What’s on my knitting needles?

Running a business takes a lot of time and my knitting time has been severely reduced recently. By the time I’m sat down of an evening, I don’t feel like picking up my knitting needles. However I’m making an effort at the moment to regain my knitting mojo.

I’m currently using the Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply yarn to knit this crossover top, called Hellebore, from the accompanying knitting pattern book and am really enjoying using it.

Hellebore from Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply Pattern Book

The pattern uses a chart and it took me a while to get into it. I had to redo one row 3 times and still couldn’t get it right, so fudged it and continued. I’m now on the third pattern repeat and it’s fine. I don’t know what I did wrong in the first pass, but never mind. The pattern itself has clicked now too, so I’m not having to read off the chart too much.

Hellebore knitting
A progress photo I published on Instagram

Incidentally, in my last post, I talked about using a day to a page diary that I was given at Christmas, to help me with my life planning and I’m finding it really quite helpful. I divide the page up so that I have any appointments or events on the left hand side and a to do list on the right hand side. I also add odd items that I need to pop to the shops to buy on the right hand side. I make notes at the bottom regarding what I might be cooking for dinner and things I need to remember to pray for. It’s keeping my brain clear now!

FO: Rico Fashion Summer Print Cardigan

I just realised that I haven’t posted about the cardigan I knitted in Rico’s new Fashion Summer Print yarn.

The yarn is a cotton tape yarn and the cardigan was knitted on 8mm needles, so it was a really quick knit. It take a bit of brain work to figure out how to do the knot, but a friend at knit and natter understood and showed me. Once I understood, it was very simple!

Rico Fashion Summer Print CardigaThe pattern is Rico Compact Idea 159 and the yarn is Rico Fashion Summer Print.


FO: Purple Ribbed Cardi

Yesterday was a bank holiday and you know what I did all day?  I just sat and knit whilst catching up with programmes I’d recorded on TV.  All day.  It was bliss!

And I got the purple cardi finished off.  The pattern is from Rico Knitting Ideas Book 6 and was very straight forward to follow.

purple ribbed cardi
Purple Ribbed Cardi by Rico Design
the back of the cardi
The back of the cardi with cabled detail

I absolutely love it.  It fits really well and I’m sure it’s going to be a firm favourite.  I especially like the detail on the back.  The yarn was brilliant too.  It was Rico’s Essential Merino DK and as well as having great stitch definition, it hasn’t pilled in the slightest as I was knitting with it.  So I hope that the cardi continues to look good for a long time to come.  Good value too at only £3.45 a ball.  This cardi took 11 balls.

After finishing the cardi, I started to knit a new throw using a kit I bought from Collinette at the Knitting Show at Ally Pally last October.  I wanted to start a top from Kim Hargreaves’ book Misty, but I can’t make up my mind as to what colour to do it.

FO: Sparkle Cardigan

I finished this cardigan a few weeks ago now, but have only just taken a photo of it.

sparkle cardigan

The pattern comes from the Rowan Classic book 16 and is knitted with Rowan Silk Wool DK in Bramble.  The wool was nice to knit with, although had a few lumps in it where it hadn’t been spun quite right.  I think that maybe that was to do with the silk element.  

I was given the wool for Christmas but had to go and get another ball as I didn’t have enough to finish it off.  As I got nearer and nearer to the end of the final ball, and saw that I still had half the collar to knit, I tried to convince myself that I’d have enough wool, but telling myself that it was enough, didn’t actually make the yarn grow! Fortunately the yarn shop still had some from the same dye lot.  

The stitch pattern makes quite a dense fabric and as such, the cardi is very warm.  I didn’t quite get what the stitches were doing at first and as such, got it wrong right at the start and had to begin again.

I also had a ‘mare when I was adding the collar, which is knitted in two pieces.  I’d sewn it all together, and even woven in the ends, tried it on and something looked odd.   The collar just wasn’t sitting right.  I took it off and looked at it… I’d sewn the pieces on the wrong sides of the cardi.  So I had to undo all my neat seams and redo it.  After a few tantrums and throwing down of the knitting needles in frustration, I finally got it finished by bedtime that night.  It was a relief to get it done.

On my own…

On my own today.  Mum and Dad have gone to visit my Grandmother for the day and so it’s just me and the dog.  I always think that on days like this, I’ll be able to do loads, plus have some “me” time.  But it’s now 4 o’clock and my to-do list is still looking quite long!

I started knitting a cardigan a couple of weeks ago.  It’s called Sparkle and is from Rowan Classic book 16. The stitch pattern is really quite interesting – a moss rib stitch with a garter stitch collar and I’m using Rowan Classic Silk Wool DK in a lovely dark red shade called Bramble. 

sparkle cardi in progress

It took me a while to get into it and work out what the stitch pattern was doing but now that I am is going fine and growing at a reasonable speed.  I have to concentrate though to be sure that I’m doing it correctly and am finding that Knit and Natter nights aren’t so good for concentrating!   Too much gossiping and laughing!

Knit and Natter is going well though.  A friend who is learning to knit, has come the last two meets and seems to be enjoying herself too.  She’s knit a scarf and now on her second project – a ribbed beanie.  She did a great job with the scarf – it was neat and she completed it quickly.  I think she’s finding the beanie more tricky and forgets sometimes to move the yarn back and forth when changing between knit and purl. I remember doing the same myself.  It’s actually good to be around beginner knitters because it’s easy to forget how difficult I used to find knitting at the beginning.

Think I ought to take the dog for a walk now, then back to my list of jobs!

FO: Cropped Cardigan

Here’s the cropped cardigan that I finished recently.  It’s knitted on circular needles, top-down, in one piece so no need for seaming and I made it with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky which I’d bought half price in a John Lewis sale.

I followed the designer’s suggestion for a smaller neckline as most people on Ravelry were saying that the original was a bit too big.

But following the revised instructions it said just continue until the arm sections are wide enough to wrap around your arm, then put them on holders and carry on with the body.  I did this, but when I tried it on, the arms looked quite baggy at the back and I wasn’t happy.  So I ripped out quite a bit and made them much smaller.  It’s much better now.

I’m not convinced that this particular pattern fits my body shape but it’s still comfy and the kind of cardi I will probably wear to work a lot.  I love the colour and the yarn.

Back on track and feeling brave

I have been feeling pretty sorry for myself the past few days as I started to come down with a cold on Thursday. I wasn’t desperately ill but you know what it’s like when you feel congested and headachy and generally a bit yuck. So I didn’t venture out of the house at all on Saturday or Sunday, except to go up the garden to the greenhouse to water my seeds.

Saturday I spent most of the day in front of the computer doing some family tree research (whilst drinking lemsips). I haven’t done any for months probably and it was so good to get back into it.

And yesterday I finally got my patchwork bag finished (whilst drinking more lemsips). I started this a little while ago after going to the Quilting exhibition with Mum and I’ve not found it easy, hence it was going quite slowly. However I woke up yesterday with the determination to get it finished. It was just taking so long to do (because of my lack of sewing skills) I was getting fed up with it. It took most of the day, needed a little advice from Mum but I got it done… and I’m quite pleased with it. Yay!!

And last night I got back to the cropped cardigan (whilst drink a hot toddy!), which I was putting off because the sleeves were looking odd and I couldn’t face ripping it out.What I learnt though this weekend is that you’ve got to be brave and not worry about going wrong. With the cardigan I needed take it back quite a few rows, so I make the sleeves narrower. I wanted to thread a lifeline through the row that I wanted to go back to and then unravel safely. But because of the shapings and the fact that it is a very wide piece I was sure that I would go wrong and not thread it correctly.

So do you know what I did? I just unravelled. The scary moment with a pile of nearly 200 live stitches in my lap, without a needle or thread running through them, wasn’t actually as scary as I thought it was going to be. The yarn is chunky yarn and doesn’t slip around, so the stitches maintained their form and I was able to put the whole lot back on the needle easily.I had to be brave to do that, but I figured that even if it did go pearshaped – what’s the worse that could happen? I’d lose the lot and have to start again. Not a massive problem in the grand scheme of things.

So I’m now back on course with the cropped cardigan which looks like it is going to fit better now and should hopefully progress quite quickly.

The Starsky and Hutch cardigan

Well here it is… the finished item. My brother went back this afternoon to celebrate New Year with his girlfriend and other friends, so I grabbed a picture of it before he packed it.

Starsky and Hutch cardigan

The size was fine in the end… a big relief! It was quite a labour of love, but enjoyable nonetheless. He reckons he’ll wear it around at work (he’s a geologist and works in a University Geology department)! I’m sure he will, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his friends decide they want one too. They’re a mad bunch.

Update: Please don’t ask me for a copy of this pattern as I do not agree with photocopying or scanning other people’s patterns because this would be breaking copyright law. However I do plan on writing my own pattern for a similar cardigan – so if you would be interested in this, then do add a comment below and I will contact you when it is available.

Starsky cardigan almost done

The Starsky cardigan is so nearly finished. I have to have it done and wrapped before my brother comes home on Sunday, so tonight is going to be a marathon knitting night I think. Thank goodness Bones is on, and I have lots of programmes still to watch which Dad recorded for me whilst I was in India.

I seamed most of the cardigan together on Tuesday evening, but then realised that I’d shaped one of the front pieces incorrectly. Well it decreased in all the right places, but the decreased stitches were slanting in the wrong direction and it was really noticeable that it wasn’t right. So Mum kindly offered to undo the seam and rip it back to the start of the raglan shaping. Thank you Mum!! It did save me some time and she wove in loads of ends for me – a job that I hate. I re-knit the raglan correctly last night and reseamed the piece.

So all that’s left to do is the collar (which I’ve made slightly wider than than the pattern said), of which I’ve done about an eighth!

Back to the cardi

I’m back knitting the cardi again.  Got about half of the other front piece done last night, which was a satisfying chunk.  Might even be able to finish the piece tonight, although I have some stuff to prepare from tomorrow, including practising for my singing lesson, writing up some guitar music and we’re putting on a murder mystery dinner party for the youth group kids and I need to make place cards and name labels and finding some 1940s music to play etc!  But then I could just have a late night because tomorrow is Saturday and I don’t have to be anywhere particularly early.