Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Hitchhiker

Every time I write about this pattern I have Kenny Rogers, The Gambler, in my head. No idea why.

This scarf pattern was first discovered by a friend of mine who is known for finding interesting new scarf patterns. I have a friend known as the sock lady and in this way this friend should be known as the scarf lady. The pattern is by Martina Behm and you can buy it from ravelry for about £2.50. I love the pattern. It's so simple and yet effective. It's an 8 row repeat and all you need to know is how to increase, purl, knit and cast off. It's as simple as that.

The pattern calls for sock yarn and I picked out the Zitron Trekking XXL from my stash. I loved the blues and greens and thought it would make an effective stripy pattern. Which it did. Another reason to love the pattern (if you use patterning sock yarn) is that the effect of the yarn changes as the scarf grows. This scarf is for me and I am looking forward to it being cold enough to wear it.

My sister liked the scarf and I believe even threatened to pinch it. I couldn't have that so I have knitted one up for her Christmas. Knitting two in a row you would think I would have grown bored of it but not at all.

This time I used Noro Kureyon sock yarn. I bought this in a sale ages ago knowing that I would have to use it for my sister who loves pink and black. At first I was unsure whether or not to use it for the scarf. Even in a sale it's quite expensive and the pattern would have to be special to use it on. Glad I did though. If you have seen socks knitted for my sister in previous posts you will know she has tiny feet. So tiny that the socks would have turned out mainly pink and the rest of those colours would have gone unnoticed (unless of course I made her socks uneven). The scarf however starts off all in pink and slowly the other colours emerge until you get this stripey effect at the end. It certainly made knitting it more interesting.

I love Noro yarn. I love the colours which are always bright and unexpected. The downside to it is that it's a little harsh from being over-dyed. The thickness through out is also uneven. This all however, works perfectly for the scarf.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Camper Vanning It!

This is mainly what I have been working on the last few months and is now my pride and joy. I was needing something simple whilst I was busy with other things. Something that didn't require a lot of concentration and I could just pick up whenever I had a little time. When I saw this pattern in Cross Stitcher a few issues ago it immediately caught my eye. I'm not usually an orange person but I fell in love with it anyway. The huge blocks of colour were also perfect.

I finished it two weeks ago and I honestly can't stop looking at it. I am even tempted to eventually stitch the blue camper van which was in the same issue. The downside was all the back stitching. Normally I would resent doing all that (any stitcher will tell you it's the boring bit). However, the pattern wouldn't work without it and I liked watching it develop.

The one in the Cross Stitcher had been turned into a cushion and I decided to do the same. I had hoped for an orange flower fabric that screamed 70's but I couldn't find any and I was too impatient to shop around. Instead I went for a rather bright orange. On it's own it's too bright and I had my doubts (like I said, not usually an orange person). However, it fitted the design perfectly.

If any of you follow me on instagram or twitter you will have possibly seen photo updates of the project. I asked people to guess what the orange blob was. When it got to this stage someone suggested that it was two elephants having a face off. Have to say it does look a bit like that. A few people agreed and after that I was often asked how my elephants were getting on.

The pattern was from issue 254 of Cross Stitcher. It was very easy to follow. A perfect pattern for someone relatively new to cross stitch who wants to try something bigger. Or like me you don't have the time to concentrate on it.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Sock Pillow

A while ago I blogged about a challenge hosted by my knitting group called Odds n Ends. The challenge was to create something using leftovers only. This was perfect since I had been wanting to do something with my leftover sock yarn. It was far too pretty to throw out. The plan was to make lots of granny squares and bring them together to create a blanket. However, I didn't have enough white to do that and buying more would have been cheating. So as you can see I made do with a cushion instead.

From these odds and ends I had crocheted about 100 squares. From that I picked out 32 and stitched them together with what remained of the white. I have to say there was just enough to do that and do the border that I love so much.

Here it is on the night of the challenge along with my photo of the scraps and a wee blurb about it. I gave it the glamorous name of sock pillow. I still have a bag of leftovers and quite a few squares so I am going to keep going. I don't need to worry any more about replacing the white to tie it all together. So hopefully I will eventually have a sock blanket to go with my sock pillow.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Multnomah (the baby gift replacement)

Oops, it's been a few months since I last posted here. I thought that maybe I would have quite a lot to show you but it seems my crafting has been only slightly more productive than my blogging. Having said that I do have a few things to show you and first up is this shawl I knitted for a friend. The truth is this yarn was supposed to be used to knit a baby present for the same friend. I was on placement at uni on the run up to the baby shower we had for her which is why I didn't get the baby gift done in time. Turns out it was a big disaster anyway (as all my baby knitting seems to be unless it's a blanket, socks or hats). I still had all this leftover yarn and I decided to use it to knit something for the new mum.

The shawl is called Multnomah and was designed by Kate Ray. It's a simple design involving increased stitches, garter stitch and then a fan stitch. I think the fan stitching is quite effective. The pattern itself is very easy to follow and I found that I had knitted it up in next to no time. In the end the number of stitches on the pins was the only thing that slowed me down. If I have one piece of advice though it's to hunt out proper stitch markers. I made do with paper clips since I was too lazy to look for mine (still can't find them). It became a task just to stop them from causing pulls. I don't recommend it.

The yarn is actually a sock yarn that I have used many times before just not in this colourway. It's Happy by Wendy and the colourway is called partie. The photograph is actually an accurate depiction of the colours (my camera normally hates purples of any sort). As I am sure I have said before it's great to knit with. So silky and smooth but can split if you're not careful. It's also a nightmare to use when knitting socks at has a tendency to ladder.

Anyway, a very easy pattern and I think it would be fantastic for anyone relatively new to knitting who would like to try a shawl. It's easy to follow and the stitches used are basic for the most part. If you are on ravelry you can find the patter here.