Friday, January 18, 2013

Finishing things; a progress report

My efforts to finish almost-there projects started well over the last fortnight. Some of these projects required just 5 minutes of weaving in ends & a quick bath to finish them.

These baby hats were knit over the festive period; I wanted a project that would travel easily & require little concentration while visiting relatives; with all the babies due next year, some hats seemed ideal.

3 versions of Woolly Wormhead's Tubey knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

Woolly Wormhead's Buzzbee also in Cashmerino Aran

Multiple Devils' Caps by Irene Birk - I've been knitting these over the last 4 or so months, whenever I wanted some no-think project. They are knit in leftovers of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK & Rialto DK. These just needed some weaving-in & an occasional iCord tie.

The most labour-intensive project I have finished this week was to try finish some amendments to my Marlay Park Hoodie. About a year ago, I pulled this out of my wardrobe & put it to one side, with the intention of adding pockets & reinforcing the button band.. The button band & button holes were so loose that the garment was in the habit of falling open & it just looked sloppy.
Pattern; Central Park Hoodie Pockets by Becki Schneider
I finished the pockets with a 3-stitch iCord for structure, instead of the suggested 2x2 ribbing.

I've stitched some cotton tape to the wrong side of the button bands (after closing up the button holes); and added snap fasteners. I find it hard to believe that I've missed out on wearing one of my cosiest garments for almost an entire winter season due to my bad finishing habits. I suppose I was procrastinating because I had never used tape to reinforce a button band before, but, like many knitting-related things, it's not difficult; just time consuming. And now I have my favourite knitted garment ready to wear again... just in time for Spring!

In spite of great progress over 4 evenings, I may have gotten a little distracted & started something new. It will be a big shawl, intended for a specific occasion in 4 weeks time. I'd better get knitting!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year, Same Mess

The new year is generally considered a time for reflecting on the year passed, and planning for the year to come. A time for finishing old & starting something new. 
I start the new year with a massive pile of neglected knitting works-in-progress.

There are multiple baby cardigans (9 due this year, that I know of)....
Baby hats...
Sock-yarn squares intended for a blanket (originally started in 2009)...
And a number of items intended for me;
A lace cowl
Kate Davie's Hazelhurst cowl (I messed up the grafting & ripped out several rounds, though I have no idea which colour strand belongs to which round now)
A cabled hoodie, which started life as a Heather Hoodie but is destined for many modifications.
Anyone would think that this would be enough on my crafting plate. But no, I feel the urge to cast on something new (a back-up sleep-time blankie for the toddler niece).

I'm also obsessing over the idea of cot-sized patchwork quilts. And over blue / green shades. Better get crafting....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Making Christmas

So I may have been a bit too distracted by the food & the tea & the sitting on the bum to post over Christmas, but here's a little catch up of my festive makings. Of course, I decided, again, to make various gifts at the last minute. This would have been fine if I hadn't made a terrible error with one of the knits, which resulted in ripping back 4 whole days of knitting. 

The obligatory mound of iced gingerbread cookies: After browsing on Pinterest I was inspired to try some toadstool shaped cookies; after attempting to cut one out I was inspired to stick with the cookie cutters.

Tea Cosy in Studio Donegal Aran Tweed;
This was knit for a cousin as a belated house-warming gift. Two shades of the deliciously rough Aran Tweed, in stocking & reverse stocking stitch, with a wee i-cord edging. I'm toying with the idea of refining this & writing it up as a pattern. I hope it insulates many pots of tea for the recipient & family.

Ravi Junior by Carol Feller, knit in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino;
It took me a while to get the hang of the short row sections in the cardigan yoke; I suspect I was having a brain dead moment & just didn't get the rhythm of the pattern repeats for a while. Then I miscounted the stitches at the point of separating the sleeves; which I didn't even notice until I had knit almost the entire cardigan body. This lack of attention resulted in a loss of 4 days knitting & a last-minute gift-knitting panic.
I knit the 4 year old size, intended for a tall but slim two and half year old (I like to give things with room for growing), using a smaller tension than recommended. This cardigan is finished off in i-cord edging... I think I've developed an addiction. Once I got over my own inability to count, I enjoyed knitting this & am happy with the finished garment.

Lalaloopsy Doll in Patons Fab DK;
Amy Gaines' Fairy Doll pattern was the basis for this doll, intended to look like Lalaloopsy.
I used wee scraps of fluffy lace (suspected alpaca blend) for the underskirt.

According to the website the Lalaloopsy dolls come to life when their last stitch is sewn. Entirely appropriate then, to knit the doll instead of buying some strangely hideous plastic thing.
I used buttons for eyes, and crocheted the ringlets; and then picked up stitches around the waist of the doll to begin the skirt (I don't see the point in unnecessary sewing).

 Let's not think of the Other Mother in Coraline....

I found knitting this doll strangely addictive; had I had enough time I would have knit a wee hooded jacket to suit too. I'm almost toying with the idea of knitting a second doll just so I can make her clothes. Not for playing with though...

I'm still in the process of making a couple of other gifts; perfectly acceptable when you intentionally celebrate Christmas at a later date with certain friends.