Chimney Fire disaster

Chimney Fire disaster

So I decided to knit a cardigan…never knitted one before so did I pick a nice easy pattern? Hmm well easy is a matter of opinion. My pattern is Chimney Fire by Melissa Goodale.

Having got stuck I reached out to a couple of people who’d made it before and reached out to the designer, but with no replies and me getting frustrated by me not knitting it I had to resort to unravelling it.

Thank goodness for whoever’s blog I read that talked about safety line, I had put a thread through both ends of the collar so only had to unravel the upper body.

Okay so it was only 10 rows unravelled in the end, but I am still pretty disappointed and feel a failure. Plus this is the 2nd time I have had to unravel a section on this pattern.

If it goes wrong again the pattern may well be used to light a fire!

Wish me luck!

My first Fair Isle knitting

My first Fair Isle knitting

Some free acrylic yarn, a free pattern from Ravelry and watching some YouTube clips and I was ready to start my first Fair Isle knit!

I made some mistakes along the way…

A weird hole, not sure what happened here

I didn’t carry my pink yarn when I was doing the all purple rows, I just carried it up to the next mixed row.

You can see on the bottom rows of pink that the chevrons are much tighter, that is before I switched to holding it in my left hand.  Once I switched to continental for my pink I was flying and it knitted up pretty quickly.

I am usually a tight knitter but I was consciously trying to knit loose…but when I got to the end of my purple 50g ball I started to knit ‘normally’ and so there’s a tighter row half way up the hat.  This hat is too small for me anyway, perhaps I’ll give it away to someone with a small headed child!

What I learned…

  • Using continental knitting for my accent yarn and English for my main colour works well for me
  • I need to concentrate on keeping plain rows the same tension
  • Its easier than I had thought!

From fibre to 2 ply yarn

From fibre to 2 ply yarn

I had a brainwave…good spinning practice would be making up a bunch of rolags, splitting them evenly by colours and this would then make a 2 ply with the same colours plying at the same time…sounds great doesn’t it?

What I failed to realise was how much my spinning would improve when doing the 2nd batch and just how much longer that meant my 2nd spool was over my 1st.  So the result is it started off plying well and then suddenly the colours went out of sync and my 1st spool ran out too quickly which then meant I needed to transfer some of my 2nd spool to another so I could continue plying.

The improvements in my 2nd spool I put down to the non-slip disks I put on the 3 legs of my spinning wheel, resting my right arm on a cushion on my leg and timing my drafting with my pressing the treadle (pulling and pressing at exactly the same time/pace)…oh and not having my arms too far away from the spinning wheel, a handspread away works best for me…well so far anyway.

 

 

Hitchhiker scarf

Hitchhiker scarf

I found this pattern when searching Ravelry for something to make with a ball of light fingering weight Reliable Sock Yarn I had in my stash. My yarn was from Ripples Crafts Hand Dyed Yarn, Helen is an independent local(ish) dyer and can be found along the North Coast 500 route so at some point I will pop in. Helen also sells online with worldwide shipping and attends various yarn festivals in the UK and Ireland. I have made quite a few hats and fingerless gloves with Helen’s sock yarns and they are warm, fit in your pocket and are lasting really well…although I did lose one in Italy 😢

I started the scarf in April and finished it at 1am last night…I was determined to finish it in May…it was still May somewhere!

The hitchhiker pattern can be bought online through Ravelry and cost €4.30 when I bought it. This pattern is linked to nearly 30,000 projects on Ravelry!!! I’m sure some people make a few different versions, but still…this must have made its designer a good income…oh to come up with a popular and unique pattern!

I used an alteration to the pattern for the final edge (that has teeth rather than the pattern’s straight edge). For those with a Ravelry account this was found on Amanda2127’s Reflective Hitchhiker. The only problem was I started to panic over how much yarn that would use and so I’ve ended up with a fair bit of yarn left, not enough to make anything useful I imagine, I should perhaps have weighed it rather than guessing.

If I make another I will do the Hitchhiker with eyelets adaptation that lots of others on Ravelry have done, with eyelets on each 8th row. I may also go up a needle size as this seemed to take forever to make.

My sister is buying me some blocking boards for my birthday next week, so it will be blocked then…but for now here’s how it looks unblocked.

Trying to spin before I can draft

Trying to spin before I can draft

Those YouTube videos of people spinning make it look so easy …

I need to spend some time practicing drafting the fibre before I start spinning it…my seriously slow drafting is ending up with seriously twisted yarn!!!

Fortunately I have lots of scrap fibre to practice with.

Here are my first attempts…

I did manage to straighten the first attempt and let it spin back on itself to make a 2 ply….but the only thing consistent about it is it’s inconsistency 😂

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Knitting bug continues

I have finally realised that I cannot possibly wear all the hats myself, and so I have now started to make gifts for friends and my husband.  I need to move on to making socks or another jumper to challenge myself a bit more.  Hats are so easy and often quick, so they are hard to resist.   A proper tracker can be seen on my Ravelry projects list along with the pattern and yarn details.

I have caught the knitting bug!

I have caught the knitting bug!

Made so far

Whilst taking a year off from work, I decided to learn how to knit!  And now I can’t stop knitting things.  YouTube, Pinterest and Ravelry are my new best friends, with so many ideas for making things with the yarns that I have accumulated over the last few years.

Buying yarn is quite addictive!  I have logged all my yarns in Ravelry and realise I need to resist buying any more yarn until I have made at least some impact on my stash…that said, there’s a Knit Fest coming to my town in the next couple of months eek!  Can I resist buying more?

One of my favourite suppliers is Ripples Crafts, they sell sock yarn that crochets into really warm hats that don’t take up too much room in your pocket and the colours are amazing.  I lost the first hat I crocheted with their yarn, and was pretty devastated for sentimental reasons, but also the batches of colours are small, so finding the same coloured thread would be impossible.  If I can ever stop knitting items, I will get around to learning how to crochet proper stitches and patterns!  But I’ve enjoyed giving it a go.

My missing hat
My first crocheted hat…last seen in Verona, Italy!