Thursday, February 22, 2007

Knitting projects

Completed so far:

1 giant scarf for SisterNo.1's birthday in October - stocking stitch with 10 lines garter stitch at each end. Made using (must check what type of wool again)

1 long but ordinary width "mistake rib scarf" for my brother - doesn't look at all like the one in the shop did but I like it nonetheless. Made using 4 balls of black Debbie Bliss cashmerino chunky and 7mm needles.

And my latest, the scarf which was the project for the knitting class I went to. Isn't it pretty?

It's garter stitch but with a slip-stitch at the beginning of each line (except the one or two lines I forgot and just knit as normal!) which makes a nice finish I think. It also has a knitted rose - I will be making more of these I think and can see a pair of circular needles in my future. The rose is made up by knitting a row and then knitting each subsequent row while increasing every stitch. It makes a lovely ruffle and you wind it up and put a stitch in the bottom to hold in in place as a rose. Or, if you make a really big one you have a lovely ruffle scarf. For this scarf I used 3 balls of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran and 5mm needles. The rose is Debbie Bliss cashmerino chunky with one row of the scarf yarn to finish it. I'm sending this scarf to a friend in Germany who had a birthday a couple of weeks ago (thought I'd finish it in time, should have known better) and who, coincidentially, also started knitting recently and is going to classes. In Germany though, or at least in the place she's learning, you're not allowed to knit until you can crochet. I'd like to learn to crochet too.

1 hat for SisterNo.4 (who lost it less than a week later)

1 hat for my brother.

3 more for my nieces and nephew in France although SisterNo.3 (their mum) told me to remember my nephew has a very big head and I overcompensated and made his way too big. SisNo.3 has adopted it though so no waste. I've since made another one for him but think I've overcompensated the other way and made it too small this time. I'll send it anyway and bring wool with me in April when I visit so I can make one while I'm there that will actually fit him.

1 hat for BroInLawNo.4 and am just about to start another one to replace the one his wife lost. They're off travelling the world though and heading to Sydney for a year next week so I don't think there's much hurry in getting these to them. Actually, I might just send this to France as well and my nephew can have his choice. Here are the two of them together:

These hats have all been made using Sirdar Denim which is 60% acrylic, 25% cotton and just 15% wool. I just bought the pattern without thinking about what I'd need to make them. I still have one ball of this left to make a replacement hat for SisNo4. However, if possible, in future I'm going to try and stick to more/mostly natural fibres.

With that in mind I bought a ball of Noro 100% wool in shades of green/blue/brown. However when I was knitting it I hated the feel of it and found it very scratchy. I also found it very uneven as parts are very thick and some parts very thin, almost threadlike. I didn't like the way it looked really. I ended up just knitting a big square in garter stitch and not really knowing what to do. I decided to make a handbag and that it would be nice felted and bought some round wooden handles and another ball of wool. This is what I ended up with (before and after sewing it up pictures):

I have learned since that what I did should technically be called fulling, not felting but at any rate I think I need to try running it through another machine wash as it's not quite felt-like yet. After that I'll sew the handles on. This is for another friend's birthday present.

After all that, my brother insists that I should knit something for myself and I'm considering trying a jumper. SisNo.4 bought me a book in the States for my birthday called Hot Knits. There's one really interesting looking jumper I think I'll try - it's a kind of vertical rib pattern and is knit in one by starting at one sleeve. And it's a big, sloppy, comfy looking kind of jumper. I don't really do fitted styles. I don't fully understand the pattern but I'm going to bring it to the wool shop soon and ask for their advice. It's knit using Rowan Big Wool which is about €6 a ball and it needs about 14 balls so I'll need to save up for this one. I'm going to check out wool shops when I'm in France and see if it's any cheaper over there. And then I need to give some serious thought to the yarn I buy and where it's coming from, how it's made etc. to try and make good choices in future.

P.S. First time adding photos to blog so hopefully it has worked and won't go on to dozens of pages!!!

1 comment:

kneek said...

The photos look great. Noro Kureyon looks great when it is fulled. I've made several bags using it. Just give it a good hot, soapy wash in the machine with a couple of towels or jeans. For the love your machine, zip the bag into a pillowcase protector, or just pin a pillowcase shut to keep the yarn from shedding and clogging up your motor.

I'm thrilled to see you've included my felt treasure box in your list of things you want to try. I've had felting on my list of things to do for years and years and finally figured I should just dive in. It is so much fun and really quite simple. Go for it!