Posts in Category: Stitch

Bordeaux Shawl Part 1

I’ve decided to nickname the new project the Bordeaux Shawl, after its colourway.

Two days ago, I attempted to wind one of the hanks into a ball using my ball winder. The first time I used it, it worked well. The second time was a little iffy but essentially created what it was meant to. This time, it was atrocious and could only be called a mess.

This is how it’s meant to look. A perfect “cake” of criss-crossing yarn that pulls so nicely as you knit.

This was mine. It no longer winds in a criss-cross but instead winds in the same spot, being loose, lopsided and tangled. This is the picture I quickly took to send off to KnitPicks in hopes of getting a refund as it’s under warranty and has stopped working despite no damage. Let’s hope they get back to me soon. I have found a replacement winder and yarn swift (that holds your hanks as you wind) that review really well, but the budget is a little tight this month. Maybe I will get them for my birthday in March!

The pile behind is the hank of Bordeaux yarn that I attempted to wind twice. It took me approximately six hours to untangle the mess that it made of my yarn and hand wind it into a ball. It was a very unpleasant experience.

I felt I might have a short break from knitting, but last night I was working on the Epic Pokemon cross-stitch and after an hour, I heard the call of the knitting needles. It’s like a junk food craving, that you think you just got to have that sugar hit, but this one’s a lot healthier for you. I never thought I’d take to knitting as much as I have, but having knit almost every day for the last few months on baby blankets and scarves, it’s become a habit.

So I grabbed my needles and previously rage-inducing ball of yarn and got started on the shawl pattern I had chosen.

Lace knitting seems to use larger needles than the yarn usually recommends, so that the lace will really open up. For instance the pattern I’m using (secret for now!) asks for US size 6 needles (4.0mm). The yarn recommends needles size 1 to 3. I started off with the size 6 but didn’t like it. I’m knitting it up with size 4 (3.5mm) instead. It will make the shawl a little smaller, but I don’t think that it will make too much of a difference.

It’s a crescent shaped shawl, that starts from just five stitches and uses yarnovers to increase the numbers of stitches. You can see those yarnover holes below.

Row count is very important on this project as increase rows happen at very specific times to create the crescent shape.

I whipped this up in just an evening watching Mozart in the Jungle. Or should I say finishing Mozart in the Jungle. I devoured all available three seasons so fast. Which is really weird, because I have never been a big classical music fan. I enjoyed how this weaves a bit of drama and a bit of humour with classical music, while it follows the story of the New York Symphony Orchestra and their new crazy and flamboyant conductor, Rodrigo. Oh, how I love him!

Last year, hubby and I went to see A New World: Music from Final Fantasy. Played by a full symphony orchestra, it was phenomenal and moving and actually really amusing at times. Imagine a hall filled with fans laughing and cheering and clapping and a conductor telling jokes. I enjoyed it so much as I knew almost all of the music and it was just a really fun and relaxed experience. Certainly not your typical performance.

And so, this awoke an appreciation for classical music, and why I picked up Mozart in the Jungle. I don’t love it all but some is quite enjoyable.

Until next time, have fun!

Epic Pokemon Cross-stitch Update 12/07/16

Time to share the latest on the Epic Pokemon Cross-stitch, otherwise known as the everlasting stitch-fest? I’ve finished off three more Pokemon since last time – these little yellow guys are called Abra, Kadabra and Alakazam. Aren’t they just adorable names?

It’s pretty cool being back around to this part of the pattern, as that fire pony was one of of the first two I did.

As you can see I’ve been cross-stitching again over the last few weeks. I haven’t had much energy in the evenings for much else. This summer is pretty draining and this week in particular, with the exception of today, has been a heat wave. It’ll be back tomorrow….so I’m trying to keep as cool as possible right now! There’s a delicious breeze coming in my lounge room and the sewing room, so I’m about to head in there and work on a project.

I figured that maybe I would try to do a daily quota of at least 1-2 threads on the cross-stitch, (or at least most days) and slowly peck away at it. So this has happened most nights, except for Tuesday, where I basically sat and did it almost all day long while I melted in the heat and devoured almost all of Season 2 of Zoo. Season 1 was devoured in two or three days before that but usually while doing my daily knit quota. Zoo thoughts? So basically the animal kingdom starts killing humans but what bugs me is how this small group supposedly will save the world and everything seems to work for them. Stuff just isn’t achieved that easy ….seriously! There’s this one scientist guy ….I really don’t think you have that much smarts to solve everything yourself….But anyway, it was a really great show to tune out and stitch to. Did NOT have to use much brainpower there which is sometimes what you want. It’s a little bit silly and too easy, but it is entertaining. Oh, and I did like the Season 2 ending.

And so now, I need to choose my next show to craft to. Decisions decisions!

Until next time, have fun!

Baby Blankie Number 1 Complete

Yesterday I handed over my gift of baby blankie number 1 to my dear friends Angela and Jay who are about to have their first baby any day now. If you’d like to read up on my first post of this project, you can do so here.

Looking back, it took me about eight weeks to create this beauty, but that was a lot of hours of work, with a minimum of eight rows per day for almost every single day of that. But I made it and I’m so proud of it. Luckily they love it too 🙂

This was my first foray into lace knitting, and starting with a thick yarn was probably a really good way to start. You can see the lace grow quickly and can see the stitches so much more easily so that, I feel, you learn to read the stitches quicker. Once you memorise the pattern and can read your stitches, it knits along quite fast, even for something as wide as this blanket.

The pattern I chose was Ingrid Aartun Bøe’s Pine Forest Baby Blanket pattern. You can find it on Ravelry for free here.

There was a super hot day last week and I knew I had to take advantage of the heat to wash and block the blanket due to the thickness of the yarn. I cleaned out my laundry sink because my little soaking bucket wasn’t going to do the job for this monster, washed and soaked it for ten minutes. I laid out half my towel collection on the tiled bathroom floor and rolled the blanket up in them to squeeze out as much water as possible. Wow, they were quite wet after.

I then laid out my blocking mats, of which I have nine. They are about 30cm wide. I laughed a lot at my foolishness that I even for a second thought it would fit on those.

Here a picture of it drying on the clothesline. Surprisingly it blocked out really well using just this method, I just pulled it into shape and then left it. In 35C heat, it dried extremely quickly.

And here’s the finished product, all folded nicely and tied up in a pretty ribbon.

Changes made to the pattern:

  1. Cast on 179 stitches instead of 123
  2. Slipped the first stitch of each row and purled the last stitch of each row, to create the neater chain up the sides.
  3. Did 23 repetitions of the lace pattern between borders instead of 15
  4. Used 12 ply yarn and bigger needles

My blanket ended up 125cm wide x 155cm high after washing.

Yarn used: 6 x 200g balls of Bendigo Woolen Mills Stellar 12 ply, approx 1560 metres/1706 yards
Colourway: Tourmaline
Needles: US9/5.5mm circular needles with a 60 inch cord.

This lace pattern is called Gull Lace, I guess due to it looks like flocks of gulls flying with wings stretched out wide. Each lace repetition is just seven stitches and only four rows in the pattern. As this was my first time knitting lace, I put a stitch marker between every set of seven stitches. I knew if I didn’t have seven stitches after each section knit, I’d done something wrong, and could easily find it and fix it.

Things I learned:

  1. YO – yarnover – bringing the yarn over the needle to make an additional stitch and to create a hole in the fabric
  2. Chain edge
  3. That I can take on a really large project and see it through to completion.

I really really really adore this blanket. It’s so soft and squishy, but not too heavy, thank you bamboo content, but will be deliciously warm in winter, thank you wool content! Due to the sheer size of it, this lucky little girl will get many years out of it. I can picture her as a bub under it come winter, or snuggling on the couch in five years time watching cartoons, or reading on her bed at ten. Well, I can wish!

And now, I guess I better get knitting baby blankie number 2!

Until next time, have fun!

Epic Pokemon Cross-stitch Update 26/11/16

It’s been just over five weeks since the last Pokemon cross-stitch update. I’ve knocked off another page of the pattern, leaving eight remaining. Just eight, out of thirty.

Here are the latest Pokemon. I think the Veno’s are adorable, even for poisonous bugs! And I love the extravagant tails and hairdos of the fox Pokemon, Vulpix and Ninetales, they are so fancy!pokemon-update

I’m also going to give you a look at the journey so far. It’s looking pretty great.

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Until next time, have fun!

Zanzibar Sock Complete

I’ve been sneaking in a few rows here and there on the Zanzibar sock as a break from the baby blankie and I binged it the last couple of days to finish it. Here it is, it’s done! I now have the cutest pair of stripey socks that I can’t wear for at least five months because it’s too hot now. But just you wait until the cold weather comes back.

In the meantime, I’m barefoot and fancy free! Something about me – I’m totally not a fan of footwear, as soon as I enter any house, off come the shoes.

So let’s have a look at these socks, shall we?

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I knit these cuff-down using a simple pattern from Kate Atherley’s Custom Socks: Knit To Fit Your Feet. It is such an awesome book, so informative about measuring feet and adjusting patterns to make sure your socks fit. And it actually is able to be understood. I had a post earlier in the year about measuring my feet. I did not need to adjust the pattern and they fit so perfect! They are snug but not tight, they still stretch as I move my foot, and they are comfortable as heck.

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The side ridge of the heel flap looks a little funny, as if it sits out from the foot, but it doesn’t feel like that at all. I love them!

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You can check out the original Zanzibar sock post here.

They were knit using 2.5mm (US1) size circular needles using the magic loop method, one at a time. My yarn was fingering weight sock yarn.

Techniques learned:

  • k2tog – knit 2 stitches together to perform a right slanting stitch decrease
  • ssk – slip slip knit, to perform a left slanting stitch decrease
  • picking up stitches along an edge
  • 1 by 1 ribbing (knit 1, purl 1)

I can’t believe I already have sock knitting urges only a few hours after finishing these! That’s not fair.

Until next time, have fun!