Ted’s stripes

Having made a gazillion pairs of beauteous boot socks, I had a mega-tonne (well, not quite, but it certainly looked that way in the sitting room cupboard) of Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight left, and it was as I was knitting the leg of a sock that it struck me… that would make an awesome sleeve. This is the one I was working on:

striped-socks1

So I found the cream and the blues and my measuring tape and set about measuring Ted.

He’s 6 – he’ll be 7 in August – and long and lean.

I decided that this one would be a bottom-up jumper, so: knitting from the bottom up to the underarm, then knitting the sleeves to that point, and joining them all on a circular needle to begin the raglan decreases up to the neck.

I worked out the gauge at 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch and jotted down everything I could think of that I’d need.

Around his tummy: 24″
Around his chest: 26″
From the nape of his neck to his bottom: 17″
From underarm to wrist: 13″
From shoulder to wrist: 18″
From underarm to bottom: 12″ and
Around his upper arm: 9″

I used 4mm circulars (80cm) for the 2×2 rib and switched to 5mm circulars for the rest of the piece.

Taking his widest point (his chest), I cast on 130 stitches (26″ x 5 sts per inch). With hindsight, I might have added another 5 for ease, though it does fit perfectly as you’ll see.

I knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib on 4mm needles in Drops Nepal in cream and then switched to Big Delight and 5mm needles. The stripe pattern is 4 rows of Big Delight and then 2 rows of Nepal which 6-row repeat, most handily, is an inch.

Ted1

I repeated this until I got to 14″ (13 x 6-row stripes and the rib) and then put it aside (on stitch holders or waste yarn, or even on the needles if you have enough pairs) to knit the sleeves.

Again, using Nepal and 4mm needles, I cast on 44 stitches (9″ x 5 stitches per inch, then minus 1 to keep the 2×2 rib simple) and knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib, switching then to 5mm needles and Big Delight. Since sleeves are always longer, I knitted 14 x 6-row stripes per sleeve.

So, to join the sleeves to the body:

First, I *put 10 stitches of the body stitches on waste yarn (this will be the underarm, which you will join to the sleeve with Kitchener stitch at the very end) and put 10 sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Then slip the remaining 34 sleeve stitches onto the main needles,  then slipped 55 stitches from the body** and repeated from * to **  I then had 178 stitches on the needles and placed a marker for the beginning of the round.

Using Nepal, I knitted two rounds.

Then I knitted around once in Big Delight and on the next round, to divide for the raglan decreases, I placed markers before the last stitch of the last round and after the first stitch of the next, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32 and arrived back at the first marker.

Ted2

For the 3rd row of Big Delight, I began the decreases (you can see them underway above), very simply: knit 2 together before and after the 2-stitch raglan (between the two markers either side of the sleeves)

For the 4th row of Big Delight, knit around making sure to slip the markers.

And I continued the decreases every other row whilst sticking to the 6-row pattern (4 rows of Big Delight, 2 rows of Nepal) until I had only 1 stitch left in the sleeve sections (between the two markers).

Then I switched to 4mm needles and Nepal for 6 rows of 2×2 rib and finished with a super-stretchy bind-off. There’s little worse than putting all that effort in and being unable to get the blasted thing over yer head! 😉

Ted3

Maddeningly, Teddy was at school when it was finished (so inconsiderate!) so I had to wait until I was home from work and he home from school to take him back to the studio to get some pictures.

I think you’ll agree a) it’s very fetching and b) I may have overdone the pictures… Well – knitting and Teddy – two of my favourite things ❤

Advertisements

Tabby Cattercushion (a free tutorial)

cattercushion16

So I made a HUGE cattercushion.

Do you see what I did there? 😉

You can, of course make a gazillion of these (s)cattercushions so they can live up to their name, in a narrower gauge yarn, or chunkier, in all sizes and colours…

For this one, I used Schachenmayr Boston and Rico Creative Melange Chunky, 7mm circular needles and some enormous mother-of-pearl buttons. You’ll also need a cushion pad and some toy stuffing.

cattercushion4

If you fancy having a go at it, there is a free blow by blow tutorial over on the loveknitting blog. Just click here to be taken to it.

Here’s a picture of him with my Wilfy, for scale:

cattercushion17

Enjoy the snuggles ❤

One Hat Two Ways

I thought you might like this…

See, in the spirit of waste not, want not, and not having loads of scrappy bits of yarn left over that you can’t bear to throw away but won’t quite make something else…

The Owl and the Pussycat, remember?

owls15

So, I had one ball of Lang Merino Color+ yarns in colour 9 and one ball of Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran in Camel

The Debbie Bliss provided the base colour for the hat, while the Lang Merino produced a beautifully undulating colour up to the crown.

Well!! I had quite a lot left, so I thought “Why the heck not?” and I reversed the colour scheme.

I completely love the result. What do you think?

owls20

Here they are together:

owls21

I should probably stop knitting these now, but I’ve seriously loved them so don’t be surprised if one or two more sneak in…

(You can find the pattern here if you want some owls and pussycats yourself)

The Owl and the Pussycat

I tried.

I really did.

And it really did start off as a hat for ‘Imself:

owls12

And, I am very happy to report, he tells me it is “the hat he always wanted”. So, TICK that one off the list!

But it has, of course, evolved into something a little more delicate, something a bit more feminine, something a bit less…. big and we now have The Owl and the Pussycat mark II

owls11

Or, if you’d like to see it on:

owls15.jpg

And yes, it is actually now, as we speak, beginning its fourth incarnation with the pattern in relief:

owls16.jpg

(I’ll post a pic of the completed relief hat when it’s finished 🙂 )

I used 4mm needles for the rib, 5mm for the body of the hat and two varieties of aran-weight wool: solid colour and graduating.

If you fancy a go yourself, you can find the pattern here. After all, it’s still chilly enough to warrant something woolly on your bonce, n’est-ce pas?

Happy knitting!

 

A dog is for Christmas 

….

No. Wait. Life.

A dog is for life.

But since Christmas is nearly upon us, how about she gets to join in with the festivities?

Juno, our  little Jack Russell princess, remember? The one who pokes her nose out of the door as a barometer? Then swivels on her heel (so to speak) and hides behind the sofa if conditions are less than perfect?

Well, in an effort to drag her from her grump and into the great outdoors…

… she has a new Christmas jumper.

If you have a petite pooch of your own, who feels the cold and needs some festive cheer, you can find the pattern on the Loveknitting.com blog over here (and it’s free till 18th December)

Now… back to the Christmas knitting !

(And yes, I gave her the biscuit 😂)

Cozy Toes

And snuggly calves.

And knobbly knees.

It’s all a bit frantic around here just now, with Christmas wool coming out of my ears…

But I took about 120g of Drops Big Delight, a pair of 5.5mm circulars and a few hours out over the last few days and made myself a long yearned for pair of boot socks.

Forgive the knees and marvel at the beautiful self-striping magic…


See you on the Yule flip-side (and may it be merry and bright) 💜

Yarndale 2016 – lucky me!!

Yesterday, one of my dreams came true.

And, my life the way it is, it really was a stretch that I might actually make it. But the stars aligned 😉 and the world rolled out the red carpet. I mean, hey! Look at my journey:

road-to-yarndale

To top it all off, I met up with the loveliest friend – a friend for a couple of years now, but geographical distance has made meeting up in person an impossibility until yesterday. Perfection.

Now, keeping that in mind – you know, the meeting-friend-for-first-time-in-real-life – AND bearing in mind the fact that I was quite seriously and completely surrounded by scrumptious squishy wool of pretty much every conceivable blend, variety, hue and weight, you’ll understand that I didn’t get too many pictures. When I wasn’t fondling skeins and oohing at colourways, I was catching up on real, proper conversation with the lovely.

I did manage to get a shot of CoopKnits’ beautiful Socks Yeah! range and managed to meet Rachel in person for the first time.

socks-yeah

I was recently asked to review this very yarn, and her book of sock patterns, which you can find here and which looked like this:

socks5.jpg

And I WISH I had jotted down who it was displaying this beautiful miniature clothes line, including mermaid’s tail (if any of you recognise it, please do let me know in the comments) :

And boy, but it flew. A day was not enough. Since returning, I have discovered that there were at least a couple of stalls there that I would have loved to have visited but somehow managed not to see at all (though I did manage to catch up with old friends The Knitting Gift Shop and their new and silkily beautiful yarn range). Mind you, it was heaving. Predominantly ladies, a small number of whom trailed husbands (I’m thinking – possibly stereotyping and horrendously sexist –  probably in the guise of packhorse: you can not go to such a place and return empty-handed), many of whom sported the most beautifully assembled handmade garments of the ‘Ooh-do-you-mind-if-I-just-touch-it’ variety. Where else can you go where someone knows the precise yarn from which you knitted your tunic?

Fairly early on I visited the Midwinter Yarns stall. Well, it would be more accurate to say I was pretty much engrossed in conversation when a basket (I love baskets. Don’t you love baskets? I would HOARD baskets if I had the space) of pure loveliness caught my eye. Pure in every sense. Pure wool. From Greenland. In… *gasp*… greys. Man, I love greys.

“Too rich for my blood. I mean, there isn’t even a price on it. It must be beyond my purse” I sighed, already defeated.
“Do you think?” my lovely companion challenged. “It’s in a basket after all, is there not a price?”
Lo and behold, there was! And these fabulous, gorgeous, hulking great 100g hanks of scratchy grey wool (the very BEST kind) were only a fiver apiece.

Six skeins and a plastic bag later, I had my fix for the rest of the day, every so often caught in the act of burying my face in the bag and inhaling the fabulous, authentic sheepy smell, only to be met with a conspiratorial wink, or a knowing look, from people who knew what it was about. Oh, the joy of being amongst your own kind 😉

greenland1

Needless to say, in spite of the million and one WIPs I already need to finish, I had to cast on, just, you know, to see? You know? I know you know.

greenland2

It’s beyond beautiful.

greenland3

Oh, and it was definitely a day for making friends:

yarndale4

Now, where did I put my knitting?

 

Save

Save

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: