Sunday, 20 January 2013


January 2013

I've been looking for a Dinosaur related pattern to make for the son of a friend of mine ever since he bought me some lovely yarn back from the US, and after much searching finally I settled on this one.

One of the reasons I love knitting so much it the sense that every project has something to teach you, and this one is no different. Over the last two weeks, I have learned:

(i) that with the help of google translate and a little bit of educated guesswork, you can follow a pattern in another language;

(ii) that wool is preferable to acrylic for a project like this, because steeking works better with a grippy yarn, and anyway, you're really going to want to block as aggressively as you can with this sort of colourwork to get it as smooth as you can; and

(iii) much as I hate drop-sleeves, it's hard to make a jumper like this without them, as it would mean cutting into the colour motif. I'm sure I've seen one or two fair isle patterns with set-in sleeves, though, so I need to do a bit of investigating.

There are some details about how I worked the neckline and armholes on the project page, just in case they are of any use, but basically I chickened out of steeking, and so worked the front and back separately and used intarsia in places rather than long floats. But I'm determined to try steeking soon despite not owning a sewing machine. Probably in the process of making a Baby Norgi for my little boy to wear next Christmas. I think this video looks like a helpful one.

I have about half a ball of the green and black left over. Slightly less of the light grey, and a little of the middle grey. Hopefully enough for one of these.

Pattern: 0508-4 by Solbjørg Langnes
Yarn: Hayfield Bonus dk and Sirdar Country Style dk
Colourway: Green 0791, White 096, Light Grey 0383, Black/Flint 0778 and Medium Grey 0395.
Size: 8 yo
On ravelry: here

Monday, 7 January 2013

First Outing Afghan

October 2011

This was part of a "OMG I need LOADS of blankets" phase I went through when I was very pregnant, made out of the same yarn, and to coordinate with this cardigan and these mittens (which I notice I also didn't get around to blogging at the time...)

We did get a lot of use out of this when George was smaller. Now he's mobile, and so prone to kicking off blankets that we use a gro-bag, it's still pretty handy for car journeys and the odd game of peekaboo.

I love the fact that a pattern from the 1940s still looks so contemporary, and it was great fun to make because the honeycomb effect is much easier than it looks to achieve. The wrong side is shown in the picture below, and while it's not exactly as pretty as the right side, it's certainly liveable-with.

It should have a garter stitch edging along the two sides, made by way of picking up and knitting a heck of a lot of stitches. But just as I got to that stage, George arrived (8 days early) and so it remains technically unfinished. I like it that way, because I know the reason.

Pattern: First Outing Afghan by Bernhard Ulmann / Bear Brand / Botany / Bucilla / Fleisher 
Yarn: King Cole Big Value Baby dk
Colourway: 221 Pebble / 46 Cream
Needle: 3.50mm
Size: One size
On Ravelry: here

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Lusekofte-sque Mitts

December 2012

Around Christmas time I found myself struggling to summon the motivation to finish off a cardigan so dire that it seriously made me think of giving up knitting rather than having to finish it. What a waste of a good yarn. It certainly won't be sullying my blog with its dreadfulness, because I'm too busy trying to forget to photograph it. It was what my mother wanted, but trust me, it was grim. The pattern isn't even listed on ravelry. And with good reason.

Anyway, to cheer myself up, I decided to make these mitts. I'd been meaning to recycle this into something more useful for some time, and even though that meant frogging, untangling and soaking the yarn, stretching it out while it was drying to take all the kinks out, and re-winding it, that was a far more appealing prospect than that bloody cardigan.

This a lovely pattern. My rendering of it isn't exactly perfect (I can see the ladders-between-DPNs, even if you can't), but as these are for me anyway, it'll do. I'm on a bit of a colour work tip at the moment, so I'm glad I started with something small to get back into the swing of it.

I also have decided that 4-ply is the perfect glove/mitten yarn, and that anything else just feels too bulky (at least that's my experience of dk weight gloves, but it could just be the pattern I chose...) And fingerless mitts are perfect for driving, which I've just learned to do and that's why I NEEDED these.

Because the recycling gave me a finite amount of yarn, I actually ran out before I'd finished. Luckily this is designed with top and bottom hems to make the mitts fit snugly to your hands, and it was only necessary to sub a.n. other grey 4-ply to finish off the top ones. The picture below demonstrates what I mean, and it's a good fudge, because from the outside you really can't tell. Yay me.

Pattern: Lusekofte-sque Mitts by Mary Rourke
Yarn: Recycled Debbie Bliss Rialto 4-ply and Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4-ply
Colourway: 22006/Cream and Thunder/Grey
Needle: 2.25mm and 2.5mm
Size: One size
On ravelry: here