Running late again…

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It’s Autumn in Brisbane

Hello!  So sorry this post is late. I said Tuesday and it is already Thursday.

I have finished one of the cotton mittens for my cousin’s baby (I still have to seam it). I really like the pattern and look forward to knitting the second one.  Here are the details:

‘Stripy mittens’ pattern in Kate Gunn and Robyn Macdonald’s, Cool knits for kids (full details below).

Although the stripes in the original pattern are really cute, I chose to knit the mittens in a solid blue (colour 602) using Heirloom 4 ply cotton, and I also knit the ribbed cuff using 2.75 mm needles, changing back to 3 mm for the rest of the pattern.

Next week, I plan to show the finished mittens and hat as I begin work on the sandal bootees.

The weather has changed here in Brisbane:  our Autumn has begun, which means lots of random rain showers, cool weather, humid weather, strong winds, nice breezes and, this year, a cyclone formed off the Sth East of Queensland (which  is unusual) but it did not cross the coast.  I love Autumn. 😌

I hope your week was a good one.

Best wishes,

Maree

 

References

Gunn, K & MacDonald, R 2011, Cool Knits for kids, Hamlyn London.

More baby knits

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All baby knitting, all the time.

It has been a few weeks since my last post:  the internet went down, my back went out and Uni started.  I know I’m in trouble when I cannot hold my knitting needles, or concentrate, from the headaches.

But, this week, things are on track and after lots (and lots) of pattern reading, experimenting and yarn shopping (all good fun) I’ve finally settled on what I plan to make for my cousin’s little baby:

  • In cotton: a hat (8 ply/3 weight/DK/ Light Worsted) and mittens and slipper bootees (4 ply/2 weight/Baby/Sport) for size 3-6 months; and
  • In Paton’s 8 ply baby merino: a hat, mittens and socks for size 6-12 months.

All knitted flat and all beginner patterns.  (I will make a list of the patterns for next Tuesday’s post).

I’m going to substitute Velcro for the button on the cotton slipper bootees and leave embellishments off the hats.

Now I get to go shopping for the 4 ply cotton. I know from which the store too: it is small and local and has lots of lovely yarn. Yay!

Hope your last few weeks have been good ones.

Best wishes,

Maree J

My first baby hat

Hooray!  I have almost finished my cousin’s baby hat.  I just need to block it, seam it and add a little embellishment.

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My first hat!

I’m going to use a garter stitch join for the rim and mattress seam for the stocking stitch body.

This is the first hat I have ever made and the pattern is Claire Montgomerie’s ‘Cotton and wool hats’ which I found in her great book, Easy baby knits.

The yarn is Lincraft Cotton 8 ply ‘Periwinkle’, and I used 4 mm (bamboo) needles.

The pattern comes in three sizes and I made it for size 3-6 months as it is still summer here in Brisbane – it doesn’t really start to cool down until about May and baby won’t be needing a hat until then.

I enjoyed working with 100% cotton (first time).  It has a lovely drape.

The embellishment for the hat has been a learning curve in colour, yarn, shapes and techniques.  I was going to try a flower, but it is such a simple little hat, I might try knitting a bow. Or cherries. Or crochet circles. Still not sure.

But I’m a bit addicted now to little hats:  I have another pattern I’m going to try in an 8ply cotton/wool blend which is knit in the round and will be my first in-the-round project.  And tomorrow there will be a delivery of soft 8 ply merino for a set of mittens, booties and a really cute hat with an i-cord top which will also expand my knitting skill set.

Hope you had a good week!

Best wishes,

Maree J

 

References

Montgomerie, C 2010, Easy baby knits, Ryland Peters and Small, London.

Beginning knitting: Simple garter stitch square blanket

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Loving purple

I have several projects on the go, but if I need a quick knit pick-me-up, I work on a project by Jane Ellison from Purl & Jane:  Simple garter stitch square blanket.  It is a free Ravelry download here:

Jane Ellison, Simple garter stitch square blanket

I am using 4 Seasons superwash merino 8 ply (i.e. #3 yarn/DK/light worsted) with 4mm (bamboo) needles, and in pretty much the same colours as the Sublime blanket illustrated in the pattern.  (I have a thing for purple at the moment).

This is the first time I have worked with 4 Seasons 100% superwash merino.  It is not a silky soft yarn, but I admire its elasticity and robustness. I think it will make a good, solid blanket.

This pattern will also give me practise seaming garter-to-garter stitch.  I found simplyknitting.com has a good written and video tutorial on this.  You can find it here:

seaming garter stitch

The simplyknitting.com website also has extra tutorials for beginner knitters that I will be exploring (especially cables – I can’t wait to try cables!).

This is Luka, helping take photos.

Hope your week was a good one.

Best wishes,

Maree J

Beginning knitting: the dreaded long-tail cast-on

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‘And you were so scared…’ – Grover

I love knitting for many reasons…one of those reasons being that knitting can be as challenging as I want or need it to be.

Having said that, I’ll own that I sometimes get an idea in my head that a particular technique is going to be way harder than it actually is and I’ll just keep skirting around it (and yes, that does include knitting in the round 🙂).

That is how I’ve felt about:

The long-tail cast-on.

See – just the name puts me in mind of some kind of mysterious, and maybe even dangerous, creature.

 

I told myself:  knowing cable and knit cast-on really is enough (and I particularly like cable cast-on).

I told myself:  it looks really hard.

I told myself:  I’ll get back to it…I  will, it’s just that there are so many other knitting things I really want to try and…

Etc. etc.

 

But because I really wanted to cast on for a baby hat I’m knitting my cousin and I was really starting to feel my knitting confidence slipping, I looked up a video tutorial…

And see what I did?

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Long-tail cast-on

 

That glow of pleasure when a new challenge is met and mastered is an addictive feeling. 😌

 

Wool and the Gang have a great video tutorial for this cast-on technique:

WAG long-tail cast-on tutorial:

 

Now I can begin my cousin’s baby hat!

 

Hope your week was a good one.

Best wishes,

Maree J

 

 

References

Stone, J 1971, The monster at the end of this book Western Publishing, Wisconsin.

Purl Soho: Dutch knitting stitch

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A beautiful stitch featured on Purl Soho’s site.  Purl Soho has paired this stitch with a pink silk yarn to make a wrap, but advises that the pattern could be shortened to make a scarf.  The stitch does tend to bias (read through the comments).

 

This is the link to the pattern and tutorial:

Purl Soho Dutch knitting stitch

 

I really want to try this out!

 

Hope you had a great week!

Best wishes,

Maree J

Beginning knitting: things I’ve learned so far

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‘What’s this? What’s this?’
– Danny Elfman

A list of my knitting discoveries:

Yarn

  • What I used to call wool, is actually called yarn.
  • There are more types of yarn than acrylic and wool.
  • Yarn also comes in skeins and hanks and not just balls.
  • There is such a thing as a ball winder.

Knitting equipment

  • Other new tools:  there are circular needles, double pointed needles, gauge tools, stitch markers, stitch holders, cable needles.

Knitting in the round

  • At the moment, I am suspicious of circular needles.
  • I am not quite ready for double pointed needles…I tried, it was funny.

(Therefore, I am leery of any patterns knit in the round, but very excited to find patterns knit flat).

Knitting language

  • Knitting has its own language:  Colloquial, Pattern and Official.  Examples:  Colloquial: WIP = work in progress.  Pattern: Sl 1 k1 passo = slip 1, knit 1, pass slip stitch over.  Official:  Size 4 yarn = medium weight yarn, not 4 ply (oh yes, I learned that by the doing).
  • Which led me to The Craft Yarn Council which has an excellent online, printable reference document for Official knitting language translation:

CYC Lexicon

Time disappears…

  • I can spend a LOT of time browsing and studying yarn and patterns.

Fleece and spinning

  • I want to own alpacas because alpacas are very, very cute. They also spit. They are cute and they spit. I love this.
  • From my very cute, possibly spitting, alpacas I will produce fleece and spin yarn.

Knitting is fun.🐑

(Are you a beginner knitter or do you remember some of the first things you discovered about knitting?)

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Best wishes,

Maree J

 

References

Danny Elfman, 1993 What’s This? The Nightmare before Christmas Musical. Walt Disney Music Company