Purl Crush

Last year I knitted my first ever Westknits pattern Purlbreak. I loved it so much I decided to knit myself a second one.

Purl Crush 3

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.

Purl Crush 4

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.

Purl Crush 5

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.

Purl Crush Dropped Stitch

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.

Purl Crush 1

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!

Cassiy

Dishcloth Samples

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.

PT 8323

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

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.

Cassiy

 

B’s 2020 Birthday Socks

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.

Cassiy

 

Charity Melds 2020

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.

Meld Charity 1
Shawl 1
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

Meld Charity 2
Shawl 2
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!

Meld Charity 3
Shawl 3
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.

Cassiy

Muted Meld

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.

Cassiy

 

Yarn Hits And Misses 2019

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.

Cassiy

Handmade Charity Bag Extras 2019

For my charity bags this year I did make a few things to add into them.

 

Firstly were the sleeping eye masks. All the fabric and supplies came from my stash. The fabric used was leftover from another project, the elastic and binding were items I had on hand. A useful project made from stash items.

The second thing I made were infinity scarves from the leftover fabric of my Brickwork poncho. These are narrower than the infinity scarf I made for myself but I think are still a good size. They folded nicely to fit in the bags. The brickwork fabric has 3 colours in it – blue, gray and white. I realised I had the same shades of cotton yarn in my stash to match so I had to knit bangles to match the scarves! Knitted bangles are super easy to do. I love that I could make them match the scarves. I knitted myself a set of the bangles to match my poncho whilst I was making these.

I loved adding in handmade items into the bags this year. It is something I will do again for next years bags. I’m not sure what I will make yet, bangles for sure but as for other things I’m undecided at this time. I have 12 months to figure it out!

Cassiy

Culling Me Made Clothing And Accessories

So my decluttering journey continues. This time it was opening my drawers and culling items of clothing and accessories that I have made that I just don’t wear.

So what did I cull and why?

Basket Weave Skirt and Scarf

 

I don’t think I have even really worn this skirt since I made it even though the fabric was so soft. I thought I would wear it in Winter but I never did. When I made it the sizing was a little bit big and I know since I have made it I have lost weight so it would be falling off me now so out it went. There is no point in keeping the matching scarf which I made from the leftover fabric so that went too.

Roewood Skirt


As much as I love the colour and the fabric was really funky in texture I have only worn this a couple of times. The fit was a nice fit and I was really happy with that but the main thing for not wearing it I think was the fabric. It is a nylon spandex and I just don’t wear synthetic fabrics. I enjoyed making this skirt. The texture of the fabric was fun as it felt like fish scales but I have so many skirts and I don’t wear it. I would make the pattern again but this time in a cotton spandex not nylon.

A+ Skirts Green And Blue

I have made several of this skirt pattern but these 2 versions I just don’t wear. There is nothing wrong with them. As mentioned I have lost weight and the version I wear the most is currently taken in at the waist by a safety pin (needs permanent alteration) Before I had more skirts in my wardrobe I was wearing these a lot but now I have so many skirts I can’t remember the last time I wore each one

Longshaw Skirt

I nicknamed this my origami skirt due to how it freaked out my brain trying to fold it all together.   wore this skirt a few times last summer. The pockets are fantastic! I don’t know if it is the colour or the print but I always felt this skirt made me look too hippy. Not in the free spirted way more in the hips are huge way (which I know they are not) I want to make a black version of this pattern to see if the shape of this skirt really works for me but I know this version isn’t crash hot on me.

PJ Top

This was my first attempt at making clothing for myself back in 2014 although I never finished this until 2015. I have worn this top a couple of times but it way too big for me. I’m not comfortable in it as the neckline is too big. I am “Miss Paranoid” who is always concerned about getting a chill in my shoulders. This top does not give me the shoulder coverage. I think I even gave the pattern during my purge earlier this month. I don’t wear long sleeve shirts to bed so I won’t be making this again. It was a good learning experience so not a total waste.

PJ Pants

These pants were made from an old poly satin sheet. It was only reading my blog post back I remembered thinking they looked like scrub pants. Not just the style of them but more the classic operating theatre scrub colour. I wore them a few times but I stopped wearing them. From memory they were a bit big and were a trip hazard. Last year I took a tumble when my foot got caught in a pair of store brought pj pants and I stopped wearing anything really long baggy. I still have this pattern and would like to make more of them but this pair I don’t wear.

Pink Beanie

I am not a pink person. I made this when I was volunteering at a charity event with a pink theme. Sadly I don’t volunteer anymore at it. I could save it as a spare beanie for Mr StitchNSew but he has enough beanies in colours he actually wears so this one can go.

Tunisian Scarf

This scarf is now a felted scarf after I accidently washed it on the wrong setting in the washing machine. Even though it is felted there is nothing wrong with it. It is still lovely and soft but I just never get around to wearing it. I’d rather pass it on for someone else to get use out of it.

For me it wasn’t hard to cull my me made items. I know some people struggle to part with things that they have made and I can understand their reasoning for finding it hard. Whatever you make there is a lot of time, costs and hard work that goes into making each item. I don’t know if I find it easier as I have been making gifts for years so I’m used to items I’ve made leaving my house or if it is because I am detaching myself from the emotional side of things when as I am decluttering. I don’t want to get all Marie Kondo and say I have picked up each item and asked myself “does it spark joy in my life?” That wasn’t how I looked at my clothing and all the items I’m in the process of decluttering. I look at it purely from a practicality side.

Do I wear it or use it?
Do I have another item that forms the same purpose?
Do I have the space for it?

If the answer is no then out it goes. I am not short of any clothing so there is no chance of me going naked anytime soon – the world breaths a sigh of relief 😉  I have more clothing than I actually need if I am to be honest. It isn’t just me made items I’m culling there are a lot of store brought items too that have gone and will continue to go from my wardrobe. I’m happy to take them to the charity bin. I would rather someone else get use out of them than them just sitting in my drawers and wardrobe. Every item I make is a chance to practice my skills on or try a new pattern or work with a new fabric. It wasn’t a wasted time making it. In a couple of years I will go through my wardrobe including my me made items again and cull items I’m no longer wearing. By then my style might have changed or maybe the colours I like might change – there will always be lots of blue Maybe I will go crazy and make 20 of the same pattern to find out I’m only wearing the same 3 each time, who knows what will be in my wardrobe.

Cassiy

 

 

Off My Needles – More Knitting No More

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.

Cassiy

Groovy Shawl

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.

Cassiy