Posts Tagged ‘beginner’

otis fair isle hat 010

I started this project with three aims: to use up some tiny ends of yarn I had left over from other things; to make a warm hat for Otis; to take a stab at fair isle knitting. Luckily, I did not aim to create a good piece of fair isle knitting- but I did meet my other goals very nicely!

There are some effects I’m really pleased with:

otis fair isle hat 004

otis fair isle hat 002

And others I am NOT:

Where have you gone, tiny yellow stitch?

Where have you gone, tiny yellow stitches?

Truly awful jogs and joins... really bad!

Truly awful jogs and joins… really bad!

I wouldn’t use superwash yarns again though, as they don’t seem to have enough grip the way wool does to stick the floats (the strands of yarn-in-waiting on the wrong side) down and stop things sliding around as much. My tension and the jogs (that little ‘step up’ you can see where one round ends and the next begins) also need some honing. There’s something you can do to avoid them which I need to read up on.

otis fair isle hat 001

Although the yarns are either cashmerino or pure alpaca, I plan to line the hat in poly fleece as I did for Sol’s. It’s bitter here in the winter time and fleece provides a bit more insulation and wind barrier.

otis fair isle hat 014

It was really quite enjoyable trying something new, and starting some new skills- I have quite some way to go!

otis fair isle hat 013



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finished cape, ship quilt finished, Sol's bed, brass 034

This is the second cape from Meg McElwee’s Growing Up sew Liberated I’ve made as a gift. I’m getting quicker! I had bought a pale pink fabric to line the cape, but realised that I had bought about 10cm too little, which was extremely frustrating. Time limitations meant that I had to use something from my stash. It hurt a bit cutting such a large piece from this striped shot cotton that was my grandmother’s, but there’s still some left and I think it makes for quite the pattern clash contrast!

finished cape, ship quilt finished, Sol's bed, brass 032

finished cape, ship quilt finished, Sol's bed, brass 033

Therefore this one is truly reversible with a button on both sides, a Gabrielle Reith bumble bee and an enamelled coconut one. Hope she likes it!

NOT in the cape-modelling mood.

NOT in the cape-modelling mood.

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Another knitty post I’m afraid, as my baby blanket takes over my life… at the end of this beautiful ball of soft merino yarn lies this… I would say mess, but perhaps that is a little harsh:

The pattern is not difficult technically; once I had mastered the wrapped eyelet and knitting 4 together through the back loop, etc (by, erm, reading the instructions properly and going painfully slowly) I had more or less cracked it. The problem for me is that any lapse in concentration has me adding an extra yarn over (and making an extra stitch, thereby throwing off the next row completely so the pattern doesn’t match up). I discovered this once a bit more of the pattern started to become visible. It should look like this:

And not like this:

Discovering this misalignment had me in a quandry. Did I go back and attempt to undo up to the error? It is to be a gift: do I want to hand over an imperfect work? Or do I accept that as a beginner, I would have mistakes in my piece (perhaps even the most competent knitter sees errors in his or her finished work, all be them less glaring ) and live with them, endeavouring to make no others from this point? Give up entirely and knit a blanket that was easier to do?

Knitting has not come as easily to me as other crafty skills in my life- perhaps because I never did it as a child, unlike sewing. I considered throwing it aside, but grumpily have decided to plough on. Oli says my chat has deteriorated and I answer his comments with a ‘mmm, yes, eleven, twelve, thirteen, knit two, one, two, purl… oh for GOD’S SAKE…’

I persevered and having more pattern visible means I can more easily see when I have gone wrong, enabling a quick rather than lengthy back-track.

It’s not going to win any prizes. But I hope it will one day keep a baby warm, perhaps even rather prettily.

I shall grit my teeth and see.

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