Banner designed by Marianne Coye - Leisure Lane

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

10 Reasons why I knit

Why do I knit? Why do I always seem to have a pair of needles in my hand? Spend my hard earn cash on yarn? Umm well let’s start at the beginning. My mum believed you should have a go at lots of things. Sitting around doing nothing was not an option, and watching the TV was limited. I learnt to knit, crochet, sew, embroidery, French knitting the list goes on. I have continued to dip in and out of each handicraft activity depending on my mood ever since. The only one I never liked is embroidery, although I do like cross-stitch.

So why have I ended up doing knitting more than any of the other crafts? 
1.     I can't sit still doing nothing: Basically I need to be doing something but that does not answer why knitting.
2.    It is portable: Ok when you get to the end of a jumper or shawl you can't really pop it into a bag, but a sock, hat or scarf goes nicely in to a bag. I confess I always have some knitting in my bag. This really started when I was in Spain. Queues are an everyday way of life; if you need to do an official paperwork expect at least an hour wait, possible 2 hours! You can even knit standing up!
3.    Different projects: I have at least 3 projects on the go at the same time, i) bag knitting ii) watch TV knitting iii) It's hard, I have to concentrate knitting. This means I never get bored, and during the day I use my brain but also do some fun knitting.
4.    You never stop learning: In knitting there are 2 basic stitches knit and purl. What you do with them is the fun part. There is always a new skill to be learnt, books to be read and things to try and do.
5.    You handle lovely, soft, amazing yarns: Its an excuse to go and find and use unusual yarns...Yak, camel, milk fibre, tree pulp the list goes on.
6.    I enjoy teaching:  I could teach any craft it just I have gone down the road of teaching knitting. I love it when somebody is so pleased with what they have done.
7.    I need to use my brain: One of my projects is either using a complicated pattern, or one where I have to change something, and work out new measurements.
8.    I can make things that fit me and they are the colour I want: Bought jumpers/cardigans are too long in the sleeve and too big from my shoulders. Things I knit fit me so I enjoy wearing them. Also since I have done Colour Me Beautifully I am really picky about the colours I wear so by knitting the item I can find the exact colour I want.

9.    You meet lots of interesting people: Craft fairs, knit and natters, knitters are a friendly bunch. Invariably I have my knitting out and people stop and talk.

10. Lastly I am earning money doing something I love doing: I need to do something to earn money while I take care of my mother so why not do something I love.

So that is why I  always have a pair of knitting needles in my hands.
Knitting on a cruise around Norway

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Baby Shawl is Finished

I am pleased with the finished result but I defiantly don't think the rose motif is worth the effort. Maybe with some changes, the pip stitches made an interesting affect but the rose as a whole, in my opinion, was lost. I want to make another shawl but I think I will carry on the diamond patterns and the if there is room add something else in the middle. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Rose Section in Cobweb Shawl

The shawl so far
 This is as far as I have got with the shawl. The rose section really does slow you down as there is something to do on every row. No easy purl row.  Thankfully I am half way through the rose.
Rose section

Here is the rose and the pip stitches in more detail. The truth is I am not sure if it is worth the trouble. We will see when it is finished.

I also received  A Legacy of Shetland Lace by Shetland Guild of Spinners. It looks like an interesting read. One thing I have read to dress a shawl you can rinse it with a weak solution of starch. Maybe not a good idea as it is for a baby.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Cobweb Baby Shawl

Well the edge is finished.. at last it seemed to take ages. I soon found that it was a lot easier to use DPN and I tried the Knit Pro Zing and was very pleased with them. As I can't use metal needles I did wonder if they would be cold to the touch but they are advertised as warm so I tried them and I found they great to use. There was not snaggy parts and I love the fact that the needles are colour coded.

The finished edge
 Anyway I joined the edge up (next time I will use a provisional cast on and kitchener stitch), picked up all the stitches and started going around. I did not like working from the written instructions so I have started to convert them to chart form. So far so good as it really is repetitive.
The edge and start of the body

The corner

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Cobweb Lace Christening Shawl

I have been asked to knit this shawl. The kit arrived, there is no chart and the language in the pattern is different. Oh well a learning curve.

You start with the border and have to knit 96 points. Ok so the first thing is to chart this border, which was not too hard. Now to knit. As is normal with me I had to go down 2 needle sizes so I am using a 3.25 needle. The border is only 14 stitches at the point so I am finding it easier to use DPN's to knit with as you are constantly turning your work.

The Border.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Christmas knitting

Cartoon by Franklin Habit
I saw this cartoon on the Lion Brand Knitting Newsletter and I thought I would share it.

How is your Christmas knitting going? I have 2 scarves left to knit but as I have 2 Craft Fairs this weekend and they both are all day I should get some knitting done in between talking about my knitting.

I found a new website this week "A new Stitch a Day"  Full of helpful videos and new stitches.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Knitting Tips and Tricks

Knitting Tips and Tricks
I saw these tips on Knitting Daily and I thought I would share them with you. 
Spacer 15x15 pixels

Weave in Yarns as You Go

Place the needle in the next stitch and, before wrapping it, lay the yarn tail over the working yarn. Now work the next stitch; the tail is now fastened in. Repeat this for about 1 to 2 inches making sure to carry the yarn tail loosely to avoid puckering.

This technique is a real lifesaver when you're knitting a striped project.

Spacer 10x10 pixels

This is the correct orientation for adding new yarns. Positioning the yarns this way created a continuous length of yarn and will make your joins invisible.

Joining Yarns

Hold the old and new yarn together so that the tail of the old one overlaps with the tail of the new one, creating a continuous yarn. Knit with both strands for about 4 to 5 stitches. Then discontinue knitting with the old strand and continue on with the new one. On the next row, treat the two yarns as one stitch, not two. This join can be used for light- to worsted-weight yarn.
Spacer 10x10 pixels
Spacer 10x10 pixels
Tracking Your Project Needle Size

Take a very long piece of contrasting scrap yarn and tie the exact number of knots to represent the size of your knitting needle. That way, if you remove your needle for use on another project, you will always know what size needle you were working with on the unfinished project.

(This is one of my favorites! I hate doing gauge swatches again just to see what needle size I used.)

Spacer 10x10 pixels

Tracking Your Cable Rows

Tie some scrap yarn with the cast-on yarn tail when working a cable. Take the scrap yarn and flip it over the needle every four rows—it looks like a running stitch up the project. You will always know what row of the cable you're on as you only have to count four rows.

Why do it every four rows? Because so many cables are based on a multiple of four rows.