knitting

Miss Winkle!

I finished Miss Winkle!

Miss Winkle Knitting Pattern

I actually finished it a couple of weeks ago so she has already had a few outings 🙂

I am really pleased with this pattern, it was quick to work and shows off the Rosie’s Moments – ‘Christmas is Coming’ yarn perfectly. And I am so happy with the way the loops came out, I used a broom handle to block them.

Blocking Miss Winkle

Miss Winkle scarf

Miss Winkle Loops

Miss Winkle Shawl

Miss Winkle Back

So now the out of office is on at work, presents have been wrapped and I am looking forward to a lovely break seeing friends and family, oh and cracking on with lots of knitting!

I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas! x

 

knitting

A Morning with Stephen West!

Last Sunday The Sheep Shop in Cambridge hosted a Top Down Shawl workshop with none other than Stephen West!

We arrived at the shop for 10am, met Stephen and took our places around the table. After the introductions Stephen showed us his one of his first designs, The Boneyard Shawl, and talked us through making a garter tab cast on.

The Boneyard Shawl

Photo of The Boneyard Shawl taken from the Westknits Ravelry page.

We started knitting the first few rows of The Boneyard using the M1L and M1R increases, and Stephen shared lots of handy hints and tips with us as we went along.

Then the fun really started…as Stephen put it ‘this is a workshop, so the first part is work…. and the second part is shop!’

So with the work bit put on hold we were free to browse the shop. Local yarn dyer Sparkleduck was holding a trunk show too which meant there was heaps of beautiful yarn to choose from.

Sparkleduck Yarn

And with plenty of Westknits patterns on sale it wasn’t long before I fell off my yarn diet wagon….oopsy!

Stephen West Patterns

Stephen was on hand to help us all with choosing colours for our projects

Stephen West Yarn

I decided to make Spectra. I instantly fell in love with the Sparkleducks ‘Enchantment’ colourway so that went straight in my basket, and Stephen helped me pick out the 2nd darker colour for the border ‘Inky’.

Spectra

There was chance to look at some finished shawls and garments.

Exploration StationThe beautiful Exploration Station

Askews Me Shawl

The Askews Me Shawl

RockefellerRockefeller (made by one of the ladies who attended the class)

Colour CravingColor Craving

Westknits

Various Westknits garments, check out the gorgeous brioche stitch…that’s going on my list of things to learn in 2016!

And the man himself modelling his new design, The Doodler.

Stephen West

For the last part of the workshop were able to start our new projects and have a general knit and natter with Stephen, who was on hand to answer any questions.

After the workshop my friend Vero had arranged to interview Stephen for her ‘Along the Lanes‘ podcast.

Along the Lanes

…and here is the finished episode! In it Stephen talks about his designs, crazy knitting inventions and colour inspirations (you will never look at a train seat in the same light again!)

If you love all things yarny, crafty and homemade then do check out some of the other episodes of the podcast too. There is always something fun going on in Vero’s world whether it’s knitting, painting, cooking or filming on location – such as the Great London Yarn Crawl.

Finally, if like me you are always scrambling around trying to find stitch markers then Stephen West has a genius solution….

Stitchmarker Shoes

Until next time, happy knitting! x

knitting

There’s a hole in mi knitting, what am I gonna do?

UB40 once sang ‘there’s a rat in mi kitchen, what am I going to do’….which is a scary thought indeed, but a hole in my knitting?! Nooooooo!!!!! I couldn’t think of anything worse 😦

A couple of nights ago I was getting ready to take a stroll down to the shop and with the weather being a bit nippy I decided to wear my Holden Shawl.

DSC07702

But imagine my horror when I found THIS!!

Hole in Knitting

It wasn’t actually this bad when I found it but I panicked and started pulling at the yarn trying to tie it up at the back, and ended up dropping more stitches. I was so annoyed 😦

After calming down I did what any sane and rational person would have done in the first place and headed straight for the internet for a solution to all my problems. And it turns out there are quite a few.

I decided to try this one from Knitty and here is what I did.

Firstly I secured the live stitches on stitch holders and assessed the damage (in doing so I inadvertently made the hole even bigger, grrrrr)

Knitting hole

Then I loosely grafted the live stitches together.

fixing hole

The area of damage was 4 stitches by 2 rows.

Luckily I had some spare yarn from this project as I had done a little gauge swatch when I made the shawl last year, so I unravelled about a third of that.

Unravelling a swatch

As  you can see the yarn had lots of kinks in it so it needed to be straightened. One of my favourite methods of straightening small amounts of yarn is by using a teapot.

straightening yarn

I threaded the yarn through the steam hole in the lid of the teapot and pulled it back out through the spout. Then very carefully I partially filled the teapot with hot water, just enough so as not to make contact with the yarn, then slowly started pulling the yarn from the spout. When I reached the end I refilled the teapot and reversed the process pulling the yarn back through the lid, and hey presto!

straightened yarn

Lovely straight yarn 🙂

yarn

Back to the shawl…the instructions on Knitty said I would need as many lengths of yarn as there are rows missing, and the yarn needed to be about 3 inches longer than the gap.

The trick is to lay the yarn over the hole and use these lengths of yarn to rebuild the stitches using a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.

fixing knitting hole

First row done.

Row 2

2nd row.

You then graft the 2 sets of live stitches together. An excellent tutorial on grafting can be found here.

I must admit it took me a couple of attempts to get a result I was ok with, and where it was still a bit messy in places I used a duplicate stitch to tidy it up. It’s by no means perfect but luckily for me the yarn hides a lot of sins, and I think once I have it on it will become less noticeable…

Repaired hole

…especially if I wear it as a scarf 🙂

Holden

If you find a hole in your knitting my one piece of advice would be – don’t panic! There is always a way to fix it, and thanks to the internet it doesn’t have to be scary. Now I would take a hole in my knitting over a rat any day!

Happy knitting x