Grain Shawl

I knitted my stash!! I wanted to join a knit-along held by the Grocery Girls in their Ravelry group in which you knitted a pattern by Tin Can Knits. I set myself the rule that is if I was going to join in I had to knit yarn from stash, no buying new stuff for this.

The pattern I chose was the Grain Shawl, some Tin Can Knits patterns you do need to buy but this one is a free pattern. This pattern just jumped out at me so I knew I had to knit it. I used 8ply Bendigo Woollen Mills cottons I had in my stash, the colours I think are Kiwi, Fawn, Honeydew and Moss. The first 3 colours are still available but I am not sure if the dark green (moss) is.

This shawl was a new challenge for me where I learnt some new techniques. There are some fantastic tutorials that accompany this pattern which step you through how to things. I had never knitted a shawl where you start in the centre and work outwards, I did a provisional cast on for the first time. Another new thing believe it or not is I had never done a yarn over. I had to go learn how to do them just to make this. I used dangly stitch markers for the first time, they were an experience in themselves to learn how to use because if you didn’t flip them the right way you accidentally knitted them into your garment when you did your yarn overs.

There are several ways you can wear this. Personally I don’t think I will wear it wrapped around the front hanging down unless I had a jacket on. With the bulk of it and the fact my front is bulky as it is it I just look like I am wearing a giant bib.

The way I will wear it is wrapped around my shoulders. Although it a large shawl it looks slim line wrapped around, the bulk is spread out and not so in one spot. Summer or winter this will be great to wear in an office at work.

I knitted this on a 3mm needle. I decided to knit continental style and my tension is looser this way so I needed to go down to that size to get the fabric tension I wanted. I wanted to have this off my needles before I went to my sock class and mission accomplished. This flew off the needles and I finished it in about 22 days, I didn’t block it.  The pattern doesn’t tell you when to change colours so you could do as many or as little as you wanted. From the centre spine I was measuring around 7″ of rows for the greens and about 3″ for the fawn. Personally I am not a big fan of ombre or tonal fades so that is why didn’t do my colours lightest to darkest.

This is brilliant simple mindless knit pattern, you knit until you reach a stitch marker than you do something. As mentioned the tutorials that come with it are very informative and are perfect if you have never done anything like this before.

Cassiy

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On My Needles – Pumpkin Socks

I have cast on my first pair of socks!

I don’t have the sock bug yet but I am putting my newly learnt skills into practice. The pattern I am using is Rye by Tin Can Knits. The pattern comes in various sizes from baby to adult large, I am making size adult medium. I am very worried about second sock syndrome, a term given when you make the first sock of a pair and never get around to making the other sock. I have decided to knit 2 pairs at once but on separate needles and cables. You can do 2 pairs at once on one larger cable but until I get my head around knitting a pair I will do them separately. The pattern is broken into sections and so I am knitting one section at a time on each sock, first I did the ribbing on each pair, then I started the cuff section on each one. The design panel runs down the centre front of each pair and the rest of the sock is plain. The design section is pretty easy to follow, well in this first section anyway.

I did have a few mishaps with these. On my first pair when I joined my cast on stitches in the round I accidentally twisted my stitches so when I knitted in the round my stitches weren’t flat so I ripped it off and cast on again. It took me 4 attempts before I got it right. The second cuff I got right the first time. I was joining my round in a different way to what I normally do and that’s when I was twisting my yarn.

When I did my ribbing sections I had them on a different cable set. I transferred my first sock without issue to the smaller cable once I had done the ribbing section without issue but when I transferred the second one I had my needles the wrong way so instead of my needles pointing the same direction with the cable bent if half on one side I had a giant circle that I couldn’t magic loop with. To get around this I had to thread a darning needle with embroidery cotton and weave it through all the stitches on my incorrect needle than pull it out from my work so my stitches were on the thread, I then put the needle the right direction and picked up all the stitches from embroidery thread again. Thankfully it worked without any tears or tantrums.

I am really enjoying knitting these socks. I had reallllly long day at work last week and in the middle of it I had a 90min break. I ate lunch than sat and knitted for the rest of the time. I got a lot of my second sock (which had only just had the ribbing finished) done in that time. Knitting it was really relaxing and at the end of the day I wasn’t as exhausted as I was expecting to be and I think it was thanks to my knitting giving me the break from all the other stuff I had been doing that day.

My aim is to get these finished by hopefully October 31st so we’ll see.

Cassiy

Sock Knitting – Top Down Class

Sock knitting has been on my to learn list for years and I have now finally done a class to learn how at Skein Sisters.

Ok so I am calling my finished piece a hoof and not a sock. It has all the basics of a sock with a few errors thrown in too. It was a 3 hour class and I really enjoyed it even though I had a few mishap hence why I ended up with a hoof not a sock. Everything was completely new to me, up until that morning I had not done magic looping correctly (was frantically learning on youtube that morning) There was 6 of us in the class which was a really nice number of people as the teacher could spend time with us all.

My ribbing was a little off whack. I have knitted ribbing before but not in the round. Instead of continuing the pattern around as I switched needles I somehow managed to stuff it up so on the sides instead of having a knit column and a purl column I have 2 knit columns next to each other on each side. Because I was a little bit slow we stopped my ribbing short so I could move on to the cuff section. This is what we ended up having to do through the entire class so I could get through learning everything in the short time frame, another girl must have been knitting at the same pace as me as we seemed to be up to the same number of stitches each time so she ended up with a hoof as well at the end.

On my cuff I accidentally increased each row. I’m proud of myself because I actually worked out how once it was pointed out that I had. Doing the magic loop I would sometimes get a random strand of yarn on my needles at the end of a row and I was knitting it as a stitch, I didn’t know that you didn’t knit that bit. When I practiced magic loop at the morning the same thing happened. I was also struggling on where the working yarn should be as you swap your needles around, should it go in front or behind the needles.

I am very proud of my heel flap and turn. It wasn’t as scary as I thought. I didn’t really have any issues here other than I was slower the teacher had me cheat and I decreased more to catch up. I had no problem picking up the stitches for the gusset. Once I got the pattern in the my head of where I needed to do the decreases it was very easy to remember. The best thing was I wasn’t increasing that extra stitch as I was magic looping as I was conscious of it and not knitting that stitch it. Once again we stopped the foot early so I could get on to the toe.

The toe I did struggle with a bit. My biggest problem was I hadn’t gotten the pattern in my head so I wasn’t remembering to decrease on both sides. Had I fully gotten my head around it I’m sure I would have been fine. My Kitchener stitch wasn’t too bad for a first attempt (well I think so) Turns out I was pulling it too tight. I was worried it would be too loose.

Sock knitting was something I knew once I tried it would be something I either loved or hated. I haven’t fallen in love with it yet but I don’t hate it. It is very different to what I have ever done but it isn’t as complicated as it seems. One thing that will determine if I develop a love for it or not is if I can even wear knitted socks. I get eczema on my feet and I don’t know how my feet will react to socks. My feet react to even cotton socks, on the train on the way home from the class I could feel my feet flare up due to the heat of my socks in my sneakers. I can knit with wool fibres and don’t get any reaction to that and I have worn my Virus shawl which is again wool without irritation but it will be interesting on how my feet go. I have yarn to try a pair for me so the sock jury is out until those get made and worn.

Cassiy

Priscilla Scarf

I started this scarf last year and finished it on Sunday.

Last year I was going great guns on this scarf. I knitted on it most of last winter. I put it aside to work on other projects and managed to loose the pattern therefore couldn’t finish it. For months I have searched for the pattern and it is hiding somewhere. It was published in a Bettter Homes and Gardens bonus knitting special from memory. I know I also wrote the pattern down as it was only a 2 pattern repeat so I could take it with me on the go but I can’t find both items. I had actually packed it away in the cupboard as a naughty UFP until I could finish it as I was only going to knit it until I used up the 2 balls of wool I had remaining. On Sunday I had the urge to take it out and try it around my neck and it seemed long enough in fact it is over 2 metres long yes is long enough. The yarn is used Stylecraft Aran. It is very soft and squishy and very light even though it is so long. If the colours look familiar it is because earlier this year I actually used the remaining balls I had left to make the Pink Pepperment blanket for my nieces. Since I have cast this off now I do have an almost full ball left of each colour which will go into my scrap stash.

So what have I learnt from doing this project? Always check your knitting pattern is with your work or that you know where you can easily lay your hands on it online. I searched online and this pattern wasn’t anywhere. I was actually going to take it to Knitting Guild next time to see if anyone could read the scarf and tell me the pattern. It actually feels good to get this off my needles. Now I can start another scarf and this time not lose the pattern!

Cassiy

Valiant Cowl Shade 8

I recently visited a new yarn shop The Wool Inn and purchased yet another skein of Noro Tokonatsu as well as some other items.

Shade 8 is a like a jade / deep turquoise colour. It is a very rich colour. As soon as I got home I started valiant cowl number 4 and knitted all afternoon until I got to about repeat 7 or 8 and then all of a sudden I stopped enjoying it. I don’t know if I just got tired or what but it just stopped being fun so I put it down for a week. The following Saturday I picked it back up and finished it off. I am not going to knit or do any craft if it isn’t fun so that is why I put it down. If I am going to wear something I need to enjoy the process of making it otherwise it will always have a negative vibe about it and never get worn. I think it also time to retire this pattern for the year at least.

Something interesting I did notice with this cowl is that I didn’t as many pattern repeats from it as I did with my other 3 cowls. This cowls feels thicker than the others so I am wondering if the ply is more dense and therefore I got less length in my 50g ball. It is still very much wearable just not as long as the others.

I haven’t worn this one yet but I am hoping to next week.

Cassiy

Black Beanies

After learning continental knitting at Knitting Camp I wanted a simple project to start on. I needed to make a couple more basic beanies for someone so it was the perfect project to start on.

For my beanies I use the Custard Beanie pattern from Better Homes and Garden 2014 Knitting and Crochet Collection magazine. In Australia each year Better Homes and Garden’s releases a special Knitting and Crochet magazine and it is worth getting your hands on as they always have some great patterns in them. This beanie pattern is so simple – essentially you knit a garter stitch rectangle, seam up the side then gather the top. In continental knitting it is recommended that you use smaller needles then the pattern indicates as your knitting if often looser so I used 4mm on these. I have made this pattern previously for the person and they asked if I could make it smaller this time so I only knitted my rectangle to a length of 43cm. I measured the piece around their head and it fitted so I knew it would be ok. To seam it the pattern has you join it one way then turn it and continue the join on the other side of the fabric of the brim so the seam is hidden behind the turned up section, I think you are also meant to stitch the brim up to hold it too. I didn’t do that on these I just seamed it all one way. The seam isn’t very noticeable and this allows the person to turn up the brim as much as they want too.

I used Lincraft Esther yarn which is an 8ply acrylic, easy to care for throw it in the wash. It took me a row or two to get into the continental knitting motion but once I got it again it became like second nature. My tension was pretty consistent all the way through. I can tell it much looser than when I knit English or throwing style. Even on the smaller needles the finished beanie is still stretchy so I am glad I went with the smaller needles. This was fast to knit up, a great tv or kids birthday party knit as it is pretty mindless. The first beanie took me a couple of weeks as I was also crocheting my shawl at the same time. The second beanie took me only a matter of days. I have tried to find this pattern online and this is the one I think it is based on although I haven’t downloaded the pattern to read it. This is my go to beanie pattern particularly if I want to make something for charity.

Cassiy 

Valiant Cowl Shade 18

Sadly I have now knitted up all the balls of Noro Tokonatsu I had brought earlier this year.

This colour is shade 18 and is purple, amethyst would be the best way to describe it. Once again I have turned it into another Valiant cowl by Doris and Wilfred Designs, this pattern is extremely easy to do and is just perfect for one ball of this yarn. Like the other 2 that I made I added the extra length to it. I was a bit worried when I first saw this pattern that it may sit to high and choke me but adding the extra length allows it to sit nicely away from the throat. It fits under layers too without adding bulk too. The extra stitches also uses up more of this precious yarn so you only have a tiny amount leftover.

I love all the 3 cowls I have now made, I am wearing them to work most days and have had a lot of compliments about them. This yarn is so soft and comfortable to wear, it really was love at first touch when I patted it in Morris and Sons and fell in love with it.

Cassiy