Thursday, 11 July 2013

Teaching myself to Knit and Crochet - the results so far.....

I was taught a little bit of knitting at primary school, where we had sewing lessons that included making a hand sewn garment from scratch. My mum would pack me off at the start of term with the most hideous cheap piece of fabric she had in her box for me to 'massacre', and would get a completely hand sewn shirt or skirt back at the end of the term in a random size. It taught me a great deal about sewing and the art of dressmaking; I learnt all sorts of skills that I think they probably don't teach very often anymore, like hemming a skirt with one thread of the warp picked up, and sewing the edges of buttonholes by hand. Sewing machines are great, but learning the absolute basics and being made to unpick them until you get them right certainly has its merits (although I probably didn't think so at the time).
Anyway, I digress. One of the skills we were taught was knitting. I knitted a bobble hat for my troll (which my parents had brought back from Copenhagen - the must have 80's toy!) but haven't picked up a pair of knitting needles since.
The first thing I tried to make was a free simple jumper pattern I found online, which I a) muffed up the pattern on, and b) inadvertently felted in the wash, so I won't include a picture of it, but it will make a nice basket liner for the cat next winter! He rather likes knitting.
Studio cat sleeping on knitting attempt no 3, whilst I was wanting to knit.

Attempt 2 was prompted by this AMAZEBALLS James C Brett Passion Chunky wool.
This is shade P1, and it is 30% wool, 70% acrylic.

I bought a James C Brett pattern (JB090 - about £2.50 from Deramores) because my mum insists that patterns work best when you do them with the wool they were intended for, and It worked really well, not too much increasing & decreasing! I did lengthen it a bit though, I felt it was too short for me.
The Pattern
The finished result.

I love the way this knits up with bands of slowly graduating colour, although the mustard stripe across the bust was a ball changeover and kind of annoys me.
graduating colour.

The only real problem I felt I had with this was stitches becoming visible when I made it up. Whichever piece of wool I used to sew the seams, there was always a point where a contrasting colour made a very obvious appearance! Maybe I'm sewing them wrong.

I may try pattern JB090 again but in the purple/green/blue shade P2.

Attempt number 3 was this beautiful OWLS sweater designed by Kate Davies
£4.25 downloadable pdf from her website here.

This is my attempt, knitted in Hayfield Chunky with wool instead of the suggested Rowan British Sheep Breeds. The button eyes eventually came from the craft shop 300 yds from my house, after browsing the Internet, John Lewis and every craft shop I came across for the 6 months it took me to finish this! The pattern recommends 5mm buttons, but I used 10mm for a better effect.
  This was my first attempt at knitting in the round, short rows and cable (which I found much simpler than I expected once I got the rhythm)

The only error I think I made was these 'holes' in the increases in the back shaping. I'm sure there is a technique to stop this happening, but I haven't learnt it yet!

All in all I'm pretty pleased with it, although I did knit a size too big for me! Big & roomy is good for the winter though. I may do a 2nd version with a heather or khaki colour way.

My next project will be this Sirdar Click chunky leaves cardigan (pattern 9392)
I am going to knit the short sleeve version in this Magnum Chunky I found in the bargain bin in Loremar, Folkestone a while ago. The buttons are from Liss Wools in Hampshire, which is a great little wool shop down the road from my Auntie's house. I bought them without knowing what I would use them for!

Of course I can't resist making myself some cute rolls and bags to hold all the needles & knitting bits I have been collecting from charity shops & boot fairs.!

I don't know what I'm going to do with these big boys, but it will produce some interesting results!

And of course by this time next year I will be an expert (!) producing incredible projects like this bag knitted in incredible Noro yarn! 

I have developed a serious yarn fetish. Here's a pic of me & Malicious Opera like kids in a candy shop when we discovered a '1p a gram' yarn sale in Rye! (I even have a ravelry account - MissPandemonium!)
That's 1p a gram kids! 50p for a ball, and it was pretty decent stuff (Jaeger, Rowan, etc). We left with as much as we could carry (and our companion, Kay, shaking her head!)
My Haul. The lovely pastel DK cotton is helping me learn to crochet. So far I have mastered half triple stitch, as seen in this soon to be giant stripy blanket I started.
Next stop amigurimi Great Old Ones!!!!

Cthulhu is watching you!

Over & Out!

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