This week in knitting, February 24 to March 2

I spend more time on knitting than on anything else these days, so I thought it would be useful to keep track of the things I do and find.

New Courses

homemademama_cable_140305aKnitting lessons – The Homemade Mama teaches many different skills for knitters with skills from beginners to more knowledgeable. All materials and patterns are provided and the cost for 2.5 hours is only £15.


New sites

Knitty  – a free online knitting magazine

Verena Stricken – A German knitting magazine with some out-of-the-ordinary designs and patterns.

Stickpodden – A Swedish podcast about knitting which I discovered from someone knitting a hat on instagram (see below for Kirstin Kurbitz hat). It is so great it makes me want to learn Swedish just to understand it.

Stitchlinks – In my cyclical wonderings about whether I’ll ever study for a PhD, mostly led by my love of university libraries and nostalgia at exploring the American Literature shelves, I Googled PhD in knitting.

One link was for some Doctoral work in the therapeutic value of knitting, with funding secured by Stitchlinks. There is information about the benefits of knitting, or more accurately, about the benefits inherent in the externalities of knitting, i.e. the side affects, as such.

Ravelry is a large and rich community for all types of knitters and commuters so this is a firm favourite. The new thing I discovered this week was the Patterns forum.

New patterns / techniques
Knitting with dental floss – beading:

Rib and welt pattern:


New yarns

Sweet Merino DK - George - Colour Adventures (fibers: superwash merino) Colour Adventures  George DK




superkid_silk-fingering_yarn_140305aUndyed Yarn



corriedale_wool_silver_140305aUndyed Fibres




Self striping sock yarn from Eaden Yarns Self striping sock yarns from Eaden Yarns




New projects

Karin Kurbits hat knit by Stormblomma

I discovered the pattern for Karin’s Kurbitz hat from Stormblomma who I follow on Instagram.




Works in progress

cute_cable_socks_140227a My “cute cable socks” went from an unfinished beginning to a complete single sock which fits only with a lot of effort.



Still, that’s progress, and it’s a real sock. cute_cable_sock_140305a





Mersina's scarf in Schachenmayr Boston neon orangeMersina’s scarf in neon bright orange Boston from Schachenmayr, my new favourite yarn for scarves.

I cast on 16 stitches and am doing it in K1 P1 rib. I like it. The yarn is soft and lovely and thick and warm.


Finished projects
I finished the shawl for the Follow Your Arrow Knit-a-long.


My final pattern choices were AAAAA but turns out I didn’t love the initial A so I’ve started a new shawl and am beginning with B.




Let’s see how this one goes.




Tools to Help You Convert Knitting Patterns

Cable knit scarf with country tweed wool

I have started my new knitting project with a speckly and silky wool called Country Tweed. I bought the wool in a few different colours and this is the one I’m using now.

My previous project was a handbag based on a Nordic pattern.

Nordic handbag

I used a round needle and had to carry a notebook with me everywhere to keep track of my rows.

It was lots of fun but a bit fiddly so I’d been looking for a project where I could just knit.

Well I’ve almost found it. I can mostly just knit once I get the hang of it all.


There are only 16 steps to this pattern and it includes the bonus of a new knitting skill which I’ve wanted to try for a while – cable knitting.

The pattern I’m using is the Basketweave Cable Scarf but on 4mm needles (or number 4 needles, I can’t remember).

I had already cast on 40 stitches and knit one row of k2, p2 (knit x 2, purl x 2) so I kept that and added two stitches to the knit parts.

My cardigan has arrived and it’s not from a shop

My new winter cardigan has arrived and just in time. It is warm, it is lovely and it is in just the right colours for me. I can’t remember how much it cost, I think I used about seven balls of Rico Melange wool at between £3 and £3.99 each so around £30.

The colour is not exactly as was intended. I still have a lot to learn about how colour and texture translates from wool to knitted product. Mine turned out stripy-ish while the picture calls for a more speckled design. I’m not too fussed though. I love my cardigan and it’s warm and for the first time in ever, I created it myself.

cosmo-cardigan I used this pattern from Vogue Knitting and the red-green version of this wool from Budget Wools in Cheltenham and Deramores and spent the last four months knitting, unpicking, resewing, and then doing it again and again.  A lot of that time  was on the train during my commute and watching Golden Girls.

It was a lovely time.

I still need to find four buttons and tidy up those hanging threads. I will do the latter, probably, through YouTube. That’s where I found most of the solutions to my problems.

I’m not trying to be artistic, the light was a bit tricky. How does one take a good picture of a cardigan?
















My cardigan is a little wonky here and there but it’s very wonderful and my first attempt at a big project.

Details of my next project, a Scandinavian patterned handbag, coming up soon.

Ephemeral Knitting — A Wijnants Creation – Part 1

Not sponsored in any shape or form

I’ve never worn a snood or a bolero and I don’t want more patterns for scarves or baby hats but this is all knitting magazines seem to be providing and at a pretty pricey cost of around £7 an issue.

I want to knit something amazing and I found a wonderful pattern from Vogue Knitting for a cardigan I can actually see myself wearing. I struggled to find another great pattern though so instead I’m going to try this whole thing backwards. I will first find the knit I want to make and then find the colours and pattern.

I know little about the fashion world but a friend on Facebook was at London Fashion Week professionally and this inspired me to take a look. She recommended Christian Wijnants who won the Woolmark award in 2013 and whose clothes can be found at Harvey Nicholson. The following pictures are from his ready-to-wear collection.


This long knit cardigan which sees a melting combination of cobalt blue, white and a golden yellow colours is stunning with its very simple design.

There is also this magnificent creation with bright vivid colours:


Not as long as the one in golden yellow, this blended three-colour piece has a brighter burnt orange beginning with bigger squares in the knit which reduce to a subtler pattern.

And this one which like it will be more difficult to find a pattern (this retails at over £800):

The close fit dress with the three colour layered skirt part is just stunning.

That’s the selection of items I’d like to knit. It doesn’t have to be perfect but I’d like to aim for something which is rather wonderful.

The next posts will be about finding the right materials and colours, knitting stitches and patterns. I just don’t seem to have the time to do anything at the moment so I thought I’d post something quickly rather than not-at-all.

Cable knit cast on, YouTube brilliance

When I’m feeling poorly or just drained of energy (are these the same thing?) I indulge in mindless and repetitive behaviour. Sometimes these behaviours become passions and hobbies and other times they fade. I post this in the mid/end throes of a passion for knitting. And also of marathon Golden Girls-viewing on YouTube.

knitting needles and a ball of wool and a woollen square

I’ve been taking my knitting with me everywhere the last few weeks. I have been knitting squares for Syria which the Rainbow Cafe in Clifton are collecting and have spent about a week unravelling the mess I made of the beautiful and pricey wool I bought.

Squares and scarves are about the only things I can knit so far but I’m trying my best to learn. I have a method of casting on which seemed fine but recently it has become a bit of a struggle with my new silkier wool so I looked for a new method while I was waiting for the train and found it on Google. There was a video on YouTube but also some pictures on a Wiki.

I bought new wool and circular knitting needles and have been making something seamless but unrecognisable yet too.

knitting round and round

You really can find anything on YouTube. We have a YouTube on the PS3 and once you load a search query it plays the suggested videos automatically. I’ve been searching for Golden Girls full episodes and watching them for hours. That’s what I do with my time. In case anyone was wondering. Being very glad of YouTube.

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