Win a copy of Rowan Studio 16

Over at www.hulucrafts.co.uk you can enter a draw to win a copy of Rowan Studio 16 – their most recent edition of this popular series.  You just have to sign up for the newsletter (at the bottom of the page) to be in with a chance.   The draw takes place on 30th September 2009.

rowan studio 16

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New Kim Hargreaves book – Breeze

Kim Hargreaves has got a new book out which should be on sale in the next few days.  It’s called Breeze and has some lovely Spring and Summer knitting patterns.  I’ve not knitted any of Kim’s patterns before, but I’ve put several in my queue (which is growing ever longer since I started my yarn shop and have access to a huge selection of pattern books!).

I think that Kim’s style is appealing because it’s not too fussy, not too way out, but are unlike any ready-made knits you’d get in the shops. There’s a slight retro feel to some of the designs, but they’re not old-fashioned.  All the designs in Breeze are made with one or other of Rowan’s cotton yarns.

The patterns I like are:

I’ll have copies of Breeze by Kim Hargreaves in my shop at the beginning of April.

Announcing Hulu Crafts

I’d like to announce my new business: www.hulucrafts.co.uk – an online yarn store selling yarns, wools and knitting patterns from Sirdar, Sublime, Rowan, Artesano, and Manos del Uruguay as well as Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Amy Butler fabrics and sewing patterns.

 

Hulu online yarn and fabric shop
Hulu online yarn and fabric shop

 

 

This is something I’ve dreamed about doing for some time and I’m so excited that it is finally happening.  The website went live last week and I’ve had so much encouragement from friends and family.

I’m happy to ship internationally, so to all my non-UK readers, why not take advantage of the exchange rate and grab yourself a good deal!

P.S.: The name comes from Hulu – the hawaiian word for wool.

Beanie hat patterns

I’ve put patterns of both my Lavender in Winter and Triple Choc beanies on the patterns page of this blog.  Have fun and don’t forget to let me know how you get on!

I wonder if I could write my own pattern one day?

I’ve been getting regular requests for copies of the Starsky and Hutch jacket pattern.  However as I think I’ve mentioned before, I’d be breaking the law if I copied and distributed it.

But it’s given me food for thought.  There’s obviously a gap in the market.  So many knitters would like to get their hands on such a pattern and but struggle to find one.  Old copies come up on eBay now and then but not often.

I’m like my Dad – the sort of person who see a hole in the market and tries to fill it.   So… I’ve decided that once I’ve knitted my brother’s jacket for him, I’ll write my own version.  I obviously have to be careful how I do this because I can’t just take the pattern I bought and change the odd bit.  That would still infringe copyright law.  But a bit of careful research plus knitting my brother’s should teach me enough to be able to at least try and write my own design!

I could sell it and give the money to a very worthwhile charity that I support – Medic Malawi.   Medic Malawi was started by a couple from my church and they raise money and find medical equipment and supplies to support a hospital in a small town called Mtunthama.   I visited the town a couple of years ago and had an amazing trip.  I spent a few days helping the hospital administrators with some IT stuff, whilst other members of the group I travelled with helped to build a maize store house.  The local people there were so inspiring.  They have very little of their own, but what they did have they wanted to share with us.  If anyone wants to know more about Medic Malawi then please visit the website or send me a message.

Anyway – if you’d be interested in a Starsky and Hutch style jacket, then check back here nearer Christmas time.  I might very well have one available!

iPod Nano case

I realised that I never blogged about the iPod case I knitted a couple of weekends ago.

I recently bought myself a shiny new RED iPod Nano as my 4G iPod packed up on a permanent basis and it wasn’t worth getting it repaired. I bought a clear hard case for it, so I could protect it from scratches and still see the beautiful red colour. However whilst on my crutches I needed an easier way to carry it around.

I came across this pattern for a nano necklace by Designedly Kristi and decided it would be ideal.

I bought some red yarn to match the colour of the iPod and with 3mm DPNs I knitted this up, learning some new skills on the way:

  • Used DPNs for the first time
  • Made an i-cord for the first time

Problems

  1. I made a 3 stitch i-cord rather than 4 that was in the pattern, as 3 seemed wide enough.
  2. I also couldn’t follow the instructions for picking up and knitting the i-cord into the seam, so I made it separately and sewed it on instead.
  3. The other thing I wasn’t sure about was where it said to join the side seams by making a chain stitch with a DPN. Couldn’t work out how to do that either, but someone on knittinghelp.com forum suggested that I simply pick up the two seams, knit and cast off straight away as you go along, because this makes a chain stitch. And indeed it does.

iPod case

A friend of mine has just herself a Nano too, so I might make her one. The only thing I would change for future ones, is that I could cast on less stitches at the start. Nanos are really tiny and my case is perhaps on the large side.

Starsky and Hutch cardigan

Guess what I won on eBay..? A pattern for a Starsky and Hutch cardigan!

Starsky and Hutch pattern cover

There were three or four patterns on eBay but most went for silly prices – except the one I won! Only £1.25 and cheap postage. It arrived this morning and it’s in excellent condition. It’s original price was only 12p!

Just need to keep an eye out for some suitable wool now. I think this will be a winter project though. My brother will have to wait for a while as I’ve got several WIPs at the moment now! (I started the summer top last night and have a little fun project on the go which I’ve yet to blog about.)

The baker boy cap continues…

To recap, my problem was continuing on from where it said to “continue following the pattern as set without further shaping”, I decided that I wasn’t meant to exactly repeat the pattern that had been given in the first 8 rows, rather to follow the sort of sequence. As someone wisely said on another forum, following the knitting, not the pattern. This was how it started:

1st row: (WS) K3, (p4, k5) 7 times, p4, k2
2nd row: P2, k4, (p2, inc in next st, p2, k4) 7 times, p2, inc in last st. 80sts.
3rd row: K4, (p4, k6) 7 times, p4, k2
4th row: P2, C4F, (p3, inc in next st, p2, C4F) 7 times, p3, inc in last st. 88sts.
5th row: K5, (p4, k7) 7 times, p4, k2
6th row: P2, k4 (p4, inc in next st, p2, k4) 7 times, p4, inc in last st. 96sts.
7th row: K6, (p4, k8) 7 times, p4, k2
8th row: P2, C4F, (p5, inc in next st, p2, C4F) 7 times, p5, inc in last st. 104sts.

Going back to 1st row and doing exactly what it said there wouldn’t have been correct, so I had to work out how the sequence might have continued in the 9th row. For anyone who might find this post and is trying to make the same baker boy hat from The Art of Knitting magazine, this is how I continued:

1st row: K7, (p4, k9) 7 times, p4, p2
2nd row: P2, k4, (P9, k4) 7 times, P7
3rd row: as 1st row
4th row: P2, C4F, (P9, C4F) 7times, P7

and it seems to be ok. I kept repeating this sequence until the piece measured 14cm. The cable looks good and I think that I’m ok so far.

The next bit, which is shaping the crown, started off saying (Patt 11, P2tog) to end. My initial reaction was “oh heck will this really work out ok?”. But it has so far. I’ve been able to continue decreasing as instructed and have not got down to the point where is says I have to (Patt 2tog). Unfortunately this occurs at a row where I’ve got 4 knits and only 3 purls all the way across, so doing 2 stitches together, means that the pattern will get shifted a bit I think because I’m going to have to combine a knit and a purl stitch together.

(This probably isn’t making any sense to people reading this, but at least it’ll be a reference for me and for anyone else who might be doing the same cap).

How am I going to tackle this bit – I’ve only got a few more rows to do then it’s finished.

Another problem with the cap

Mum returned home and got me out of my little problem with the cap yesterday. I redid that row and successfully continued with the next few rows. I can see the cable pattern forming which is very satisfying.

However I come to my next problem with this pattern. The cable pattern is 8 rows, with increases in the even numbered rows. Once you’ve done this first set of 8, the instructions say to continue following this pattern without shaping until the piece measures 14cm. I figured this means you go back to row 1 of the pattern and carry on working through as before, just leaving out the inc 1 bit in rows 2,4,6 and 8. But if I go back to row 1 of the pattern, then it’s for a row which only has 72st, not 104st as I have now as a result of the increasing. So I can’t do what row 1 says because it won’t fit.

I don’t know what to do?!!