Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Maryla's scarf

This was really fun to knit.  I made a lot of neckwarmers (in the round) in this pattern, called Candleflame - developed by a lady called Julia Allen.  I include the Ravelry link to the cowl.  Julia asks that the pattern is not used commercially.  It is free to download from Ravelry, and use for your own personal use.

Here is a pic and a detail shot:


I used Jaeger Matchmaker merino wool, it is lovely and soft and a bit squishy too!  I bought it at Wools and Crafts in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, London.

I really like the way the edges curve in and out. But even though I'd done loads of cowls, I had to adapt the pattern for a scarf: I tried the pattern without any purl stitches between each motif and then with two purl stitches.  I ended up using one, that worked best.

Because the scarf stubbornly rolled in from the long edges while I was knitting (I ended up with something resembling a sausage more than an accessory to be worn round the neck!) I was prepared to block the scarf aggressively (as the phrase goes) but all I did was to wet it down - and, hrrch!, it went flat as a pancake.  Oh dearie me, that rather scared me.  I found that I didn't have to stick any pins into this whatsoever, it stayed quite nicely in shape as soon as I draped it.  Once it was dry it lost the 'pancake' flatness and took on a resemblance of life.  So that was good.

I am pleased with the result.  I hope the recipient likes it too and that I picked a good colour.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Garter stitch in the round without purling - a link

I have just found a blog post about the most genius way of knitting garter stitch in the round without purling or wrapping a stitch when turning the work for another knit row when going the other way.

Here is the link:


This is utterly brilliant and Fleegle is an out and out genius for coming up with this! Like someone said in the comments: I would have never thought of this. Not in a million years.

I just had to share this. This is something I will definitely try very soon!


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Notizen - quilted notebook cover

That's 'notebook' as in the one with the white pages, to write on, with a real pen!

I really enjoyed quilting the letters to spell out what it's for. The 'i' in the centre middle is not very clear, I should have given it its own background fabric but couldn't fit that in widthwise.

The photo is not brilliant, but better than nothing. This is also the item of the title graphic. I ought to have used a photo of something else but I like these colours a lot.

Unfortunately I did not check the cover against the size of the notebook often enough, the cover came out a little on the swamping side, but better a little too big than not big enough and therefore rubbish for the purpose. I had to insert a bit of a cardboard because this slightly too big cover flopped all over the place.

But it is quite pretty. I just hope the recipient finds it as useful as I'd hoped he would.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Victorian lace scarf

This is the scarf I made for a friend for her birthday. Such a nice thing to be able to, - a) make something yourself that's gift-giving worthy, and b) uses up a little of your stash and you get to indulge in knitting too! Fabulous combination of things!  I have a feeling that I might be revving up to a much improved gift-giver this year... (Just a suspicion...)

The pattern is called Victorian lace scarf. I saw this on Ravelry, loved it, and was desperate to try it out! I was really looking for a dark green yarn, something luxurious and heavy so it would drape well. Not too dark green like a bottle or pine green, more a vivid, sparkling emerald. A lovely Irish colour in short!
Couldn't find it, even looked through Irish online yarn shops. What's wrong with everyone? Why do all the online places and bricks & mortars offer wools and yarns in the same colours? I don't get it. Or maybe I didn't look hard enough. Any good suggestions for a nicely intense Irish emerald green: please, please, let me know!

So instead of a wool or an acrylic mix I decided to use cotton instead, although I couldn't find a nice enough green in that either. My friend suits the colours of nature's own palette to coin a phrase, - so I picked a lovely rich copper. Well, I call the colour copper, it sounds rather more interesting than plain old 'brown'!

There is just one drawback to using cotton (mercerised or not), - it doesn't block at all - what you got is what you got. Basically.  I did try: I stuck fistfuls of pins into the edges, damped it a lot, pressed it vigorously, let it dry for ages, pressed it again to within an inch of its life (grrrh) - all to little avail. I just hope that my friend is happy with how it wears because I have a feeling that the scarf might roll up quite a bit along its length (I'm happy to be corrected).

I'll probably stick with cotton for tops and other items that don't have to lie flat on their own volition. Scarves: un-unh, ain't gonna happen. Not going there again.

Construction technique: I did knit this up to the middle (back of neck) and then started again from the other end, sewing the two ends together as evenly as I could (it was meant to be Kitchener stitch but I realise that I have to practice some more). I didn't want one end to be upside down compared to the other end, the pattern is not suited to that.