Work in Progress round up – September 2015

In an effort to keep on top of my wips I’m having a monthly round up of my ongoing wips, whether I’ve made any progress on them over the past month or not. (August round up)

September 2015

IMG_20150929_113714

So in no particular order.

  1. A new sock design. The first sock is within one round of being cast off, I’ll knit the second, grade the pattern, get it tech edited and put it out for test knitting, hopefully by the end of next month. They’re being worked out of West Yorkshire Spinners Signature sock yarn in the Cardamom colour. I adore this yarn for sock knitting, I used the nutmeg colour way to knit a sample of my Abscission Sock pattern. This Cardamom colour is my very favourite colour and was given to me for my birthday by the children. I’m knitting a me sized sample, and I’m really hoping to have these finished and photographed by the end of Autumn so that I can wear them this Winter.DSC_0496-2
  2. This is a new work in progress this month.It’s Comodo by Nicola Susen that I’m knitting in Sirdar Nomad a deep stash soft and fluffy bouclé;not at all the recommended fingering or lace weight yarn recommended. However t’s so light and airy, and I’m very happy with how it’s turning out. I’ve split for the sleeves and am about 5cm down into the body.DSC_0498-2
  3. I’ve made no progress at all on these;  More eye searing socks These are 2×2 rib socks for my eldest son with size 9 (UK) feet. This is the second pair of socks (first pair) that I’m knitting from Regia fluormania and Regia Creativ that is very deep stash. and I’ve stalled for ages on the second sock of this pair. They’ll have afterthought heels when I finally get to the end of them.DSC_0493-2
  4. No progress on these either. Bigger on the inside These are spiral tube socks for my eight year old boy with size 3 (UK) feet. They are 64 stitches worked in a spiral rib, with 2×2 ribbed cuffs and a star toe. The cuffs and toes are Regia Trendpoint  and the main body of the sock is a very deep stash Regia Creativ sock blank that I’ve had in stash for ages.DSC_0494-2
  5. And last but not least, no progress on this either. Snow Goose: A new DK shawl design that I’m working on. This is worked out of DK alpaca and is really lovely, but I’ve stalled as I need to work out the numbers for the edging
  6. .DSC_0495-2

Although I made little or no progress on many of my prpjects,, one wip from last month is finished and a new one cast on.The bulk of my attention this month has been taken up with a new design that will be released in a few days, the proceeds of which will be used to rescue migrants at sea. I’ve finished quite a few samples which you’ll have seen some of if you follow me on instagram. I’ve also this month, cast on, knitted and finished a Lopi for my eldest boy, I’m not quite sure how that happened!!!

Share

Hooray, hooray, it’s a finished Lopi day – a finished object.

IMG_20150921_191129

I’m so pleased to have finished this Lopi for my eldest boy, just in time for the Autumn weather.

Pattern: Frost by Védís Jónsdóttir

Yarn: Ístex Álafoss Lopi bought from Meadow Yarn

Colours: MC: 1233 Space Blue CC: 1232 Arctic Exposure CC: 9959 Indigo

Size: Smallest, with 5cm added in length.

Ravelry page here

Mods:  Intentional – I added six short rows across the shoulders in the MC sections as soon as I added the sleeves. I added 5cm in length in the body and 3cm in length in the hood.

Unitentional: I got the colours mixed up on the yoke – ho hum ;o)

 

This is the second time that I’ve knitted this pattern, and just like the first time, I found this an easy and enjoyable project. My hands really aren’t used to knitting such heavy wool on such large needles,so I did find that I didn’t want to work on it for more than an hour or so at a time, but it still went very quickly.

This is the first time I’ve knitted the hood on this and I’ve not  blocked the hood very well the first time, but that’s easily sorted. Georgie Hallam posted a great way to block hoods using a cycle helmet on her Instagram feed the other day, we seem overrun with the things so I think that I’ll give that a go. I’ve still to knit a long I-cord for the hood, that may be a while until I do because long I-cord – ugh!!!

Anyway, so more gratuitous pictures ;o)

Frost by Védís Jónsdóttir knit by theresashinglerknits.comSteek - eek!!!

 

 

 

 

Share

How to work a knitted on patch – a tutorial

A knitted on patch, a great alternative to darning.
A knitted on patch, a great alternative to darning.

This is my favourite way of dealing with holes in the soles of my socks, either worn holes of small holes caused by catching my socks on nails heads or uneven

surfaces.
It’s a really smooth patch, there are no lumps or bumps to irritate the feet and cause blisters and it can be fun to use contrasting yarns and colours. The finished patch mooves with the original f If you are covering a worn area make sure that you extend the patch into a sound area of knitted fabric.

You will need

  • 3 DPNs in a size smaller than the size used to work the original fabric.
  • Two DPNs in the size used to work the original fabric
  • Working yarn to knit the patch, this should be similar in weight and composition to that used to knit the original fabric.
  • A tapestry needle.
DPNs inserted into the stitches at the bottom, left and right of area to be patched.
DPNs inserted into the stitches at the bottom, left and right of area to be patched.
  • Using DPNs a size or two smaller than usual, pick up the right leg of the stitches along the bottom of the area that you want the patch to cover. Make a note of your stitch count.
  • Place a DPN up the left side of the area that will be patched. Place the DPN one stitch to the left of the leftmost stitch picked up by the DPN, pick up the right leg of every other stitch beginning with the row immediately above the bottom DPN.
  • Place a DPN up the right side of the area that will be patched. Place the DPN one stitch to the left of the rightmost stitch picked up by the bottom DPN, pick up the right leg of every other stitch beginning with the row, two rows above the bottom DPN.
  • You should have the same number of stitches picked up on eash side DPN, there right DPN’s last stitch should be one row higher than the last stitch on the left DPN.

 

 

 

 

Using working yarn, knit into the stitches on the bottom DPN
Using working yarn, knit into the stitches on the bottom DPN

 

  • Using working yarn and a DPN of the size usual for the yarn you are working with, knit across the stitches on the bottom needle.
  • From now on, use DPNs of the appropriate size for the yarn to work the stitches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knit the first stitch picked up by the DPN on the left.
Knit the first stitch picked up by the DPN on the left.

 

  • Knit the first stitch picked up by the DPN on the left.
  • Turn your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purl across the working stitches and then purl the first stitch picked up by the other side DPN
Purl across the working stitches and then purl the first stitch picked up by the other side DPN

 

  • Purl across the working stitches.
  • Purl the first stitch picked up by the side DPN.
  • Turn your work.
  • You will now have two more stitches being worked than in the first step, this is the number of stitches that will be worked until the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knit across the working stitches, stopping before the last one.Knit the last stitch and the first stitch picked up by the side DPN together.

 

  • Knit back across the working stitches, stopping before the last stitch.
  • Knit the last working stitch together with the next stitch picked up on the side DPN.
  • Turn your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purl back across the working stitches stopping before the last stitch, purl the last stitch together with the picked Up stitch on the side DPN.
Purl back across the working stitches stopping before the last stitch, purl the last stitch together with the picked Up stitch on the side DPN.

 

  • Purl back across the working stitches, stopping before the last stitch.
  • Purl the last working stitch together with the next stitch picked up on the side DPN.
  • Turn your work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue following the last two steps working in one picked up stitch from the DPN at the end of each row.
Continue following the last two steps working in one picked up stitch from the DPN at the end of each row.

 

  • Continue following the last two rows working one of the picked up stitches on the DPNs at the end of each row.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0412-2

 

  • All the picked up stitches have been worked
  • The live stitches must now be grafted to the stitches in the base fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graft the live stitches to the background fabric
Graft the live stitches to the background fabric

 

  • Cut the working thread leaving a length equivalent to around four times the length of the row, thread the end into the tapestry needle.
  • Graft the live stitches on the DPN onto the background fabric by using the working yarn to mimic the path of the thread in the stitches of the background fabric.
  • When you reach the end of the row, fasten off and weave in the loose ends

 

 

 

 

 

 

The finished knitted on patch.
The finished knitted on patch.

 

  • Hooray :o) your patch is complete.
  • Wash, block and enjoy. :o)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitted on patch collage

Share

Knitting won’t save the world …

…..well no of course it won’t, but it may well make the world a warmer cosier place.

IIMG_20150916_094146-2‘m sure that faced with the images of fleeing refugees trying to escape danger starvation, horror and war, many of us have wondered what we can do to help. I’m sure too, that many knitters have heard and taken on board the old chestnut that, ‘ knitting it never the correct response’. Is that true? Of course not, but there are many things to bear in mind.

Firstly, for a non-knitting response, I’d recommend reading  this article for the Independent, for simple, solid ways to help. Also there are many non governmental organisations addressing the situation, such as Oxfam, Cafod and the Red Cross.

Now you’re a knitter, you have wool, you have needles, you want to knit, what can you do that will be truly useful?

First a warning, Stacey of the wonderful Fresh Stitches blog has some cautionary words of warning.

That being said there are things that can be knit, that are useful. Knit for Peace is a UK charity that does collect knitted goods for a variety of causes, one of which is the refugee crisis,  they have proper infrastructure to ensure that the goods collected are properly distributed where they are needed. They have information on their website about what items are needed and how to donate them.

At the moment, there are many local collections for refugees. Many schools and churches are taking part and most will have lists of items that they are looking for. My husband’s school is collecting for refugees at Calais, there’s a lorry donated by Vauxhall doing the rounds and taking, those items collected to a distribution centre to be dealt with in an organised fashion, of the many things they are asking for are hats, gloves, socks, jumpers and hoodies – all of which could be knitted. A good rule of thumb that I’m sure many of us follow in all sorts of situations is don’t give what you wouldn’t be happy to receive, and that hold good here just as it does for Christmas presents.

IMG_20150913_110815Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook will know that  my knitting works in progress have been shoved aside while I’m working on a hat pattern that I’m planning on selling to raise money for Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a privately funded charity that rescues migrants at sea. I’m working on the New Hope Hat, at the moment it’s in testing, if you’d like to be part of that please contact me either at theresashinglerknits (at) gmail .com or via Ravelry where I’m babybee. This is an Aran weight hat that will be available in sizes Child (Adult S,M, L) to fit head circumference 46 (51, 56, 61) cm  [18 (20, 22, 24) inches ], all sizes should use less than 100g of Aran. I’ve got five hats knit up thus far that will go off to Calais and then any other that I complete after Thursday I’ll send off to Knitting for Peace.

So my take on  the  research that I’ve done on this into this issue,

  • If I’ve got money to donate, I should donate that, not buy yarn to knit a donation – well obviously!!! I’m preaching to the choir here aren’t I?
  • Look for reputable well organised groups to donate to, I don’t want my hand knit languishing in someone garage because the logistics got too much for them.
  • Look at what is being asked for and provide that, in the sizes, colours and materials asked for.
  • Donate to what makes me feel good; there are so many good and worthy causes, none of us can donate to everything, there is nothing wrong with having a bit of a warm glow about my efforts, it doesn’t negate the good.
  • Look for local. Now this may or may not work against the second and fourth point, but bear in mind whether there is a local cause or collection point that can make use of my item.  It would be shame if money that could be spent alleviating suffering directly was eaten up by shipping costs.

Yes, just common sense!

 

Share

The care and feeding of a handmade wardrobe – part 2

An ongoing series looking at what at the making and sometimes breaking of a handmade wardrobe

Part 2: Creating for the life you lead

Am I the only person whose head is easily turned by pretty delicate fabric, colourful yarns, patterns for glamorous dresses and thick chunky sweaters? Probably not, but I’ve got a houseful of small children, I wear quite a small palette of colours, my days of balls and clubbing are over for now and I don’t wear many think heavy sweaters; living in the UK it’s not often that it gets cold enough for anything thicker than worsted weight yarn, certainly inside.

piglet's slipover 001When I first began to sew and knit for myself, I was in what I call the delusional phase of my wardrobe making life, I made dresses that were hopeless for nursing in, little jacket toppers that in themselves were beautiful but didn’t go with anything else in my wardrobe. I knit cardigans that had necklines that I would never have bought. I found it a terrible temptation to lie about what the tape measure was telling me so everything was a size too small.  Thankfully the delusional phase didn’t last long, but it also put me off making for myself and I moved onto making for the children. Somehow those same temptations didn’t call so loudly when making for them. I made them what was missing in their wardrobes, I addressed the issues that I faced in dressing them. For my little boys, trousers that fitted comfortably over their cloth nappies, I knitted them woollen tank tops (vests) to keep their little bodies warm and their arms free. For my daughter, I sewed soft cotton nightwear that felt lovely to sleep cosily in, I knitted woollen cardigans to give warmth and not just the thin acrylic chilliness available in the shops at the time. And for them all I knitted woollen hats and mittens, knitted socks and sewed soft absorbent bibs and drawstring bags for their treasures. As the successes built up, my confidence in my ability to create slowly returned and grew.  It was through working on the small items that I learnt important lessons that I was (eventually) able to put into use when making for myself.

My self imposed rules for making for MY life

 

  • Look at what is missing and or worn out – if I’m always looking for woollen socks, only to find a ratty pair with holes, or I’m waiting for them to dry on the radiator, it’s a fairly sure bet that I could do with making some more.
  • And look at what is never worn. Conversely, when I’m carried away wanting to sew the next hot pattern (Anna dress – I’m looking at you) I need to remember the beautiful woven wrap dress that although I love, I very rarely wear and certainly can’t breast feed my baby boy easily when wearing. Jennifer Lauren Vintage has written a wonderful article on why we don’t wear our handmade clothes, a thing that she picks up on that certainly applies to me, is that they frequently don;t fit into our ‘uniform’.
  • Look at the shapes and proportions of what I wear happily time and time again? Consider why and what makes those garments so successful. Look for patterns that have those elements. A when I find a designer that designs the shapes and proportions that suit me, keep her or him in my favourites to look at when I next what a new pattern.
  • What do I wear again and again, should I make more? Last year I discovered a love of shawls and shawlettes, so this year I have more in the works, knowing that they will get lots of wear. If I …..
  • Use colours that you like to wear. When putting time and effort into a new make, that might not be the time to experiment with a colour that you never usually wear, certainly not over a large garment. It’s much less painful to experiment with a pair of socks or a shawlette than it is with a sweater or cardigan. I wear a quite limited colour pallet, unfortunately I don’t always remember that when buying yarn, those skeins either become small accessories or presents for my loved ones.
  • Be realistic about my speed and abilities, I find this very difficult sometimes and frequently draw up very ambitious wardrobe plans only to then crash and burn; I’m a much happier handmade wardrobe maker if I can avoid this form of self-flagellation.
  • It doesn’t have to be dull and worthy. It doesn’t have to be big and boring, shawls, socks and hats are arguably worn more than sweaters. I know that here in the UK with our wet and generally fairly mild climate that the socks, shawls, cardigans and fingerless mitts are worn daily from Autumn to Spring ( and frequently summer) whereas a heavy sweater will only be worn in Winter.
  • Sometimes, throw the rule book out of the window. I’ve very recently made an Enchanted Mesa, although it’s in my colours (as it’s made up of the left overs from my previous projects) it’s not at all what I consider a wardrobe staple, BUT I had the best time ever making it, an absolute blast – it flew off the needles, and what’s more, I’ve already worn it twice during the damp and dismal summer that we’ve ‘enjoyed’ in England this year.

20150910_093356-2These are my rules, of course yours will probably be really quite different. Different climate, different life, but by thinking clearly why you want to sew or knit a new wardrobe item at the beginning of a project will usually result in a happier result at the end of the project.

A great post about how one woman approaches building a capsule wardrobe can be found on the Kzjo’s Studio blog and really shows the process that she goes through to fill those spaces in her wardrobe for Autumn/Winter 2015

Another great resource for filling the gaps is the Colette Wardrobe Architect series

Disclaimer: At the start of the series I mentioned that I have a problem with knitting and sewing being seen as ‘useful’ and ‘practical’ no one expects golf or computer gaming to bring practical results. There is nothing wrong in ‘just’ enjoying the process and having fun making the world a more beautiful place. I almost never ‘make’ myself create something just for its utilitarian value. I crave the aesthetic delights that creating a handmade wardrobe affords me, but it’s not for everyone and if it’s not for you, don’t beat yourself up for it, enjoy the pretties.

Next time in part 3 : Caring for the handmade wardrobe, tending, mending and storing

Share