Sunday, 20 June 2010

What's on my needles

Well, it'll come as no surprise that I'm still hard at work on the jumper. I've finished the back and have made a good deal of headway on the front. But, sooner than expected, I've run into problems. In fact, the problem occurred ridiculously early in the knitting and has only just been spotted. Some of you who are more eagle-eyed might have noticed a slight oddity in the first picture I posted of this folly, but I myself didn't notice until I started knitting the front. The problem lies in the ribbing at the bottom of the jumper.

This is the ribbing on the back.

And this is the ribbing on the front.
Spot the difference. Anyone? Well, as is painfully obvious, the ribbing on the back is non existent. In real life, it does have a slight ribbed look to it, but not nearly elasticated enough to serve its purpose, so the back of this jumper is going to gape. And how did this happen? Simple. I counted on two stitches too many and didn't realise my mistake. Counting out 108 stitches can easily be messed up and I honestly thought I had cast on the right amount. And given my niave knitting style, I assumed that this was how it was supposed to look - I blindly followed a pattern even though the stitches were insanely tight and I knew that this was not how proper ribbing was knitted.
Apparently, though, the recipient of this woollen monstrosity will be thrilled with it, for reasons best known to himself. So all's well that ends well, right? Well, it's not entirely straight forward from here on in as I foolishly chose a design with a collar and buttons for my first attempt at jumper knitting. I can't really make sense of the pattern and I had to look up online what a placket was. So the front may still go a bit wrong.
In unrelated news, I will soon be the proprietress of an Etsy shop. Not selling poorly knitted jumpers, obviously. Rather it will be selling photographic prints. I know - epically fancy, right? I will be representing a member of my family who is a dab hand with a camera but a bit lousy with the ol' interwebs. So stay tuned for more on that.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Mittens and babies and cats ... oh my!

After 2 or 3 (or more truthfully, 40 or 50) false starts, I finally got the hang of knitting in the round on 4 dpns. For anyone still struggling with this, there are some fantastic videos on youtube that I found a great help - actually seeing a demonstration makes it much easier to master yourself. It's definitely tricky, especially when knitting tiny mittens or socks, but bear with it because it is a rewarding technique. I suceeded in making a pair of mittens for each of my twins - one in red and one in green.


After knitting nifty little i-cords to thread through their jackets, I proudly hung up their winter clothes in the hall. This proved to be a massive mistake. Several days later, a mitten became detached from it's i-cord. Just shoddy sewing, right?

Then, the following week, I noticed chubby little baby fingers poking through the top of my lovingly crafted mittens. Oh no! A frantic DIY job in the street and some unskilled repairs when we got home seemed to solve the problem.

Just when I was beginning to lament the durability of my first ever pair of mittens, the mystery was solved. One evening I heard a stange scratching in the hallway and when I plucked up enough courage to stick my head round the door, I was confronted with our newest kitten attacking the dangling mittens with gusto!


The sad, shabby little mittens managed to last the winter, but the knitting destroyer is still at large. This week she managed to find the previously mentioned jumper and chew through my working yarn - this means war!!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

What's on my Needles ... or How I Started a Jumper and Lost My Mind.

I'd like to say that this will be a regular post showing off my latest knitting project but what's more likely is that it'll become an epic, never-ending saga involving a beige jumper. But never fear! It'll probably be filled with laughter, tears, tragedy and triumph - hopefully more triumph than anything else. So why not come along for the ride?

I'm knitting said jumper for an unlucky family member's birthday which is 6 weeks from now. Plenty of time. Or is it? So far I have knitted a third of the back in a week. Not great :(

I'm using Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Aran Tweed Yarn in colours 03 and 04 and this pattern. I'm leaving out the fairisle pattern as I don't think the recipient of this jumper will like that - and also I'm lousy at that type of thing. I can't handle too many colours at once!

So, I'll be back with an update sometime next weekend, and hopefully I will have completed the back - keep everything crossed for me!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The little hat that couldn't

Last autumn I decided to knit winter hats for my twin sons. I can never find anything I like in shops - baby clothes seem to come in a variety of bland pastels or irritating 'themes'. Usually doggies. I was determined that they would have something cool to wear. So I found a ton of really cute little hat patterns, found some leftover wool and started with gusto.

The fly in the ointment was my sons' enormous heads. I'm not kidding. These kids are small, but their noggins are massive!

The resulting little red hat just wouldn't fit!! I was devastated. It took me quite a while to knit it on two needles and then sew it up afterwards (which is my biggest pet hate). This was before I had learned to knit in the round.

And it's not half bad.

Poor little rejected hat! It now sits forlornly at the bottom of my knitting bag. But with a new baby due in August, who knows! Maybe he won't be cursed with a giant head and he can help this little hat fulfill it's destiny.

So there you go, sometimes despite no dropped stitches, pattern mistakes or loose threads, you can still create a bit of a disaster.

Can you do better? The pattern for this hat is here.

Other cute hats I should've used, but didn't:

Apple hat

Triceratops Hat

Stripey Baby Beret

Harper's Hood

I ♥ Knitting

Despite my limited sucess, I really do love knitting. I love going to buy new wool, hunting out quirky patterns and building up an extensive range of needles. And I love the thril when something actually comes together in the end to form a wearable item.

There are some truly wonderful knitting blogs out there, with breathtaking work on them. Some people are natural knitters and seem to have the knack - I am not one of them. And maybe you're not either. Maybe you too just muddle through, hoping that it will all come right in the end. Maybe you are intimidated by all the fantastic knitters out there, and a little jealous too.

This is a support group. My name is Emma and I am a mediocre knitter. Let the healing begin.