Last year I knitted my first ever Westknits pattern Purlbreak. I loved it so much I decided to knit myself a second one.
This time I used 8ply cottons from my stash. These were actually the first limited edition cotton crush colours Bendigo Woollen released early 2017. I’ve used them a few times now in various projects. Playing around I decided I really liked these 4 colours together. The official colours are sambuca, orange, sherbet and grape. I wasn’t sure how cottons would go in this pattern but they were fantastic.
This was such a relaxing knit. I started it at the end of January just after I did all my Meld shawls. Last year when I made this I had my row counter by my side clicking the rows during all the colour sections and I had my pattern by my side. This year once I started on colour stripes I didn’t bother using my row counter to count the rows I just remembered the pattern and I could see what I needed to do differently each row. It was only when I was doing the colour blocks at the end that I used the row counter again to ensure I did the same amount each section.
I love big shawls and this is a huge one. Once again I didn’t bother blocking this.
1. I don’t normally block cotton shawls
2. I finished it just as I was getting to the final weeks of packing to move so I didn’t have the ability to block things as all my blocking tools were packed.
Knitting confessions… I have a bad habit of putting my knitting down mid row on the lounge and leaving it to do other things. I try and push it back on the needles so the live stitches don’t fall off. Things happen, needles get bumped and on more than one occasion I have lost stitches resulting in me having to rip back my project and start again as I couldn’t rescue it. In last years version I dropped a stitch, tried to fix it and was somewhat successful but it looked messy as it wasn’t the correct way. This year when the same thing happened I decided to learn how to fix it. Once it was stretched out a little you couldn’t even see the 2 places I lost stitches so I am pretty proud of that.
I finished this at the start of April, almost 12 months to the date of finishing my first one coincidently. I am yet to wear it as it is only just starting to get to knitwear weather but I can’t wait to wear it. I adore the colour combination even though I’m not a pink person. The colours are bright and funky. Despite some of the facial expressions of looking like a deer in the headlights (I struggle to look straight at a camera thanks to dodgy eyes) I love this shawl.
I have a few Westknits patterns in my stash. Some are a little more complicated and I want to start trying those…. Or I may end up knitting another one of these!
I wasn’t aware that Bendigo Woollen Mills had started to release their patterns as PDF’s. Recently I was looking on their website and noticed the option. You can purchase the patterns from their website or through Ravelry. The cost is the same but if you are only just wanting a pattern and you are not buying yarn then buying the PDF is cheaper and more instant.
I was looking for a pattern for a knitted baby blanket. Previously I’ve crocheted baby blankets but never knitted one. 2 patterns from Bendigo Woollen Mills caught my eye. I decided to do a dishcloth of each one to see if I liked it knitted up. I need new dishcloths anyway so it was a practical way to test the pattern. The patterns tell you the stitch count for a tension square. I looked at the overall stitch count and worked out the stich count needed for a dishcloth the size I wanted so I would get a full mini version of the pattern.
Courtsey Bendigo Woollen Mills
I’m calling this one a basket weave design. I like the design from the picture. This blanket is designed for cotton and only comes in one size. Knitting wise it is a really simple pattern to follow. I was using a row counter as you do need to keep track of the rows to follow the pattern. It is a very mindless knit however I did add stitch markers between the sections that the pattern doesn’t tell you to do.
PT 8517 Slip Stitch Blanket in 5, 8, 12 Ply
Courtsey Bendigo Woollen Mills
Again I liked the design in the picture. As the title mentions you can make multiple sizes of this blanket. You can use any number of the yarns from Bendigo Woollen Mills or one of your own choosing with this pattern. This design looks complicated but it is actually rather easy. You do have to concentrate on your rows more with this one but it isn’t hard with your row counter. Again I added stitch markers between repeats so I could keep track. I’m not used to following repeated stitch patterns and find it hard to keep count. The stitch markers made less room for error as there was only 4 stitches in a section.
To show honesty when I first photographed the PT 8517 dishcloth I actually took photos of the wrong side. It was only when I went to add it into this post that I noticed the error. The reverse side is showing a nice pattern too so really it doesn’t matter which way up you place it.
For the blanket I’m using 8 ply classic yarn but for the dishcloths I used 8 ply cotton. I knew the cotton would stretch more than the classic so I took that into consideration when deciding on which one I liked better. The basket weave one is nice but it looked a little uneven. My OCD means if I see a pattern it needs to line up and be even. I like repeats of a pattern but only if the repeat looks the same. Also I wasn’t happy with the edges, they didn’t look neat. The slip stitch one to me looked better. The pattern was more even. The pattern does switch every so many rows but as you look at the overall piece those repeats are the same. I found it easier on the eye.
I have started the baby blanket and it is looking good. Instead of putting markers every 4 stitches I have spread it out to 8. It is still very easy to follow and I am not losing track of the pattern. I’m finding it a relaxing knit.
These socks in this form weren’t on my original gift list for this year. I was planning on making B socks or something for her birthday but with different yarn. Unfortunately that yarn is packed away so when I saw some yarn at Lincraft I went and purchased a ball.
I didn’t actually know Lincraft sold a sock yarn until I saw it advertised. It is 75/25 wool/nylon mix. It isn’t as soft as some sock yarns. To me it feels very similar to Regia sock yarn. It is a sock yarn that I would only use for socks and not hats. If you were a bit yarn sensitive I wouldn’t suggest this yarn. If you don’t have any issues with yarn I think it is a good little yarn.
These socks have a story behind them in the making. When I first started these socks I forgot the cuff was 1×1 rib and I did 2×2 rib. I magic loop my socks, if you are not familiar with the term it where you use one circular needle instead of using double pointed needles. I use 60 stitches for these and I couldn’t work out why my 2×2 rib wasn’t working out even when I finished my first needle. I cast these on twice after my 1st attempt was wrong with my stitch count so I thought. On my 2nd attempt I was still off so I just adjusted one needle with the extra 2 stitches so it worked out even in the end. It was only once I finished the cuff I discovered the pattern is 1×1 rib. No drama I just put it in my notes in Ravelry so I would make the 2nd sock the same. My next debacle was the heal flap. On the purl side I did the wrong pattern so I was slipping every 2nd stitch and wasn’t meant to, once again I put it in my notes to do the same 2nd sock. It was interesting to do that error as I discovered it meant the flap was very tight when I slipped every 2nd stitch. After I started the gusset I discovered I dropped a stitch. I pulled the sock off my needles and started again.
On my 2nd attempt at these socks I did go up a needle size to 2.75mm. I am a tight knitter and they just felt too tight using 2.5mm needles. I followed the 1×1 rib pattern on the cuff and had no issues with these. These flew off my needles once I got going. The pattern I use is a very basic sock pattern. It is easy to follow and I just noticed on the Ravelry notes it gives stitch counts for different sizes so you can adapt it to anyone really.
Between socks I forget how addictive sock knitting is, after I finish a pair of socks I start to get withdrawals. Sock knitting isn’t hard to do. Using a really mindless pattern means you can just knit away and relax. You do have to remember a few techniques but once you learn them and refer to your pattern to ensure you are doing the correct one it is simple.
In my Muted Meld post I mentioned I had knitted 3 for charity and here they are. To be honest the way I have numbered them is the not the order I knitted them in but that isn’t important. All the yarn used is Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton Crush colours which they originally did a number of years ago. As with my Muted Meld I haven’t blocked these I just stretched them out on the ground to photograph.
I’m calling this Pine Lime as the colours in it were pineapple and lime but to me the green is more a muted green then what I would call a lime. I was worried that the colours might look too much like the Australia colours green and gold as the pineapple colour is more a gold colour but mixed with the white it doesn’t look too bad I think
I’m calling this one Coconut Ice as it reminds me of the sweet coconut ice. Perhaps it was a bad colour to photograph it on but I really like the pink and purple combination here. I just want to eat this shawl as the colours look delicious. I have never wanted to eat knitwear before but there is something about this one!
This is Sunny meld. I shouldn’t play favourites but this was this first of the 3 charity ones I knitted and is my favourite of all. The burnt orange and the gold together just make me think sunshine. It is bright and cheery. I wasn’t sure how the white would look as the 3rd colour but after adding it I thought it gave it like a nice border so that is why I then used it as the 3rd colour in my other shawls. It was also using up a white yarn in my stash that I am unlikely to use for knitwear for myself as I am not really a white person.
To recap the pattern I used was Meld by Lisa Mutch. It is a really simple pattern to do but I must warn if just like with doing any pattern on repeat if you knit a total of 4 in a short period of time you will eventually get sick of it. Perhaps I should’ve spread knitting these out over the months but because the yarn was there, the pattern was fresh in my head and my needles were out I just did one after the other. By the last one I was a little bit over the pattern but again that was only from repetitiveness. These will go in this year’s Share The Dignity charity bags with some matching knitted bangles which I haven’t done yet. I might use this pattern again next year to make more.
I had the Meld shawl pattern from Lisa Mutch of North Bound Knitting since early last year, I think I got it when she had it as a free Ravelry pattern for a short period. Before Christmas I felt like knitting a relaxing project and after reading the instructions I decided to give it a try.
The yarn I used was some Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply cottons I had in my stash. The pattern is designed to use 3 colours but after I started this I decided the 2 colours looked good as is so I just repeated the navy instead of adding in an additional colour. I really like the muted tones these two colours seem to be.
Aside from changing the amount of colours used I also added 2 extra increase rows (row 3) and one extra row 4 to the bottom of the shawl to use up the navy yarn. Before I put in the rows I put in a life line on the chance I wouldn’t have enough yarn. My only mistake was when I was threading my life line yarn through the stitches I put it through my non removable stitch markers, I should have weave around them. It wasn’t such a big deal as I didn’t do too many additional rows but in future I will go around them if I do it again. Knitting wise it was such an easy knit without being boring. I finished it within 2 weeks. I opted not to block it. If it is something for me and is made from cotton I often won’t bother blocking it. I’m lazy but also often I’m not fussed about seeing detailed stitch patterns.
This pattern was so easy and kind of addictive that I decided to make them for my charity Share The Dignity bags this year. Having plenty of 8 ply cottons in my stash to use up it was an easy decision to make. I think they will make a nice addition to the bags this year. Everyone deserves a knitted shawl. They are all finished and I will post them here soon.
I brought 3 blank skeins of sock yarn from Bendigo Woollen Mills years ago with the aim to paint them. Late last year I finally got around to make the yarn up into basic shapes so I could paint them with liquid radiance.
I just did basic crochet shapes to make an easier surface to paint. Crochet is really easy to unravel and is super quick to do. I wasn’t really counting stitches I was just doing mindless crochet to make flat pieces.
I had no real plan with my colours when I painted these. I didn’t want anything too messy as I wasn’t sure how the paint would bleed on the yarn and on the chance it did I didn’t want just a big mess of colour resembling pea soup (or grey sewer water) Luckily the colours didn’t bleed too much but did give the yarn enough coverage (I hope) I left these in the sun to dry all day. I haven’t heat set the colour yet as I packed away all my liquid radiance instruction books before I did these and I can’t remember if you need to add steam when you heat set these or not. When I do heat set these I will use a pressing cloth and the Teflon cover to protect my iron so the yarn doesn’t melt.
I can’t wait to heat set these and then ball them up to see what the colours are like. I do have plans for these but they will have to wait.
So I have done a recap of my sewing year for 2019 so here is my knitting year. I think I spent more time knitting and crocheting this year than I did sewing. Knitting and crocheting is something I can just pick up and do when I have a minute here or there.
My favourite item for the year was Daybreak. It was the first West Knits pattern I’ve ever done and I loved it. I wore it most of winter. The yarn feels so delicious and the colours went well together.
If I had to pick a least favourite which is bad to say but it would be my Groovy shawl. There is nothing wrong with this pattern I just got bored knitting it. It is really easy and mindless knitting but there was just something about it that lost me. It seem to feel very slow knitting it and maybe that is why it lost my attention.
My favourite pattern for the year was Knitted Bangles. Super easy and quick to do. You can make them with any yarn that you have. They make a perfect gift or can be made to go with different outfits. I am doing more of those next year.
I have enjoyed knitting and crocheting for others this year. The beanies that I made for B were relaxing knits. I am really proud of the virus shawl I made as a gift. I have also done a lot of knitting and crocheting for charity this year which is something I enjoy doing.
This year seems have been a year of knitting failures which I did blog about. Some patterns were a little complicated some I don’t know what happened they just weren’t working for me. I’m hoping to restart them next year.
My day trip to Bendigo is my yarn highlight for the year. It was so much fun that day. After using their yarn for so many years it was fun to go and visit the actual shop. I haven’t made anything yet from the yarn I purchased but I will.
My yarn plans for 2020 really are just to start using the yarn I have in my stash which is a lot. I have decluttered some yarn I’m not going to use but I still have heaps. At this point I have one project that I know which is crocheted poncho. As mentioned I want to attempt a couple of the patterns I failed this year but I don’t really have a list or deadline for yarn projects. I will just go with what I feel like.
I’m not crazy cat lady but I have made toys for cats for Christmas!
I used the same football pattern that I had made previously. These are just basic stuffed amigurumi toys or in simpler terms just crocheted toys. I didn’t put any catnip in them as I didn’t have any. If I decide to make more cat toys I might get some catnip to put in with the stuffing. The yarn I used was Stylecraft Special DK. It is an acrylic yarn but I like working with it as it so soft.
These never actually started out as cat toys. I started the first ball in November last year when I went up north to my friends place for a couple of days with the intention of them being a kids gift this year I came home put the project bag down and never got around to finishing them. Whilst clearing up my spare room I came across the project bag and guess what was in the bag my missing 3mm crochet hook! Instead of wasting the half finished ball I decided to finish it. Just like human kids no one likes to share their toys so I had to make a 2nd one.
These toys are for my knitting helpers that I had when I was working on B’s Birthday socks in January. For cats that aren’t used to being around yarn (my friend isn’t crafty) they were really well behaved both times I was up there working with my yarn around them.
Feeling good after making these. It is a fun pattern and I’m glad my original toy didn’t go to waste.
Whilst 2019 has been a year where I have knitted some lovely items it has also been a year where I have had a lot of knitting fails. I’m not sure why but I have lost my knitting mojo this year at times. Do you call it knitjo? Needlejo? Yarnjo? Whatever it is called it seems to be lacking a bit this year.
I started my Correa Wrap which I just couldn’t get the pattern right after trying it several times without success the yarn is off my needles sitting in a cupboard waiting to be started again at some point. I really do want to knit this after buying the kit.
My next fail was a cowl I started using my most expensive yarn. It was a simple linen stitch pattern but when I dropped a couple of stitches by accident my project fell to pieces. I didn’t have the knitting experience to rescue the stitches and besides I wasn’t too happy with the size needles I had been using so it was another project that was taken from my needles to be started again in the future. This time I need to make sure that between knitting time on it I push my stitches down my needles so they don’t slip off. I’ll also try larger needles.
The latest projects to come off my needles are 2 sets of socks. I attempted to knit another pair of Rye socks. Rye socks were the first socks I ever made finishing an entire pair in 2 weeks. This time I just wasn’t happy with them. I used a different size needle on my cuff and left a longer tails yarn which left me panicking that I wasn’t going to have another yarn to finish the sock. Even though I was ¾ through finishing sock 1 I’ve decided to take them off my needles. My tension didn’t feel right overall. I split my front panel on my magic loop when I was doing the gusset and I know it isn’t terribly noticeable I can see the pattern looks slightly off and it is right in the centre of the foot. I will make them again but just not now. Earlier this year I started a pair of pink calf length socks for myself. These aren’t really a knitting fail but more a knitting not going to wear. Knowing my sock wearing style I don’t wear calf length socks anymore. I have taken them off my needles and will instead do ankle length socks which I know I will wear and I need to start replacing my store brought socks.
Yes it has been disappointing that I have had a few knitting fails this year but I’m not going to let that get me down. I know I can knit and when it feels right I will get all the above projects made.
I finished this shawl back in August but have only just managed to share it on here now.
The pattern is Groovy by Jumper Cables. There are a couple versions of this same pattern – one for DK weight yarn and one for lace or fingering weight yarn. I purchased the DK version then remembered the yarn I was using was 4ply but instead of rebuying the pattern I just read on Ravelry the notes of other people who had made it previously to discover it was only just different needle sizes you were using and not really a change in the pattern. I used some 4ply Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton that I have in my stash to make this. When I first saw this pattern I immediately fell for the texture pattern it has. I love the contrasting pattern in the stripes or sections. You can’t really see from the photos but on one edge it has almost like a fan texture where you decrease a certain number of stitches each section.
This is a really simple knit pattern with only knit and purl stitches. You do have to keep track of your rows but with a row counter that is easy to do. I will be honest in the end I did get bored with this pattern and couldn’t wait for it to be off my needles. From memory I did put it down for a couple of weeks as I needed a break from it but when I picked it up again I just wanted it finished. As I used 4ply yarn it wasn’t a fast knit. The pattern was relatively mindless knitting but maybe a little too mindless for me. Saying that I wouldn’t mind knitting this again in DK yarn which would knit up a lot faster. I didn’t bother to block it. Blocking would have stretched out the pattern more but I kind of like narrowness of sections unblocked, it shows the texture more.
This is a nice little shawl to have in my stash if I want some lite around my neck and as it is cotton I won’t have my skin irritation issues I get with some yarns.