Saturday, 17 January 2015
Sunday, 11 January 2015
Admittedly, to a sock yarn lover the above might not sound particularly intriguing. As a sock yarn connoisseur myself, I have to admit that the idea of knitting simple lace with a chunky alpaca / wool blend did not seem appealing. Nevertheless, in the interest of reducing the size of my yarn stash, I decided to embark on this adventure some time in late 2014.
|Winter Stole in Progress (Yarn: Wendy Zena)|
Sunday, 16 November 2014
|Evening Rush Hour London Victoria|
Another experiment in simple lace knitting. This project was conceived of and completed during the daily commute and that's how it came to its name, the Commuter Cowl.
The cowl's lace pattern gives the impression of vertical ribbing, which is achieved by a simple lace sequence, ideal for beginner lace knitters.
The project is extremely portable and the pattern's lace rows are followed by simple knit rows, making this an ideal beginner project. The cowl is knitted entirely in the round.
Thursday, 25 September 2014
An advertising leaflet for the local Steiner Kindergarten / School in Canterbury came through my letterbox a few weeks ago. Due to the lack of offspring of my own, the advertising was completely lost on this household, but it prompted me to think of the Steiner Curriculum, in which knitting still forms an integral part. It also reminded me of the traditional Waldorf dolls, which I vaguely remember from my childhood.
The examples below, even though some of the projects displayed are Waldorf-inspired rather than original Waldorf patterns, provide an idea of the kind of style I have in mind. Further details on these are available here.
|Waldorf and Waldorf - Inspired knitting projects on Pinterest. Available here.|
Saturday, 5 July 2014
Sunday, 11 May 2014
Surprisingly pleased with my first freestyle raglan cardigan, I decided to knit another, this time keeping a record of my project instructions.
Knitted seamlessly from the top down, this is a made to measure project without a written pattern as such.
The number of cast - on stitches depends on your gauge swatch, your own measurements, the chosen needle size and the type of wool you are using. The pattern allows for modifications at every step of the way and what follows are my instructions for a cardigan in size S, knitted in stockinette stitch, with garter stitch edging at the bottom.
Should you wish to use another stitch motif, you simply have to knit the gauge swatch in the desired stitch and derive your measurements from your test swatch.
I used the following materials:
- Yarn: Madelinetosh, Tosh Merino Light (Sock Yarn) - 1 hank
- Needle: 5mm (US size 8) circular needle, 4 double - pointed needles (5mm / US size 8)
- Scrap yarn, 4 stitch markers, scissors, darning needle
|Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light Sock Yarn, Colourway: Victorian Gothic|
Prepare your gauge swatch and block it in whichever way you see fit. Count the stitches and calculate the number of stitches against the measurement of the gauge swatch: In my gauge swatch, 26 stitches in stockinette stitch measured 10cm exactly.
|Gauge swatch in stockinette stitch.|
Next, you will have to determine how many stitches are required for the neckline of your cardigan. You can either measure yourself or, as this is not always as straightforward, opt to measure the neckline of an existing garment. My neckline measurement was 51cm.
Once you have determined the neckline measurement, you calculate the number of stitches to be cast on proportionally:
The general calculation looks as follows:
(measurement of desired neckline x number of stitches in swatch sample) / measurement of swatch = number of required stitches
For my cardigan, the calculation looks like this:
(51cm x 26sts) / 10cm = 132.6sts
I rounded the stitch total to 135, in order to easily divide the stitches between the various sections.
Once you have determined the number of stitches required, you are ready to start knitting:
Cast on 135 stitches:
- 1st row: knit all stitches
- 2nd row: purl all stitches
(After completion of this row, I decided to incorporate a button hole at the beginning of the next row, but this is entirely optional.)
Next, divide stitches between markers for the front, back and the two sleeve sections:
- 45 for the back section, 46 in total for the front sections and 22 stitches for each sleeve section
- 3rd row: knit 23, place marker, knit 22, place marker, knit 45, place marker, knit 22, place marker, knit 23
- 4th row: purl, slipping markers as you complete the row
From the next row onwards, you start the Raglan increases. Until you are able to fit your arms comfortably through the sleeve sections, the number of stitches will have to be increased as set out below.
- 5th row: knit to two stitches before 1st marker, kfb, knit, slip marker, kfb, knit to two stitches before next marker. Continue increasing the stitch count as set-out above until the row row is complete, increasing one stitch before and after each marker.
- 6th row: purl all stitches slipping markers as you complete the row
Continue in stockinette stitch, increasing stitches before and after each marker on every knit row as shown above.
Continue knitting in stockinette stitch until your arms fit through the sleeves. (I increased the sleeve sections from 22 stitches to a total of 45 stitches between markers.)
When the sleeves are wide enough and the fit is comfortable, proceed as follows:
- Knit to 1st marker, remove marker, place all stitches between markers on scrap yarn. Remove second marker. Join first front section with back section, continue knitting to second sleeve section, remove first marker, place stitches between markers on scrap yarn, remove second marker, join back section with second front section. Proceed to knit until end of row.
Proceed to knit in stockinette stitch, removing all markers until your cardigan has reached the desired length. (You will have to keep checking the fit of the cardigan whilst knitting.)
Once your cardigan has reached the desired length, knit 4 rows in plain garter stitch (to avoid rolled edges) and bind off.
Having completed the Torso, it's time to move on to the sleeves:
As pictured above, the live sleeve stitches are held on scrap yarn. Divide these stitches evenly between 3 double - pointed needles and remove the scrap yarn. To give the sleeves a neater look and to avoid the appearance of "underarm holes", pick up a few stitches underneath the arms, where the front and back sections were originally joined. This will stabilise the sleeve and create an overall tidy appearance.
It is now up to you to decide, how long the sleeves should be. As I wanted to use one skein of sock yarn exactly, I settled for short sleeves, which only required me to knit three rows in the round until bind-off.
Once you have completed the sleeves, your cardigan is ready to be blocked.
As this garment is knitted in one piece, blocking can be quite a challenge and I decided to pin it against my dressmaker's dummy, whilst steam - blocking the fabric.
Should you require pattern support, please feel free to contact me via Ravelry or leave a comment below.
This pattern is for personal use only and may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without permission.
© 2012 Clarice Asquith. All rights reserved. http://makedoandmendnovice.blogspot.com
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Introducing The Freestyle Raglan Cardigan
A rather interesting project, one that's been on the needles since August 2011. At the time, I attempted my first cardigan. I wasn't following a "pattern", instead the project was knitted top - down, according to swatch and proportion.
As mentioned, no written pattern was followed as such, just basic project instructions along the lines of:
Measure swatch, measure yourself, block swatch, calculate stitches required around collar in proportion to swatch sample, cast on equivalent number of stitches, divide stitches, place markers, memorise increase pattern, go forth and knit ...
Sunday, 16 March 2014
Strikkelise's Baktus pattern has been on my "to -knit-list" for quite a while, but I had never quite gotten into the right state of mind for a project knitted entirely in garter stitch until now. Knitting in garter stitch throughout can be quite a repetitive endeavour, which I highly recommend as a brain - cleansing activity. To incorporate a little more of a challenge, I decided to knit my Baktus in two colours and I wanted to use the most inexpensive yarn I could find in my cupboard (...and still achieve a presentable look).
The yarn for this project was a charity shop find. I was unable to ascertain the manufacturer and only have a vague idea on the composition. A label on the inside of the heather - coloured cone tells me that the yarn contains 30% wool, with the remainder being acrylic. I assume that the same applies to the grey cone, but I could be wrong. I also assume that Yeoman's are the manufacturers of the yarn. (Yeoman's produce machine knitting yarn, which is sold on cones.) But I could be wrong on this, too.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
I'm currently swatching for new projects and seem to have developed a preference for the drop stitch motif. The drop stitch effect is achieved by working a succession of multiple yarn overs into the knitting. On the following row the yarn overs are simply pushed (or "dropped") off the needle, creating a rather loose fabric, which is ideal for scarves and other flowing garments.
For the sample below I used Stylecraft Kon - Tiki - a blend of 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. Kon - Tiki has a very soft feel to it and I enjoyed knitting with the yarn. That's why I was surprised to see that it has primarily been used for knitted dishcloths on Ravelry. Let's see whether I can put the balance right and find a slightly more appealing project for my stash of Kon - Tiki.
|Drop Stitch Swatch (Yarn: Stylecraft Kon - Tiki)|
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
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.......)
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
A few months ago, one of my knitting projects required a provisional cast - on. Sometimes this technique is also referred to as an 'invisible' or 'open-cast-on. Whilst I had understood the concept behind the technique, i.e. utilising a string of scrap yarn that upon its removal will leave the knitter with "live" stitches, which can be picked up again at a later point, I was utterly confused after watching a few instructional videos.
Thoroughly bewildered and at the same time encouraged by the wonderful Mrs Zimmermann’s mantra that there is simply no wrong or right way of knitting, I decided to go ahead and experiment. In the end, I am pleased to report that the method I devised worked just fine and, even though a little cumbersome at first sight, it might provide others with a way out of the confusion.
Here are the step by step instructions:
|Provisional cast - on: Step 1|
Step 1: Tie a piece of scrap yarn, preferably in a contrasting colour, to your knitting needle as shown in the above image.
|Provisional cast - on: Step 2|
Step 2: Proceed to cast on as many stitches as required in whichever way you like. (I used the long tail cast on.) The stitches should wrap around the needle and the scrap yarn at the same time.
|Provisional cast - on: Step 3|
Step 3: Continue to knit as many rows as required. The scrap yarn is sitting comfortably at the bottom of the knitted piece, enclosed by a row of live stitches.
|Provisional cast - on: Step 4|
Step 4: Insert the needle into the row of live stitches using the scrap yarn as a guide. Once this step has been completed, the scrap yarn can be removed and the live stitches are ready to be knit as required.