Back again!

As I’ve said many a time, life is hectic. Always has been, wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun if it wasn’t and hopefully always will be. 

Recently I’ve changed phone. Now I have an iPhone 6s which makes a change from having a 4. However most of my photos are on the 4. 

I’ve also entered into a CAP petite enfance course, which will qualify me to work with children from July next year. If I pass. I will pass. I hope.

I’m babysitting two lovely kids because of this, one who is nearly three, the other who is nearly four and they are so funny. L is a little girl who always asks questions and is very chatty and R is a little boy who’s more silent but very expressive. It’s two families and I babysit the two kids at the same time. 

And I’m still working out everything with Alexandros. 

Obviously I’m still crafting. Why ever would I have stopped?  

I made this recently which began to get tweaked because I didn’t have the pattern while knitting and lead to me writing up spending very similar for Alexandros. If recommend doing one of these. It’s a great hat and I’ve been wearing it non stop. 

I used Rico Creative Cotton which was a softish cotton to work with and I loved the bright red. Although it’s not my favourite cotton yarn. I also put a bell on the i-cord and tied a wee knot in the end. 

But the cotton caused it to be too big. The cables are all stretched out and it’s huge on me. 

Slouchy no slouch and coffee together

And here is the version I made for kids. My version was mainly based off the photo and reading through the pattern once. The yellow one was more carefully planned and done carefully to be perfect. You can find the pattern for that here for free! It uses Dk wool and I used the lovely WoollyKnit Diggle DK in Gold. And 4mm needles. 
Alexandros was very happy with this hat. I’ve got a photo to prove it. He was playing peek-a-boo with it and everything.   

 

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Finished Object – Hermione Hat for Angela

Another long break between posts and many personal excuses. Here’s not the place nor the time. However I will be going on a 160km (100 mile) charity walk with my brother and dog. My Just Giving page can be found under this link.

I’m now on my holidays in the UK, so I’ve been getting a bit of knitting done, and my roomie, Angela, asked for a hat for this winter.

I let her choose the pattern from my Ravelry queue thinking I’d use up some odd acrylic in my mum’s stash. But I didn’t filter the queue and unluckily for us she chose a 4ply pattern. I didn’t really mind, what’s another ball, so I agreed and went off to my mum’s. The first weekend here, while camping in Derbyshire, I cast this on. A week later it was finished and my brother took this awesome photos. The pattern is called Hermione’s Cable & Lace Hat and can be found on Ravelry here. It’s published on another blog but is free. There’s a wide variety of projects and much insperation for this on Raverly. I stuck with the original cream/white colour in the film this was based on, but not everyone did.

The yarn I used was from Hobby Craft, it cost £3 and it’s the Women’s Institute Premium Acrylic, I don’t dislike but I wouldn’t use it again. It made me think of Smoothie, by Patons, which is a DK weight, but the balls are very fragile and fall apart, this was 4ply, fell apart and got very, very tangled, texture wise, once knitted it was lovely. As a ball it was a pain in the ass. I did only use half of it though.

So what did I change in the pattern? Well, I cast on extra stitches because she said it might be small, I also worked an extra repeat to make it more slouchy because Angela prefers her hats like that. And I improvised the decreases because I wasn’t working from the pattern. These cables are good for a beginner who’s got the hang of decreasing and yarn overs. I do love it, and would probably do it again.

Scandiwegia Revisited

Vanity.

You may remember when I was doing handmade gifts for everyone for Christmas. I made this beautiful hat. I wished I could have kept it. I did write about it here, if you want to read my blog on it.

I promised myself I’d remake it once I had a chance. I was considering what I could change about it, and how to make it more interesting, and then I had the idea of doing it was a rainbow. One day I probably will.

The thing is, I’m not a fan of beanies. However I love berets. So that’s what I did, I tweaked the pattern to make a beret, by doubling the stitches and then following the instructions.

There is a possibility that I’m selling this too. While I was knitting it a friend came up to me and started complimenting it, asking if I’d be willing to sell it. I need money but at the same time I don’t. The real thing is though if I do sell or give away something as simple as a hat I can remake it, I did remake this. And it’s interesting to do a pattern again.

The big rib against the fair isle. I love this.

I love how the grey sets a nice subtle background against the brighter colours. All the yarns are acrylic DK. I used a King Cole Baby Comfort for the grey and the other three were remnants of Phildar Charly, in red, orange and yellow. I used all of the yellow, orange and grey, but still have some red.

I made the rib longer because it was a beret, other wise I followed the pattern almost as printed. When I ran out of grey I used the colours in five row stripes and then finished in red for the decreasing.

The pattern is free from Ravelry, and I really recommend it if you’re looking for a new project. These always come out pretty. It’s here if you’re interested.

I’ve not really got anything else to say, if I’ve forgotton anything it’ll be in my notes. Otherwise you can ask in a comment. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the photos below.

Here you can see the stripes and the top.

And here it was really taking shape.

And an early photo of the fair isle.

Christmas 2014 – Scandiwegian Star

I didn’t blog this at the time because I was busy with packing to leave for my mum’s, and I only finished it the day before I gave it away. It was the last gift I finished, and it was a bit rushed. So here it is, my Scandiwegian Star. I don’t even know how many gifts I finished in the end. 5? 6? Meh. I did some.

A fair isle star beanie with a pompom. I made it a bit longer than I should have.

Again I was using odds and sods, the black was Charly by Phildar, a cheap but nice acrylic, so was the electric blue. The purple was Robin Double Knit, left over from my Tabitha hat, and the other blue was a Hema cheap thing that I bought for some unknown reason. I love the way these colours work together, the black does seem a bit bold and I’d like to do something similar with a cream, or a white or pale background to see if that’ll bring the colours out more.

The fair isle pattern in progress.

It knitted up very quickly and I wanted to keep it. But then I wanted to keep all the presents I made this year, and I’ve queued them to make myself too.

I didn’t get many photos of me wearing it, but here’s a good shot of the hat with the pompom, pulled down over my face to show the length.

I didn’t really take the time to get brilliant photos of this hat, as it was very rushed and I just wanted to get it finished and get rid of it, but I did it. I made one more Christmas gift and bought a bit of happiness to one more person.

This lovely pattern is also free from Ravelry and can be found here. The projects are beautiful and I really want to make another one. I liked the chart, it was really easy to follow. I recommend having a flick through the projects, there’s some awesome stuff on there. And as always my notes are here.

I’ve almost finished!

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I said in my last post that I’d lost my rainbow elf hat, probably while coming though customs on my way to the UK. I’ve almost finished v2 though. I’ve got the biggest pompom in the world to sew on, and some ends to sew in.

Overall there’s 22 stripes, each joined with a purl round to blend the colours. It came down to my hips without the pompom so it’s very long.

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To make the pompom I used most of the colours, and two paper plates with a big hole in the centre. It was hard, tiring and to be honest I should have got the giant clover pompom maker, but I improvised.

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I’ve had lots of in progress photos going up on my Facebook, and it knitted up within a week, so it was a good hat. I really want to do one for my son. But shorter.

The yarn is called Special and is a dk by Stylecraft. It’s 100% acrylic and costs under £2 for a 100g ball.

Christmas gifts in progress

Yeah, they’re coming along. I’ve not actually got photos of gift #3 but it’s an orange, yellow and white beret. I’m worried it’s going to be too small. It’s a good fit on me, but I have a small head, I’m going to be careful who I give it to. I’ve knitted it. I’ve just got millions of ends to sew in.

I really imagine wearing this into my next appointment with my psychologist. I know I should.

Otherwise gift #6 is much better. Yup, I’m doing another dead fish hat. I’ve been looking for an excuse, so I used this as one! I’m using more Phildar Charly, it’s cheap, and I got this hat out of 50g in total. I’m going to sew to Xs on for eyes in orange, that’s why I chose such a contrast. I’m hoping the person I’ve made it for will like it, I’m 90% sure he’ll laugh at least. I just need to sew the ends in, neaten up the tail and do the eyes.

You can see the notes for this hat here and for my first dead fish hat here.

I’ve also started the next gift, but I’ve made a mistake so I’m going to have to knit a flower to cover that error up. Oh dear. Next time I won’t increase during a class.

Christmas 2014 Gift #4

Christmas hat #4. Probably the most beautiful thing I have ever made. Maybe even better than my Heliopath vest.

This may not look like much, and it may have been made in a cheap acrylic yarn, but it is so amazing. I used Robin Acrylic, which you can get for around £1.50 a 100g ball if you’re lucky. However now I know that this pattern works, and I completely improvised it. I think after Christmas I may make another one for myself in a cotton based yarn. But we’ll see.

And yes, I know I’ve jumped straight from gift #2 to gift #4. #3 is currently being knitted, but I got carried away.

A while back I got a bit obsessed with doilies. You know, like your grandma will have. Or my mum had in disposable paper. I added about two pages to my Ravelry queue. And I have a friend who has an afro, so her hats need to be pretty big, doilies can get big on 2mm needles, so if I do the same thing on 4mm needles, I’m really onto something here!

And then I had insomnia. It happens sometimes, something bugs me and I can’t sleep. I was looking through my queue thinking that I’d get the third hat finished that night when I stumbled across this pattern, that was the one I wanted to make. So without questioning (I’d come downstairs with a bag full of wool in case I wanted to start a new thing or finished the current one) I cast on. I got to round 25, I messed up. I ripped back, I cast on, I started again. Two days later it was finished.

A better view of the lace

My instructions and project notes can be found here, but I’ll also include them in this post for those of you without Ravelry. The pattern is published online at this blog, you don’t need to log in and it’s free.

So I just cast on 8 stitches and went for it, although there is a fancy crochet cast on there. I then worked the doily on 9dpns. (yup…) until round 54. You could stop anywhere listed though for a shorter hat. I put the work onto a 3.5mm circular needle and just knitted in stocking stitch for 6cm. If you want a slouchier hat this is where you add the length. For one round I did knit one knit two together, putting the count from 180 stitches down to 120. I then did 3-4cm of knit one purl one rib, and finished with 5 rounds of stocking stitch to give it a rolled edge before casting off with a super stretchy cast off. Simple once you’ve done the doily.

And from the front. This is such a beautiful photo, apart from the spot. Damn hormones.

Yes, I would make this again, but not in the acrylic yarn, cotton, wool, anything of high quality with a good stitch definition. I’d even be tempted to try it in sock wool. It is so pretty! It’s had a few compliments while in progress. The best one being “How the hell are you doing that?!” as well as the typical pretty ones.

Making a doily into a hat is challenging, but at the end of the day all knitting comes down to mathematics, and that does make it much easier to think like that. Yes, I am crazy.

This was actually very quick to finish, even though it was too big to put in my handbag, I think the attractiveness of it really boosted me on.

I mean, look, if you were knitting this would you be able to stop yourself?

Yeah, towards the end with 180 stitches it was more difficult, but to begin with it grew so quickly, and I think that’s what pushed me to do it so much. And when it was transportable on the circular needles most of the work was already done. I just had a few more cm to do. Although I got a couple of weird looks in the train, but nobody really knits in France.

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