On my Needles part 2

So, I’ve been a busy knitter these last two weeks. I finished the Waterlily a week ago and then started working intensively on the Brolly shawl. However, the rows are getting pretty long by now and every row there are two more stitches increased so it takes longer and longer to finish a row.  I am at 320 stitches now and still have a 100 to go, but that’s only 50 more rows BEFORE I can start the border…I decided to take some time away from it to work on other projects.   IMGP4880_PEF_modified

After seeing a couple of pretty Seaside Sundae blankets on Ravelry I got very excited to make my own.  When I first saw it I wasn’t very IMGP4865_PEF_modifiedinterested in it because I don’t really care for the colors they use in the magazine.  But colors are of course a matter of taste and seeing the other two blankets made me give it another look.  I decided to make this blanket for my mom since her birthday is coming up and therefore I chose green as the main color since that is her favorite.  IMGP4872_PEF_modifiedThe color combination reminds me of the ocean and I am quite happy with it.  Also, my mom is not a big fan of random (which is how I think the triangles in the pattern are arranged) so I decided to make it more orderly. Also the outermost border will be only one color.  I have decided to make it 2 rows longer so I expect it to be ca. 125 cm instead of 104 cm. So far I have completed 10 squares of the 60 that I have to make. The yarn is Drops Merino Extra Fine and luckily they it is currently on sale with 35% off.IMGP4866_PEF_modified

I had some leftover silk from my Waterlily and I have been crocheting bow ties from it.  Each tie is only a few grams so I will probably have enough for 8-10.  I still have to sew them together and add the central piece.  But I like the way they look.IMGP4882_PEF_modified

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Waterlily

Behold! Another finished PomPom garment:IMGP4853_PEF_shotwell_modified

This is the cover pattern of this years spring issue, the beautiful and popular Waterlily top.  I decided to make mine in silk, hoping it would be wearable all through the summer. I have made a sleeveless wool top before and never wore it because the weather was never right.  Either my body was warm and my arms cold or my arms my warm and my body melting.  Also because of the wool it was hard to wear a cardi over it.  IMGP4852_PEF_shotwell_modified

So I decided to go for a more summer friendly yarn for this top.  It is Soft Silk from BC garn, very nice raw silk yarn with plenty of texture which gives the stockinette part of the top more character. I used 140 gr. for a size 1 top. IMGP4854_PEF_shotwell_modified

The pattern is very nice, easy to understand and well written.  I only have some silly complaints about the lace section.  Understandably I like lace patterns which I can remember after a few repeats but it took me the knitting of all the lace part to finally remember this one.  The lace is lovely though.  Also, I dislike decreasing while knitting lace because your accounting has to be accurate. It is tricky to find out when to yo and when to decrease because of the lace pattern and not because of the neckline shaping.  A chart of this would have been helpful but it would probably take to much space in the magazine. And again, since the lace part of the top is so short, there are only a few rows where this has to be taken into account.IMGP4859_PEF_shotwell_modified

The construction of the back neckline is quite clever and I like it, although mine came out a bit wide in the back. I think it is ok and quite suits the loos fit of the top.IMGP4856_PEF_shotwell_modified

The yarn is something I have never worked with before and the knitted garment behaves strangely. It is very lightweight and soft and stretches funnily.  Very different from wool.IMGP4860_PEF_shotwell_modified

I made a size 1 with no alterations.  But I did two things differently from the instructions.  Firstly I knitted the garter stitch border flat.  I hate garter stitching in the round because that way you have to purl every other round.  Using my way, of course you have to seam the border at the end but this is easy since because you have to weave in the end, you already have a piece of yarn to do the seaming with. The other thing I changed was that I grafted the shoulders and knitted the neckline before blocking. After blocking I wove in the ends and seamed the sleeves.IMGP4862_PEF_shotwell_modified

I am very happy with my finished top and I am excited to see how the silk yarn hold up during wash and wear.

 

On my Needles part 1

IMGP4849_PEF_shotwell_modifiedI am going to try to add a regular post on this blog.  I will call it “On my Needles” and I plan to show my knitting and crochet WIP.  I do not know if this will be a weekly thing or just random, we’ll see.

Right now I am working on two knitting projects. The first is the Waterlily top from PomPom quarterly issue 8.  It is knit in soft silk from BC garn in grey.  The yarn is very lovely, it has lots of character and texture and I am sure that the top will feel great to wear. I have never knit a garment in silk before but thought I would wear it more in summer rather than a top made of wool. I guess I could have made it in cotton but it did not occur to me when I was choosing the yarn.  I have almost finished the top, I only have the lace part of the front left and then the usual finishings.   IMGP4851_PEF_shotwell_modifiedThe second project is from the same issue of PomPom.  It is the Brolly shawl knit in thin wool from Geilsk.  The yarn they use in the magazine is Swedish and a bit of a bother to buy if you do not live there.  The yarn from Geilsk is Danish but has the same yardage and wight and also comes in a wide range of colors.  It is easily accessible for me since it is sold in an online store here in Germany so I chose that instead.  I love the colors.  This is a very easy and mindless knit, perfect for on the go.  I usually have it with me when I am on the train and also when I take my boys to the playground.IMGP4847_PEF_shotwell_modifiedIMGP4848_PEF_shotwell_modified

Fieldwork Cardigan

IMGP4772_PEF_shotwell_modified  Here is another make from PomPom magazine.  This is the Fieldwork Cardigan from last years summer issue (issue 5).  It’s funny how long it can take to start a project. In this case I already had the yarn when I got the magazine last May but I only got myself to start this March.  I took the project with me on vacation and had plenty of time to knit so it went quickly. I finished the four panels in about two weeks, but was not able to block the pieces and stitch them together until I got home.  Then I also knit the garter stitch borders and finished.  I used Merino Singles from Lioness Arts in the colorway “Seeing other People” which is a deep shade of red, very pretty.  I actually won the yarn in a PomPom KAL last spring.  I got two 100 gram skeins and used almost all of it for the cardi.  I think it was a very nice paring. The yarn is excellent to knit with and feels high quality.

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The construction of this cardigan is unusual and I know there has been some confusion about it.  First of all it is knit from the side in four panels: right back, left back, right front and left front.  The two back panels are grafted together and then the front pieces are sewn to the back pieces which means there are two sleeve seams, one on upper arm and one on the underarm as well as side seams.  This is a lot of seams on my opinion ( I am a lover of seamless knits) and makes the construction complicated. Before seaming the panels together you have to block them “to measurements” as it says in the pattern.  I found this confusing, since the measurements given in the pattern are that of the finished garment which has borders that add to its length and width.  I would have found it better to have a figure or table with measurements of only the panels. IMGP4767_PEF_shotwell_modified

The Wave Lace pattern is relatively easy, a repetition of 4 rows over seven stitches so once you get the hang of it the knitting is a breeze.  Also because the four panels are very similar, it feels like you are knitting the same thing four times and by the time I started the fourth panel I had gotten a little bored. However, I followed the pattern to the dot, with one exception.  I decided to graft the pack pieces together before blocking since it felt unsafe to do it with lots of open stitches, even though they were on a thread.IMGP4722_PEF_modified

The PomPom magazine makes sure to write all their pattern is the same style. It is clear and precise, they explain every special method at the beginning of the pattern and they always indicate if you are working from the right side (RS) or the wrong side (WS). I find this very helpful and missing in many patterns.  You also know what to expect if you make many of PomPoms garments . However in the Fieldwork cardigan pattern there are many mistakes regarding the precision and things that were overseen.  Some of the mistakes have been corrected in the errata, but not all of them and not clearly enough.  This is especially obvious towards the end of the pattern where all descriptions get very short.  In the sewn cast of it is not indicated from which side it is and the stitches in the button holes do not add up.  At least to my best knowledge it should say:

Buttonhole Row(RS): Sl 1,k to last 7 sts, work One Row Buttonhole over 5 sts, p1. IMGP4721_PEF_modifiedIn spite of this, the cardigan is a beautiful garment and I am very happy with my make.  It is pretty and perfect to complement flowy (summer)dresses.  I have talked about my love of PomPom magazine before and they continue to amaze me with their beautiful designs and I am very exited to get the next copy in only a few weeks 🙂

 

 

Mustard

For some time now I have really wanted some garment in the color mustard but I have been kind of afraid of it.  Yellow is not a color I usually wear but I finally gave in after admiring so many people wearing it.IMGP4535_modified
Of course I could not go to H&M or a similar store and simply buy a cheap t shirt or a hat.  THAT would feel like I was wasting money. Instead I decided to waste the money on yarn and then waste my time to knit something I might not even wear….IMGP4541_modified

I found this stitch in a magazine I have and then after making a swap to determine the gauge I improvised this hat and mittens.IMGP4539_modified

I like both, although the hat is just a little bit to tight. It just means I can not wear it when I have a ponytail but that’s OK. I really like having matching accessories and they also go well with my new coat.  The color is just a little to yellow for my taste, I guess I wont be making (or buying) anything mustard in the future.  I know that now but I plan to wear these until I decide to make myself a new set of hat and mittens.  You can never have enough, right?IMGP4538_modified

 

Autumn Mittens

So its that time of year again: time for mitten knitting for the little ones.

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREI decided to make mittens for the yarn stash challenge this month.  My mom gave me this sock yarn a few years ago. It was leftover after she knitted my son a sweater and cleverly she let me have the rest of the yarn.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Since then I have used bits of it, always trying to finish it up and not had success.  There really is a lot on each skein.  I still have some left so I guess I can knit some more mittens next fall.

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My older son got two pairs and the younger one got one.  I improvised the pattern.  I have knitted enough of mittens through the years to kind of know how it goes.  At least these fit and will probably be used.

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My older son is really happy with his finger mittens, makes him feel like a grown up.

My first knitting pattern

A few weeks ago I talked about hooded sweaters I knitted for my sons. 1

I made them from Lama wool which is so soft and warm.  My younger son wears his almost every day and it is still in good shape.  When it is chilly in the mornings I feel better knowing my kids are not cold and these sweaters are exactly what they needed. I was so happy with the sweaters that I wanted to spread the joy.  I wrote the pattern down and now it is available for sale here and here.  There are also links in the sidebar. 

I will probably add a page to this blog that features my designs. I thought I could maybe do a tutorial on how to sew in a zipper. I think that might be helpful.