Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Eclectic Playlist - Part 1

Hannah, as promised my list of weird and wonderful finds to keep the longhaul boredom at bay.



First, lets start with some light - hearted stuff:

Reginald D Hunter - one of my favourite comedians - with a rather succinct explanation of the British class system as opposed to plain, old U.S. American racism:


Sticking with comedians, here is Sara Millican, the official voice of 30 - something heterosexual females, featuring a beautiful Geordie accent:






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


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Ammonite


Ammonite


Ammonite in Knitglobal 4 ply sock yarn




Ammonite is a generously sized, semi – circular, ruffled shawl. The garment is knit from the centre top downwards / outwards, making the size easily adjustable by adding or omitting sections when knitting the body of the shawl. For a shawl measuring the same size as given in this pattern, you will require approximately 290g (just under three hanks) of 4ply Knitglobal sock yarn. The project is also suitable for yarns of different weight. Should you wish to substitute yarn and depending on the effect you are seeking to create, the needle size has to be adjusted accordingly.

A gallery of Ammonites in a variety of yarns is available here.





The body of the shawl features a simple cartridge rib stitch, giving the garment a subtle texture that blends into its semi – circular shape, whilst the top outer edge is worked in garter stitch throughout. Kfb increases are utilised to give the shawl a ruffled look. The bottom outer edge of the shawl is worked in stockinette stitch. This is followed by a playful picot border, adding further drape.

I got the idea for the name when I was in the process of completing the first test knit of the pattern. As I was binding off more and more stitches, the garment slowly started to resemble an Ammonite.

Prototype of Ammonite in generic DK weight yarn




  • Size:
One size – Adjustable by adding or omitting pattern repeats, when working the body of the shawl.

  • Finished Measurements:
Length of straight edge - 1.55m

Height at centre - 0.68m

(Note: Measurements were taken after the shawl was blocked.)

  • Yarn:
Knitglobal 4 ply Sock Yarn - (25% nylon, 75% superwash wool) 437yds / 400m per 100g hank

Colour: Plum

Quantity required: Just under three skeins / app. 290grams

  • Recommended Needle Size:
US#6 / 4mm circular needle

  • Other Materials / Tools:
One darning needle and two stitchmarkers.


  • Gauge:
24 stitches / 30 rows: 4'' in cartridge rib stitch



Cartridge Rib Stitch Detail


Cartridge Rib Stitch:

Row 1 : Knit        Row 7: Knit
Row 2: Purl         Row 8: Purl
Row 3: Knit         Row 9: Knit
Row 4: Knit         Row 10: Knit
Row 5: Purl         Row 11: Purl
Row 6: Knit         Row 12: Knit





Directions:


Shawl Centre

Cast - on 4 stitches, using the provisional (invisible) cast - on.

Rows 1 - 8: Knit


Row 9: Following completion of row 8, do not turn piece. Instead, turn work on right hand needle 90 degrees clockwise. With left - hand needle pick up and knit 4 stitches from the garter knots on the edge of the piece. Once these stitches have been knit, you should have a total of 8 stitches on the right hand needle. Turn piece on right hand needle once again by 90 degrees clockwise. Remove waste yarn from provisional cast – on edge and transfer all stitches to the left hand needle. Knit the 4 remaining stitches. 12 stitches are now on the right hand needle. Continue as follows:


Row 1[RS]: k4, pm, k4, pm, k4

Row 2 [WS]: k4, sm, p4, sm, k4

Row 3: k4, sm, [k1, yo] 3 times, k1, sm, k4. 15 sts

Row 4: k4, sm, p7, sm, k4

Row 5: k4, sm, k7, sm, k4

Row 6: k4, sm, p7, sm, k4

Row 7: k4, sm, kfb in each st to next marker, sm, k4. 22 sts

Row 8: k4, sm, p14, sm, k4

Row 9: k4, sm, k14, sm, k4

Row 10: k4, sm, p14, sm, k4




Shawl Body


  • Note: Whilst the first and last four stitches on every row are knit throughout to produce a garter stitch edge, all stitches between the garter stitch edge are worked in cartridge rib stitch. In the following directions, “working in pattern” means to knit in cartridge rib stitch. Instructions for the cartridge rib stitch are set out above.
  • All increases will take place on row 10 of every section.



1st Section:

Row 1 [RS]: k4, sm, k to next marker, sm, k4
Row 2 [WS]: k4, sm, p to next maker, sm, k4
Row 3: k4, sm, K to next marker, sm, k4
Row 4: k4, sm, k to next marker, sm, k4
Row 5: k4, sm, p to next maker, sm, k4
Row 6: k4, sm, k to next marker, sm, k4
Row 7: k4, sm, k to next marker, sm, k4
Row 8: k4, sm, p to next maker, sm, k4
Row 9: k4, sm, k to next marker, sm, k4
Row 10: k4, sm, kfb in each st to next marker, sm, k4. 36 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p28, sm, k4
Row 12: k4, sm, k28, sm, k4

2nd Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, kfb in each st to next marker, sm, k4. 64 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p56 to next marker, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k56 to next marker, sm, k4.

3rd Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k2, [k1, kfb] 13 times, [kfb, k1] 13 times to final two stitches before marker, k2, sm, k4. 90 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p82 to next marker, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k82 to next marker, sm, k4.

4th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k2, [k2, kfb] 13 times, [kfb, k2] to final two stitches before marker, k2, sm, k4. 116 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p108 to next marker, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k108 to next marker, sm, k4.

5th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k3, [k2, kfb] 17 times, [kfb, k2] to final three stitches before marker, k3, sm, k4. 150 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p142 to next marker, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 142 to next marker, sm, k4.


6th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k3, [k3, kfb] 17 times, [kfb, k3] to final 3 stitches before marker, k3, sm, k4. 184 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p176, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 176 to next marker, sm, k4.


7th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k4, [k3, kfb] 21 times, [kfb, k3] 21 times to final 4 stitches before marker, k4, sm, k4. 226 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 218, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 218, sm, k4.

8th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k4, [k4, kfb] 21 times, [kfb, k4] 21 times to final 4 stitches before marker, k4, sm, k4. 268 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 260, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 260, sm, k4.

9th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k5, [k4, kfb] 25 times, [kfb, k4] 25 times to final 5 stitches before marker, k5, sm, k4. 318 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 310, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k310, sm, k4.

10th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k5, [k5, kfb] 25 times, [kfb, k5] 25 times to final 5 stitches before marker, k5, sm, k4. 368 sts.
Row 11: k4, sm, p 360, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 360, sm, k4.

11th Section:

Rows 1 – 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k6, [k5, kfb] 29 times, [kfb, k5] 29 times to final 6 stitches before marker, k6, sm, k4. 426 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 418, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 418, sm, k4.



12th Section:

Rows 1 - 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k6, [k6, kfb] 29 times, [kfb, k6] 29 times to final 6 stitches before marker, k 6, sm, k4. 484 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 476, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 476, sm, k4.

13th Section:

Rows 1 - 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k7, [k6, kfb) 33 times, [kfb, k6] 33 times to final 7 stitches before marker, k7, sm, k4. 550 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 542, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 542, sm, k4.


14th Section:

Rows 1 - 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k7, [k7, kfb] 33 times, [kfb, k7] 33 times to final 7 stitches before marker, k7, sm, k4. 616 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 600, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 600, sm, k4.



15th Section:

Rows 1 - 9: Work in pattern.
Row 10: k4, sm, k8, [k7, kfb] 37 times, [kfb, k7] 37 times to final 8 stitches before marker, k8, sm, k4. 690 sts
Row 11: k4, sm, p 682, sm, k4.
Row 12: k4, sm, k 682, sm, k4.







Stockinette Edging

Once Row 12 of Section 15 has been completed, continue in stockinette stitch for 13 rows as follows:

Row 1 [WS]: k4, sm, p to next marker, sm, k4.
Row 2 [RS]: k4, sm, k to next marker, sm, k4.
Rows 3 – 13: Continue in pattern (stockinette stitch) as outlined in Row 1 and 2, purling all stitches between the markers on uneven rows and knitting all stitches on even rows.
Row 13 [WS]: k4, sm, p to next marker, sm, k4.

Proceed to bind off.



Picot Bind - Off  Detail



Picot Bind – Off

*Using the cable cast – on, cast - on two stitches. Next, bind off three stitches. Return the single stitch on the right hand needle back on to the left hand needle. Repeat from *. Continue until all remaining stitches have been bound off.


Finishing:

Using a darning needle, weave in ends. Wash the finished garment and block.





List of abbreviations:

co – cast - on
k – knit
kfb – knit in front and back of stitch
p – purl
pm – place marker
sm – slip marker
st – stitch
sts - stitches
yo – yarn over

More information on designing Ammonite is available here.


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


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Provisional Cast - On - ... my way


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.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Citron - Finally Finished

Citron in Patons UK Misty

It's taken a fair bit of time to complete this project, three months to be precise. Nevertheless, Citron, a semi - circular shawlette, is finally finished. The pattern designer is Hilary Smith Callis and written instructions can be found in the winter 2009 edition of Knitty


For this project I decided to attack my stash of Patons UK Misty, which I bought as a substitute for Rowan Kidsilk Haze. (More on substituting Rowan Kidsilk Haze with Patons UK Misty can be found in a previous blogpost.)



Citron in Patons UK Misty

On the whole, I am happy with the yarn, even though it split unexpectedly on two occasions, but this was easily rectified.
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