Saturday, 23 February 2013

A puzzled knitter

I run two blogs - this is the first one and has been going for some time now (I think it might run into years.)  And yet I have much greater difficulty running this blog than I do my Wordpress one.  I simply can't figure out how to like or follow other knitting blogs.  How dumb is that?!  You would think it would be totally straightforward but if it's a Wordpress knitting blog, I would end up having to use my Wordpress avatar, which totally defeats the purpose of finding other knitting buddies.  If you are a knitting blogger, reading this, and thinking, "good golly, she really is stupid!" then, please, tell me what I'm doing wrong!  I can't even figure out how to add links to other bloggers websites onto my blog!  And yet I do quite advanced stuff on my Wordpress blog.  Does this mean that, basically, the Wordpress is easier to control, navigate, build etc etc?  It's a lonely business making hash after hash with my knitting - I'd really like to meet others with all the enthusiasm but none of the skill.  I am, needless to say, a tad intimated by those marvellous women who knit several thousand toy rabbits a day and sell them, while dealing with heart-rendering family problems.

In the meantime, here is my current project:  the Gedifra jacket.

Pattern pic
Previous attempt - FAR too small but reasonably well knitted

Without flash - better colour definition


I started with the sleeves as I've discovered this is a great way of tackling immediate problems - if you don't like it, there's not much work to pull out!  (Specially in this case as the sleeves are short.)  I followed the pattern exactly and yet not only are they different lengths but neither of them have ended up with seven stitches after decreasing!  This sort of thing drives me mad because I don't know whether it's me (have I misunderstood the pattern somehow?) or the pattern itself (long since discontinued so no one to ask.)  I've got them both on stitch holders and will measure them once I've finished the back and front.  That way, I might actually get perfectly fitting sleeves.
Or have to reknit them entirely.
The pattern stitch I'm using is one row purl, one row k1,p1 rib.  Very effective!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Confidence restored!!

My Gedifra Diandra jersey turned out to be fabulous - warm and cosy and looks good too for something that is home-knitted by an inexpert knitter!

I added rows of Swiss darning to make it more interesting.

 The neck edge is simple two rows of knit.

I enjoyed knitting with the Diandra so much that I promptly set about knitting some very chunky wristies, called "mitts" in the Rowan pattern I used.  I'm not keen on knitting cable but these were very simple and I even managed the clever slit for the thumb!

I wear them when on my computer as my hands get very cold.  

My daughter was so keen on the mitts that I made her some too:  I used the leftover Squiggle super chunky that I'd used to make her poncho.  It's much thicker wool so I had to adapt the pattern a little and only made one row of cable.  Also super-warm for the bleak February weather!

So keen am I on knitting with Diandra that I'm currently reknitting a pattern I'd made two years ago.  It's a short-sleeved jacket which is meant to be close-fitting and tightly knitted, using thinner needles than I'd used for the striped jersey.  Although it fitted, it felt too warm and the front gaped, making my bit of podge seem even podgier!  So I'm reknitting it in a bigger size with the 8mm needles to get a looser, more casual fit.

 Yet another yummy colour from the discontinued Diandra range (but have a look online:  some places do still sell it!)

This is the Rowan pattern I used for the mitts.

This is the Gedifra Diandra pattern I used for the jersey:  as you can see, it's a complex cable pattern, which I totally ignored and made a plain, striped number.  For reasons I don't understand as I made no errors and followed the pattern shaping religiously, my neckline isn't quite as low.  (I sometimes think they use machines to knit the pictures you see in pattern books, meaning we can never recreate them perfectly!)

Below is the pattern for the jacket.  I might make more buttons, though, as I'm really very tired of this daft fashion of having your tummy hanging out of an open-fronted cardi.  I'm not exactly fat but I'm no stick insect either and it's seriously not flattering (also it's chilly!)  They've used poppers to close this cardi/jacket with the button sewn on top.

Bad knitting is a little happier this month!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Saved by Diandra

After the horrible disaster of my five-foot wide cardigan, I dived deep into my wool box and hauled out the Gedifra Diandra I bought on sale several years ago at John Lewis - back in the days when they actually had proper sales.  It's quite chunky but different patterns require different needle sizes - 8mm seems to work best.  It's the most deliciously soft wool mixed with 15% linen and it's SUCH a shame that they discontinued it.  Why do they always discontinue lovely wool??  This seems to be an eternal problem.  It only cost £1 a ball on the sale so I bought about 40 balls in lilac, a sandy beige colour and a reddish brown.  They are all still available if you look very hard on the internet, but no one has the creamy colour left, which is a great shame:  I would have loved to have knitted with it.  I need hardly say that it's a pleasure to knit with AND it goes really fast.  My confidence as a knitter has returned somewhat!
Really need to get my act together and get some pictures taken.  In the meantime, this is what the front looked like when I was knitting it:

I didn't have enough lilac for the jumper, so decided to stripe it with the beige colour.  Not ideal but honestly, the jersey is so lovely and soft and warm and pretty, it doesn't matter if it isn't a work of art. I also - cleverly, I thought - did the sleeves first so that when I was finished the hardest part (the V-necked front knitted separately), it meant I was nearly finished.  I had to knit the front edging about three times before I got it right and it's still not ideal but it'll do.
I'm now knitting cable mitts (Yes!  Me!  Cable!!) with the beige colour and they look so fab my daughter wants some too...

Photos at the weekend, I promise!