Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WIP Wednesday

I'm finally down to three WIPs again - woohoo! I've finished some things and put one set of socks I'm not enjoying knitting on in hibernation with my jumper which I'm putting off dealing with because I have a horrible feeling I will need to frog it as it's now going to be too big. *breathe* Anyway three seems to be the most manageable amount of projects I can deal with without something languishing.

I'm still working on a another pair of socks which have been on my needles far too long. Again I'm just not loving knitting them but I'm so close to finishing I'm forcing myself to get them done and I've set a deadline of The Bloke's birthday at the start of December. I think after this pair I'm going to start doing some sock experimentation. Part of the reason I'm not loving the socks I've got on my needles is I'm struggling with it hurting my hands. I think it's the tiny needles and my tight tension so I'm going to try going up a needle size or two and reducing the amount I cast on. Hopefully that will make me enjoy it again. The pattern is Emily's favorite socks and the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply. I'm still loving this yarn, and the pattern is making lovely socks but I've discovered whilst knitting these that I don't enjoy mindless sock knitting. Weird I know. I don't mind with anything else but I'm just finding these really boring. Maybe I would enjoy it more if it wasn't a solid yarn colour but then again, maybe not. Anyway I'm looking forward to these being done.

I cast on something new for myself as a reward for finishing some gift knitting. This is the Cannetella Hat by Woolly Wormhead. It's turning out to be a bit of a labour of love as I really wanted to use the gorgeous yarn I got from The Wool Kitchen on Etsy however when I came to wind the ball I found a lot of breaks and then when I started knitting I found a lot more shredded parts. SO, so sad. I'm not sure what happened but I know it wasn't something I did, I didn't snag it or anything. My best guess is a moth or carpet bug has got to it. We live in a really old house that has a ton of them and I clearly left this laying around too long. Usually my yarn lives in zip lock bags because of this exact reason but I did leave this on the shelf for a bit to admire it. At least the other skein I bought is completely fine as I've also started knitting with that and so have had the chance to inspect it. So this hat already has a million joins in it and I'm only just past the ribbing but I LOVE IT. How beautiful is this yarn knitting up? It's like those little flying embers you get above the bonfire that float off into the night sky. I want to knit on it all the time, even with the constant yarn joining. I'm trying to restrain myself a bit though until my Christmas gift knitting is done.

My third WIP is also using amazing The Wool Kitchen yarn in the Ziggy colourway and some Fyberspates in Dove Stone. It's a Hitchhiker Shawl that I'm making for a gift. It's a really easy knit as it's pretty much all garter stitch. I plan on making the full size with 42 points but I should still have a little yarn left over for myself I think. I'm going to make a few additions to the pattern as well as the stripes. I started adding a YO instead of KFB to try and add a bit more stretch to the edge and it helped a little but it's still curving quite a lot so I might try experimenting with something else as well. I'm going to add some eyelets near the bottom too and probably a small block of the Ziggy colourway. I'm loving how the colours are working and it's keeping it interesting to knit on. Hopefully I will get it done in time as I know progress will start to slow down now the rows are getting longer.

I have at least one more gift I want to try and knit before Christmas but it's going to be tight time-wise. I'm not the fastest knitter. Plus I had wanted to make some little woollen baubles for decoration. They might still get done yet as I have everything ready to go and they're so small they shouldn't take too long. I'm desperate for more Christmas decorations this year as a lot fell apart last year they were so old. Also, I have no idea where we will fit the Christmas tree. I really wanted to get a tall one but I don't think we'll have the room. It's going to be a squeeze to fit one in at all! My only free space now is in front of the radiators which is no good for a real tree so I either need to buy a fake one or get a small real one I can put on a table. It's not Christmas without the smell of the fir tree though.. dilemma. Anyway I have plans for a Christmas Eve cast on party with my mum so it's all good. Happy Holidays and Happy Making!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The first big handmade wardrobe success

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks but I made a garment! I'm insanely pleased that I got my Blaster Cardigan finished. I learnt a lot and best of all it's actually wearable.

The pattern is by Andi Satterlund and perhaps wasn't the best choice for a first cardigan to knit as I did struggle with following the instructions and had to rip parts back a fair few times. The finished article is fab though and I have my eye on quite a few of her other patterns that I'd like to make now I have a better idea what I'm doing. There are a few lessons learnt I'll take forward though. The fit being the main one. When I started knitting it I was between sizes and Andi advised I take into account not just the bust size but the waist size too. This was a good point I hadn't considered so I went for the medium size which it turns out was the wrong choice. It fits fine but there is absolutely no negative ease. I suspect this is because I've lost more weight in the time I was knitting it as the finished cardigan is pretty close to the measurements the pattern said it would be and it didn't change shape when I blocked it. Oh well, next time I'll go for the smaller size when faced with the same dilemma. There are a couple of other things that could do to be tweaked but I don't yet have the skills to know how to do it. The shoulders are a touch wide, and the body is slightly too long and doesn't quite hit my waist where it should. It's easy enough to alter the length but I don't know how to narrow the shoulders, however this might have been solved by knitting the smaller size.

The only other thing I'm not keen on is there seems to be a lot of excess fabric under the sleeves. Again I'm not sure how to alter that and maybe if I'd managed to get the negative ease I was after this would be needed to get a good fit but it makes it a little baggy on my version. On the whole though I'm really happy with it. I did make some changes to the sleeves to make them taper in more and end where I wanted. I also tried Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off which was great so I'll certainly use that again. I was pretty impressed with the Drops Cotton Merino yarn I used given how purse friendly it is. It was easy to knit with and didn't mind all my pulling back. There were more knots in the first couple of balls than I'd like but the second two were fine so I must have just been unlucky. I actually ended up using a ball less than I expected so I have quite a lot left. It blocked well and is a good colour but I don't know how it'll wear yet. I'm hoping because of the cotton content it should be fairly hard wearing. It's certainly comfortable next to the skin and I'd use it again as I think it'll be lovely to wear in the spring and summer.