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Tag Archives: knitting

Since I had the stirrings of a wish to knit while I was laid up ill on the sofa, I bought a Wowligan kit from the Kate Davies website. Ever since Kate started producing her own wool, I’ve been itching to try it. None of the kits were quite speaking to me until these ones for cute baby cardigans were released.

I knit up a couple of swatches and soon cast on. I got gauge on 3mm needles. Since I couldn’t find any other small circulars, I used 2.25mm needles for the rib. I was a bit worried that the ribbing would be too small and look silly, but actually it looks great.

I was wondering whether Buachaille might replace Titus as my go-to yarn for sweaters. I think Buachaille is wonderful for wool. It softens up after blocking and has a lovely drape. However, it is still a tad itchy for my sensitive skin. Still, great to try a new product made by a small business that I’m keen to support.

Quite a few American knitting bloggers I follow mention knitting during meetings and at conferences. I never know whether this is a standard ‘thing’ in America, or something they have pioneered themselves, but it’s definitely not common here in the UK. As a psychologist, I know that keeping your hands busy with activities such as doodling can actually enhance concentration. However, it’s not widely accepted for adults to do anything other than stare in rapt concentration at the speaker (or play with their phone under the table).

While I don’t feel comfortable enough to ask to knit in team meetings at work (yet), it is something I’ve started doing when I’m attending training. I think I feel freer because I generally don’t know the other people there. Anyway, doing so really works for me, and gave me several hours of free knitting time on the body of this little cardi, which otherwise might have been quite dull going.

The sleeves are going super speedily! I used 2.5mm DPS for the rib and went back to 3.5mm for the stocking portion.


Pattern: Wowligan by Kate Davies

Yarn: 3 skeins Buachaille in the Furze colourway, provided in kit from website


As I’ve mentioned numerous times, my obsessive passion for knitting has taken a nosedive over the past few months. I think that this is partly due to becoming a highly competent knitter. I don’t feel particularly challenged by prospective knitting projects. Another part is dissatisfaction with some of the garments I have created. Since you are creating shaped fabric as you knit, once an item is finished, it’s finished. If there’s something you don’t like about it, often that’s a case of tough luck. 

There’s also a limit to the number of knitted garments that a wardrobe can take. Realistically, I don’t wear knitted jumpers that often. They are a bit casual for workwear, and if I’m looking for comfort, I usually reach for a RTW sweatshirt or hoodie rather than one of my creations. 

I think this is why sewing has started to interest me so much more. You can create a much wider variety of clothing, and home-sewn items are less radically different to shop-bought than handknit to machine knit. 

However, the experiences of knitting and sewing are vastly different. For me, sewing is highly immersive and addictive. I fly through the steps, desperate to discover the result of my fevered work in front of the machine. I scarcely breathe. This is partly my personality- being outcome- rather than process-oriented (something I try to work on). It’s also a side-effect of my being a relative novice. When I first started knitting, I would occasionally stay up all night working on a project. However, I also think it’s partly due to inherent differences in the two activities. 

This is a very long-winded way of saying that I miss knitting. As an attentionally impoverished millennial, I am basically incapable of sitting still. I’ve noticed that I’ve started playing stupid games on my phone while I’m watching TV. This used to be knitting time.

I haven’t forced myself to do any knitting during my fallow period. But recently my interest in yarn has started to pick up. After reading a very interesting blog post by Tom of Holland, I picked up a copy of Indigo Knits, a wonderful book about working with denim yarn. 


I’m considering starting a denim cardigan. I love denim and the idea of triple denim (jeans, denim shirt and denim cardigan) intrigues me. Dare I embrace the taboo?

I also bought Inspired by Islay, Kate Davies’ most recent publication. 


I mainly bought it because I adore the Port Charlotte yoke. 


Heart eyes emoji. 

This jumper is everything to me. I’m holding off on starting because I need to consider whether there is a gap in my wardrobe for her. I would like a cropped sweater to wear over skirts and dresses, but I’m not sure whether this is the right candidate. 

I also bought some of Kate’s Buachaille wool. I’ve been wanting to try it ever since it was released. So far I’ve just made a swatch. 


So, some stirrings of wanting to knit, and a small project to work on are positive signs. I think that even holding off on starting Port Charlotte represents progress. A mistake I’ve made over and over is starting projects without sufficient thought and research. Knitting a garment is slow, labour-intensive and expensive. I owe it to myself as a craftsperson to put in the legwork to have the best chance of ending up with something I love.


After knitting up a couple of pussy hats for Innocent, I decided to modify the pattern slightly to make one for Arya Stark, my lone Funko. I think she looks great!

I was inspired to write up a quick pattern after someone on Instagram liked my idea and made a pussy hat for Lagertha (I won’t pretend I know who she is).

You will need

  • A small amount of fingering weight pink yarn
  • 2.75mm DPNs/circular needles
  • 3mm DPNs/circular needles

Method

1. Using smaller needles, CO 40 sts. Join to work in the round

2. K2P2 rib 12 rounds

3. Change to larger needles. Work in stocking stitch for around 12 rounds, until total piece measures around 6cm

4. Rearrange stitches onto two straight needles and Kitchener together

I took some extra pictures in my garden, and somehow I made Arya look like a hipster taking selfies.


I finally sewed my fancy golden snitch pompom onto my purple hat and, overall, I’m happy with how this project turned out.


Here’s what the inferior back pompom looks like.


I am a bit worried that I am the harbinger of the current horrible weather as I will definitely be wearing my hat this weekend!

Yarn: 3 balls of ‘Essential Knitting’

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)

Ravelry project page


I wanted to join in with the Pussyhat Project, but I knew I couldn’t make the march, and I missed the postal deadline for donating hats. SO I decided instead to use this pink yarn I was given as a secret Santa present to make some mini cat hats.


You will need

  • A small amount of fingering weight pink yarn
  • 2.75mm DPNs/circular needles
  • 3mm DPNs/circular needles

1. Using smaller needles, CO 40 sts. Join to work in the round

2. K1P1 rib 6rnds

3. Change to larger needles. Work in stocking stitch for around 18 rounds, until total piece measures around 5.5cm/2 1/4in

4. Rearrange stitches onto two straight needles and Kitchener together


I received a couple of pattern books in the post from the Laughing Hens. Like Dumbledore in The Halfblood Prince, I adore muggle knitting patterns. I also like magical knitting. Here I am goggling at some knitting in Diagon Alley.

I am such a nerd. Back to the books.

Whenever I go to the John Lewis haberdashery section, I spend some time perusing the pattern books. While I normally like a couple of patterns in each book, I never quite make the jump to buying one. I already have SO MUCH making paraphernalia cluttering up my house, I really do try to restrict additional purchases. So it was lovely to be able to sit down and really look at the patterns properly.

Classic 4-ply Moments contains several classic sweater patterns. I’ve been struggling for years to find the perfect basic cardigan pattern to rival store-bought cardis. I think that a mashup of a couple of these patterns could potentially be the solution to my woolly problem.

Merino Moments contains some lovely patterns by Arne and Carlos. As always, I admire their eye-catching geometric designs. Coming into spring, I am not thinking so much about chunky fair isle designs, but I’ll definitely come back to this book come autumn.

Something I found difficult about these books was the lack of integration with Ravelry. I am so dedicated to Rav, I can’t really imagine starting a pattern without first looking through the project gallery to see how it looks on different body types, and made with different yarns. Talking of yarn, I know that Patons suggests yarns for each pattern, but I want to see what other people used! I need to know what my options are, read the reviews of each yarn, and seek out options in the physical world before ordering. When she’s investing so much time and money in making something, a woman’s got to do her research!

Similarly, I would want to see the Arne and Carlos patterns made up in a variety of colourways. Often one person’s project is what inspires me to choose a pattern. I’m definitely going to keep an eye on whether the patterns in either of these books come up on Ravelry.

Thanks to the Laughing Hens for sending me the books for review.


Last week I disregarded my inner yarn snob and bought three balls of yarn for £2 in a pound shop. I just couldn’t resist the Unspeakable purple with pinkish metallic thread running through it. For some reason, my camera registers the colour as a sort of royal blue, but I assure you that it is purple IRL.

I decided to make a hat for quidditch. In the unlikely that any readers are not quidditch fans, this is what my team’s kit looks like. 


Since the yarn is so cheap, I hope I won’t worry about getting the hat muddy and washing it. I thought about making a fancy design, but I think I’m going to stick with a simple sparkly purple hat with a massive yellow pompom on top. I LOVE pompoms!

This yarn is DK so I decided to hold it double as I wanted to use the classic cuffed hat knitting pattern I’ve made before. Normally I wouldn’t swatch for a hat, but I did this time. My gauge came out quite large, which was actually a good thing as this pattern makes a hat too small for my enormous noggin. Due to the gauge difference, I am following the pattern as written and, according to my calculations, the hat should fit.

I’ve got to say that I’m not sure I like my yarn snobbery. I tend to think that knitting takes bloody ages, so you might as well use the best materials you can afford. However, a problem with this attitude is that, often, a project just doesn’t turn out the way you planned. When that happens, not only have you sunk dozens of hours into it, but you have made a financial investment on which there will be no return. Hence the numerous unloved sweaters stashed around my house.

Sometimes a good acrylic workhorse yarn is the right tool for the job. It stood up really well in the Boo blanket I made for my sister. I’m seriously considering making one of these for myself. I would just need to choose a design.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this project and I think I will be happy with the end result. My knitting mojo still hasn’t returned, so it’s nice to keep my hand in with small items.

Yarn: 3 balls of ‘Essential Knitting’

Pattern: Classic Cuffed Hat by Purl Soho (free pattern)

Ravelry project page