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.


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!


The back is just as pretty as the front.


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).


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


…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).


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.


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


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


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.

photo 3

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.

photo 4

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


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.

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

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?)

Some people had decorated a tree in ribbons.

At the end of the evening, there was a firework display.
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.

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.



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



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


My purchases were a little more restrained this year.


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.


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



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.