I finished knitting the modified spindrift shawl I’m making for my aunt with the yarn I picked up at Countess Ablaze when I was in Manchester last year. I decided to omit the eyelet rows because I didn’t want the shawl to look busy. I think the yarn speaks for itself. However, it did mean that knitting it was unbelievably boring. I just don’t like knitting stocking stitch flat, but I do really like the way that it looks.
I took these pictures when I was at Hampton Court Palace for my embroidery workshop.
I ended up doing quite a few rows of garter stitch for the border since I had quite a bit of yarn left. I didn’t want to risk running out of yarn but I needn’t have worried. I actually finished the knitting and cut the yarn in Finland, before realising that I didn’t have a darning needle with me for the sewn bind-off.
I have no recollection of how I did it the last time. I’m fairly sure I used this technique on my Bad Day shawl, since I got the idea from looking back at the boneyard shawl pattern. I used this technique. It took HOURS.
Anyway, I hope that my aunt will appreciate this gift and get a lot of use out of it.
Pattern: Spindrift shawl (modified)
Yarn: Viscount of Spark by Countess Ablaze in Bienvenue
I am coming to the end of knitting my galaxy shawl, for which I am grateful. The endless stocking stitch has been deeply uninspiring to work on. I had a holiday coming up and felt that I might be able to finish the shawl on one of the plane journeys. My mind turned to new projects.
Since I was going back to Finland, it seemed appropriate to use the yarn I bought when I visited in the summer. The beautiful ice blue also seemed appropriate to the freezing weather conditions.
I found an hour to wind the skein before my trip and packed my 2.5mm DPNs and a spare for any casting on/off that might be required.
I am trying to recreate the most recent (rainbow) pair of these mitts that I made. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have taken any notes beyond mentioning that I improvised a size in between medium and large. I wonder if I maybe took notes in Adobe reader (as you would take notes on a physical copy of a pattern) and they have been lost. I am trying to recreate the same process I followed.
I used a 3.25mm needle for the tubular cast on. It looks a little bit loose so I will try to dig out a 3mm or even 2.75mm DPN for the second glove. It’s not bad enough that it’s worth redoing.
At the moment, I am working on the fingers of the first glove. Things are going well so far. I’m enjoying working on something smaller, and with more thought required than my last project.
Pattern: Modified version of Smartphone Friendly Mitts
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres
I’ve been working on a shawl using the skein of yarn I picked up from Countess Ablaze when I was in Manchester a few weeks ago.
It’s very hard to capture the colour of this yarn on camera. This shawl is going to be a present for my auntie but it’ll be late for Xmas, partly because I’m working with a broken finger.
The shawl is growing quite slowly. It’s been a while since I made a plain stocking wrap like this. The last time was probably my stormy skies one. It’s pretty dull knitting but I think the final result will be worth it.
Pattern: Spindrift shawl
Yarn: Viscount of Spark by Countess Ablaze
I went to a workshop at the Knitting and Stitching Show to learn how to make a padded and lined boxy bag. I feel like these would come in handy as knitting projects bags, or make good gifts. They are a great project to use up fabric scraps too. This project can easily be done on a domestic machine with an overcasting foot. An overlocker would make it even easier and quicker.
I haven’t attempted to sew anything like this in four years (documented here) and again it was nice to see that I have come a long way as a sewist in that time.
Since it was actually super easy, I had time to photograph each step. So here is a photo tutorial!
- Main fabric backed with fusible fleece- 15×10″
- Lining- same size
- Lining fabric- 2×6″ (I think 6″ of 1/2″ wide ribbon would be even prettier)
- Long zip- 16″ or longer
If sizing up or down, ensure that the zip is significantly longer than you need, for ease.
Mark the centre of the long edges of both main fabric and lining with snips.
Make the bag pulls (skip if using ribbon)
Pin and stitch along the long edge with 1cm seam allowance. Press flat and then cut in half so you have two pulls.
Install the zipper
With zip teeth against RS of main fabric, sandwich with lining fabric along short edge. Leave roughly even amounts of zip either side.
Overlock or stitch with overcasting stitch.
Fold up and repeat on the other half of the zip, again with zip teeth facing RS of main fabric.
Grab the end of the zip and fold so the lining is on the outside.
Stitch the non-pull end of the zip
Line up one of your tabs with the zip teeth, with the folded edge pointing down.
Pin the raw edges together, ensuring that the centre marking snips line up with the zip teeth, and with each other.
Stitch with overcasting foot. Go carefully over the teeth.
Now work on the other end of the zip. Move the pull down so it is below the stitching line. Tack the two sides of the zip together to ensure it remains even.
Pin and stitch as above.
Trim the ends of the zip.
Finger-press the folded edges flat to act as a guide. Fold the bottom of one corner, matching the finger-pressed line with the side seam. Measure down 1.5″ and mark a line across. The line should measure 3″.
Stitch along the line and then trim off the excess.
Repeat with the other corners.
If you marked with a Frixion pen, make sure to iron away the lines. I probably wouldn’t have bothered for myself but I gave this bag away and the recipient checked the inside. It definitely looked messier with my pen lines.
I finished knitting my Shore Street hat while travelling northern India.
I initially got near to finishing the hat on the way to Jaipur. I’d been attempting to gauge the length by trying on at different points, but the hat still ended up way too long because of the way I did the brim. I eventually followed the shaping for the smallest hat using the stitch counts for the largest.
The next challenge was deciding what kind of pompom should adorn my new hat. I had an idea of making a giant rainbow pompom (see this post for more details) but I was unhappy about the idea of using up all of my remnants (I actually had enough for another Shore Street if I wanted).
I did end up making the pompom, but probably should have listened to my gut feeling that the colours weren’t quite right together. I might switch out for a plain yellow pompom one day, but wearing as is for now and I think it looks pretty cute.
Yarn: Leftovers of Baa Ram Ewe Titus and Jamieson & Smith 2-ply Jumper Weight
- Main colour- Endeavour
- Red, orange, blue- Gobstoppers
- Yellow- J&S 91 Pumpkin
- Green- J&S 11FC
Pattern: Sraid A’ Chladaich (Shore Street) by Kate Davies
After a year in the knitting wilderness, I’ve started to feel inspired about picking up my needles again. This post is a bit of an idea log. I have a few projects in mind that I hope will come to fruition in 2018. A couple of these projects will definitely happen because they’re my travel knitting for India!
After finishing my Wowligan, I decided to try another kid project. I’m going to have a go at Paper Dolls in the smallest size, with some cute whales swimming around the yoke. Using remnants from my League sweater.
Sraid A’ Chladaich
I’m keen to use stashed yarn at the moment. I have a big box of wool and I don’t want to be one of those crafters who reaches SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy) status. I opened up Inspired by Islay and remembered this delightful hat, which matches my current favourite sweater.
Wool and the Gang She Loves Wool sweater
This kit is part of a collab with & Other Stories, one of my favourite clothing brands. Although I rarely like WATG designs (too chunky for my body type), I fell in love with this sweater straight away, but vacillated about buying the kit since it starts at £90. I was reminded of my love for it in the Black Friday sales (curse you, relentless consumerism!) and, after nearly buying twice, decided to ask if I could get it for my birthday. Getting this kit is pretty much the only thing that will make turning 31 tolerable.
I knitted a couple of swatches for this sweater a while back. Again, I got close to starting but the cost of the wool I wanted was prohibitive. Pattern? I think I’m going to unravel one of the first sweaters I made and recycle it into a Humboldt, along with some beautiful speckled yarn as the contrast colour.
Lucky charms hat
I’m thinking of making up a pattern for more of a fitted bobble hat using the leftovers of my mini skeins from the Lemonade Shop. It might be a little to similar to the KDD hat but could perhaps become a gift.
It’s nice to feel inspired to knit again, and having ideas of my own rather than sticking to patterns as written. I feel increasingly cynical about my day job and seeing the success of other creative micro-business owners like Kate Davies makes me dream more and more about leaving the 9-5 behind.
Just as I was nearing the finish line and working on the final, extremely long, rows at the top of the shawl, I had to take an extended hiatus in order to squeeze in an urgent secret project. Knitting an entire fingering weight jumper in under three weeks killed my desire to pick up the needles for a while. Just as I started work on the wrap again, I hurt my thumb.
However, fortunately it didn’t take too long for me to be able to knit again. Before long, I’d finished the project. I decided to try out a new method of casting off, which apparently looks better on garter stitch. I used this tutorial for the Icelandic cast off.
My shawl came out pretty close to the measurements on the schematic. I blocked mainly to flatten it, and to improve the ‘W’ shapes. Looking at the pics made me realise that some of the lines are far from parallel, but I don’t think that’s noticeable when I’m wearing it.
Pattern: Wonder Woman Wrap (FREE on Ravelry)
Yarn: 1 skein each Ella Rae Lace Merino (Pineapple Soda) and Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply (Kiss)