I usually would describe myself as someone who would prefer to be challenged and try/learn something new as often as possible rather than sticking with the tried and true. And yet here I am on my third – yep, that’s mythird! Vertices Unite. I’ve surprised myself.
There are a couple of differences, the first one was the smallest, and the second one was a size in between the small and large, and now I’m on the large. The other difference is, of course the colours 🙂
And if that wasn’t enough of a shock, I’ve just finished my second Way Out West Bandana Cowl, the second one was made with some of my handspun.
It’s a strange thing to have expectations about who you are and then surprise yourself…
I am lucky that I work with people who recognise that if I’m knitting it doesn’t mean I’m not working.
When I have to think about a piece of work I’m putting together, and I need that moment of peace to gather my thoughts I pick up my knitting and the next minute the keyboard is rattling away. I also knit in meetings, i feel it helps me to concentrate.
Researchers theorise that doodling helps the brain remain active compared to the strain of paying single-minded continuous attention.
So, if the knitting is an easy project then taking the research and swapping the word doodling to knitting is really not a stretch. Don’t you think?
I had 3 magic balls of sock yarn scraps and was about to start on another scrappy granny square blanket, and I just wasn’t feeling it. You know how you start something and it already feels like more work than fun? That’s the feeling I was getting from the blanket.
I’ve been looking at crochet sweater designs for a while and was umming and ahhing over those as well, so in the end the scrappy crochet blanket and the crochet sweater joined forces.
I love it so much and can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can pair it with a skirt and tights.
This is my recipe
I wanted to make use of what I had learned about knitting raglan sweater patterns, so using a 4mm hook I chained 108 to start, (enough to get over my head and a bit to spare) and set up for raglan increases, 36, 18, 36, 18.
Rather than a full on granny square corner I did 2 trebles chained 1 and then 2 more trebles in the corners for my raglan increases. I kept on increasing every round until the the raglan line was 8 inches (which is the same as one of my knitted ones that I quite like the fit of) then joined in the round.
Trying on as I went I just went round and round until it was as long as I wanted. There is no shaping in the arms either, so just round and round again until they were bracelet length.
Using the same yarn for the cuffs and waist I knitted a 2 x 1 rib to give it a more fitted waist and a bit of a balloon arm.
I treated myself to a yarn advent calendar for the first time last year. I loved opening the little parcels each day and ooing and ahhing over the pretties 🙂
I spent a lot of time thinking about what to make. There were 25 x 20 gram minis which is a decent amount of yarn to play with. My mum suggested making something that I could see all of the time rather than a shawl that would only come out for half of the year, and so a pom pom garland was created. And what’s great about that is I still have heaps of each colour left to make a shawl or two as well!
One of my other Christmas presents was an Ashford Blending Board.
I’m sure there is a knack to making rolags, and practice will make them more consistent, but I am having loads of fun playing! I made a whole heap and have just started spinning them, and it’s so cool to see how the colours are coming out and how the yarn looks.
It feels so fab to have such a creative start to the year.
Just when I think I’m getting past beginner knitter stage I learn another technique. It’s like knitting is the crafting rainbow, you think you’re getting closer to the pot of gold and it’s always just out of reach. 😁
It only took 4 goes to get it right… It probably didn’t help that the yarn is so beautifully silky and the needles are pretty big and both of those things are outside my comfort zone.
The yarn is a gorgeous 50 percent merino 50 percent silk from New Zealand indy dyer and designer Harnie Hoolie that I got at Unwind in Dunedin earlier in the year. And the cast on is the Ranunculus sweater (this link opens in Ravelry)
I’ve cast on as part of a small knit along I’ve joined. I’m unsure about the top, I have a feeling it might not suit me, but I hear its a really quick knit so I’m giving it a go.
I decided to try and make a ‘thing’ maybe a wrap or maybe material for a bag or something, anyway I started it.
One thing I wasn’t sure of (and have no idea how to find out yet – though I’m sure there are websites) is to work out how much yarn I need to do the weaving bit (the weft) to get what I want, so it will be a bit of trial and error.
I have three of these fabulous batts from Twisted Zisters, I’d spun two of them so I spun the last one and ended up with about 550 meters of a sport/DK weight yarn with some thick and thin bits (not quite art yarn, more like some lumpy spinning) I also had some nice purply merino 4ply from one of our wonderful NZ Indy Dyers (I can’t credit the right one though since I’ve annoyingly lost the tag!)
I ordered some 50 % merino / 50% rayon from Anna Gratton Ltd to use as my warp and got started.
And here it is so far….
In hindsight I think the warp might be a little thin for my inexperience and it took a long time and heaps of patience for me to thread the loom up without having loads of twisted threads, though now it’s on it’s way I’m really loving how it’s looking and that my handspun is looking pretty good.
I think the fabric might end up being a bit gappy (I think that’s called open-weave) and I’m so excited to see how it all looks at the end that I’m powering through and making great progress.
After this project I’m going to have to invest in some online learning, or try getting up to Auckland to a Handweavers Guild class so I can make the most of my wee loom and learn how to do patterns and stuff. Exciting!!
Kia ora. A couple of weeks ago I decided to treat myself to a loom. We don’t have a heap of space, and I lost my craft room when we moved to Tauranga which meant I needed something small. I chose the Ashford Knitters Loom because I can fold it up and pop it away under the bed or in the cupboard whenever it isn’t being used.
I’m not sure why I wanted to have a go at weaving really. I’d made myself a pin loom a few years ago and played with some tapestry weaving which was fun (but fiddly!) but I didn’t have the ‘weaving bug’.
But I do now!
It took me a couple of goes to get going. I found that the yarn picked for warping is really important because it can stick together and get all tangled, or it’s not strong enough and breaks (I tried not to cry as I had to unwrap all of those 1.5 meter lengths and put them in the scraps box)
I’m a bit of a trial and error learner so just kind of made it up as I went along and went looking for help when things weren’t working as planned. (Ashford have some great video tutorials!)
This is my first go, hopefully you can see how I got a bit better as I went along – the blue bit is where I started, and my tension is all over the place. I gave myself permission just to play and have no outcome in mind, so I used scraps of yarn with lots of different colours and weights so I could get the feel for what it might turn out like. Once I got used to the beating bit, I found the edges (I think it’s called the selvage) hard to get consistent and I think that might be a work in progress….
I’m really proud of my first lump of fabric. It won’t become anything. It’s too short to be a wrap and too fat to be a scarf, and I don’t trust my weaving not to fall apart if I sew it into a bag, but it’s pretty 🙂 maybe it’ll be a table runner…
Last weekend we went to the dye day that was held at the Auckland Creative Fibre club rooms. Our tutor was the amazing Annette Montgomery from Twisted Zisters.
We dyed 2 pieces of roving – one by adding dye to the pot and another by ‘hand painting’ the roving. I put hand painting in ” because we didn’t really paint it (you can’t really unless you want it felted).
We dyed silk, silk hankies, superwash roving, plain hanks and also played with overdying.
We used pots on the hob, slow cookers, microwaves and also talked about dyeing using the sun
It was a fantastic learning atmosphere – nothing we did was wrong, it was all part of the process of learning what we liked and what we didn’t, what worked and what didn’t. And it was great to see what colours other people put together.