Friday, April 25, 2014

Knitting not sewing

I feel I must catch up for all the years of not knitting.  I think my dear sewing machines are collecting cobwebs.

I've been scouring the internet for free knitting patterns, buying yarn that's on sale and in general, creating a new stash to bust.
Life doesn't get any better.

Here are my latest projects.

First off is a free download pattern called Daisy Chain by Amanda Lilley.  It's available on Ravelry.
I used 2 skeins of Patons Canadiana yarn and size 4 mm circular needles.

The pattern was easy to follow until it came to picking up stitches to do the edging. I was totally stumped as I had never done anything like this before. Do I use the left needle? Do I use the right one? Do I double back and turn everything inside out?

Well, it turned out that the left needle is used, sliding the stitches back on the needles (and wire) then pick up the stitches placing markers where they are called for in the pattern and then follow the instructions.  I guess I was over-thinking the process.

It turned out just fine but the bottom edges need a little extra blocking.

The embroidery was easy to do. I used a fabric marker to make the vine line but in hindsight I should have simply basted a thread making the line to follow much more visible.

I wonder if a little bling might be fun to use for say a Christmas cardigan?

The second project I completed was a vest.  I bought this pattern on Ravelry.  It's called #256 Basic Vest for Children by Diane Soucy.

I used 1 skein of Paton's Canadiana.  This pattern worked up really quickly and the instructions were easy to follow.
The neck band is different than on most V-neck vests I've seen and was a no-brainer to make.

Instead of using DPN's for the neck band and sleeve bands, I used 3.75 circular needles. Better than stabbing oneself!

A new trick I learned from this project was how to do a 3 needle bind off on the shoulders. Gah! I'm going to use that technique from now on.

I am pleased with the outcome of this project and Mr. A can expect many, many more vest's.

Off to knit some more…………...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Knitting obsession

During the first week of January this year, I enrolled in a local knitting class with a neighbour.  The instructor asked the group what we wanted to make so I showed her a knitting book my mother had used to make sweaters for my children when they were little.

I bought 4 balls/skeins of Paton's Astra maize coloured yarn, needles in size 3.25mm and 4mm and I was away to the races.

Casting on was a nightmare and it took me several days before I cast on 38 stitches and then attempted a second row to begin the rib stitch hem.  I was sure I would never figure it out but was determined not to let it get the better of me.

During the following 3 months as I plodded away on the project I learned how to knit, purl, cast on and off, seam, block and most importantly, read a pattern.

I need to practice on button bands and seams. Seams sure are difficult. It's not like I can shove them through my serger. That would be much easier.

The bottom line is … I did it.  I made a cardigan with raglan sleeves, a folded collar and button bands.

I know that with practice my tension will get better too.  One pattern I made as an extra circular activity while making the yellow cardigan, was called In Threes.  The pattern was easy to read and perfect for practicing tension.  So I made it again using Lions Brand Baby Wool (orchid) that was on sale for $1.99 at Michaels. I bought 4 skeins and cranked out another In Threes pattern in size 3T this time.

It all went well except I totally screwed up on the band at the front.
Oh well.  Good excuse to get more yarn and keep practicing.
The Chickadee agrees.

I think this cardi would look good with a white long sleeve shirt underneath and a jean skirt or a pair of jeans.