I must update my blog more often!

I may have been busy over the last couple of months but should really have put some time aside to keep my blog updated. I finished my first large item of clothing using fairisle technique last week, so maybe that’s a good place to start.

I saw the Scribble Tanktop pattern in issue 44 of The Knitter and it screamed DAVE! My partner Dave already owns a couple of patterned tanktops and is also a big fan of the colour brown, so I decided to use the recommended yarn which also added a bit of variety to his wardrobe – i.e blue

I had to learn the continental method of knitting to alternate between my standard method for the brown (working yarn in right hand) and the continental for the blue (working yarn in left hand). This ensured I kept the brown yarn above the blue as I knitted without having to keep swapping the yarn in my right hand and avoided the 2 yarns getting tangled. I’ve found it really rewarding to learn the continental method for knit stitch as it is much quicker to work. The tanktop was knitted in the round so I only had to purl rows after shaping for the arm holes. I recommend persevering with learning it if you can’t already!

You can also buy the Scribble Tanktop pattern separately on The Making Spot website.

starting fairisle technique for tanktop in The Knitter

I experimented to find the best method for the 2 colour yarns on the back of the knitting. I tried ‘wrapping’ the yarn as shown above (stops you having long stretches of loose yarn) but as the maximum length was 6 stitches I settled on leaving it loose as the front looked better

first repeat of fairisle scribble pattern tanktop from The Knitter

It took a while to get my tension right, so the yarn travelling across the stitches on the back wasn’t too tight, but became really easy once I got used to swapping between the blue and brown yarn. There are 2 different rows of repeat scribble designs that are offset

fairisle scribble tanktop knitted in the round

I really like how the gap between rows increases from the bottom of the tank to the top and the great thing about knitting in the round is less joins to sew 🙂

fairisle scribble tanktop modelled by Dave

As you can see, my partner Dave is very proud of his new tanktop 🙂

Springtime cardi is finished!

I have completed my cardigan and it is still Springtime! 🙂

alpaca lace knit bat wing sleeve cardigan

The waistband was added by picking up the stitches along the bottom of the lace knit body as the cast on row. When this was completed the neckband (knitted separately) was attached. I added press stud fasteners and the cardi is finished!

cream sideways knit lace alpaca yarn cardigan

This is the cardi after completing the two sideway knit sleeve

lace cardi knit sideways joined centre back

The batwing sleeves each include half the body section and are sewn together down the centre of the back to assemble

Geometric sock pattern

The sewing class was cancelled last week due to snow so I have put my dress on hold until I can get some advice on making alterations.

I like to have lots of projects on the go so decided to design a simple sock pattern. Although the design would be a lot more visible with plain yarn I have some lovely self patterning yarn in my stash that I really wanted to use so I’m using Drops Fabel sock yarn in 903p. The yarn print colours are so nice that I knew the socks would look lovely. Also I can use the leftover yarn to make more squidgy hexipuffs for my quilt 😉

This isn’t suitable for a beginner but anyone who can knit in the round (maybe you’ve tried the hexipuffs and want something more challenging). The goemetric pattern texture is made simply from alternated knit and purl stitches, the heel isn’t as difficult and fiddly as many patterns and they are knitted from the toe up so you can try them on for size as you go!

knitting toe up geometric pattern sockknitting toe up geometric pattern socks design on DPNsclose up knitted geometric sock patternGeometric pattern socks

I am knitting with 100g Drops Fabel sock yarn (2 x 50g balls) or you can use 100g of any 4 ply yarn and a set of 5 double pointed needles size 2.75mm/US#2

My socks fit a medium size woman 8inch/20cm circumference unstretched and 11inch/28cm stretched. The foot can be knitted any length to fit

To make these socks I have used Judy’s magic cast on for the toe and Judy’s surprisingly stretchy bind off for the cuff of the socks

These are really useful techniques to know. Click on the highlighted techniques above to link to videos on You Tube

You will also need to follow a chart for the geometric design. As you are working in the round and always face the right side of the sock you will read the pattern from right to left, travelling up the pattern as you work on each row

Start at the bottom right stitch. The chart is for 7 stitches so repeated  i.e knit stitch 1-7 of the row then start at 1 on the same row again and repeat these stitches as many times as needed for the patterned area

The abbreviations used are:

DPN – double pointed needle

K – knit

KFB – knit into both front of stitch (as normal Knit) then also the back of the same stitch (increases by 1 stitch). This creates a stitch with a bar across mimicking a purl stitch then a knit stitch from one stitch

M1L – make 1 left to increase by 1 stitch. Use the tip of left needle to pick up the horizontal strand of yarn before the next stitch to be knitted. Pick up front to back of strand and knit through the back of this new stitch. Makes a left leaning stitch increase

M1R – make 1 right to increase by 1 stitch. Use the tip of left needle to pick up the horizontal strand of yarn before the next stitch to be knitted. Pick up back to front of strand and knit through the front of this new stitch. Makes a right leaning stitch increase. You use M1L/M1R to increase and get a symmetrical look

P – Purl

P2tog – put tip of right needle through the front of the next two stitches and purl together as with a single purl stitch

SL – slip a stitch. Use tip of right needle to pick up the stitch as if to knit/purl but just slip it off the left needle so it has been transferred without working on it

St/sts – stitch/stitches

SSK – slip slip knit to decrease a stitch. Slip the next two stitches as with slip stitch so they are on the right needle then push the left needle through the front of these stitches from left to right and knit both of them together

Both socks are identical

Toe

Using 3 of your DPNs cast on 24 stitches using Judy’s magic cast on method. You will have knitted into the front of 12 stitches on the 1st needle and the back of the 12 sts on the 2nd needle for one row. Transfer 6 of the stitches from each needle onto another DPN being careful not to twist them. You now have 4 needles with 6 sts on each and now ready to start the toe increase

Row 1 – KFB. Knit rest of stitches on needles 1 & 2 until the last stitch on needle 2 and KFB on that stitch. Repeat on needles 3 & 4

Row 2 – Knit all stitches

Keep repeating these 2 rows 7 more times. You will increase by 4 sts each repeat and finish after row 2 with 56 sts

Foot

The first 28 sts (needles 1 & 2) form the instep of the sock and the remaining 28sts (needles 3 & 4) the sole

Pattern chart

geometric pattern knitting chartWork the 7 sts of the pattern 4 times over the instep stitches and knit all 28 sole stitches. Continue, repeating the chart pattern after row 14, until the foot is 2 ½” / 6½cm shorter than your foot length. Take a note of the amount of rows worked to ensure the other sock matches

Heel Gusset

Row 1 – Continue pattern across instep stitches. On sole stitches (needles 3 & 4) K1, M1L, knit until last sole stitch, M1R, K1

Row 2 – Continue pattern across instep. Knit all sole stitches without increasing

Repeat these 2 rows until the sole has 52sts, ending after row 1 of repeat

Continue pattern across instep stitches. The shaping for the heel is worked only on the sole stitches

* Take note of the last row of the pattern you worked as you will need to continue from here later

Heel shaping

Start from 1st stitch of sole. Row:

  1. K27, SSK, K1, turn
  2. SL1, P3, P2tog, P1, turn
  3. SL 1, K4, SSK, K1, turn
  4. SL1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
  5. SL 1, K6, SSK, K1, turn
  6. SL1, P7, P2tog, P1, turn
  7. SL 1, K8, SSK, K1, turn
  8. SL1, P9, P2tog, P1, turn
  9. SL 1, K10, SSK, K1, turn
  10. SL1, P11, P2tog, P1, turn
  11. SL 1, K12, SSK, K1, turn
  12. SL1, P13, P2tog, P1, turn
  13. SL 1, K14, SSK, K1, turn
  14. SL1, P15, P2tog, P1, turn
  15. SL 1, K16, SSK, K1, turn
  16. SL 1, P17, P2tog, P1, turn
  17. SL 1, K18, SSK, K1, turn
  18. SL1, P19, P2tog, P1, turn
  19. SL 1, K20, SSK, K1, turn
  20. SL1, P21, P2tog, P1, turn
  21. SL 1, K22, SSK, K1, turn
  22. SL1, P23, P2tog, P1, turn
  23. SL 1, K24, SSK, K1, turn
  24. SL1, P25, P2tog, P1, turn
  25. SL 1, K27 (28stitches)

To re-join the heel to the instep without creating a hole at the join you need to pick up a stitch between the last heel stitch and the first instep stitch as in M1L. Instead of knitting the stitch alone, knit it together through the back of the loop along with the next instep stitch. This will count as the first stitch of the instep row

The pattern for the instep will continue from the last row * before the heel shaping.

After completing this instep row (28stitches) pick up a stitch as in M1L and knit it together through the back along with the next heel stitch. This will count as the first stitch of the heel row. Knit across the remaining heel stitches (28stitches)

Leg

Continue knitting in the round across ALL 56 STITCHES IN THE PATTERN REPEAT until the leg is 4” / 10cm long (or desired height if you have enough yarn). Take a note of the amount of rows worked to ensure the other sock matches.

Rib (K1 stitch, P1 stitch – repeated over 56 stitches) for 2 rows

Bind off using Judy’s surprisingly stretchy bind off  technique

Small knitting project to do when travelling – or feeling unwell

My head has been so foggy and in pain for the last week with a sinus infection so I needed an easy small project and decided to start on the Beekeepers quilt pattern that I purchased on Ravelry last year. You can pick it up and complete a quilt piece when you feel like it. The finished quilt is so pretty and great for using up an odd ball or the remnants of 4ply yarn from sock projects!

beekeepers quilt travel knitting kit

All you need is 4 ply yarn, 3 dpns (double pointed needles), a crochet hook, some filling material and a small bag to keep the items in. This makes a nice little 'kit' for knitting on the go!

small sqidgy hexipuff knitted quilt project

So satisfying to complete each cute squashy piece quickly and easily - and you get plenty to practice on 😉

You will need to increase and decrease and each squidgy (as I seem to be calling the ‘Hexipuffs’) is knit in the round, so not a beginner’s project, but great for practicing these techniques when you’re ready. There are lots of knitting video tutorials to search through on You Tube. Here is a good one from the Dummies.com series for increasing or decreasing. Each squidgy is quick to make, very cute and very satisfying to see the collection of them build up quickly in a box! Take a look at Tiny Owl Knits site for more information 🙂

hexipuff knitted quilt pieces in box

Before you realise it you have a pile squidgies overflowing from a box. They all look different and it's going to be fun arranging all the different coloured peices for the quilt!