Follow Your Arrow 2

Once again this year I got sucked into the Follow Your Arrow KAL by Ysolda Teague. It was fun last year, even though I ended up giving the shawl to my mother. This time I went in with a strategy (knit the least lace), but of course it didn’t really work with the pattern. In the end I had to go with my gut, and that included ripping out clue 2B and knitting 2A instead when I realised I really liked it with clue 3A.

arrow2Yarn: Dublin Dye Merino Sock in Black Cherry

In the end I knit AAAAB. Before I saw the final clue I thought I might continue through with the A’s, but I really didn’t like the A border. i was going to run out of yarn for the last clue, so I used a second skein. But I decided I didn’t want that much Merino Sock left over, so I used a skein of Swing Sock from a different dye lot. The feel of the two yarns is the same, and the colour difference isn’t terrible. The rest of the skein might be a pair of socks for my daughter, she’s been asking for some!

One step forward

For a while it seemed like my knitting was taking two steps back every time I thought I was making progress. Mostly my own fault of course. But finally, I’m getting somewhere.

I decided on Black Cherry for my Follow your Arrow 2 shawl. I did clue 1A and 2B and then saw 3A and thought it I’d really like it with 2A. So I tore back 2B and tried again. I’ve spent all week working on clue 3A (the smocking takes forever!) and yesterday started on 4A finally. I’m nearly caught up!

arrow2Yarn: Dublin Dye Merino Sock in Black Cherry

And I’ve also been working on these little socks. When the first one was half done, I decided it should be a bit bigger. As in wider. Time to start over again. I’m supposedly working on these between arrow clues, but the shawl has taken all my knitting time.

howth smallYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Watersprite

I’m not even entirely sure I have enough yarn for these. They could end up with a contrast cuff yet 🙂  These are for the little boy, who is also very much one step forward two steps back at the moment. We’re potty training. All my patience is shot. But whenever I got him to try on his socks he tells me ‘keep knitting mummy’. I guess I have to follow directions, he is in control around here.

Shady Socks

DSC_8619xYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Old Gold

Shady Socks is a pattern I wrote years ago… Possibly the first pattern I wrote! I wanted a sock with a simple lace pattern that was easy to remember, but looked more complicated. This is a straight forward top down sock, a quick knit and perfect for TV knitting (my main form of knitting, I have to admit). I’ve edited the pattern and formated with my new template, and republished it. The best bit is it is still a free pattern which you can download from Ravelry.  Enjoy!

PS: Have you joined our Mailing List yet? At the end of the month I’ll be giving away a skein of yarn to one lucky subscriber 🙂

I’m a sheep

I give in and follow the crowd so easily! I’m joining in for the Follow your Arrow 2 MKAL. I just need to pick a yarn. I’ve narrowed it down to Icicle or Black Cherry.

arrowYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Icicle, Merino Sock in Black Cherry

I really enjoyed being part of the MKAL last year, but once I was done I gave away the shawl to my mother… I don’t actually wear a lot of lace. After I reviewed everyone’s finished arrows, I realised I liked the one with the least lace most. So this year my strategy is knit the clue with the least lace. My first problem is that neither of the first two clues has lace. I need another criteria I think! Any suggestions?

Why do we do it?

Knitters buy beautiful yarn, search for the right pattern, spend hours and hours knitting, and then stop, just before it’s finshed. We all have projects sitting around, nearly finished; needing seams, buttons, or just a few more days of concentrated effort. Why do we do it?

I decided that the two projects annoying me most from my unfinished pile needed looking at. The first is Mossy Bells. A cute kids cardigan I started back in May. However I’d torn out the sleeves several times because the short rows made me want to cry, the sleeves always ended up looking awful. So last week I pulled back the front and knit the sleeves as set in sleeves. I still don’t like them, but it’s done.

mossy bells

It doesn’t quite fit the little girl (too big across the shoulders mainly) but she says she likes it so I won’t throw it out like I’d kinda like to. It’s long too, so she may grow into it yet. The yarn is Noro Silk Garden 4 ply I bought years and years ago from This is Knit when they were in Blackrock.

Second we have a pair of socks I started for the husband. He sails occasionally and warm wool socks come in handy sometimes. I don’t know when I cast on these socks but I bought the yarn at HandmAid 2013, and apparently I was knitting them the same time as the sweater, based on the post from last year.  One and a half socks in I got really bored of them and put them down. The fact that the yarn (Wendy Roam) is ‘sturdy’ and a bit rough didn’t help. But three days of effort and they’re done too.

manly socks

I used the basic toe up heel flap pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks for these. A useful book to have around for basic sock instructions.

You all know what two finished projects means, don’t you? I get to cast on something new.

sock yarnYarn: Dublin Dye Swing Sock in Water Sprite

Handmade Christmas

tree.

No, I’m nowhere near a handmade Christmas. I didn’t knit anything for under the tree this year. I did think about making Christmas handknits a part of the kids present, but just didn’t have the time.

But I love handmade ornaments on the Christmas tree. Many ornaments on my tree have a history and a story behind them, whether they are handmade or gifts from friends and loved ones. I’m not ever going to have a perfect tree, but I love it in it’s imperfection. To me Christmas trees are about the stories.

handmade ornaments

The red felt ornament was a gift from Crafty Tails as a part of this year’s Knitmas exchange.  I’m not sure if she knew I was an ornament lover, but it is perfect, handmade and a story behind it.

At the top of the photo there’s a beaded candy cane made by my son the other day. He’s 2, so colour and patterns aren’t his thing yet but it’s sweet partly because of that. Then there’s a hand painted gingerbread man and a painted glass bauble. I made those two for my first tree after I moved out of my parents house (hard to believe that was almost 15 years ago). I guess most people buy ornaments for their new tree, but I couldn’t just do that, and at the time my mother worked in a craft shop so supplies were cheap to come by.

But with all the ornaments on my tree with stories, there’s nothing there that’s been knitted. I think sometime in the next year I will have to change that.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas full of good food and good company and a little something special under the tree. Merry Christmas!

Help! (or: wool felts)

I know, I’m a knitter, don’t I know wool felts? Last year I bought a sweater I really liked. It was a lovely soft red wool with cables and 3/4 dolmen sleeves. Comfy and warm, one of my favourites.

I put it in the washer. It was an accident, I swear. I know better.

I don’t have a lovely cabled dolman sleeved sweater anymore.
dolman

But hopefully I will again.  I’m not entirely sure it will turn out and I’ve never knit a dolman sweater before.  I don’t have a pattern. I have an idea and a hope, really.

Although there’s only one half done sleeve here, I’m actually on sleeve 3 now, and there will probably be a 4.  I’m not happy with the neckline (again, one sleeve has already been ripped), so I started the other sleeve since taking the photo, and I like it better. Which means I’ll have to redo the first one. Sigh.

But really, I’m posting here for a bit of help. Do I or do I not cable the back of the sweater? Should I cable the sleeves even? What would you do from here?

Elfbaby Hat

After I knit all those hats for HandmAid Craft Day, I had a request from the little girl for a hat for her. I usually knit some new hats this time of year anyway, since they’ve probably outgrown the old ones, but this year it wasn’t strictly necessary… they’ve stopped growing quite so fast, and I knit the hats a bit big last year. But who am I to say no when a 4 year old asks me to knit for her?

elfbabyIt was only this week though I got a chance to take a photo. I decided to make a non-elf ElfBaby (from Studio Miranda) for her. The yarn is Dublin Dye Merino Sock left over from last year’s Irish Yarn Club with Carol Feller.  As you can tell by the great match to her coat, she is a fan of pink.

elfbaby2For the top of the hat I did 6 decreases every second row until I had half the stitches left, then I did 12 increases. I *thought* this is what Roseanne had done on the top of the hat she made her little boy, and copied it. I’m not sure it’s actually what she did though 🙂 Either way, I’ve been using it on hats ever since!

Handspun Hat

I picked up some fibre at the Weave Spin Dye Guild meeting a few weeks ago in This is Knit, and I’ve been working away on it ever since.

handspunI spun four little 25g skeins on the drop spindle I got from Hilltop Cloud, and plied them to themselves.  My father had been complaining about his inability to find a hat big enough for his head, so a Christmas present was cast on.

handspun hat2Just a basic, straightforward hat based on my Dad’s head and my tension. I ended up having to go up to a 5mm needle with the handspun, it was thicker than I expected. The hat is pretty dense, the fibre probably slightly overspun.  But that should be good for a snowy Canadian winter, right?

handspun hatI took a lot of time with the spinning, working hard for some consistency. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I’m pretty happy with it. And I know my Dad will appreciate the amount of work that went into it. Now I just hope it fits.

Oh, and I know photos of hats flat on the table are a bit boring, but it just doesn’t fit my little model 🙂 Next time I’ll blog about a hat more her size!

DSC_1839

It’s Autumn

The weather has definitely turned, and winter is on it’s way. It’s not here yet though, so technically I’ve finished this just in time.

autumn whispers

It would have been more in time however had it been finished a year ago! I started this as part of Carol’s KAL last year. I was intrigued by the sleeve construction.  This is the first time I knit a contiguous sleeve, and if you trust it it works out perfectly.

autumn shoulder

When I got past the sleeve construction and I guess I got intrigued by other things. But I chipped away at it every now and then, and last week someone gave me a little push to get it finished. Two evenings of concentration later, I’ve finally finished it.  You can see I went for the longer sleeve option, and I lengthened the body as well. I am also tempted to extend the collar and add a button. But for now it’s done, and that feels good.

autumn cables

Pattern: Autumn Whispers by Carol Feller
Yarn: Dublin Dye Company Merino Sock, unnamed colour (almost Water Sprite)

It’s going to take a little trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show in the RDS as a sample garment on the Weave Spin Dye guild stand, and then I can wear it 🙂 I’ll be at the stand as well on Friday morning, stop by and say hi if you’re there!

PS: The guild stand will have some Dublin Dye yarn including a new special colourway dyed for the guild!