Thursday, October 31, 2013

Charity Knitting

With the cold weather fast approaching it is the perfect time to start thinking about knitting a few items for charity.  The Thursday afternoon knitting group that I belong to is knitting for a charity that supports the Children's Aid Society.

These are the start of my contribution.

These wrist warmers are knit sideways and are so simple.  Here is my pattern - all 4 rows of it.

Yarn - 100g worsted weight yarn
Needle - 4.5mm (US 7)

Cast on 30 sts
Knit in Garter Stitch for 7"
Cast off
Sew side seam leaving an opening for the thumb

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thorndale Knitters - Learn to Knit Info

This afternoon was the second Learn to Knit class at Ziraldo Alpacas.  It is always fun to be greeted by the alpacas when I arrive!  I know that the grey alpaca is Rosemary but I am not sure who her friend is but she was very friendly.

We went through a lot of new techniques today so as promised here are some pictures along with a description that will hopefully help if you get stuck along the way this week while knitting at home.
Garter Stitch (see picture below)
When you knit every stitch of every row (no purling in Garter Stitch) you get these ridges. This is what you all knit last week.  Garter stitch works great for an edging so your work doesn't curl.

Stocking Stitch
When you knit on the right side of your work (where the stitches make a "V") and when you turn your work you purl on the wrong side (the side with the bumps).  Remember to "do what you see".  When you have your needles all set to start working the next stitch; look at your stitches.  What do you see?  If you see V's you knit, if you see bumps you purl.
Knit into the front of the stitch - needle into the stitch, wrap it and scoop it under leaving the old st on the left needle.
Pull the right needle a tiny bit towards you, then swing it behind the left needle, then pick up the back of the stitch on the left needle needle tip to needle tip. Continue knitting this st by wrapping the back needle, pull/scoop it back through the st on the left needle and let the st fall off the left needle.

You will see a wrap around the bottom of the increased stitch

With the yarn in front of your work, insert the right needle from right to left in front of the left needle, wrap the front needle counter clockwise, scoop the right needle under the leg of the st on the left needle, slide the old st off the left needle.
 Casting Off
Knit 2 sts onto the right needle,

 pick up the back stitch needle tip to needle tip,
and lift it up, over and off the right needle, pull the left needle out.  Knit one more st so that you are back to 2 sts on the right needle and continue to the end of the row.
I hope this helps!  Good luck with your stocking stitch and increases for the top of your mitten.  If you get stuck please email me and we will get you back on track.
Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

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

As with all the projects in Next Steps Eight Fair Isle Knitting this was a lot of fun to knit.  If you have been following my posts over the last year you will see how the patterns have become more intricate with each project.
This is the back of the pillow in progress.  The back was knit with only two colours of Patons Classic Wool and was the full size of the pillow.  This knit up fine.

Then, I do have to admit that I did experience an extreme case of "Knitters Block" when starting the blocks for the front side of this pillow.  I had the worst time picking the third colour and getting started.  I would get as far as swatching and not be happy with it and set it aside for days then try again.

This was my first try.  I used Flagstone with the Lemongrass and didn't think there was enough contrast so I tried Winter White.  It was better but still not what I was looking for.

Then on a whim I tried the aquarmarine.  I wasn't sure what it was going to look like with Lemongrass but as soon as I started knitting this colour combination I loved it!  Once the four square were knit them I blocked them before sewing everything together.
Here is the finished pillow. As you might notice right in the center of the pillow the stripes didn't quite line up.  After 3 tries at seaming and reseaming I still couldn't get them to look perfect so I improvised a bit......

 with duplicate stitch right in the center where all four blocks join.  What do you think of the result?  I am know really happy with the finished pillow.

 The next project is now on the needles. Another finished blog post will be here soon!  If you have a minute take a look at Patons new website!!

Happy Knitting!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today was a Teaching Day

 Today was the first afternoon of the Learn to Knit class that I was asked to teach at Ziraldo Alpacas.  Debbie offered a farm tour to the students before the class started so everyone had a chance to see the alpacas up close.  This girl is definitely proving that the grass IS greener on the other side!

I met five new knitters and we had a great class learning the long tail cast on, the knit stitch, how to pick up a dropped stitch and the benefits of using a life line.

I decided to knit along with the students so here is the start of my mitten.  Everyone did amazing today and picked everything up quickly.  Have fun knitting this week!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Store Bought vs Hand Knit Quality

The last time I saw my daughter wearing one of her favourite store bought cardigans I noticed a huge hole in the sleeve with stitches dropping in every direction. It was a Knitter's nightmare!  So of course I offered to fix the hole for her.  

I picked up the live stitches on the top and bottom of the hole, picked up as many dropped stitches as I could and graphed the 2 rows of stitches back together. 

When I actually straightened out the sleeve to look at my handy work (where the needle is pointing in top pic) I was pleased with my "patch" job but was shocked to see the quality of the seam on the outside of the sleeve (where needle is pointing in bottom pic). This is the right side of the sweater!?!?!? 

I'm a pretty easy going Knitter and don't always pull out all of my mistakes if they really can't be noticed but THIS I would be fixing for sure.  Maybe I should reknit the whole sweater....or maybe I should contact the manufacturer and let them know that I offer knitting classes focusing on finishing techniques such as the mattress stitch!!!