Category Archives: Knitting and crochet

My Handmade Wardrobe

Spring has begun to spring here in the UK and I have very much had spring cleaning fever (by that I mean clearing out all the junk that none of us needs). It started off as quite fun but I am now at the point where I have had enough and the house still does not quite look like I would like it to. Hey HO, I shall persevere.

With As part of my Spring clean I decided to tackle my clothes. To be honest I am a bit fed up with my clothes. I don’t know whether it is an age thing or I have not updated recently but I just don’t feel excited by many of my outfits now. Sorting through them I did notice that I have a lot of greeny/browny coloured clothes. I always thought that I was quite a colourful person but it seems not. This is something that I will have to consciously address over the next few months.

I did sort out quite a few things to get rid of (including some smelly running tops that my husband will be so pleased to see the back of). As May is rapidly approaching along with the challenge started by Zoe called me-made-May  where you pledge to wear your handmade and upcycled clothes as much as you  declare, I decided to take photos of the things that  I have made so that I can truly see what clothes I have ready for the May challenge. (Last year I thought that I would have made loads by now…..)

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This was my first ever knitted item that I made when I was a teenager. It is incredibly warm and only worn when I want a bit of comfort.

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This poncho was the first item I made on my return to knitting.

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This Angel wings ‘Bolero’ is a favourite of mine. Nice and warm but not too bulky.

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This falling leaves jumper looks amazing on.

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This is a wrap dress that is the first item of clothing I made from cloth as an adult.

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My first pair of trousers.

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A jersey top.

I also have 2 pairs of socks, a scarf and three shawls. I wear the shawls the most.

At the end of last year I thought that I would manage to make 1 item of clothing a month. I have failed on this target so far although I have a cardigan that is nearly finished (buttons and ends) and another one well on its way. I also have the pieces cut out for another jersey top so if I get my skates on, I am not that far off my target after all……I have just not finished one a month.

 

 

Yarny Goodies.

Finally – a non-running related post :).

Look what lovely yarn my amazing friend bought me for my birthday:

Isn't it divine?

Isn’t it divine?

I have to admit to never having seen anything like this before. Each skein gets slightly lighter (or smoother depending on your view-point). It is 100% Superwash Merino and it feels divine. Perfect colours for me too.

It is called nougat on coffee which contains just the most perfect colours for me.

It’s name is Nougat on Coffee which has just the perfect colours for me.

Aren’t I just so, so, so lucky? I am thinking a beautiful shawl.

I have also ‘acquired’ these:

All my favourite colours.

All my favourite colours.

I just feel so happy when I look at my new acquisitions. The same friend that bought my nougat yarn was having a clear out and these just jumped out at me. Not quite sure what I will do with these but now they are giving me lots of pleasure just as they are. Planning is part of the enjoyment right?

What would you make?

Wyrt Socks – finished.

A very happy new year to everyone. I hope that you have had a good one? I am very pleased to report that after my slight accident earlier this week I managed to complete my socks with about an hour to spare – about 11 O’clock on New Years Eve.

I love them.

I love them.

I really enjoyed knitting these socks. They have the right mix of interest with the cables along with the fairly easy knitting part. Perfect knitting for when you are tired and are sat in front of the TV.

 

 

I also learnt some new techniques:

  • these are toe up socks so I learnt how to do Judy’s magic loop.
  • I had done short row shaping before but always nice to have another practice at something like this that I don’t do very often.
  • I also learnt a new stretchy bind off. I am not sure what it is called as I simply typed stretchy bind off into google. As I came to the end of the second sock I did have a mild panic as to whether I would be able to find the same bind off again but it all turned out ok in the end (luckily!).

If you have not knitted socks before then I suggest that you try it. They are highly portable and fairly quick too.

Wyrt Socks

The only question I have is when should I wear them? I love my socks and don’t want to hide them inside boots and shoes :(.

 

The adventures of the socks

So, last night this happened.

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Yep, my needle broke 😦

I guess this is why I usually use metal? It is especially frustrating because I finally sat down last night with a whole evening ahead of me intending to near enough get my project finished. This obviously didn’t happen.

So what is was my project?

Ages ago (as in November) the lovely Louise Tilbrook was tweeting about a mystery kal (knit along) on one of her sock patterns. I have knitted  one pair of socks before which I quite enjoyed and a bit more research revealed that these were toe up socks which are all new to me. The final clincher was that I had until the end of December to finish them. (Anybody else find that crafting time in December is a very rare thing?) I signed up.

The hints

The title of the project is Wyrt socks which apparently is the old English word for root.

…..these socks were inspired by the twist and gnarled tree roots found on ……. woodland walks.

These sounded to me as if they would have an interesting cable which I thought I would enjoy.

Slow Start

As suspected the socks got off to a very slow start. I did finally manage to complete one just before Christmas. I would love to say that I was too busy creating presents for everyone else but sadly this is not true. Along the way I had to learn the new skill of Judy’s magic cast on which is truly magic – for anyone who has yet to find this it is a way of casting on 2 rows simultaneously this starting with a circular part of knitting straight away. As always YouTube was a huge help.

Making progress

As I thought I really enjoyed knitting these socks – the yearn was fab, the pattern interesting but not complicated and just before Christmas I cast on my second sock. I was making great progress until……

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The silver lining was that I obviously had another project to continue with so it is not all bad as I still got some knitting done. I am just wondering if I will manage to replace the needle before the end of December?

(The link to the project on ravelry is here.)

 

OOOoooops!

You know those tests that are designed to catch you out? The ones that are a list of questions that tell you to do all sorts of weird things with a piece of paper but then the last one is to ignore all the instructions above?

Yes? Well I have fallen for that one. I am far too old and (I hoped) too wise to but it has happened 😦 I was so eager to cast on my latest project having gone through all the trauma of swatching etc, etc that I failed to read the instructions properly. By this I mean read them all the way through until the end.

I read  the first bit up until where it says repeat the last x number of rows a total of 5 times, and off I set. Merrily knitting away each evening.  Then I read the next bit where the instructions are slightly different for each increase row. Oh bum. I have now got almost 2 balls worth of knitting wrong.

Tonight will be working out how much of a mistake it is and whether I do truly have to undo the best part of 2 weeks worth of knitting. My mistake totally. Doesn’t make me feel any better though.

(Excuse my while I scream into a nearby cushion; ARRGGGHHHHHH!)

I am so Lucky.

I have a new toy – well actually I have had it for a while now but only got around to actually using it this weekend. Look:

Please forgive me for the photos, we haven't been bessed with very bright days this weekend.

Please forgive me for the photos, we haven’t been blessed with very bright days this weekend.

Up until this point I had to rely on a visit to my good friend Joanne and whilst this is always a good thing I can now wind my own balls whenever I want 🙂

What am I making?

The beginnings of Hut 8.

The beginnings of Hut 8.

The only remaining question is which technique am I using?

So what about the tension?

A huge thank you for all your comments on my last post. It was really interesting. It seems that most of you learnt to knit using the throwing style. I wonder if that is because most of you are predominately English-speaking? I doubt I shall ever know.

I decided to do a bit more investigating into the different styles, both as a practice and out of interest too. I knitted up 3 swatches using each of the styles.

I knit and crochet tightly. This means that I have to use larger needles or crochet hooks than is mentioned in the pattern. I was interested to see if the different styles had any impact on my tension.

I took two measurements, one before blocking and one after:

First the Portuguese one

24st and 29 rows

24st and 29 rows

22 st     29 rows

22 st 29 rows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then the continental:

25 st   33 rows

25 st 33 rows

26 st     30 rows

26 st 30 rows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally my original style:

25 st    33 rows

25 st 33 rows

25 st     32 rows

25 st 32 rows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be honest this was not what I was expecting at all. Before blocking the Portuguese style of knitting was the tightest. This may be explained by the fact that the tension is not just done with your hands but around the pin/neck. This is very different to using your hands so may well explain the even tighter tension. The other two were exactly the same pre blocking. I guess I knit so tight that there is no room for getting any tighter!

The biggest surprise however was when I compared the pre and post blocking – they got smaller. I thought they got bigger! To be fair it was not an aggressive block, I simply took out the curl. I am still surprised. Before you ask, I only soaked them in a bit of water. Not hot as I put my hands in it.

To be honest I was hoping for a simple answer such as; If I use …….style my knitting is a better tension. I like easy answers but it seems that it is not to be.

I have the yarn to knit a cardigan so shall have to think some more about which style to choose. Which would you choose?