Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The next blanket

In the next blanket I aimed to finish more of the bright yellow yarn, but it turned out that there was not so much left.  So I turned to pink instead.  I added a strand of the bright pink cashmere to every row.  It makes the blanket thicker, and the feel of cashmere is obvious although not as much as I had thought.  The other colours are mainly beige or light brown, and something urged me to include some blue, grey and green.

I unravelled the next Susan Duckworth Basketweave sweater - I wrote about these earlier.  I had not realised before that this one was knitted mainly in 4 ply wool.  The colours are similar to the pattern and they are the same brand, so I assume they are Rowan.  Thin yarn is always useful, so this is not a problem.  The exceptions are the dark grey, a synthetic, and the crosses which are in DK wool.

The blanket is pink.  I quite enjoy it.  My next aim is to finish the pinks and reds, and then my blankets will be dull and lovely.  I realise now that when I buy wool I check the quality first and that colour is secondary, so I have started reminding myself to consider the colour as well.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The next blanket

The next blanket, #180, is another pale one with white.  The white is not that prominent any more.  This is another attempting to get rid off bright yellow yarns, and there are some nice subtler ones as well.  I added pink and beige, and off white as well.

I have already written about the Kaffe Fassett Outlined Star child's cardigan, and now I have unravelled it.  It was all in acrylic 4 ply yarns, and it made me wonder why I went to the effort, as the yarns would add little to the blankets.  It was knitted in fair isle, with rows having at least three yarns carried along, so I just pulled.  A good thing acrylic doesn't break easily.

I started using this box of Patons Fuzzy-wuzzy white yarn, 55 per cent angora and 45 wool.  It came in a box with a label saying 10 balls, but the box contained 12.  Each ball is just 10g.  It is lovely.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The next blanket

The next blanket, #179, is totally dark with no specific main colour.  I used yarns in dark brown, green, grey, burgundy, navy and black.  I like the way they all blend together.  There are a number of rough feeling Shetland and other yarns that will soften with washing, but now you notice the contrast with some nice merino wool.  I have included mohair, alpaca and cashmere for contrast, with a little cotton and linen.  It feels nice to be able to use up a number of yarns.

I unravelled this cardigan knitted from a 1980s or 90s pattern presumably.  I had a quick look for the pattern without success.  The yarns are Rowan.  It has been knitted intarsia style with I think Grainy Silk as background.  Compared with the 4 ply Light Tweed used double and DK yarns in the motifs the Grainy Silk feels too thin.  There is some thin cotton chenille too.  It was easy to unravel, and the yarns are nice.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Preppy Ripple Throw C29

I am going through my wool store spreadsheet aiming to use up wool in order of acquisition.  Next in line was this wool unravelled from a Donna Karan jumper for blanket #140 but it was too thick to be used there, and the wool has lain around since then, spring 2011.  If I remember correctly it was in fact blended with 20% nylon, but you wouldn't know.  I looked around for a suitable easy pattern and I came across this, Preppy Ripple Throw from the book Undercover.


I found other suitable yarn, wool, in a similar thickness and colour, and found these.  Some were leftovers from C9, Geo Modern Throw.

I have seen the pattern before, under the name Feather and Fan or possibly Old Shale, a common Shetland lace pattern.  It seemed to be too complex to enjoy the knitting, but once I started it was simple, just four rows with two knit rows, one purl and one with increases and decreases.  Stitch markers between each pattern repeat stopped me from making mistakes.  There is a mistake in the pattern in the book by the way - quite obvious if you compare the pattern with the picture.  I found the same pattern on the Lion Brand website and there it was correct.

I enjoyed knitting it.  I changed yarns at random and I like the random effect it has had.  I had not anticipated that the colours would blend so well.  The biggest surprise was the Wendy Fashion 3 Continental yarn, a wool boucle, that adds even more texture and softness to the throw.

Having said that I prefer my blankets with less texture in thinner yarns.  I would only do this pattern again if I had a lot of chunky yarns that I needed to use together.

Preppy Ripple Throw C29
Yarn: chunky wool yarns
Needle:  7 mm
Tension:  13 sts to 10 cm
Weight: 1315 gr
Size:  132 cm by 175 cm
Made: 24 April to 19 July 2016

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The next blanket

For the next blanket, #178, I wanted to use darker yarns, except for black.  The colours are grey with burgundy and purple, but the pictures don't get the shine of the red shades across.  This colour combination is a favourite of mine, and it is my aim - to use up all the other yarns, so that I can concentrate on these.  And a few others.

But here the shades aren't distributed equally, and the blanket looks patchy and irregular.  Personally I don't mind much.  Again it was a case of using up yarn, nice yarn, and I could have made more of an effort to blend them.  The blanket feels nice, with mohair, angora and alpaca yarns.

I unravelled the next Kaffe Fassett garment, a long sleeveless jacket for Peruvian Connection.  The cotton yarns are similar to the ones in the cardigan in blanket #173, two or three strands, some boucle, in different shades used together.  I don't separate them anymore, but use them as they come.  It is easier here with some strands very long.  This is a pattern that Kaffe has used several other times.  I enjoyed the unravelling, and the cotton yarn is a pleasure to work with.

Monday, 13 June 2016

The next blanket


The point of the next blanket, #177, was to use up some more bright yellow yarn, and other difficult to place yarn, without much regard for the result.  I buy odd balls of yarn that take my fancy not considering how I'm going to use it.  Here it feels great to get rid of some of it.  Sometimes I still look at the knitting thinking how awful it looks.

I unravelled this knitted sweater.  I like the design, a celtic pattern, along one side, one sleeve and shoulder.  But the knitter didn't take account of the fact that the cabled design pulled the fabric together, so one shoulder is much narrower than the other.  The wool yarn feels lovely with a sheen; perhaps Bluefaced Leicester?  The kinks very nearly disappeared with washing.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Timetable pullover


I actually finished a garment some months ago.  Blankets are easy, but sweaters have to fit, and that is difficult.  It was the pattern that caught my interest, Timetable pullover by Andrea Sanchez in Interweave Knits Spring 2015 issue.  It was brown, it was a close fitting sweater in a thin yarn, a top down pattern with interesting pattern detail.

I decided to use Noro yarn, in order to reduce the Noro yarns in the yarn store.  I bought the Taiyo 4 ply sock yarn two years earlier in order to crochet a cardigan.  I started and did quite well, getting the required tension.  I didn't like it because I thought that the fabric was too stiff, and I had been looking for an opportunity to unravel it.  I washed the yarn, but you can see that the knitted sweater is uneven because the kinks did not disappear fully.

I can't remember much about the knitting now, except that it took a long time.  I enjoyed it but I had to follow the pattern row by row because of changes in the cable pattern.  It wasn't difficult, and I enjoyed the knitting.  The standard blankets are much more fun though.  I tried it on several times to check the fit.

In the pattern the cable continues around the corner along the bottom hem at the back, and this appealed to me.  I hadn't appreciated that the angle was very sharp, and that I didn't like.  I tried it, and undid it, and just did several rows garter stitch in the end.

The sweater fits nicely, and that is the main thing.  I wear it now that the weather is more appropriate.  The Noro yarn does of course obscure the cable pattern, and it is really superfluous, but I liked doing it.  It would be a much nicer sweater in a plain yarn.  The Noro yarn produced a wider tension than the pattern, so I knitted a size smaller.

It took me nearly eight months to complete one sweater.  (I haven't worked out how many blankets I knitted meanwhile.)  So I thought I should give myself deadlines, three months for one sweater.  Because I see so many patterns I would like to try, and there is so much yarn reserved for sweaters.  I did complete the next one within the deadline, but not the third or the fourth.  My deadline doesn't allow for deciding it is no good and starting again from scratch.  And it is stressful.  So I will have to be content with sweaters taking a long time, if I want to enjoy knitting them.

Timetable pullover by Andrea Sanchez, Interweave Knits Spring 2015

Yarn:  Noro 4 ply sock yarn cotton 50%, wool 17%, nylon 17%, silk 16%,  260 gr
Needles: 3 mm
Tension: 24 st

Size: Small
Knitted:   15 May to 30 December 2015