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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 10:00pm on 27/08/2017 under
I have been buying Let's Knit magazine occasionally as it has good simple patterns for basic clothes. The September 2017 issue (122) has a pattern for a neckwarmer cowl, an accessory that I much prefer to scarves which tend to bunch up under clothes or fall off at odd moments when dealing with the dogs.

It's knited in a DK yarn, and I have a pack of four 50g balls of King Cole Merino Blend DK Superwash wool that I acquired in a sale (not sure where) for £8 (reduced from £15) which is branded as 'Anti-Tickle' – perfect for a neckwarmer.

The original pattern is knitted as an even strip, with the ends joined and a cord run through to gather up the excess round the collar and finished with two huge bobbles. This rather defeats the objective of not having a lot of mess around the neck!

I therefore decided to knit the thing in the round, reducing the row count as it gets higher and finishing with a proper ribbed rollneck. There is a basic pattern repeat of 12 six-stitch cables interspersed with 2x2 ribbing which makes doing the reductions at each pattern change fairly simple (given enough graph paper!)


Using a 72cm circular needle with 4mm points, cast on 240 stitches. Join ends taking care not to twist work (NB I worked two rows straight and joined when I was sure there was no twist, used a long end to sew up the 2 row ends). Place marker at join.

Rows 1-8 *k2, p2 Repeat from * (2x2 rib)

Row 9 (set pattern A) *p2, k6, p2, k2, p2, k2 p2, k2 repeat from * to end

Row 10: As row 9

Row 11 (make cable) *p2, C6F, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2 repeat from * to end

Rows 12-15 As row 9

Row 16 (Set pattern B) Move marker to beginning of cable. *C6F, p1, p2tog, C2F, C2B, C2F, C2B, p2tog, p1, repeat from * to marker (228 stitches on needle)

Row 17: *k6, p3,k2, p2, k2, p3, repeat from * to marker

Rows 18-20 as Row 17.

Row 21 (Set Pattern C - NB, this is where I depart from the original pattern) *C6F, p1, p2tog, C2F, C2B, C2F, p2tog, p1 repeat from * to marker (204 stitches on needle)

Row 22: *k6, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1 repeat from * to marker

Rows 25-25 as Row 21

Row 26: *C6F, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1, k2, p1 repeat from * to marker

Rows 27-28 as Row 21.

Row 29 (Set Pattern D) *k6, p1, k2tog, p1, k2, p1, k2tog, p. repeat from * to marker (180 stitches on needle)

Row 30 *k6, p2, C4B, p2, repeat from * to marker

Row 31 (large cable) *C6F, p2, k4, p2, repeat from * to marker

Row 34 *k6, p2, C4B, p2 repeat from * to marker

Continue pattern making cables every 6th row until work measures 27cm.
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 05:33pm on 21/06/2017 under , ,
This is more of the Coldspring yarn that was originally intended for machine knitting - and if the machine wasn't in store (and I had space to put it) I would probably have frogged this and started again by machine.

The test square knitted up well and this is a rare variegated yarn (like the one used for Mia's coat) that doesn't come out in stripes; a feature of 1980s yarn that appears to have been lost. These particular colours are evocative of a Scottish moorland blue sky, purple heather, brown earth the tawny coat of a deer and despite this being intended as a summer shrug the colours and fabric work better as an autumn evening shoulder-warmer.

I ended up frogging the first attempt at a very lacy pattern as it is difficult to keep track with this yarn. The simple pattern of the blue shrug seemed easier to keep track of.

The back knitted up well - I shortened it by 10cm as the original seems a bit long for a shrug. It took 86 rows to the 30cm point where I started the shoulder inset and another 20cm to the top. All in simple stocking stitch.

For the Left Front I decided to curve the edge more than shown in the pattern - this meant charting the first 20 rows. The pattern asks you to make stitches on both knit and purl rows at the start. I tried this but the yarn does not lend itself to lifting new stitches into place, especially on consecutive rows. I eventually frogged back to the hem and did the extra stitch by YO on knit rows only. And because placing a marker on YO stitches is almost impossible by the 10th row I had decided to count the pattern stitches (20) every time and do the YO just before the pattern. This seems to be working thus far. The lace pattern is rather overwhelmed by the yarn fuzz but it does have a nice shape and texture. I continue in the hope that it will all come right in the end...
location: Hot Hot Chigwell
Mood:: 'determined' determined
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 05:41am on 24/02/2017 under ,
This is another result of a visit to Coldspring Mills in Keighley when we stayed with Pamela sometime in the 1990s. 600 grammes of unbranded DK mohair in varigated red, pink and grey for £6. I also purchased the pattern (now lost) and the necessary needles - a pair of 12mm mm and 4.5mm. All of this was, presumably, knitted up during our visit and left to finish off when I got home. It has been in the top of Susan's wardrobe ever since and came to light on Wednesday.

The pattern is knitted all in one as a cross shape with a hole in the centre for the head, then sewn up to make a simple top. Ths technique is usually used for baby clothes, and coping wth the huge mass of fabric produced you can see why it's not often recommended for adults.

It's knitted in plain garter stitch, using one 12mm needle and one 4.5mm needle which produces a lacey striped effect. It's surprisngly easy as the large needle makes for very large loops into which to insert the smaller needle, and the yarn remains loose to pick up with the large needle on the next row.

I had stopped 20 rows from the end, leaving 60 stitches on the large needle. I completed those, then added an extra stitch every 4 stitches to make the total of 80 which matched the hem on the other side. Did 12 rows of 1x1 hem and finished off.

Sewed up the sides and picked up 40 stitches round the sleeves to knit a 6 row 1x1 cuff in the round. Same the other side, then picked up stitches round the neck hole for another 6 row 1x1 edging.

So that's the top that has taken me 20 years to knit! There is a hank of the wool left which will go into the stash for future use.
location: stormy chigwell
Mood:: 'artistic' artistic
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 03:20pm on 13/02/2017 under ,
I bought this yarn on a whim intending to see whether the 'magic' part worked (it does).

Then Susan's birthday came along and she suggested that I knit a pair of boot socks so this semed the ideal oportunity to use the yarn (as she is allergic to wool and this is wholly acrylic).

I knitted up a tension square on 3.5mm needles which came out at 20 stitches and 28 rows to a 4" square. Then set about finding a sock pattern to fit that tension. Ravelry was down so I resorted to my 'bible' – the DK 'Big Book of Knitting' (local charity shop purchase) from which I have already made a pair of boot socks and numerous gloves. I was surprised to find that the tension matches the self-striped socks designed to be knitted in a Noro silk 'sock' yarn (in my experience sock yarns do not usually come in aran weights, but that was what it said.)

In order to make sure the socks match I started the pattern where the coloured section of yarn finished.

As these were intended to be boot socks, and Susan has very thick calves I deemed it best to do some measurements first. Her calf measures 42cm which worked out at 80 stitches rather than the 40 required by the pattern. So I cast on 80 stitches (using knit double cast on rather than the long tail which I really should have used – but am too impatient to fiddle about with) to the 3.5m straight needles and knitted 9 rows of standard 2x2 ribbing.

Then reduced the number of stitches by purling together on the wrong side (so that the pattern looked the same on the right side) thus:

Row 10 (rs): K2, P2tog,*[K2, P2 three times] K2, P2tog. Repeat from * to end of row
Row 11 (ws): Follow previous row pattern
Row 12: K2, P1, K2, P2tog,*[K2, P2 twice] K2, P1, K2, P2tog. Repeat from * to end of row
Row 13: (ws): Follow previous row pattern
Row 14: *K2, P1, K2, P1, K2 P2tog, K2 P1. Repeat from * to end of row
Row 15: (ws): Follow previous row pattern
Row 16: K2, P1 to end
Row 17: P2, K1 to end (60 stitches)
Row 18: Knit all stitches from straight 3.5mm needles to DPN 4.0mm needles (or 4.0mm circular needle.) Join into circle and sew up edges.

Note: I usually start knitting in the round by doing a few rows on straight needles – it saves having to keep frogging back because you've got the work twisted. In this case it made it much easier to keep track of the stitch reductions.

Over the next few rows reduce the number of stitches on the needles by sskpo every 8 stitches on first row, every six stitches 3rd row, every 5 stitches 6th row until there are 40 stitches on the needles. Continue until work measures 23cm or so. Then divide stitches on needles and follow pattern.
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 06:46am on 20/11/2016 under
Last week we booked a holiday cottage in Lincolnshire so that I could visit my sister and do some sight-seeing with the dogs. It was a very nice cottage a converted stables. The only problem was that it had tiled floors (and a few rugs) very practical for the dogs but I hadn't been able to find my travel slippers to pack. I did have my crochet hooks and some spare yarn from the skirt project so made up one of the 'Bow Belle' slippers in grey and pink and started on a second one - but ran out of pink yarn.

No problem. I knew Louth had loads of yarn shops (indeed, I had bought the yarn for the pair of slippers I'd made for my sister to this pattern at one of them). Unfortunately no one had a pink dk pure cotton yarn in stock. Since I didn't have the ball band I wasn't sure what brand I should be looking for.

The next day we went to Horncastle, which also has a yarn shop (I suppose its the Linconshire sheep tradition that means they have far more shops per town than Essex has in the county). They did have the right yarn in blue, so at least I knew I was looking for 'Cotton On'. They also had a dumper with 'end of range' yarn at £1 a ball so I bought two balls or chenille (last year I was looking everywhere for chenille yarn and could I find any? Not even on the internets!), one in blue (with ball-band identifying it as a Wendy yarn) and one in green (larger, no ball-band).

Back home I frantically hooked up a second slipper in blue and devised a contrast 'cuff' in green. This left me with not enough blue for a matching slipper so I am making a counter-match for the other foot. Chenille is the ideal material for slippers, lovely and soft.

Pattern Notes:
Start with magic ring (rather than 2ch of pattern) and 6dc. Pull ring tight, join, then:
Round 2: 2dc into each stitch. (12)
Round 3: (1dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (18)
Round 4: (2dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (24)
Round 5: (3dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (30)
Round 6: dc round (30)
Round 7: (4dc, 2dc into next stitch). Repeat to start (36)
Round 8 to 17: dc round.
Round 18: Mark off 5 stitches. Turn, DC to marker, turn (31 stitches)
Round 19: 1ch. dc2 tog work to last 2 stitches dc2tog, turn (29 stitches)
Round 20: 1ch, dc round turn.

Repeat round 20 until slipper reaches to ball of foot (another 17 rows approx)
Mark centre of work (14 stitches for right foot, 15 for left)

Work heel:
Row 1: 1ch, 10dc 4x dc2tog 11dc, turn. (25)
Row 2: 1ch, 10dc 2x dc2tog 11dc, turn. (23)
Row 3: 1ch, 10dc, turn.
Row 4: 1ch, 10dc, Fasten off with long tail.

Use tail to sew up back of heel.

With contrast colour work 5 stitches in gap in front (hooking to join existing sides), then 1 row round opening of slipper. At centre front turn 1ch, dc to end turn. continue until cuff is 1" high (or as desired) Fasten off at back.
location: Horncastle
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 02:57pm on 16/10/2016 under , , ,
After posting the pictures of Draco's Wall to Facebook I got a comment from John asking whether I could knit a house for him. Not being one to back down from a challenge (especially if it is a silly one), I had a look through my craft magazines and found two patterns for houses, a crochet one for a Halloween House designed to hold sweet treats and a knitted 'beach hut' stuffed cushion/doorstop. I decided to go with the knitted one - with adaptations.

I have the brown and yellow DK left over from Draco's antler hat, and various other balls of DK in the stash - though I will have to buy more in red for the roof - since I need red for Draco's Flaming Tyre (TM) I will pop out and buy some.

The pattern is in separate parts, 4 walls, floor and roof, all joined by sewing together and stuffing. I started knitting the side walls (40 stitches on 3.25mm circular needles) in stripes of two rows yellow and two rows brown. After the designated 67 rows I put in a row of lace holes and dropped the yellow knitting the base in brown only for 30 rows, then another row of lace holes, cast back on the yellow and continued with the second wall.

For the sides I used a crochet hook to cast on 26 stitches along one side of the base, picked up the stitches on the needles and continued in pattern until the side matched the main wall. Then knitted four rows (two of pattern, plus two extra) in yellow and decreased one stitch at each end of every right side row until left with three stitches - K2 tog twice and finish. Did the same for the other side wall.

Am now about to work out how to do the doors and windows and the roof.
location: Chigwell
Mood:: 'geeky' geeky
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 07:00am on 18/08/2016 under , ,
When I joined the Agility Knitters group on Facebook I decided to actually knit an agility fence. I used a picture of a 'brick wall rug' from a book on knitting rugs as a basis but didn't think it worth spending any more money than I had to on actually buying a book for one pattern for a silly project.

The local Pound Shop (on Manford Way) has a good selection of cheap acrylic yarns, so I bought a ball of King Cole Super Chunky each in dark red (wine) bright red, orange (Mango) and grey (for the mortar rows). I needed an extra ball of a 'brick' colour so ordered a light brown (Sahara) from Wool Warehouse - whole lot came to about £10.

I wanted a chance to try out the size 6mm 'Symphonie' straight needles Frankie gave me as a Christmas present so cast on 30 stitches of the wine and knitted in moss stitch until the work was 'brick-sized' which turned out to be 13 rows. I threaded those onto a circular needle (with a 1m cable) and knitted three more in mango and red, finishing with a half-brick (15 stitches 13 rows)in wine. That gave me five separate pieces of knitting on the circular needle.

At this point I abandoned the straight needles and used the circular for the rest of the work. *Cast on with the grey and knitted the first 30 stitches of the first brick, Then made a stitch and used a 5mm crochet hook to crochet down the side of the brick, left a 4" loop (7" of yarn) at the bottom and crocheted up the side of the next brick. Looped the yarn back over the needle, then took a darning needle and (using a spare bit of DK yarn as a holder) threaded the loose loop through both sides of the crochet stitches to pull the two together. put the final bit of the loop over the rh needle, then picked up the stitch from the lh needle and continued in knit along the top of the second brick. Repeat process until the end of the row.

(I could have cast on a short length of grey and knitted the bricks together using fair isle technique - but there were going to be enough ends to sew in already without adding more!)

Wall in progress
Front and back of complete work before adding backing fabric.

Knit four rows of 'mortar' ending with yarn at same end as the start.

Cast on a contrast colour to the brick below and knit a second brick (or half-brick). Put the three 'mortar' stitches onto a holding thread or needle, and knit next brick in different colour. Continue to end then repeat from * above.

Make sure the crochet stitches are done on the front of the work and the grey mortar rows always begin at the same side of the work (it doesn't matter which end you start knitting the bricks from - the delights of circular needles!).

Stop when the work measures 4" shorter than the required fence height. (Five courses of bricks equal the 'small' KC height.) Complete the last line of 'mortar' then continue in garter stitch to make a 'coping' which will form the channel to put the bar of the fence through.

You could simply sew the top stitching back on itself, but I am sewing the whole thing to a backing fabric for extra strength - and to prevent too much stretching in the wash.)

Final version held on a broomstick (actually a Vileda mop handle!) on my jump wings.
Knit Jump edit 1
Mood:: 'silly' silly
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 04:42pm on 18/07/2016 under ,

It turned out that while doing the YO increases before the red texture front was fine going from SS to texture, doing it the other way, from red texture to black SS either meant that the black crept diagonally into the red, or the two sections fell apart. After several attempts I gave up and did the join by slip stitching the yarn, and added the increases at the end of each row. Since the fall of the front covers the join I think it looks OK.

And I didn't have quite enough red to do both cuffs to two inches so instead of doing the cuffs separately as in the pattern (which is done like that for good reason), I sewed up the seams and put 60 stitches round the cuffs with double pointed needles, did an inch in black and finished with half of what was left of the red on each side - which worked out at about an inch of red textured cuff.

It's a lovely little bolero/cardi, which will get a lot of use in autumn. Though I am a bit disappointed that I didn't meet my objective of following a pattern exactly using the correct yarn and needles.
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 05:09pm on 05/06/2016 under
I finished the back over our holiday - I was right about it being easy but boring.

Have just started on the right front which is much more interesting! I'm using 2 colours - black for the plain knitting and red for the pattern. I did wonder how the join was going to work, since the increases are done in the middle of the front by yarn over loops. In the event it turned out that using two colours makes it easier to keep track of the pattern. Make the YO with the black yarn on the RS, then knit it in with the red yarn on the WS. This means that all the k1/p1 texture stitches are made in red yarn - you don't have to remember to add an extra knit stitch on every second row. I am, nevertheless, counting obsessively and making notes.

In other knitting news, I stumbled across a charity shop while on holiday that had a huge collection of second-hand needles - some of which would have been useful, but I didn't have my note of what I've got. I did buy a second stitch counter though.
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posted by [personal profile] ina_jean at 11:50am on 21/05/2016 under ,
I have put the Tahiti cardi on hold as it's not something I can safely knit while doing anything else. I do need a lightweight cardi though, and liked the pattern for 'Forest Fern' in the 100 knitting patterns 'free' book that came with last month's edition of 'Lets Knit' (100 patterns and a magazine for £6 - bargain!).

I happen to have both yarn alternatives given in the pattern in my stash - the black and red 'Moods' bought to make the 'riot' skirt but too bulky for the job, and some Sirdar 'Country Style' in a shade of yellow-green almost as vile as the colour used in the pattern illustration. I decided to make the pattern using the red (1 ball) for the detail work on hem cuffs and collar and the black to the back and sleeves. This will mean a bit of fiddling on the fronts, but hopefully not as much as the Tahiti! Meanwhile knitting up the back is quite straightforward, and rather restful.

I think this is the first thing I've knitted (or attempted to knit) that I've not had to make some change to needles,yarn or pattern!


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