African flowers

Image

My first one was made in odd acrylic and I really love these colours together!

I have been having some fun with these, once I worked out the pattern I found they were actually fairly simple to make. They hold their shape well too, they are a hexagonal granny square.

 

Then I decided to make a cotton table mat but I needed red cotton, as my dining room has a red theme to it. So I bought a ball of Wendy cotton supreme from my local store,  C & H and tried out a few with the various cotton oddments of yarn I could find. I wanted the entire mat out of cotton so it could be washed easily and would be absorbent. It would also hold it’s shape more.

Image

Playing around with the colour scheme!

.

Here are a few that I tried, I was a bit limited by what colours of cotton I had. I did red and pink and orange and just wasn’t very keen on the outcome, then I thought I’d do a simple flower using only red and white.

Image

My favourite, simple and stunning.

I liked the effect, less colourful but amazing contrast so I decided to use red and white only for my mat. It was very beautiful.

Image

And then I made more

Image

and more

Three flowers made, I wanted seven. A central one, with six on the outside.

This was it once joined together, I decided it needed a little border and then it was done.

Image

Ta-Daaaa!

Here it is finished with a candle holder in the centre! Now I’ve got another four to make, one for the center of the table and one each for our glasses. I’m debating doing a bigger one with an extra round of stars for the plates.

P1060120

Okay, I actually changed my mind and added another border…

So this is the final finished thing, now to make a couple more. If you want to play around with these the pattern can be found here in English, Spanish and Dutch. There’s also other projects you can make with this, a hippo, a bear. The only downside is that it uses American terms, but it’s okay to translate and even has a photo tutorial.

Finished! A Pink Jumper.

Pink Feather and Fan

All hung up waiting to be worn.

I’ve been doing a lot of clearing of old things that just get put somewhere stupid.

partially a box of yarn I found upstairs, among this I found a carrier bag, one of those old 1990’s M&S bags from before my town even had a Tesco! Inside that bag were a pair of knitting needles, a sleeve, a jumper front, a jumper back and another sleeve which had only been knitted up to the rib.

There were also two and a half balls of the wool, Sirdar Silky Look.

Sadly there was no pattern. I thought I was going to have to give up, because without a pattern how could I finish the last piece?  It was one sleeve that was all, I had even done most of the rib so I had the right number of stitches.

P1060048

Old wool

I looked in my pattern books and found a “feather and fan” stitch cardigan, which was the same stitch as my jumper so surely I could work out how to finish a sleeve from this. The pattern is feather and fan   basic

Row 1 knit

Row 2 Purl

Row 3 Knit 2 together (3 times) then yarn over needle and knit 1 ( 6 times)

Row 4 knit

These 4 rows form the pattern so by counting the stitches and the patterns I was able to work it out and knit the second sleeve. The top shaping was a bit fiddley to work out but in the end I now had 4 pieces of jumper. Now all I needed to do was the neck.

P1060062

Feather and Fan stitch, simple and pretty

The front and back were on stitch holders, the old-fashioned safety-pin type, so were securely held I picked up the stitches along each said and knitted about 6 cm rib so it would fold over to form a neck . I did the back and front separately but the neck would be too tight to get over my head if I joined it all together. I needed buttons or something. Then I had another look at the shape of the sleeves. I could now join these to the front and back but the top lined up with the base of the neck.

There was an 8cm section which needed rib joined on then it could be added to the neck to give a jumper with a neck easily big enough to slip on and no buttons needed. So I attached the sleeves added the rib and finished it.  I even inserted elastic so it would fit snuggly and I can wear a necklace with it too.

It looks great, but I never seem to do action shots. Maybe soon.

P1060047

In progress, knitting up the last sleeve.

P1060049

Playing around with the neck

All I need now are five Buttons

P1060040

A new cardigan!

I have a new finished object! I’ve been finishing things fairly quickly recently, since we got all the junk out of my crafting room. This one is actually a girls’ pattern by Sirdar, it’s 1273, but without the fair isle pattern. Knitted in Patons FAB which is 100% acrylic. The shade was Rio, a lovely bright slightly boys  shade that I’d put a girl in any way.

When I say finished I mean I need to get buttons, but I’m going to venture into a physical yarn store to do that, for once…

This was how it started…

Again I was shopping on Deramores and I was just looking at Patons, I like the brand and I’ve been using it for years, always good quality. I’m not overly keen on acrylic, I prefer cotton, but this one was actually quite nice. It didn’t strand and there wasn’t any of that horrible squeaking noise they sometimes make. The stitches are clearer than on some acrylics, but nowhere near as good as the likes of cotton.

It was sadly made in Turkey, realistically I can’t afford Yarns made in the UK such as WYSpinners or the lovely country bird range Andi found me. I’d rather have something made in the UK, or even Europe.

The yarn is meant to be machine washable, at 40° and low tumble dry. I won’t be risking that last one and 30° is good enough, better yet, COOL WASH. I’m always scared of damaging something I’ve knitted. This will be the real test of the yarn since it’s not yet been washed.

Lying in pieces, with the back still in progress.

This Sirdar pattern 1273 is very nice with a great fair isle pattern, but I omitted that to just make a normal cardigan. It says it’s for girls but I’ve made some for Sandy and Neil. The pattern is written for their beautiful Baby Bamboo yarn, and that’s a favourite but that’s more Andi’s thing and that’s for another blog post.

P1050949

I even knitted on bamboo needles!

Bamboo needs have long been Andi’s obsession, she either can’t or won’t knit on metal single pointed, although she hates bamboo double-pointed. I wanted to see what the fuss was about and there is definitely something lighter about them. Their easier on the wrists. So I’ll be doing that again fo sure!

Stitch definition

As I said about the stitch definition, it’s great! For an acrylic. I do like Patons, as did my mum, but back then it was a UK brand working only in the UK, now it’s all foreign labour I’m a bit put off.

P1060043

And what next?

A chunky black and purple cardigan for my daughter. It’s acrylic, but it’ll keep her warm until she earns a woolen one!

Work in Progress – Fair Isle Vest

I’ve been knitting again, well, I’ve not stopped. Since finding Deramores getting wool has been easier.  I found an amazing fair isle vest pattern by King Cole and I knew instantly that Andi would love one for her son. It was vintage, retro, granddad vests and cardigans! But I didn’t like the colours. You can buy the pattern here if you like it too. It’s sized 0-6 months to 4 years.

A real Granddad vest!

So I decided I was definately going to make this one but I needed to choose the colours. I like clashing things, originally I was going to do grey or black, but when I saw the colours in King Cole Big Value DK I knew I wanted Gold. The other colour is a Navy from King Cole Comfort Baby DK. When my parcel came this was the first thing I started out of all the yarns I’d bought.

Knitting up the front, with a fairly simple fair isle pattern

The back was easy and only took two or three days, but it was plain, the front took me much longer because of the fair isle pattern. The effect is well worth it though.

Pinned out to dry flat

When both pieces were finished, yesterday, I carefully hand washed them and pinned them out onto a towel to dry. I always do this because the pieces dry flat and are easier to sew up. So for now I’m just waiting for the pieces to dry and I’ll be picking up the neck and arm holes and it will be finished! I’m really excited to see this one done.

P1050951

Here is a close up of the fair isle pattern.

 

This was my first time using Big Value DK and over all it’s just another acrylic, better than Robin or other cheap ones, but okay. The texture is pleasing enough, I can’t say I’d use this again because I prefer cotton yarns, but for an acrylic it’s okay.

Comfort is a lovely soft blend of Acrylic and Nylon, it fluffs a lot so the stitch definition is lost, but for this I think it works. I like it for baby things, but it wears out fairly quickly so I’d not make much out of it.

Both yarns are good enough for the price though.

Crochet waist coat

I have been really busy and have now finished my granny square waistcoat! I have worn on several occasions already. It is really useful on cold days, although I am beginning to wish I had used a better quality wool and not just cheap acrylic. The more I knit and crochet the more I hate it. The colours are nice and bright though, but these days wool is bright too, as is cotton.

So what’s the story of my original chrochet waist coat? It’s surprisingly uninteresting, I bought it. It is handmade though! I got it back in the 1970’s, back when music was good and knitting was normal. Back in the days of local woolshops that were within walking distance there was a store near me selling handmade clothing too. They were selling that waistcoat and I really liked it, at the time nobody could crochet in my family so it was buy it or go without. My mum bought it, well she bought the wool because I wanted to choose the colours and the lady made it the same as the others.
Recently though I’ve been thinking it’s a little pale next to all the bright yarn colours in existance now, so I wanted to remake it, the acrylic was more of an experiement; and since it worked I might make another in cotton.

I used a bit of odd stash wool for this, a lot of pink left over from Andi’s clothing in the 1990’s, but I bought the new purple to trim it, although I can’t remember the brand. It came from my favourite online store, Deramores.

Sadly I don’t have a photo of me wearing the waistcoat, my son wouldn’t help me out and I’m too old for selfies, but soon I’m hoping to get one.