Last month in the lead up to Christmas Bendigo Woollen Mills released a couple of their face washer patterns as free patterns. You had the choice of either a knitted or crocheted version, I download both but decided on the crocheted version PT 8419 to use for the face washers for this years charity bags. The pattern has 4 patterns within it. Each pattern looks a little different but they are all roughly the same size. The patterns are still available on the website if you click the above link.
Originally I thought I might try doing 3 of the 4 patterns. Urchin was the first I tried. It is really simple to remember and really mindless crochet. I tried a couple of the others but I didn’t feel the same rhythm as I was making them. My tension didn’t feel right so I decided to just stick the Urchin pattern for all 3. They are each made in the recommended 8ply cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills that I had in my stash. I still have some of the pink but I have now used nearly all of the blue and lilac in various projects over the years.
These took no time to make. As I mentioned the patterns are easy to follow, even the others that I didn’t try this time. Each pattern only has 2 rows, a set up row then the row which you continue on for the rest of the face washer. These are really good waiting time patterns, patterns you can make whilst you’re waiting at the doctors or waiting for a train. You can just put them down when you need to and pick them up again to do a few stitches. I’m always thinking ahead so I might make these again next year or even to add to gifts this year. I know how quickly I can make them so they are good last minutes gifts.
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!
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 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.
This pattern was one of those patterns in your stash that you keep saying I must make that one day and when you do it comes together so quickly you think why did I wait so long?
This bangle pattern is a free pattern by Amber O’Brein. I found this pattern maybe a couple of years ago and I finally got around to making it yesterday. It uses DK weight yarn but you could use any yarn by just adjusting your needle size. For this one I used some white Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton.
I am clearly not a hand model. Depending how fast you knit you could make this in an hour. To be honest it probably took me longer to cast on the stitches using the long tail cast on method then it did to knit the entire bangle. I was trying to estimate how long to leave my tail by wrapping the yarn around my needle so many times then using that length to fold over the yarn to measure out. My first two attempts left me short of yarn, my final attempt gave me too much tail yarn which I just snipped down to a small tail to weave in at the end.
This will not be the last one you will see me making. This is the first in a set for an outfit for Frocktails hopefully but I’m also thinking of all this other yarn in my stash that would be perfect for bangles. Then of course make a smaller size and you have kids presents.
When I was planning my Frocktails outfit for this year I decided I wanted some soft of wrap or shawl for over my shoulders as I hate air conditioning. I had plenty of black cotton in my stash so I went hunting for patterns to make. On Ravelry I came across Seeds Of Roan. The border detail really stood out and I liked the look of it.
Knit wise it was fairly easy. I did stuff the border a couple of time in parts but it isn’t that noticeable and frankly I’m not that much of a perfectionist to care about it and go back to fix it. For the most part it was really mindless knitting. The pattern called for DK cotton which is what I thought I had in my stash. When I pulled my yarn out I discovered it was only 4ply so I used 2 strands to make it DK. This was the first time I’d ever knitted a project with double strands and it fairly easy to do. From memory I didn’t have any issues with it.
Wearing wise it was really comfortable. It gave me just enough coverage over my shoulders that I needed and didn’t feel too hot or cold. I was worried a bit that it might not stay on my shoulders and maybe I would need a shawl pin or something to keep it in place but I didn’t have any issues with it falling.
I call this my Seeds Of Bendigo shawl as the yarn is from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I got it a while ago maybe in sale to make another project but never did so it had just been sitting under my bed doing nothing. I still have a fair bit of the yarn left over as even knitting this double stranded it didn’t take up that much yarn. I will use it in other projects but it was good to use some of it up at least in this project.
Ok so I kind of feel odd talking about shrinking clothing on a craft blog cause I haven’t done anything crafty to this.
I brought a 100% cotton knit jacket last year on sale but when I got home I realised unfortunately it was just too big in the shoulders. I love baggy clothing but this was beyond loose fitting. Instead of sending it to the charity shop I thought with it being 100% cotton I’d attempt to shrink it first. I pre-shrink all my cottons when I do sewing so whats the difference. I never shrunk clothes on purpose before so it was a good experiment.
I took a picture of it under a purple shirt so I could do a before and after photo and see if there was a difference. In the before shot you can see the shoulder area is very large. The sleeves look a bit long and it even looks a little wide.
I washed it in hot water on the longest cycle (60mins) then stuck it in into a dryer on high for 75 mins. I took the after photos then let it dry for a day or two just hanging up inside to make sure it was fully dry. In the after shot you can see that the shoulder area is significantly smaller. The width is slightly smaller too. With the shoulders smaller the sleeve length reduced too.
I’m really happy with the size now. I think it has gone down 2 sizes. When I brought this I brought another jacket same style but in different colour one size smaller. This jacket is now smaller then the other one which I don’t mind. This jacket was a bargain buy and now I can get full use of it. I want to get into altering clothes I already have so this was a good taste test to see if I could. I know I didn’t do much expect put it in a washing machine but baby steps.