Saturday, 31 August 2013

Lacy knitting – a pattern review.

A few weeks ago I received an email asking me whether I would mind reviewing a knitting pattern. The patterns looked lovely, and as my Mum is a much more competent knitter than I am I asked her if she’d help.

There are three pattern in the booklet a top, a wrap and a lace trim. My Mum offered to do the top and I’d have a go at the trim (more about the wrap later).
A note– this pattern is American, so some of the abbreviations used aren’t the same as the UK ones.
For example: this pattern uses SSK, which in UK abbreviations would be SKPO (slip one, knit one pass slipped stitch over i.e. losing a stitch). You can find out more on American knitting abbreviations the Craft Yarn Council's website.
The top
As the yarn mentioned in the pattern is American, my Mum chose Stylecraft's Life DK as it knits with the same size needles used in the pattern. Once she’d worked out what the American abbreviations meant, the knitting of the front and back was fairly straight forward.
However, she did find a mistake on page one. The instructions for the * repeat section for row 8. says *k2, yo, sk2p, yo, k3*  and she read sk2p to mean 'slip one stitch, knit 2 stitches pass slipped stitch over the 2 stitches', but it should be 'slip one stitch, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over'  otherwise you end up with too many stitches.

Knitting the arms and neck involved using circular, which she finds uncomfortable to use - the armholes particularly so. She is going to use straight needles next time. The seams in the collar can still be neatly done that way.

The top fits beautifully when it's on and the moss stitch collar (the moss stitch is also in the lace section) contrasts with stocking stitch beautifully. 

The lace trim
As I am going to use the trim I make onto a cushion (the example in the pattern is for a pillow) I chose some green mottled wool from my stash that knits using the same needles in the pattern.

The pattern is 14 rows in length and is straight forward. It produces a lovely trim with a lacy bit on one side and a mock cable on the other. You could use all sorts of yarn to knit the pattern (though the width and length will vary depending on the yarn you use) and knit it for as long as you’d like. I have some lovely purple yarn that I’m going to knit to trim a lampshade in my bedroom. 
 However, I did find a mistake in row 4, it reads "sl 1, k4, sl, k2tog, psso, k2 [yo, k2tog] twice, k1; 13 stitches"

The first K2tog should read K1, otherwise you end up with 12 rather than 13 stitches.


The wrap

This looks beautiful in the picture (the first one) doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the pattern is shown in a chart rather than written instructions and neither of us likes to knit from those. It’s a common hindrance in a lot of patterns. However, as this one is so nice, I am going to transcribe the chart into words to enable either one of us to have a go at the wrap sometime in the future.

In conclusion
We’ve both enjoyed knitting the two items from this pattern. My Mum made the top for me and it fits beautifully. So much so, that she has started to knit another one, in red this time, for me. They’ll be lovely for when the weather become cooler, with a shrug or cardigan to cover your arms if you need it.
Below there is the link to the pattern to download it for yourself (it’s free - just add your email address and press the 'Get my free e-book' button.

I hope you enjoy knitting the patterns if you decide to.


Pop over to Handmade Monday to see what others have been up to.

The other blog link parties I join are listed in the column on the right. There's lots of lovely blogs out there!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

More things started than finished, and a pirate ship!

This week has been more about starting rather than finishing. 

I have finally finished the ring pillow I mentioned last week (there'll be more about that next week so the picture above is just a little peek at it) and the free gift that came with the latest Mollie Makes (issue 31).

This was a sausage dog designed by Jane Foster. It's the first time I've made one of their free gifts, but as this one was so easy it only took minutes. I do like the free gifts that come with the magazine, but I've not wanted to make something that looks the same as everyone else's. So I use the bits and pieces for other projects and make the projects I want to with my own stuff. The sausage dog was so simple to make, plus the printed fabric couldn't really be used for anything else.

I've started:

- a new cover for my phone out of crazy patchwork.
- a felt Christmas decoration.

- more redwork.

- knitting some lacy trim (in preparation for another blog post).


I've printed more vintage christmas images onto fabric (via transfer sheets) and card  for more christmas decorations and cards.

Pulled bits and pieces together to make christmas decorations.

The items in the picture below are waiting to be finished off.

The pirate ship.

Today, I managed to walk to my Mum's (about 50 minutes worth of walking) for the first time in ages (hopefully I won't be too knackered tomorrow) and we did so along the prom along the River Mersey. We went that way because we wanted to see the latest addition to the foreshore, the pirate ship, Black Pearl. There's no sign of Johnny Depp and this ship isn't seaworthy.

It has (and still is) been built by a couple of local artists out of driftwood and the odd bit of recycled material. Unfortunately, the first incarnation was burnt to the ground by vandals, but the 'new' one has become a tourist attraction. Children love it, their Facebook page is full of pictures of mini pirates. 

You can just see the Liverpool waterfront in that back of this photo

Thank you for all of the lovely comments after last week's post, they were much appreciated.

I hope everyone has a great week.


P.S. Pop over to Handmade Monday to see what lot's of other makers have been up to.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Taking things easy.

I have mentioned before that I have chronic fatigue and in the past couple of weeks I have been running on fumes.  I've not done anything out of the ordinary to cause it, it just happens. 
It's hard to explain how tired I get, as everyone has been tired at some time, so they think they know how I feel.
One major side effect of chronic fatigue is brain fugue, your brain turns to cabbage.  Its difficult to do simple things, such as simple sums, writing coherent sentences and making simple decisions.  This, and the fatigue,  is so frustrating as you can't do things. This is where the depression slips in.
There are various coping mechanisms,  and medication,  to help with chronic fatigue and this time I've started to turn a psychological corner.
I'm trying to go with the flow.  I didn't do a blog post last week because I couldn't but that was okay. 
Ive been doing a little sewing when I can. If a project becomes too much of a hassle,  I'm setting it aside and having a go at something else. It's only taken me five years to reach this state of not botheredness, but hopefully it'll last.
That's enough of that nonsense,  here's some pictures of what I have done over the past couple of weeks.
The left one is a bad doodle by me, the right is a printed paper from the web,


Pop over to Handmade  Monday to see what everyone has been up to♡☆♡

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Christmas makes, scrapbook pages and a little diversion to redwork.

Another week of reasonable productivity (for me anyway) has meant that I have finished a couple of things that were in progress last week.

First of all there's the 'Merry Christmas' rose pillow (now in my Folksy store).

Next there is this hanging decoration with the image of two child angels (from a vintage Christmas card) and decorated with embroidery and lace (also listed in my Folksy store).

I finished the scrapbook cum journal page with a few bits of lace, labels and crystals.

Again, I've been spending too much time on Pinterest, this time redwork has been catching my eye. I'm not moving too far away from what I should be doing as a lot of redwork features Christmas images. 

I've done one small piece of redwork, which became part of this double-page spread in my scrapbook cum journal.

I've had my tracing paper and transfer pencil out and have traced a couple of Christmas redwork pieces. This one is finished, and will become a lavender pillow.

I'll be doing this design next.

I'm also working on a second child angels decoration, though this time, with pink.

These will be turned into Christmas tree decorations. 

As a break from Christmas stuff (though I have loads of ideas in my head!) I'm also hoping to make a couple of needle cases (similar to the ones I showed you the pictures of last week) and start on the design for a wedding ring pillow for a Creative Connections monthly challenge (I'll tell you more about that another time).

I hope you all have a creative week.


P.S. Pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other creatives have been up too.