Designing · giving · Home · Knitting

Never too early for a free pattern!

We don’t put our family tree up until December sometime. This is my Market Stall tree, complete with my lovely little knitted decorations. I’m making some new ones for this year too. If you’d like to have a go at knitting some glorious decorations this year click on the link below for the free pattern. It’s a great stash buster … what’s your preference, colour scheme or mix it up?

Creative Christmas

CLICK LINK FOR FREE PATTERN

Knitting · Life

Killer Knitters

Today I took my little one to the Charity shop to get her a set of knitting needles. I’m trying to teach her to knit and she had been using my stealth needles but I think maybe they’re too short.

Anyway, having looked around for them we went up to the counter and asked… ‘ have you got any knitting needles?’ The lady smiled, ‘We have to keep them under the counter’ she said, adding apologetically, ‘we had an audit…. ‘

We had a laugh, us knitters are well known for our aggressive attacks on others with our knitting needles… maybe in a parallel universe or perhaps if someone tried to interfere with our knitting making us drop stitches in complicated lace pattern….

So anyway I rummaged through the box, successfully resisting the urge to stab the assistant in the eye with a 3.5mm. I settled on a purple plastic 8mm mainly because they were the only ones they had and the box was put back under the counter like a box of dirty videos at the newsagents.

I guess anything can be used as a weapon. That’s the fearful world we live in I suppose. That a crazed maniac may spot the knitting needles in a charity shop and launch an attack. I’m thinking they could probably do more damage with some of the ties and heavy boots on display. So anyway, out of curiosity I googled (other search engines are available, apparently) whether the Health and Safety Executive has anything to say on he matter; they do. They don’t care whether charity shops sell knitting needles and see no H&S reason not to.

Ah well, it made me smile.

Designing · Knitting · learning · Life

Making up

Today I finished knitting the parts of my open tank. I know I’ve been going on and on about it (especially if you follow me on instagram (@ohmymakery); that’s because it’s the largest pattern I’ve worked on for a while and at times it was a bit tricky as I was doing new things.

I’ve learned a lot, and I’ll need to change a few bits a pieces.  For example, the side edging I thought would stop the stocking stitch curl didn’t. Instead I will include some garter or moss edging. Then there’s the quantity of yarn required. Just over 600g and I mean just.  I can lose 4 rows without changing the design; I’ve got a really long body so I shouldn’t have measured it on me (lesson 3)! That will ensure that the knitter can be confident that they will only need 6 balls of yarn to complete the project. I changed the neck design as the roll neck didn’t sit well, but doubling it up looks great and gives it real structure.

I would be lying if I said it’s been easy or particularly relaxing; that’s been strange. The whole point of knitting for me is to be meditative and for that I’ve always thought relaxing.

It was stressful at times because I was having to write pattern notes as I went (there was no way that I would be able to work out what I’d done by just looking). Other times I could just sit back and knit.  Where ever I was in the pattern however, I noticed a kind of stillness in myself. That I needed to be completely in the moment with the knitting. I’m looking forward to trying it again in a different yarn. A man made fibre this time. It behaves quite differently sometimes but I’m sure it’ll work.

I know some people don’t like man made fibres and there are arguments both sides. Those of you who are familiar with me know that I’m allergic to wool and so I favour man made; also it is much easy to wear and wash etc. I’m also conscious that knitting can be very elitist at times; not everyone can afford £10 a ball yarn. The diversity choose are soft and durable like so many other man made fibres.

Knitting · learning · Life

Two steps forward, one step back.. that’s what learning looks like

This afternoon I settled down in my Makery and had a go at adding an edging. I’d not done it before and was quite excited.

I realised fairly early on that my usual relaxed knitting style was too loose. That rectified, I was happy with the result but it didn’t do what I thought it would. My intention was that it would stop the ubiquitous stocking stitch curl edge. It didn’t. Lesson learned. Well 3 actually.

1) I tried something new and as a technique I was pleased with the result.

2) I discovered that the edging doesn’t stop the edge curling.

3) I learned I was brave enough to undo my work rather than try and make good…. I know I’m not alone in being reluctant to do this!

So going forward, the next version will have a garter edge and I’ll knit it in one piece with contrasting yarns. I’m looking forward to that. And now I’m going to make a start on the back; some lovely cable work there to get stuck into. Oh and resist the urge to buy more yarn…. I’ve made this sign for my makery…😂😂😂

Creativity · Designing · Knitting

Worse problems to have

Just going through my sadly dwindling supply of Erika Knight Maxi Yarn…

I’m planning an open side easy tank top in the Artisan; I have a little of the Mallard left and will use that lovingly to edge the garment… something like this. that’s IT! No more adding to the collection until I’ve collated and checked all my patterns… honest guv’nor.

I’m pretty sure that will take most of the Artisan I have… then there’s what to do with the 400g of Pretty I forget what the grey and the purple are called… hmmm choices, choices….

Designing · Knitting · Life

Charmed!

Been sewing on these glorious little Om charms today. It was my reward for (finally) sitting down at the laptop and de-coding my scrawls and short hand from various scraps of paper.

It’s like some elaborate cryptic quiz which, more often than not, requires me go back to the knitted item while muttering something about taking better notes, counting rows, stitches etc. It’s not my favourite job!

Then I’ll knit them all again, following the pattern to the letter, correcting it where it’s obviously wrong. I don’t usually use a different yarn until I’ve corrected the pattern and then I’ll knit it again, measure and compare the finished article with the original yarn. Sometimes things come up smaller in different yarns.

What I also like to do is have other people knit the items. This is like a double check on the pattern and also checks that what I’ve written makes sense to other knitters. If you would like to have a go at an original pattern, please email me at ohmymakery@gmail.com

Designing · Knitting · learning

Accidents will happen!

Remember yesterday I said my pattern was still in my illegible shorthand? Hmmm… I forgot to write down the increase at row 40. So that’s why I’m unraveling stitch by stitch … ho hum.

It could be worse, I’m sitting by a fire in my makery den with only the sounds of the trees and passing trains. Did I mention the fire?

Anyway, I sewed up the first leg today and it fits nicely. Some leg /ankle warmers are made for skinny Minnie’s. Not here. Remember strong is the new skinny. I’m catering for calf muscles! I’ll work out a narrow version, in the interests of diversity!

Anyway having just one on made me want to break out my cool roller skates… yes, I think these are mine!!! All mine!!!!

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Second leg

I’m taking a break from knitting second leg of the leg warmers as I can’t find my anti histamine and I’ve got itchy eyes and mouth. I’m teaching spin in a bit so I’m giving it a chance to calm down!

It is more usual for leg warmers to be knitted on 3 or 4 needles; that’s maybe why I hate doing them so much… Apart from that I wanted to make something that could be recreated easily by a beginner. Wrestling with lots of needles is not very beginner friendly. That said, my husband went to a Steiner school in Edinburgh and they made socks as their learning to knit project.

This pattern introduces the beginner to simple increases, changing colour and rib. The Super Chunky yarn knits up quickly so even the slowest knitter will be able to see good progress which is a great motivator. The sewing up will also introduce mattress stitch (or Henson stitch as I first came across it making puppets!)

The next stage will be to try it out in different brands of yarn to see how they come out and each repetition gives me the opportunity to check the pattern. At the moment it’s in my pretty illegible shorthand on the back of one of my doodles.

I’d love these leg warmers to be mine, but I think they’ll just make me itch! Let’s see hey!?