Category Archives: hand knitting

FO: Age of Brass and Steam

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FO: Age of Brass and Steam

Ta Dah!

I really loved knitting this shawlette. I came out of a yarny dry spell, picked two hanks of Cascade Ultra Pima Paints out of my stash, and cast on.

The pattern is simple, with bands of stockinette alternated with thin bands of garter eyelets. The garter tab at the very beginning was a teeny bit fiddly so I went down a needle size and knitted 8 teeny rows instead of 6. This seemed to work better with picking up the stitches afterwards.

I used 150 grams of yarn, so 1.5 skeins, and it’s the perfect size to wear with the triangular tip in front. It benefited from a good wash and blocking to open up the stitches and smooth out the edges.

Buddha-approved!

Melting…

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Melting…

It used to be, long long ago when the boys were small, we’d be on the beach all the time. Now that they’re older I can go a whole summer without a swim in the lake…until this summer.

We have had temperatures over 40° Celsius this week with little respite at night. No AC in our house, so it’s been up to 36 indoors. Fans barely make a dent in the heat. I have had more swims and showers in the last week than in the previous six months!!

Going to work has actually been something I’ve looked forward to, because the store is cool.

We haven’t used the oven for cooking, only the stove top. Gah!

It’s a good thing my knitting project is small so it doesn’t heat up my lap, and the yarn is cotton which is better for sweaty hands.

I’m making this into a shawlette by adding pattern repeats. I have plenty of the second cake left and I’m enjoying the process.

Recently I’ve become interested in sashiko. I have seen some very arty stuff made by people in the Sew Obsessed group on Ravelry and after looking at some books and videos I was ready to try a project.

I’ll show you next time because it’s not finished yet.

I’m very excited about the change in mask status from mandatory to voluntary. Finally! I will be going without at work from now on. It should create a less combative atmosphere in future, because we won’t have to police the customers.

Stay cool, and I’ll see you again soon.

A bit of everything

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A bit of everything

There’s been knitting…

Since I took that photo, it’s grown quite a bit. This is Age of Brass and Steam which is a free pattern that I found via Ravelry. It’s very popular with thousands of projects linked. The yarn is Cascade Ultra Pima Paints, a lovely tonal cotton.

There’s been crocheting…

I won’t say too much about this because it’s a test for someone. But it came out CUTE!

And there’s been sewing…

A vinyl zipper pouch based on a Crafty Gemini tutorial (YouTube) called a pinch pouch.

And an actual garment which gave me grief and I had to redo the neck binding but I think it’s wearable now!

Gawd, it’s 34 degrees today with a forecast high for the weekend of 38. What the heck?!?!?!

We don’t have AC so the only way to be sitting here and not dripping is to have the big floor fan going. Downstairs, where my sewing room is, is somewhat cooler. I can see the big maple tree in my front yard blowing about in the wind and I can imagine it’d be like standing on front of a giant hairdryer right now.

And now I have to make dinner so the fan is getting moved to the kitchen!

Sweater surgery

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Remember the swoncho? I finished it a couple of weeks ago but I wasn’t 100% happy with the collar.

I didn’t incorporate the optional short rows when knitting the pattern. The collar was a little too tight for optimum comfort and a little too long. Because of the funnel neck style, the sweater didn’t lie smoothly at the upper chest.

So I did surgery today.

I took a cable from my interchangeables and some skinny tips and picked up one leg of each stitch around, four rows below the ribbing. Then I snipped the yarn in the round above (I had to unravel upwards as it was top-down construction.) There was much faffing to get all the stitches from one round neatly onto the cable and in the process I ended up losing a couple more rounds.

I knitted a round or two to make sure it was all ok, then tried it on. The front neckline was still a teeny bit higher than I wanted, but the circumference was wider and I decided to go ahead and add the new ribbing. My first attempt at short rows at the back neck was too drastic and it would have looked odd, so I unknitted (tinked) that effort and redid it. By the time I was happy with it, the collar was 12 rows deep at the back and 6 at the front. Then I bound off and called it done. Really done, this time!

This is going to be so much more wearable now and I’m really glad I faffed about with it, because I don’t know if I’d have worn it otherwise.

It’s been a pleasant ‘at home’ day today. Did the vacuuming, plant watering, bathroom and kitchen cleaning, and enjoyed a bit of Outlander on Netflix while I was dealing with my sweater. Then I baked chocolate chip muffins and a dish that’s kind of like lasagna but I stuff the tofu mixture into giant pasta shells, smother it all in tomato sauce, and sprinkle a little vegan cheese (Violife) on top and throw it in the oven for 30 minutes. Add a big green salad and dinner is done.

Tomorrow is all about the errands across the lake.

Joy!

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Joy!

Hello all. I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend doing the things you love.

It’s my turn for a weekend off and Mr Fixit and I have had a good day so far. Just errands around town and grabbing some awesome tea from our favourite place, but so much nicer than being at work!

My featured photo today (above) is the view from my kitchen early yesterday morning. It looked like the trees were on fire! And today when I opened my curtains, I had a treat. Two deer were standing on the vegetable garden, barely moving, looking watchful and alert (probably because of the dog in the neighbour’s yard). I quickly grabbed my phone. They hung around for some time, then bounded effortlessly over the fence and went on their way.

I am always honoured to have a visit from them. I hope they know that they are safe on my property.

Onto yarny pursuits, and I finished some fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit. I used the Cygnet Chunky again. They only took two evenings. Once I had finished the first one, he did say he would have liked longer cuffs like his old pair, but I’m afraid I’m a bad wifey and told him I don’t have much patience for things made in pairs any more and I just wanted them done fast!

I used the basic mitten pattern from Ann Budd’s book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.

Once those were done, I started a new crochet project. A co-worker is scheduled for major back surgery in February and I wanted to make her something. After a browse around Ravelry I decided on the Wishing Well Wrap (link to pattern on her blog here) (link to my project page on Ravelry here)

I’m using Lion Brand Mandala Baby in Echo Caves which is a tasteful combination of blues, greens and cream. It’ll probably take two cakes, though I have five in stash, so could make it bigger if I have time. It’s an easy two-row pattern. Perfectly good for working on while watching The Crown on Netflix!!

Anyone who loves books will appreciate this stack that I brought home from the library today. A few of them were ones I had requested – the rest were ones I found that caught my eye. Three novels, some knitting and other crafts, and a lot of quilt and applique books.

Twenty three to be exact (the maximum number we can borrow at once is 100, and yes, when the boys were small we did manage to hit that amount sometimes). What a warm fuzzy feeling, to be home on the couch on a winter’s afternoon, with yarn to hand, and a pile of books to enjoy, while it’s getting dark outside. Joy!!

FO: Turtle Dove

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It is done! (Link to Ravelry project page.) First FO of 2021.

I haven’t washed this yet, so the stitches are still somewhat uneven in places. It took just over six weeks to complete though if I had been a little more focused it could have taken way less.

I did try it on and I have to say I’m not 100% happy with it. It fits ok but I was anticipating it being more roomy. Guess I should have made the larger size. Could have been a little longer too, and the neck doesn’t sit smoothly probably because it’s a funnel-type neck with no neckline shaping. If I made it again, I would make it bigger and wider, add length below the armholes, work the ribbing without changing to smaller needles and do the short rows at the back neck. Hmmm, that’s a lot of changes!

Ah well, live and learn!!

2020 knitting and crochet – a review

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2020 knitting and crochet – a review

Good morning, Monday! Thanks to the fact I worked Friday/Saturday/Sunday, today is a day off and it feels like my weekend!

I stayed up late last night reading a library book. It was compelling enough that I wanted to finish it, and by the time I crawled into bed it was 1am. That meant that this morning it was nearly 9am when I got up. I really shouldn’t go to bed after 11. My face doesn’t like it 😀

I have a bonus Window on the Weather for you. We have fog today and wet snow and our view has all but disappeared. (I made it the featured photo at the top of this post – I’m sure you can click on it to see it bigger.)

So, what did I knit or crochet in 2020? You’d think that with the seven-week covid closure of my workplace back in the spring and fewer outside activities I would have made more stuff, not less. However that’s not the case. When I looked at my Ravelry project pages for things finished in 2020 there were only 32. Some years I have achieved twice that. I know it’s not a competition, and quality is better than quantity, but I feel a good deal of satisfaction from looking at my Ravelry notebook!

Of course there was a huge amount of sewing in 2020, which took up a lot of the time I could have been playing with yarn, so it’s not that I wasn’t making stuff, it’s just that I was absorbed in a different craft. I sewed masks and bags and journals and cuffs and was really enjoying delving into something bordering on textile art, not just utilitarian sewing. The new Janome sewing machine contributed to that too.

Here are the screenshots from my Ravelry notebook. If you are interested in more info, you can go check out my project pages here.

Even though there are 32 project pages, I actually made more than 32 things, as some projects include multiples of the same thing.

There are 3 shawls, 2 sweaters, 5 pairs mitts, 6 cowls, 1 pumpkin, 1 pompom garland, 1 blanket, 6 hats, 3 bags, 3 earsavers, 5 baskets, 3 hearts.

My one WIP is seeing me into the new year and then I have plans for some knitted fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit as his are wearing out. He is happy to have purple ones so I’ll use the same yarn as the current sweater, but probably at a tighter gauge. I’ll just use the Ann Budd pattern out of the Handy Book of Patterns. It’s easy and written for multiple gauges.

Since tidying up the stash, I am feeling an urge to do some stashbusting crochet projects. The desire to crochet has been a little weak in 2020 but I have that beautiful set of KnitPro Waves hooks just waiting for some attention.

The snowflakes just got bigger out there and I am appreciating the fact I can enjoy them from inside a warm house! Take care, everyone 🙂

Oops, I missed some yarn

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I was feeling pretty accomplished after last night’s stash organisation and today I was reading a thread on Ravelry which someone started called Flash Your Stash 2021. There is a thread like that every year and while I didn’t post my photos in there I did have a realisation that I hadn’t included my WIPs in yesterday’s blog post.

Works in Progress are kinda sorta part of the stash. After all, they aren’t FOs, and there may well be some yarn left over when they are finished that will end up in the stash. So tonight I pulled my two WIPs (yes, only two) out of their bags in the living room next to my end of the sofa and laid them out.

The Turtle Dove sweater is almost done. I bought 10 balls of the Cygnet Chunky from Wool Warehouse especially for this project and I will have over 4 balls left when I’m done.

This colour doesn’t photograph well in artificial light. I have a little bit of ribbing to finish on one cuff and then a second sleeve to knit.

The other WIP is one that has been hibernating for a really long time. Thanks to my Ravelry project page, I can see that I cast on this blanket on October 14th 2019. Yes, you read that right. It’s been hanging around for 15 months. I have a strong suspicion I should unravel it and maybe start a crochet one instead. I’m not loving the colour combination so far.

All of these worsted weight acrylics were intended to go into the blanket but I became less inspired by them as the blanket grew! Maybe one evening I will enjoy some mindless frogging and plan something new.

Window on the weather – Day 2

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As you can see, the snow really built up over the course of the last 24 hours. I think we have a couple more casualties of the heavy weight on the tree branches out there – a branch on one of our hawthorn trees looks to have cracked, and the lilac is bent down to the ground.

There is some blue sky today, and the temperature is hovering around freezing, so most of the snow will probably hang around, except on the roads.

Progress has been made on the Turtle Dove swoncho.

The twisted rib hem has been finished on the front and I have a couple of inches to go on the back. Then I’ll need to add the sleeves, which will be pretty short because of the style of this garment. I think I only need to do 6 inches of stockinette and a couple of inches of ribbing.

Mr Fixit was commenting last night that his fingerless mitts were getting worn out. I have darned them a little in the past. We couldn’t remember how long he’d had them – our guesses were way off – turns out I knitted them in January 2010! The beauty of Ravelry is that I was able to look at the project page and find out that they are 11 years old. No wonder they are wearing out, but I’m impressed that they’ve lasted this long. He uses them every winter around the house. Not sure I feel like knitting him some new ones, but maybe I should just do it anyway!

Happy Friday

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Happy Friday

Hi all

It was a beautiful sunny day today, but cold. Last night we had freezing rain and when I was driving to the dentist to get my tooth prepared for a crown I was sliding a little on the road, despite my new winter tires.

The dentist spent a long time reshaping my tooth and getting a 3D scan of my mouth for the new crown to be made. It wasn’t painful and I wasn’t stressed out but I was glad when she was done. Afterwards I had a walk around the neighbourhood, cosied up in my new winter coat and a crocheted grey beanie with a neon yellow pompom! First hat day of the winter.

Once I’d had my exercise, off I went to my sewing room. I finished the Christmas journal, which I think will probably be the Secret Santa gift for work this year. Below are a few photos of some of the pages.

I called that one done, and started adding pages to the flowery cover I showed you last time. It’s not quite full enough yet so you’ll have to wait to see that one.

I’ve finished two balls of the Cygnet Chunky on my Turtle Dove swoncho now. The yoke is growing bigger and bigger – by the time I split for the sleeves and body I should have about 300 stitches.

It’s definitely good Netflix knitting – or I should I say “Knitflix” (I know, not an original joke)!

What do you like to watch on Netflix? Recently, I burned through five seasons of Lucifer, then watched The Queen’s Gambit, and now I’m on Dark. When you’re knitting, the fact that the voices are dubbed isn’t a big deal because you’re not always looking at the screen anyway. Better than subtitles anyway – you have to watch for those!

Dark is a German series. It has quite a convoluted plot, and without trying to be too spoilery I find that watching people walking/crawling through caves makes me feel very claustrophobic and tense. I shall have to choose something lighter when this show is done.

Whew, feeling tired and it’s not even 9pm. I went to bed really late last night, forgetting I had to be up early for the dentist appointment. And tomorrow and Sunday I have work so need to be well-rested, so I’m going to say ta ta for now. Have a great weekend!