“Nature’s Walk” CAL progress

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Above photo to show you my new colours which arrived . . . so I finally have colour scheme sorted for Nature’s Walk.  I’m using Stylecraft DK Special in:  Spring Green, Meadow, Magenta, Wisteria, Clematis, Bluebell, Sherbet & Cream.

Here are the most recent set of 6 squares crocheted up, in Wisteria

CAL buds

These are following the pattern “Buds”, and have a “popcorn” stitch.  Quite fun to make, but these squares will definitely need blocking as they tend to be a lot springier than the others.

CAL buds 01

So far, I have 6 of each of the above.

CAL buds 02

I won’t promise to have the next 6 squares done by next week, because I’ve allowed myself to become side-tracked with knitting and sewing for dolls. 

animator dress 01

If you’d like to see these being modelled by dolls . . . you’ll have to hop over to my other blog: Claire’s Collections.

knitting & crocheting

I was a very lucky girl and won a giveaway organised by Chris, on her blog Chrisknitssews.  Chris was offering a gorgeous draw-string bag she’d made and I had left a comment saying it would be ideal for storing amigurumi body parts lol.  You know how it is, those who make amigurumi . . . there always comes a time, before assembling parts, when you’ve got arms, legs, feet etc all stuffed and you’re afraid one of the cats will make off with a body part or the dog will eat it. 
And it’s very important to have a pretty bag to keep things safe.

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Anyway, this is the lovely bag I won.  It’s fully lined and so very well made!

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For the moment, since I’ve been having something of a crochet hiatus, but have been industrious knitting dolls clothes . . .

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I am currently using my new bag to keep my knitted bits . . . here are 3 more doll-sized garments waiting for me to sew up seams and sew on buttons.  But . . . a new crochet project has begun!

raccoon

This pattern from Amigurumi TodayAmigurumi Today is a brilliant site/shop.  They have a huge selection of lovely amigurumi designs which you can actually consult and follow for free, if you don’t mind following a pattern on screen and on-line all the time.  They also have their shop option, where you can buy a pdf version of the pattern (which I have done for the above) . . . so it can be consulted on screen without having to be on-line or printed out (the old-fashioned way).   They seem to be having something of a sale on at the moment, as patterns are only $1.99 each, which is an absolute bargain!  Anyway . . . I’ve just begun hooking this pattern which is “Raccoon”.  Looks more like a flying squirrel to me, but whatever animal it is, I thought it was just too cute! 

knitting for Disney Animator dolls (cropped photo)

I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent (what’s new?) and been buying more dolls (second hand on ebay) . . . all because I saw the most adorable knitting pattern that I just had to buy!

The pattern is by a Canadian lady, and can be found here:  CSKraft4Dolls, if you’re interested/curious.  I believe she also sells on Ravlery, but I prefer to buy on etsy.

Anyway . . .  Disney Animator dolls are 16” tall, and very tubby, younger looking versions of the well-known Disney characters.  This headless pair being Belle and Rapunzel.

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I promised I wouldn’t spook you out with dolls on this blog . . . so I cropped off their heads, to show just the knitting.  If you’d like to see the dolls themselves, then just hop across to Claire’s Collections, which is my new blog, dedicated entirely to my doll collection.   I personally think they’re adorable, but I realise I’ll probably be outnumbered.  That’s fine . . . the world would be a less interesting place if we all liked the same things, wouldn’t it?

You’ll notice, from photo, that the two outfits don’t appear to be the same size/fit.  They’re not.  I started out knitting the outfit on the right, using a 3.75mm needle and DK yarn as recommended . . . maybe my tension was too tight? but the shorts ended up way too snug, and the top turned out too short (for my liking).  So, I moved to a 4mm needle for the second attempt, and added a few stitches to the shorts, and a few rows to the tunic. 

Great thing about the pattern, apart from being nice & easy to follow, is there are also instructions to make a dress . . . and more instructions to make the dress with a knitted yoke and a fabric skirt.  I will definitely be attempting both of those!

just loving knitting!

I’m rather a late bloomer in the field of knitting!  As I’ve told you before, I learned the basics as a child, having a mum and a gran who were both prolific knitters.  It wasn’t something I took to though, as I always felt a bit cack-handed trying to coordinate two needles and got discouraged when my knitting slid off the needle, not having a clue how to go about picking up stitches.  Anyway, after teaching myself to crochet, I decided if I could learn crochet from scratch, then I could certainly re-learn how to knit and follow a pattern.

You’ve seen my first attempts which have all been an interesting learning curve.  And I come to show you 2 more recent knitted projects, of which I am quite proud, because I think I’m slowly getting the hang of it!

I showed you a sneak peek the other day of something very bright for Baby Viking.  Today I can reveal all . . . not that Baby Viking has received grandma’s knitting gifts yet, but Mummy Viking has seen photos, so I feel it’s safe to share.  This is the “Cheri” pattern, designed by Martin Storey for Rowan, and is a free download.  This is the cover photo on pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my version, knitted, without the crocheted cherries, in a variagated Marriner DK and “Citron” Stylecraft Special DK.

cardie cc 01

I’m calling this the “Candy Crush” cardigan, because of the bright colours, and because of the perfect buttons I bought to finish it off.

cardie cc 02

Speaking of buttons . . . I ordered in quite a few, in lovely bright colours, and don’t they look like sweeties?

buttons

After the bright rainbow and yellow version, I cast on to make a second “Cheri” cardie for Baby Viking . . . this time in “Aspen” Stylecraft Special DK for the stocking stitch and another variagated Marriner for the garter stitch bands.

cardie turq

I’m not quite so happy with the way this one turned out.  It doesn’t have quite as much pizzazz as the “Candy Crush” version.

cardie x2

So note to self:  it’s not just about learning to knit and follow a pattern.  It’s also about choosing colours.

another “Cheri” cardie–sneak peek only!

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I come to show only a sneak peek photo to you today, but I can tell you, I am having the most joyous happy dance – yay!    After the success of the “Cheri” pattern (by Martin Storey for Rowan) only a few days ago, I cast on to knit up a second version.  I chose a variagated Marriner Mermaid DK in pink and other vibrant colours, plus Stylecraft Special DK in “Citron” for the garter stitched bands.  I knitted in size 1-2 years, so it’s turned out really dinky.   It only used up 55g of the Marriner and 20g of Stylecraft.   And, aside from my colour combo, which I think is sunglasses worthy and rather “candy crush” . . . my sewing of bits together went wonderfully.   Here’s the front of right sleeve and part of the button band.

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And this is back view of right sleeve.  I can now proudly say “By Jove, I’ve got it!”  I totally understand what I did wrong with my first two knit projects (stripey sweater and pink cardie).  And, while I can’t say I loved the sewing together, it wasn’t too gruelling.  Probably because the last 2 projects have been tiny toddler size . . . I’ll no doubt be complaining about sewing together when I tackle an adult sized garment.  However, that won’t be this week!  I’ve already cast on in some more bright colours . . . to make a third “Cheri” cardigan.

Only problem with my new found love of knitting . . . I have a crocheted monster which has been sitting around since Christmas, awaiting spikes, teeth and sewing together.  Have a couple of other crochet projects on my “to do” list . . . and my sewing machine is gathering dust, because all I want to do it knit & purl.

“Cheri” by Martin Storey, for Rowan

After the relative success of my dusky pink cardigan, I decided I needed to get more practice learning to assemble knitted garment pieces before I took the plunge to tackle another adult sized cardie/sweater.  So, with that in mind, I rummaged through my computer files, where I save any free patterns that take my fancy.  And this is the one I chose to knit.

daisy cardie 03

The model “CHERI” designed by Martin Storey for Rowan yarns.  I immediately knew I wasn’t going to bother crocheting the cherries.  My crochet skills don’t need practice, and I honestly thought the dangling cherries were just a bit “too much”.   What attracted me to this pattern was the short sleeves, short bodice and very much a bolero style.  The idea being, to have a pattern which would knit up quickly, to give me the chance to try my hand at assembly. 

And here’s my very plain version of this pattern.

Daisy cardie 02

I think you’ll agree there is definite improvement in my assembly skills.  I chose pattern size 2-3 years (Daisy measuring 92cm tall, so not quite a size 3 years).  I used leftovers of my dusky pink and knitted on 3.75mm and 4.5mm needles to get the correct gauge. 

daisy cardie 04

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And had a good rummage in my button box, where I found some very discreet pale pink plastic buttons. 

Daisy cardie 01

I am so pleased with how it turned out.  My confidence is soaring . . . but not quite ready to attempt the XL men’s sweater for the Husband just yet. 

What I have done though . . . is cast on to follow this pattern a second time.  My second version is going to be in a size 1-2 years, and for Baby Viking.  She is 5 months old now and sooooooooo cute lol.  Anyway, I thought this pattern style would be perfect and a 1-2 year size should be good for this autumn or next spring.  Here’s a sneak peek of yarns I’m working with.  I’m using Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” for the garter stitching, and a very zany Marriner Mermaid DK for the rest.

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That’s the 2 sleeves already made.  Now to put on my sunglasses and have more fun watching this Marriner Mermaid yarn change colour.  Viking parents have said I can go as bright as I like, so I’ve taken that literally!

the “things were going so well” cardigan

I come to share photos of my second ever finished knitted garment – yay!

It’s far from perfect, believe me, and when you scroll down, you’ll see some very ugly seams.   I had such fun knitting this  though and my confidence had come along in leaps & bounds as I knitted up all my pieces.  I even quite enjoyed learning to knit buttons bands, and making my first ever button holes.  The not such fun part began when I came to the sewing everything together.  And that’s when the “things were going so well” cardie almost ended up in the bin.  Even the husband took one look at it and commented on what a mess I’d made of sewing on the sleeves.  Seeing my glum face, he tried to back track with a “it’s a shame because your knitting is nice and regular”.  Oh well.   I won’t learn if I don’t try, and believe me, I do try.

pink cardie 01

Anyway, here it is.  I used a cheap acrylic yarn bought years ago in a “discount” shop.  Pattern was a free download and is called RUE designed by Martin Storey for Rowan.

pink cardie 02

It looks okay(ish) lying flat, although in first photo you can see sleeves aren’t lying quite right. That’s not an optical illusion, it’s my sewing that leaves much to be desired and plenty of room for improvement.

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And because I feel it’s important not just to show things from the best angle . . . this is the messy/ugly part (on both shoulders)

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Anyway, the big question is, of course: does it fit?  Well it does, and it doesn’t.

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It looks more or less like the photo on the pattern (true colour being in first 3 photos). Sleeves are the correct length.  Buttons are all placed at even intervals.  And I can button it up or leave it open.

pink cardie 05

It feels a bit too snug around the arms for my liking though.   In fact, the sleeves were so snug at first, they felt like a second skin, but have loosened up a bit after wearing.  I don’t think the snugness is  anything to do with my knitting, simply the style of the sleeves.   I suppose one of the other things I need to learn is how to choose a pattern and avoid slim sleeves in future!

pink cardie 06

When I first tried it on, in its finished state, all I could see were the messy shoulders.  I felt very frustrated that a knitting project which has taken me months to complete was let down in the final stages because of messy assembly.  However, since it was finished, I decided I might as well wear it indoors or under a coat, when walking the dog or chatting to my hens.  And, as long as I don’t catch sight of myself in a mirror, I can forget about what it looks like and simply be pleased that I managed to knit my first ever cardigan!

I had had great plans of moving on to an even more challenging project after this.  The husband picked out a men’s Stylecraft pattern and DK yarn that took his fancy, so “the plan”, once I finished the cardie, was to start work on that!  However, the husband agrees I still need a little more practice with my seams, and since I won’t get much practice if I keep on knitting adult sized items . . . my next project is going to be a small cardigan for one of my dolls.