Category Archives: Finished Projects 2010

Tiger blanket

For my niece Jenny’s Christmas present I knitted her a blanket. I cut it a bit fine, and actually finished after tea on Christmas Eve, luckily Jenny is still young enough that she didn’t notice I was knitting her present in her presence. The colours were chosen by my sister, Jenny’s mum to coordinate with her pram.

The pattern is by Steve Plummer and Pat Ashforth, and it is done in shadow knitting, a cunning combination of knits and purls which means when you look at the knitting straight on it just looks like stripes, and you only see the pattern when you view it from an oblique angle. It is a bit of a devil to photograph, as you can see I haven’t done terribly well. It is supposed to be a tiger’s head, but you might have to use your imagination.

To get the illusion to show you need to create a fairly firm fabric. So I used 3.5mm needles and DK weight yarn. The yarn is Knit Picks Swish DK, a superwash merino wool yarn, the orange colour is called Persimmon Heather, and the grey is called Marble Heather.

It wasn’t the easiest pattern in the world to knit because it is pictorial so there is no rhythmn to get into and you have to refer to the chart on every row. The pattern is well written and clear though which definitely helps.

Jenny is doing pretty well in the blanket stakes, she also has this lovely one with farmyard animals Swiss-embroidered onto it, made by my mum, Jenny’s grandmother.

Christmas also brought some wonderful new books for me. These are from Anna, a school friend, it was lovely to be able to catch up with her while we were both staying with our parents:

And these from Paul’s parents:

Lots of great inspiration!

A Christmas stocking for Jenny

Last Christmas was my neice Jenny’s first Christmas, so I thought she had better have a Christmas stocking with her name on it, even if she was a bit young at 3 months to really understand.

Here is one side:

And here the other:

The snowflake is a traditional Scandinavian pattern:

The reindeer came from a free Drops pattern, but I’m afraid I can’t remember which one:

And the letters and the tree came out of my head:

Here it is full of presents (provided by her parents) on Christmas Eve after she had gone to bed.

The yarn is Cascade 220 which Annie and Mummy bought at Knitty City, Annie’s local yarn shop in New York, and I used 3mm needles. The yarn is an American worsted weight, which is a bit thicker than our DK weight, but thinner than our Aran weight, so the needles I used are very small for the thickness of yarn. This makes a nice firm fabric that will hold its shape hopefully through years of wear, and the presents wont poke out.

Another lace sampler scarf

Back in the autumn term last year Fleet library held another set of classes on knitting lace with Chris Williams, following on from what we had learnt in the first term of classes.

Again Chris designed a sampler scarf for us to knit to try out a variety of lace patterns. This one was a bit more complicated than the last one and included patterns where you had lace stitches on every row, not just every other row.

It was a fun project, I enjoyed trying out the different patterns. It is surprising how some patterns look very much like their charts, and others are quite different.

Here is the end of the scarf:

And the next section up:

And the middle:

After this the same patterns as before are used but in reverse order til you get to the end.

Apologies about the weird colours, I’m not sure what I did when I was taking the photos. The yarn is actually grey shetland 4ply from Uppingham Yarns, and I used 4mm needles.

A blanket for my niece

You may recall that I started a baby blanket for my niece a little while ago, and knitted quite a bit of the centre of it on my holidays. I finally finished it and my parents kindly stuffed it in their suitcase when they flew over to meet Jennifer at the end of October.

The pattern is a fairly traditional Shetland hap pattern from Chris Williams’s Lace Class. The inside square is garter stitch knitted on the bias. There is then a border of feather and fan pattern, and then a sideways knitted simple garter stitch lace edging.

It was very enjoyable to knit, and although Jenny is a little young to be expressing an opinion on these things her parents seem to like it 🙂

I used 6 x 50g of Sirdar Snuggly 4ply, 55% nylon, 45% acrylic, and 4mm needles.

The blocking was slightly scary. Being nylon and acrylic you have to be a bit careful with blocking if you use steam. However if you pin out your blanket and steam it very gently it will actually set the stitches so that it wont need blocking after subsequent washing. The careful part is key here since you have to be very careful not to totally melt your yarn! As you hover with the steam you can actually see the stitches relaxing (permanently!). A lie down in a darkened room is recommended after you do this.

It all went ok though, and hopefully this will save the blanket from needing to be reblocked while still being easily washable.

Lace classes with Chris Williams

Back in May and June I went along to a very interesting course of classes on knitting lace with Chris Williams held at Fleet Library. The format was a two hour class each Thursday morning for 5 weeks. It worked really well giving enough time in the class to learn something new, then enough time in the intervening week to practise what we had learnt.

In the first class we looked at what needles and yarn to use, and went over chart reading. Chris designed a sampler scarf for the class to familiarise us with a variety of lace stitches. It took me more than a week to finish though!

I used 4mm needles and 4ply Shetland yarn from Uppingham Yarns.

In the second class we looked at different shapes of shawl, and Chris gave us a pattern for a small triangular shawl she had designed, but also encouraged us to have a go at designing our own. I decided to have a go at my own, although I think I may come back and knit Chris’s as well in the future. I have gone for a leaf pattern using 2ply cotton and 3mm needles, and am still working on it 🙂 I am contemplating whether to add beads to the edge, and for that matter what to do about the edging. This one will require a bit more thought.

In the third class we looked at Shetland hap shawls. Chris knitted us each a little triangle in garter stitch and we picked up stitches and knitted a feather and fan border and then a sideways edging.

Again for this I used 4mm needles and 4ply Shetland.

I really enjoyed this, and it is definitely on my list to make a full sized one soon.

In the 4th class we looked at shawls from different geographical areas, and different ways of constructing shawls.

Then in the 5th and final class we looked at designing our own shawls. I am attempting to design a Faroese shawl, but I haven’t got very far with it yet 🙂 It is still very much at the fiddling around with the graph paper stage. Chris is hoping to run another course in October so I am hoping I might have a bit more to show for it before then!

Burnt Bark Cushion

Another bit of catching up. This was my third project (out of four) for the City and Guilds Certificate.

This is the front:

And this the back:

My original inspiration were some photographs of burnt tree bark I took down at the Eden Project a couple of years ago.

For the back of the cushion I came up with a pattern inspired by the geometrical fracturing of the bark when it burnt. Here is my test sample, done in different yarn to the stuff I finally used, and with a different number of stitches and rows in each section, but I did end up using the same basic idea.

For the front I started by sketching one of the knots on the bark, and then manipulated this until I got a kind of flower shape. I knew that I wanted the flower shape to be worked in a textured stitch against a stocking stitch background, so I swatched several different textured stitches, and different yarns until I settled on k1,p1 moss stitch as the most effective.

Out of all the yarns I tried I decided I liked cotton best, but a soft cotton, not mercerised. I experimented with holding several strands of 2ply machine knitting cotton from Uppingham Yarns together, and knitting with 8 of them at the same time on 5mm needles. I tried one sample with all strands the same colour (brown):

one with 6 strands of blue and 2 of purple:

and one with 4 strands each of brown and red, which was the one I finally decided on:

For one project out of the four we also have to produce a mood board / display board, so I thought that this project would lend itself well to that.

Fiona has marked it and it is all OK (whew!). I had better get a move on with the last project!

Hollyberry Kimono Cardi

I finished the Kimono cardi for my niece yesterday. So far I am winning this little race as she hasn’t been born yet, although I may be cutting it a bit fine. I shall run out to the post in a minute, and cross my fingers it will arrive before she does!

I am very pleased with how this has come out, and hope my niece (or at least her mummy and daddy) will like it. The pattern is Garter Stitch Baby Kimono. I used 2.5mm needles and KnitPicks Comfy Fingering, 75% cotton, 25% acrylic, in Hollyberry with Ivory edging. I deviated from the pattern in using short rows to shape the front rather than casting off, doing an icord edging rather than garter stitch, and using press-studs for easy getting on and off rather than buttons. I toyed with the idea of having icord ties at the sides, which would make it more flexible size-wise but thought they might be a bit bulky and fiddly, whereas at least the press-studs should make access nice and easy.

Handspun Haruni

I finished this back in April and am only now catching up on sorting out photos of finished stuff.

And here is a closeup:

I am very pleased with how this has come out. The pattern is Haruni, and I used 3.5mm needles. The yarn was some I spun a while back, and the colour changes have worked very fortuitously with the pattern. The only fly in the ointment was that it got a bit felted when I spun it in our rather temperamental washing machine after hand washing it. Needless to say the washing machine will not be remaining in our employ for very much longer. After some serious blocking the shawl is mostly recovered, though a bit fuzzier than before, and luckily is still perfectly wearable. It is more of a little scarf than a big snuggly shawl, but I think will be very useful in the neck of my coat once the weather cools down a bit.

Circle socks

I actually finished these back in March while at Skip North, and have finally managed to take some photos of them.

The pattern is Circle Socks by Anne Campbell. The yarn is some of my first spinning (I dyed the fibre too), and was a bit variable, and also rather thicker than that specified in the pattern. However the pattern was also written for smaller feet than mine, so by changing the needle size to 2.75mm it all worked out fine.

It has really surprised me how much the knitting evens out the wobbly bits in the spinning. The socks are still noticeably different, but not nearly as different as I had feared given what the yarn looked like!