Tidal blanket

Monday, July 31, 2017
It is finished! Ta daaa! The tidal blanket! And already gone, I gave it to my mum on Saturday. I miss it already, I loved this blanket, all cotton, but nice and heavy.

It took forever. But it was worth it. I did end up giving in before using all the yarn, which was my original plan. I should have had enough to make it the size of Lucy's (of Attic24) Ripple blanket. I was never going to do the border, I like the naked edges, and I love the ripple edges. Even with all my careful yarn planning, I suspect I was going to run out of the cream before any of the other colours. Plus, it took forever. I ended up measuring against myself, and stopped when it was long enough to have a good nap under on the sofa, even if you were stretched out. Being short, with a short mum, was a distinct advantage there.

The yarn was Lily Sugar'n cream, in the three denim colour ways and the cream was flecked with a denim blue speckle. We moved house before I finished it, and I haven't quite got my photo spots sorted here yet. The walls are all yellow, which presents lil monochrome me with quite the dilemma. So the morning just before I gave it to mum, I had my son model it down our local beach. It's folded almost double here, to keep it off the sand.

And now I feel a bit lost without it, it was my grounding project that was always there.

Stash Down - Little hearts sweater

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Michelle has been 'subtly' reminding me that its almost a year since I started my stash down experiment. Michelle is madly keen for me to show off my before and after images of a year of trying not to buy yarn  (ha ha ha, which idiot thought that would work) and a year of focusing on the yarn I have to hand and using that shit up!

I, on the other hand, am being a bit perverse and making her wait exactly one year to see the results... I have a feeling she is going to be madly underwhelmed.

I have been in a bit of a knitting slump of late, I hate the sweater that I have been knitting for my son and will probably end up frogging it. I started a cushion cover in mosaic stitch but I'm not sure the yarn I have chosen is the right choice. ergh! So rather than sorting out either of those projects, I had a look through my yarn stash found myself holding some white 4ply baby yarn and remembered that a friend has just had her third daughter...Which if course lead me to start trawling through Ravelry and finding this gorgeous little sweater .

I love patterns which introduce me to new techniques and am often amused that I usually learn the most from the smallest projects. Soft toys and baby clothes seem to be chock full of interesting techniques.

Weirdly, I have never knit a bottom up sweater with seamless set in arms. This means that the arms are knit and then the stitches are left live on a piece of waste yarn to be added directly to the body just before the start of the yoke. I found adding the yarn to be a bit fiddly and resulted in a couple of holes that I needed to fix at the sewing up stage. I need to research better methods of attaching sleeves in this method because I'm sure some clever knitter has already figured this out.

The colourwork at the top is knit in the flat. When colourwork is knit in the round, I hold one colour in each hand and knit one yarn in Continental (picking) and the other in English (throwing).
Knitting colourwork flat means that you need to purl too, I've never learnt to purl in Continental style so cracked open youtube and set about teaching myself...it would seem that the knit stitch is easier to perfect in both English and Continental style!

The other technique I learnt was the Norwegian bind off, this is used on the neck edge. I found a tutorial on youTube and was soon whizzing through the last row of the sweater. The Norwegian bind off is a bit more stretchy than the usual bind off and has a nice appearance, almost like a understated Icord bind off. I like it a lot.

I can't wait to gift this to my friend this week (before her daughter grows).

I wonder if I have enough time to finish another stash down project before my year is up?!

Knitting is witchcraft

Friday, July 7, 2017
Sometimes projects utterly blow me away. Often its elaborate lace that seemingly just works; I mean how do designers create these designs with incredible lace sections and incorporate increases without losing the integrity of the lacework? Occasionally, however, a seemingly simple design which is easy to knit will take an unexpected turn and suddenly I am marveling again at the genius of knitwear designers.

Take this for example:

This is what happens when you follow this pattern. At this point, I had cast off and all that remained was to seam the arms, two sides and sew on the buttons.

Which resulted in this: 

isn't that insane?!

and aren't knitwear designers amazing.
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