Sometimes I feel like I haven’t actually knitted that much, but when reviewing my WIP’s and FO’s since the last blog I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m clearly delusional. I have quite a few projects, finished and in progress to show you this month. Bonny and Thistle which I mentioned in my previous post have been cast off and worn on a couple of occasions. I have a couple of other FO’s to show you and even more WIP’s, my monogamous nature seems to have completely dissipated when I had Bonny and Thistle on the go at once! I have kept to my self-imposed yarn diet but my addiction still needed feeding so I’ve been on a recycling mission. Also this month I have a new knitter to introduce to and a book review! And I have a quick question to ask you all about what direction you’d like to see this blog going. First though let’s jump right into the WIPs and FO’s, which will now be called “What’s Peeko Crafting?”
What’s Peeko Crafting?
I was just beginning the lace panel of this project when I last posted and was wearing it 10 days later. I wasn’t entirely happy with blocking this project. You seam up the shoulders after you block it and I ended up blocking it a little bit wonky, but luckily, it looked perfect when it was actually on me. I mainly put this down to not using blocking wires and just trying to block it with T pins. So before I wash it (which it is definitely due as it’s gotten quite a few wears since!) I’m going to invest in a set of blocking wires and see how I get on. I already did a little research on how to block it after the shoulders have been seamed and luckily I found a post in the Tin Can Knits Ravelry group. I did think that this project would use up at least most of my stash of the Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace but I actually ended up with having a full ball and then some left over. I have been eyeing up quite a few of Boo Knits shawls lately though so there’s a good chance it will become one of those.
I took Thistle off the blocking board exactly 1 week after my last my post and I was delighted with how it turned out. I was a little worried while knitting it that it wouldn’t be long enough but it is perfect. So perfect that a friend of mine spotted it on Facebook and contacted me looking to buy it. She was disappointed to hear that it was not in fact for sale but I did did send her a message and told her she can put in a request with the Christmas knitting fairy. I had a second skein of the Rowan Fine Art in the same colourway so I cast on a second Thistle. I’m tipping away on it slowly and have finished the lace panel and I’m trying to get a few rows of the column lace done every day so that it doesn’t end up becoming one of those never-ending WIPs
I managed to knock these pair of socks out in 10 days, which I don’t mind saying, is a tad bit impressive. These are another Tin Can Knits pattern from Handmade in the UK which I have knitted as part of TCK2016KAL. They are knitted in Dublin Dye Swing Sock in an exclusive Golden Skein colourway “Coill”. It is a 75% merino and 25% nylon blend that is an absolute dream to knit and to wear. Although there is a lace panel in the pattern, it is easy to memorise and overall it is a very relaxing knit. I do kind of regret using a variegated yarn for these socks as the lace pattern does get a bit lost in the yarn but it’s certainly not going to stop me wearing them!
And yet another Handmade in the UK pattern, this is Lush knitted in King Cole Merino Blend DK which I recycled (more on that later!) One of the real beauties of Tin Can Knits patterns, is that many of their garments and accessories they are sized from newborn right up to XXL. I do plan on making myself a Lush at some point but Saoirse got one first. Initially I planned on making it in Age 9-10. But after looking at the measurements again (and the limited amount of yarn that I had) I decided to go down a size but keep the length. Saoirse is 8 but she is a tall. Most of her clothes are aged 9-10 or 10-11 because she’s so long but most of them are hanging off her as she is very slim. As a 5′ 2″ mammy, she’s definitely going to tower over me! Anyway, back to Lush. This was another lovely knit. You start in the centre of the lace yoke by using a provisional cast on. After knitting one side, you pick out your cast on and knit the other. The lace panel is then blocked (and naturally I cast on another project while waiting for it to dry) Once the lace is dry, you pick up the sts on the top to knit the ribbed edging, and then sts on the bottom to knit the rest of the cardigan. The body and sleeves are separated and the sleeve sts put on hold while you knit the body over and back. The adult sizes include some waist shaping. The sleeves are picked back up and the round. I think the adult sizes are for 3/4 length sleeves and the child sizes have full length sleeves but these are easily adjustable if you want to change the length for your cardigan.I actually started the sleeves and then decided to stop as I could see my yarn running out and I wanted to be sure I’d have enough for the button band. So I put the sleeves back on hold and picked up the button bands. Once I got back to the sleeves I was seriously rationing out the yarn between them, knitting a few rows of each at the same time to make sure they’d be the same size! I ended up getting 14″ from the underarm, which is exactly Saoirse’s arm length, with just enough yarn to weave in the ends. Assuming Saoirse stays as slim is she is now, I’ll probably frog the sleeves down to 3/4 length or short sleeves next year and add the yarn to the body of the cardigan so she’ll still gGget wear out of it.
Since joining in with the Shinybees RewindKAL, I’ve caught the KAL bug. Even though I had a couple of other projects on the go at the time, when this one popped up on my Instagram feed, I had zero will power to refuse. This is a mystery KAL run by Anniken Allis aka Yarn Addict Anni. What made me really interested in this KAL is that Anni is actually designing the shawl as the KAL progresses, she knows as much (or as little) about each stage of the KAL as we do. Each stage of the Gondola shawl is released on Ravelry and she is also doing a live Periscope broadcast once or twice a week where she talks about her design process, gets opinions from those us of joining in and shows us how to implement the different techniques used. There is still plenty of time to join in if you like, just pop over to Anni’s Ravelry group for details! I’m knitting my Gondola shawl in Ellie and Ada Merino Singles, colourway 9 to 5. It is an absolute dream to knit up and although I’m not normally a pink girl, I’m loving the colours in this yarn.
This WIP is giving me a bit of a headache at the moment but I’m determined to get the better of it! It’s not a because it’s a hard knit or a slow knit, quite the contrary, it’s a super fast knit as it’s a chunky yarn, it’s mainly st st, knit bottom up and only a small amount of cabling. My issues are with the amount of yarn I have available and the fact that my daughter is apparently a beanstalk. I’m using more recycled yarn for this and I thought I would have enough to knit it in age 9. And I probably would have, but I had to add in extra inches which meant by the time I got to the yoke I had run out of yarn. I stubbornly kept knitting and got half way through those adorable cabled owls and ended up knitting air. Serious dose of denial. This is why I like top down sweaters but that’s a discussion for another day. So anyway, I tried it on Saoirse as it was and saw that there was plenty of room width wise and realised I would be able to go down a size, but again, keep the extra length that I had added. It was banished to a sin bin for a few days but I took it back out and frogged it the other night and am currently half way through the body. I only hope I’ll have enough yarn this time! Saoirse is eager to have donn an Owlet this winter either way and is saving up her pocket money to buy yarn in case I don’t have enough of the recycled yarn!
Shhh! It’s a Secret!
I also have a top secret knit that I’m swatching at the moment. I can’t say anything else about it right now though but all will be revealed in a few months!
Yes, another KAL, I did warn you. I haven’t actually done much for this bar decide on a pattern, Grey Rose by Thea Coleman, pick out yarn in my stash, some Merino from Ice Yarns, and knit half a swatch. Although I have done colourwork before, it’s never something I spent much time at and it’s one of the skills that I’d like to add to my toolbox, especially stranded colourwork. So when Tin Can Knits announced their Paintbox KAL, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to finally get to grips with it. I’m not sure will I have it finished in time for the KAL closing date, but I am still making a point of knitting at least one stranded project by the end of the year!
And last but not least, I cast on a swatch for Clare Devine’s Slipt socks in the Orange Mocha Frappacino yarn that was exclusively dyed by the wonderful Countess Ablaze for the Shinybees Podcast. The colours are making me a bit giddy already so these are going to be some serious pair of happy socks.
I have attempted on a number of occasions to lure Saoirse over to the knitty darkside and have failed each time. It usually ended with her having a complete meltdown because she dropped a stitch and me having a meltdown because she wouldn’t listen. I then heard about Susan B Anderson’s Kids Knitting Workshop book on the Curious Handmade Podcast. So off I tottered and did a bit of research and ordered the book. Susan approaches teaching from a different angle than the traditional short 4mm needles and DK yarn that had failed me so many times. Instead she uses chunky circular needles and chunky yarn and starts kids off knitting in the round from the get go. It was such a simple concept that I had a serious “duh!” moment, of course it’s easier. I prefer circular needles, they are so much easier to handle. I prefer knitting in the round. And chunky yarn is so much easier for beginners to handle. Why in the name of the knitting gods was I trying to teach my kid to knit with things that I didn’t actually like knitting with myself? So when the book arrived myself and Saoirse sat down and ordered her supplies from Loveknitting.com. I decided interchangeable was the best way to go so I picked up a 12″ cable and 6mm acrylic tips by Knit Pro. A few balls of chunky yarn and some notions to get her started. The morning they arrived we sat down and got set to go. I cast on, joined in the round and knitted the first row for Saoirse as suggested in the book. I’m an English style knitter where as Susan is a continental knitter so this was the first method shown in the book so I said heck, let’s try that first. and 5 seconds later Saoirse had her first stitch. And another. And another. She could knit. Just like that. After all those failed attempts and here she was, knitting away. I do have to goad her into taking out her knitting sometimes and just knit a bit every day (summer holidays, way more fun things going on than knitting) but she is now a knitter and I doubt that it would have happened without Susan’s Kids Knitting Workshop.
The book itself is very well laid out, with an introduction for teachers/parents and then a nice and informative introduction for kids about all those bits and bobs you need to know before getting started. It has a series of progressive patterns, knit in the round, mainly in chunky yarn and all of which are relatively quick knits. It does move on to slightly more advanced patterns towards the back of the book but there is no pattern that doesn’t have the tutorials you need to learn. So if you have a little person who wants to get knitting, I can’t recommend this book enough. Even you’re an adult who has been toying with the idea, you really couldn’t go wrong with it.
That’s all I have for you this month. And in hindsight, it’s quite a bit more than I thought it would be. And so I pose a question to you: Would you like to see a more frequent blog that would have weekly/bi-weekly themes? Or do you think the monthly blog is enough and maybe I just need to stop rambling on so much? Is there something you’d like to see me talk more about or even something you’d like to see less of? Let me know in the comments!
I won’t go into the recycling project just now as I think I’ve nattered on long enough for this blog post, but I will do a separate tutorial in a couple of weeks for you!
In the meantime, if you want to see more of what I’m up to, I’m ThePeekoCrafter on Ravelry and PeekoCrafts on Instagram!