Sunday, 31 July 2011

On the needles (3)

I haven't begun sewing up the owl yet - my excuse is that I don't have a pair of tweezers!  In the meantime, I'm knitting something nice and easy:  a yellow jersey for my daughter.  The pattern is actually for a stripy jersey which I made last winter.  It has several mistakes, of course - otherwise this wouldn't be BAD knitting!  I didn't have 3mm needles for the rib and 3.5 needles for the body, so just used 3.25 needles instead for all of it.  Obviously the rib ended up with no definition AND it keeps folding up, much to the wearer's annoyance.  It's far too shallow.  I now have the right needles - progress! - and have made the rib 12 rows deep instead of just 4.  Also, it's bliss not having to knit stripes and change colours constantly.  I did that wrong as well.  I've since learnt how to change colours neatly.  Give me several decades and I might actually advance to "intermediate" knitter....!  But the biggest "mistake" was being forced to buy yarn on-line as the colours did NOT come up as pictured.  The orange was too pumpkin-like, the blue too deep, the pink not a soft orange-pink but rather loud....only the yellow was beautiful.  I'm not sure what anyone can do about internet ordering.  Living in the centre of London, I've got no choice.  John Lewis has about one millionth the yarn available and then generally only the expensive stuff.

Despite these mistakes, a photo of the jersey - worn by my daughter on a wintry day in the British Museum, where the light is very soft and ideal for photography - appeared in the Spring issue of Simply Knitting magazine, along with the matching scarf I made, decorated with my famous knitted flowers (something I can do right!)  A rather proud moment!

I've ventured into adding a pattern on the plain yellow jumper (yellow as in banane) by knitting a row of hearts above the rib.  Why not across the top part, my daughter asked.  Because, frankly, trying to do a heart pattern AND negotiate the armhole decreasing filled me with dread.  Anyway, it's a narrow band of hearts so I thought it would look better above the waistband and arm ribs.  

The Banana Jersey...with hearts

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Toy Owl

Knitting up the bits and pieces for the owl has taken a lot quicker than expected - I've got all the parts knitted, except for the tiny teddy, which I'll be tackling tonight.  At the moment, they all look like nothing at all and I don't feel all that confident about putting it altogether!  I've also pulled out several pieces:  the increasing and decreasing required quite a lot of concentration.  I was so enthralled by "The Lovely Bones" on Sunday night that the nightcap ended up being decreased down to zero in about an inch!  (And I hadn't even enjoyed the book....)  

My daughter had a laugh assembling all the bits:
(let's hope it looks better when it's finished....)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

On the needles (2)

I've started knitting a toy owl for my daughter - something I've never done before!  (I imagine there will be a lot of "firsts" in this blog;  I'm all for experimenting but haven't really mastered anything!)  I was rather reluctant to have a go at a toy.  It seems quite fiddly and even if I have knitted lots of flowers, those owl feet look really tricky, more intricate than anything I've ever knitted.  Along with the tiny teddy, they are going to have to be stuffed by tweezer.  Aaaargh.  Fiddly stuff was never my forte.  So far it's going all right, after a false start in which I pulled apart the owl body when it was only two or three inches long.  The increase instructions don't make sense to me so I had to use my own maths to get an even increase across the row (unless, of course, you're not supposed to have an even increase, in which case my owl is doomed before it's even dressed!)  So far I've done the body and the nightdress.  I'm about to start the wings, followed by the terrifying looking feet.  This is supposed to be a "perfect first toy project."  We'll see!

From Simply Knitting Issue 71 Sept 2010

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wrist Warmers

I finished the wrist warmers for my daughter - the first thing ever to come off three needles!  I'm quite pleased with the result but I didn't much relish knitting in the round:  I got pricked an awful lot.  Those bamboo needles are sharp!  I'm really rather pleased that I managed a thumb hole otherwise they would just have been boringly dull tubes - not much skill required there.  Not ready for socks yet but might consider another project.  One day.  Far in the future.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lace Rib Scarf and Begonias

Here's another photo I'd forgotten I'd taken of my lace rib scarf and a pot of pink begonias my daughter was given for her birthday...

Lace Rib Scarf

After the disastrous Bad Bolero from hell, I decided to ease the pain by knitting something restful and relatively easy.  I've not knitted anything lacy before but this rib was very easy.  I used Debbie Bliss Prima, which is a deliciously smooth bamboo/wool mix, really lovely to knit with.  I think it's still available, though I bought a ten-pack at a John Lewis sale in January.

The pattern is as follows:

Multiple of 4 sts plus 1 (I used 25 sts)
Row 1 (RS)  *P1, k3; rep from * to last st, p1
Row 2 K1, *pi, yo, p2tog, k1; rep from *
Row 3 As row 1
Row 4 Knit

It was easy to get into a rhythm with this pattern, particularly since I used stitch markers.

I used about 2 to 3 balls and it's very long but looks fab!  At last something that isn't BAD knitting!!

The final product!

Monday, 11 July 2011

On the needles

On three, in fact.  I've not knitted with DPNs before and wanted to try something that would take my mind off the useless garments I've been knitting lately.  At first I found them impossible - needles sticking in every direction, getting stabbed with every stitch...also, the yarn is a tad thick for the one and only pair of DPNs I have (free on the front cover of a magazine.)  They're bamboo as well, which I've not knitted with before, and I'm terrified I'm going to break them.  I already have a reputation of bending aluminuim needles (somebody asked me if I was Uri Gellar once.) 
This is what my tube of knitting looks like so far:

The yarn is great fun to knit with:  it's wool rich Sirdar Escape DK and changes colour from pink to purple and various shades inbetween.  I made a jersey for my daughter with it which she loves, so at least I got that right!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

My Wooden Box

All my favourite colours....(some of the contents of my famous wooden box!)

Friday, 8 July 2011

My Bad

Welcome to my Bad Knitting Blog!  This is a blog that does what it says on the tin:  it's about KNITTING - and it's BAD!

I've been knitting for several years in an increasingly desperate attempt to stave off encroaching madness.  Some things have turned out quite well, if not perhaps for the purpose for which they were intended.  The beret I made for my daughter?  (Pink wool mix DK on sale, primarily for - failed - doll's clothes.)  Turned out to be a beanie.

My drawers are full of jersies I'll never wear.  What do I do with them?  Pull them out and start again?  Unpick all those damn seams I sewed up with magically disappearing stitches?  (In other words, you can't find them to unpick them.)  Is life long enough to bother?  Not when my big wooden box (the one that used to be a toy box before I appropriated it) is jam-packed with delicious sale yarns, a vast stash in which entire jersies could be made, all crying out to be knitted into something new...

The "repair" project starts here.  Pictures - before and after - are promised.  Wait until you see the Bad Bolero from hell.  You'll die laughing.