Leg Warmers

After my success of knitting socks in October I thought I might carry on the theme and make leg warmers for my nieces for Christmas.

Leg warmers are essentially socks without toes or heals. I had a look for patterns because I don’t know what size I needed for kids. On Ravelry I found this pattern which I used to cast on the number of stitches for each leg warmer and do the length. The pattern has you increase your stitches as you go along. I didn’t do this. I knitted the ribbing of the cuff (1½” for longer ones, 1″ for smaller) then I just did a tube all the way and then knitted the cuff the same length to match. I used a stretchy bind off that Very Pink Knits has on YouTube. I tried on the first one I made and these do stretch so they should fit.

The yarn used is Rosarios Bambino. It is a very soft and squishy acrylic. It was lovely yarn to work with except for one section that had a knot in it which came undone and I had to rip back my work to fix it. I started these Oct 28th and finished weaving the ends in on Dec 9th. These were a lot of mindless knitting. I was going to make 2 at time but these were knitting so quickly that I think 2 at a time may of slowed me down.

I will make these again and follow the actual pattern but I think with making the amount that I did have to make a simple tube was the way to go for these.

Cassiy

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Shawl Deconstruction Class

Last month I was lucky enough to do a class at Skein Sisters on Shawl Deconstruction with Georgie Nicolson aka Tikki Knits The class was all about learning how you can start with a basic triangle shape shawl and modify it to become various shapes. The concept seems really hard but it is only basic maths and moving where you place your increases to change the shapes. We were also taught how to chart lace patterns and adapt them to the pattern you are working on. The lace part was like an entire different language but baby steps.

In the class we had the option of sticking with the pattern Georgie had designed which was the Botany Bay shawl or we could have a go at playing around with moving the increases to change the shape. I decided to stick with the pattern. It is a lovely looking shawl and it isn’t triangular all the way as in the pattern she has adjusted the shape so it sits around the body nicely. The pattern has garter stitch, eyelets and lace so I thought let’s stick with that.

I fully admit I struggled during the class. It wasn’t the teacher it was me. Even though I have made a triangle shawl which has centre increases when I made my Grain shawl I couldn’t do them in the class. I learnt how to do my yarn overs (which is how you do the increases) in Continental knitting so when I was knitting English style in the class I did not know how to do them properly. I had looked them up in a book before I left home but without the book or youtube in front of me I didn’t know which way I was wrapping the yarn around the needle. Some rows I wrapped the yarn one way, some rows I did the other. I think sometimes I forgot to do them. It wasn’t stressful I just knew in the class that when I got home I would take it off my needles and start again.

The pattern is designed for Sparrow by Quince & Co yarn. It is a lovely linen which I had never worked with before. Once of the reasons I did the class was to work with a new yarn that I hadn’t experienced before. We got to choose our colour combination and I believe I chose sky and birch. The birch is like a soft grey with a blue speckles through it which may be the sky colour. Now this is what happens what happens when you carry your linen yarn loosely in your bag on the way home. It explodes into a mess. I have 2 balls of each colour and they both need re-caking before I start my shawl again.

I will make this shawl at some point. The pattern design is gorgeous, the yarn amazing. I think it is a pattern I have to make in my own time. I need to sit down and focus on it fully. Once I get started I should be ok. I think maybe before I attempt this again I need to do a basic lace item such as a small scarf or even a toy blanket to get my head around following a lace pattern. I want to make this shawl so hopefully I do it sooner rather than later.

Cassiy

 

 

 

Santa Hat

I don’t get dressed up for Christmas but I do wear a Santa hat at my work. The one I had been wearing each year was an acrylic fluffy cheap hat that I can only tolerate for small periods as my forehead gets hot and itchy. Every Christmas I think I should make one out of cotton and now I have.

The pattern I used was a free pattern Santa’s Ho-Ho-Hat I found on Ravelry. I wanted a basic shape Santa hat and this was perfect. It is a really simple pattern to follow. There is nothing fancy in this pattern so it is a really great beginner pattern, I had never done any type of hat in the round before so this was a great pattern to learn on. I knitted this magic loop style as I still don’t know how to use double pointed needles. In my stash I found red Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton and cream 5ply Moda Vera Jalap which apparently is now discontinued. I am trying to knit my stash as much as I can because I keep adding to it.

The only issue I had was my pompom. The first 2 I made using the cream cotton looked like tiny mops. Even after I trimmed them and plumped them up they looked like floppy mops. In my stash I found some Stylecraft Special DK in a cream colour which happened to match so I made my pompom with that instead. It is an acrylic yarn and held the pompom shape much better.

I love my little Santa hat now.

Cassiy

Pumpkin Socks

I have socks!!!!!!!

I was a little excited to have finished these, yes I did have a dopey grin on my face all evening once these were done. In my head I have a list of things I want to try or learn, I really should write a blog post on here listing them all done. Knitting a pair of socks had been on my list for years, I can that one off now. The pattern I used was Rye by Tin Can Knits. I can not emphasize enough how great this pattern is.

  1. The pattern looks fancy with the decorative detail on the front but it really simple to do
  2. There is are tutorial that goes along with the pattern
  3. The one pattern has all the sizes you need to make it from baby to adult male
  4. You use DK yarn so they knit up so fast

Down the front of these runs a panel that goes from the cuff to the toes so the entire length of the sock. I thought oh no I am going to struggle with this, what am I thinking my first ever pair of socks and I am going to throw in a stitch pattern which I have to remember as well!  The fancy panel is actually done in Garter stitch, once you add in a couple of stitch markers it is extremely simple to do. I like the texture of it on the front, it breaks the sock up a little bit.

I started these on Oct 2nd and finished them on the 14th. To be honest I did get a little bit stuck when I got to my toes and I had to put these down for a couple of days until I spoke to my friend at my knitting guild group. The only reason I got stuck was I did these on magic loop and when I started working on the foot section I took off all the additional stitch markers I had on my needles for the gusset and repositioned the stitches on my needles so the garter stitch panel was on one needle again. When I read the pattern and it said to count from marker.. I didn’t have that marker anymore so I didn’t know where I was to start counting from. I hadn’t slept properly so brain wasn’t fully functional, I started watching youtube clips on toe decreases and got even more confused. That was the Thursday I put them down until Saturday. When I picked them up on the Saturday suddenly I could see logically where I needed to start my decreases, it was from the side of each foot. Once I double checked with my friend that I would be doing it right I finished these that afternoon including doing the Kitchener stitch. I purchased an Ann Budd Craftsy class recently and followed the Kitchener stitch lesson as I did my stitch. I remembered not to strangle my stitches like I did in the class that I took. Kitchener stitch is kind of like hand sewing with yarn but unlike regular sewing you don’t pull your stitches tight you keep the same tension you have knitted with.

The yarn I used is Fyberspates Coops Socks Yeah DK in Hecate. It comes in 50g skeins so I used one for each sock. I did buy a 3rd skein which I had on standby in case I ran out of yarn. I used a 4mm bamboo needle. If I was to make these again I don’t think I would use a bamboo needle. I was knitting tight and the yarn was sticking to the needles at times. Once you get started the needles do warm up a little and become easier but it did feel like I was fighting my needles more than I should have.

I have worn these around the house and they are comfortable. As far as allergies they weren’t itchy on, they were warm and snuggly without being hot. I wore them for a few hours on a wet and windy afternoon which was perfect sock weather. The test to see if I can wear them or not will be to wear them and go for a walk in my sneakers for a couple of hours. For around the home to throw on instead of slippers they should be fine so now I want to get more yarn and do some winter socks for next year.

Cassiy

 

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

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

Pollux Virus Shawl Finished

It seems like ages ago I finished my shawl but I only started wearing it to work last week. In total this was on my hook for about 2 weeks. I didn’t do any other projects during that time so I think this is how I finished it so quickly.

I blocked it using the wet blocking method. I’m not sure how long you are meant to let things dry but I left it for a week. It took up my entire craft table plus had the center piece half hanging over the edge. I actually had the mats slightly off the edge so that the center section could balance more on the table. I will have to check if a week is too long or ok for sock yarn to dry.

I used metal T pins specially designed for blocking. They are very long and very sharp. I couldn’t find a suggested way to block it so I just placed pins at regular intervals along the straight edge and then evenly along the curves. I may of accidently pinned some of my curves wrong so they were a bit angular but in the final product you can’t really notice.

Although I am really happy with this I couldn’t use it as a shawl to cover my back. I’m a little bit on the wider side and although I have length on my back I don’t have the width. To wear it on my back I would need to need to increase the size so that my lower back had more coverage. This is just personal preference as I like my lower back covered.

The way I have been wearing it is wrapped around my neck. It is nice and comfortable. I was a little worried that it would look like a bib particularly as I have large surface area in front but it sits really nicely.  Most days I was wearing another coat over the top of this but I could have the zipper open as my front was kept warm under the shawl.

To recap the pattern is the Virus Shawl. Bella Coco has a great tutorial on how to make it. I watched the tutorial twice. The first time without anything in my hands, the second time with yarn and hook doing each step along the tutorial. She also has a great additional clip which is very useful. From what I have read online this is a pattern you either love or hate just by the design, some people struggle to follow the pattern. You are only doing UK trebles and chains but you do have to do a little counting. You can also get print out charts of this pattern. After a few rounds I memorised the pattern and it was easy for me to build and grown my shawl. I hate keeping count but this wasn’t hard. I even worked on this over lunch in a crowded food court whilst chatting with friends. I only had to frog it back once for about a row and a half earlier on but after that I never had a problem. The yarn I used is Wren & Ollie sock yarn from Skein Sisters. This was the first time ever of buying fancy yarn and actually using it. Years ago I brought some alpaca yarn and ended up giving it to a friend as I knew I would never make anything with it but this yarn was special. It I am being brutally honest if I was to do this pattern again I wouldn’t use this colour yarn. It is maybe a little bit busy in the darker colours to see the pattern. Virus shawls in lighter colours show the pattern more.  I love this shawl. I mastered a pattern that is difficult to some, I worked with sock yarn for the first time, I made something that was blue, I worked with a smaller crochet hook than I normally do. All these things make this shawl really special. It is my shawl.

Cassiy