Tuesday, 29 July 2014

FO: Ore

I’ve finished the Ore Cardigan that I briefly mentioned here and here. The pattern is by Sarah Hatton and from Issue 70 of The Knitter. Here’s a review of the magazine with a picture of the original. The yarn I used was Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK in colourway, Skipper. My Ravelry Project Page.

It’s a timeless classic piece and quite a simple knit. The beading is lovely and ensures that it hangs well.

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I did have an issue though, the sleeves came out way too long. It wasn’t my gauge as I had 29.5 rows instead of the recommended 28, which would have made the sleeve shorter. I really didn’t want to reknit the sleeves, so I took the more drastic option and cut the ends of the sleeves off. I ended up removing over 3 inches above the beading and then grafted the ends back on. I did have to increase a few stitches to make the stitch counts add up. I don’t think you can tell where I did it. Some sweater surgery later and now they fit a lot better.

The style of cardigan did seem to be for longer sleeves than normal but it is helpful, if they don’t come passed the ends of your hands!

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The back is just as pretty as the front.

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My Plume cardigan is still on the back burner, as I came home with more yarn this week (eek!). It’s a girl’s coat and I have the back done already, so hopefully have something to show you soon.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Photo Tutorial: Twisted German / Old Norwegian Cast-On

Everyone has their go-to or workhorse cast-on. More often than not it can be a Knitted cast-on or a Long-Tailed cast-on; or perhaps the Cable cast-on. The one I tend to use is the Twisted German cast-on, also known as Old Norwegian cast-on. For speed I’m going to call it – TGCO.

The reasons I prefer this one are –
  • I find it to be the quickest one to do (look at the video at the bottom to see how fast)
  • It has a good balance between being a stretchy cast-on, as well as, springing back into place. I find the knitted cast-ons tend to be too tight for most situations.
  • It creates a strong stable stitch that is easy to knit into on that first row. Some cast-ons can be very tricky or time-consuming on that first row.
  • It is also a fantastic cast-on for top down socks – as it is so stretchy.
Last year, I made a cast-on flow chart for the blog, which can be useful in determining what type of cast on to use.


I prefer to learn from a photo tutorial but for those of you who prefer a video, there’s a quick demo video at the bottom of the post.

Step 1: TGCO is a type of long tailed cast-on, so first of all measure out enough yarn to cast on the full length. A good starting point to work this out is, for DK weight yarn or thinner, then 1/2 inch per stitch plus 6 inches and for thicker yarn then 1 inch per stitch plus 6 inches. Make a slip knot and put it on your needle. I don’t think it matters much but I tend to put the ball end of the yarn at the back (over my forefinger).

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Step 2: Place your fingers between the strands and tilt your hand back into a catapult position. This creates a cross on the thumb strand.

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Step 3: Take the tip of the needle to the front and under the two strands crossed on your thumb.

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Step 4: From that position, now go over the top of this and down into the centre of the two strands on the thumb.

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Step 5: Now pull the needle to the front – the back strand of the thumb will be on the needle.

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Step 6: Now keeping the strand on the needle, take it over all the strands on the thumb and the first one on the forefinger.

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Step 7: Hook the first strand on the forefinger with the needle and pull it through the little gap next to the needle.

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Step 8: The next step is to drop the strand from the thumb – I tend to tilt my thumb forward…..

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…and just as it drops off my thumb, I swing down and pick the strand at the bottom back onto my thumb (that way the whole cast-on is smooth and there is no slowing down between stitches).

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Step 9: Once the bottom strand is on the thumb, pull back to your left and back into the slingshot position. Pull the strand so the stitch sits on the needle. I find that if you pull to the left rather than tightening it by pulling to the floor, the cast on will be stretchy. There are occasions that you want a tight cast-on and in those situations I may pull it down instead. It may take some time to find the right tension for you but pulling to left is a good place to start.

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Step 10: Repeat steps 2-9 until you have the desired number of stitches.

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If you’d like a PDF of this tutorial then just follow this link.


A video to give you an idea of how it flows and how fast you can cast-on.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Medley

I’ve not managed to finish the cardigan I’ve been working on, so I don’t have a huge amount to share this week.

I did have a very lovely afternoon yesterday at my Mum’s house with her and a friend. It was lovely and sunny, and we sat outside under a canopy drinking fruit juice, chatting and I, of course, was knitting.


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I’m making progress – I was working on the last sleeve yesterday and I’m now on the bands and the collar; which are worked separately and sewn on. I’m not a huge fan of this method – I’d much rather pick up and knit. Anyway, the finish line is in sight.

My mum’s house is full of crafty things that I’ve made for her over the years. Here’s a quick snap of one of them. It’s a hardanger mat which lives on top of my piano. I love hardanger but don’t often get a chance to do much at the moment. I think the white looks lovely against the glossy mahogany wood.

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Mum has a penchant for otters (hence the statue). The pretty sketch in the background was done by Mr, one Sunday morning as a gift for Mum – I think he was attempting to show her how easy it was to draw a tree… She remains unconvinced, as she thinks it’s far beyond her ken (Mum’s talents don’t lie with arts & crafts) so she had to frame it instead.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Proms

At the weekend, we had a fabulous evening out with friends and family. It was an outdoor classical concert. We lucked out with the weather – there was scrummy food, good music and lots of laughs too.

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There was some balloon modelling going on – not sure whether the kids or the adults enjoyed that one most!

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Part of the show involved a flyover by a spitfire. I would have a lovely photo of the spitfire, if I’d taken it a second later (can you see him behind the flag?)

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Some people had decorated a tree in ribbons.

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At the end of the evening, there was a firework display.
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I did do a little bit of knitting that night on some plain socks.
I couldn’t take my current main project because of all the beading.
Beads
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Friday, 4 July 2014

Woolfest 2014

We tried something a little different this year for Woolfest, mainly because I’d decided I wasn't going to go this year and then changed my mind a bit late in the day, so it was a bit tricky finding anywhere to stay.

Mr and I stayed in a camping pod for a night. We were lucky and had nice weather, so we had a campfire roaring all night, with the obligatory marshmallows.

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Our neighbours were some very nice sheep and lambs, which were unintentionally smoked by our campfire.

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The camping pod was super and we were positioned under an old oak tree. It was a very relaxing evening.

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My purchases were a little more restrained this year.

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Some extra cables for my Chiagoo needle set and 7.5mm tips as I don’t own any in that size. The latest pompom magazine, which has quite a few patterns in that I’d like to make.

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I stocked up with lots of buttons from Textile Garden. They really do have the most wonderful selection.

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And my only yarn purchase of the day was some Cumulus from Fyberspates. It was very reasonably priced and feels like a fine mohair yarn but is actually a combination of brushed alpaca and silk. I bought 3 similar shades with the idea of an ombre cowl or shawl.
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