Saturday, 23 April 2016

Never Not Knitting

I'm a fidgety, impatient person. I can't just sit in front of the television and not do something, whether it's sewing, blogging, looking at social media, and so on. It can mean I sometimes find it hard to truly focus - I've been known to sew, surf the web, flip through a magazine, and watch T.V. all at once. And I believe I'm probably succumbing to that modern malaise of being over stimulated, with too many distractions and ideas buzzing around my head to the point where relaxing, even sleeping, can be difficult. 

So knitting helps with this. When I'm tired of sewing, and especially when I want to focus on a film, show, or podcast, knitting is the ideal pastime. It's repetitive enough that it's relaxing, but it fulfills the fidgety part of my personality. I always have 1 (or more!) knitting projects on the go, and since around January I've finished several. But unlike sewing which can be (but not always!) fast, and I almost always document, knitting is slow for me. So this blog post is a catch up on knitting pieces I've completed over the last 6 months or so.

First up is this little red cardigan which I've been knitting for a looooong time - I can't remember how long, but at least a year. I used Drops Baby Merino in red from Love Knitting, which is a 4 ply; being fine, it took a long time to actually get anywhere, but I think it's been worth it in the end because the result is a lovely, lightweight but warm knit. 

The whole cardigan is knitted in stocking stitch, which is pretty boring to execute. I added the little heart motifs around the waist and sleeves myself, just to make it a little less tedious to knit. The inspiration, and actual pattern for it came from here

The other change I made was to knit the front band and neck band all in one with the body of the sweater. I hate sewing knitting up, so the less sewing up the better. The only draw back was that I did the 2 sides differently; you'll notice the line along the right side where I worked a row of ribbing to show the start and finish of the button band, but forgot to do that on the other side. But I'd got too far at that stage, and couldn't bothered to rip it back, so I'm stuck with it.

Next, some unselfish knitting for Mr Needles. He always complains of being cold, but hates the itchiness of wool. I managed to find this Drops Alpaca from Wool Warehouse, which is super soft, ideal for this hat Tin Can knits:

And a sleeveless vest from this pattern:

He wasn't in a mood to model it - this is the best you're going to get.

That kept him warm over the Christmas period!

Back to me - I finished these socks in January, which at first appear fairly plain, but have this interesting afterthought heel. (I realize this is only interesting to knitters, and means nothing to anyone else!) The pattern was from the Knitter, the wool was again Drops, this time Fabel which is a sock weight 4 ply.

There was a little bit of the wool left over from the cardigan above. I hate waste, so I found this interesting scarf pattern from Kidsknits which was quick and easy:

Then, back in June, I started this lovely pattern which I found on the Chawed Rosin blog, which I found through the Vintage Pattern Files. (By the way, shout out to Wendy who runs this blog - it's an excellent resource for patterns, almost always free)

Bernard Ullman Pattern, circa 1965
The detail on the front looks complicated, but was really easy once you get the hang of it. This was one of my fastest knits ever, due to the fact it was knitted in Drops Nepal (again from Love Knitting), which is an Aran weight and so a bit chunkier than all the previous wools. You cover ground fast with this one! Here it is in orange:

Waiting for buttons...

And currently I'm working on these 2:

First, I'm slowly finishing off this jumper, which is a free pattern from Rowan (You have to set up an account to download it). 

This has taken FOREVER for me to get anywhere, not because I don't like it, it's just that I've realised I don't like knitting in cotton. For this one, I'm using Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton, from Love Knitting. I did also decide halfway through to rip it back and start again because I decided I was knitting the wrong size - you live and learn... Here's what I've done so far:

A front, a back, and one and a half sleeves - not long to go...
And finally - thanks for sticking with me this far! - I've just started this purple cardigan, knitted from a 1950's pattern, again found through the Vintage Pattern Files here

I only started this one about a week ago, and have already made great progress. This is mostly because it's a clever pattern where the sleeves are knitted as one with the body, so the whole pattern is made up of only 3 main pieces instead of 5. Here's a shot of the nearly complete back piece:

Whew! And that's it for knitting for now. See you soon!