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Back to the old yarn in the back of the wardrobe! I have three balls of yarn, one predominantly pink, the other two mainly white, with a random dark pink twist that knits up into a sort of 'Raspberry/Strawberry Ripple Icecream' effect. They were sold as 200g balls with a band giving a pattern for a very 80s sleeveless top.

Casual top yarn

(Don't you love the hairstyle?)

I used the first ball to make up a crochet shawl when I started yarn-working again a few years back.

When I was in Louth I bought an old Lister pattern for a summer cardigan in a mohair-type yarn called 'Tahiti' which appears to knit up to the same tension as the Ripple (11wpi)- so decided to make it my next project (I need a lightweight cardi).

Tahiti pattern

Lister Lee Pattern no. K1804: Lady's Cardigan in Lister-Lee Five Star Tahiti or Giselle or Tropicana

This is going to be as big a project as the cable cardi - so I am splitting it into separate posts.
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 02:44pm on 12/05/2016 under ,
When I was making Draco's green coat (in Drops Big Fabel Aran weight) I re-ordered some extra yarn in the same colour but made a mistake and got Drops Fabel instead - which is a very fine fingering designed for socks. I've also impulse bought some very fine yarn called 'Riot' in a shade of mixed red and brown called 'Volcano' which I'd sort of earmarked for a throat-warmer.

The circular short-row skirt I made up in some found laceweight yarn is actually designed for Drops Fabel. As it was so successful I decided to make up a version in the fine 'Riot' and looked for a plain black and a red in the same weight and mix (70%acrylic 30%wool) Despite being so fine Riot is listed as 'dk' but there is no plain colourway so I ordered some King Cole Moods in those colours to complement it.

I also ordered some plain green to go with the Fabel to make up into a top.

It all arrived yesterday and the black and red are much heavier than the 'riot' so I shall have to re-think that. On the other hand the Fabel is the right yarn for a skirt - and the Moods is the right yarn for the top I was going to use the Fabel for - so I have decided to swap them. Sill have no idea what to do with the Riot though :(
Mood:: niggled
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 02:56pm on 05/05/2016 under , , ,
Ever since I saw the animal-themed 'Break Time Apple Cosies' in Crochet Gifts #3 I thought it would make a great way of keeping a tennis ball handy when out walking the dogs.

I got a set of yarn intended for making cute farmyard animals from the latest issue of Lets Knit (bought for the 100 patterns free book) which gave me the colours I needed. Any washable acrylic DK yarn would do.

Using a 3.5mm hook and brown yarn, make 2ch and join to make ring.

1. 6dc into ring (6)
2. 2dc into each dc round (12)
3. 1dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (18)
4. 2dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (24)
5. 3dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (30)
6. 4 dc, 2dc into next stitch x6 (36)
7 to 11. 36 dc round (NB If tube is not wide enough to take ball, dc 2 into every 6th stitch on Row 8 (40))
12. Change to white yarn. 1ch, dc round. Turn.
13. 1ch, dc round (NB,, if you made an increase at Row 8 now do decrease (ch2tog) at same point) (36)
14. 1ch, *4dc, 1dc2tog, rept from * to end, turn (30)
15 to 17 1ch, 30 dc turn.
18. 1ch, 30dc, 20ch, ss into first ch of fastening then dc all round opening. Fasten off and break yarn. Sew in end.

Ears (make 2)

On UK size 11 needles (I think this is 3.5 again bus can't be arsed to check) cast on 10 stitches in brown yarn. Knit 6 rows ss ending on p row. Make pointed shape as follows:
7. s1, k1, psso, k6, k2tog
8. p8
9. s1, k1, psso, k4, k2tog
10. p6
11. s1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog
12. p4
13. k2tog x2
14 p2
15 K2tog, cast off and secure thread.


With scrap black yarn (I knew there was some somewhere), work first three rows of main body to make a circle. Leave long tail to sew into place.

Making up,

Button (see note on black yarn - a white one would be good. Or a brown one): Sew onto opposite side of the loop, positioning so ball will be held safely inside.

Sew ears on either side at point where brown yarn meets white. Check that ear tips hang forward.

Sew nose between inside edges of ears and slightly below. Use longtail to make mouth. Try not to make it look like a teddy bear (the pointy ears help)

Sew eyes on the same row of crochet above nose and below eyes.

Push small carabiner or keyring fastening through base of the opening to hang.

Take photo and post to Ravelry.
Bren likes his ball
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 09:04am on 05/03/2016 under , ,
Sometime in the late 1990s I bought a knitting machine and stocked up on a lot of lightweight yarn, mostly purchased at Coldspring Mills in (then) Keighley, to use with it. I ran up a lightweight top for Susan, and then we moved house and the machine went into store (I am not at all sure I still have all the parts and should probably send it to the tip). The remaining yarn went into the top of my wardrobe.

A couple of years ago I took two big packs of yarn down to the boot sale and assumed that was the end of it.

When I started on this hand knitting thing I found a Coldspring bag at the back of my wardrobe with a half-finished skirt (two panels) in it and some odd unlabelled laceweight slub yarn. I considered using the already knitted bits to make a new top, but hand-knitting doesn't work the same as machine, so I frogged the pieces and looked for a skirt pattern to use the same yarn and found 'Dance With Me', A lovely gored skirt in two colours (actually a dress, but I don't have to make the bodice).

The unnamed yarn (I suspect from Lister but long discontinued) knitted up to the correct tension so I have started on the pattern

It says to cast on over two needles - and then withdraw one to make a looser cast on. Since I have never used a hand-cast (tried it once and it really was too tight) I just used a large straight needle to cast on to the circular one. I have roughly the same amount of brown yarn and pink-and-white yarn so rather than follow the pattern colours I am using the pink for the plain knitting and the brown for the short-row gores. I am also working all the pattern from the waist so that I can knit both yarns together at the top and avoid having to break where the colours change (this means working one row of brown from top to bottom to work the first half of the gore.

After the fiddling of the cable cardi it's a relief to have to do nothing nut plain knitting (though I am making occasional gloves to break the monotony).

Test piece. laceweight yarn 1
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 11:13am on 30/01/2016 under , ,
I finished the back and sewed the body pieces together. Then thought about the sleeves.

There is a way of working sleeves directly into the armholes, but I couldn't find any reliable advice on t'internets. Had a go at starting the cuffs 'in the round' but the increases defeated me. So went back to working from the cuffs up in the traditional way (incidentally why are sleeves worked from the bottom? It means you can't adjust the length if (like me) you're running out of wool.

I misread the increases at the start and had to frog back to the ribbing. I am now at the two-thirds stage and only have one ball of wool left. My supplier seems to have run out of this colour (though they do have a matching colour that would do for the trimmings - which I must order!)

Current plan is to finish the sleeve I'm working on and check that it fits. Then I need to unravel from the cuff up to have enough original yarn to finish the other sleeve. Will then buy three balls of the contrast yarn to finish the new cuffs and trim.

I hope it's worth it.
Mood:: 'annoyed' annoyed
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 07:40am on 16/01/2016 under ,
I'm about to start a new project (a skirt - more later) and it starts with the instruction to 'Loosely cast on 140 stitches on 2 circular needles. Pull out one of the needles and continue to work as below.'

I was momentarily baffled, and then realised that this is an instruction to use a 'finger cast on' in which the yarn is wound round the fingers and slipped onto the needles and then pulled tight.

I was taught two casting on methods by my mother - both of which use two needles, transferring the knitted loop back onto the left hand needle. It was only when reading a letter in a knitting magazine, asking 'how do you do a needle cast on?' that I realised my method is either (a) too British or (b) too old-fashioned, to be considered normal in the 21st century.

I did get hold of an instruction book and tried doing a finger cast on - the resultant stitches were far too tight for me to carry on knitting so I undid them and re-cast with needles.

Which explains the instruction to cast on over two needles and then pull one out. Which requires you to have two circular needles of the same gauge and length - which seems like overkill to me (also v expensive). In the event I used a straight needle to cast on to the circular one - giving a lovely loose row of stitches on which to start the work.

Weirdly the instruction then required me to use a different colour to knit the first 12 rows. This is going to be an interesting knit.
Mood:: 'confused' confused
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 09:08am on 24/12/2015 under , ,
It turned out that making the armhole decreases is the most difficult thing when adapting a pattern for a different tension. I am probably going to have to do some serious fudging when it gets to knitting the sleeves. However, this is taken from my notes. (I am now on Side Two so am typing this up before I end up frogging and starting again!)

Knit in pattern to Row 90 (purl row - continue to do cables while making decreases).

Row 91: Cast off 5 stitches on side opposite pocket (ensure that the cables run up the centre front of the cardigan).

Rows 92 to 97 decrease one stitch on armhole side on each row (K2Tog) (41 stitches on needle)

Rows 99 to 121 Decrease one stitch on armhole side on alternate (purl) rows only.

From Row 103 decrease 1 stitch at centre front (other end from armhole) on every third row.

Continue decreases until only cable pattern stitches left on needle. Place these stitches on holder.

Knit Left Front as right reversing pattern. (ie. after ribbing, K12, p1, C4B,p1, K26, K1, C4B, P1, K2. Centre cable is C6F.)

I am currently on Row 91 of the left front. It is taking 2.25 balls per side, so I am not sure I will have enough for sleeves - hope I can source a couple more balls somewhere.
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 07:29am on 07/12/2015 under ,
I re-knitted the pockets, adding a line of purl stitches up either side of the 6-row cable and put the stitches on a circular needle rather than a stitch holder to facilitate transfer to the pocket gap.

I have charted the pattern and and am mostly relying on that - but also recording actual stitches.

Row 39: Work 8 stitches in pattern. Cast off 28 stitches. Work in pattern to end.

Row 40: Transfer pocket stitches onto needle between the two lots of front stitches. Purl (in pattern) across all 52 stitches.

It helps to pin (or actually sew) the pocket in place at this point to keep the work in one piece. The next row sets up the cables to meet - Note second cable is worked with needle to back instead of front for the next 7 rows. Reduce number of stitches between cables each row by one each side of main cable.

Row 41: K3, P1, C4F, P1, K8, P1, C6B, P1, K8, P1, C4B, P1, K13.
Row 42: P14, K1, P4, K1, P7, K1, P6, K1, P7, K1, P4, K1 P4
Row 43: K5, P1, C4F, P1, K6, P1, K6, P1, K6, P1, C4B, P1, K15.
Row 44: P16, K1, P4, K1, P5, K1, P6, K1, P5, K1, P4, K1 P6.
Row 45: K7, P1, C4F, P1, K4, P1, K6, P1, K4, P1, C4B, P1, K17.
Row 46: P18, K1, P4, K1, P3, K1, P6, K1, P3, K1, P4, K1 P8.
Row 47: K9, P1, C4F, P1, K2, P1, C6B, P1, K2, P1, C4B, P1, K19.
Row 48: P20, K1, P4, K2, P6, K2, P4, K1 P10.
Row 49 (resets pattern as centre cable group): K11 P1, C4F, P2, K6, P2 C4F, P1, K20.

Row 50 (And all subsequent purl rows): P20, K1, P4, K2, P6, K2, P4, K1, P12

Work from pattern making side cable every 4 rows and centre cable every 6 rows.

Row 51 Knit across all cables
Row 53 Make all three cables
Row 55 Knit across all cables
Row 57 Make side cables, knit across centre cable

In the next post I'll be talking (hopefully) about sleeve decreases...
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The problem with buying discontinued yarn is finding patterns that will work with it. Fortunately Ravelry has a fairly comprehensive pattern library and I ran the Noro Kama weight and length through it and came up with a long cardigan pattern that would adapt.

First problem was that the pattern is longer than I wanted (not really difficult to cut down on length).

Problem two: the tension swatch knitted up much larger (16 stitches and 20 rows to 10cm rather than 18/24). I think I can solve this by making up a smaller size and, again, measuring as I go along.

What really threw me was the idea of doing a single cable across 12 stitches - not so much a cable as a hawser. I have just finished a sock pattern that used a very pleasing combination of three cables with different twists (two 4-stitch cables flanking a 6 stitch cable) that use the same number of stitches but will make a flatter fabric.

Also the pattern has pockets (yay!) which are not really a feature. So I decided to do the flanking 4CB twists on each side of the pocket and have the main cable emerging from it.

Making a rod for my own back, and I anticipate much frogging*, but at least it will keep me on my toes.

I did a lot of planning with squared paper and think that I have a plan worked out. Knitted the two pocket pieces with a 6-cable (one F and one B) running up the centre, flanked by 1 row of purl stitches.

CO 22 stitches. Knit 10 rows. Row 11, K7, P1, Cable over 6 stitches, P1, K7.
Follow main pattern for cable to Row 25.

Row 25: K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K1, P1, Cable, P1, K1, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2 (28 stitches)

Ending at row 27 with 28 stitches on the needle (a knit row - pockets will be inserted on a purl row).

Have started one side (I am unsure whether it will turn out to be left or right - will worry about that when I get to the sleeve decreases!) by casting on 52 stitches and working 12 rows (rather than the pattern 18) of single ribbing.

Row 13: K2, P1 C4F, K26, P1, C4F, P1, K12 (52)
Row 14: P12, K1, P4,K1 P26, K1, P4, K1, P2
Row 15: K2, P1, K4 P1 K26, P1, K4, P1, K12
Row 16: As 14
Repeat these 4 rows to Row 35. At row 35 start top of pocket ribbing:
Row 35: K2, P1, K4, [P1 K1] Repeat 11 times (27 stitches) P1, K4, P1 K12
Row 36: P12 K1, P4, K1. Follow ribbing for 27 Stitches, K1, P4, K1, P2
Row 37: K3, P1 C4F, P1. Follow ribbing for 27 stitches], P1,C4F, P1, K12
Row 38: As Row 36
Row 39: Cast off for pocket as pattern.

*this has been edited as a result of the first frogging experience.

To Be continued...
Mood:: 'anxious' anxious
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 08:05am on 26/11/2015 under , ,
Another raid on The Big Book Of Knitting. Since the gloves worked so well, and this pattern is also knitted on straight needles, I went down to the pound shop and browsed back two balls of acrylic bulky yarn to have a go at replacing my sad and sorry boot liners.

The decreases in the ribbing to reduce bulk were interesting - one needs to keep a very close eye on row counts and stitch numbers - I have now dedicated a note book entirely to this purpose.

I followed the instructions for the heel and the toe exactly and was surprised when they worked out. Though the heel needed an extra bit of sewing in at the end as I'd not been able to pick up all the stitches on my over-large stitch holders (I now have a smaller one).

The cable pattern is lovely and I intend to use it for a cardigan - but I really prefer to use a chart as the repeat was quite complicated to follow in text (it's two 'right twisted' four-stitch cables with a four row repeat flanking one 'left twisted' six stitch cable with a six row repeat).

The socks are designed for tall boots and I have to fold down the tops for my short ones - best done by folding inside rather than outside. Definitely a success though.


27 28