Sunday 14 August 2016

Look! I knitted a Hat!

I finished my hat!

I love how it comes together in a star in the centre

I did some serious knitting this week (never mind housework and other responsibilities) and whipped up a hat.

Yes, you read that right, I finished a knitting project fast enough to describe it as 'whipped up'.

All for a fun Knit-A-Long for the Hey Sister Podcast.

I found a great hat recommended by other knitters in the Hey Sister Chat thread - the Ziggy Hat pattern, and I loved it.

It's a little large, but that's entirely my fault - as I picked up a yarn I had hanging around, unlabeled.  Turns out it's probably 12 ply, and the pattern is for 10 ply.  I still love it - it's that great slouchy vibe, and I can fix the loose 'cuff' by sewing through some shirring elastic.

I'm calling it my Serendipity Ziggy

Wish I'd had it for the snow - it's got some serious warmth.

The pattern looks lovely - it's a zig zag (hence the name) but I also think it's kind of like leaves on a vine.

It was simple enough for my (limited) concentration span, and forgiving enough to cope with a few mistakes (unless you look really closely and I won't let you!).

It was nice to do a quick project and get instant gratification.

It was much easier than I expected. Have you ever knit a hat?  I'll definitely be knitting more.

I need your help: Shawl Problems

Isn't that just lovely

I started knitting up my glorious Hellomello handspun sock yarn into a shawl.
I was so excited about it - the yarn is beautiful to work with, and light as air knitted up.

Perfect match for our plum blossoms


I chose the Shetland lace patterned Midnight in Sydney.  Which is a beautiful pattern, and I just love it.  I thought it would be fairly simple, with lots of garter stitch and a *ahem* simple lace pattern on the edge.

I'm not an advanced knitter, so I thought I'd chosen something I could manage.

I still love the pattern, but I don't think I can knit it.

I used a safety line at the start of the lace pattern, which was a fantastic idea, because I had to keep ripping my knitting back to it.   At least 4 times.

I couldn't even get to line 4 of the lace pattern (there are 26) despite repeated efforts.

I've decided to give up on the Midnight in Sydney pattern.

I don't know whether it's my (limited) abilities - there is a knit-4-together, and knit-4-together-through-back-loops that I find extremely difficult to do

Or whether the lace pattern is just not intuitive for me - I've found in other knits I've done, that there is a rhythm to the pattern that I gradually discover.

I know I only got to 4 rows, but the lace pattern was repeated along the row - these rows have lots of stitches!!!  I just couldn't get into the swing of it even though I could see how the lace was evolving.

It is highly likely that the issue is my concentration - I couldn't seem to keep track of where I was up to.

I refuse to admit that my eyesight is getting worse, although that may be a contributing factor...

Anyway, now I am on the hunt for a new shawl pattern.  I just can't decide.
I'll list some below, and ask you to vote.
But first, here are my guiding thoughts:
* yarn yardage - I only have approx 450 m
* I want a crescent shaped shawl (not an assymetrical triangular shawl this time)
* I'd like to replace the garter stitch with stocking stitch, as I think it will show off the variegation in the yarn better
* It can't be too tricky lol
* It can't have any knit-4-togethers.  They are my nemesis (along with a few other things)

Here they are:


(c) Carrie Bostick Hoge
Love the meaning behind the name
It's a long shawl, but I could change the stitch count to make it smaller and fit my yarn yardage.
The lace looks a little scary, but I can also see how it repeats

Daelin - looks a bit celtic to me...; and I'm wondering if it's *meant* to be in green.  Will it suit my sweet purple / pink yarn?

(c) Miriam L Felton


(c) Leila Raabe
But will it be too tricky?
Stocking stitch interspersed with lace.

(c) Maliha
Gorgeous - but would it look better with a heavier yarn weight for a nice wintry shawl?


image: (c) Helen Stewart - Ravelry
This is cool, because she has a whole set of tutorials to walk you through your first shawl.

My only issue is that I'm not a huge fan of eyelets - I prefer more of a lace, but those eyelets sure do make a lovely pattern...  And my yarn is similar to that one!

I have started reading her tutorials, and have learned such a lot already - she also has a great podcast.
You can find out more here

I really need some help deciding here!  Which one would you choose?

Friday 5 August 2016

Resting, of the Knitting Kind

It's been great to have a break from normal responsibilities lately.
I'm ready to head back to a great week at work next week, with our Winter Festival coming up.

In the meantime, my resting has turned into the knitting kind.

I've been going crazy trying some different projects, and finding some new podcasts and vidcasts.

Honestly, I prefer Podcasts, because I have very little time to watch things, and the sound is usually tricky on vidcasts, but there are some lovely people telling their knitting stories and here are some that I've found...
Hey Sister Vidcast
Knitmore Girls Podcast
Yarniacs Podcast
Never Not Knitting Podcast
Grocery Girls Vidcast

I love them because they have been leading me to new patterns and new techniques - there is so much to be learned from the wisdom of others.

And it's like having new friends to hang out with.

Although I really would love to start a real-life knitting group.  We could even combine it with a book club - the Knitmore Girls listed some of their favourite knitting-related writing last week, and I can't wait to get into some lovely stories.

I've even got a coffee shop (more importantly, it stocks awesome tea!) in mind...

Is anyone keen?

So here's what I've been knitting.

I started the Midnight in Sydney shawl - love Meg Gadsbey's designs, with my New York Hello Mello hand dyed yarn given me by my Sisters-in-Law.

As I looked at this fabric being knitted up, I thought of watercolours, and of impressionist art - reminiscent of Monet's garden.
The photo doesn't do it justice - I can't spread the shawl out because I'm in the middle of Tinking a row that I messed up by losing track of where I was.  The lace work makes it slow going.
But the yarn and the shawl are light-as-air and I can't wait to see it progress.

I've started on the lace section now, which is proving challenging.  Mainly because of the knit 4 togethers, and the concentration required!

I took advice and put in a 'lifeline' so that I could rip back if necessary - so far I've needed it twice, so it's been worth the time it took.  I'll keep moving the lifeline as I go.  It's the yellow-green yarn you can barely see - it has been threaded through the last row that I knew was correct.

I've also started a hat "Ziggy", which I'm going to call my Serendipity Ziggy because it is the combination of some unlabeled wool that was passed on to me (I think it's Bendigo 12 ply, in Oatmeal), and my using the wrong size needles by accident.

Which have turned out to be the right size, because I originally thought the yarn was 10 ply, but it's 12 ply.

So definitely Serendipity.

The yarn is so lovely and squishy and it will be so warm.    It's my first hat, so wish me luck.  I found the pattern through the Hey Sister Podcast Hat Knit a Long.  There's a whole load of great suggestions for hats in there, including for beginners!

I just love having the opportunity to learn new things, master new challenges and create lovely things (albeit slowly).

I am so thankful to my mum who taught me how to knit xx