Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Reversible Box Tote

The sewing machine came out this week! I saw the most gorgeous knitting bag on instagram. It was made by Truly Myrtle (I don’t usually like podcasts but she’s very interesting to listen to). Here’s the link to her bag.

It’s a shape I haven’t tried before. The pattern for the tote is a free one from Very Shannon. - the Reversible Box Tote.

I bought some gorgeous fabric from The Little Fabric Store. It’s a sweet, little shop and worth a visit, if you’re near. Helen is very lovely and helpful. I got some new Cloud9 fabric and linen to line the bag.

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I bought another Clover tape measure too. They are really nice quality. I’ve found with the cheaper retractable tape measures that the tape will stretch and warp with use. I’ve had one for over a year (with daily use) and it is still as straight as the day I bought it. So I bought another because well…you can never have enough tape measures!

You can see the tape measure in the picture below.

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The fabric that I chose happened to be what I'd used as inspiration for a stitch pattern that I'd created.



I used some cheap fusible fleece that I had in my stash – so it’s not got as much form as I’d like. Next time, I’ll use better quality.

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I love my new bag anyway and have been carrying it around with me!

I haven’t finished any knitting projects this week. The two I’ve been working on are an Artemisia jumper from the latest Rowan Magazine 57. I’m using the yarn from the pattern which is Rowan Softknit Cotton and amazingly I have spot-on gauge with the same size needles for the pattern, which makes a nice change. Though I have altered the pattern and the shaping to make it a few inches longer.

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I bought Designer Knitting Magazine 2014/15 and there was an interesting article by Meg Swansen about different increases – including a few that I hadn’t done before. I’ve tried out one that she names kibosirb (knit into the back of stitch in row below) for this jumper and it’s quite a neat increase. Can you see it on the left hand side?

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I started a selfish knitting project which is an Epistropheid by Kate Davies but this didn’t go particularly well the first time. I went up 2 needle sizes and hoped for the best, as I didn’t do a swatch (swatches are nearly as big as the hat so it’s sometimes easier to gamble). I did a couple of inches and it wasn’t looking hopeful – so I steamed blocked what I had and instead of 24 sts in 4 inches, I had 27. It was going to be way too small.

So I frogged it. The gauge was as loose as I wanted to go with this yarn, so instead of trying to meet gauge. I’ve added a repeat of the pattern instead. It’s looking ok so far. (I’m electing to forget about the fiasco of forgetting to change to the larger needle for the body of the hat). I fear that this is going to be one of the ill-fated projects, where nothing goes right!

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Louisa Harding Esquel Review

I’ve just finished a lovely poncho for a friend. The yarn is Louisa Harding’s Esquel and the pattern is Ivy  from the Esquel book. It’s the one on the cover. The colour I used was 16 Tomato, which isn’t really a very accurate colour name as it’s much more like a rust / burnt orange colour.

It turned out so beautifully and I loved the colour. I keep thinking I’d quite like one but not sure I’ve got it in me to make another at the moment. It’s a beautiful knit but essentially just two big rectangles plus sleeves, so I think another one would become monotonous. Plus, I have an ever growing mountain of projects to do - maybe I'll add it to the wish list.

I was very impressed with the yarn. On the ball, I wasn’t enamoured by it. It was nice but not anything exciting. I’m not a fan of single ply yarns and it didn’t feel particularly soft. I’m very glad I’ve used it now because it’s a pleasure to knit with and blocks to a beautifully soft and draping fabric.

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It’s a mix of 60% merino, 20% llama and 20% silk. The merino gives it nice body and warmth, the llama gives it a bit of a halo and the silk gives the tweed like effect on the yarn.

I made two swatches. I did hang them on their sides with weights on for a day or two. I wanted to see if the weight of the yarn would change the gauge. 

Swatch

5.50mm – 17 sts & 24 rows

6.00mm – 16 sts & 23 rows

The intended gauge was 16 sts by 22 rows. The row gauge was more important for this, as it was worked from side to side. The poncho is quite oversized, so as long as I wasn’t miles off it didn’t matter hugely which I used. I thought the looser gauge would give more drape, which would be particularly nice in a poncho.

Suffice to say, my friend was very happy with the poncho.

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It was a huge thing to block and took up all the spare bed. I ended up pinning the edge instead of using wires. I tried the wires but it was making a bigger job of it and I had a bit more control with the pins. I did use the wires in the shoulders and sleeves to give a straight edge.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

FO: Follow Your Arrow KAL

Not my latest finished object but it’s taken me awhile to get around to blogging about it. I mentioned before that I was partaking in Ysolda’s Follow Your Arrow knitalong this year. Project page here.

I used Sparkleduck Solo which is a lovely yarn. A very vivid sea green colour and has lovely stitch definition.

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I managed to keep up with the KAL. I do like knitalongs, as each section is in a bitesize piece. I managed to complete the first 3 clues in an evening and the 4th and 5th in 2 evenings, so it didn’t take up too much of my knitting time.

Each clue has an arrow theme. I did clues BABBB plus the extension chart and 4 repeats of Rows 3 & 4. I liked the choices I made with the clues, though I think after seeing all the other shawls, I prefer the smocking chevrons on clue 3 instead of the little arrows. The little arrows are still very cute, I just think the design would have more cohesion with the chevron. At the time, I’d just completed the Rendevouz Shawl, which has quite a bit of smocking type stitches in it, so I went for something different.

Anyway, I took lots and lots of pictures of the shawl, so here is just a small selection.

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