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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

WIP Update: baby jacket

Having finished a couple of WIPs (the Whitlam Cowl and the Northmoor Lock shawl) I was quite eager to start something new. However, life often gets in the way, doesn't it? We had booked to go out to Portugal to see the in-laws and time ran away before I could cast anything new on. So I grabbed another WIP, a baby jacket I've had on the needles for a while (since July!) but that I had hardly picked up and I stuffed it quickly in the case.

It's a King Cole pattern and it's garter stitch so it's really straight forward and easy to pick up and put down - perfect for the trip where my mind is only partly on the knitting and partly on speaking in Portuguese! I'm using Knitting Essentials acrylic yarn in the blue shade and its a beautiful colour.

The back was done already, and normally when we are in Portugal I get some knitting done, but not loads - to be fair it's more about seeing family and friends than it is about knitting! However, in the end we did get some time to rest in between our visits and I managed to get the two fronts done and started on the sleeve. The pictures I've taken were at the end of the trip but I did work on it a bit more this weekend and got the first sleeve done. So just the sleeve and the sewing up & ribbing left to do...good job really as it's for my hubby's cousin's baby that due in November! Better get knitting!

I'm still itching to start something new - the yarns that I bought at the Yarn in the City Marketplace are calling me and with so many WIPs finished/nearly finished I can't stop thinking about what's next! I leave you with this beautiful picture I took by the beach in Barra during our trip. Stunning.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

A Crochet FO: Northmoor Lock

I mentioned in my last post that I was blocking another FO, a shawl for my sister. I had offered to make her a Northmoor lock shawl to go with her new dress for a family wedding. It was pretty tight timewise, but I did get it finished.

Pattern: Northmoor Lock by Joanne Scrace
Yarn: Pom Pom from Tricots brancal
Hook: 3.5mm

The pattern was easy. It was marked as "beginner level" and it really was. However, much in the same way that beginners sometimes dislike garter stitch, I found the pattern a little hard going. I had seen a lot of people do the shawl during the CFTC make-along when I made the Spirographical pattern from the same pattern book - The Shawl Project: Book One. I think it was a combination of things. The yarn I chose was an acrylic yarn that I had in my stash. With two small children, my sister is not likely to have the time or inclination to wash and block a shawl each time it's needed and I wanted it to be practical - after all if you spend time making something for someone, you like to think they will use it! However, I don't think that the yarn was necessarily a good match for the pattern and I found it quite splitty & varying in thickness in places which was annoying. I didn't swatch and my tension, having not done that much crochet was quite tight. So after I had done the number of repeats the pattern called for I knew it was not going to be large enough. I thought about ripping it back and starting again, but at that point I was worrying about the time I had left to finish it. So I just kept going until it seemed big enough before I started to decrease. I don't think the drape is as good as it could be, but I think that's a mixture of the yarn I picked and the tension. Perhaps I should have used a larger hook. I'm not sure. Anyway, regardless of the fact that I was unsure, the shawl still looked pretty good when it was finished and it went really well with my sister's dress. It's funny how shawls can be worn in different ways and she looped it around her shoulders and knotted the ends at the front and it really looked great!

Having prioritised finishing this shawl, I'm itching to start a new project. Definitely a knitted one. I keep telling myself that I really should finish the baby jacket I've been working on but some of the new yarns I bought at Yarn in the City Pop-up Market place are calling me...