A lovely hat test knit – a simple and elegant design by Capestrainm on Ravelry. Morgan Capestrain is the designers real world name and her website is knitcraftandknittery.com. Based in Tasmania this talented designer is also an indie dyer and a committed environmentalist. The wool that she uses is “100% sustainable merino wool that comes from farms committed to protecting the environment and maintaining sustainable practices”.
I marvel at how connected we are on Ravelry and how easy it is to communicate with like minded crafters.
The test knit was a simple hat with stocking stitch panels and twisted rib panels adding interest and dividing up the panels. I used some stash yarn (Yay!) – Drops merino extra fine in a beautiful rich purple. Working on a 3.5mm needle I used 75 grms, a ball and half – that is 157.5 meters or 172.2 yards. Size wise I used the stitch count for the large size and the length measurements for the medium size.
This is a nice simple hat that would be perfect for gift giving – the rib effect means it will adjust to different head sizes without being too tight. Great for guys who want “nothing fancy”.
I am a big fan of Melanie Berg designs and was very happy to see the July KAL in her Ravelry group was The Fibre Co Shawl 20 Jun-24 Jul 2017 that meant the focus was on four Shawls – Armadale, Falls of Foyer, Ingwer and Tamdou.
I had fallen in love with a lovely vibrant yellow (17 Gleb) in Drops Flora and have been waiting for the right shawl to use it. Tamdou was the perfect pattern – with lace panels in yellow and stripes to balance out the strength of yellow – the other colours in the shawl are 10 Indigo and 1 Natural. Really happy with how this turned out – just can’t wait for the weather to cool down so it can be worn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.