Thursday, 14 February 2013

Addicted to Knitting

It's been quite a while since I posted anything on my little blog. I can make all sorts of excuses, like being addicted to other forms of social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - Oh and there's always Christmas - but the true reason if I'm honest is my obsession with knitting! What better way then to celebrate passing the 10 000 "hits" I've had on this blog than to update it with my latest knitting projects.

In November, when I last posted, I had just embarked on a bit of an experiment to use up some of my stash of yarn, some of which I have had since my kids were quite little. I had enjoyed knitting my grandaughter Martha a dress with a lacy yoke and hem which was knit from the neck down on circular needles. This was my inspiration for the pattern I invented for this balloon style striped dress.

Cotton DK yarn from stash

The colour combination

I absolutely love knitting on circular needles and nearly always choose to use them even when not knitting in the round

The finished garment.

After a great deal of debate of flower
versus cherries the cherries won
Martha is always a delight to knit for as she looks good in what ever she wears.
Martha standing on one of my upturned lucite tables
 - as you do!

Also she has a bit of an obsession with
washing her hands

It didn't really seem possible but when it was finished I still had a lot of the green yarn left and quite a lot of smaller amounts of the other colours so I felt I had to use it up. This time I used the the pattern I had previously used for her checky cardigan but instead of using multi-colours I added the details by working sections in different stitches. I enjoyed the mathematical challenge of choosing ones that divided exactly into the total number of stitches I had for the back and two fronts (which I knit as one as far as the armholes) so that the patterns at the centre front are identical. I like knitting the whole body together because then you have no sides seams to pattern match and it looks much neater.
Close up of cable section
Sorry I didn't take many pictures of the different sections but you might be able to make them out on the finished garment. There are no model shots either as I knit it for next winter as she's not exactly short of hand knits.

Finished garment with striped yoke
At the request of my daughter I embarked on a project to knit a chunky short sleeved cardigan in a tweed wool for Martha to wear with jeans. Unfortunately when I saw the pattern she had chosen I wasn't too keen so we decided I would use a pattern from a book I already had. This did however involve a bit of modification as the one I had had a hood and long sleeves. It soon became obvious, due to the dense nature of the knitting, that I was going to run out of wool. I contacted every branch of Hobbycraft in the North of England only to find that all of their current stock was of a different dye lot. Fortunately after an email to the manufacturer they sent me two balls of the correct one free of charge so I was able to complete it.
Completed cardigan
View of back showing pleat detail.

Detail of cable
Marha's wardrobe of handknits have been much admired at many of the toddler groups she goes to and we are always happy to share the patterns. One lady was so grateful the next week she brought in a fabulous book of patterns by a swedish company called Millamia. We both loved a knitted coat in it but when we priced it it was going to be too expensive so iI knit it in a substitute wool and I'm pleased to say it worked out well.

It was a perfect fit and when Martha was asked to model it she struck up this pose.
Such a Cutie!
When I was searching the internet to find out more about the thickness of the MillaMia yarn I can across another of their children's pattern books and it was a "must have". I fell in love with this gorgeous Fair Isle kimono.
We were straight out to the wool shop to select 10 colours of 4ply wool to get started.

Colour selection

samples to match up with colours on chart

It described the pattern as "challenging" but that didn't stop me deciding to "improve" it by knitting all three body pieces in one. This way there would be no pattern to match at the sides and would save me having to finish off quite so many ends!It is totally addictive, but as you are often working with 3 balls simultaneously and every row is different, progress is slow but this is how far I have got so far.

The different bands of pattern

Some times the back is as
interesting as the front