Saturday, February 26, 2011

Knitting for Christchurch

This week has been horrific for Kiwis. The devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch on Tuesday has shattered and united a nation, as we watch rescuers search for survivors and people try to cope with the loss of life and homes.
Family friends have lost homes. People only two-degrees-of-separation from me are trapped inside one of the buildings.
From Auckland it doesn't seem like there's much we can do except give our love and support through donations and offers of help. But while trawling my bloglist today, I found this great project - Softies For Christchurch.

Set up by the amazing Kiwi at Heart, people can sew and knit up little softies for the children of Christchurch who might have lost all of their toys. I'm putting down all of my other projects to knit up a few teddies - it's not much, but every little bit helps.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Oh My Goodness! Cables!

I made these! And I think they're awesome! They look so nice and twisty!

This is the first time I've made cables before, and I thought it would be really hard, but I was very wrong.
I think it has a lot to do with the pattern I picked. I'm making Kalurah's Through The Woods Hood and it has extremely clear instructions. Also, I'm using Cascade Yarns Eco in Antique, and it's really nice to knit with - a bit scratchy, but after a wash I'm sure it will be fine to wear.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I could fight dragons with these Gauntlets

My distraction project is all finished - Smocked Gauntlets by Tina Barrett.The beading took ages, and the ribbing at the back is shorter than the front, but I'm fine what that because my fingers have more room to move! And no, one isn't shorter than the other, but the left one is a bit tighter at the bound-off edge.

Now I need winter to come, and a new project to start. I'm thinking a Through The Woods Hood, a cabling challenge.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's so finished that I can wear it!

It took me, with a lot of help from my mum, most of last Sunday to put this all together. And I've learnt a few things about this knitting pattern that I would change if I knit it again.

Firstly - decreases for the arm holes. The pattern instructions said to Bind Off one at the start of each row to make the diagonal for the sleeve seams, which gave a bumpy line that was very hard to stitch to the sleeves. Next time I will knit one, then decrease one to leave a nice clean line to mattress stitch onto.

Secondly - the time spent making the seams look good was worth it. It took ages, but I would've done a very messy job if mum hadn't been telling me to take my time.

Thirdly - my tension changed over the time I knitted the front and the back. The first piece I knitted was noticeably looser than the second. Luckily blocking fixed most of this but I need to keep an eye on this if I'm going to take a few months off from a project.

And finally, next time I might make it a bit longer. It sits just below my belly button, which is fine if I'm wearing a longer T-shirt or singlet underneath, but it's not a length I'm used to. Apparently cropped is in this season...

And for some strange reason I have five balls of yarn left. The pattern called for about 11, so that's a lot left over. I guess because I knitted the smallest size I didn't use as much yarn as others might, but now I need to find something to do with them. Overall, I'm very pleased with it, it just needs to cool down a bit here so I can wear it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ok so it's still not finished - but I'm halfway through some arm warmers!

Now just imagine this jumper.

But with the seams finished. That's all I've got to do, plus the collar. I just want to get some expert advice before I finish it - seams are not my strong point and I don't want to ruin it all by just going for it. So I'm getting Mum's help!

And also, I did get distracted by these awesome Smocked Gauntlets by Tina Barrett, which I found on the Guardian website. I just had to have them.

So far so good!

Here's the smocking detail - I've nearly added all of the beads to the first glove, and I only started it four days ago. I ribbing pattern was very simple - the only adjustments I've made is to decrease the back width by four stitches to make them fit to the arms better. I used Moda Vera Merino yarn in colour 09 (says Brown on the label, but it's definitely grey) on my new circular 4mm needles, and I must say I'm converted. Don't think I will ever knit something flat on straight needles again - it's just so much easier to hold everything! And the year is great too, so nice and soft, I need more merino just to roll in...