Category: Knitting

Articles in the Knitting category

Multnomah continues

It is Tour de Fleece time, which means less knitting is getting done right now. I have, however, been making good progress on my Multnomah shawl. Unfortunately, my needles are too short to actually show you the progress, so here is a look at the border:


I’ll be knitting until I basically run out of yarn, and I have 39g (of 200ish) left. I had two skein of this handspun, so I knit the garter section until I nearly finished the skein and had a repeat of 32 stitches plus the border/centre stitches before starting the feather and fan section.

The rows are long now, but I’m really hoping that I’ll be blocking this shawl in the coming week, fingers crossed.

Block(ing) Party.

It has been a week of finishing up WIPs.

First on the blocking board was my Icelandic yoke cardi:
Icelandic Yoke Cardi

I took this off the mat this evening and I love how it turned out, and it fits wonderfully. Hoping to get some glamour shots soon… though the temps are on their way up at the moment, so I don’t know how feasible that is.

Pattern: Létt-lopapeysa með stuttum munsturbekk og hettu
Yarn: Rowan Scottish Tweed
Needles: 4 and 4.5mm
Mods: Added a few extra waist decreases/increases, and increased the number of steek stitches to 6.

Next onto the blocking board will be my daughter’s Tomten:

It fits, though I wil try to increase the width ever so slightly during the blocking process. The length is great. And I finished with a grand total of 12” of red yarn left over. I only did four garter ridges for the button band as a result… I would have preferred six.

Pattern: Tomten by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Red is handspun 3ply Shetland that I custom ordered from Wildcraft. Yellow is Hifa 2, held doubled.
Needles: 4.5mm
Mods: adjusted the stitch count for sizing. Actually, I mostly just did the pattern by memory. I think this is my 5 or 6th Tomten in the last five years.

On the sock blockers is a pair of socks for Joey:
Horizontal tartan

The yarn is from Friday Studios and on Friday, when it arrived, it looked like this:
Stripey goodness

I cast on Friday night, but was so sick I didn’t get past the cast on. I started in earnest on Saturday and I only put them down long enough to finish the two cardis. The socks were finished Tuesday. I love self striping sock yarn. It makes me happy. The legs are extra long, about 9.5” from the top of the cuff to the top of the heel flap, and are a size 39. I still have 25g left over.

Pattern: My basic 64 stitch sock pattern
Yarn: Friday Studios self striping
Needles 2.25mm

Which means I have something not on the blocking boards. My Multnomah:
Handspun Multnomah

I’m using some handspun.

This is a club colourway from Wildcraft from March 2011. It is called Dorset Heath and is BFL and sparkly nylon, spun as a fingering weight 3ply.

I wonder how long it’ll be until this shawl joins the blocking party.

Bring in the animals.

I have several Finished Objects to share with you today.

First up are a couple of washcloths.

The pattern is Grrr available through which I knit out of some Freedom Sincere Cotton DK that I had leftover from a hat I made for my daughter when she was a baby. I had just shy of 2 balls and managed to get just shy of 2 washcloths. I used the recommended needle size of 4.5mm on the first one, and after weighing the finished cloth quickly realised I didn’t have quite enough for a second. Determined, I started a second on 4mm needles, only to have to cast off a couple of rows short. It is still cute. I actually like the fabric of the second cloth better, though with washing the larger one will shrink up a bit.

The Grrr pattern is wonderful. I made several of them whilst I was pregnant with my daughter, and they are still going strong. Both kids have loved them, though I think my husband loves them even more.

These washcloths will be heading off to some parents-to-be.

I also finished an Elephant.

The pattern is called E is for Elephant which is available for purchase through Ravelry. I used some Wildcraft Truro Aran in the Claret colourway. Love this yarn. I made some Stackable Cats out of this yarn last year as a Christmas present for my son and they are holding up fabulously to his constant chewing. (Isn’t that the true test of a toy yarn?)

I didn’t think I’d have it done today, as I only finished the last piece this morning. However, luck struck and both my sick kids decided to take naps at the same time.


I think this elephant is adorable. The pattern gives explicit instructions as to how to place and sculpt the eyes, as well as tips on how to centre the body. The ears are knit in garter using short rows.


The arms and legs feature texture for the toes.

And she has a cute little tail, too.

The pattern gives line by line instructions that are very clear. If you plan to have this as a piece that simply sits on the shelf, I might suggest adding in a bottom weight to the body (a bag of plastic pellets is ideal), and when seaming together, make sure the toes are facing the correct way (not that I had to unpick an arm I sewed on backwards… that was just a rumour someone started). There are also instructions on how to make tusks, if you want a male elephant.

I’m really happy with the final results, and highly recommend the pattern. As a bonus, the designer donates $4 to Wildlife SOS. I hope the new owner likes it as much.

FO: Miralda's shawl

The Miralda’s shawl I’ve been working on flew off the needles over the weekend. Now if I could only teach my knits to throw themselves onto the blocking board.

Miralda's Shawl

I’m quite pleased with how the shawl turned out. Mostly.

The Malabrigo lace is wonderfully soft and it will make an excellent next to skin item, however I did notice that the yarn tails from the double stranded cast-on seem to have felted together slightly by the time I went to weave them in. Nothing else in the shawl seem to have this issue, so I assume it just has to do with the tails since the knitting seems perfectly fine, however you definitely don’t want to overwork this yarn.

I also found that the centre neck area of the shawl didn’t block out overly well. It has a slight point to it that developed over the course of the day after I took the shawl off the blocking mat. When I first took out the blocking wires it was fine, but it now has a definitely point, and a slight (and I do mean slight) kite shape to it. This will in no way effect the appearance when worn since I wear my shawls as scarves, but it is something I noticed. It may simply be a fluke since it is a slightly damp day here and wool does like to suck up the moisture, however it is something I noticed even when it was fresh off the needles. I’ve not had a problem with top-down shawls doing this before, so it may have something to do with the method of construction. Or it might just be the weather. I have a feeling it is a little bit of both.

Modeled by our willing Poang chair:
Miralda's Shawl

Even with those things said, I’m looking forward to wearing this shawl come winter. I also learned a few new stitch techniques.

Pattern: Miralda’s Triangular shawl (Knitted Lace of Estonia; Interweave Press)
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace (Velvet Grapes colourway)
Needles: 4mm Addi fixed lace needles
Mods: None. (Yes, I’m shocked, too.)

FO: Annis

My Annis shawl is finished and blocked.


I’m mostly happy with it, though I’m wondering how much the long edges are going to curl with wear. Only time will tell. However, the pattern was easy to follow, and other than operator error, it went swimmingly.

Here’s the best self portrait I could manage.

It took 55g of my 2ply handspun, or approximately 285 metres. I have a fair bit of the yarn left over, but for now it’ll just go back into the stash.

I’m looking forward to testing out the shawl to see if this is a shape I like. I’m starting to have the feeling that I really need a deep shawl for the way that I wear them, but only time will tell. If nothing else, I’ll know whether I not I should be queueing more crescent shawls!

The WIP department

My Miralda’s shawl (Knitted Lace of Estonia) saw lots of love this week. In fact, it was about the only project that saw any love (unless you count buying buttons for my cardi).

I’ve just finished the main diamond chart.
Miralda's Shawl

My first skein of Malabrigo lace is starting to dwindle and I’ll soon be on to the second skein. I’m really loving this, and I’m just going to go with that feeling and knit on it to my heart’s content (knitting time permitting).

State of the Knits Address — May 2012

New on the Needles

I started a new shawl.

This is Miralda’s shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia (Interweave Press) by Nancy Bush.

I’m using some lovely Malabrigo Lace in the Velvet Grapes colourway that Joey bought me for Christmas. Mmm… Malabrigo. The pattern is written from the bottom up, and contains many nupps. Because of the nupps I decided to grab my Fixed Addi Lace needles as they have the sharpest points in my collection.

When I am working a large number of cast on stitches, I like to place a marker every 25 stitches. This prevents a lot of recounting… something especially important when you have a cold and are casting on in a room with two loud children.

I’m currently on row 14 of the Lace Edge chart, and I’m really pleased with how this is turning out thus far.


Active WIPs

Icelandic Yoke Cardi — (Istex pattern; Rowan Scottish tweed yarn) No progress this week, however I’m going into town in the next couple of days on a search for buttons so that I can get this puppy wrapped up soon. The heat has broken, and I’m ready to finish.

Annis — (Susanna IC pattern via Knitty; handspun 2ply heavy laceweight; fibre from Spinning a Yarn (Etsy)) Done! but not blocked. I finished it up right before bedtime on Saturday then came down with a cold or allergies or something equally dreadful on Sunday. I’ll block it when I’m feeling alive again. I refuse to block lace with a foggy head.

Travelling socks — (My own design; handdyed BFL sock from Wildcraft) I always have socks on the go for when I’m on the go. I’m on the second sock. Eventually I’ll even post a photo of them… they never get worked on at home.

The UFO Pile

Oh, the dreaded UFOs. Let’s have a quick look through of what is there, what is being frogged, and what will be kept.

Boneyard Shawl

This is 2ply handspun in a gradient colourway called Speedwell. It was a Wildcraft Club fibre from July 2010. I love this yarn. It was going to be a cardigan, but that never got off the ground as I couldn’t figure out how to deal with the sleeves (remember, gradient). I decided a Citron would be great for a gradient. I was into the third section when I decided that the yarn just wasn’t right for the shawl. I frogged and started a Boneyard shawl but I got this far and decided the yarn deserved better. I’m still trying to figure out a pattern. Got a suggestion? The yarn is a heavy fingering/light sport and I have 610 metres.

Verdict: FROGGED.

Heart Socks

I started these in response to a KAL for illusion knitting. I’m using Regia 4ply in an Espresso brown and a hot pink, and I love how they knit up. Absolutely in love. The problem? The foot is huge! I’m knitting on my standard size of sock needles, but the foot is just way too big. They got put down whilst I had a think. I still love the socks. I think the only real way to salvage them it to rip back to the heel turn and knit a plain foot. I’d need to take out too many stitches to be able to keep the pattern, so a plain foot (or a size 1.5mm needle which isn’t going to happen) is the only option.

Verdict: FINISH with a plain brown foot.

Thing 1’s tomten.

It is this close to finished. It needs button bands and seaming up. That’s it. Why did I put it down? I have a dreaded feeling that I’m going to run out of yarn (and I’m not overly fussed about knitting button bands if you want to know the honest truth). The red is handspun Shetland that I had Karen from Wildcraft custom dye for me. There is no getting more. To help ease the yarn shortage, I decided to add contrasting cuffs and suspenders using some doubled up Hija 3 (a norwegian yarn that is very easy to get locally). I’m not sure if it is enough. I really need to bite the bullet and try to finish it.

Verdict: FINISH (and hope the yarn fairy is good to me)

Colourwork… um, something.

Yeah. It might be a swatch. I’m not certain. There is six rounds complete so it is hard to tell.

Verdict: FROGGED.

Handspun October Frost.

This is likely my oldest WIP. The yarn was spun during Tour de Fleece 2009 and is a 3ply natural brown merino. I love this yarn. This yarn has bounce. I spun it i hopes of making an October Frost from A Fine Fleece. Of course, I didn’t take the easy road, but instead decided to do it top down rather than bottom up as I wanted to be able to add in a certain amount of waist-shaping (there is none in the pattern), and I was worried about fit, and thought this way I’d be able to try it on as I went.

I’m on row 14 of the chart(s) on the final front before I join under the arms. I don’t know why I know this, as I never wrote it down, but I do. I had to put it down as I didn’t have the ability to concentrate on such a project. I still love this cardi and I’ll take the knowledge of knowing exactly where I am as a sign for the moment.

Verdict: FINISH

Thing 2’s Calendula Cardi.

As soon as I knew I was pregnant with Thing 2 I had Karen dyed me up some SW Cheviot in the Calendulas colourway. I spun it. I started knitting it around the same time I developed pregnancy related carpal tunnel. Somedays I was lucky to be able to knit one row as my hands were so badly off. Eventually it ended up tucked away as we were moving to Denmark at about the same time my hands were getting back to (mostly) normal.

The cardi will no longer fit. I still love the yarn. It can be something else for Thing 2. A hood, maybe?

Verdict: FROGGED.

Thing 2’s BSJ.

I got this yarn in a destash as was hoping to knit up a BSJ and trousers for Thing 2. Then the whole carpal tunnel and moving thing happened. Yep. It won’t fit anymore. However, I have lots of this yarn and can easily make a different cardi in a size that will fit this year. Or next. Or the year after that. I have lots of yarn.

Verdict: FROGGED.

My knitting basket looks much cleaner now, and I’ve reclaimed some needles. And all this happened because Thing 2 (who will be 1 year old next week) decided he was curious about mummy’s knitting basket.

Yoke complete.

I must admit, working on a heavy woolly cardigan in 25 degree heat hasn’t been tops on the list of things to do this week. I did, however, complete the yoke. I also tried it on (also in 25 degree heat) and am quite happy with the fit. Had I not put my sewing machine away two hours earlier, I probably would have also sewn and cut the steek. But I didn’t. I will do that this week as I’m anxious to start working on the buttons bands whilst sitting outside outside on the patio on the cooler evenings. Needless to say, I think I’ll be sticking to smaller projects after this is done. I forgot about this thing called summer.

Yoke complete

As it has been warm, I did make a lot of progress on my Annis since it is light and portable. However, I got a few rows away from the bind off only to realise that I’d made a mistake in the short rows. It is an easy fix, but will require actually frogging back to the mistake. As a result, it is currently sitting unloved in my knitting basket awaiting an evening when I can both frog back and reknit a fair amount of the frogged yarn.

Colourwork, handspun, lace, oh my!

The yoke section of my Icelandic cardi is going really well. I’ve got about 6 or 7 more rows of the chart left to knit, which means I should be able to cut the steek this week. I’m excited. I love cutting a steek. Of course, I’ll try to remember to try it on before I get too crazy with the scissors.

Icelandic colourwork yoke

I have been finding knitting on the cardi slightly difficult though. The weight is just a wee bit too much for my wrists, and my left hand (I strand with a yarn in each hand) starts hurting quite a bit after a few rows. Again, I think it is the weight. So I’ve taken it easy and tried to only knit a few colourwork rows at a time… though as the yoke gets smaller I can accomplish more. Funny that. ;)

Since I didn’t want to tax my wrists too much, I decided to wind up some yarn for a new project.

True blue finished

Became this:
Ture Blue Wound

Which in no time at all became this:
Annis in progress

This is the Annis Shawl by Susanna IC that appeared in Knitty a few years back. Great shawl. I knit it once before (and ran out of yarn and frogged the project) and it is a great quick lace project. The shawl is a crescent shape and is constructed from the bottom up and all the lace is done right up front. After finishing the lace chart, the body of the shawl it worked using short rows and it just flies. I had to restrain myself from finishing it too quickly. It is kind of addicting, and a perfect little shawl for an odd skein of handspun. To recap, this is the yarn I recently finished spinning. It was bought in batt form from Spinning a Yarn and is comprised of Merino, Shetland and sparkle, which I spun as a heavy 2ply laceweight.

The one thing about this shawl is the nupps. I love nupps in shawls, but I often have a hard time knitting them. I’m using my Addi Lace Interchangeable needles for this project and I just don’t find them pointy enough for doing a 7-stitch nupp, though I’m sure my fixed Addis Lace needles would be fine. Instead, I used a small crochet hook to draw the yarn through the nupp stitches and it worked quite well, if slightly more time consuming.

I’m quite excited to add this to my collection of shawls. I wear my shawls like scarves, so I expect to get a fair amount of use out of this shawl during the transitional months of spring and autumn.

Starting the yoke

Well, I’m quite pleased that I managed to finish that second sleeve this week. (The little green marker indicates where I was last week.) I joined the sleeves to the body and decided the body wasn’t long enough, so I’ve also added a wee bit over 2” (5cm) to the body (the white marker indicates where the body used to end). I’ve just added the sleeves back on and knit a couple of rounds at this point.

Icelandic cardi

Of course, this is the most annoying part of the project. Not only do I have all those stitches with another dozen or so rows until I start the colourwork, but the project is now too unwieldy to take on the bus and it is nearly impossible to take an interesting photo at this stage. Life is tough sometimes.

For those of you playing along at home, this is the Létt-lopapeysa með stuttum munsturbekk og hettu (Ravelry link) which is an Iceland colourworked yoke pattern that is available for free, but only in Icelandic. I’m finding being able to read a different scandinavian language very helpful in this endeavour.

My hope is that I’ll be into the colourwork portion by next week, if for no other reason than for the sake of a more interesting photograph. It is supposed to be fairly wet in Denmark over the next week which means I’m less likely to be out in the garden which means more knitting time.

Sleeves. Plural.

I surpassed my goal and managed to not only finish knitting my first sleeve, but getting a fair way into the second sleeve, too. The green marker (on the left, barely visible) shows my progress from last week.

Second sleeve

At this point next week I’m hoping to have joined the body and sleeves and started into the colourwork. That’s the plan. I’m so looking forward to knitting the yoke. It is the interesting bit, afterall. Of course, at the point where I join it all together is also the point at which this no longer becomes a portable project. Most of this jumper has been knit on the bus, so I’ll need to decide on a portable knitting project (likely an UFO). However, first I need to finish it… right in time for summer. :)