Friday, 26 September 2014

Family Tree MKAL: Clue 3

I'm so far behind on this MKAL that there is really nothing mysterious about it any more, so knowing what was coming ahead I had a bit of a decision to make. Clue 4 gives the option to either repeat clue 3 on the opposite side or to incorporate a second stitch pattern to make an asymmetrical shawl. Now I knew that there was no way in the world I could do that, I have a strong need for things to be matchy matchy. My brother wears odd socks, on purpose, every single day and it makes me so twitchy I don't know how my SIL puts up with him! However, I had a notion that I might use the stitch pattern from clue 4 and alternate it with the clue 3 pattern just to add a bit of interest.

In the end I decided not to bother, I prefer the stitch pattern from clue 3 and, as both patterns involve knitting 3 together through the back loop a whole heap, the second stitch pattern was no less fiddly to execute. I'm perfectly happy with it but my next post won't be terribly interesting I'm afraid.


Friday, 12 September 2014

Family Tree MKAL: Clue 2

Well not only did Cassie's new pyjamas last the night but they still looked pretty good throughout the whole of the next day because she refused to take them off! Now that she's 2 1/2 she is very much asserting her own opinions and if she really wants to wear her jim jams all day and we have no plans otherwise then it is not really worth the argument to me. Of course I was secretly really pleased that she liked them and was comfortable enough in them to want to keep them on. I think we can say they are a great success.

So on to the Family Tree shawl, I'm now a whole 2 weeks behind and the final clue comes out today but I have finally finished the second clue.

Yes, it's a tree! The pattern suggested using beads at the end of each branch, which I thought would be really lovely but unfortunately I wasn't able to get hold of any in time. I figured I can always stitch some on later if I really feel like something is missing.

At the moment I'm feeling like this shawl is really pretty, but not entirely up my alley. I have already have an inkling as to where it's going to end up come Christmas time so I'm not terribly upset. It will be really nice to have a Christmas gift sorted already and I have so many other shawls I want to make for me that it's probably a good thing that I don't think I'll keep this one. I guess this is all part and parcel of mystery knitting.

The next two clues look far more simple, each row is the same all the way across with just a few rows being repeated so I'm looking forward to being able to just knit without worrying that I'll get distracted and confused which happens a lot in this house. I wonder how quickly I'll be able to catch up?


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

FO: Toddler Pyjamas

Don't ask about the Family Tree shawl, I'm still beavering away slowly on clue 2 and clue 5 is due out on Friday. Oops! Unfortunately it's been a little warm for my liking again and, because this clue involves lots of cables which needed all of my attention to knit it's been difficult to find moments where I can just sit and concentrate. I've cheated and had a look a at the next two clues and they look like they are a lot less involved so hopefully I can catch up before too long.

One reason why I've been unable to find a quiet moment is because Felicity is now walking! Properly, actually walking. She's been taking a few steps here and there for a few weeks now but in the last week or so she's really cracked it and is toddling about all day. Given that she's only just 8 months and particularly tiny with it she looks really funny, I'm super proud of her though.

Just giving myself a round of applause, I deserve it

So, onto Cassie's pyjamas. I've been meaning to sew these up for her for absolutely ages, I think the pattern has been in my collection for almost 2 years. I got some really cool fabric with skulls on in neon colours that I thought I would use but it turned out I didn't have enough of that, so I turned to this blue gingham that I've had for so long that it's moved house with me three times. Every time I've thought to use it I've ended up deciding that it's far too school uniformy but who cares when it comes to clothes you don't leave the house in. I've got enough left for a matching pair for Felicity plus a bit more so you'll probably see some more of it again soon.

The pattern is New Look 6932, I went for the boys bottoms because leg ruffles are most definitely not how we roll here and I used the short sleeves, again sans ruffle because NO RUFFLES. It all went together pretty easily, the trousers are super simple and although the yoke has quite a few steps it wasn't too much of a stretch for my rusty skills. I made a real effort to up my game when it came to finishing and I turned and stitched all my hems making the insides lovely and neat.

There's a few little elements that could have turned out better though. My gathering sucks because my gathering always sucks. I also need to move the buttons at the back in a bit because they are clearly in the wrong place. I tried the top on Cassie a few steps before the end and thought the top might be a little snug so I put the buttons quite far out accordingly, but it turned out to fit just fine and now the back is all gapey.

I went with pink buttons for a bit of contrast and also because

A gift from Father Christmas lat year

That huge jar of pink buttons is the reason why I will pretty much always go with pink buttons. Also that's not all of them, there's more that wouldn't fit in the jar.

All in all I'm chalking these up as a win, Cassie loves them and was so excited to have new jim jams at bed time. Hopefully they'll stand up to a night of wiggling about and we'll see just how good a job I did in the morning.



Saturday, 23 August 2014

Family Tree MKAL: Clue 1

I promised myself that if I finished Felicity's Baby Bubble before the second clue of the Family Tree MKAL arrived then I would go ahead and knit along. Liss got her new top on Thursday and the clue wasn't due to to arrive until the next day so I got to casting on and 336 stitches later I was ready to go.

The cast on was a two colour cast on so I've got this rather lovely pop of my contrasting colour right from the beginning.

After a few rows it was time to start a Latvian braid, something I've not done before so I was quite looking forward to it. It was actually really easy once I got into the rhythm, although it got a bit awkward towards the end of the first row because my yarns were OMGsupertwisty. Similarly the beginning of the second row was a bit fiddly until the yarns had unwound themselves a bit but it turned out really nicely in the end. I did the whole thing sat in my parents garden while my mum and sister played with the little misses. I'm pretty sure that if I'd attempted this at home it would have been a very different story!

I'm also really pleased with my colour choice, I decided to make this one a bit more high contrast than my last shawl and I'm really glad I did. I was undecided on whether to have the white or the teal (which seems to be looking more blue in the photos but I promise it's a dark teal colour) as my main colour. I plumped for the teal in the end because I figure it'll hide dirt better. It's as good a reason as any other!

Clue 2 has now arrived and there's a bit more to it that the first one, but hopefully I won't fall too far behind after my late start.


Friday, 22 August 2014

FO: Baby Bubble

It feels like it's a while since I actually finished anything so this quick little top for Felicity was the perfect thing to kick start my knitting again. The weather had certainly been a lot more mild over the last few days and I've been able to knit whenever my hands have been free.

After all that casting on this project went pretty smoothly right up until I started to realise that I might not have quite enough yarn. It wasn't a total disaster, I could tell that it would be close, but in the end I decided to err on the side of caution and cut the body a little short and have a look in the stash for something I could use if need be.

It turned out that I did need just a few metres more so I ended up knitting the last few rows of the ribbing at the waist and arms using Rowan Calmer in a slightly lighter shade of purple. It is slightly heavier than the main yarn and really stretchy so it actually worked pretty well for ribbing. It's also not totally obvious unless you know it's there but it's a pretty cute feature too.

Pattern: Baby Bubble by Yarn Madness

Yarn:100g Drops Muskat plus a few metres of Rowan Calmer


Monday, 18 August 2014

Making hay while the sun doesn't shine!

When Friday dawned all grey and windy and rainy I'm pretty sure everybody else groaned, but I rubbed my hands together with glee for around 5 seconds before realising that I should be putting them to better use and got out my knitting. This being August (albeit August in England) I'm was sure I couldnt expect this state of affairs to continue for long so, children and housework be damned, it was knitting time. Unfortunately the kids didn't get the memo, apparently nursing infants still require feeding even when there is knitting to be done. So inconsiderate! However I do still have something which is beginning to resemble a garment.

Plastic lady is guarding my knitting from that tiny hand on the left

Being a tiny wee thing for a tiny wee girl it is coming together pretty quickly. So it's time for a little agreement with myself. The first clue for the Family Tree Shawl MKAL came out today and I've been trying to decide whether to cast on for it. I really enjoyed the Me and You MKAL by the same designer earlier this year and this one looks really interesting with a two colour cast on and Latvian braids, but I've got loads of other stuff I want to knit too. I've decided to leave it up to fate, if I can finish this Baby Bubble before the next clue comes out then I can go ahead and cast on for the MKAL if not then I just move on to the next item in my queue when I do finish Felicity's top. Sounds fair enough?

Oh and speaking of Felicity, she surprised all of us by taking two tiny little steps on Thursday! I'm super impressed but she's 7 months for heavens sake, I'm not sure I'm ready for her to be trotting around just yet.

And lastly, how cute are my little owls? My sister gave them to me for my birthday in May and I love them an unnecessary amount.


Thursday, 14 August 2014

Cast on and and on and on...

The weather here is till not terribly knitting friendly so instead of throwing a total wobbly and upping sticks to the North Pole I decided to put my sock to one side and cast on with something from the giant bag of cotton I got in the Drops cotton super sale last month. So, cast on I did and then again and again and again. Seriously, I want to say I've had to cast on for this project four times now, but it could even be five I don't even know. The first go round my circular needles were too long, the second time I found shorter needles but they were shocking awful cheap ones and my stitches wouldn't go over the join. Then I found the right length cable for my interchangeables, cast on, started knitting the first row, got distracted halfway round and then somehow a load of stitches came off the needles and it was time to cast on yet again. Oh well, at least it's only 68 stitches.

I'm finding it quite sad that this tiny bit of knitting is news!

So here we are, all 68 stitches safely cast and the first row knit, hopefully for the last time! Should I actually manage to get to the end of this project with no more problems this will be a Baby Bubble, another pattern by Yarn Madness. I love her stuff for kids and one day I'll get round to trying one of her adult patterns for me. This one is for Felicity which means it will be a quick knit because she is so wee. At 7 months she is still growing into some of her 3-6 months clothes, such a contrast to Cassie who has always been quite large.

Being tiny certainly isn't stopping her though, she is now very competently cruising the furniture and can even let go and stand for a few seconds before grabbing on again. She's growing up so fast but she just continues to get more adorable by the day.