I Dream Of Crafting Blog

the super cool stuff I make

In which I try to outsmart the weather and can’t count June 3, 2010

Filed under: Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 8:59 pm
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I haven’t posted anything for a while because I’ve been working on secret gift items, but since I have given one of my most recent knitting projects away, I can reveal the Gathering Scarf from Little Luxury Knits: 20 Accessories in Rowan Kidsilk Yarns.

Gathering Scarf in Rowan Kidsilk Haze

The Gathering Scarf is the first thing I’ve knitted from this book and it is a great little pattern which consists of four easy to memorise rows.  Since I’ve never knitted with beads before, and really wanted to, I chose to stick with the yarn called for in the pattern, Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze in Blackcurrant(641).

You might be thinking, ‘It’s June!  Why are you knitting a scarf, especially in mohair?’  It’s also likely that if you are thinking this, you don’t live in England. The weather has been generally nice over the last week or two, but very conveniently the day I gave it away, it was a bit chilly and incredibly rainy and horrible.  Plus, I wanted to put my winter boots and coat away without jinxing the amazing weather.  Scarf knitting seemed the logical thing to do to cancel that out so I wouldn’t feel like I broke summer if the weather went bad after putting my winter gear away.

As I said before, I really wanted to include the beads, and used 3mm beads, though they weren’t the Rowan beads the pattern calls for; I found the Rowan beads, at least the ones in stock at John Lewis, fairly mediocre and quite pricey.  So, I found some nice seed beads at The Bead Shop.

I’m pretty rubbish with numbers, especially when I’m put on the spot and have to work with them in my head.  Seed beads are sold by weight in The Bead Shop; I think it was 60p for 5g and when I told the guy I needed about 200 beads, he just poured 5g worth of beads in a bowl and asked how many grams I wanted.  I thought that there were maybe 20-30 beads per 50g, but discovered I was WAY off after I put 200 beads on my ball of yarn, dropped several on the floor and and it didn’t even look like I’d made a dent in the beads.  So, it’s likely that everyone will be getting a gathering scarf for Christmas this year.

It was surprisingly easy to knit with the beads, and I got all the beads strung on whilst watching Doctor Who, so not terribly time consuming.  The biggest problem I had was getting the beads with a smaller hole over the needle I was using to get the beads onto the yarn, but since I was in no short supply of beads, it wasn’t really a problem.  The lace pattern for the scarf is really beautiful without beads, but the yarn is so light and delicate, you really do need the beads to give the scarf some weight.  Not that the beads make it really heavy, but the Rowan Kidsilk Haze is 2ply yarn and the pattern calls for 6.5mm needles, so it’s naturally going to be light.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that the Rowan Kidsilk Haze is a really lovely mohair, probably because it’s 30% silk.  I’m not generally a big fan of mohair, but I really enjoyed stroking the ball of yarn every now and then when I was knitting it.

On a bit of a more random note, I was really sad to learn that Rue McLanahan, aka Blanche Devereaux from the Golden Girls, died today.  It’s sad news and it’s also made me a bit sentimental for my best friends, because after all, that is what the Golden Girls are about, regardless of age.  So, to Anwar and Dorkbutt, thank you for being my friend.

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April Showers bring May Flowers May 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — IDreamofCrafts @ 6:32 pm

My most recent finished project is Sarah Johnson’s Rusted Root knitted with Rowan Bamboo Tape.

Rusted Root lace pattern

It’s a great pattern and I highly recommend it.  I also really enjoyed knitting with the bamboo tape; however, it’s not suitable for knitting in the round because it’s quite heavy and the ends need to be woven into the seams.  As you may know from previous projects, I generally need to add length to patterns, which was a bad idea for this particular project with this particular yarn – good pattern, good yarn, bad combination.

Rowan Bamboo Tape

When I put it on first thing in the morning, it fits really well.  After wearing it for a day, it tends to fall down and slump around the waist where your jeans/skirt/trousers start .  The first time I wore it, it slumped out around the belt buckles of my jeans and the second time it slumped at the waist of my skirt and both times it sort of creased from sitting down.

It’s difficult to explain as it doesn’t grow outwards, but slumps in a similar way to tucking a shirt in and pull it out again; you can kind of see from the picture how it slumps down.  I’ll probably shorten it at some point because I think that will really help.

Rusted Root in Rowan Bamboo Tape

Despite feeling really frumpy at the end of the day, I really love it; the yarn shows the lace pattern really well and it’s a great colour (it’s Wode and I saw some at Abakhans today).  The Rowan Bamboo Tape has been discontinued and on sale for the last few months, packs of 10 for £6.99, which is a shame, the being discontinued that is, not the reduced price.  Needless to say, I’ve stocked up on the bamboo, but have learnt a valuable lesson on the type of construction a garment needs to keep it’s shape.

 

Can’t go wrong with feather & fan April 18, 2010

Filed under: Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 7:55 pm
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I’ve recently finished Ysolda Teague’s Liesl with the leftover yarn from the Mrs. Darcy cardigan.  I highly recommend this as it’s very easy and quick to knit, just the basic feather and fan pattern.  There are also several variations making it very versatile.

Liesl Variations by Ysolda Teague

Liesl Variations by Ysolda Teague

Beware, it grows significantly after blocking!  Someone told me it expands a lot, so I quit knitting even though I was planning on doing another five pattern repeats.  When I casted off  it was too short and I was a bit worried, but I’m really glad I finished where I did.  Actually, the whole thing looked too small and I thought I might have to go on a massive diet to fit into it.

Unblocked Liesl

Unblocked Liesl

I added 1.5 pattern repeats on the sleeve.  Originally, I was going to make the longer sleeves, but by the time I got to the sleeves, spring had arrived so, I went for a short sleeve I could wear over t-shirts.  I also did a single crochet on the button band for some extra reinforcement.

Liesl in Cascade 220 - Christmas Red

The pattern has two bind-off variations, a regular bind-off that creates waves with the feather and fan pattern, and a picot bind-off, which is the variation of the little red shrug in the top picture.  I did the regular bind-off and am very pleased with the result.

Wavy Bind-Off

 

Experimenting with Beads April 1, 2010

Filed under: Knitting,Uncategorized — IDreamofCrafts @ 9:10 pm
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After loosing some stitch markers in the craft closet abyss and ogling pretty beads at The Bead Shop, I decided to have a go at making my own.

Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko Stitch Markers

My husband and I went to see Ponyo on Valentine’s Day and since then I’ve been watching the Studio Ghibli collection and going through a bit of a Japanese thing.  This is an extension of that.  Plus, I love cats.

Purple Stitch Markers

These are just from a random assortment of purple beads.  Please, excuse the background of this one.  By the time I finished them it was dark outside and my kitchen, where the best light is, is messy, hence the Easter egg backdrop.

 

The happiest girl in the world March 23, 2010

Filed under: Pattern,Sewing — IDreamofCrafts @ 7:36 pm
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Last week I acquired some old fabric from Katy, the author of Creating Misericordia, which has made me the happiest girl in the world.

If you’re unfamiliar with Creating Misericordia, you should definitely check it out.  Katy takes excellent photos, takes on some epic projects and as previously stated, has made me a very happy girl.

The arrival of these fabrics, and spring, have motivated me to get out my sewing machine.  I decided to make another New Look skirt, which for some reason, was much more difficult the second time.  The waistband on the first skirt I made is kind of awkward, so I tried to fix it this time, but was unsuccessful.  This is either due to me missing out on something with the pattern construction, which is probably the case, or it’s just a cheap pattern.

Coincidentally, I picked up some Rowan Bamboo in Antique Rose that goes really well with the pink in the fabric, so by the end of the summer, I should have a lovely outfit.  Although, I am not waiting to wear the skirt until I knit a top; I will be wearing the skirt often.

 

Bobbins Magazine March 2, 2010

Filed under: Knitting,Pattern — IDreamofCrafts @ 1:58 pm
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Bobbins Magazine - Buy one for everyone you know!Bobbins Magazine is an awesome knitting/crafting magazine recently published by Rubbish Knitter (don’t let the name fool you, she is far from a rubbish knitter).

There are knitting patterns, book reviews, including one by me, a recipe, a tatting pattern, and other useful articles.  No need to feel embarrassed by your ridiculous crafting mishaps because Bobbins even includes stories of massive craft fails.  If you need help reading a yarn ball band, working out how much yarn you need for a pattern, and/or like ginger cupcakes, buy Bobbins!

A few of the contributors include, audreym, Creating Misericordia and of course, Rubbish Knitter.

You can buy Bobbins online and get it shipped anywhere in the world, or buy it from the Cornerhouse shop in Manchester or Skeins in Glossop.

If you’re on Ravelry, join the Bobbins Group, follow Bobbins on Twitter, and become a Bobbins fan on Facebook.

 

Has it been a month? February 18, 2010

Filed under: Knitting,Pattern — IDreamofCrafts @ 7:46 pm
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I’ve just realised it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, though it doesn’t mean I haven’t been a busy beaver.  In the last month I’ve knitted Mary Weaver’s Mrs Darcy Cardigan and a little iphone sock.

From the moment I saw the Mrs Darcy Cardigan, I envisioned it in a bright red, but my LYS didn’t have a suitable colour.  Then, I found Cascade 220’s Christmas Red (colorway 8895) online and decided it was perfect!  Although the pattern calls for 900 yards of yarn, a little over four hanks of Cascade 220, I only used three, so now I have enough to knit a little shrug as well.

I added some length to the cardigan and made a few modifications; it’s still a bit shorter than I like, but perfectly wearable.  If I were to make another one, I would either add a few more rows of garter stitch, or maybe seed stitch at the bottom as it rolls up a lot.  While the crochet border looks nice and stabilizes the bottom, it puts the button holes off a bit.

The modifications are as follows:

16 rows stocking stitch and 19 rows twisted rib.

4 buttons/buttonholes

twisted rib:
Row 1 (RS): k1tbl, p1 to end of row
Row 2 (WS): k1, p1tbl to end of row

Right Front (knit last 3 sts for button hole band)
1-3: Knit
4-7: st st
8: p to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
9-15: st st
16: p to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
17-19: st st
20: (WS) begin twisted rib
21-23: twisted rib
24: twisted rib to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
25-31: twisted rib
32: twisted rib to last 3 sts, k2tog, yo, k1
33-38: twisted rib
39: begin scoop neck decrease

Left Front (knit first 3 sts for button hole band)

1-3: knit
4-19: st st
20-38: twisted rib
39: scoop neck decrease

Back

1-3: knit
4-19: st st
20-38: twisted rib

I haven’t got buttons for it yet, but it looks nice kept open and the sleeves and armholes are quite tight, so I’m not in a massive rush.  It also knit up really quickly, I just lost steam on the last sleeve and got distracted by the iphone (it was my husband’s Valentine’s present).

For the iphone case, I used Jennifer Small’s robot chart, knit back and forth and stitched up the side and bottom.

It stretches awkwardly because I used intarsia and there’s quite a bit of a difference in the yarns I used (King Cole Zig Zag and a random Secret Santa black).  It’s still better than a rip-off, store bought iphone sock.