luca getting tangled up in the wool.  At one point he was swinging from the swift!

This bag is not knit in the round but back and forth with one colour.  The trick is keeping the front and back layers separated into a tube and not to getting any of the sts connected which joins the two layers together.

This is a great project to start double knitting.  It is small, usable and gives you practice working the stitches and fixing your mistakes.  In my case I joined the layers together FIVE times and I am not new to double knitting.  This was a good refresher project for me and a good reminder that you have to pay close attention to your stitches. The above picture is what your knitting should look like on the inside if things are going well - not joined :) I had just fixed a mistake that's why my needle is out of my work.

I decided to hand felt my little bag this morning.  This was the first time that I have felted something without the washer or dryer.  It only took about 10 mins and was super easy.  I hung it outside to dry, added a button to it and used it tonight on my walk.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lots On the Needles

I think I've gotten overly ambitious.  Here are 6 skeins of yarn, patterns and started projects that are currently in my knitting bag and I am waiting for 2 more Lucy Neatby patterns to arrive at my lys.  These were supposed to be my May projects.  This is a classic case of thinking I knit faster than I actually do! I think a more accurate description of 3 lace weight shawls, a sweater, pair of mitts and a fair isle hat would be my summer projects.

In an attempt to make some progress I got together with some friends and we worked on the lace shawl that we are all knitting together.

This our progress so far.  It has certainly been a project full of learning opportunities to say the least and we are just past the bottom edging.  We're really hoping the body of this shawl knits up problem free to make up for the stree the edging caused!

I had to share this last picture with you.  Luca has decided that my knitting bag is a great napping place.  He has good taste.  He is snuggled up to a skein of alpaca!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekend Knitting

Happy weekend Knitters! 

I have been enjoying the wonderful weather, gardening, visiting with friends and knitting.  Weekends don't get much better than this.

This is a new skein of Rainbow Lopi, an alpaca/merino/bamboo blend  that I got from Ziraldo Alpacas when Debbie was the guest demonstrator at our guild meeting on Wed night. I am hoping to cast on tonight for either a pair of mitts or a cowl.  There is only 105 yds so I may have to get creative.    I was wondering about knitting mitts and doing the cuffs in a different yarn.  Any other ideas??

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Patons Next Steps Eight Fair Isle Knitting - Third Finished Project!

For those of you who are new to this blog, let me catch you up on my year long knitting adventure. At the beginning of the year I had this great idea to knit my way through every pattern in this Patons pattern book.

The third knitting project from this book is finished!  The sweater is called "My First Fair Isle Sweater".  While this was not my first time knitting a fair isle sweater I loved knitting this pattern.  The large needles and yarn and the easy to follow colour work pattern make it quick knit and an easy pattern for a beginner fair isle knitter.

Let's take a look at how this sweater came together.

4.5mm and 5.5mm circular needles
Patons Classic Wool Roving - Pumpkin, Aran, Yellow, Grey, Cloverleaf
This sweater is knit from the bottom up with the body knit in the round until you reach the armholes - no seams to worry about! 

The sleeves are each knit seperately then joined to the body of the sweater to begin the fun part - the fair isle colour work!

Again, when knitting the colour work pattern you are working in the round and you are knitting from an easy to follow chart and you are only knitting with two colours in each round.  One thing to note if you have had some experience knitting from charts on a flat piece of knitting where you read RS rows right to left and WS rows left to right, when you are knitting from a chart in the round you will always read each row of your chart from the right to left.
Knitting this sweater pattern introduces us to the technique of "stranding" our non working colour along the back of our work.  As you are knitting along from the chart you want to keep in mind that you don't want to carry your non working colour any more than 5 sts across the back of your work to prevent excessively long "floats" that may catch as you are putting the sweater on and off.  You also want to keep this stranded yarn loose to keep your knitting lying flat without any puckering.  The picture below shows you the inside of the sweater.   As you can see, our floats (the non working yarn) are short strands covering 3, 4 or 5  knit sts then it is "caught" by the working yarn  to prevent  those long floats.  Example, we have just finished knitting with the yellow to knit a circle.  Now our chart is telling us to knit 8 white sts.  We will knit 4 white sts, pick up the yellow wool and loosley lay it across your working white yarn and continue knitting the next 4 white sts.  Then pick up the yellow and begin the next circle. 
and before you know it you have a finished sweater!
If reading this has you thinking you would like to give fair isle knitting a try but you don't want to jump right in with a sweater, take a look at the first two projects from the book. If anyone is interested in knitting the headband or the cowl and has questions or needs some help along the way leave me a comment or send me an email and I will be glad to help you!

Happy Fair Isle Knitting and a big thank you to my model!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Three Days with Lucy Neatby!

At the beginning of May, one of our local yarn stores, The Wool Boutique hosted 3 days of knitting classes taught by the amazing Lucy Neatby! 
The first day of class was a full day learning about short rows and the various techniques we can use to knit short rows, when and how to pick up those wrapped sts and ways short rows can be used in our knitting.  Lots of great info.
 The next morning was all about picking up stitches and knitting bands and buttonholes!

Would you think this would end up as a buttonhole?

It does! Lucy calls these Magic Buttonholes and they really are magic.

Then the afternoon was all about steeks and cutting your knitting. This is always a lot of fun and a little nerve wracking when you pick up those scissors to make that first cut! 

The last day of classes was all about knitting toe up socks. This was the easiest way I have ever started a toe up sock.  We did the toe in garter stitch but it can also be knit in stocking st.
This is the after thought heel in progress.
What an amazing three days!  If you ever have a chance to go to one of Lucy's classes, GO! She has a great teaching style and so much knitting knowledge to share!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Knitter's Frolic

Two weekends ago a group of us from the Knitting Goddesses Guild took a road trip to the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto.

This was the first time I had been able to make it to this show and what can I say about having 60 knitting vendors all under one roof except amazing!

There was lots and lots of shopping available,

we were able to eat our lunch outside and enjoy the warm Spring weather and show off our morning purchases,
and this is the yarn that I came home with.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday :)