It has been a while

Finally getting down to posting on my blog.  You would think that with the COVID shutdown I would have all the time in the world to write blog posts but I just haven’t felt like it.

I have found some sense of normality this week as the Tour de France is on the television, albeit a month later than usual.  I have enjoyed staying up to watch it at night and getting to bed at about 1.30 – 2.00 in the morning.  Those of you who have followed the blog for a few years would know that when I watch the Tour it is also the time for me to get quite a bit of knitting done.  This year I have chosen to knit something for myself.  I chose a fairly complex pattern as I wanted to give myself a bit of a challenge.

The wool for this jumper is Bellissimo.  I bought the pattern and the wool from the local wool shop, Stitches ‘n Things in Lakes Entrance.  So good to be able to support local small business during this difficult time.

The jumper is fairly slow to knit as you are required to constantly be using a cable needle and that slows progress down a bit.

This is what I have managed to complete after the first week of the Tour.

The Tour has been really enjoyable to watch and I am happy that the Australian based team, Mitchelton Scott, has been able to wear the leader of the general classification yellow jersey for four days on the back of Adam Yates.  It was unexpected as they had gone into the tour hoping for stage wins and have ended up with having had the yellow jersey.  They no longer have the yellow jersey so perhaps they will get a stage win in the remaining two weeks.

The Australian Caleb Ewan was successful in winning a stage so that was another good aspect of the Tour.

Tonight is a rest night so I will be able to get to bed early.

Are you someone who watches the Tour?  I love watching the scenery as well as the bike riders.

A great blog to follow for an entertaining summary of each stage of the Tour is this one.

Some sewing for a change

One of my bike riding friends has discovered the joy of knitting and has embraced the craft wholeheartedly.  She has been completing items so quickly she has become an expert in a short time.  She is quickly accumulating a collection of knitting needles so I thought it would be a good idea to make her a needle roll. It is a great way to store your knitting equipment.

I made one for myself many years ago, in fact I replaced the first one I made with a new one in nice fabric. I also made one for my elder daughter many years ago.  It is a while since I last made one so I checked out the internet for a pattern and chose one. Erica’s Roll up needle case.

This is the pattern I followed but unfortunately the fabric caused issues with my sewing machine once I tried to sew through several thicknesses as the machine kept skipping stitches.  I changed the needle and gave the machine a thorough clean but all to no avail.  I decided that I should just give up on this one and start again with different fabric.  Fortunately I have plenty of fabric in my stash.

The pattern I had followed from the internet actually was not long enough for the knitting needles we use and so It turned out that the dodgy fabric was a blessing as I was able to make the new needlecase following the dimensions of my previous needlecase.

I was happy with the finished result and my friend was delighted with the gift.

Once a few more needles are added the roll indeed becomes a roll.


An adult baby surprise

If you are a serious knitter you will probably know immediately what I am talking about and for the non-knitters I am not talking about an unexpected pregnancy!

Elizabeth Zimmermann is the guru of knitting.  The first article I knitted using her instructions was a Baby Surprise Jacket.  If you link to this Pinterest page you will see various versions of this jacket which is knitted in one piece and joined with a woven seam across the shoulders. The next image is from Pinterest.

I have used Zimmerman’s book The Knitting Workshop which I bought when I knitted a baby surprise jacket for our grandson. I also have a copy of Knitting Without Tears.

The Adult Baby Surprise Jacket I have just completed was knitted as a request from my elder daughter.  She knew I had loads of scrap wool in my stash and she selected a few colours she wanted to include in her jacket and I set about my next project.  I bought the pattern from Schoolhouse press.

The two markers show where the decreases have taken place up to the point of the underarms then the increases happen.  Unfortunately I didn’t start the increases correctly and ended up with a bit of a hole.

I decided I really should unravel what I had done and so I undid the couple of hundred stitches and started the increases again, this time correctly.

This is at the point where the front flap stitches are put on holders and then you knit backwards and forwards on the bottom stitches.

Once the bottom section is knitted then a border is knitted around the edge before the single piece is assembled into a jacket.

At this stage the sleeves have not been joined and the collar hasn’t been added.

To join the sleeves I used two stitch bind off for the first sleeve but was not happy with the result as the colours showed through in the middle so I tried three stitch bind off for the second sleeve and it was much better. You can see the difference in the next picture.

The front sleeve is the two stitch bind off.  I undid that sleeve join and redid it with three stitch bind off.The dummy is bigger than my daughter but it gives you some idea of how it will look.

Working on the collar.

This was an absolute joy to work as I was getting rid of some of my stash and it was all garter stitch, the easiest of all. I sewed in the many ends and searched for some suitable buttons.  No luck with the buttons so I have sent it off to my daughter so she can choose buttons to finish it off.

A thoroughly enjoyable project.

I have since found the post of the original jacket I made.


Something I haven’t tried before

I have embarked on what I think will turn out to be a real challenge for me.  Intarsia knitting.  I have knitted a fair bit of fair isle in my time but have never before tried intarsia. For those of you who are not acquainted with intarsia this link will give you an idea of what it involves.  Intarsia for dummies   I used this site to get a general idea of what to expect.

The project I am working on is this.  The character is Animal from the Muppets.

That is him on a tee shirt.

My daughter asked me if I would like another project and I am always happy to be knitting something that someone would like.

This is the progress so far.  I am a bit daunted by the number of strands on the back but have been assured by the lady in the wool shop that once you weave the strands in it will look fine.

I am happy with the progress so far.

An update since I last drafted this post.

I think the stitches will look more even when all the ends are woven in.  That is what I am hoping.

This was started on 24th February 2020

I know the start date because I now keep a knitting journal, rather than having scraps of paper scattered in pattern books and on the studio shelves.

The pattern motifs used in the jumper are taken from this book.

I have used the book many times and this time I wanted to use motifs that were meaningful to my daughter.  The motifs are all based on jumpers from Fife and Musselburgh. The cables are Aran cables.  The jumper was a request she had made a few years ago to make a jumper to replace the one she had that used to belong to her dad. (he no longer wore it)  That jumper had since been frogged and with the addition of yellow wool had been made into a chevron rug.

You can read about the old jumper here. 

The rug you can read about here.

The jumper was made for her 40th birthday. The motifs include:

The tree of life from Musselburgh and the moss stitch from Anstruther.

Marriage lines or the ups and downs of life.

You can click on the pages to make them easier to read.

The heart motif is self explanatory.

A birthday jumper made with love.

My first attempt at making dishcloths

I have been trying to eliminate my stash of wool and part of that stash is cotton, not wool.  The cotton is left over from garments I have made for grandchildren and my daughters.

I did a quick search on the internet and found a couple of free patterns for cotton dishcloths.  Two of the patterns are knitted and the third is crocheted.

I have made the two knitted dishcloths but have yet to make the crocheted one.

I like this one the best.  Very easy to do as it is knitted on the diagonal.

I made a third dishcloth but unfortunately didn’t have enought of the one colour so there is a different coloured corner to this one.