Every now and again I decide I need a bit of a challenge, to push myself and try something new. I’ve been playing it safe recently, making animals using a basic stocking stitch, repeating Middle Mudlets’ snowflake jumper which has been my first foray into using more than one yarn when I originally made the blue variant back in 2015. Looking through my past projects, you could be forgiven for thinking that the lacy or cable based patterns are the hardest to do and that the notion of merely introducing a second yarn into the equation, wouldn’t prove too problematic but that’s not the case for me. I’m happiest working away on ‘complicated’ lace patterns and give me a cable pattern to get my teeth into and I’m happy as a pig in muck, as they say in these parts. Continue reading
Back in 2014 I did a follow up post on how the various yarns I had used for garments had faired after a bit of wear and wash. When I am choosing the yarn for my next project, I always read any reviews that may have been posted but these are, for the most part, written just after a project has been finished and so only cover the workability, feel and colour etc. which is all very well and good but so often I’ve bought yarn based on these good reviews, only to find out that in the real world, the yarn doesn’t fair so well. This is what led me to write my original ‘how the yarns wore‘ post and I have commented here and there about subsequent yarns I’ve used but I thought it might be helpful to do another follow up post on the yarns used since the 2014 post. Continue reading
So here it is, my completed orange, black and white project and as you can see, it is the fox from the Deramores Woodland Animals collection. He didn’t take very long to make and I think he has a rather charming face. I can’t help think that he needs something more though …… like a little scarf or maybe a neck ribbon. Hmm, I’ll have to give it some thought.
That’s what the Mudlets have been asking me, as my latest knitting project began to take shape, section by section …… well when I say shape, I mean the flat pieces were finished and put to one side ready for finishing once all the separate pieces were knitted up but there wasn’t any real clue as to what the final shape would be.
November was the last time I wrote something for my blog and, at that time, it was a relief when I took the decision to put down my virtual pen and walk away. That said, I would occasionally pop in and have a nose around the blogs I follow but for the most part, the WP tile on my phone was left untouched, neglected and alone, passed over as I reached for Google, email, word or the camera tiles instead. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong, other than it became a chore to sit down and start typing which was a shame because I love writing, as is evidenced by the articles I still produce for the village magazine and letters I draft on behalf of Gardening Club or the PTA.
Over recent weeks, however, the urge to reclaim my blog has been growing ever stronger and I am finally ready to re-enter the world of blogging, albeit with a more relaxed approach and to start with, here is an update on happenings in Mudville: Continue reading
Having experienced the challenge of Middle Mudlets’ pretty but complicated lace sweater, I opted for a project which uses a mostly plain stocking stitch for my next make. I found many ‘okay’ patterns whilst I was looking for a project for myself but nothing really sang out at me until, that is, I found a King Cole leaflet with a beautiful pair of patterns on it. One was a sweater dress with short sleeves and the other a tunic length dress with three quarter sleeves. I really liked both patterns but chose to make the tunic rather than the dress this time, although I do intend to make both eventually. Continue reading
Following the completion of Middle Mudlets’ complicated sweater, I felt the need to do something a little less challenging and so opted to dig out the King Cole tinsel yarn I had purchased a few months ago and make up a couple of sparkly owls ready for the Christmas Fare. I had come across the owl pattern a short while ago, in the local garden centre of all places, and had bought both it and another couple of balls of the tinsel yarn, plus some pastel coloured double knit for faces, ears etc. Now with some time on my hands and no major project waiting in the wings, I gathered my materials together and before long I had completed a little blue owl, much to the delight of the younger Mudlets. Continue reading
I have to say that as much as I have struggled with this particular project, I am absolutely delighted with the way that it has turned out and, more to the point, so is Middle Mudlet. Sewing up proved surprisingly easy with the most challenging and unusual aspect being the creation of the neck band. Continue reading
Delighted though I was when Middle Mudlet not only chose a very feminine and lacy top as my next project for her but also a very pink yarn to knit it with, there have been times over the last three months or so when I have come very close to relegating it to the back of the darkest cupboard in Mudville and starting something else. For some reason it took forever and a day before the pattern was finally engraved on my mind. I pulled back countless rows in order to correct some error or other, on numerous occasions which, taking into account the loops and cast offs that are dotted throughout to create the gorgeous laciness, was an absolute nightmare. Whilst I don’t count myself as a professional knitter, I did believe that I was pretty competent in most areas but my confidence was seriously knocked by this pattern. Continue reading
I’ve made this little jacket for a colleague of Muds, who is expecting her first baby in June and for whom I have a lot of admiration and respect, even though I have never met her. Her story is inspirational and one from which many of our young people could learn a lot. She is a young polish woman who far from coming over to our country to live off tax payer funded handouts, came over and took a job as a NHS cleaner to pay her way through university, with the sole aim of improving her circumstances through hard work and determination. This paid off when, a few years ago, she secured a good job in the same company and department as Mud. She continued to work hard and now has a good position within the department and there are many British Nationals, both young and old, who seem to believe that the world owes them a living, who would do well to follow her example.
Climbing down from my soapbox, I’ll now tell you about this charming little jacket.
The yarn is a firm favourite of mine for baby boys and I’ve used this colourway for several little garments now. It’s the J. C. Brett baby marble double-knit, 100g (268m), shade number 5 and is 100% acrylic. The yarn is lovely and soft, handles beautifully while being worked and, I’m told, washes well. I love the blue and brown colour way of this shade and it always looks really effective once knitted up.
I found the pattern on the freepatterns.com website. A blanket and hat are also on the pattern but I chose to complete the jacket in this case. Please be aware though that there are a couple of revisions at the very bottom of the pattern, to correct mistakes in the instructions which you need to read before you start or, like me, you’ll find yourself frogging the work back a couple of rows in to start again – which was annoying as I knew it wasn’t right but continued anyway, so have only myself to blame and will remember to follow my instinct next time.
So with the stitches cast on for a second time, I steadily worked my way through the pattern which was in a new format for me, in so much as the front borders, front sections and back are knitted as one piece until the required length from bottom edge to armpit is reached, at which point, some stitches from each end are placed onto stitch holders, leaving just the centre stitches to be worked on until the neckline is reached. The centre section is actually the back of the jacket and once this has been worked to the neck, the remaining stitches are placed onto another holder whilst the yarn is reattached to each set of end stitches in turn and then these are worked up to create the two front sections, complete with border.
As with the remaining back stitches, the two sets of front shoulder stitches weren’t cast off at this point but were kept on separate spare needles, the reason for which became clear when it came to making up the garment and was because:
- with right sides facing each other, the needle holding the appropriate front shoulder stitches was placed parallel to the needle holding the matching back stitches (left front to left back etc);
- then with a third needle, the back and front stitches, were knitted together, one pair at a time; and
- when the second pair was done, the first was passed over the second to cast them off.
And so on and so forth until the 9 stitches for one shoulder were all cast off, 19 stitches for the back of the neck were knitted across and then the second set of front and back shoulder stitches were cast off in the same way. The end result was a tidy and perfect shoulder seam join on both sides.
The rest of the neckband and sowing up was quickly accomplished, two rather cute little Peter Rabbit buttons were sewn on and after a quick press, the garment was carefully wrapped in white tissue paper, tied with a shiny silver ribbon, ready for delivery today.
All in all I think this jacket has become my favourite baby knit to date, as I really love the shell and column detail, and would be suitable for both girl or boy.