Tag Archives: ravelry

An abrupt change of plans

There are several bits and bobs to report on the knitting front, my fellow knitters.
Firstly, I have a guest post over at Let’s Knit! It’s about tension squares, a worthy subject. They’ve also put lovely flattering words about my blog in their actual magazine, which I’m pretty chuffed about!

Also, a few weeks ago Susan Crawford put out a call for sample knitters for her next vintage knitting project. Naturally I was all over that like a kitten on a laser pointer. So as of now I’m thoroughly stuck into recreating a piece of knitwear from the Shetland Isles museum. It’s a lot of fun but unfortunately there will be no advance sneak peeks of this one! The blog will have to go a bit quiet whilst I go hogwild with sample knitting.

Perhaps of more interest: My Tyrolean Cardigan pattern, originally featured in The Knitter, is now up on sale on Ravelry for your convenience and knitting pleasure. It’s a good Autumn cardigan, so if you start making it now, you’ll be done in time!

(C) The Knitter

(C) The Knitter

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Pattern: Snowdrift Jumper

Snowdrift_main

Another pattern unleashed on the world! It’s been a good year for my knitting and I’m happy to end it on a high note with this jumper. Fair isle as far as the eye can see! It’s an incredibly warm knit and it turned out even classier than I imagined when I started knitting it for the first time. Don’t you just love it when that happens?

Snowdrift_detail

Always being on the look out for new construction techniques, I can highly recommend the ‘fake’ tubular ribbed bind-off for the collar on this jumper. It’s dead easy, looks neat and has none of the stretch that a ‘real’ tubular bind-off has. This makes it ideal for pockets, or in this case, square necklines that need to hold their shape.

You can buy the pattern by clicking this handy button.

 

Pattern Notes below!

Sizes: To fit Bust Size 28 (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50)”
Actual Bust Measurement is 28 (30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50)”

Yarn requirements: Very elastic DK yarn, preferably wool

Total: 941 (1009, 1076, 1143, 1210, 1278, 1345, 1412, 1479, 1547, 1614, 1681) yds
MC yarn: 561 (601, 641, 681, 721, 761, 801, 841, 881, 921, 961, 1001) yds
CC yarn: 344 (368, 393, 417, 442, 466, 491, 515, 540, 564, 589, 613) yds

Suggested Yarn

Excelana Luxury DK wool (126yds/116m per 50g ball, 100% Exmoor Blue wool)
5 (5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8) balls in Persian Grey
4 (4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6) balls in Alabaster

Needles

3 sets of 80cm circular 3.75mm (US size 5)
1 set of 80cm circular 3.5mm (US size 4)

Gauge

24 sts/ 28 rws per 4″ square on larger needles, in both Charts A and B.

Notions

Waste yarn
Stitch markers x 4
Yarn needle

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Pattern: Sashiko Cardigan

Exciting times! My first cardigan pattern is now up for sale on Ravelry!

Sashiko Cardigan

Just think, a year ago this was merely a doodle on paper and I was dithering about making it into a published pattern at all. There’s a lot to learn when first writing a pattern on this scale. The main lesson for newbies is this: Marnie Maclean is your new god! Her tutorials are fantastic shining diamonds on the knitting-net. Thanks to them I can now make the swishiest stitch charts without batting an eyelid. I’m so pleased to have this pattern out at last!

sc2

Pattern Details:

Size: To fit 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44)” bust with about 0.5” of positive ease. I’m between sizes and wearing the smaller one in these pics.

Stockinette gauge:
22 stitches, 30 rows to 4in (10cm) on larger needles
Pattern stitch gauge:
18sts, 32 rws (one repeat) = 2.5” x 3.25” on larger needles

Tools:
3.75mm (US size 5)
3.5mm (US size 4)
Cable needle

Also required:
8 buttons, 22mm in diameter
Yarn needle
Sewing needle and thread for attaching buttons

Materials:
935(990, 1045, 1100, 1155, 1210) yds of smooth, elastic DK yarn in a solid or semi-solid colourway, preferably merino mix.

Suggested Yarn:
8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 10) balls of Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK (126yds/116m per 50g ball, 100% merino wool).

Difficulty:
Intermediate (cabling)

Pattern Style:
Written instructions plus chart for Sashiko motif.

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Ravelry Roundup: Not just a load of lace shawls

Recently I’ve been wondering what to do with the cobweb-weight yarn in my stash. I had a project all planned out but it was clearly a poor match. So what now? Lace shawls are extremely popular amongst lovers of fine yarn, but I do not do shawls. Or stoles, neckerchiefs or wraps. I have one wrap, it gets used as a scarf.

So I have asked for recommendations on Twitter, I have searched Ravelry myself, and I have found a selection of patterns that make good use of 1-ply and 2-ply yarn, with no shawls in sight!

Spring Cloud by Sachiko Uemura

Aphrodite by Jamie A. Besel

Osmena by Jenn Jarvis

The ever-popular Featherweight cardigan by Hannah Fettig

Perseids by Asami Kawa

Tuva84's take on Ysolda Teague's Veyla gloves

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Pattern: Blue Hour Gloves

I am very pleased with these latest gloves of mine. Looking at the pile of leftover yarn from my last fair isle project, I started thinking that the colours reminded me of a certain time of dusk, when the sky is both deep orange and blue. Hence: Blue Hour gloves.

Blue Hour Gloves

They are just the thing for using up scrap yarn! These thrifty little gloves have an original stranded pattern over the main body of the hand to pretty them up. There is also an afterthought thumb for simplicity.

The pattern is now on sale on Ravelry, for £2.50, and can be bought here:

Here are some useful tutorials that may help you with this pattern:

Pattern Information:

Size: To fit an average women’s size hand (7.5” around the knuckles).

Yarn Requirements: Warm 4-ply yarn with high wool content –

150 yds in Natural
30 yds in Dark Blue
20 yds in Yellow
20 yds in Deep Red
17 yds in Burnt Orange

Suggested Yarns:

Jamieson and Smith 2-ply Jumper weight (equivalent to 4-ply) -100% Shetland wool. 125yds(114m)/25g.

2 balls of 01A for N, and 1 ball each of: 031 for O, 028 for Y, 043 for R and 021 for B.

Needles:

1 set of 3mm dpns
1 set of 2.5mm dpns

Gauge: 32 st / 36 rws to 4in (10cm) in stockinette stitch.

Also required: Stitch holder, a small length of contrasting waste yarn, and a tapestry needle for sewing in ends.

 

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How to keep your knitting budget from spiralling out of control

Knitting is an addicting craft, but like most crafts, it’s not particularly cheap.

However it’s cheap to start. You just need a £1 ball of yarn from the bargain bin and some sticks! Once you actually get good enough to make your first jumper you may no longer find that cheap acrylic yarn to be good enough.

By now you’ve amassed a few needles, some accessories, gained some knowledge of the different yarn fibres, joined Ravelry and discovered all the awesome free patterns the internet has to offer. Eventually you will buy some luxury hand-dyed sock yarn and never look back. It’s just a slippery slope to spending £45 on 100g of qiviut or several sets of carbon-fibre needles

Whoa there! Before you become the warmest hobo on the block!

Exaggeration aside, knitting cheaply doesn’t mean sticking to artificial yarns and naff needles. There are some nice and easy ways to stop your new favourite hobby burning a hole in your pocket. You can have that merino cardigan without the financial guilt:

1. Look to your elderly relatives!

When my grandma heard I was into knitting she promptly gifted me with a large selection of old knitting things. 75% of my needles used to be hers, as well as all my crochet hooks and a couple of stitch holders! Not everyone is lucky enough to have such an extremely crafty family member, but the older generation are far more likely to have accumulated such things as needles over their lifetimes. Chances are, if you’re the crafty type, you got it from somewhere! Pick up their torch! Why not politely ask if there are any old supplies that are no longer needed?

(Sub-tip: Learn your imperial needle sizes)

2. Knit skinny.

The downside of DIY clothing is that you end up paying per square inch. Sure, you can get around this by knitting tight-fitting clothes but that’s not what I mean by knitting skinny! Another option is to just use less wool per square inch – knit with thinner yarns. It’ll take longer, but as well as saving money you get more accurate shaping and a more flattering, drapey fabric. Bonus!

Case in point: As a UK size 14, I usually spend around £40+ on a jumper in DK weight wool. That’s roughly 1800 yards or 500g of fibre. £38 (625g or 2500 yards) of Jamieson & Smiths 2-ply jumper weight wool on the other hand, has turned into two half-sleeve jumpers and a pair of gloves and I still have ample yarn left for a hat! That’s  quite a bit less than you’d pay for pure wool clothing on the high street.

£38 worth of J & S

All that, and some leftovers!

3. Trawl the internet.

The internet is obviously an invaluable tool for finding discounted products. But where to start?

My go-to wool sites are Black Sheep Wools and Deramores. I think I must mention them quite a lot on here, but that’s because they are cheap, cheap, cheap.

If you’re after some big commercial brand like Rowan or Cascade, then a good bit of Googling will turn up something.  You can also try searching for ‘x 10’ in eBay’s crafts section and see what job lots come up.

For discounts on smaller brands, you’ll have to get close to the source. Find the brand’s website; it’ll be the best place to hear about discounts and sales firsthand. ‘Mid-sized’ brands will often be sold from other independent online yarn shops and they will offer sales of their own.

It may sound like a lot of work, tracking down the little guys, but if you’re on Ravelry just find the brand group page – there are often discounts offered to members.

4. Swapsies!

Stuck with yarn you don’t like? Don’t buy more, just trade the old stuff. Online knitting communities like Ravelry have a whole load of yarn swaps going on. Your uninspiring bag of 2-year old yarn is someone else’s perfect stash and vice versa.

If you’re lucky you might even find you’ve traded up a little!

Incidentally I am super-pleased with my latest swap!

5. Advance planning.

Here’s something I’ve learnt the hard way: Don’t buy a load of yarn because it looks/feels awesome and assume you’ll work out what to do with it later. You won’t!

Have a pattern first. Buy yarn later.

This sort of forethought prevents all sorts of woes: regrettable impulse buys, random unwanted balls cluttering up the living room, unflattering garments knitted just to make space for more yarn etc. You will always find yourself knitting something you want, in the right colour, with the right amount to hand.

The thrifty knitter is an organised knitter. Well, it’s an obvious thing to say, but a hard thing to practice. You can always make an advance plan to splash out on random things too! After all, you’ve saved all that money by following the other tips haven’t you?

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Ravelry Roundup: Stripes

I have accumulated a great deal of stripey things in my day-to-day wardrobe. That’s because I think they’re great. Need a brutally minimalist geometric pattern? Stripes! Need to break up an otherwise plain and boring top? Stripes! Want to look like a giant angry bee? Stripes!

Tilted Heart Top

Eileen Casey's Tilted Heart Top

Poison Oak

SweetMama's Poison Oak

Ribbon Candy Cardigan

Jennifer Lang's Ribbon Candy Cardigan

Delancey Cardigan

Alexis Winslow's Delancy Cardigan

Sideways Striped Slouch Hat

unraveling's Sideways Striped Slouch Hat

Crazy Mad Love

hoarder555's Crazy Mad Love

 

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