Posts Tagged ‘Knitting and Crochet’

While browsing for new Ravelry patterns to share on Monday, I came upon this lovely knit tee.  It’s DK weight, available up to a 60″ chest and looks perfect for the Summer!  What’s even better is, the pattern is on sale reduced from $4 down to just $2!  It’s an introductory price, so snap the pattern up quickly if you want it!

This one is still a possible contender for Ravelry Monday, simply because it’s such a treat to find a pattern with a decent size range, but I wanted to share it with all of you while it was on offer!

This is Ravelry Mondays, a weekly event where I pick three-five patterns seen on Ravelry that week, and share them on this blog.  Some weeks will be themed, and there are some rules.

In order for a pattern to qualify it must:

  • Be on Ravelry
  • Be available for download either on Ravelry or from another website – no patterns only available in print or magazines, but it doesn’t have to be free
  • Have at least one photo clearly showing the item as a whole
  • Have at least one photo where the item is not being manipulated, so we can see accurately how it hangs and fits
  • Must have the necessary minimum information on the ravelry page – sizing info where applicable, yardage, yarn weight, etc
  • Clothing items will only qualify if they are available in plus sizes*
  • Only one pattern per designer per week

*And the plus sizes given must have MEASUREMENTS.  Calling the sizes XS-XXXL means nothing if you never tell us what XXXL is.  I’ve seen a 40″ bust called that, before!

There’s been quite a broad variety of patterns offered up on Ravelry this week, and it’s making it harder to choose themes!  With that in mind, my only limit for this week’s theme has been how much I personally like the pattern.  There’s some gorgeous bits on offer this week, and I hope you like them as much as I did!

 

Plain and Fancy Knitted Bunnies

These knitted bunny stuffies are almost unbearably cute.  Knitted toys can often suffer a bit from odd shaping or wonky proportions, but these are just gorgeous.  From the careful placement of eyes and nose, to the chubby bellies, these worsted-weight toys could be knit up using all kinds of leftover yarn, and are infinitely variable.  I could see the larger ones being filled with sand bags in the bottom to act as doorstops or book-ends, and you could probably knit up a whole bedroom worth of cute things for a new baby, using the pattern as a base.  At under £4 for a pattern that includes three size variations and knitted clothes, this represents great value and is available for download on Ravelry.

 

Fox Love Jacket

I love foxes.  But if there’s one thing I love more, it’s great knitting patterns with generous size ranges!  And this bulky-weight pattern, available from 38 to a whole 60″ bust, is definitely one of the more generous patterns out there.  It’s sadly rare to find pretty patterns in sizes about 54″, so to find something as versatile, cute and young-looking as this up to 60″ is a real treat!  The thick yarn means this is a quick project to knit up even at larger sizes, and should be extra warm and snuggly for Winter.  The colourwork pattern is simple and attractive, and could easily be modified to showcase different animals by playing with different colours.  The pattern costs under £5 and is available for download at Ravelry.

 

Gingerbread Armwarmers

A gorgeous, colourful pair of long armwarmers in fingering yarn, with a fun striped pattern and additional fair-isle colourwork at the wrists.  I adore this pattern.  The armwarmers are long enough and thin enough that they could be worn under a fitted sweater or layered under a second pair of thicker gloves to increase warmth in cold weather, but light enough that they could be used to keep a mild chill off during cool Autumn evenings, too.  At under £4, this is a nice, low-cost pattern that looks gorgeous and could make a perfect gift, knitted up in the recipient’s favourite colours.  The pattern is available for download at Ravelry.

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This shawl pattern knits up very quickly, once you get the hang of it.  I’ve made both wings, and am well on my way to grafting the whole thing together before starting on the border.  The instructions for grafting look completely overwhelming at first, but if you just take it one row at a time and don’t think too much about what the pattern is doing, it works.

The waste yarn used to hold the stitches in place doubles up brilliantly as a lifeline once you start the grafting, and while I still think I’d rather have used a spare circular needle for each part, I can see why it’s done this way.  I’m just using kitchener stitch to graft, and again it’s one of those things that seems overwhelming, but is fine so long as you just concentrate on each stitch and don’t try to think ahead.

DSCN0162Of course, this is the part where knitting starts to get a bit exhausting.  Extending the edge from the left wing, across the back and joining to the right wing took no more than 30 minutes, and grafting the right wing to the back took maybe 15 minutes total.  I could’ve got the left wing grafted the same way in no time at all, but I just HAD to put the work down and take a break.  It’s not difficult work, but it is easy to mess up and takes a lot more concentration than normal knitting.  I hope to get the grafting finished today, at which point I’ll take a break and spin up some more of the fibre before I get started on the next stage.

I’ve also been doing a lot of baking, recently.  My sourdough starter has really developed into something robust and lively, and I’m getting some gorgeous loaves out of it.  It seemed right to make a couple of plaits as an offering, which is exactly what I did a couple of nights ago.

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There’s a thick tree stump in the churchyard outside my house – the tree was felled a couple of years ago, but the stump is alive with whip-like new growth and surrounded with other plants and mushrooms.  It’s as far from dead as you can get, and the flat top makes a fantastic offering table.  I made two plaits, individual sized, and left them on here drizzled with honey.  I figured once the Gods had what they wanted, the local fauna would take the rest, and I was right!  The area here is alive with birds and squirrels, and I hope they made the most of the treat!

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The shawl continues to knit up very quickly.  The component pieces are surprisingly easy to knit, and the pattern is satisfying to work on – it’s all yo and k2tog, nothing much complicated, and the pattern makes enough sense that after 10-15 rows on the wings, you can pretty much continue through without stopping to read.  The only thing I’m finding troubling is the way every piece is kept on waste wool.  I already had an emergency moment when the waste wool I was passing the wing onto slipped through the stitches, almost losing half of the work.

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I’m not blocking any of the pieces yet.  I want the stitches to be easy to pick up when I join everything together.  It would, admittedly, be nice to block the back piece now so I can more easily get an even circle with it, especially as the only place in my house large enough to pin the finished shawl down on is my bed, but I’m sure that won’t be too much of a problem.

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I’ve heard that joining the component parts of the shawl is the hardest part of the pattern, and that figuring out the instructions for knitting the filling-out section between the wings and body is especially tricky.  Fortunately I still have a second wing to knit before I’m at that stage, and I need to get more yarn plyed for that before I start in any case, so I don’t have to face that particular challenge just yet.  I think when I do reach that stage, I’ll transfer my pieces off of waste yarn and onto spare circular needles.  I’ll feel a little more secure, there.

DSCN0570Thank goodness for paranoid duplicate-save-obsessions!  I make it a habit to always download and save a copy of any knitting pattern I’ve picked up on Ravelry – I know you can save patterns to a cloud by adding them to your “library”, but cloud saves are login-dependent, and I worry about what would happen if my entire online world crashed and burned.  Turns out, this was sensible!  Since I’ve not had even slightly enough time or energy to devote to recovering my lost Ravelry account (don’t ask, long story), having a folder full of all my saved patterns has really been a life-saver.

I’ve been working on my Ravenwing Shawl on and off, working with my lovely raven handspun that still refuses to be photographed true-to-colour.  I haven’t made much progress, Life and Time being what they are, but I’m still very pleased with how the yarn is taking to the pattern.  I know a lot of people using the In The Pink shawl pattern like to use dramatically variegated yarns, to make the most of the spiral design, but personally I think patterns like this look best in either a single colour or a sufficiently complex tweedy colour, to show the pattern elements and shaping more clearly.

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I can’t wait to see how the finished shawl looks.  Part of me wishes I’d waited and picked up some black, deep purple or pewter beads to add as I worked – the scattered holes that make up the inner edge of the spiral arms of the shawl look like tattered holes into space, and I imagine they’d look amazing with scattered beads glinting in there, to say nothing of the eventual feathered bird-wing edges of the shawl.  I suppose I can always do that with the next shawl I make.  I imagine this yarn would look amazing as a Shipwreck shawl, or Celestarium, both use delicate, subtle beading to great effect.

DSCN0577Of course, there’s no way I have enough fibre here for two shawls, and in any case plying the singles for the Ravenwing is making the yarn far too thick for either of those shawls.  I’ll need to order more fibre to spin up for that (oh, the horror!).  Maybe I’ll experiment a bit modify the blend some.  I’d love to see what the deep, complex blues and purples of the fibre look like without the distraction of glittery thread, and I imagine the finished yarn will also be a lot less fuzzy without it, too.  Maybe I’d add more black, or perhaps I’d throw in extra purple a shade lighter than the rest, to pull the fibre more towards the violet end of the spectrum.

Whatever happens, I’ll be sure to let you guys know!