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….

Creativity · Designing · Life

Making it

Today while having a tidy up I found the drawing of the Maxi Ear Warmer. I love drawing. And look how it turned out! I reflected, rather smugly, that I am achieving much of what my teen self wanted; although I wondered if my teen self would be particularly overjoyed. True, I am a designer, musician and fitness professional, however my teen self would have wanted ‘famous’ to preface those professions. That fame was as important as the actual thing that earned it. I guess it’s part of being young. Now in my 40’s I’m delighted I can pretty much do what I like. We have enough.

This got me thinking about the idea of ‘making it’, you know when people say they want to ‘make it’ as a singer/designer/artist/whatever. The idea of being a celebrity/household name/whatever for doing something. How hollow, how temporary and how little it has to do with the act of creating something. There are many many artisans /artists etc who pretty much do what they like and have enough to live but whom few people have heard of.

Our little girl has recently started playing ‘pop stars’ with her friends at school. I’m not entirely sure what this entails. And so it starts again. I hope I can help her see that it’s the act of doing that’s the important bit, not the fame that might or might not come as a result. And why is that important? Because when ‘Making It’ is measured by fame and mass recognition by oneself and others it’s too easy to be encouraged to have ‘back up plans’. My back up plans sucked and brought me very little happiness; I wish I’d had the confidence at the time to accept my own judgement as valid enough rather than relying on external recognition.

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

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!?

Creativity · Designing · Life

Finished!!!

Oh my! I just LOVE this. It’s going to be a wrench to sell it. It’ll suit those with long hair in a pony tail just as much as those with short hair…I really enjoyed knitting it, I love cable and am working on some new designs. The trick then will be to work out how to do them… I might need a grown up to help! Oh wait, I am the grown up… apparently.

I’m waiting for a new batch of Om charms to arrive so I can see them on, then expect to see a massive overhaul if my selling page and Etsy. Until then I’m working on a gorgeous ankle warmer in 100% wool. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t causing a few issues. I rubbed my eyes while knitting and it was game over for at least half an hour. Right now though I’m going to get back to my book, the one I’m writing in knitting. That one! 📖 while repeating the mantra, I know my stuff…

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Extreme Knitting

Today we wound up a family weekend away with a trip to Taunton to see my in laws. And very lovely it was too!

And here’s me, knitting cable in a moving van while playing eye spy – how’s that for extreme knitting! I also worked back stitches through several rows where it became evident I got the stitch wrong. Knitting like a Boss, that’s how I feel (I’d strongly recommend Fearless knitting from Craftsy). It’s rare I feel accomplished at anything. I usually I dismiss it as being easy or meaningless when ever I could feel accomplished so I’m super glad to be able to acknowledge not only the personality trait but also revise it.

Anyway, I finished this gorgeous extra wide ear warmer… I love this yarn. Gutted it’s no longer available; I’ve traveled through all the knitting sights and ebay to no avail. I’m not sure this one will be for sale.., always a good sign when I get possessive…

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Ooooh a nice cup of tea!

Nothing like a nice cup of tea after a wet and windy day. Check out these lovely mitts too, so cosy and just the thing for the first ice skating session in over 20 years! Not that I got to wear them much; the little once had them on for most of it!

Anyway skating around reminded me of the roller discos we went to as kids at The Ritzy in Plymouth, the hair, the make up, the ra at skirts and of course the leg warmers. I don’t have a very good track record for knitting leg warmers but I’ve been inspired! I’ve got some of this lovely red sparkly yarn at home, or maybe some super chunky… hmmmm🤔