Showing posts with label lace knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lace knitting. Show all posts

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Winter Stole Update: Test Knit Completed ✔

Back in January I released my pattern notes for the Winter Stole, a lace stole knitted with a chunky alpaca / wool blend on 6mm needles. More background on the rationale behind the design and my choice of yarn is available here; and the pattern is available here.


The Winter Stole pattern was developed to encourage knitters (and myself) to diversify the choice of materials when knitting lace. Depending, of course, on the complexity of the lace stitch sequence and the overall design, I was aiming to showcase that it is possible to produce knitted lace with chunkier yarns. 

Winter Stole (yarn: Wendy Zena, pattern available here.


Winter Stole (yarn: Wendy Zena, pattern available here.

Thanks to Tara (tara53aus on Ravelry) I am now pleased to announce that the pattern has undergone its first 'independent' test knit and Tara's completed stole is pictured below:


Tara's Completed Winter Stole 

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am always thankful for the feedback I receive from the knitters of my designs, especially from those, who put their trust in a pattern that has so far only been completed by the pattern's very own designer. This was the case with the Winter Stole pattern. 


This time round and following the feedback I received from Tara, I am particularly pleased to announce that my original Winter Stole pattern is free of mistakes, slips and no modifications are necessary.


Tara's Stole Blocking

I was also delighted to see that Tara not only used a natural, undyed alpaca yarn to complete her stole, she also chose a very special handspun yarn from an independent producer in Western Australia. 


Sadly, I was not able to retrieve more information on the producer over the web, but the ball band details can be seen in the picture below. So, if you are located in Western Australia, I suggest you get your hands on a delightful skein (or two) of Greg's and Wendy's handspun.




A remark on the pattern from my side: I have decided to update the pattern notes of the Winter Stole slightly with optional variations, to take those knitters into consideration, who are opting to use handspun yarn (Alpaca or otherwise) and may thus only have a finite amount of yarn to complete the project. The stole was designed to be rather wide and fewer cast-on stitches (resulting in fewer lace motif repeats in the body of the piece) will ensure that the piece will turn out long enough to be classed a 'stole'. These notes on modifications of the original pattern will be published shortly. In the meantime, the original Winter Stole pattern is available here.

Finally and once again, a very big 'THANK YOU!' to Tara for her feedback, for being the first to test the pattern and for choosing a delicious, independently produced, handspun yarn to complete her project. 

For any interested knitters, wishing to complete a Winter Stole and requiring pattern support, please feel free to contact me via Ravelry (ClariceAsquith), Twitter (@Slipstitched), leave a comment below or by e-mail: clarice.asquith@googlemail.com.


For a link collection to all original designs on the blog, please visit this link.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Knitting with Non-Traditional Materials: The Nameless Choker meets the Nameless Cuff

Roughly one year ago I released project notes for a simple knitted lace choker, the Nameless Choker. The pattern notes for the 'Nameless Choker' are available here. 

Specifically designed to use up the last remnants of sock yarn after the completion of a larger project, Nameless is an ideal project for a very small quantity of yarn (approximately 10 - 20 grams).


Nameless Choker, Knitting Pattern available here


One year on, I decided to explore the choice of material for this project in more detail. Whilst certain types of sock and cotton yarn (especially the sturdier varieties) work very well with the design, the pattern provides an ideal starting point for venturing into new territory, i.e. the cross-over point where knitting and jewellery-making techniques meet and blend into one another. 

For my revision of the pattern, I am planning to adapt the original design with the help of a number of non-traditional materials such as waxed cotton thong cord (1mm), leather cord (1mm) and, potentially, jewellery wires.

Having completed an initial experiment with waxed cotton cord (shown below), it is clear that certain design elements  of the original pattern (stitch count, lace repeats, needle size and quantities etc.) will obviously have to be revised and modified to take the properties of cotton thread into consideration, but I am quite happy with the initial outcome.

The first insight derived from yesterday's cotton cord knitting session is that 10 metres of waxed cotton thong are not sufficient to produce a fully fledged knitted choker on the basis of the original Nameless pattern, but they will be enough to make a knitted wrist cuff.   

Nameless Cuff (knitted with 1mm waxed cotton cord)


Nameless Cuff (knitted with 1mm waxed cotton cord)


Nameless Cuff (knitted with 1mm waxed cotton cord)

Nameless Cuff Prototype

Nameless Cuff - Prototype

Further updates and finalised project notes on the Nameless Cuff and the modified Nameless Choker will be up on the blog shortly. 

In the meantime, stay tuned... 





Saturday, 22 August 2015

Cast-on loosely and don't knit tight - knitting lace with fingering weight mohair yarn

Wisp: Pattern by Cheryl Niamath (published in Knitty, Summer 2007), Yarn: Patons UK Misty


The Wisp Shawl pattern by Cheryl Niamath has somewhat turned into a classic lace knitting pattern and due to its simplicity it tends to attract many beginner lace knitters, who may never have used cobweb or fingering weight yarn in any of their projects before.

Though not my first lace project, I, too, opted for the pattern as I wanted to gain experience knitting lace with fingering weight yarn, whilst completing a relatively simple pattern. Niamath's Wisp fulfils these requirements and due to its straightforward stitch sequence, it allows you to concentrate on your manual ability and, above all, to get a feel for working with extremely fine yarn. 


Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Weekly Swatch: Fern Stitch Variation

Many lace stitch motifs are referred to as 'Fern Stitches' and the below swatch sample showcases one  of the many variations of the Fern Stitch. 

Knitted with a cotton / acrylic yarn (Stylecraft Kontiki), the texture and look of the sample reminded me somewhat of Entrelac knitting. The stitch motif requires a  multiple of 8 plus 4 stitches.



Fern Stitch Swatch, Yarn: Stylecraft Kontiki

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Tribute to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi

In an earlier post on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, I outlined why I believe that Zimmermann's no-frills paperback should be considered a very special publication indeed, despite its somewhat bland appearance and apparent lack of project photography. 

First up, a few words on the low-cost nature of the paperback edition: The Almanac features instructions to over 15 patterns (including 4 sweaters) on approximately 150 pages, making this a densely packed publication. With the exception of the book cover, the project photography is in black and white throughout, thus lacking the visual appeal and photographic detail of contemporary knitwear publications. 

In short, the project photography (though decent and undertaken with great care) is by modern standards outdated. As a result, those of us, who derive inspiration from ogling an appealing finished object before casting on, will undoubtedly be disappointed.  To really get in the mood for knitting a Zimmermann pattern from the Almanac, it might be best to start off by trawling the web for pictures of finished Zimmermann projects and adaptations of her original designs. At this point, her true genius will be revealed. The Pi Shawl pattern provides a perfect case in point.  

Zimmermann's Pi Shawl design and instructions have inspired countless knitters to produce a multitude of design variations based upon Zimmermann's original design. The Pi Shawls featured below are merely a small selection of the many outstanding projects on show across the  web. 

Special thanks go to MadKnits, Terhi, Aisling Doonan and Glenna C aka crazyknittinglady  for allowing me to showcase their most amazing, finished Pis here on the blog. Thank you so much! 

For even more Pi inspiration, please visit my Pi Shawl board on Pinterest.


Terhi's Pi, Yarn: Wetterhoff Sivilla and Fiberphile Merino 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Knitting Lace with Chunky Alpaca Yarn



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

New Free Pattern: The Commuter Cowl

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.


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Update on that "Bag of Weed"

My so-called "sabbatical" ended unexpectedly at the onset of October. This accounts for the silence on the blog, which I'm about to interrupt with a post on blocking.

Blocking again! I don't seem to be able to get away from the topic of blocking.

Commuter Cowl blocking, draped around dressmaker's dummy

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Free Pattern: The Nameless Choker

Nameless


The Nameless Choker is a simple and quick lace project, specifically designed to use up a small quantity of sock yarn (approximately 10 - 20 grams), i.e. roughly the amount of yarn you might have lying around following the completion of a larger project. The quantity of yarn I used for my choker hardly registered on my set of kitchen scales and the above estimate is rather conservative.

It is also an ideal pattern for beginner lace knitters, wishing to get to grips with two of the most common knitting decreases (k2tog and ssk), without having to commit too much time or too many resources; or for all those knitters who enjoy creating knitted accessories and jewellery, either for themselves or for others.


Materials

You will require the following materials:

  • approximately 10 - 20 grams of sock yarn (for my choker I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light Sock Yarn in Victorian Gothic)
  • 3mm knitting needles (or the size specified by the yarn manufacturer)
  • scissors
  • darning needle 
  • 2 buttons 

Nameless Choker in Progress

Gauge

Gauge is not essential for this project but you should have a rough idea of how stretchy your chosen yarn is. This is a made-to-measure project, and as neck circumferences differ, you will have to regularly check whether your choker has reached the desired length. If you decide to knit this project with an unfamiliar yarn and you are not entirely sure how far it will stretch after blocking, it may be beneficial to knit a small gauge swatch and block this in order to get an idea of how the yarn will behave and, most importantly, to check its stretch.


Nameless Choker in Progress



Project Instructions

  • Set - up:

    • Cast on 12 stitches, using whichever cast-on method you are most comfortable with.
    • Knit 4 rows

Once you have completed the set - up, you are ready to start on the lace sequence of the pattern:

  • Lace Pattern:

Row 1: K3, YO, K1, K2tog, SSK, K1, YO, K3
Row 2: K2, P8, K2
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2

Keep repeating the above sequence until both ends of the choker almost meet, when it is fitted for measuring. Bearing in mind that the choker should fit relatively tightly around the neck, I left a gap approximately as wide as the top of my index finger to allow for a snug fit following blocking. 

When your choker has reached the desired length, stop knitting the lace sequence on a purl row. Next, continue knitting three rows in garter stitch and proceed to bind off.

Nameless in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Victorian Gothic)
  • Blocking:

Blocking your choker is an absolute must in order to open up the lace. I opted for wet-blocking.

  • Finishing:
Following blocking, it is time to sew in ends and to add two buttons for fastening the choker. The buttons can be attached to either end of the choker. I decided to place mine on the cast - off edge, as this usually turns out slightly wider, directly underneath the openings of the yarn over increases. The  first holes created by the yarn over increases on the opposite end will serve as button holes.

Your choker is ready to be worn. 

Nameless in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Victorian Gothic) 

Enjoy!

! Update: One year, I am revisiting the Nameless Choker. I am currently in the process of adapting the pattern to non-traditional knitting materials (cotton thread / leather etc). More on this venture is available here. !


For pattern support, please feel free to contact me via Ravelry (ClariceAsquith), Twitter (@Slipstitched), leave a comment below or by e-mail: clarice.asquith@googlemail.com.

This pattern is for personal use only and may not be reproduced for commercial purposes without permission.

An update on knitting a variation of this pattern (pictured below) with non-traditional materials is available here


Nameless Cuff, More here.


Nameless Cuff, More here.

© 2014 Clarice Asquith. All rights reserved. http://makedoandmendnovice.blogspot.com

Friday, 8 August 2014

Those remnants of precious sock yarn



Choker in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light 

Following completion of a project, all of us are faced with the challenge of putting yarn left overs to good use. Some of my spare yarn gets turned into swatches and smaller amounts end up as stitch markers. Yet, in the case of precious sock yarn, I always try to create a small pattern specifically designed for the amount of surplus yarn.

The remnants of the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, which I used for the Freestyle Raglan Cardigan, were turned into a choker. 


Sunday, 20 July 2014

A New Pattern for Araucania Botany Lace

I am currently swatching for a new pattern, which is due for publication in autumn 2014, with Araucania Botany Lace.

Sometimes, I just don't want to follow a pattern. So, I create my own. Not least because I secretly enjoy going through the hardship of counting stitches, knitting swatches, changing needles and knitting more swatches. Just for the sake of it.

Today's swatch competition was won by Araucania Botany Lace.


Swatch in Araucania Botany Lace

Apparently, Araucania Yarns are ethically sourced, at least this is what it says on their Facebok page. Apart from an entry on facebook, I couldn't find an active page when searching for the manufacturer's website (presumably: http://www.araucaniayarns.com/ ), but I wasn't searching too hard.  

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Substituting Rowan Kidsilk Haze (again)

Introducing the Wisp

The pattern was created by Canadian designer Cheryl Niamath and originally published in Knitty's summer 2007 edition.  The pattern instructions call for either Elann Super Kydd or Rowan Kidsilk Haze. As I have successfully substituted Rowan Kidsilk Haze with Patons UK Misty in a previous project, I decided to use Patons UK Misty for my Wisp. And once again, Misty didn't disappoint.
  
Unfortunately, Misty has by now been discontinued, but it can occassionally be found for sale on both ebay and ravelry. Misty's composition (70% Mohair, 30% Polyamide) is not as luxurious as Kidsilk's but it serves as a fantastic substitute for all Knitters, who want to work with fingering weight yarn without having to pay the price for Kidsilk Haze, which currently retails at just under £9.00 per ball.


Wisp (Yarn: Patons UK Misty, substituting Rowan Kidsilk Haze)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

There and Back Again....

Gallery of a Public Transport Knitter





Some Vital Statistics

Excluding the London Underground network, 2.5 million people commute to work by rail in the United Kingdom every day. More than a third of those commute to work to and from London. With a population of 13,614,409, the London commuter belt, which is also defined as the Southeast Metropolitan Area, is the largest in the European Union. The geographical boundaries of the Southeast Metropolitan Area are in constant flux. As the urban sprawl continues ever on and transport links are improved or created, it is expected to further expand.

My stretch of the line is operated by Southeastern. 70% of Southeastern's services transport passengers from Kent and parts of East Sussex to the major London termini. On their website Southeastern claim to be transporting 570,000 commuters to the capital every weekday morning. I happen to be one of them.




Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Last of the Vintage...or an ideal yarn for beginner lace knitters

...and with a little melancholy, I note that I have used up the last balls of Patons UK Vintage. Well, never mind I'm quite happy with the finished object.


Introducing: The Oaklet, aka the Last of the Vintage

The designer is Megan Goodacre. The yarn (Paton's UK Vintage) was purchased a long time ago at Kemp's and has long since been discontinued. I have used Vintage in several projects and, even though it's not an overtly pretty yarn (in all honesty, the colourways are somewhat questionable), I feel a little sad to see it go. 


Megan Goodacre's Oaklet Shawl Pattern

The Weekly Swatch, Part 4 - The Drop Stitch

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)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Catching up with the Finished Objects...

Hane Scarf, Yarn: Rowan RYC Bamboo Soft


For the first time, I find myself in the position of having to catch up on blogging about my finished objects, as my knitting activity seems to have increased dramatically over the last six months; and there are a number of projects that deserve to be included on the blog.

On average, it appears that I manage to complete a project every fortnight. No doubt, this is a result of my rigorous knitting activity whilst going about my daily commute. (If I didn't use the needles to knit, I might feel tempted to try them out on fellow commuters...)



Hane Scarf, Yarn: Rowan RYC Bamboo Soft


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Still No German Translation for Ammonite ...or Ammonite in Moonlight Sonata (James C Brett)

I should be renaming this blog into the 'Absent Knitter's Landing Page'. In actual fact, I might just do that in a minute. Considering this rather long period of silence (due to having nothing to report on the knitting front as of late), I may take a while to find the 'knitting voice'...the nice, fluffy me. It's not here at the moment. I lost it on a train between Faversham and Victoria. 

Commuting and knitting. It can be done, but it requires dedication to preparation, meaning you have to be organised at 6:00am in the morning.

So what have I been doing? Reading, mainly. Because that's what one does on a train. Preferably with headphones, so you don't have to witness the human misery around you. Somewhere between Faversham and Victoria I came across some interesting knitting - related trivia...it involves men, knitting and the island of Jersey (Channel Islands):

Men (as I keep telling non - knitters: knitting was the domain of our male brethren before mere females were allowed to engage in it) are apparently prohibited to knit during the fishing season on the Island of Jersey. By law. To this day.


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
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