waiting for buttons

I’m having an almost happy dance here – yay!  It took lots of cursing, swearing, and more watching of youtube videos, but I managed to pick up stitches and get my neckband and  button bands knitted.

Once all seams were sewn and loose ends woven in, I decided that cardigan needing blocking properly to keep those button bands from trying to curl . . . so I bunged the buttonless cardigan in the washing machine on a delicate cycle, and left it to dry flat on the clothes airer.  The final touch, being a cardigan, is to add the “perfect” buttons, which is why I’m not having a full-flung happy dance, modelling my purple cardigan just yet.

Originally it started out as a stash-busting project (pattern & yarn from stash) and I planned on using buttons from stash too.  However, I need 10 buttons for this project, have decided on 20mm size, and the only ones I have in my stash (in sufficient number) are “gold” (well, plastic painted gold).

And I’m not 100% sure about either.

I’ve therefore pressed the pause button on my happy dancing . . . and ordered in 2 different types of metal buttons in silver/antique silver.  They should be arriving some time this week, so I’ll be able to decide once I can compare.  In the meantime, I’m itching to cast on a new knitting project.

purple knitting

On 10th of this month, I showed you a knitting project, actually begun on 29th September of a long plain cardigan I’m making for myself.  It’s a stash-busting project, using some acrylic yarn I’ve had in my stash for a number of years and a Sirdar Hayfield pattern bought a couple of years ago.

Since my last update, I knitted both fronts, and both sleeves, remaining consistent with my raglan decreases.  And, after watching a couple of videos on youtube, to remind myself on how to assemble my pieces . . . I’ve sewn the 4 raglan seams – yay!

Here’s a photo of the first one.  I’m so pleased with how it turned out!  This photo shows you the true colour of the yarn.

Anyway . . . next job will be to knit the neckband and button bands.  I put back & sleeve stitches onto stitch holders, rather than doing the cast off as pattern suggested.  Will just need to increase evenly by a few stitches on those parts, when also picking up on the 2 fronts at neck line.  Am very optimistic that I’ll have a finished cardigan to keep me snug, by the end of the month!

knitting & stash busting

After a couple of crochet projects to help with my yarn stash busting I picked out a knitting pattern (from my stash) that would be suitable for using some DK yarn I bought at least 6 years ago.

The yarn, bought before I really knew much about knitting, was sold in bags of 10 x 50g balls.  Label gives tension as DK equivalent, and the bags stated that 500g would be enough to knit something in a size 42 (EU sizing).  Therefore, at the time, I bought TWO bags lol.

I also had this pattern, bought a couple of years ago, but never knitted . . . of a very ordinary looking long cardigan/jacket in stocking stitch.  Pattern model made using a self-striping yarn. I  bought this pattern because it’s so simple, and is something I would wear in the colder months.  So, with colder months not far away, I finally got around to casting on

Pattern is Sirdar Hayfield #8159.  It’s all 2×2 ribbing and stocking stitch.  Nothing very exciting but, with the raglan sleeve style, after over 22″ of rib & straight stocking stitch, I finally got some practice with my decreasing over 60 rows.

So far, after many many hours of knitting, due to the fact I’m knitting this in a very large size, I have a back – yay!  And, after racking Avis’ brains, plus lots of watching of videos on youtube on how to decrease neatly, when the pattern just says “dec 1 stitch at each end on every row”  or “dec 1 stitch at each end of next and foll alt rows”, without specifying which decrease method to use . . . I opted to not just do the K2tog or P2tog at both ends, but to try the SSK and the SSP where appropriate to work on getting my stitches sloping inwards.

Not sure if I’ve done it properly, but it looks neat enough to me.  And big sigh of relief when that back part was done because it’s huge and was getting quite heavy on my needles.

cotton cardie happy dance

I’m having a cotton cardie happy dance here!

This is the pattern.  Sirdar 7283.  I chose it because it has both short & long sleeve versions, pattern sizes from child to adult, and I wanted to try my hand at some more “lace” knitting, after the success of a couple of doll dresses.  I also chose this one because I had some Rico Designs DK cotton in my stash and this seemed the perfect project.  I bought this pattern on Wool Warehouse here, the pdf version so I didn’t have to worry about p&p and pattern was downloadable the instant payment went through.

Here is a back view.

Front view (I didn’t block and the ribbed bands wanted to curl in a little).

And on yours truly, to show it fits!

Sorry about the face.  That was my “waiting for the husband to say cheese” face and the “is cardie looking even at the bottom?” but the husband didn’t give any warning and just clicked.  You get the general idea though.  A lovely short-sleeved cardie, in cotton, with round neck line, and just one button for fastening.  I am ever so pleased with it.  Not only did I manage to do the neck shaping “in pattern” but I also managed to do all the picking up of stitches neatly, for the neck & front ribbed bands.  It’s a perfect fit and looks exactly how the pattern models promised it would.  I’m also pleased because I used 7 x 50g of my yarn stash, and have 3 balls left of this Rico cotton, that I shall be using to make something in either child or doll size.

knitting & diamond dotting

I seem to have being doing nothing but knit or diamond dotting this past week.  Sewing, patchwork, crochet & cross stitch all seem to have fallen by the wayside, but I’m sure I’ll get back to them soon.

Knitting is what I feel like doing at the moment, since I cast on a new project, to make a short-sleeved cardigan for myself.

The pattern is Sirdar 7283 and I’m knitting with a Rico Design cotton (which I’ve had in my stash for over 6 years).  Pattern has sizing from child through to XXL adult.

This is the back all done!  I have also completed the left front, and am busily working on the right front.  A little disappointed that I didn’t “react” when I saw a stretch of pale lilac appear in the yarn in the lower section of the back. I saw it, and carried on knitting, because I thought there would be more of the same as I worked my way through the ball. There weren’t.  There must have been a minor dye fault which has resulted in that horizontal row of knitting.  Oh well, I won’t see it when I’m wearing the cardie and I doubt anyone else will be looking too closely.  My other worry: tension on the lace pattern bands seems to be pulling up the ribbing (it’s happening on the fronts too).  I hope I can correct this with blocking once the cardie is finished.   Anyway, I am really enjoying this project (apart from the neck shaping on fronts which is confusing me because I have to decrease but keep in pattern – but I’ll get there!) and looking forward to having all pieces ready to assemble.

I’ve also been relaxing my brain with some diamond painting.  Only the other day, I saw this in a local shop, priced at 12.95€.

They did have A3 size, but I decided A4 would be big enough for my needs, ie, to use as retro lighting while diamond painting.

When switched off, it looks like this.  Just a white board.  It has a touch sensitive switch and 3 different light intensity options.  And I was pleasantly surprised to see how it does, indeed, make diamond painting much easier on the eyes.  Before, I was having to wear my magnifying glasses (on top of my normal glasses).  Now, just my normal glasses are sufficient to see symbols clearly.

After the really big feather project, I’ve just begun a colourful unicorn.  You can see here how the retro-lighting really lights up the area to be covered, and makes it much easier to spot the isolated vacant symbols.

With the brightpad switched off, this is what the current project looks like.  Canvas is only 30cm x 30cm, which makes the area to cover approximately 25cm x 25cm.  I chose this design with one of our little neighbours in mind.  Cléo’s little sister, Mona, will be 4 years old in September . . . and I’m pretty sure that she’ll love this rainbow unicorn.

feather & lace

A finish and a new start to share with you today!

First . . . a large diamond painting project, begun in April, and finished only the other day.

No idea how many hours I spent on this but it was very enjoyable to do. I now have to decide where I’m going to hang it. It’s quite big: canvas measures 80cm x 30cm with the diamond painted part measuring approx 75cm x 25cm.

That’s the feather, now for the lace . . .

After the success of learning the “lace” stitching in knitting, I rummaged through my yarn stash and went on-line to look for suitable patterns.  I had 10 x 50g balls of Rico Design Fashion Fantasy DK cotton, bought more than 6 years ago, and never used because I always felt my knitting skills weren’t good enough.   Anyway, I shopped online at Wool Warehouse and decided on a Sirdar pattern:  Beachcomber DK # ref 7283 which is for a summer cardie, in cotton.  Options are for short or long sleeves, and sizes from 61/68cm (child) chest through to 112/117cm.

I’m knitting this for myself, so am following the 102/107cm size, which (if my yarn knits up like the Beachcomber) will need 6 of my 50g ballls.  If all goes well, I should have enough left to knit the smallest child version too.  I always begin with a swatch, especially when not using the recommended yarn for a pattern. Rico Designs says to use a 3.5mm needle for 22 x 28 tension, so I cast on 22 and knitted 14 rows on a 3.5mm needle.  That came out spot on, 10cm x 5cm so I didn’t waste any more time before casting on for the real thing.

This is how far I’ve got so far after using the first 50g ball.  I am knitting the back, which has 2 bands of the lace pattern (18 rows repeat).  To make things easier for myself, I’m using 4 stitch markers, one either side of the 13 stitch bands which means I can knit mindlessly until I come to a stitch marker, slow down to follow pattern, then speed up again.

And another to give you a closer look at the band ((which would have looked better if I’d blocked but I’ll worry about that when all parts are knitted).

 

learning lace stitch

Well, I’m feeling rather pleased with myself, I have to say because I recently mastered a new knitting stitch pattern and new horizons open up before me!  The stitch pattern in question is: “lace, or the art of deliberately knitting holes into the pattern lol.

It started, not very long ago when I spotted a lovely dress pattern for 32cm dolls on etsy.  Pattern is by CuklaMania here.

Sadly, I didn’t have any yarn in my stash that would work (so I had to order some in) but in the meantime, I saw no reason why I couldn’t give the pattern a try out on different yarn.  Having quite a collection of dolls in various shapes & sizes, I was confident, a dress knit in a slightly thicker yarn would fit at least one member of my dolly family.  So . . . pattern paid for (thanks to Daddy Viking, because I don’t have a p@yp@l account), downloaded & printed out.  And I set to work with Stylecraft Special DK in “citron” yellow on 3.5mm needles learning how to “yo” and “ssk”.  Much tinking happened along the way but . . .

in no time at all (okay, maybe longer!) I had finished a dress – yay!  A dress that looked exactly like the pattern photo – oh joy!  I then rushed upstairs to try it on a few dolls.  And it is the perfect fit for one in particular (a 40cm doll).  On a roll .  .  .  I then pulled out a ball of light minty green 4-ply and gave the pattern a second try, still on 3.5mm needles.  And then again in Stylecraft Special DK, a sort of raspberry pink, on 3mm needles.

The “exercise” being to see how yarn type or needle size alters the size of the finished dress. And also to give myself more practice with the pattern, which, in turn, gave me plenty of practice in “tinking” every time I forgot to “yo” and didn’t notice until the end of the next row.

This last photo shows the slight difference in size depending on yarn or needles.  Dresses 2 and 3 are good fits on my Disney Animator dolls.  I have yet to knit the pattern in a finer yarn and make it to fit the doll it was intended for in the first place.  But that will happen fairly soon.  In the meantime, now I’ve mastered a new knitting technique, I’ve been browsing patterns, and am feeling very motivated to take on a much larger knitting project in the interests of stash-busting.  The main problem there being, my stash is so big and choice of patterns is so vast . . . I’m dithering about what large project to begin.  Never fear, I will share with you, once I have decided.

a couple of birthdays in March

There were a couple of family birthdays in March – so a good excuse to do some crafting.

One of our French nieces turned 17 and I had bought some gorgeous colour-changing yarn in a cotton mix, so knitted a loop scarf (60″ long and then sewed two ends together)..

We’re probably almost past scarf weather, although it is still a little nippy early morning.

With the new Brexit customs in place, I was loathe to make anything to post for the second family birthday (to our daughter, aka Lindashee, in England).  I took therefore took the easy option and ordered some crafting supplies to be sent directly to her via @m@zon.uk, but I did also make a very quick card.

Lindashee is more of a cat person, but I had some cute fabric with little westie dogs, that fitted perfectly into the aperture card I had to hand.  So that’s what I made.  And no, I didn’t forget to add 2 blue gems to upper left corner.  I was going for asymmetric lol.

more squares for the yarn bomb

On Feb 15th, I showed you this photo

of a flyer I was given at our local library, announcing an upcoming yarn bomb.  I crocheted a first batch of six squares (15cm x 15cm) for ScrapHappy day and since . . . I’ve been delving into my bag of leftover bits to make some more.  Had a knitting session with some very chunky yarn, that knitted up nice & quickly, resulting in this batch.

Four squares 20cm x 20cm and then one, to  try and finish up the red & grey, 15cm x 15cm.

And then more crochet squares.

Four more large squares, and two smaller ones.  I’m not attempting to do any special stitch patterns, just concentrating on working my way through oddments of yarn, and making sure I crochet or knit to the correct size.  It’s keeping my hands busy in the evening, and if all local knitters/crocheters are doing the same, we should end up with quite a selection!

finished neck/shoulder warmer

I really do seem to be on a roll with knitting (and some more stash busting for this one).

This was the beginning, with a photo from the pattern so you can see what I’m up to.  Pattern is free downloadable King Cole 5624 and this is one of the seven items from the pattern.  I had some James C. Brett marbled chunky left over from when I knitted myself a (sideways) jacket in the Spring last year. You may remember this photo

That shows true colours of yarn.  Anyway, I had some of that yarn left, and it seemed to lend itself to this King Cole pattern.  The neck/shoulder warmer is actually knit flat, on circular needles (because at starting point there are 170 stitches to cast on).  Seam is then sewn up at the end.

Here it is while I blocked outer edges (which still want to curl up) and here it is on.

It was fun to make, is lovely and warm, although the ribbed neck could have done with being slightly snugger.  That’s probably to do with me using James Brett yarn with a King Cole pattern.  I’ll probably be wearing this indoors, in the evenings, when I want a bit of extra warmth rather than have the heating on full blast.