I placed my first yarn order at The Yarn Cafe in the UK and it came within two weeks! It was really well packed and everything arrived safely. I ordered some rose wood square knitting needles, a circular needle, and enough yarn to knit up a scarf and two tams.
~ Rooster DK yarn in "Custard" ~
~ Rooster DK yarn in Cornish ~
I loved the Custard yearn so much I even arranged for The Yarn Cafe to send a little care package to Mill (two balls of Custard plus a set of circular knitting needles). We are going to do a knit-along of this pattern.
I can't speak highly enough of The Yarn Cafe. The yarn and needles are top quality and the range of products they sell are dreamy. I think this Rico Essentials Soft Marino yarn might be my next purchase...
My first ever baby knit had the final button stitched on yesterday. This cardigan took me two weeks to make. The pattern is called "Fast Baby Cardigan" and is available on Ravelry here for free (you will need to make a Ravelry account to be able to access the pattern).
I am thrilled with the end result and I think it is the perfect size for a baby 3-6 months of age (I knitted the smallest size). As the parents are not finding out what they are having, I used a gender neutral coloured wool (Patons Dreamtime 8ply).
The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to replace the moss stitching with ribbed stitching as I like this look much better.
Next time I will definitely stitch in button holes, as the snaps were a little tricky to sew on.
I am thrilled with this result and I hope the mum-to-be will be too :-)
I think I can now add 'knitting' to my stitching repertoire!
For years I never understood knitting. I know it sounds silly, but I just couldn't get my mind around how two needles and a ball of wool could be woven together to create something. Mill patiently tried to teach me over 6 years ago when we lived together. Full of excitement and enthusiasm I bought some acrylic wool and plastic needles and tried to knit a scarf. A simple stocking stitch scarf. It wasn't too many rows in when it all began to unravel (metaphorically speaking). Somehow I kept getting holes in my knitting. Somehow I managed to knit these holes so they didn't unravel. This was the only thing about my knitting that marvelled Mill. She was a patient teacher, but after a while we both knew it was a hopeless endeavour and we returned to our familiar habits; wool in her hand, and a quilt in mine.
Last weekend I decided to try again. I selected this pattern and gathered supplies. This week, every evening, I have sat quietly after dinner and knitted. And I've enjoyed it. I have learnt a lot from this pattern (with the assistance of a vintage Patons Woolcraft booklet, YouTube and the internet). I now know what PSSO, K2tog, M1and pick up stitch all mean. I have shaped raglan sleeves, used multiple stitch holders, learnt to use a stitch counter, knitted in stockinette stitch and moss stitch. I even did some backwards knitting, after I realised I garter stitched a row I should have been purling... Listen to how 'knitty' I speak now :-)
I ran into a bit of trouble though what I realised I had not stitched in any button holes along the way. The pattern doesn't clearly instruct you to do this, so I had assumed they would be included in the pattern somehow. I made an emergency Skype call to Mill who assured me that it was f'ine, and she suggested I sew on some push studs, and sew the buttons on decoratively instead. Plus, she said we know how wiggly little babies can be, maybe push studs will be easier for the mother?" I hope so, as I don't want to try doing this to get button holes in the cardigan post-knitting!
~ This vintage booklet has been teaching me all the basic stitches ~
Thanks Mill for giving me the trans-continental knitting lesson! Who knows, when we are finally together again we might be knitting fair isle side by side?
I was just waiting for the right time to reconnect with you again,
and oh have we reconnected old friend.
As I promised, this year I will dedicate more time to my quilting as well as my garment sewing. So on New Years Eve I decided to end 2011 as I meant to begin 2012, with more quilt sewing. I dug out my log cabin quilt I began working on in 2009, and sorted out the different fabrics that I had cut into 1" strips and piled into a paper bag for storage. I had forgotten how much I loved the blues, reds and creams. I was also a little shocked to see just how many 1" strips I had actually cut? I must have been in a bit of a cutting frenzy that weekend.
Over the weekend I added 16 blocks to my 14 already sewn up - that's 30 total now! yippy!
My MIL had fun arranging different combinations (oh and that pinwheel quilt? I promise to share more on that soon).
~ A diamond / square arrangement, I really wasn't sure about this ~
~ The more traditional log cabin layout, I like this one ~
These blocks are foundation pieced using the template found here. I simply copied the image to Microsoft word and enlarged it to a size I was happy with. There are many good tutorials online on how to foundation piece. Here is a good video that explains the basics. (Tip: Always use 'foundation paper' to sew with, as normal paper is too thick. Foundation paper can be found on eBay).
A log cabin quilt is the perfect quilt for someone who enjoys the sewing process but is apprehensive about making a quilt because of the quilting involved. A log cabin quilt can be secured using the tradition tie method, which does not involve any quilting. The tying method is a legitimate way of finishing quilts and was employed in the past by women who wanted to make up utility quilts quickly.
Are you inspired to make a log cabin quilt too?
Also, it's been such fun connecting with you all on Ravelry! Who knew there were so many sewer/knitters out there :-)
I've started knitting. Seriously knitting. Like ordering wool online, purchasing a pattern and proper needles kind of knitting. I'm nervous and excited and so very confused by some of the pattern instructions, but with my Paton's Woolcraft: How to Knit booklet beside me (and the internet) I am working it all out.
It's going well so far. I have begun knitting a baby cardigan for my friend who is due in June, which will be winter for us down here. She is not finding out the gender, so I am playing it safe and knitting in a cream/neutral coloured 100% Merino wool. It's hard to make attractive gender neutral baby gifts, I was originally going to knit something up in a dark navy, but thought better of it. I reasoned girl babies could wear navy, however I wasn't sure my friend would think this was ok, so plain creamy beige it is.
It's been fun to see a number of other bloggers out there also pick up the knitting needles for 2012 (or earlier) and creating some beautiful things.
Are you on Ravelry? I have finally spent some time on this website and it is seriously amazing - a Burda Style of the knitting world (or is Burda Style a Ravelry of the sewing world?) either way, it is a great online community and has taught me quite a bit thus far. My Ravelry profile is 'hand-quilter' if you want to say hi :-)