Saturday, November 23, 2013

Conspicuous Knitting

I'm sure you can imagine my gleeful grin as I write this post. I simply loved knitting this project; the excitement of watching a  the colour work pattern emerge, the thrill of cutting a steek (or two) and the satisfaction of a lengthy i-cord bind off... sigh. I will readily admit that I am thrilled to be showing off this particular piece of knitting; there's no way you can miss this big piece of lovely wool buttoned around the little one as she sits in the carrier. 

This is a modified version of Kate Davies' gorgeous blanket pattern Tir Chonaill. I made this to keep the little one extra snug as I carry her about in the Beco Soleil. Stranded colour work creates an extra warm fabric due to the carried strands of the non-working yarn on the wrong side of the fabric.  
The blanket is knit in Studio Donegal's Donegal Tweed (blue) and Soft Donegal (off-white), with a little bit of Malabrigo Lace to line the hood. 
Admittedly, the hood is a little big at the moment, but she will grow into it!



I used:
240 yards of Studio Donegal Soft Donegal in Bainin for the main colour (apologies for the lack of fadas to any Irish speakers)
176 yards of Studio Donegal Aran Tweed in blue for the contrast
56.4 yards of Malabrigo lace to line the hood
5 toggles
4.5 mm interchangeable needles, plus many spare cables & stoppers

I'm so happy with this knit that I refuse to distract from its woollen goodness by having visible buttons on its front; i-cord loops and wooden toggles, on the wrong side of the knitting, connect it to my coat buttons & button holes.
See? Gleeful knitter indeed.

Thanks to Tom for taking the photos of me prancing about with the little one attached. They are both rather tolerant of my ways. I am lucky to have them!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

On the needles

I'm so excited about my current project that I fee the need to share it in its unfinished state. 
It's a modified version of Kate Davies' Tir Chonaill blanket.
There is something so very very satisfying about knitting this gorgeous colourwork pattern: about working two separate strands of proper woollen wool (the sort that itches if worn about the neck); about cutting the steek; about picking up & knitting on edges and icords.

I originally gave myself one week to finish this project, but have ripped out & re-worked a few parts of the piece. I'm on to the very last few steps now & look forward to showing this off... for this is going to be something to be worn & displayed prominently. I am a knitter & I want everyone to know it!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baby-wearing Blanket

 I've been a busy bee over the weekend, completing a few projects that have been on the go a while. I have also managed to publish this pattern over the weekend; a baby-wearing blanket intended for use over a soft structured carrier. The blanket buttons on to my coat, and can easily be removed or replaced without disturbing baby - handy when ducking on & off warm public transport in the cool weather.

It is knit in aran-weight yarn. The main section is knit in Fisherman's ribbing, resulting in a very stretchy, cushy fabric that will stretch to accommodate growing baby. The moss stitch button bands offer some structure for holding it in place over a coat. 

The pattern also includes instructions for fixing the blanket directly to the carrier, so that it can be used with a zipped jacket, or an extra weather proof layer, or for back carries.
It is available to download on Ravelry here. One step closer to ensuring my child is covered by wool at all times!


EDIT: because I am a little forgetful & didn't think to mention the yarn the first time!
I used 4 balls of King Cole Merino Blend Aran for this project with just a couple of grammes left over.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Free Range Legwarmers

There's not much point in being a knitter if I can't keep my own little rugrat warm. She loves wriggling about on the floor without her nappy, but (typical of all first time mums) I worry about her little legs getting cold. So I've knit her some legwarmers, with drawstrings to avoid the almost inevitable escape. 

It's a very simple design, and the pattern is available as a download on Ravelry now


The striped version is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto, using 80 metres of the main colour and 34 metres of the contrast colour. The ribbed version is knit in about 112 metres of Malabrigo Rios.

I've found that the drawstrings work best when tied at the ankles (most narrow part of her leg). I also use these when out for a walk with the little one in the baby carrier on cold days. These examples are knit in soft yarns for wearing next to skin. I intend to knit another pair in a coarser wool specifically as an outer layer - I am finding that coarser yarns stay in place a little better on wriggling feet.

Babies vary so much, and grow quickly, but these have plenty of room for growing, & will do as ankle warmers when she's a little older too.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Passing the Torch

I'm pretty sure that most of my crafty tendencies have developed from being around my mother & grandmother as they sewed & stitched & darned. Here's to passing on the torch to another generation.