Crochet cardigan in cool cotton – found and finished at last!

Remember the crochet cardigan WIP that I managed to lose? Well, I did find it again and, miraculously, managed to finish it! I was so close to finishing it already that I really can’t explain why I stopped with just half a sleeve and the making up to do.

Here it is modeled by my marvelous mannequin Dolly. Don’t worry. She’s armless… ba-boom tish!

KODAK Digital Still Camera

I found the pattern in one of those dusty old folders that all yarn shops seem to have. Continue reading

A knitted shawl, a crochet shawl and badger related excuses

Sometimes everyday life gets in the way of my blog, and sometimes it bundles me into a sack, throws me off a cliff and leaves me fending off wild badgers with nothing but a teaspoon and the evil glint in my eye. The last week has been nothing but badgers and teaspoons.

To be terminally cheerful about the whole thing, the upside is that I got a lot of knitting done whist waiting around the hospital, and Mr BAM is now safely home and infection free after some minor surgery. Also, I can safely say that I have definitely not missed my vocation as a nurse. We really don’t pay those poor people enough!

I impulsively began knitting another shawl almost as soon as I”d finished my Noro one, but opting for a much simpler pattern ( LaLa’s Simple Shawl – free pattern on Ravelry) so I could just pick it up and go whenever I had time to kill. After the slubby Noro yarn, the slinky sugar cane viscose of the Araucania Ruca yarn I dug out from my stash is amazingly soft, if splitty.

Knitted viscose shawl work in progress

Continue reading

BAM’s Basic Bunting – new knitting pattern!

As promised, here’s my super easy pattern for knitted bunting!

BAM's basic bunting

You don’t need any fancy knitting skills to make this basic bunting! Each triangle is worked from the pointy tip upwards with steady increases every third row after row 5. Once you get the hang of the pattern it’s easy to make the triangles bigger if you want to, or you can cast off as soon as you reach the size you want. Continue reading

Knitted Noro lace shawl – nice!

I tend to think of myself as a crocheter. That’s not to say I can’t knit, I just prefer to crochet and I honestly couldn’t tell you which craft I learned first. At the beginning of the year I decided I was going to knit myself pair of socks every month, and that lasted until I finished my second pair. I had the wool to make March’s pair…. but it never happened.

So much for that plan.

Knitting just wasn’t grabbing me the same way crochet does. I could do it, but I just couldn’t love it. It was only after I went to Fibre East this year and saw (and lusted after) so many beautifully knitted lace shawls that something inside my brain shifted and I was hungry for knitting. I’d never tried knitting lace before but now it was calling me…

I’d bought some Noro Taiyo 4 ply in a sale online a while back, and a quick poke around through the free patterns on Ravelry turned up the Rosalie Shawl pattern by Sharon Jane. I sprung for some Pro Style Symfonie interchangeable circular needles and I was good to go!

It only took a couple of weeks of on and off knitting, and then I had my very first knitted shawl!

Shawl in Noro Taiyo 4 ply

I was really impressed with the pattern, and it was just the right level of difficulty for someone having a go at lace for the first time, with a gorgeous band of diamonds and a picot cast off to give it a lovely elegant edge.

It was fairly unimpressive size-wise until I blocked it, and although I knew this would be the case, I was still shocked at what a difference blocking it made.

Wanna see some more pictures? I know you do…

Before blocking the shawl barely covered my shoulders

Before blocking the shawl barely covered my shoulders

The difference is even more dramatic when viewed from behind.

From this...

From this…

... to this!

… to this!

It was pretty scary blocking something so delicate. The yarn is a slubby single ply composed of 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Polyamide, 16% Silk, so it doesn’t take much force to break it. I’d never tried blocking something so big before either so I did a bit of research before attempting it.

I soaked it  in a solution of water and Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash for 15 minutes (the yarn band did say no soaking and the Euclan said soak for minimum of 30 minutes, so I nervously split the difference , which seemed to be fine). I then placed it between two towels, and squeezed the excess moisture out. So far, so good. I was doing everything I’d been told to. Next came pinning it out.

Shawl pinned out

I decided to use blocking wires, which was fairly straight forward. I’m still not convinced I pinned it all out straight, but I’m willing to bet it was better than if I’d just winged it without the wires. T pins are definitely the way to go with blocking; there is less risk of the pin pulling right through your work.

I generally use interlocking foam play mats rather than the much more expensive purpose made blocking ones. They worked okay, but I found I had to stick the pins right through them and anchor the whole project to the carpet underneath – a process that would have been considerably easier without a certain cat trying to interfere! If I had a deeper pile carpet I could probably get away with pinning everything directly to the floor like my mum does.

I blocked the shawl as hard as I dared, and I was thrilled with the way it turned out. The gradual colour changes were perfect for this pattern, and I love the way the bright blue falls on the diamond lace panel.

Knitted lace shawl

I don’t own a shawl pin, so I had to make do with a pretty chop stick instead!

I don’t think knitting will ever really steal away crochet’s special woolly place in my heart, but I definitely have a renewed affection for the Dark Art, and I’ll definitely be knitting more often. I’ve written a formula for knitting bunting – it’s far too simple a thing to call a pattern, but I’ll be sharing it here soon – and I’ve already started another shawl, this time in super soft, slippery viscose.

Knitted or crocheted, shawls are awesome. Is anyone else making one?

Beth 🙂

Moogly HOHD

More WIPs than you can shake a hook at and a simple Tunisian crochet phone case

Someone posted a perfectly innocent question in a knitting and crochet Facebook group I am part of: how many WIP (work in progress) do you have? I was surprised by some of the answers people gave. I was expecting that most would have several projects on the go, but some said they had only one! ONE!

Wow. I could never have the discipline to work on one thing at a time, not starting something new until the previous item was done. So I started to count how many WIPs I had…. and had to stop at 15. I still had more projects to count but I was suddenly struck by how many of them I hadn’t seen for a while. Where were they?! Continue reading