Friday, November 25, 2016

Knitted wildlife

I love the look of knitted toys, especially animals, but don't have the patience for all that sewing and stuffing. Some of the patterns on this page could tempt me though. I particularly like the elephants.

A couple of years back my son wanted an armadillo as a pet. They aren't native to Australia and we can't legally keep them as pets so I joked I would knit him one if I could find a pattern. There truly is a pattern for everything!

And check out the monkey balaclava at the bottom In The Loop's page. I'm thinking that might be a good one for next Halloween!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gumdrop

I found some Red Heart brand yarn at Big W which has a silky feel. It's acrylic, which I usually avoid these days but doesn't feel sticky to knit with on humid days and with it being storm season here down-under there will probably be plenty of those over the coming weeks. It was 32 degrees (Celsius) yesterday lunchtime, a storm hit around 2pm with small hail and by 3pm the skies were clear and the temperature had dropped 10 degrees.


Incomplete knitting pattern using Gumdrop yarn
Front
I'm working on a very simple pram / car seat blanket pattern but the short colour changes keep it from being too boring. The yarn is called Gumdrop and comes in a range of 'flavours'. The colour I'm using is called 'Juicy'.

Close up view of knitted stitches
Back

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Latest creations

It is starting to get hot here down-under. For some reason I dislike knitting when it is hot and humid, I don't like the feel of the yarn on my hands. I usually switch to cross stitch but perhaps this year I will experiment with different types of fibres so I can knit throughout the Australian summer. At the moment the evenings are still cool, which is when I mostly knit anyway.

Photo of linen stitch knitting project

I usually have two project on the go at one time. One is typically something simple for when I need to do some mindless TV knitting (yes, *need* - knitting for me is a form of relaxation) and the other is something new or complex for when I want to challenge myself and work those brain cells.

The above is a scarf in linen stitch using up my stash of 8-ply. I first attempted linen stitch years ago to make a strap for a backyard. Linen stitch creates a firm, non-stretchy fabric which is great for bag straps. I love the effect of linen stitch in multiple colours and the pattern itself is only a two row repeat which is pretty easy to memorise after a while. I cast on 400 stitches for this project using 4.5mm circular needles - knit back on forth rather than in the round.

In the above picture you can see both the 'right' (knit) side and the 'wrong' (purl) side. Both have an interesting texture and pattern.

Here's a good video on how to do linen stitch.

Incomplete hat knitting project

The other project I've been working on is a beanie using stranded colour work. The picture below is of the inside of the beanie (i.e. turned inside out) to show how the yarn is carried across stitches. This creates a double-layered fabric, in this case soft and squishy and warm. Patterns can be simple repeats and can be very effective when using two contrasting colours. It creates a complex pattern that looks difficult but is surprisingly easy to knit because you only work with one yarn at a time.

Stranded knitting project


This type of slip-stitch knitting may also be called mosaic. I'm not really sure how, or even if it does, differ from Fair Isle. If you know, please tell me!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Creations Collage

Here are some of the projects I have made to date. Mostly they have been given away as gifts.


















For more information and pictures of these projects, check out my Ravelry profile.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Match-it cable scarf

I attempted to knit a capped beanie (warm for Aussie winter with shade protection from Aussie sun) and failed. So I purchased a knitted capped hat on eBay and then hunted around for the closest matching super bulky yarn - ended up using 3 balls of Shiver from Spotlight - and attempted to replicate the pattern. The yarn isn't an exact match for colour (50 shades of black?) but I'm happy enough with the result.

 

I can't recall what size needle I used, I think it was 6.5mm. I took inspiration from this Easy Chunky Cabled Scarf and heavily modified it to reach the following pattern:

Cast on 24
 
Knit 4 rows garter stitch
 
Rows 1, 3, 5, & : s1, (k1, p1) x3, k2, p6, k2, (p1, k1) x 3, k1
Rows 2, 4 and 6: s1, (p1, k1) x 3, p2, k6, p2, (k1, p1) x 3, k1
Row 8 (cable row): s1, (p1, k1) x 3, p2, c6, p2, (k1, p1) x 3, k1
 
Cable 6 = slip first three stitches to a cable needle, knit 3 then knit the 3 stitches from the cable knitting. Continue with pattern.
 
Repeat this 8-row pattern until desired length is reached.
 
Knit 4 rows garter stitch and bind off.

I recommend a bulky or super bulky yarn for this pattern. The ribbing on either side of the cable pulls the yarn in slightly to create quite a narrow scarf. Here is the same pattern in DK yarn.

 
Carnival Soft 8 Ply acrylic from Big W