I Dream Of Crafting Blog

the super cool stuff I make

No Name #1 September 23, 2010

Filed under: Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 8:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It turns out that after a summer of mainly crafting for other people, September has been the selfish knitting month.  The package I received from the Studio Ghibli swap included a skein of Araucania Ranco Multy (colour 332).

I don’t usually buy variegated yarns for myself, not for any particular reason or dislike, I just don’t.  So, I was a little unsure of what I could do with it that would look nice.  After having a look at other projects knitted in the same yarn on Ravelry, I decided on a shawl.  Actually, I was already leaning towards a shawl because it’s a good way to use up one skein of sock yarn and I wanted another shawl as the weather is getting colder; I was just a little hesitant about it.  I didn’t want to choose something really nice and lacey and then be disappointed if the colour variations and lace patterns clashed, but after a few minutes of browsing Ranco Multy shawl projects I started noticing that I kept clicking on the project details of the same shawl, Azzu’s Shawl.  Conveniently, the suggested yarn for the pattern is Araucania Ranco Multy.

It only took me a week to knit, though I did take a bit of a break towards the end.  I forgot a yarn over somewhere and didn’t touch it for a couple of days because I  needed to count the stitches to make sure I fixed the mistake.  I think I had over 200 stitches and just couldn’t be bothered to count them.  In the end, I mustered up the motivation to count the stitches and got on with the stocking stitch.  The stocking stitch was the main problem with the pattern, especially when you realise that you’ve only knitted 2.5 rows or less during a 30 minute tv show, which wasn’t the case two days ago.  With that said, it’s only a problem because of how boring stocking stitch is on 4ply and is in fact needed to show off the colours in the yarn.

So, there really aren’t any problems with the pattern and I think it would be a great first-big-project project for a beginner and is an excellent pattern for variegated yarns.  It’s also a nice mix between a shawl and a scarf as it’s a bit slimmer than most shawls, but is still clearly a shawl.  And, it’s long enough to securely tie in the front without feeling choked.

If the random thunderstorms of the last few weeks are anything to go by, it’s going to be a long, cold, wet winter, so I’m glad to have a little something nice to keep me warm while I’m knitting for other people.

PS.  If you’re not on Ravelry 1) you should be and 2) you can find the Azzu’s Shawl pattern as a free pdf download here.

 

Keeping Warm this Winter January 17, 2010

Filed under: Events,Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 6:05 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

If you’re in the Manchester area, there is a great opportunity to knit for the homeless on Sunday 24th January 2010 between 2-8pm at the Nexus Art Cafe.

The event is all about knitting scarves, hats and gloves for the homeless people who give out The Big Issue on the streets of Manchester. It doesn’t matter if you cannot Knit, just come along, show your support and we shall show you how!

The Nexus Art Cafe is in the Northern Quarter on Dale Street, just off Oldham Street; it’s a super cozy venue, especially for knitting.

Anyone that has made a New Years Resolution to get rid of some of your stash, this is a great way and reason to do so.

On a different note, I finally finished the Springtime Bandit shawl/bandit scarf!  The reason it’s taken me so long to finish is because after I added a 5th body pattern repeat, I thought I might run out of yarn.  Turns out, it was too short and I had plenty of yarn left over, so I ripped it back, but it was too much effort trying to pick up all the stitches, so I frogged it and started over.  By this time, Christmas crafts got in the way so I had to put it aside until the new year.

This is a great pattern for a first shawl and/or as an introduction to lace.  It knits up really quickly and it’s easy to remember the pattern once you get going.  I would definitely make one again in the called for worsted weight, but this is only a personal choice mainly because I got really bored with the body pattern after the 5th repeat.  The Dream in Color Stardust is so wonderful and perfect for this project, it was totally worth the boredom, frogging and extra time.  The sparkles are amazing and catch my eye when I walk past it in my flat or catch a glimpse in a mirror.  The pictures really don’t do it justice.

After spilling coffee on my Owling Fingerless Gloves at work, I’ve decided to make a work-friendly pair of fingerless gloves, Heart to Heart, out of Twileys of Stamford Freedom Gorgeous and Patons Smoothie DK.  The Freedom Gorgeous is 75% Bamboo, 25% Nylon and the Patons Smoothie is 100% Acrylic (very surprising because it’s really not horrible and cheap looking).

Despite the coffee spill, my Owlings are fine, but when I washed them, they made my bathroom and hallway smell horrible for the day and a half it took to dry out.  So, something more durable is required for everyday wear and tear, plus, they’re cute and I love hearts.

 

I Remembered Remembered the 5th Nov! November 5, 2009

Filed under: Knitting — IDreamofCrafts @ 5:08 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Big Ben/Parliment

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

I remembered Guy Fawkes Day this morning on my own for the first time in 3 years!  It would appear that I am assimilating.

Last week I was in London, which is when the Big Ben/Parliament picture was taken, and bought some fantastic sparkly yarn, Stardust Dream in Color “Experimentals” from I Knit London.

Stardust Dream in Color

Dream in Color Stardust - Vintage Violet

The picture doesn’t really do the colour, or the silver flecks, any justice, but my digital camera is out-of-order, so I’ve been using the camera phone.  It is really gorgeous; the silver nylon sparkles are very subtle and glimmer really  nicely under the light without the ‘Holy glitter!’ reaction.

I bought Dream in Color to use for Springtime Bandit by Kate Gagnon Osborn.  I’ve wanted to knit this shawl for several weeks, but hadn’t found the right yarn until I walked into I Knit London and saw the hank of purple Dream in Color.

I started Springtime Bandit yesterday and the yarn knits up really nicely.  There are a few problems with the pattern, mainly the crochet Cast-On, which can be substituted, with the same effect, by casting on 2 stitches.  Then knit those first 2 stitches of the row and add 1 stitch at the beginning of each knit row by knitting through the back loop until there are 7 stitches.

Springtime Bandit

The Beginnings of Springtime Bandit

Also, the instructions don’t include the 2 edge stitches (4 edge stitches altogether), so when you finish the set-up chart, you actually have 55 stitches, not 51 like the instructions say.  I completed the first few rows of the body chart and the 55 stitches worked out with the pattern.

I also spent close to an hour looking up Ravelry advise on the pattern and it seems that several people casted on using the ktbl method to get 7 stitches and other people also verified that the 55 stitches is correct.  Other advise included substituting the SKP with SSK, which has the same effect, but I don’t think the SKP is any more or less difficult than SSK; it’s just a matter of preference to get the left slanting decrease.  If I have any more mods by the time I finish, I will be sure to post them.

Other recent projects include fingerless mittens for my sis-in-law and myself.  For the sis-in-law, these grey mittens from Knitty.com called Fetching by Cheryl Niamath.  I used the Sirdar Aran Super Wash we used for the MacMillan Cancer Blanket.

Fetching Fingerless Gloves

I also made myself some Owling Fingerless Gloves with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK.  I only had one skein, so was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough, and took out one owl pattern (40 stitches casted on instead of 45) and they are a perfect fit.  It’s also done wonders for my self-esteem as it’s not very often I get to decrease the size to fit!

Owling Fingerless Gloves

Owling Fingerless Gloves

I loved knitting with the Alpaca Silk and the yarn is so soft and squishy and warm!  As I was knitting them, I swear the yarn smelled of jasmine, my favourite scent, but I was just imagining that because the yarn was so soft and lovely.  They don’t smell so nice now that they’ve gotten wet from the horrible Manchester weather.  Boo Winter!