Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 118 : Baby cardigans

A quick couple of baby cardigans were finished for twins. I showed the yarn for the pale blue last week. The companion deep blue is Debbie Bliss Andes in "Denim".

The buttons are plastic, mock pearl. 12mm and the same for both cardigans. I bought them from All Buttons (sidebar link). I sewed then with stranded embroidery cotton and linked them throughout the entire button band for extra security.

Week 118 : Knitting charts

I was asked by some Ravelry friends to post details of my pattern (re)writing system.

I use Moleskine books. The small ones with brown card covers and gridded paper. I have quite a lot of them now.

Photo A

I write the title on the cover and keep one with my project. At any one time I have several books in circulation.

When I start a project, I establish a grid. This is easy with the squared book paper. I note down gauge, the needles I'm using, and my yarn. Which although I would usually remember that, I do often knit multiples from patterns and its good to compare. Also this system is all about getting my project onto an auto-pilot so I can supervise children, chat or do other fun things.

Photo B

I draw ten squares horizontally (labelled 0 to 9) and mark rows vertically in tens. Each box represents one row. The first box (row "0") is my cast on row. Here, I have made a note in box 0 that I cast on (CO) 40 stitches.

Rows (boxes) 1, 2, 3, 4 are labelled "R". This represents my ribbing.

Row 5 is the start of my stockinette. I started with a knit row (K) and all rows after are marked either K or P.

I mark boxes according to the project requirements. For example Photo C here, row 5 here has an increase. (Ic) and my stitch count is growing to 42. There is another increase on row 17 (Photo D) which goes to 44 stitches.

Row 31 has a decrease (Photo C) which takes me back to 42 stitches.

Photo C

Photo D

Some rows have cables. I mark them C and circle them. A button hole is marked B.

Photo E

Then when I knit I mark off each square with a single diagonal line.

Photo F

When I knit a second piece (for example a second sleeve) I mark the diagonal line in the opposite direction.

Photo G

This way my sleeves will be identical. I can be distracted without constant checking.

Marking boxes "K" or "P" is laborious, but I find it helpful because whilst I might forget to mark a box off at the end of a row, I am unlikely to forget for more than one row. This way I am better able to keep count on paper and keep my knitting on track.

At the end I mark which row I bind off on. Sometimes this is a moving target. If I'm not exactly sure of my row gauge. I might write the anticipated measurement in the margin to prompt me to check and then I write in my BO numbers when I'm sure.

Photo H

So that's my low-distraction knitting system. I would love any feedback. You can message me in Ravelry as Doodlesknit or comments here are just as good.

To my lovely friends on the Sundara Forum on Ravelry. Thank you for all your kind words about this. I hope this covers your questions!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 117 : Gift knitting

I have two baby cardigans to complete this week for twins born a few days ago. I have finished one and have just cast on the second.

Both patterns are Boy-o-boy.
Here is the first when it was about half way through.

The yarn is Evoke Whisper (Alpaca and silk) in a pale blue and grey variegation.

The second will be in Debbie Bliss Andes yarn (a very similar fibre content and gauge) but in a mid-denim blue colour. I bought buttons for both from All Buttons in Newtown today.

The next post will show both finished cardigans together.

The next gift is a scarf for a nine year old girl. I haven't met her but her mother said that she is obsessed with everything pink. I looked in my stash and found this skein.
Its Evoke/Pear Tree merino.

I'm doing a simple feather and fan pattern. I'm not sure how long this is going to be, the yardage is pretty generous on this skein. I might be knitting this too wide. Perhaps I should start again?
I'm hoping for enough to cross over at the front, otherwise I could turn it into a cowl.

Finally my Stasis sweater has progressed to the underarm. The yarn is Rowan Tweed and the colour work is in Noro Silk Garden. I had to make some adjustments to accommodate my DK gauge (the original is in fingering).

I have a big crafting project for my kids school, so my sewing projects have taken a back seat for a little while.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Week 116 : Travel cushion

This week's post is a little early. School holidays are about to start and I will be out of the city for the first half of next week.

My boy's chair cushion is a catch up post. I bought it as a fabric kit a few weeks ago. thinking it was a tea towel that I would sew into a cushion for him. It turned out to be a tote bag (which was still easy to unpick and sew).

I embroidered our two family holidays.
Sydney to Beijing in 2011 (red wool) and then Sydney to the US (orange wool)  (Nashville, Savannah, Chicago, Washington, NY) in 2013) I hope to be adding another stitched line in a different colour later this year.

I have cast on a new sweater. It is Stasis, knit in Rowan Tweed and the colour work will be in Noro Silk Garden. I have adjusted for the gauge a little as the original design is done in fingering and my yarn is DK. I hope to have pictures to show later next week.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 115 : Alpaca Cotton Sweater

My Alpaca Cotton sweater is finished. I'm very happy with it.

The little owl motif is just visible at the hem.

Now if only we had cooler Autumn temperatures ....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Week 114 : Shoes and cushions

Its been very busy this last week, hence the late post and the iPhone photography.
I am almost finished the Alpaca Cotton sweater from last update. That will be posted next week.

This past week….

My daughter decorated some canvas sneakers.
Lots of glitter glue. acrylic paint and stuck on bits.

I almost wish they were in my size.

A late night request for some fundraiser cupcakes.
This batch took on the Miles Davis theme.

And I whizzed through three replacement cushions for my sofa.
The fabric was bought in Week 110 as part of an end-of-roll sale. They are each from Cloth Australia. (Sidebar link). I think the colours look fantastic together.