A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: colour

My Xmas-loving aunt requested another pair of socks for my uncle this year. I have a feeling she asked me last year as well, but I never got around to making them. My uncle is a slightly grumpy Scottish guy (note: I like grumpy people, I think they’re funny) but I think he quite likes having really bright socks hidden beneath his dull work uniform. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere. For this year’s ocular assault, I decided to dive into my stash rather than buying a new ball of sock yarn. I’m using leftovers from my various skeins of Stray Cat Sock yarn.

I’ve just been going with my gut with the colour progression. I’m not sure this was the best idea as I feel my colour selections have been a bit off all year. I hadn’t realised that the tone or warmth of the four balls of yarn is quite different. I’m still going to keep going as I don’t think this will bother my uncle.


Making a sock seems so quick after months of working on fingering weight jumpers. I’m really enjoying this project at the moment.

Pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks (FREE on Ravelry)

Yarn: Stray Cat Sock yarn, various colourways

Needles: 2.75mm

Ravelry project page


I took a massive hiatus in knitting this hat after initially being thrilled with the result. The problem was that the beautiful pattern stretched out on my big melon head and it slightly spoilt the effect for me.

Princess of Power HatIMG_3657

If you are not an insane perfectionist, lucky you! You will not notice that the pattern looks less poppy and vibrant when worn as opposed to when flat. I envy you.

My wish to make the best version of this hat I could led me on a fascinating fact-finding mission in which I learned a lot about self-striping yarns and pooling effects. I also learnt that there was no way I could re-knit the hat to be bigger while maintaining the pattern. The only option left to me was blocking.

I grit my teeth. I sewed in the million ends I had because I wanted to maintain the colour blocking in the crown of the hat. Did I mention that I am crazy?

I also went and purchased a balloon. I have always blocked hats flat in the past. Well, I really seldom blocked them, but on the rare occasions I did, they were flat. I measured my head (I think it was 23 inches in circumference for anyone who is interested, which should be no one). I blew the balloon up to 25 ins. I thought it might be better to overshoot, and also balloon geometry meant that it worked better- the balloon is spherical while the human head is an elongated spheroid.



I think I made the hat slightly too big, but I can’t be bothered to try and fix it again. Lesson for next time. I also should not have blocked it with the brim folded. However, I am happier with the look now.


The final finishing touch is a giant pompom.


Et voila!


Overall this hat has been a reminder of the way in which my perfectionism can prevent me from taking pleasure in the things I make. Although I’m trying to work on this trait in myself, it continues to be a problem.

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat (free)

Yarn: Sparkle DK in Princess of Power by The Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page


I’ve had the yarn for this sweater in my stash for over a year, and I’ve had the pattern saved on Ravelry for about five. So I’m pleased to have finally cast on. This is how I’m hoping the jumper will look when it’s finished.

Credit to Emmygram on Ravelry.

I plan for this to be my version of a novelty Xmas jumper. It will combine many things I love- Studio Ghibli, knitting and kitsch.

I had initially planned to use K2P2 corrugated rib on the hem, sleeves and neckline because it look so cute on my Peerie Flooers hat. However, after consulting Ravelry I was worried it might look messy so stuck with K1P1 as per the pattern and sample pic above. I think I made the right choice.

The red is my provisional cast on. This will be removed at the end and finished with an I-cord bind off either in the dark green or perhaps dark blue. I’ve got a bit of a rainbow motif going on and I loves me some rainbow.

I used the crochet method suggested by Kate Davies in the pattern and it worked really well. However, I was terrified that I might have accidentally twisted it!

I’m really proud of myself because I’ve been knitting  the colourwork two-handed! I remember reading about ‘two-fisted fair isle’ in Stitch and Bitch when I first started knitting and thinking I would never be able to do that.

Look mum, two hands!

I’m on to the endless and dull stocking section now.

Check out my floats! There are a few little mistakes I can’t quite figure out, but overall I think the wrong side is looking good.

Pattern: Paper Dolls by Kate Davies

Yarn: Titus by Baa Ram Ewe.

The green, yellow, blue and purple are Jamieson & Smith 2-ply jumper weight.

Ravelry project page


I’ve been wanting to make a hat for a while. I love knitting hats, but I try not to do it too often otherwise I would have hundreds of hats. As much as I would love that, I live in London and thus have limited hat storage capacity. First world problems.

Anyway, I decided to treat myself to a new hat. I am obsessed with the yarns dyed by The Lemonade Shop, so new American yarn was part of the treat.

Yummy. I couldn’t resist winding this yarn straight away.

I had intended to make a beautiful cabled Vogue hat, but lovely textures tend to get lost in crazy yarns, so I decided to keep it simple. I cast on and was a little worried the cuff was tight.

I always look grumpy on the bus.

I also wasn’t happy with how the colours were pooling. I had imagined large sections of white and turquoise, and this had an air of clown vomit to it. Disappointing given how excited I had been. I decided to press on and experiment with striping the yarn from each end of the ball to see if this improved the pooling.

As you may be able to see, the pooling improved a bit on the ribbing section, but looks a bit funny again once I switched to stocking stitch. I tried on the hat at this stage and was happy with the size, so I decided to rip the hat out and start again. I did go up a needle size for the ribbing.

I won’t keep you in suspense.


YES!

This is exactly what I had in mind when I bought this yarn. It puts me in mind of a super cool comic book about a badass magical girl.

Here’s what I looks like with the brim flipped up, which is how I will wear it.

Update before publication: I’ve finished the knitting on the hat and now I’m a little uncertain. It’s slightly too small and I don’t know if I like the contrast stripe.


To re-knit this to fit I think I would have to add eight stitches, which I think would throw off the awesome pooling.

I’m a bit annoyed as my gauge is exactly correct, but then I do have a big head. Maybe I need to do the finishing before I decide as a massive pompom hides a multitude of sins.

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat (free)

Yarn: Sparkle DK in Princess of Power by The Lemonade Shop

Ravelry project page


I finished my Zigzagular socks in this beautiful, eye-searingly bright self-striping yarn.


I had to snap these pics straight after a yoga class, hence my bright blue legs. It’s just as well I did take this opportunity as the socks took a real pounding over the course of the weekend, so I’ll have to wash and block them.  

This was an enjoyable knit, with an element of concentration required for the cabling pattern. It was a good on the go project.

Pattern: Zigzagular socks (available for free on Ravelry)

Yarn: Stray Cat Sock in Sun Shower

Ravelry project page


I have several knitting projects on the go at the moment, which is a little frustrating at times because it feels like I’m doing a lot of knitting with very little to show for it. The smallest project, which I mostly use for knitting on the go, is this pair of socks. I’ve had the yarn in my stash for over a year, since I bought a lot of Crazy Cat Sock yarn. I might post a pic of the four projects I made from those four beautiful balls of wool.

Anyway, back to the socks. These are knit on 2.5mm needles. It’s surprising the difference between knitting on 2.5s and 2.75s. You get a denser fabric, but I find that I make many more mistakes. My grandma gave me these DPNs a few years before she died, when her arthritis began to prevent her from doing fine craft work.


I’ve actually finished the first sock now, and I’m past the gusset on the second sock, so it should be done soon hopefully.

Pattern: Zigzagular socks (FREE on Ravelry)

Yarn: Stray Cat Sock in Sun Shower

Ravelry project page here

I’ve also finished the first sleeve of my Vitamin D cardigan.


And I’m near the end of the first sleeve of my Orza jumper.


I’m really pleased with how my Wool and Gang Hold Tight clutch bag knitted up. I think I picked colours that go well with my wardrobe and I’m loving the neon colour pop trend. Why have highlighters trapped in a pencil case? Let them be free! Here are a couple of pics of the finished item.

Can you tell I’m pleased with it?

Jade helped bring out my inner model on the South Bank.


  

I was surprised at how long the project took overall. The bag is made with Jersey Be Good held double, which gives a really sturdy structured fabric, but is a killer on the hands!

I have a few tips for anyone who wants a double contrast trim like me.

For the binding, I found it easiest to stick closely to the pattern by starting with a WS row. I switched to CC2 (the yellow) and cast off before picking up the same number of stitches behind the ‘braid’.

  
I started the woven stitch with a RS row, I don’t think it matters whether you start RS or WS. I found the instructions a little unclear- you need to start every row by slipping the first stitch.

As other makers on Ravelry noted, the snap closure seems small compared to the size of the bag. I just tried to sew it neatly and hope it worked out, which it did.

   

I also did a picture tutorial for the cute tassels.