Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Chewie the Dinosaur

October 2014

I saw a made-up version of this at Yarndale 2014, and since the kits were selling for £6.50 I couldn't resist. Particularly as Christmas wasn't so far off, and I would love it if my little boy started to get into dinosaurs. I still think £6.50 for 3 balls of merino was an absolute bargain. There were even decent amounts left over.

George has christened his dinosaur Chewie, and he lives at the bottom of his bed. Occasionally when he glimpses Chewie's photo on my ravelry projects page he points to him and asks what he's doing out on the patio. I guess the world is a bit confusing when you're 3.

This pattern doesn't seem to have been listed on ravelry, and so I have to idea how many other Chewies there might be out there. I like to think of him as part of a herd, though.

Although undeniably cute, this wasn't the most enjoyable knit. Each spike was knitted separately, and then sewn on. Ditto the legs. As someone who hates finishing work it felt like a big ask. Full credit to my Mum for saving my sanity by offering to do the embroidery.

Pattern: Dinosaur in Merino dk by Wendy Yarns
Yarn: Wendy Merino dk
Amount: 2 balls green, 1 ball orange
Size: One size
On ravelry: here

Friday, 2 January 2015

Origami Leaves

October 2014

I love Svetlana Volkova's designs, and every so often the chance comes up to test knit them via The Testing Pool, a group on ravelry.

Having test knitted Anemone back in January, I jumped at the chance to have a go at Origami Leaves, particularly as I'd resolved to frog my Modern Garden Cardigan and recycle the yarn some time ago. It just wasn't getting enough wear.

Test knitting, like gift-making, is a really useful discipline in that it makes you do things by the book and as neatly as you can. No fudging bits. And you do tend to learn a lot from the other testers along the way.

I fid it really difficult to measure my gauge over lace, for example, but I got there in the end by making a swatch 25 stitches wide, measuring it across and then dividing the width in inches by the number of stitches and then multiplying the result by 4 to determine my gauge over 4 inches (in my case 25/6.5x4=15.3).

As this was recycled yarn, it was difficult to keep track of exactly how much I was using, but the finished weight of my cardigan was 370g, which given the yardage for Tweedie Chunky, works out as roughly 750m or 7.5 - 8 balls.

I didn't modify the pattern, but I did use DPNs for sleeves, rather than magic loop. This pattern also calls for provisional cast on, but for anyone out there who can’t do that yet, don’t be put off - using a normal cast on is fine, and just means that you’ll have more stitches to pick up around the button band.

This is a great way to make use of a chunky yarn but end up with a project which will flatter. Looking at the pictures of me in the Modern Garden Cardigan and Origami Leaves side by side, I think this one suits my shape far better. It was also a very quick knit despite the lace - it took me less than a fortnight.

My lace was a bit bumpy whilst this was a WIP but flattened out beautifully with a wet-block, despite being part acrylic.

As a result of testing this I also scored a free copy of Papillon, which I've been lusting after for some time. Watch this space.

Pattern: Origami Leaves by Svetlana Volkova
Yarn: Sirdar Tweedie Chunky in Roasted Berry
Amount: About 7.5 balls
Size: Medium
On ravelry: here