Update…

Ugh, when I started this blog I vowed I wouldn’t do what I do with all of my other blogs, i.e. go AWOL for weeks without a post. Anyway, I’m back and the main reason for my silence is because not much has happened on the knitting front. I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired whilst finishing off the Short Raglan sweater (above) – the completed pieces were just sat in a bag for weeks. Finally I took action, stitched the seams together, finished the neck and blocked it (still haven’t woven in the ends). It’s looking great, a behemoth of a jumper, very boxy and bulky, not going to be able to wear it for at least 6 months without sweating!

Anyway some things that did happen while I was on hiatus…

I finally discovered a really quick and easy Pom Pom maker by Clover. I volunteer at an arts and crafts class for disabled people once a week where I have been teaching knitting techniques – a couple of weeks ago we made French knitting necklaces, on the Monday just gone we made pom pom accessories and the pom pom maker really came in handy. We tried these pom pom looms too but the results were rubbish!

A few weeks ago I did a carboot sale in Pimlico (which was a waste of time  - no one wanted to pay more than £1 for anything) but I did get some nice Vintage Aran knitting patterns – in hindsight I wish I’d bought the lot but the seller was a real battleaxe and would only let me have 3 for £2!

At the same carboot I got this Dover quilting book, which has a lot of swastika designs (it’s pre WWII and probably refers to the Native American use of the symbol). Anyway, got me thinking I’d quite like to make a quilt, especially after seeing Kaffe’s quilts. It’s probably not something I am going to get into in a big way but I’ve always coveted patchwork quilts and would love to make my own.

Another Dover book I have been reading recently is Mary Thomas’ Knitting Book, written in 1938, it is interested insight into the history of knitting and details many different techniques. It’s a bit like a potted encyclopaedia of knitting, I’ve learnt a lot from it even if it can be a bit of a tedious read at times. I would recommend it to any intermediate or even beginner knitter – you can read as many modern, trendy knitting books as you want but this has the fundamentals and is very simple to follow.

As well as knitting I also enjoy sewing my own clothes, I have just started this Wiksten Tank dress in a pale grey fabric and I’m waiting for some hand dye to arrive so I can try some dip-dying like this.

Finally, Drops, are having a month long sale this May. Everyone knows I love Drops, lovely cheap wool (real wool or alpaca or mohair etc.) so I went a bit nuts. I don’t know what I’m going to make with it all, probably something grey?!

Progress: Short Raglan Sweater

I thought I’d do an update on my progress on the Short Raglan Sweater by Rowan, which I have been knitting. Pictured above is the original image from Rowan Book Eight. Apart from the knots at the bottom which were quite tricky to get right it is a really straight forward pattern. I didn’t really like using the chart for the first side I knitted, the back, I thought I much preferred written instructions but once I got onto the front and had to repeat it all again I found I was much better at reading the chart (so I guess I learnt something!) The yarn I choose, Drops Alaska by Garn Studio looks great, it’s quite coarse but I think it really lends it’s self to the stitch pattern. If I’d chosen a slinkier yarn I don’t think the cables would have ‘popped’ out of the fabric so much and the knots might have sagged.  I’ve posted some photos of my project below – hopefully I’ll have a bit more time to knit next week and have it finished soon!

Remaining Yarn for front and sleeves.

In progress on circular needles

Back of the sweater with knots and zig zag pattern.

Needs smoothing out but looking good!

Cast On: Short Raglan Sweater

plait

Today I have cast on the Short Raglan Sweater by Amand Griffiths from Rowan Book Eight. I decided to use Drops Alaska in Mustard as it is on special offer at the moment, £1.20 per ball, not bad for a 100% pure wool yarn. Although in hindsight I wish I’d waited and bought a more luxurious “drapey” yarn or a heavy cotton / linen blend to make it more wearable in summer. I might knit two though, as the Mustard shade I’ve picked might not be the easiest to co-ordinate!