Christmas Time and Resolutions!

Just a wee post to update you on all the lovely knitting goodies Santa kindly brought me at Christmas!

Christmas

I got a lovely book called 200 Fair Isle Designs by Mary Jane Mucklestone. This book is amazing and makes steeks (cuts in knitted fabric to create arm holes) look less daunting! There are lots of lovely patterns that can be used to design sweaters, scarves, socks etc and the charting is in black and white but it also shows different colour combinations. I hope to be able to adapt/design a pattern with it soon. There are instructions on how to design a Fair Isle jumper in the introduction, but I’m worried about how to do shaping. Fair Isle sweaters are more boxy than fitted so this may negate the need for shaping… we will see!

A copy of Interweave Winter 2011 magazine (not shown)! Betties Pullover caught my eye when I was browsing through patterns, so I was very happy to get this as a present. I have already ordered my wool – I really wanted to get the same yarn that was used in the magazine from the Alpaca Yarn Co, but I didn’t realise how expensive it is to import yarn into the UK from the USA. So, instead, I have chosen a similar colour from the extensive palette at Jamiesons of Shetland. I really hope it comes this week as I have been super patient! I also really want to make the Livingstone cardigan in the Interweave magazine too, but that one will need to wait for now.

I got a lovely crocheted flower pin from Andys cousin who has just started to crochet. I love the pink/orange wool used and will be great for Spring and Summer to add some colour to my coat.

I am a little behind but as everyone on the blogsphere seems to be making New Year Resolutions, or re-sew-lutions, maybe I should too..! So here are my resolutions:

1. I want to knit 6 items this year. I already have a list of jumpers the length of my arm on my list (see my previous post) but I would like to tackle a skirt too after seeing this lovely one on Golden Scales blog. There isn’t a pattern for the skirt so I might need to do some experimenting to get it right…

2. I want to sew 6 items too. I made two tops last year but one (the Colette Sencha) I’m not so keen on and I haven’t finished hand sewing the arms yet… My other top was the Colette Sorbetto. I really like this top and it was made with Liberty Arts fabric, so pretty! It does fit but I think I could tweak it just a little to make it better though.

3. I want to learn to crochet! Lots of people I know have started to crochet and it looks really fun so I would like to try my hand at that. I plan to join a knitting club this year too so hopefully will get some pointers there but if anyone can recommend a good website with crochet tutorials and easy beginner patterns, let me know!

Hopefully I will be able to stick to all of these! What are your New Year Resolutions?

Cx

Happy New Year!

Well I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and I wish you all a Happy New Year! I had a lovely time in St Andrews, chilling out, knitting and doing a lot of eating! Time to start running again….

The run up to Christmas was especially busy as Andy took me to London for my birthday mid-December. Can you believe this was my first ever visit to London! I loved it! We spent a few days visiting our lovely friends and saw all the big tourist attractions. I managed to get some knitting done for my Secret Santa present on the train!

For those that are unfamiliar with Secret Santa, everyone picks a name out of a hat and then you buy that person a present for £10. I like to buy my person something that they will use and for £10 it is pretty hard to find something for someone I don’t know very well that isn’t too gimmicky. I decided that I would make a scarf for my present. I found this pattern for Cupido Cowl which was really easy to knit and uses the lovely Rowan Kid Classic yarn. I actually found this pattern ages ago (for myself) but never got round to knitting it. The stitch repeat is super simple and it knitted up really fast! It is really cosy but if I were to knit it again I would cast on extra stitches, maybe an extra 50, so it is slightly longer.

Cupido Cowl

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And now I can finally post about my secret Christmas knitting projects that I made for family and friends!

For Andy, I made this lovely Fair Isle jumper using the Huron pattern by Brooklyn Tweed. I really like the patterns by this company and I know the jumpers fit Andy well, which meant I could then knit in secret! The pattern was very easy to follow although I was juggling so many projects I didn’t finish it until Christmas Eve! I had a dilemma a week before Christmas when I decided I didn’t like the contrasting yarn. After debating whether to swap the yarn or not, I realised that the yarn was more DK than Aran due to a mistake in the production which meant one strand of wool was super skinny. So in the end I had to drive to New Lanark to pick up the wool so I could finish it in time for Christmas!

Huron Huron

I really enjoyed knitting the Fair Isle Yoke which was a nice break from knitting round and round with no pattern. I used a new Fair Isle technique with both yarns in the same hand, which meant that the two balls of wool didn’t get tangled up. Not sure if this will work with longer floats but the longest in the Huron was three so it worked fine.The jumper has short rows just before the yoke and after to give the back extra height to prevent it from riding up. This method is really simple and really effective, although I still get confused when doing short rows though so I rely heavily on the tutorial by Cotton and Cloud.

I made a few changes to Huron  including ribbed cuffs and then I doubled the length of the ribbed collar to 10cm. I then folded it over and sewed it in place. I think this gave the jumper a more “finished” look than the simple bind off.

Next I made a few hot water bottles for female relatives.I chose the Folkie pattern by Martin Storey as I love the design and the construction looked relatively easy to follow. This is my first one:

Folkie

The Fair Isle knitting was really easy and simple. However the cover is knitted in pieces (front, upper back and lower back) and then they are knitted together. This proved tricky for some reason and so I decided to alter the pattern so it can be knitted in the round. Knitting in the round meant that I couldn’t have the opening half way up the back so I rewrote most of the pattern and in the meantime I changed the design to make it more Christmassy, and this is what I came up with:

photo (24)

I am currently writing up the pattern to publish so knitters watch this space! I am looking for a test knitter so if anyone fancies trying out the pattern, please get in touch.

Cx