This was my first Wool Peddler's Shawl. I used the pattern that came from Aberle's Folk Shawls, page 71, but instead of the yarn and needles called for I substituted with 5 skeins of Koigu yarn and used 4"circular needles. The pattern needed to be changed to accommodate the finer wool, and I am grateful to Linda Tinkler for giving me those changes. Once I made just one of these shawls, I was hooked!
I actually hadn't knit anything at all since I had been in Grade 6, ten years old. My mother had started me off at home a little earlier, taught me how to do a long-tail cast-on, and I was fortunate enough to reinforce and build on my skills by having to take knitting and crochet classes at elementary school. The teacher, Miss Hutchison, infamous at our school -- not for her patience, I assure you -- was somehow able to kindle the spark already lit. I knit a pair of baby soakers as my class assignment. Yes, there were a few visible mistakes, but I had done my very best work and was satisfied. My mother told me she'd block them for me the night before the project was due. When I awoke the next day, I had an experience similar to that in the tale of the cobbler's shoes, the ones that magically appeared each morning. Well, when I awoke on the morning of the project's due date, the soakers were magically error-free, perfect in every way, ready to be handed in and marked. I guess that mothers just know how to do that kind of magic!
|Natalie's Wool Peddler Shawl, August, 2009|
|Joanna, Wool Peddler's Shawl, July, 2010|
One of my favourites was this combination of colours, ranging from yellow to purple, but with an overall orange look. It looks just exquisite on my niece, the person I made it for. Don't you agree?
After creating a number of the Koigu shawls, I decided to experiment, using different yarns. The one below was made with Rowan Purelife, DK weight in "onion" shade. I used 4.5 mm circular needles for this one and kept the shawl for myself. It is so cosy and warm, great for snuggling on the couch, sitting in meditation or taking along when I go on retreat.
|Close-up view of lacy scalloped shell pattern (before blocking)|
|Sheila's Wool Peddler Shawl, January, 2010|
The shawl in pink was knitted with Cascade 220, Colour #7802, using 4 skeins, each with 220 yards. The total yardage needed for this shawl is approximately 826 yards. This yarn is knitting worsted weight, resulting in a shawl with substantial texture and warmth. The pink one looks most like the original in Cheryl Oberle's book, the lace pattern clearly visible. I found it quite amazing what a change in size could be made when blocking the shawl by pinning to the desired dimensions and then spraying with a fine water mist. When the shawl dried, it held its shape beautifully and was ready for gift-giving!
September 12, 2011
|Owen's Hoodie, Fall, 2009|
|Close-up of flame section|
September 13, 2011
The first project for my granddaughter that summer was this
very easy poncho. Again, it was a crocheted pattern, from Bernat, Softee Chunky, in Aqua. The pattern for size 10-12 called for 4 balls of yarn, though it took only 3. I have often found the estimated yardage not to be very accurate, but I suppose it's always better to have more than less! One just needs to have a repertoire of several one-skein projects on hand. I used an 8mm crochet hook
The poncho was made with two rectangles, one crocheted one day and the other the next. They were sewn together, one long side to one short side, twice, and then the tie, chained with a length of doubled yarn, was woven in and out at the neckline.
My granddaughter was also the recipient of a winter toque. This was knit with Bernat denim style yarn, again following the pattern on the yarn label, with 4.5 mm circular needles. The seam was sewn at the back and last stitches drawn through the yarn for a tight circle at the top. Doesn't she look cosy?
|Owen in his toque for fall, 2009|
Row 1 K2 tog, P2 tog (34 st remain)
Row 2 K1 P1, instead of P1 K1
Row 3 - 6 Continue in K1 P1
Row 7 K2 tog across (17 st remain)
Row 8 Purl
Row 9 K2 together till final st. K1
Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches tightly. Sew back seam to join sides.
Both toques can fold up a cuff or not, as desired.
September 14, 2011
As fall approached, and a planned trip back east, I began knitting gifts to bring along on the trip. I had found a lovely pattern for a neckwarmer, much lighter and less bulky than a scarf, and yet warm and cosy -- very reminiscent of a decorative collar. I made several of these, discovering that I could use less than one skein of just about anything. It was a great way to use up leftover yarn from other projects, although I did purchase some new yarn when trying to make a particular colour for a particular person! Not only was this project personalized by colour, but I had recently come across a tin of buttons, left by my mother when she passed away. For neckwarmers that I made for family, I tried my best to use two buttons from my mother's stash, making these gifts even more meaningful. Here you can see photos of a few of the finished neckwarmers, in mauve, white, green and red. I did others in charcoal grey, beige, pink, two-toned charcoal and white, and blue. For something quick and easy to make, each lacy pattern could be knit up in two or three days, a fast way to feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as creating something special for loved ones.
September 15, 2011
|Close-up of Gedifra sweater, mainly garter stitch|
|Jamie's pullover, May, 2010|
|Close-up of pullover, showing simple cable design and neckline|
|Lauren, in her slouch hat, fall, 2010|
|Owen, wearing his classic headband, fall, 2010|
|Owen's Cookie Monster toque, fall, 2010|
|Close-up of Cookie's eyes|
|Lady's v-neck pullover, completed October, 2010|
September 16, 2011
|For Heather, a toque for Chanukah/Christmas, 2010|
|For Owen, Sack Boy, Chanukah/Christmas, 2010|
Finished off the family's hats in time for the holiday season. Above left is the toque for Heather, which matches her winter coat. And below is Ray's toque -- yes, we can't forget the Maple Leaf's blue! The most fun I had was knitting Sack Boy for Owen. I actually found a pattern online which turned out to be easy to follow. This was my first attempt at a stuffed toy, each part made separately from the others and then sewn together. It is not recommended to unzip the zipper, as the stuffing, purchased at a hobby shop, will definitely fall out. In fact, after sewing in the zipper, I glued it shut all along its length. To hold the head upright, a number of sucker sticks were tied/glued together and inserted through the neck opening into the head. The body then was attached to the neck so that the lower ends of the sticks were inserted into the body -- all in all giving a sturdiness to the doll.
|Ray's toque, Christmas/Chanukah, 2010|
Ray's toque is made with enough length to fold up a cuff or brim . If creating a brim on a toque with a back seam, then it's necessary to seam the upper part of the toque on the inside and the lower part on the outside, so that when you turn it up, no seaming shows.
|Here's the Birthday Girl!!|
|Lauren's Birthday Socks, February 6, 2011|
Babies!! Here is a new endeavour for me -- baby wear! A friend's son married in 2010 and his wife gave birth during 2011. What an exciting project, with such beautiful colours and a very simple pattern. I love the combination of the lime and turquoise shades. The "waistline," cuffs and collar are all done in a simple garter stitch, alternating colours every two rows. The rest of the pattern is in stocking stitch, and the sleeves are set-in style.
My project this month is this beautiful ruanna, very easy to knit, but quite flattering and attractive to wear.
November 2, 2011
Whew! Just in time I completed knitting Captain America, a stuffy for my grandson, Owen's birthday. Once again, I had no pattern to work from, but I consulted images of Captain America online, and looked up methods of making stars, as well as mittens and boots for dolls. I had to alter all of those ideas to suit the size I needed for Captain America. It's hard to tell from the photo, I think, that the shield is crocheted in rounds of single crochet. I did find a pattern for a knitted star, which I made separately, and then sewed on to the shield.
The boots start out in knitting from the top down to the ankles, and then I crocheted the toe section, sewing both together when complete.
Once I had finished all the pieces, I stuffed them with quilt batting, which is washable, and then sewed everything together. The only removable part is the shield, which is attached to the right arm with an elastic band sewn onto the shield.
No doubt you will notice the odd wings on the head -- but I was given strict instructions by Owen to make sure I put them on. I crocheted both of them, and just sewed one side to the head.
I'm afraid that this creation doesn't look proportioned very well. My first attempt at the head had it almost twice as large as it looks now, and the musculature of Captain America, I'm sure, is nowhere near the girth it should be for a superhero!! I'll wait for feedback from Owen once he receives it.
November 6, 2011
Well, I've heard that Captain America was very well received! My grandson loves him and has already started sleeping with his new stuffy every night. I'm so glad! Now, I have resumed my work on a sweater for Owen's sister, Lauren, a replica of a Roxy sweater that we saw in a store window during the summer and found online later. Once again I'm working without a pattern, but I did use several things that helped. Lauren had tried on an old Cowichan sweater of mine while she was here, and although it was a little bit too wide, it generally fit her very well. I also looked up a pattern for a zippered jacket in size small, similar measurements, which gave me an idea of the type of wool and how many stitches to cast on for that size.
I used Patons Shetland Chunky yarn, an acrylic and wool blend, which can be machine washed, cool, and dried flat after rolling in a towel to extract excess water. After all my prep, it was all guess work! When it came to the Roxy designs on the front, I used my trusty graph paper to chart the tree, heart and snowflake. I believe they're a bit smaller than the original Roxy sweater designs as they seemed to use much heavier yarn than I did. However, I think the designs came out well. I love doing the graphs and then watching them come to life as I knit!
Here are a few of the blocking photos:
|These are the fronts|
November 20, 2011
Yes, I finished Lauren's sweater a few days ago, and here it is!
|Tree, inside view|
|Snowflake, inside view|
|Fair Isle heart, inside view|
|Intarsia heart, inside view|
Hard to believe that I haven't used this blog space for months already! Here is the Angry Bird golf club cover that I knit for my son-in-law, Ray, for a Christmas/Chanukah gift -- and yes, it did arrive on time! I have just been negligent in updating the blog.
The pattern I found for this project was unclear when it came to doing the colour work, so I had to improvise, make corrections, make the eyes separately after the finishing the knitting, and sew them on. The eyebrows were done in duplicate stitch to add more texture. The pattern needed to indicate the start of the chart-work as I had gone merrily along in the red, as written, before realizing it was too late!
Oh, dear, another Christmas/Chanukah gift I forgot to post in 2011. This is a wine bottle holder that I knit for my son, Jamie -- and yes, there was a bottle of wine inside!
|Lauren in hat to match Roxy sweater|
|Friend, Karen, neckwarmer, Christmas, 2012|
|A neckwarmer to keep -- so many different patterns!|
It was already 2013 by the time I finished Heather's poncho for Christmas/Chanukah. It was a beautiful all cotton yarn, Ultra Pima, by Cascade, which was lovely to work with. I doubled the yarn to make a warm poncho and found this pewter pin to set it off. I am still waiting for a photo of her wearing it! I had to wrap it and send it off, so my only photos are the ones I took myself.
April 7, 2013
Well, this morning I received photos of my granddaughter wearing the poncho I made for my daughter! It looks great on her, don't you think?
|Lauren in Heather's Poncho|
|View with pin closure|
|Pattern Chart magnetized to metal notebook stand|
Altogether too long since I've updated this page! You may think I've been slack and not done a piece of knitting, but you would be wrong! I've been working fairly steadily on my most challenging piece to date. I'm making a pair of lace stockings for my granddaughter. We found a Vogue pattern from 2009, with most of the instructions on the charts. I have found errors in the charts, even in the numbering of the rows, so it has taken time to figure out what was meant by the person who designed the stockings, and how her instructions have been put to chart.
Aside from the difficulty, this is a labour of love! My daughter, cleverly, suggested that I use a secretary's notebook stand, made of wire so that it is magnetic, and that has helped keep the pattern pages upright. Aside from that, she blew up each chart so that my vision is not so highly taxed by trying to read the charts up close! Over time, I have become more familiar with how the pattern works on the charts, finally "getting the hang" of them. I think I am much more a "word person" than a "chart person" so this has been a challenge!
I am within sight of the top of the leg (they are toe-up design)! I added several more rows of pattern to Chart 3, as my granddaughter wants the stockings to be thigh high. I have an idea that the old-fashioned garter belt is going to be put to good use once again. The pattern calls for attaching elastic at the tops, and I may, but I'm concerned that my granddaughter will be forever hiking them up, or they'll pinch, or, worst of all, that she'll give up on wearing them if they're too much of a bother. We'll see.
Well, at last! The lace stockings are finished and fit my granddaughter. This was an ambitious project and seemed to take me a very long time. Truly a gift of love! Now I'm late for the November birthdays and have to get cracking!
This is a long sweater for Heather's 40th Birthday, made of cotton yarn. Until fairly recently, all the cottons were "dishrag" variety, but now there are some beautiful and soft cottons. I used the Cascade Ultra Pima, as I had for the poncho above, this time with Colour 3716, Chocolate. The photo doesn't do justice to the rich and dark colour of the yarn. With the poncho I had doubled the yarn, which made a very heavy poncho. In this project, I used the yarn as it came in the hank. My daughter says it fits and she wears it, but she is very reluctant to send photos of herself. Luckily, I have been taking photos of all my projects.
Owen's birthday falls on the same day as his mom's. I really needed to do a rush job to get all the projects done for birthdays and for Chanukah/Christmas. Eventually, all arrived, a little late. I loved creating this Evil Purple Minion, two-eyed, from Despicable Me 2. Owen sent me a picture of this character and I was able to create him fairly easily and quickly from the picture. The hair was another matter! I looked up how to starch yarn, followed the "recipe", but was disappointed in the results -- the yarn was as limp as it had been to start! So, I lay out the cut pieces of yarn on some paper towelling, and used my hair spray to see what would happen. It worked perfectly! Once dry, I flipped over the hair and sprayed the second side. Of course I had to leave the head open and unfinished until I set in the hair standing on end. I then closed the head, tightening the closure by running the yarn through the remain stitches, pulling very tightly, and then stitching with a needle to reinforce the hair's position.
Before I knew it, Christmas/Chanukah were almost here. Owen's request this time was for the Walking Dead! I looked at images on the Internet, which were pretty gruesome! What kind of grandmother makes "bloody" creatures?! Then, I received from Heather and Owen an image of a toy person from the Walking Dead. The toy looks like a toy, and from the image, I was able to create the pattern.
The legs and torso came first, completed in red, for the blood, and sewing onto that section some red Velcro. I then created the top half of the body, using duplicate stitch for the eyes nose, mouth and heart, and glued-on stuffing for the white hair. This time I started with red yarn at the mid-section and later sewed on the other part of the Velcro so that the body could be put together or torn apart! Off the parcel went, and from all reports, it was well received!!
One more project before Christmas. This was for Owen's cousin, Jaidyn, who had also asked me to make her an Evil Purple Minion. I chose a slightly different shade, a different hairdo for this one, and made this Minion with one eye only.
February 24, 2014
And here we are in 2014! I've taken a short break from knitting for others and have decided to make something for myself. I had a Mary Maxim kit, sitting for more than a year, with a lovely pattern and shade of wool, all ready to go. It's a cardigan, this time, with a border all around the bottom and up the two fronts. I have already finished the back, the two fronts, and both sleeves. Right now I'm working on the collar, and then will see how the pattern works for putting everything together. I managed to do quite a bit of it during the Olympics!! I was watching the tv, but kept my needles going, except in the moments when I couldn't take my eyes off the screen -- some of the ice dance, my favourite skating discipline, and yes, the winning hockey game between Canada 3 and Sweden 0..
|One sleeve, before blocking or sewing|