Where did it all go wrong

Mittens are one of my favourite things to knit – they are quick, portable and using colour work are very colourful.   I have been a member of the I Make Mittens group on Ravelry  since December 2013 and over the years have made several pairs however this all came to an abrupt halt in January 2016.   I was working on a mitten KAL and messed up really badly – so the project ended up being iced.

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I decided it was time to get my mitten mojo back – and while on the hunt for needles for the I Make Mittens July KAL came accross the iced project.  It was also a KAL and it is a lovely pattern Mosaikk http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mosaikk.  As I may have mentioned before I hate having abandoned projects so I decided to try and see where it all went wrong.  After re-printing the clues and checking and double checking I figured out the problem.    When you are working on a KAL the clues come every couple of days – so you are working on several pages sequentially.  When you are working on a colourwork item the combinations will change with each new piece of the KAL.  My problems arose when I didn’t remember the what colour was cc1, cc2 etc and I worked away on the wrong combination.  I had gotten all the thumb increases in on one mitten before I realised this.

The upside to this problem was I have started the July KAL and was very careful to lay out a sheet with the details and keep it to the top of the pattern pages so I won’t make the mistake again.

 

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The Mosaikk mittens – well I have knit the corrected colours on the second mitten (mitten on right in photograph) and todays job is to rip back the first mitten and fix.  Lesson learned and my Mitten Mojo has returned.

 

 

 

 

 

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Never too late to learn something new

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Test knits can really surprise you.   The knitting community on Ravelry are very generous and when time and stash allows I give back by taking on a test knit.   One of my recent projects was a lovely colour work hat designed by Anja http://www.ravelry.com/people/FlowerBirds who designs the loveliest colour work mittens and hats.

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The pattern features a series of tucks at the brim of the hat – they look really cute in co-ordinating colours.  The technique for casting on for the tucks was new to me – it was a provisional cast on that used two needles.  One needle is kept live until you are ready to complete tuck.  After a little bit of fiddling I got the hang of the technique and it worked really well to create a neat finish.  The Nut-Hap pattern is on my virtual to do list   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nut-hap and I think I will get to use this technique again on a much larger scale.

So back to the Wagtail test knit –  I knit the mans size – the pattern was very well laid out and there is an explanation of the cast on, the design is really cute and worked well in my chosen yarns and the bonus was my husband and son were happy to model for me.  So success all round for a lovely colour work hat that appeals to all ages.

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Feeling the fear, packing the bag and doing it anyway.

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Today I finally got around to doing something I had wanted to do for a long time – go back to swimming lessons.  I learnt to swim as a child in Templeogue College Swimmming Pool and my son swims there so it was a good a choice as any.

Over the last 40 years or so I have managed to loose my breathing technique and really struggle with keeping my face in the water.  So this morning I joined the ladies class and I think the worst might be over.  As an adult the fear of making a fool of yourself is usually far worse that the reality of a situation.  I did find it difficult, was a little panicked but the lovely instructor Paula was great.  By the end of the session I was worn out, my legs felt like lead but I was happy that I had taken the first step.

Have I sorted out my breathing technique – no but I will get there with practice – lane swimming here I come.

 

 

Surge by Lisa Mutch

I hate having UFOs on my Ravelry Projects page.    I started my original surge over two years ago and misplaced the project.  Everytime I saw it on my projects page it annoyed me.

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Lisa has recently released Continua and Inceptio both of which are impressive short row wraps and in advance of starting something a little complicated I decided to go back and restart Surge.  This is a link to Lisa’s  home page http://www.ravelry.com/designers/lisa-mutch.  There are lots of dramatic and edgy designs and we could all learn from her photographs.

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I used a DK yarn and the finished wrap is dense and squishy and would look good on guys or gals – another quick knit that might make the Christmas list.

Shetland Hartland Shawl

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While in Edinburgh in March I purchased two huge cones of Shetland yarn in lovely Sage Green and Raspberry.  The yarn has that lovely authentic feel and smell and is a joy to work with.   I think over the next 12 months there will be a lot of patterns featuring these yarns.

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Finding a pattern that would suit this yarn and reflect the rustic feel of the yarn was difficult but finally I came across Hartland Cliffs  by Sonja Bargielowska.  Link   http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hartland-cliffs.    This is a free pattern that  was designed for Blacker yarns and is reversible.  Lots of short rows and pattern changes to keep things interesting.  I was very happy with the outcome – a lightweight and warm shawl.   This is a pattern that could be easily modified to suit your stash and colour preferences.

 

 

Melanie Berg

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Melanie Berg recently visited Dublin and I was lucky enough to join her shawl workshops.  A really inspiring designer who also gives a great class.

In advance of the trip to Edinburgh I was trying to do some stash reduction and the results were this lovely version of Spice Market and a summer version of Drachenfels.

My spice market was closer to a fruit market but still a lovely result.  This is a link to Melanies pattern page  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/on-the-spice-market.

 

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The Summer Drachenfels turned out quite pretty but is missing all the drama of contrasting dark colours – will have to revisit. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/drachenfels

Did I achieve the desired stash reduction – absolutely not – discovered I had lots more than I thought so lots more shawls to come.

 

 

Skinny Dip Shawl – Test Knit

This neat shawl was finished in May and the pattern has recently been released.   A really nice and simple shawl with lace sections and stripes.  Designed by Britni Sherfield it is a quick knit and fairly easy knit.  Great for gift giving – affordable as it used 3 balls of Drops Flora.

 

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I love the way the clever use of two colours actually looks like you used three colours.   This is the link to the pattern on ravelry have a look and see how different colour combinations change the feel of this cute shawl.  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/skinny-dip-shawl