A year in knitting

Happy New Year Everybody!! I thought I would round up the year by taking a look back at how far my knitting skills have come on in just one year!

Last Christmas I decided I wanted to learn to knit and asked for some supplies for Christmas. Nearly 1 year on and I feel like I am now a happy knitter! There were a few hiccups along the way but also some great projects too!

I started off just knitting a few swatches and was dropping stitches all over the place! At first I couldn’t figure out how on earth I was managing to loose so many stitches but once I got into the swing of things I managed to get going.

For my first proper project I decided to knit a cover for my Kindle. Not being a blogger at the time I didn’t get any good photos of the finished object but managed to ¬†et one now – so you’ll have to excuse how grubby it looks but generally I was really pleased with it for a first project even if it did take forever!

Kindle cover.jpg

I then moved on to something much more extravagant…a hat! I still love it and wear it all the time even if the bobble is a bit loose and some of the ends have unwoven themselves

hat

Then I started this blog and the knitting began to be documented. I’m not sure if this made me think more about what I was knitting or if it made me want to make it better because everyone would see it but the skill level definitely kicked up a notch!

My next make was these fingerless gloves, it took a bit of help to figure out the thumb but after a few friends got stuck in we had it figured out and I was away! Another successful project.

For my next project I wanted to make some boot cuffs. After a long search on Ravelry I couldn’t find any that I liked that could be knit flat and did not quite feel ready to attempt knitting in the round so I decided to make up my own pattern! I also wrote up this pattern and it is available for free on Ravelry if anyone else, like me, wants to make some simple bootcuffs that can be knit flat and seamed.

Boot cuffs

Boot cuffs

After the success of writing my own pattern I decided to turn my hand to something more complicated! I think I was probably a it too ambitious and cast on a double length cowl on circular needles. Everything was going really well, I had managed the joining in the round and an inch of ribbing but once I got onto the body of the cowl things started to go worng! Why on earth I picked lacework for my 5th project I’m not sure but it certainly was a challenge. After only a few rows the lace pattern was completely out of sync and I was getting a bit demoralised so I decided to set it to one side.

beginnings of knitted cowl

beginnings of knitted cowl

This was quite a big decision as I dont like to give up on things easily. So instead of saying I had given up I have just left it for a little while to be returned to once my skills have improved.

So, I decided to try a different lace project to improve my skills. The oyster shawl seemed like the perfect solution as there was a large body with only a simple eyelet to contend with.

cream shawl WIP

It uses a much simpler pattern with periodic holes

After finishing the main section of this cowl I was much hapier to progress onto the more complicated lace border

Lacework

After working on this cowl for quite a few months I had to put it to one side for a while as I had some gifts to get to work on. I decided to knit a cowl for my mums birthday and had the perfect yarn for it! Again, I couldnt find quite the right pattern for it so decided to make it up as I went along. Hopefully I will get the chance to write this up soon (Watch this space!)

2015-11-19 21.08.54

After making my mum’s birthday gift I decided to join in with the innocent big knit too.

HH

Finally, in time for Christmas I finished the lacy border shawl. I was so pleased with myself as this was such a massive achievement, especially considering that less than a year ago I couldnt even knit a 3inch swatch without dropping at least 10 stitches!

oyster shawl full

So what now? well actually, I’m already progressing well with my next project. I have been an admirer of Andi Satterlund’s blog Untangling Knots for a while and really wanted to knit one of her cardigans. Especially as I kind of feel like you cant call yourself a knitter until you have knit a cardigan or jumper. So, when I saw she was organising a post-Christmas selfish sweater knit-along I just couldn’t help but start choosing my yarn and pattern.

I decided to go with the Miette cardigan, it’s a really cute cropped cardigan for the summer with a little bit of lace detail around the edges – perfect for showing off my new found skills!

I have chosen to knit it in Drops Paris, which is 100% cotton so it will be amazing for the warmer weather. In fact, I am enjoying knitting it so much I have raced ahead a little and already have the body of the cardigan done. There’s only sleeves and the button band left to do. I dont think the deadline for the knit-along in february should be a problem!

Body done

I almost cant quite believe how much I have knit in one year and how far my skills have advanced. Hopefully this will continue into 2016 and I can learn lots of new skills and complete loads more projects!!

H.

Simple finglerless gloves

I had been threatening to start knitting for ages and so at Christmas I received many knitting related presents, a full set of needles included. I made a few simple starter projects (mostly squares of knitting and a simple envelope sleeve for my kindle), but I thought I would show you my first official knitting project. It was a pattern by Benson’s Rags that I had also received as a Christmas present. The pattern included a stranded knitting treble clef motif, but as yet my knitting skills are not up to this so I decided to keep the gloves simple and just stick to the simple pattern completed with the beautiful West Yorkshire Yarn Spinners Aran.

The premise for making the gloves was pretty simple. They are knitted flat and then sewn together at the side seam. Starting from the wrist, which is ribbing, the number of stitches are gradually increased in a ‘V’ to make room for the thumb:

Fingerless gloves thumb

Fingerless gloves thumb

This is where what seemed to be a simple pattern broke down. I had to somehow insert a thumb into my nice flat piece of knitting. Well, it took me a few times of reading and re-reading the pattern and a little help from some of my more experienced crafty friends but we figured it out. I had to cast on three additional stitches at one edge of the thumb and then (ignoring the rest of the piece) knit just the thumb (still flat at this point). Once this was completed I could then ignore the thumb and continue knitting the rest of the glove picking up those extra 3 stitches half way across.

Once completed the thumb was stitched up down the side and the rest of the glove was also stitched together to complete it.

Fingerless gloves palm

Completed fingerless glove

Then all I had to do was the same again for the other hand.

Fingerless gloves

Two compeleted fingerless gloves

Well, as far a projects go I may not have jumped in at the deep end but it dertainly wasnt a paddling pool!

Bring on the next project!

H.