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Still nuts for knitting right now!

I’ve been sneaking in a little knitting when I can. It’s been a struggle though and some weeks I’ve managed only one row before other things demanded my time instead. I have now finished the main pieces for the toddlers cable cardigan and its time to knit the neckband on.

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I’m actually looking forward to it as it’s not something I have done before and I really enjoy the challenge of learning something new. I have a dilemma though. See those edges all curling in of the reverse stocking stitch? I think they are going to be annoying to seam after the neckband is done and will probably turn right inwards after seaming making the cardi look deformed. I’m deciding if I should block them now or after I’ve attached the neck band? Doing it now is easier because I can arrange the pieces out easily but I’m eager to crack on with the neck band. I am going to block them though. I’m a fan of blocking because it makes such a difference to the result of the final piece. I’m also hoping blocking this will help smooth out any issues with fluctuating tension (I’m still not consistent yet).

If you are doubtful about the benefits of blocking then take a look at this square I blocked for a project a while back. It makes such a difference and it became a joy to work with for joining.

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I had a wee splurge on some new patterns from Wool and The Gang. They aren’t cheap at £10 each but I really really wanted them.

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It is two cardigans and a cabled jumper. One if the cardigans will be knitted in super bulky on my 25mm wooden knitting needles. I found this yarn in my stash, I bought it a couple of years ago on impulse when I saw it.

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I’d provisionally thought it would be great for crochet cowls but I think it’s going to be perfect for a big sloppy cardi. I can’t decide on the green and blue blend of the black and silver grey toned one? Its acrylic and super silky and soft. I can’t be a yarn snob when making things for myself, I just can’t have real wool on my skin because I break out in a rash and itch like I’m being prickled all over with tiny bits of wire. If I want to wear something posh I have to use bamboo or cotton and that’s going to be too heavy and expensive for this project. I don’t think they even make bamboo in super chunky so I’d have to use multiple strands at once.

I’ve got this multistranded sofa throw on the big needles at the moment.

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I need to either finish it then start the cardi or move it carefully off into storage and indulge my urge to start making the cardi. I really should finish up at least one of my WIPs before commencing a new one but I just get too excited about starting new things when I find projects that excite me.

I’ve got all my girls home today for a sunday dinner so I’m off to prep the veggies now but before I go here’s a little pic of one of my boxes of joy/shame. Its a massive blanket box I got via freecycle when I was expecting the little dark star, it was meant to be fixed up and used as a toy store, here it is bursting with a small selection of my yarn stash. I have two of these blanket boxes. The bag on the left contains a half finished granny squares blanket that I will come back to once we venture out in Sallyvan again. Crochet is much more portable than knitting I have found so far.

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Oh here’s another one…..

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I also have two chests of drawers with yarn in too as well as some shelving in my bedroom. One day I will just open a yarn shop and craft drop in with a lovely cafe and my life will be complete in every way. We all need a dream don’t we?

Till then I best get using up my stash before it takes over the whole house!

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Still here and making things.

It’s been a busy time over christmas but I’ve still made time for some crafty business.

I made another Tartan Lula Hoop, this time for my firstborn.

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I tightened up my tension for this one as I think my yarn needle combo was a little off but in the end I don’t think it improved things, the resultant scarf is less pliable and drapey which I didn’t like but the stitches and pattern do look nice and neat. Slightly smaller needles and a relaxed tension is the answer for getting it to perfection the next time around. There will be a next time, I have some more delicious looking super chunky yarn begging to be used for this!

I’ve not abandoned my crochet for knitting entirely. My nan frogged four balls of Stylecraft Weekender chunky for me a while back and it’s been staring at me accusingly from the “chunky yarns storage box” ever since. After about four restarts till I was happy with hook size and stitches I made this lovely infinity cowl.

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Might get the pattern down on paper for this one because it’s pretty easy and fun to make. Despite my best efforts to get it just right it’s ended up a little long for a short pixie like me so it’s currently homeless and just prettying up my mannequin.

Remember my blog post about Nan teaching me to do knitted cables? Well since then I found a pattern I liked the look of for a toddler cardigan and as Nan came to stay for New Year I made a start on it so she was on hand to assist if I got stuck. I had about seven restarts on the back and a lot of help from Nan getting the first few rows right (who knew ribbing could be so irritatingly easy to mess up when you are a beginner?) I only made one mistake on the armhole decreases and managed to keep swearing to a minimum. It’s been great chilling on the sofas with Nan knitting together. She’s still making me a lovely long cardi with the yarn we chose on our shopping trip on her last visit.

Here’s work to date. I am actually so proud of myself for perseverance with this despite it being quite a challenge.

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If you look carefully at my left hand picture above you’ll see I was about to make a horrible mistake (at least I think it was here it happened). I’d moved a long way up the piece before I realised it was all going wrong and I had to undo and redo several pattern repeats SIX TIMES before I could work out how I was messing the cable up. I have to really concentrate when cabling and I like that, it keeps me engaged and pushing on with the project.

I’ve really settled into my left handed yarn hold for my knitting and prefer it to my old “English style” right handed method. I’m not doing it ‘right’ for the purl stitch but the result looks absolutely fine and it works so I think I will just be unique and a bit deviant and not bother trying to make myself do it By The Book 😉 It’s definitely faster knitting the German way but like crochet it is harder going on the wrists. I’m nursing a bit of RSI at the moment as I have pain through the arm right into my neck on the right side. I so want to finish this cardi though that I’m (probably unwisely) pushing on through the pain which visits me all day on and off, even when not knitting.

We are currently pulling down walls and clearing out the extension so we can move our kitchen over there. The extension is basically full of junk and all my crafting stuff. Its also brining me face to face with the pure evidence I have enough yarn to open my own shop……

I’ve got the challenge of finding everything a temporary home during the work but one where I can still get at everything or I know I’ll just need stuff and not be able to access it. Any tips on compact but accessible storage gratefully received!

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Tartan Lula Hoop.

My little foray into knitting recently lead me to swapping my giant needles for slightly smaller ones and having a go at making a Wool And The Gang Tartan Lula Hoop.

I can do basic stockinette so I felt I’d be ok tackling it. The pattern said “easy” so I went ahead and got the pattern and some supplies.

I really enjoyed knitting it up and adding the detail. Here it is as I’m putting the long lengths of yarn in to get the tartan effect. I know I need to work on keeping my tension more even as I knit.

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The project me longer than I thought it would because I had to do quite a bit of googling and YouTube searching to find out how to do both horizontal and vertical invisible seaming for reverse stockinette. I learned there are lots of ways to join knitting! I kept looking at my messy edges and getting really anxious about how I could turn the mess of the selvedge into an invisible seam. The problem was where I’d changed colours for the stripes the edge stitch was just flapping about a big massive loopy and confusing area. I kept tightening them up carefully but couldn’t see how they would hold closed unless I knotted or weaved them in, but the pattern says just push them inside the hoop as you seam it.

Knitters will know for the invisible seam across two pieces of reverse stockinette stitch you need to identify the “smiles” and the “frowns” I was ok finding the frowns on the right side but partnering up to the smiles on the left was just impossible. In the end I decided on the left side to seam into it one row over rather than into the selvedge. It means my lula hoop is slightly slimmer than its probably supposed to be but to my absolute joy it worked perfectly and I managed a really good invisible seam for a first ever attempt. I did a little dance when I had finished.

Here’s the finished piece.

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Its just the perfect size and feels scrummy round my neck. I already have supplies ready to make another one in new colours but first I’ve got two big knit projects to complete and an experiment with my big needles I’m dying to try.

If you’d like to knit one of your own visit Wool and The Gang HERE.

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