Thursday, July 2, 2015

Finished knits

Over the last number of weeks I have been lashing through some simple baby & kid sized knits. Sometimes, miles upon miles of stocking stitch can be very good for the soul. 

First up, Bella by Dani Sunshine knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in Clotted Cream, with some light purple leftovers. This is the second time I have knit this sweet pattern, though I hadn't realised how many ends would result from using the contrast colour! 

Next up, two little short sleeved baby tops. They are both a mash-up of Tama and Beyond Puerperium from Kelly Brooker's Button Lovers e-book. I used the stitch count from the 6-12 months 4ply version of Beyond Puerperium, but joined for working in the round as described in Tama. I've knit both these patterns many times; they are simple but versatile.
The first example is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply; the second is knit in Malabrigo Sock. Both garments are sitting in the baby box waiting for some new arrivals to... well, arrive.

Last up, is a hat & mittens set, for a soon-to-be 5 year old who loves the film Frozen. I made these up as I went along, vaguely referring to previous hat & mitt projects for structure. They are knit in Milla Mia Naturally Soft Merino sport weight in that particular shade of ice-ish blue.
I am ashamed to say that the mittens were originally intended as a Winter gift last year. I only picked them up again recently & discovered that my tension must have changed since I began the first mitten, which is visibly smaller than its counterpart. I believe my usually loose tension may have tightened slightly in the run up to December 25th - not surprising with the self-imposed knitting deadlines at that time of year!
The obvious difference in size has been blocked out just enough. It is a good reminder to keep using gauge swatches though! There are a few hibernating projects from around the same time that I think I will need to start over with though.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Toddler hairbands

The Small Human is of an age where she enjoys dressing up just a little. I've been making some hairbands for her using scraps of yarn, which as an added bonus also gives me the kick of near-instant gratification!

The first band features a crocheted flower with leaves. The flowers were made in the same way as those featured in this previous blog post. This time, I used 2 strands of malabrigo lace held together, with a 3.5 mm hook. The leaves were made using sport weight brown sheep yarn. The band itself was knit using DK scraps, in 2x2 ribbing. I think I'll need to experiment with elastic knitted fabrics for any future bands.  

This second band is a length of 5-stitch i-cord; it was knit on 3.5 mm needles with 2 strands of malabrigo lace. It ties like a ribbon, but the woollen fabric is just a little more grippy, so it should stay in place for a little while. 

These hairbands are fun to make, and fun for herself to wear, so I suspect there will be more in the future. I'm resisting the temptation to make some bizarrely oversized fascinator though!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Finished Knit - Embellished Toddler Hat (aka The Small Human Cosy)

Over the last week or two, I've been trying to force myself out of a knitless slump. By... well, knitting. A really wonderfully dotey tea cosy picture shared by SpillyJane Knits on twitter gave me the boot up the arse that I needed to get knitting. Specifically a dotey Small Human cosy.

The hat is knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino leftovers from a while ago. It is knit in reverse stocking stitch with columns of slipped stitches.

I used embroidery floss from A Rubanesque and buttons from This is Knit as embellishment.

It's been quite a long while since I have attempted embroidery; I made little effort to keep the stitches uniform, and kinda fudged some stitches I vaguely remember using in my pre-teen years. I'm happy with the results, and it has enough growing room for another Autumn/Winter season.

Of course, I now feel the need to embellish All The Things.

Thanks to Spilly Jane for sharing the pictures of her wonderful tea cosy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Finished Knits - Stripes!

For the last month or so I've been so preoccupied with knits and painting walls and various other things in preparation for a certain second birthday that I've completely forgotten about sharing the knits!

First up, Colour Affection by Veera Valimaki.
Considering how popular this pattern has been, I'm surprised I lasted this long without knitting one. 
This was a good stash buster, until I decided that a stronger contrast colour (the pink) would suit better. The light blue - Shades of Cashmere's cobweb weight - has been in my stash for at least 6 years, so I'm relieved to finally make something with it. Held double, it worked really well with LHogan's Merino Lace (dark blue - another stash yarn) & Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in Fuchsia. 

The recipient was delighted, and I am feeling the urge to make more Colour Affections. I do hear it's rather addictive...

Next up, a striped cardigan for The Small Human, of my own devising. I used Wendy Merino DK in grey, with Schoppel Wolle Zauberball, which I had plied together for a thicker yarn, taking care to match up the colours. I'm pleased with the distribution of the colour stripes in the cardigan, and even more pleased with the almost-rainbow buttons I picked up in This is Knit to match. 

I wanted to make the most of the available yarn for this cardigan, and finished with just a few metres to spare, but it is just a *little* big on her. She will grow into it, eventually!

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Pattern Release: Concentric Collection

I am delighted to announce the release of three new patterns! The Concentric Collection consists of three cowls, inspired by the Bronze Age gold gorgets in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland, and knit in Dublin Dye Company yarns. 

To celebrate the launch, and Dublin Dye Company’s stall at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, these patterns are available to download for free until 8pm GMT on Sunday 15th March. From the 16th of March, they will be available for sale at 3euro each, or in e-book format for 6 euro. The e-book features more information & hand-drawn illustrations of the gorgets that inspired the knitwear.

Gleninsheen Gorget - from A History of Ireland in 100 Objects

In reinterpreting these beautiful objects, I have focussed on the horizontal lines that dominate the collars, expressing this repetition through a variety of textured stitches. 

Gleninsheen Cowl was designed to display the subtle shifting of colours in Dublin Dye Merino DK’s semi-solid Old Gold. It is knit back & forth, & is finished with i-cord button bands. It consists of bands of stocking stitch with raised horizontal cords.
download now

Toryhill Cowl was designed to emphasis the fullness of Dublin Dye’s Merino DK in purple. It is shaped with short rows, and can be worn gathered around the neck or pulled down over the shoulders. The body of the cowl is begun with a provisional cast on. It is knit flat, in a combination of garter stitch & slipped stitches. The ends are grafted together & stitches are picked up around the neck for the threaded stitch border, which is finished with an i-cord bind off.
download now

Borrisnoe Cowl is knit in Dublin Dye’s Alpaca Lace yarn in Clear. The yarn is held double throughout, for a lightweight  fabric with beautiful drape. The cowl is knit flat, & features cables, with increases along the length. The knitting is pleated & then finished with a series of horizontal cords before sewing the ends together. 
Dublin Dye Merino DK is a wonderful yarn; it has great stitch definition & stood up very well to multiple attempts at swatching & ripping out. I will certainly be planning more projects with it in the near future. 

Dublin Dye Alpaca Lace is another firm favourite; held double, the yarn makes a much more substantial fabric that is still lightweight & with beautiful drape. The slight halo of the yarn disguises the individual strands, & the fabric is lovely & warm. (I am writing this on a cold windy day!)

I've really enjoyed producing these patterns; working with Dublin Dye Company has been a great pleasure, and I've had an excuse to indulge my not-so-inner pre-history nerd.

The patterns are available to download now.  

Thanks to Dublin Dye Company for yarn support & pattern feedback, and thanks to A.C. for invaluable proof reading. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Slow knitting - and visits to the library!

I've been struggling with putting together this blog post for a few days. After spending January racing through quite a few small & quick knits, I'm working on two large accessories knit in lace weight. It's hard to share something interesting or exciting about literal kilometres of yarn in a big tangle. 

 But I have been to the local library, which has the usual delightful early 80s knitting shenanigans...

(From The Knitting Book, with Introduction by Una Stubbs)

... and some delightfully modern and informative publications. I've only just had an hour or so of actual reading time with Clara Parkes' The Knitters Book of Wool  (while trapped under a napping toddler) and I *love* it. This book has the perfect blend of information with amusing language. I want to go and knit all the sheep breeds now. I just hope that I actually get to read the whole book!

I've only just joined the local library recently, and am delighted that it's already a favourite place to visit for the small human. She enjoys picking out books for Daddy to read at home too. We read books, sometimes talk to the other small children & the librarians, we don't have to worry about the weather, and it's just a nice place to be! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sunny but cold!

At the weekend, we spent a couple of hours at the Botanic Gardens. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, perfect for squirrel spotting, and toddling up & down hills looking for pine cones. It was also cold.
So cold that the pond was entirely frozen over. These pine cones resting on the ice are probably left over from someone's attempt to break that ice.
This was also the perfect opportunity to show off our new matchy-matchy hats! After knitting one Epistropheid for myself, I felt the need to knit more.
Mine was knit in Jamie Possum DK (blue) and Jamie Possum 4 ply held double (off-white). I knit the large size as written (I have a big head).
The Mini-hat was knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK (white) and Fyberspates Vivacious DK (Blue).
I cast on enough stitches to knit one repeat less than the small size of the pattern.
The Mister-hat was knit in Brown Sheep Wildfoot held double (black) and in Wendy Merino DK.
I knit the brim in 2x2 ribbing for about 12 rows; used the stitch count of the large size for the body of the hat, and started knitting from the 'm' size starting point in the chart to accommodate the longer brim.

I did consider pompoms for all, but I do love the pattern over the crown, & didn't want to hide it. Also, it's hard enough to keep a hat on a toddler without the extra weight of a pompom.

The Mini & Mister hats are in soft, machine washable fibres, so I think they'll get plenty of wear.... assuming the toddler doesn't grow too much, and that the mister doesn't lose his (there's a history...). The possum yarn is extremely warm with a very obvious halo; perfect for the frosty days we've been having but I suspect it will be a bit too warm & prickly before long.

I might just have to knit myself another.....