Sunday, 27 May 2012

Inspired by Bluebells





Bluebells between Ashford and Faversham (Kent, UK)


The woods between Ashford and Faversham (Kent, UK) are widely known as bluebell country in the area. Earlier this month we ventured out to have a look at this magical spectacle and took a few pictures.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Design Digest: Ammonite - Part 2

... in which, amongst other things, she talks about sock yarn, choosing a knitting project to suit your mood and the skill level required to knit an Ammonite.


When approaching a design, simplicity is sometimes best. I suppose this is the essence of my previous post on designing Ammonite. Once I had accepted this simple, yet fundamental rule, the design process assumed its own momentum. However, as already mentioned in Part I of my design digest, the first knitted sample turned out to resemble an Elizabethan collar rather than a generously sized, ruffled shawl.

Ammonite: First Test - Knit


This was clearly down to my choice of yarn and a kfb - increase bonanza. Repeated attempts of ironing these faults out with the help of prolonged and intense blocking, yielded only very limited results and did not really seem to make much of an impact overall. It soon dawned on me that I needed to have a rethink on my choice of yarn and moderate my use of increases.

In the first instance I had a look at my stash, which was lacking sock yarn at the time. I briefly contemplated knitting a second Ammonite in Patons UK Misty, but decided against it in the end. I felt that cobweb - type mohair yarn would not give sufficient expression to the ribbed texture of the stitch motif. The answer, obviously, was to use sock yarn and so I went yarn shopping. Joy! (No, this time I really had to...;-) Of course, I had seen some very enticing sock yarns (100g @ £15.00) and even though these looked tempting, I decided to settle on a less costly alternative for two reasons:

Firstly, my pattern required a fair quantity of yarn, approximately 300g to be precise. And secondly, I did not want to overspend on materials, not knowing whether my pattern would actually be right for the materials chosen.

Mietze ... inspecting again

The Weekly Swatch, Part 3 - The Left Slanting Turkish Rib Stitch



Turkish Rib stitch (left - slanting) is one of those uncomplicated, easily memorisable (is that a word?) stitches that can lend great texture to a knitted piece, especially in combination with other ribbed stitch motifs, emphasising either texture, direction or both. At the same time, it is certainly more interesting than mere two - by - two ribbing, which can get a bit tedious - both to look at and to knit.

Left - slanting Turkish Rib Stitch in Patons UK Vintage (4mm needles)

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Weekly Swatch, Part 2 - Butterfly Wing Stitch

I am swatching rather a lot at the moment, as I am in search of new stitch combinations and swatching tends to get the imagination going.

This week, once again in Knitglobal 4 ply sock yarn, I have prepared a little sample of the Butterfly Wing Stitch. 


Butterfly Wing Stitch Sample in Knitglobal 4 ply Sock Yarn (Plum)



Butterfly Wing Stitch

One pattern repeat consists of 12 rows and is worked in multiples of 26 stitches. On uneven rows, i.e. rows 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 within the sequence, all stitches are purled.

R1: Purl all stitches

R2: K1, *M1, sl1, k1, psso, k4, k2tog, k3, M1, k2, M1, k3, sl1 , k1, psso, k4, k2tog, M1, k2, rep from *, on last repeat stitch sequence ends on k1 instead of k2.

R4: K1, *M1, k1, sl1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog, k4, M1, k2, M1, k4, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog, k1, M1, k2, rep from *,  on last repeat stitch sequence ends on k1 instead of k2.

R6: K1, *M1, k2, sl 1, k1, psso, k2tog, k5, M1, k2, M1, k5, sl 1, k1, psso, k2tog, k2, M1, k2, rep from *,  on last repeat stitch sequence ends on k1 instead of k2.

R8, K1, *M1, k3, sl 1, k1, psso, k4, k2tog, M1, k2, M1, sl 1, k1, psso, k4, k2tog, k3, M1, k2, rep from *,  on last repeat stitch sequence ends on k1 instead of k2.

R10: K1, *M1, k4, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog, k1, M1, k2, M1, k1, sl 1, k1, psso, k2, k2tog, k4, M1, k2, rep from *,  on last repeat stitch sequence ends on k1 instead of k2.

R12: K1, *M1, k5, sl 1, k1, psso, k2tog, [k2, M1] twice, k2, sl 1, k1, psso, k2tog, k5, M1, k2, rep from *,  on last repeat stitch sequence ends on k1 instead of k2.


Butterfly Wing Stitch Sample in Knitglobal 4 ply Sock Yarn (Plum)

Butterfly Wing Stitch Sample in Knitglobal 4 ply Sock Yarn (Plum)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Design Digest: Ammonite - Part I


Ammonite and the Grey Cone...

If you are reading this post, I suppose you have seen Ammonite on Ravelry or on Flickr and you might want to know a little more about the design process and my inspiration for the pattern. Perhaps you have merely stumbled upon this blog because you are interested in knitwear design or maybe good, old Google directed you to this page because you are interested in fossils.



If you are looking for fossil - related information (and I don't mean the knitted kind), I have to disappoint you, as I am going to talk about a knitting pattern and, unless you are interested in knitting, what follows will not be a great deal of help to you.

So, Ammonite...It's probably best to start at the beginning. Roughly a year ago I was browsing in a local charity shop and found a cone of grey DK - weight yarn. There was no further information regarding the identity of the yarn, only a label inside the cone stating it was an acrylic / wool mix (30% wool, 70% acrylic). Having done a bit of research, I now believe that the yarn was manufactured by Yeoman Yarns in Yorkshire, an interesting yarn manufacturer, especially for the thrifty knitters amongst us. Yeoman's yarns come wrapped around cones, presumably targeting machine knitters. (And the big advantage of yarn on cones is of course the fact that you won't run out of yarn during your project.)

Mietze inspecting 

As this poor, grey cone was looking a little lonely, I decided to buy it at a bargain price together with two others, one in heather and another in a light creamy brown. The lovely people at the shop must have been glad to see them go and included a pair of knitting needles at the till. 

Here I was with my yarn bargains. I took them home, where they were subjected to the usual "scratch and sniff " inspection by a member of the feline quality control squad. 

Grey Cone and Friends

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Weekly Swatch, Part 1 - Cartridge Rib Stitch


I have been toying with the idea of creating a swatch / stitch library on the blog for quite some time, but never gotten round to actually doing something about it. As I have more time on my hands at the moment, it appears a good time to get started and commit. I can't guarantee that this will become a weekly thing, but the good intentions are there. (She says.......)

For various reasons, I am currently into simple stich motifs. When designing my own knitted objects, I found that simplicity is a good starting point. From a practical viewpoint, simple motifs make it easy to knit whilst doing something else.


Cartridge Rib Stitch


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