Wednesday, 28 October 2015

I do still sew honest!

You could be forgiven for thinking that sewing has been usurped by knitting. However, you'd be wrong because I have a quilt in progress (the top would be finished if I hadn't decided it was a bit long and thin and needed an extra 'column'.) The trouble was I was so busy sewing I only managed a few dodgy instagram shots. I will blog about the quilt when I have some decent pictures and maybe a finished quilt.

So this post is about knitting...again. I'm just a little obsessed. I want to get those basic skills well and truly stuck in my head.  Otherwise it will be like learning all over again every time I pick up the needles.

Frustratingly my knitting stalled for want of some yarn to knit with. I had two orders in. The first was for the kit to knit a shawl. I waited what seemed forever for the order to arrive and it turned out it included everything but the yarn! This meant that pretty much all I had left to knit with was cotton. I had ordered some random balls when I started knitting and wash cloths seemed the order of the day for a beginner. Previous attempts at knitting meant it took me forever to achieve very little. Therefore I was pretty sure I'd spend about three months knitting away at wash cloths.

Unfortunately Fortunately my knitting progress was more rapid and I moved on from wash cloths quite quickly. I did have some nice looking Rowan Handknit cotton. Two balls of a nice blue. Helen suggested I knitted a pouch and choose a fancy stitch pattern for it to widen my skills. At first look the pattern that really spoke to me, looked far too complicated for me to master. Especially when Helen found instructions and they were a chart. I've only just learnt to knit now it looked like I'd have to decipher Morse code in a grid!

I cast on and started knitting. It took me a while to get my head around the chart and after a few rows I realised if I was going to master the chart and the pattern it wasn't going to be in the cotton which I hated knitting with (as much as I have done all the other cotton.) Not only does it look like an old string vest it is slippy and feels like string. I pulled it out.

  Knitting with Rowan Handknit Cotton

Still itching to knit I had a rummage and came across the left over yarn from the first lovely cowl Helen knitted me. I thought I'd have a practise at the chart with this yarn. It was so much nicer than knitting with the cotton. In no time at all I was at the end of the green yarn and thought I'd add in the other left over cowl yarn. I had even less of that. It was the same Aran weight (cashmerino) though, so I joined the new colour and got on with knitting...until I ran of out of that. Not to be deterred I remembered I'd left over cashmerino from knitting the ribbed hat. So I added that in and the idea struck me that this would be a scarf. A stripey left overs kind of Dr. Who? Scarf a la Tom Baker as the Dr. Only mine would be even fancier than his. 

Fancy Dr Who Scarf

The fatal flaw in that cunning plan was I soon ran out of the pink cashmerino and as a beginner knitter I do not have a great selection of yarns left over from other projects.  I resigned myself to knowing this would be a long term knitting project and I'd have to knit a lot in Aran to get enough left overs. However, I'd still got two balls of a beautiful kingfisher Cashmerino and Helen suggested a hat - and that I could use the pattern I'd used to knit my Crofter hat. I was a little confused as to how I'd work out the decreases etc in a different yarn but ploughed on anyway; disposing of the garter stitch ridge and just doing basic stocking stitch for the main body of the hat. 

A new hat!

I sat up late knitting away, Loving how my hat was progressing. Loving the fact that I'd be generating some more left overs for my scarf. I went to bed with a finished hat on the needles, intending to sew it up on Sunday morning.

5 hours work!

Sunday morning I was up stitching my hat together. The best invisible seam I'd done so far, even if I do say so myself. A lovely neat hat. Perfect...

Too big!

...until I tried it on. It was too big. Not just in the body, but round the rim. A gentle breeze would have been all it would have taken to lift it off. It just felt uncomfortably big.

It's too big!

An emergency email to Helen to see what I could do and that was pretty much - hope it shrinks a bit in the wash (dangerous though as intentionally trying to shrink something could result in felting it.) or unpicking it. I could have cried. That was five hours of my life I wasn't going to get back. And remember me saying how I'd just done the neatest invisible seam? Hmmm so blooming invisible that unpicking it to unravel the hat was a bitch. I ended up with loads of mini balls. Although I confess it took far less time unpicking it than knitting it. 

That used to be my hat

On the plus side I did have lots of left overs for my scarf. Which I'm loving. 


Although to continue the stripey design I'll need to wait for more Aran before I can get going with adding more to the scarf. 

Then Tuesday when I got back from a walk my second yarn order had arrived. I at least have yarn for another hat and a scarf. I'm loving the thought of knitting with some chunky yarn and I'm clearly heavily influenced by the autumn colours around right now.

latest yarn order arrived


  1. Hi there,
    I have been following your Blog for a while and do enjoy seeing your photos of your garden, birds, patchwork and trips. I am a knitter myself, although not very good at it. I like the the scarf you are making out of oddments, I suspect you are going to have to buy yarn especially for this project.
    keep up the good work,

    1. Hi Hilary

      I went to answer your comment by email but you're set as a no-reply-blogger. Thank you for your lovely words about my reading my blog. I think you're right I'm going to have to buy more aran yarn. Either that or knit a lot more hats.


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