Saturday, June 19, 2010

~ Angel Hairband ~

A week with no sleep or waking up early with this weather is going to make anyone crazy. So after my second week in a row of bad sleeping, I decided to tire myself out (at 3 in the morning), with some rummaging in my yarn drawer and left over extras........ the result is the Angel hairband :) (I'm quite proud actually.)

There are a number of things you are going to need before you start this:

  • waste yarn or whatever you want your band colour to be
  • a pattern you like (I'll post mine on here)
  • elastic band or old hairband you want to cover
  • needles (I used 3.5 mm)
  • Needles for sewing or if your lucky to have it fabric glue
So to make the band, you measure the circumference of your head mine is 19 inches (aren't you all glad you know that). so is the length you want it to be. next choose a width, I choose 2 inches. Now check the pattern you want against your measurements and see if they are compatible or swap needles till they are. The pattern I used is as follows:

  1. I cast on 21 stitches (5 stitches to allow me to wrap over my elastic band and 16 stitches for my pattern). For your stitches here count your pattern and how wide your band is and use plain stitches for the width of your band.
  2. For the first 5 stitches on either side, I knit or purl depending on if its the rs or ws. The rest follow the pattern below which was on a really really old and badly photocopied school jumper pattern, but I like it.
  3. When its long enough cast off with a long tail. 
  4. Block (if a lace pattern is used).
  5. Now wrap the  plain knitted stitches around the elastic and seem up on the wrong side, being careful not to sew into the band just the knitted piece.  If using a hairband just fold over those stitches until you can slide your band though.
  6. Sew the elastic together, followed by the knittned piece to form a round. TA!!!!!DA!!! your done :)
(16 sts and 15 row repeat)

1st row (rs): k5, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k5.

2nd and every alternative row: Purl.

3rd row: k3, K2 tog, yo, k1, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k4. 

5th row: k2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3.

7th row: k1, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k2. 

9th row: K2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k1.

11th row: K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, yo, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k2tog.

13th row: K3. yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k2.

15th row: K4, yo, sl1, k1, psso, k2, yo, sl1, k1, k2tog, yo, k3.  

enjoy :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

~ Ribbed Lace Bolero ~

Ok so a few weeks ago I cast on Kelly Maher's Ribbed Lace Bolero. I dropped a stitch and had to rip it back to the I can hear you all screaming "why...couldnt you just use a crochet needle to pick it up? " erm no and its because of my stupid wool. Im using cygent double knit because its soft and and I had some left over from a project a little while ago. The wool is horrible, it splits and breaks easily. Now I didn't have this problem back with my other balls, just this one.

So with having to rip it back I got sick of knitting it so I moved on to other things. I have to say this is not a project I enjoyed knitting but it think tis the wool and not the pattern. The pattern is easy to follow and is fairly easy to knit. I just think I'm having a bad knitting month.

~ Black arches Shrug ~

Im just going to post pictures at the moment :) keep you all in suspense hee hee

Friday, June 11, 2010

~ Haze Shrug ~

 update: you can now find the pattern for download over here

I wanted a quick knit to cover the top of my black dress at the back. I decided to see what my scribble mitt pattern would look like with lace weight yarn and to my surprise it looks GREAT. I have to say another big thank you to Rosemary for the wool, you were right it looks amazing. For those of you interested I bought the yarn here.

 I cast on 40 stitches but I am really petite, If I was doing this again I would use a minimum of 52 stitches, the pattern is worked over 3 + 1 stitches so you can adapt it for yourself. 

1. I did 10 rows of seed stitch on 5.5mm needles, with a long tail cast on.

2. I changed to 8 mm needles and carried out the pattern here for my scribble mitts:

3. When it reached from shoulder to shoulder across my back, I changed back again to size 5.5mm needles and did 10 rows of seed stitch again. (If you want longer sleeves, just continue for the length required and sow in the ends a little longer. This does adapt to a bell short sleeve well)

4. cast off and leave a long tail.

5. The area that has the seed stitch and the first two rows of pattern you sow in with the cast off tails on either side. and ta da there you go a shrug made in a day :) Don't forget to block I steamed blocked it as I wanted to wear it the day I made it.

Hope this helps, I will post a proper one soon, im really hungry.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

~ Scribble Mitts ~

After finishing my scribble scarf, I was left with one ball of the Eskimo chunky wool  and some time to play with (as my dads train was running late) so off I went, I found a really old pattern from my school days that had a diagonal trellis effect and I wanted this but only on one side and so the Scribbble Mitts were born. This is a really easy pattern to follow for those of you interested I have posted it below. This wool makes the pattern a lot more complicated looking then it is, so if you are repeating this with plain yarn the effect will be quiet different.

The Pattern:
Note: when knitting across the row make sure your knitting into the back of all of the stitches, esp if using this pattern for the haze shrug.

1. This pattern was worked over 4 stitches. I cast on 20 stitches with a long tail cast on. 

2. Knit across the row.

3. P1, *Purl 3 stitches together keeping them on the left needle, yo, and Purl the same 3 stitches again, P1*. (This produces a fake star like pattern). Repeat * this to last 3 sts Purl 3 stitches together keeping them on the left needle, yo, and Purl the same 3 stitches again.

4. Knit across the row being careful to knit all the stitches and yo.

5. P3, Purl 3 stitches together keeping them on the left needle, yo, and Purl the same 3 stitches again.*p1,Purl 3 stitches together keeping them on the left needle, yo, and Purl the same 3 stitches again* repeat * To last 2 stitches and P2.

Just repeat these rows until the desired length is reached.

6. How you finish them is up to you. I finished on a knit row and turned and instead of purling while casting off I knitted, giving a chunkier edge because I always end up ripping my mitts at the top, while I'm out or running onto a bus or something stupid. Remember to leave a tail while casting off.

7.  To sew these mitts I just used the tail from the cast on and cast off to sew up the sides with the reverse side side facing out. Leaving a gap for my thumb. Woot!! here you have some quick individual finished mitts. 

I hope this entertained you for a hour or two. Best of Luck if you try them.  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

~ The Scribble ~

Well as all you knitters know, alot of the time inspiration comes from others and well with me, this one happens to be from another DKC meeting at the chocolate bar. I really can't stress enough how wonderfully helpful these people are. I have yet to go to a meeting (I do miss quiet a few though) and not sit beside someone new. This meeting lead to a combination of chic with stix and the constant knitter introducing me to the scribble scarf!!.

I was instantly hooked, it was young, funky and yes made with my new obsession ..........kid silk. I was thinking "hmmm this is a good project to use up old yarn from winter projects" and it looked quick and easy. I had the yarn from the visit to the constant knitter store, I had the needles......there was nothing left to do except abandon my new bunny to the care of my boyfriend and pack my bag for the weekend and head home to visit my nana :) I cast on, on a Saturday and by the time I left on Sunday (full to the brim with tea and Fox's party rings from my nana) I was done with one ball of kid silk. I loved how this project just evolved, and so far any of the projects I have seen mixed with varying weighted yarns all look completely different and mine is no exception. I hope you like what I have done with this, I enjoyed it very much I just cant decide to cast off now or to make it a bit longer. I guess time and some more herbal tea (supplied by nora) will tell.

~ Wisp!! and a DKC Meeting ~

At the end of spring, start of this summer  I moved back to Dublin after a short spell at home. I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting The Dublin Knit Collective at the Chocolate Bar on Harcourt street. I had never met any of these wonderful women before but with a very friendly chicwithstix on the forums on Ravelry I sucked it up and went on down :) Here I met Rosmary (aka theconstantknitter) and I was introduced not only to a wonderful creative group but to yarn I had never even dreamt of. After a few hot chocolates it was decided a trip to theconstantknitter store was in order.

Not only does Rosemary have wonderful yarn, she is a delight to deal with and she has great advice. Now I have one bad thing to say (not really) and that is she introduced me to kid silk ...ahem it is WONDERFUL to knit with :)  its like knitting with air. Since then I have become a yarn snob (yes I hang my head in shame) and my wallet is noticing (as a student my wallet hates my yarn urges) but now I am completely addicted with three other projects waiting in my que ....all to be made with kid silk. One for my friend Nora who would like a Wisp in kid silk too for her birthday and others for myself because I now dont want to knit with anything else.!!!!!!!!!

So having met with Rosemary and walked away with 4 skeins of kid silk 2 in purple haze and 2 in beautiful ice blue. I had no idea what I was going to make with them. A few emails (quiet a few sorry rosemary) went back and forth between rosemary and myself and low and behold she found just the thing Wisp by Cheryl Niamath. I grabbed out my needles and by the next DKC meeting at the chocolate bar I had used one ball of kid silk and I was about two thirds done.

Now each section of wisp took me about  40 mins to do I know???? well each episode of Battlestar Galactica (new series) was roughly 40 mins and each section of this beautiful knit was made while re-watching this wonderful series. So along with some woot!!! moments and some tears I finished my Wisp. But grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr to ebay because I am still waiting on my Star buttons for the end of this.

~ Rivendell- A Wrap for Someone Special! ~

Rivendell was my first attempt at designing. I wanted something that had meaning for the person I was making it for and low and behold (after a few false starts) Rivendell was born. Lots of people have asked me where I started with this and it really was a combination of a few things. I have a pattern book called "The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches" by Harmony Guides which I flicked through (again with a cup of tea in tow) and I liked some of the panel patterns unfortunately none of them was quiet what I was looking for.  I wanted some with a Celtic feel but gave an elegant neckline and drew your attention to the persons face.

I also liked the versatility of the "highlander" type stole I had made previously, so I came up with this beauty. I made it holding the cygnet grey mix yarn double stranded for warmth and I introduced a crossing cable at either edge. I also started an insert panel but did not allow this to evlove into a cabling pattern untill after the first 20 or so rows. This gave a river like effect to the cabling on either end, slow to start but quiet busy and fast in the middle. This also did not pull the wrap too tight at the edges allow the width of the wrap to be used fully. There are also some eyelet type stitches in here either side of the panel insert. I have to say I really really didnt want to give this away when it was finished. 

Please do not let the bad photos fool you, this was actually lovely to wear and suited the girl really, really well. It was made for a dress and to hide a pregnancy bump and it worked :) It works into a nice scarf too as well as a wrap or a stole. I did pull my hair out a little on the false starts but once I had decided on what it was I wanted it was easy :)

~ Sexy Jumper !! ~

So I got incredibly sick of all those bulky jumpers to keep warm last winter, in my ramblings through books at the library, I found the book "Fitted Knits" by Stephanie Japel. Now this lady is amazing!!!!!! I love her online classes, her ideas at recycling and her books and from which I have learned a great deal about fitting clothes specifically knitware properly. I don't know how many times I got sick of a project simply because it was coming out too big or just shapeless. I really detest spending money on yarn and lots of time to make something that doesn't fit properly.

So I borrowed the book from the library (with the help of a friend as I had lost my card as usual) sat down with a notepad and a cup of really fancy german blend herbal tea (thank you Nora!!) and I learned how to refit patterns for my shape. The result was this lovely warm jumper and guess what actually fit!!!! Now, I really have to thank THECrazyGirl on rav . As the pattern i choose was /perfect-periwinkle-turtleneck-tube-vest from "Fitted Knits" and Leslie helped me so much with progressing from the turtle neck to the main section, as the pattern was quiet complicated here and I could not get it right. All I can say is a BIG, BIG thank you to someone who is half way around the world and still took the time to help me, so if there are any of you near any of leslie's yarn shops please pop in, the lady is truly an amazing lady.

Yes I know, you have had a sneeky look at the pattern before finishing my post and yes they do look different. I wanted something longer and that drew less attention to my chest so instead of starting the ribbing after the increasing rows just under your chest as suggested by Stephanie in the pattern, I continued in stockinette stitch while carrying the ribbing from the collar to the hem. I also increased the length of the jumper to draw more attention to my shape and to cover my bum (cause admit it girls, it gets cold in winter!!). I brought the ribbing back in for a hem, in a semi circle type of effect in the front and back joining up with the ribbing I had carried from the neck down.  Vola!!!! one fitted jumper that I can wear as much to the pub as I can to work. Its stretchy and comfy so if your feeling crappy about yourself just slip this little wonder on and it does wonders for self esteem.  This project got me through writing up my MSc. it was my therapy for those days when writing a thesis was the last thing I wanted to do. It helped with writers block and with the lack of good telly coming out of the xmas period. Seriously girls this is a timeless keeper and I cant recommend it enough.

~ A Shawl Called Steve!!! ~

ok so the winter of 2009 was so cold here in Dublin that I needed something to go outside my coat like a wrap or a shawl but nothing I saw seemed warm enough. I scanned through Ravelry looking at the pattern browser with a cup of coffee and I found a pattern called the Highlander Stole by Wenlan Chia. I loved the big chunky cabling and thought hmmmmmmmmmmm now if I used really really chunky wool like Seriously Chunky by cygnet.

I used size 20 mm needles and 3 - 4 balls of wool and some loose cabling like that of the highlander stole and ta!!! da!!! a day later I had one warm stole :) The best thing about this wrap is that it can be worn all through the year with vests or long sleeve t-shirts whatever way you like :) It is also so versatile have a search around ravelry to see what others have done with this idea. It was so popular at xmas I had to make another 3 one for my sis, my mum and my nana. :)

~ Lelah Top ~

First of all this top can be found on Ravelry by Christine Buhariar here.

I wanted a summer knit that was relatively quick to knit and finish so i started off with  this pattern. If you are going to cast on please please do at least three repeats of lace pattern to work out your gauge. This lace part increases ALOT after the first and second row so instead of doing two repeats and working out your gauge take your time, do a few repeats and work it out. Believe me its a lot easier then having to rip it back like I had to. After further researching the posts on this top on ravelry, I found out that a number of people had the same problem as I had so I cant say it enough put the prep work in at the beginning. :)

I followed the pattern as written, from the bottom up, with 13 repeats of lace pattern, but i swapped the needle size to a size smaller for the last repeat of lace and for the eyelet holes. Then i swapped to a 4mm needle for the top stockinette part. I added short rows for a lower back as described by purlparable's including wrapping for a cleaner finish. I dont particularly like a strapless knit so I added wide baby blue ribbons that are removable, with a baby blue ribbon in the eyelet rows. 

To block this knit I used the steaming method (I know I can hear the cries of knitters out there). I know its lazy but I used Freedom Gorgeous by Twilleys of Stamford which is 75% bamboo. Now, having never used bamboo before I was surprised at how much this stretched, so I steam blocked this lace part by placing a towel under and over the top and by lightly spraying the top with water, folding the towel over the top and steam pressing the top. This finished the top beautifully the lace pattern looked stunning when blocked. 

If anyone is having problems with this top just drop me a mail or a comment and I will try and help you if I can. Also if any of you out there are looking for a decent yarn store check out the constant knitter.