Sweater Surgery – and embroidery on knits

I’ll show the pretty pictures first

Sweater Surgery

 

I  finished this cardigan, my version of Peggy Sue in June 2013, and only wore it twice.

The neckline was dreadful on me, far to high and unflattering on me, and because I have narrow shoulders and there were no no short rows at the back, I couldn’t wear it open without the wretched thing falling off. When I finished it I put a little yarn aside so that I could steek it, my Ravelry notes talk about doing so, but I didn’t, the cardigan was relegated to the back of the wardrobe and I moved on. About a year ago I snipped the front neckline out (after first reinforcing it with some machine stitching) and popped it into my works in progress box where it’s sat until the recent news reports of a super cold winter and my desire to stock up a woolies now yesterday

This is how it was when I pulled it out of the wips box. (well it was rather more crumpled and sorry looking, but you get the idea)

The first thing that I did was that I removed the ribbing at  the back neckline and picked up stitched all way around.

I worked short rows across the back neckline from the front raglan line back wards (I did 6 w+t each side)

Then I worked a border of twisted rib.

I covered the cut edges at the front neckline with bias tape.

And for a bit of fun embroidered some flowers

I’m very pleased to say that this cardigan has already seen more wear since it’s been refashioned, than it did in the previous two years.

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Knitting kits in the etsy shop and a look back at the evolution of a pattern

As I mentioned yesterday in my works in progress round up, there are now kits in the etsy shop.

Badger wrister knitting kitFoxy wrister knitting kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first batch are variants of my Foxy Friends Writers pattern. This is one of my favourite patterns, it’s certainly the one that I’ve knitted the most and offer the most variations of.

It was first published in Issue 30 of the Knit Now magazine. as the Foxy Wristies (the name was changed to wristers due to wristies being a trademarked name – who knew!!) That was just the fox pattern with the reverse stocking stitch wrist.

As I was designing the foxy wrister I knew that I wanted to give him some friends, so when the rights reverted to me, I reworked the charts to give him a Badger and a Raccoon companion (yes I know raccoons are not indigenous to the UK but my little people were very keen!) I was also keen to reduce the amount of purl stitches needed and came up with the idea of the *No Purl (almost) version. Although there is purling involved, there is significantly less and it has a stocking stitch wrist, as shown here by the Badger and Raccoon.

Foxy Friends Wristers

I knew when I opened my etsy shop and began hand dying yarn that I wanted to offer kits, and that the first pattern that I wanted to offer in kit form was the Foxy Wristers pattern. So I began looking for a suitable yarn base, I knew that I wanted it to be

  • spun from British wool in Britain
  • robust and hard wearing.
  • while retaining some rustic qualities not coarse and scratchy
  • not superwash treated

Sport weight yarn(which the pattern is written for) isn’t that common in Britain and for a while I came up stumps. Then following a rabbit hole one day I came across Gansey type yarns, these are usually 5ply which is technically a sport weight, and is usually made to be robust and while not very common is available if you look closely. I was very happy to finally find what has now become my Rumbustious base. It is spun is Devon from British fleeces, it’s a lovely wooly yarn and while it may not suit someone with a wool sensitivity it isn’t scratchy or coarse but still robust and strong. I began experimenting, I was pleased to see that it took the dye well and knit up beautifully. It’s slightly different in texture than the orignal yarns called for, it’s less ‘fluffy’ and ‘fuzzy’ this is a smoother yarn and is ever so slightly heavier; I found that to achieve gauge I needed a smaller size needle but was happy to note that the fabric produced was lovely, and perfect for mittens.

I then began reformatting the pattern to print with the kits, the kits are available at present as Badgers or Foxes and the pattern that comes with the kit is just for that motif, and is the stocking stitch wrist version. There are kits available with project bags and without project bags. If there is demand in time I may start offering just the yarn, but that will be further down the road.

I had great fun finding a suitable fabric to make up the project bags, working out the right size, making up the cute little balls of yarn to go in the kit. All in all I’ve had a lovely time, and now I hope that other like these little kits as much as I do.

 

And here are the final samples

Foxy Friends Wristers by Theresa Shingler

There will be more kits, I have a new design and yarn waiting it’s turn to be let loose into the world, hopefully by next weekend all being well. I’m also making project bags to go into the shop as an optional add on or separate purchase.

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New Hope Hat – pattern release

I’m so pleased to announce the release of my new pattern; New Hope Hat

New Hope Hat. Knitting Pattern by Theresa Shingler Knis

I designed the New Hope Hat as response to the refugee crisis engulfing Europe this year. Many, many migrants have lost their lives at sea trying to reach the safety of European shores. I have designed this hat to raise money for the work of MOAS (the Migrant Offshore Aid Station) 

The only expenses that I’ll take from this are Ravelry and PayPal fees.

This design had been perculating in my mind for a few months, sparked by the remains of some beautiful stone work around the window of a ruined abbey that we visit frequently.

Then one Saturday I sat down to listen to Curious Handmade podcast, Helen spoke about the refugee crisis and the terrible loss of lives and something that she said sparked an idea of a little way I might be able to help rather than wring my hands as I had been doing.

I had a stack of Aran weight wool in various colours than I’d been dying up as practise colourways for my etsy shop, I had the kernal of a design idea, I put the two together and this hat was born. I hope that everyone who knits it likes it as much as me, and I hope that that it raises a reasonable amount of money for a very worthy cause.

New Hope Hat is available as a PDF download in my Ravelry shop.

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Hand dyed yarns in the esty shop.

I’ll so pleased to able to unveil one of my most exciting secret projects of late.

I’ve been hand dying yarn to add to my Etsy shop.

Hand dyed yarn by theresashinglerknits.com

 

Just as I’m inspired in my knitting pattern designs, so I am in hand dying yarn. All my colourways come about by the world around me, usually the natural world.

I aim to have repeatable colourways, that can be custom ordered if larger amounts are required such as for a garment or a larger shawl, and to have those colourways available across the whole range of my bases.

My bases are all spun in Britain from British or British overseas territories wool, I’ll put up a page soon with more information about my bases,in the meantime check out my Etsy shop if you’d like to see what is available at the moment,, more is being added regularly, and keep a look out for kits and more bases coming soon

To be one of the first to find out when new lines are added sign up for my newsletter, links on the side bar.Hand dyed yarn by theresashinglerknits.com

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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

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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!!!

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

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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!!!

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 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

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The care and feeding of a handmade wardrobe

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

Part 1: Do you really want a handmade wardrobe in the first place?

There really isn’t anything wrong with knitting* for the sheer pleasure of the activity, for feeling the yarn move through your fingers, for enjoying the gorgeous panoply of colours available, just for the hell of it. If you are a process knitter who cares not a whit for the finished article, there is no shame in that, own it and enjoy it. (And perhaps come back later, this might not be the article for you)

(*substitute sewing as you see fit :o)

However that’s not me, I aspire to have a handmade wardrobe of my very own.

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I’m not one to say that I’m a process knitter (or sewer for that matter), as much as I love the physical act of knitting I unashamedly love having the finished object more! Yet even so I’ve found myself getting cranky at the proliferation of handmade wardrobe posts springing up around the web. Very odd, some of my most favourite bloggers and designers are writing about something that I spend a fair quantity of my leisure time doing – creating a handmade wardrobe, and I get grumpy – why? And then it hit me, it’s the usefulness of the activity that rubs me up the wrong way, why should my leisure activity be useful? No one expects golf to have a useful outcome! (Cue gnashing of teeth at this juncture) Obviously I have some angst about this issue that has nothing all to do with the inspirational posts popping up all over the blogosphere – that I’ll come back to another day, for now a remedy.

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To counter the irritation the best course of action I find is to immerse myself in the flood of inspiration; I’m happily polycraftual and will as happily sew as knit (though it’s not as convenient for snuggling down with on the sofa) so my inspirations are mostly similarly polycraftual.

There are of course many and varied motivations to creating a handmade wardrobe, from concerns about ethical consumerism and worry about ecological sustainability to a wish to experiment with self-expression and personal autonomy.

Creator of the wonderfully inspiring Me Made May is Zoe at So Zo … what do you know? Her focus is primarily environmental sustainability, she sews but doesn’t knit, she has recently had a daughter and is clothing her in the same way that she clothes herself which is fantastically inspiring.

Someone else who I’ve been following for almost as long as Zoe is Libby at Truly Myrtle. Within the last few years, she moved to New Zealand and has taken up designing knitwear, she does sew as well though, often creating whole outfits and has a podcast where she talks through her creations.

Through the Truly Myrtle podcast  I’ve started following the wonderful Georgie Hallam (of the Milo  vest fame) on her website Tikkiknits.com.  As many others have, I’ve knitted the Milo vest more than once but I wasn’t very aware of her whole range, mostly of children’s patterns, I’ve quickly remedied that and am having my very own little Tikki fest knitting Posy and Jane for my girls this summer (more in a later post) I find her whole blog and website are very inspiring for me as I strive to create my own handmade wardrobe (and sneak a little into the children’s’ cupboards and drawers).

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One of my biggest inspirations is Isabelle at Fluffyfibers.com I have followed her work for years from when she only sewed, then began crotchet and now knits and spins as well. Her work is amazing, she has a wonderful eye for colour and proportion and has exquisite taste, all the while managing a family life and a demanding professional career. She also has a podcast which has recently become a video podcast; my favourite as I love to see all the pretty things being talked about.

Of course, there are lots of wonderfully inspirational crafters whose work I love to follow, but if I need a quick fix, these are the ones that I go back to time and time again.

 

 

Next time in part 2 : Creating a handmade wardrobe that won’t be left at the back of the closet, aka making a wardrobe for the life that you lead.

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