Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Happy Christmas! and Ripping Back :(

Its Christmas eve! That means its time to get drunk! Well, after work of course :) It also means that I will have some time to do some knitting over the holidays. I also took a look back at my new years post in which I put some knitting goals for the year. So did I reach them all ???


Of course I didn't! Admittedly there is still 7 days to go before the new year but I doubt I will complete everything I set out to do. So what did I actually achieve?

Complete UFO's (un-finished objects)- well I did not complete them all, but I did manage the chunky snood for a friends birthday. I have actually done more work on the baby cardigan but its still not finished! and I frogged (ribbed all the way back) the xmas stocking I was working on after seeing some videos on how to do fair isle the right way. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist??

Knit First Toy- well this is half a win! I did actually get half way through making a little toy. However the final result was not looking great. I think I could of made a better choice with some on the increases and due to trying magic loop for the first time (which I hate btw) my tension was all over the place. So I gave it a go but no a success.

Knitting in the Round- YES I learnt how to do this. I can knit on circular needles and I can knit in the round on double pointed needles. I have a few projects on the go with these methods to post up when complete :) So I did learn a new technique, but once again I have no finished pieces to show for my efforts (anyone see a pattern emerging here?)

And I think this jumper counts as learning a new stitch. Slip stitch! which I did struggle with at first but now I'm flying with it! So here's the jumper update:

Well thank goodness for the life lines I mentioned in my last post. I have been working (admittedly very slowly) on the jumper and everything was going swimmingly until I reached the decrease rows for the arm hole. I, as usual, read the pattern incorrectly. I was supposed to decrease one stitch at each end (decrease 2 on each row), not decrease one stitch at the end (decrease one on each row). So I fluffed it up a bit, but luckily I had put a life line in! and it worked a treat :) Here's some picks of how well I was doing and then the life line and ripping back.

Here is the little blue lifeline I ripped back to. You can see its holding all the stitches nicely for me. 

I found it much easier it, after ripping back, to get all the stiches back on the needle by using a slightly smaller circular needle, as opposed to the 5mm straights I was using. Trying to get the stitches back on them was a nightmare! With circulars I could just pick up the first few stitches and pull the rest through till they were all back on safely :) nice.

Then I continued to knit with the 5mm straight needles the pattern called for. It took all of 15 minutes to correct everything and be knitting again. Before I knew about lifeline I probably would of had a little cry before getting into a complete mess and probably ripping back far more than I needed to.
Happy Christmas and Happy Knitting!
Knaff Knitter

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Jumper Challenge and New Knitting Shop

Recently I discovered a new independent knitting shop, The Knit Club in Caterham. Great friendly little place with lots of classes and a knit night every week. Its not that close to me but I went up there to have a look and book some one 2 one lessons. I did not bargain for leaving with £70 worth of wool and a pattern for a jumper the 'man in my life' saw in the window!

Admittedly it was a very nice jumper and I can totally see him wearing it, so stupidly I said ' i'll make it for you'. Then I stupidly said ' before Christmas'. I can be a little over ambitious sometimes :s

Here's' the wool stash and Rowan magazine with the pattern. :)

The pattern is Guido in Rowan Magazine number 55. The the pattern they use Rowan purlife in quiet pastely colours. The one in the window was knitted in Rowan felted tweed in more muddy, masculine tones so that's what I have gone for too.

So I thought I would try and post every day I work on the jumper, and considering it needs to be done by xmas, and I have never knitted a jumper before, there might be a lot of posts and a lot of mistakes!

I already had trouble with the main body of the pattern. It was slip stitch which I had never done/ come across before so it was lucky I had my knitting lesson and the teacher (Sarah at the Knit Club) was able to sort me out. She also taught me mattress stitch so hopefully my finished items will be much more professional now. It was a great couple of lessons and I learnt a lot. It was great for getting answer to all the little things I have been stuck on.

Here's the progress so far. I spent most of a Sunday getting to this point:

Then this was some work in the evening after my real job! Adding in the red, the 5th colour.

Now because I have never made a jumper before or done slip stitch I am going to be adding in lots of lifelines. These are relatively new to me and I wish I had known about them when I started knitting. They really are an absolutely essential technique in my book. It will hopefully mean you will never have to completely unravel a work again! Neat huh :) Here's a link to the Very Pink Knits tutorial on lifelines. I'm going to be putting them in at regular intervals in my knitting, its almost like hitting the save button on the computer. I'm just using scrap yarn to do this so if you see some crazy colours in there its just the lifeline poking through.
So hopefully I will be posting pretty much everyday ( I'll have to if the jumper is ever going to get done!) and talking about it as I go along. If anyone else is making a jumper too I would love to hear from you.
Happy Knitting

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Discovery of Ravelry

So last week I discovered Ravelry! Why have I never seen/ used this site before. It is like Facebook for knitters. I can keep track of all the projects I have on the go, all the projects I'm stuck on, and all the projects I'll never finish (why do I never finish?) You can also log all of your yarn stash so you will never buy a duplicate or very similar yearn again! (of course we will do that anyway due to knitters madness and love of yarn. I mean come on, how many balls of yarn do I really need?)

I can also log all the books that are building up in my library. Its actually made me realise I really don't need any more knitting books for a long long time, well, at least until payday!

So here's me If anyone else is on there I would love to add you to my friend list ( I don't have any real friends)

Also from now on I can link my projects to my blog so you can see what I'm (trying) to make at any time :)

Happy Knitting x

Monday, 28 July 2014

Clumsy Crochet

I'm coming out of the crochet closet and I'm finally learning! I thought this will be easy, I can knit. This is just one hook it must be easier. Right? Complete fail proof logic..........right?

Oh how wrong I was. Crochet is really, really hard. I'm thinking its harder than knitting, but then I looked back to my first blog post and yep, I really was that bad at knitting too! I have managed to get holding the hook and wool right quite quickly which I think knitting did help with and its very easy to see mistakes in crochet and its also much easier to unravel and correct. So they are all good things.

I found a great you tube channel ( the host, Mikey, is so lovely too!) that has helped me a lot called 'The Crochet Crowd' BUT be warned. I only found this out after I had started learning. This guy uses the American names for the stitches, but all the patterns I had and other videos were using the English names! The stitches are the same just named different, so you can imagine how confusing that was! I really hope I had saved you from that headache!

Also there is a brand new app (yes, the man in my life bought me an ipad! How did I live without it?) from Simply Crochet called Granny Square a Week. This looks really nice and I think once I know all the stitches and get a bit better at reading charts and patterns this will be a great app. 

I wanted to include some photos of my first attempts at crochet but I cant find them anywhere. I think I may of unravelled it all to keep practicing, but trust me it was hideous! 

Happy Knitting (or Crocheting!)

Friday, 20 June 2014

Success? Well Very Close

So I can happily announce that I am very close to getting booties perfect! Although only one is completed and they are a little large ( I used DK wool instead of 4ply) these came out really well. We can just call them toddlers booties!
I followed a pattern in a book (link below), it's one I have tried before so I was feeling quite confident, and I love the wool. It's from Sirdar and super soft like a pastel cloud! By the way I have no idea who I'm knitting booties for anymore! I kind of missed all my friends babies ( I couldn't present them with some of the disasters from previous attempts now could I?) but I'm determined to be ready when the next load of babies arrive! (meaning they better get cracking and have some more :) )

So now the mistakes. Well I somehow ended up with this weird raised row of stitches. I'm really not sure what happened here. Maybe I twisted some stitches or something or maybe its even supposed to be there on the WS or something. Although its not on the other side. So a bit odd. This does happen often and I'm still trying to work out why, so bare with me!

The other tiny tiny mistake was in the ribbed cuff, right in the middle on the fold! I think I just did a few purls or knits when I was supposed to be doing the other :( Shame as I was so close! The other thing I'm not happy with is the finishing and making up. I have not shown it here as its very hard to see but I know I'm not doing mattress stitch right at all and I get a very lumpy bumpy join! Not exactly a comfortable bootie! I'm think about taking a lesson about finishing as it seems quite a complicated art................ and my mum don't know how to do it either! And what's the point in having a perfect knit if my finishing is crap!? Still so much to learn!

I have already started another bootie of a different design that I hope will go without a hitch. I'll post it up soon, but if it works out right I wont make it up till I'm confident I can do a good job. That will be a good day and you wont have to read about dam booties anymore! I'm sure everyone is getting bored of them (I know I am *sigh*)
Happy Knitting

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Long Break (my apologies fellow knaff knitters and crap crocheters)

So it has been a long time since I blogged. It has been a long lovely summer and I have still been crafting but not blogging.

The main reason for my truly unforgivable absence has been that I bought a wee house! A process that I can tell you was very stressfull and time consuming! But I am now all moved in and settled. It is a very small house so needed a lot of jigging about to get everything in. The man in my life also moved in with me recently, so we did some more jigging ( of belongings not the other type of jigging you filthy lot) and now I think we are in and just about not bursting at the seams! I am also doing at lot of decorating as the house needs pretty much everything doing! Busy is not the word. 

So if any of you can find it in your hearts to continue to read my sporadic blog i would be forever in your debt.

I have been working on a quite a few projects the last few months and taking step by step pics so I will be posting these soon for your enjoyment :)

Happy knitting ! xxx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Another FAIL at Booties

I had another go at a different bootie design and I made a really silly mistake. These booties are like little socks in stocking stitch. Again I used a cheepy wool in a nasty colour just to test one out.
I made a very silly mistake. When i got to the heel of the sock I think I started knitting (or purling) on the wrong side. Therefore the WS (wrong side) of the kitting ended up on the RS (right side)
When this happens it means the smooth pretty side that is supposed to look like this:

ends up looking like this mess:

No one wants a lumpy bumpy heel like that! This was one of the first times I was turning the work in the middle of a row to make a heel shape and clearly the concept has not quite sunk in yet! But I think now I have made this mistake I can avoid it.

Here is how I know if I should be purling or knitting on a row:

If this side is facing you, you should be knitting.
If this side is facing you, you should be purling!

If you get the effect I did above, then you know you have messed up! Its not easy when you are turning in the middle of a row but next time I will follow these rules and it should work! I have already started some more booties so wish me luck 3rd (4th 5th 6th) time lucky!

Happy knitting!