Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Achievement!

I know I have several FOs to blog about, but all I want to write today about is Kaffe Fassett’ pillow. It took me absolute ages to complete. It drove me to insanity: often I felt like putting the whole damned thing to flames. I think it is my one and only block knitting project.
I was so fed up with it that once finished; I could not bring myself to sewing it together. So, my boyfriend did it! His first ever machine sewn piece (I am very proud). A collective effort in the end!

Model: Natural Tumbling Blocks by Kaffe Fassett (Rowan Club kit)
Yarn: Rowan Rowanspun 4-ply, 1 ball for each colour 701, 702, 704, 705, 706, 710
Needles: Addi circulars 4.5mm
Time: August 2006-December 2007
For my grandpa

Friday, December 28, 2007

Stripy hat for DB

Ever since I saw this wonderful hat I knew I was meant to knit it. I wanted the exact replica: slouchy, alpaca-y, and stripy. I even went as far as purchasing the same yarn and counting down the exact number of rows for each colour. All of this only to realise, the colours did not work for me but did for my boyfriend, so I made it only 2/3 of the way.

Pattern: Palisel Hat by ever talented Olga
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight in colours 507, 508, and 510
Needles: 4.00mm and 5.00mm
Modifications: only knitted it 2/3 of the way but keeping the original striping

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What is cooking?

Hooray, I am finally blogging about my ongoing projects, not just posting images of the finished ones!
First it is Mad Colour Sock knitted in Sunshine yarn. I love the pattern; love the yarn….but the colour itself…. Well, it is called Colorado sunset and in a skew it looked magnificent, in the knitting however it is a totally different story…

I’ve never seen Colorado sunset but this to me looks more like Gauguin’s Marquesas period. The pooling is psychedelic, cannot make out whether I like it or hate it. Interesting part of this knit is the fact I wanted to find the pattern to suit variegated yarn. My only previous experience of variegated was Monkey socks (which I have to admit turned out rather bad as yarn overshadowed the pattern) and this time around I wanted it to work. So, I hunted for some lovely yarn to knit this pattern. Still not convinced though fitting is great and yarn itself is fantastic.

Second, it is Icarus shawl for my boyfriend’s mum. It is done after almost three full weeks of knitting. The pattern is nice and simple but having 500sts in a row was new to me. I will wash and block it soonish, so expect FO pics soon

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Birthday present

For my boyfriend…

Model: Beau from Rowan Vintage Knits
Yarn: 7.1 balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in colour Muffin
Needles: 4.00mm and 5.00mm
Modification: sleeves are 10cm longer (done to his particular specification)

And from left-overs…

Model: Zeebee
Yarn: 0.8 ball of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran in colour Muffin
Needles: 4.00mm
Modifications: made 5 repeats instead of 4

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Helmet Hat Pattern

Finally the pattern for this hat is done, sorry for 7 months delay...

This is a very simple pattern, easily adjustable to fit and looks good with variegated yarn.

Yarn: I have used slightly over 1 ball of Gedifra Fashion Trend Color in colour 4567 (roughly about 100yards). This is very inconvenient unless you already have some of that yarn as left-overs (I had, so going over 1 ball made no difference). Any Sport weight yarn suitable for US 6-8 (4.00-5.00mm) will work.

Gauge: 15st x 20rs (10cm x 10cm/ 4inch x 4inch)

Needles: 4-5mm (US 6-8) circulars. I knit using magic loop, but you can chose to work with DPN or any length of circulars.

Size: 56cm (standard) adjust by adding removing pattern repeats

Pattern: [3K, 3P]*

Also you need crochet hook (same size as your needles) and extra yarn for cast on (try to use same type as your hat yarn).

With crochet hook cast on 84sts (28 pattern repeats). Change to needles and your hat yarn: [K3, P3] x 14. Carefully enclose the ring (take care not to twist). Now continue knitting in your pattern for 12cm (here 24rows).


Note: Knit 3 rows keeping the pattern after each decrease row!

Start decreasing in the P3 regions of the pattern only. P2tog first two sts in every following purl region (i.e. K3, P2tog, P1, K3, P3). You now have 77sts.

Repeat decreases with the P3 regions you have not decreased last time. You will now have 70sts left and pattern will be [K3, P2] x 14.

Repeat decreases as above until you have [K3, P1] x 14 pattern and 56sts.

Decrease as above but now with SKPO (sl1, k1, psso) instead of P2tog; first by decreasing P1, then K3. Continue until you will have 14K sts left. SKPO every second sts in one row, so you have only 7sts left. Cut yarn and with either crochet hook or needle close and secure those sts. You now have main body of the hat.

To make the helmet, remove waste cast on and put a needle through all stitches, you will now work in opposite direction from previous knitting!

Using markers, select 33 front sts (starting and finishing with P3); this will be your forehead region.

Row1 (RS): Join the yarn just in front of your first marker; P1, P2tog, cast off front 27 sts, P2tog, P1, finish the row following the pattern. You will now knit only the ear flops and the back having both right and wrong sides.

Row 2 (WS): SKPO, work the pattern until last 2 sts, K2tog

Row 3: SKPO, work the pattern until last 2 sts, K2tog.

You now have 15 sts of first ear flop (K3, P3, K3, P3, K3), 21sts of the back and 15sts of second ear flop (K3, P3, K3, P3, K3).

Knit following pattern for 7 more rows and close the back 21sts leaving only ear flop regions to be worked separately. You might wish to make the back region longer, mine is 5cm longer.

Ear flops are knitted using the same decreases method as in the main body of the hat. Keep decreasing until you have only 3 sts remaining, K3tog and secure the end.

That’s it! You have your own helmet hat! Mine took under 2hrs from initial measurements to the end result ;)

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I know I haven’t been blogging... there is a combination of having little time and little desire to knit. Uni shrink says that if you do not feel like keeping up your hobby, you are depressed. And I guess I am, mentally I am finding my PhD very-very hard, and it just sucks up all my energy and will-power. But with a little help and holidays coming soon, I fell like knitting again.

So, here are two presents I have knitted for my friends in last one and a half months:

Pattern: Swan Lake (aka Mystery Stole 3) from MS3 KAL
Yarn: 1.2 balls of JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18 in Vanilla
Needles: Addi Lace circulars 3.5mm

Pattern: I love Gansey socks from Six Sox KAL
Yarn: 2 skew of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Solid in Old Rose
Needles: Addi Lace circulars 2.5mm
Modifications: the Celtic knot (as has been discussed in the group); added 5 rows of garter stitch before toe decreases, so it is symmetrical to the top of sock

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mushroom Hat Pattern

Mushroom Hat

Materials: 3 skews of Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hand Dyes (here colour 1003 Porcupine). Note that skews have slightly uneven yardage
Needles: 15mm and 20mm
Gauge: there are three different gauges used here
· Double yarn on 20mm: 4 x 5 in 10cm x 10cm
· Single yarn on 20mm: 5 x 7.5 in 10cm x 10cm
· Single yarn on 15mm: 7.5 x 10 in 10cm x 10cm

Note: I would strongly recommend swatching as it varies from knitter to knitter!

Depending on whether you want it to be close fitting (like original Marc Jacob) or slouchy, as here, you would have to cast on and distribute you 3 skews differently. I did knit the more original looking hat initially but then opted to re-knit as slouchier since original was too low for my eye vision and because it was tight I could not adjust it. My version is VERY slouchy and some people may find it uncomfortable/impractical in every day life. I will give basic directions for tight option because I did not takes notes on how I knitted it and detailed instructions for slouchy option. The adjustment is very simple, so that something in the middle could be easily knitted.

Slouchy Option:

Cast on 44 stitches on 20mm needles with 1 strain of yarn and enclose in the circle (take care not to twist the yarn). Knit with 1x1 rib for 10-11 rows. This section of the hat will be folded inwards to make the shape.

Stay with 20mm needles but add another strain of yarn and knit for 12 rows. You will run out of one skew, so rejoin it with the 3rd skew and keep knitting; by the end of the 12-13 row you will run of the second skew and will be left with a single strain of yarn. This will mark the end of the main part of the hat. Knit 1 row with remaining 1 strain of yarn so that the change will be gradual.

Change to 15mm needles and knit 1 row across. Now start decreasing: because the hat is knitted in 1x1 rib it is very easy to do invisible even decreases. Note that when decreasing one knit and 1 purl stitches into one, it is the knit stitch, which is dominant and should come on top, i.e. knit both stitches together, so that purl is behind knit.

First row of decreases: decrease like above in every altering pair of knit and purl (i.e. Knit 2 together, 1K, 1P, K2T, 1K, 1P…)
Second row of decreases: decrease the altering row not decreased in the previous row only)
Repeat decrease rows 1-2 with remaining stitches, which by now should all be knit. Make sure that all your decreases will be to the same side.
Pass the yarn through the remaining stitches and pull tight closing the hat.

With remaining yarn sew the folded section of the hat taking extra care not to disturb the front pattern. Note that when folding fold in the first couple of rows knitted with double yarn, otherwise the change will be easily visible and it is the most visible part ;).

For the original-looking/ tight hat cast on 30 stitches on 20mm needles with 1 strand of yarn and join in the circle (take care not to twist), knit in 1x1 rib for about 15 rows (because you cased on less stitches you have more yarn to make the folded version larger; making it 20 rows and folding it twice will give even a better result). Join second strand and knit as in the previous option until left with single strain (this will give about 15-20 rows (if you run out of yarn in your first skew, join it with the third). Close and sew in as slouchy.

This pattern is easily twigged to be in between, just cast on even number of stitches!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Green Marsh

This sweater was finished a month ago but I never got around posting about it. I love how it came out and it did get quite a lot of wear already! However, I found out, I am not much of the alpaca person: it scratches too much, so I will use another set of this yarn for boyfriend’s sweater.

Pattern: Highgate from JM08
Yarn: 7.7 balls of Jaeger Luxury Tweed in colour Kew (826)
Needles: 3.25mm and 4.00mm

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Camouflage Stole Pattern

Hi, I am still here, just passing by… Thank you everyone for some really nice words on my knitting. I am slowly integrating into my new life (work consumes a LOT more time these days ;)). Never-the-less I have two completed project I have to post, but first is one of my long-overdue patterns.

Camouflage stole

This stole is perfect as a first crochet project, for someone with no crochet experience.
I have used Alize Pure Wool Cashmira yarn, which is not available in Europe and America, but you can use any variegated DK weight yarn you like and has access to. I would like to re-knit it in Noro Silk Garden, which has the same gauge as in my stole. However, stitch pattern can easily be adjusted to fit any gauge.

Because this is a very simple stitch, you can take any yarn you like and the crochet hook recommended for this yarn (usually the same as needle size) and do 9cm x 9cm gauge. For me one of the advantages of this pattern is that there is only one row to be repeated over and over again, so you can easily stop once running out of yarn.

My stole took up 830 meters/ 900 yards of yarn to get dimensions of 150cm x 40cm. I have used 3.75mm crochet hook, but up to 4.5mm is fine. If you do want to crochet it, I would strongly advise to make it 50-60cm wide.

The stitch pattern used is called Rope stitch and it was taken from the book ‘Good Housekeeping: Crochet’ printed by Ebury Press in 1981 (ISBN 0852232047).

ch = chain
lps = loops
rep = repeat
t-ch = turning chain
sp = spare
tr = treble (Make a ch row, yrh, insert into 5th ch, yrh, draw 1 loop through; yrh, draw through first 2 lps on hook, rep one more; count to end, 3 t-ch, turn, make 1 tr into 2nd st on last row)
yrh = yarn over hook

Make a number of ch divisible by 3, 3ch, turn
Row1: 1tr into 4th ch from hook, 1ch, 1tr into next ch, *miss 1 ch, 1tr into next ch, 1 ch into next ch, rep from * to last ch, 1 tr into last ch, 3ch, turn
Row2: (1tr, 1ch, 1tr) into each ch sp to end, 1tr into t-ch, 3ch, turn.
Repeat row 2 throughout.

When you are happy with the length of your stole you can either stop or do fringe, I really love the fringe option with this stole. Please take into account that fringe takes up a LOT of yarn! My stole is 30 patter stitch repeats wide (90sts), therefore once bound off it has 90sts to pull fringe through. Three strains of yarns (40cm long each) formed a single bundle of fringe; 45 bundles were used on each side of the stole (in every other sts)

The calculation I would recommend you to use in order to estimate the meterage/yardage is as following:

The length of the fringe (keep in mind that you will fold each strain in two once knotting it) x number of strains you want to use in each bundle (I used three to get a better colour variegation) x number of bundles you used per side) x 2 (stole has 2 sides).
e.g. for my stole I used 40x3x45x2 =108meters of yarn.

That’s it! My stole only took me a couple of evenings to crochet bearing in mind that it was my first ever crochet project. I hope you make it ;)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Little things…

I am a hopeless blogger, almost a week since last entry despite my constant attempts to write something. Well, I had a pretty busy week this week: met my supervisor, went to all of the induction parts (more to come during next two weeks), and met lots and lots of people! Oh and finally, yesterday I went through matriculation ceremony, becoming a proper Cambridge student (and it wasn’t as scary as it sounds)

On the knitting front: I have a very small FO, one new sock and completed back, front and half of one sleeve of Highgate.

Model: Colorimetry from Knitty Winter 2006
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cathay (less then one ball, about ½, left from Mimosa)
Needles: 4.00mm
Modifications: casted on 110 stitches (10 sts less)

I love Gansey sock (sock 1)

Highgate (an old picture)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Elastico Jacket

A new jacket finished in under a week. Love it!

Model: 12 from Lana Grossa Cotone Magazine
Yarn: 7.5 balls of Lana Grossa Elastico (colour 60)
Needles: 4.0mm and 4.5mm
Crochet hook: 3.5mm

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Moving on

I am back! I know it’s been a while but I just got so busy with my Dissertation writing, moving to a different city, flat cleaning, unpacking… In the process I’ve lost weight, quite a bit of hair, peace. I’ve gained insomnia, a couple of grey hair, hatred for flow cytometry analysis, and hopefully an MSc in Medical Genetics with Cancer Research (the board meeting is in December). Just for the record, if you not sure whether you want to do a Masters, think again, because you have to want it (and I am so not ready to start my PhD in less than 2 weeks time, I am just so TIRED).

With all of this going on, there has been absolutely no knitting. And now I am obsessed about that fact and feel like knitting for 24hrs (not good, I need to sleep). So, I guess there would be some action here. Stay tuned. Oh, and before I go, I’ll show you the top I’ve knitted back in July (before I’ve lost some weight)

Pattern: Lace Nightie form Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Yarn: 4 skeins of Alchemy Silk Purse (21e Green Plum)
Needles: Addi Lace circulars 3.75mm
Modifications: a part of initial cast on and lace motif, it’s all been changed

Friday, August 03, 2007

Anna Kneehighs

Finally done! I’ve actually bought yarn for them a year ago now, as soon as Rowan 40 came out (have you seen the new one? Love it). So, after several rip ups, here it is.

Pattern: Anna Socks from Rowan 40
Yarn: 3 balls of Rowan 4-ply soft in colour 980
Needles: Addi lace circulars 2.5mm and 3.25mm
Modifications: went for smaller needles on the ankles
Extras: velvet ribbon

PS: Victorian Lace Socks are from Six Sox Knitalong, a yahoo group, which posts their exclusive patterns every 2 months. The latest one is Fantastic; cannot wait for cast it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Victorian Lace Socks

Pattern: from June 2007 Six Sox KAL
Yarn: 1 skew of Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock in Ivory (as seen at Nattugla2007 )
Needles: Addi's 2.5mm DPN for one and new Addi lace circulars 2.5mm for another one Modifications: extended rib, heel, toe, YO in 'Melon stitch'

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The pathetic blogger

Sorry guys, with only 7 weeks left until dissertation submission, life is getting pretty hectic here, meaning I have less and less power left for knitting and blogging. Besides it is summer and I want to get away during weekends, travelling around lovely Cambridgeshire County and visiting new places.
Here is the top I finished more than a week ago…

Model: Top 140 from Burda 06/07 (I call it Summer Breeze)
Yarn: 5 balls of Luxury Yarns Hawaii in colour 958
Needles and hooks: 3.5mm and 2.5mm
Modifications: I made the back piece 1cm longer and crocheted the edges so that the straps would not roll and fall down the shoulders

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The One with the Sale and Chest Pain

I have been experiencing some chest pain through this week, so I am on a caffeine-free diet right now. Kind of tough, like I‘ve lost the grip of what I am doing, as my daily pace had to slow down. I am staying away form books and articles this weekend, devoting much of my time to knitting. Summer Breeze top is now 2/3 done, but there is no summer to wear it.
I also went to John Lewis yesterday to find out it was a huge sale day. Look what I’ve bought: 4 skews of Debbie Bliss Pure silk at the price 3 times cheaper! I would have liked to buy more but it was all they had left in this particular shade of silver grey. Have to find a pattern for it.

I also bought 1 ball of Rowan 4-ply Cotton for the bag I fell in love with this weekend. Go and check it out if you haven’t already done so at Purl Bee.

Oops, just realised, I never blogged about the top. Well I it is from German Burda 06/07, model 140. This is the picture from the mag and the one with the beginning of the back (I am now at the same place with the front)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Not a knitting post

I got a letter from Cambridge Overseas Trust today saying I’ve got a full Overseas science scholarship for the duration of my PhD (3 years). I need something for my heart now…

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Project re-visit: Rust sweater

Sweater was knitted almoust a year ago, but was left in Russia and hence not photographed.

Model: 1 from Russian version of Verena 09/05 (Gernam 03/05).
Yarn: 10 balls (500gr) ofGedifra Azzuro in colour Tangerine
Needles: 5.00mm and 5.5mm

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Slowly but surely

I am so busy right now with all my lab work that there is almost no time left for knitting. Sad, I check other people’ blogs daily and feel like I am the laziest knitter there is. I am loosing my knitting mojo.

The only thing I have still been trying to knit from time to time is sister’s bolero: which it the biggest and most complicated piece I’ve ever done.

So far I am up to underarm decreases at row 50! This means I am only at about 20% of the entire bolero…

Another piece of knitting I was doing this weekend was my Entrelac Sock: finished the first heel tried it on and realised that the sock was waaaay too small, so it had to go. I have absolutely no idea if I will ever attempt to re-knit it.

My exams results are on: I’ve done really well! Thank God, just my dissertation to go now, which reminds me that I have to submit 4000 word introduction component by the end on next week and I haven’t started yet…