Non baby knits

The long suffering Scrappy Cowl

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One day I found a free pattern for a gorgeous cowl. I don’t wear cowls or hats or scarves, but I kept the pattern anyway, as it was so pretty and you never know when you might need it.

Each year as I search through my patterns for something new to knit for my grandchildren, I come across this pretty pattern. And then I move on.

During the recent summer, I stumbled upon it again and decided I would ask my daughter if she would like me to knit her a cowl for the winter. She of course said yes. What a perfect time to start a project like this as my summer knitting was finished and the winter knitting for the grandchildren hadn’t yet started.

So I got out my odds and sods of worsted weight wool and spread them all over the lounge floor to look for colours that would go together. I had some gorgeous homespun wool that I had bought from a market a few years ago but had no any idea what I would make with it. So I decided to use this as my garter stitch edges and select the rest of the colours around that.

So using the free pattern as a guide, I cast on the humungous about of beautiful yellow coloured stitches, trying to think about wool thickness, pattern gauge, needle size (I didn’t want to buy new ones so what size long circulars do I already have) and how long do I want the cowl to be.

Then away I went. But after a few rows into the cowl, I was asked if I would make some warm clothes for my grandson in the north of England as it was their winter and here I was basking in the New Zealand summer sun, forgetting about the knitting for my baby on the other side of the world. So I stopped and made him some jerseys, a hat and some long pants.

Then back to  my cowl. Oh dear, once I looked at it with fresh eyes, I wasn’t so happy with the colours. So I pulled it undone back to the garter stitch. I put it aside until I had time to get to the shop to buy some new wool.

Then a few weeks later, with new wool in hand, I started again. But then another request came in from one of the mums to knit something for one of the other grandchildren, so I put the cowl aside again.

Then I managed to pick up the cowl once more and this time I finished it.

But the homespun wool I had used for the garter stitch edgings was much thicker than the rest of the cowl and it stuck out at a funny angle and curled up. So I pulled the garter stitch undone and redid it in smaller needles. Much better. A least it looks as though it would lie flat once it was blocked.

Now I had an issue with the initial cast on edge and the garter stitch at the beginning. It was way too thick and I doubt it would ever block flat. I tried to undo the cast on edge but found out of course, that you can’t undo a cast on edge like you can a cast off edge. The only thing to do would be to go see my wonderful lady in our local yarn store who is very knowledgeable on all things knitting. So I put it aside until I had time to go and see her.

But then I found out that the local yarn store had closed. Oh No! I have one more idea. I know this lady sells her hand knits at a local market that is only on once a month. So I waited.

On the first Sunday of last month, I gathered up my long suffering cowl and drove to the market, which I had never been to but managed to find.

And there she was. My cowl life saver. She showed me how to cut off the garter stitch rows with scissors. Yes, cut it with scissors! And put the remaining stitches back onto my needles.

So my cowl sat and waited in the knitting bag while I plucked up the courage to take to my knitting with scissors.

Scarily I did as I was instructed. It wasn’t easy but I did it. I decided not to use my gorgeous home spun yellow wool on this edge again. I picked up the stitches, knitted the 5 rows garter stitch and cast off.

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All blocked and presented to my daughter who had almost forgotten I had ever offered to make her a cowl. So halfway through this winter, she now has a nice, cosy warm cowl to keep her neck warm on the cold days.
Pattern – Scrappy cowl – (free pattern)
Yarn – Worsted weight
Link to Ravelry project here

 

Watching the chickens with my Nanny

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Yokes.  Yokes is Kate Davies amazing book. It contains eleven of Kate’s designs inspired from many parts of the world including Iceland and Scotland, two of my favourite countries. I first came across Kate Davies when I started following her blog.  What an amazing woman. Check out her blog and her gorgeous designs on Ravelry if you haven’t already done so.

I don’t really like knitting for myself. I prefer the instant gratification and the cuteness of babies and toddler knits. But I fell in love with Yokes and decided I just had to make something for myself from this amazing book.

It was hard to choose which of the beautiful patterns to make but I had narrowed down my choice by wanting to use some 4ply cashmere I had in my stash. I narrowed down the choice further still by wanting to make a sweater and not a cardigan. So I chose Bluebells.

But my sweater is not called bluebells. My sweater is called Tulips. It is called Tulips because the flowers are not blue so I couldn’t call them bluebells.

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I love this sweater. I love wearing it. It is warm and even fits me well.

The first picture is of Mia and Nanny (that’s me) watching the chickens. She is afraid of the rooster (Alister) and won’t go outside when he is near. But she has come a long way. A month or so ago  she would ask me to pull down the blinds when she saw the rooster, so that she could pretend he wasn’t there or she would take me into another room far away from the sight (and crowing) of the rooster.

So to be sitting with Nanny with the doors open and the rooster just outside, is a big step for our little girl.

Pattern book – Yokes by Kate Davies
Pattern – Bluebells
Yarn – Filatura Di Crosa Hyrcus and Zeleana Performa Kiwi Fingering
Link to Ravelry project here

Fingerless lacy gloves for the girls

One of my girls was shopping with her friend and saw a pair of fingerless gloves they both wanted. So instead of  buying them, they decided I would knit them.

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Once I had knitted a pair each, my other girl decided she wanted some too. So here we are. Three pair of fingerless lacy gloves using a free pattern from Ravelry. Lucky I had enough in my worsted weight stash without having to go out and buy wool.

Pattern website – SweaterBabe.com
Pattern – Lush Lacy Mitts (Free pattern)
Yarn – Naturally Aran Tweed and Patons Jet
Link to Ravelry here and here

An adult sized knitted tee shirt

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I bought some beautiful blue cotton yarn at a very good price. I hadn’t knitted for myself for many, many years so I was hesitant.

What shape might suit me? What size was I? Can I trust that this pattern will fit properly? I hope I get it right because I know what I am like. If I don’t get it right the first time, I won’t ever knit anything for myself again. None of this “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Oh no, not for me. If you don’t get it right first time, give up and move onto the next thing. Some people call that impatience.

So I finally decided on a pattern (free on Ravelry) and then I cast on the stitches. This was my car knitting in case the baby knitting I was  working on at the time, was too intricate.  It has taken a while to finish as there was no hurry. It was really only a bit of a test.

And test me it did. I misread the pattern and I didn’t realise until I had knitted most of the back. I got to the armhole shaping and realised it was too long and the waist shaping wasn’t in the right place. My instant reaction….stupid pattern, you should know better than to trust a free pattern! But oh how wrong I was. I had misread the pattern and stupidly knitted 14cm before I started shaping instead of 14 rows! So I frogged and started again. Luckily I do have some patience or I may not have bothered to start again.

Then I got the back done and I was up to the neck on the front and I decided to hold the front up to my body. I was so disappointed. It looked way too small. Who wants a tee shirt stretching tightly over my stomach at my age! I said to my husband, “I have wasted all this knitting time on this stupid thing. I have made a size too small and I am going to pull the whole thing undone and make a bigger size. Some people call that being impetuous.

I had my hand clasped over the stitches on the needle and the other hand holding the end of the needle and started to pull and my husband who was driving, told me to stop. He said just keep going and that it would be ok. It will fit. He said you can’t tell by holding it in front of you and stretching it out. What does he know!

But I listened to him. Maybe he is right but I doubt it very much! So I kept on knitting, feeling quite grumpy. What a waste of time.

Well, I finished it and I sewed it up and then I put it on ready to be disappointed and then I smiled. I smiled a big wide smile and walked out into the lounge wearing my smile and my new tee shirt that I had knitted for me.

I proudly wore it to my sisters this weekend. I came home without my tee shirt. She loved it so much and it was her birthday so I said I would knit her one just the same. We went and bought the cotton for hers (same colour) but all weekend she kept saying, “you make sure you stop all that baby knitting you’re doing and get my tee shirt started.” I didn’t want the pressure so I took my tee shirt off and left it with her and said I would make myself a new one. She was so very happy. Now all I have to do is do it all over again.

Pattern book – Internet – Free pattern on Ravelry
Pattern – Nothing but a t-shirt
Yarn – Crucci Mercerized Cotton
Link to Ravelry project here

Celtic Cables Knitted Discloth

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What nana wouldn’t be complete without knitting at least one dishcloth in her life.

I am a member of a New Zealand swap group that swaps wool every second month and then something small on the alternate months. Last month we were asked to make our swap partner a dishcloth. I had never made a dishcloth before so I had a lot of fun searching Ravelry for just the right pattern and then choosing just the right colour cotton to use. I love cables and this particular one was fun and interesting.

Pattern book – Free on Ravelry
Pattern –Celtic Cables Dishcloth
Yarn – Lily Sugar’n’Cream
Link to Ravelry project here