FO: BAM socks by Rachel Coopey

This is my first pair of DK socks and also my first pair of socks knitting from a Rachel Coopey pattern and I LOVE them. they fit perfectly and were satisfyingly fast to knit and interesting as well.

I used 3 colours of Rachel Coopey’s Sock Yeah DK yarn and it was lovely to knit. No splitting, it is soft and the colours are lovely and bright. There even is a neon range!

Her pattern was easy to read and follow and I had no problems knitting these socks. Dividing the socks into three colours and three different textures added interest and made it much easier to conquer second sock syndrome for me.

I knitted one of the socks in a weekend and the other over a week of evening knitting.

I extended the foot part by two pattern repeats and the length is perfect for my size 8 feet. It was easy enough to do and calculate.

What’s your favourite DK sock yarn or pattern?

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The Skiff hat

This pattern by Brooklyn Tweed has been on my list for ages and beginning of 2017 I finally bought the pattern and gave it a go.

I have since made 2 versions. Initially I put the pattern off because it suggests a tubular cast on that I was petrified off. The instructions always read like nonsense to me, but following Brooklyn Tweed’s version of it made sense and came out rather nice, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Version 1: Skiff hat in Hedhegogfibres Merino DK

For my 30th I got a voucher for YAK and I bought a couple of skeins in this awesome yarn. I loved the colour way if you can call it that and it is so soft. I was worried that the speckles detract from the design of the hat but there are several versions on ravelry using speckled yarn that I really liked so I gave it a go.

The pattern actually calls for worsted weight yarn, but I had read that it knits up rather slouchy and my head circumference is rather small so I thought a DK is a good attempt to make it fit. I never swatch for hats as they so far have always been to big, so I tend to go down a needle size either way.

Knitting the pattern was a joy, if you like reading from charts. I do actually like charts or don’t mind them. It also felt like I levelled up as a knitter as I started to understand the cabled details and did not have to check what every symbols means each time I encountered it. Whoop!

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As a finished object I like the hat a lot. It blocked really big though, even using a DK yarn, so I chucked it into the tumble dryer for a bit and that seemed to help. I am not suggesting everyone try this. I was just giving it a go. The yarn is very soft and drapey, probably adding to the slouchy ness. It is great though for my morning commute covering pony tail and headphones.

 

Version 2: The uncommon Skiff

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This yarn is also from YAK. I think from my first visit to the shop ever. I previously knitted another brooklyn tweed pattern in the yarn and loved how the cables came out, so I thought I would try this in the Skiff hat too.

If you ever get a chance to knit with the Everyday Worsted Yarn by the Uncommon thread, give it a go. I personally love it! It has great stitch definition and elasticity. Even though this was worsted weight yarn the hat seems to be tighter. I think because it does not drape like the merino did.

Overall this pattern is a great one to challenge you but not too much that you get frustrated. If you wanted to make a cabled hat I highly recommend this one or why not start with my other cabled favourite (which is free), the Seathwaite? 🙂

Wing-it topdown class and FO

How is it end of January already?

I haven’t really done the end of 2016 blog posts or anything like that but if you are interested in my knitting, you can see my makes here.

One of my main resolutions for 2017 is to go to more crafty things. Brighton has a weekly knit night at the lovely yarn shop called YAK, for example that I want to go to more. But with that resolution I decided to book what looked like a super interesting and fun class to kick start 2017, namely Anna Maltz’ top down jumper class incorporating colour work.

The class was held in London at Wild and Wooly, which is a great yarn shop. (I nearly bought all the Lettlopi!) It was an evening class over 2 weeks, which gave us time to go away start knitting and come up with questions and make mistakes to rectify the week after.

What I loved about this is that you do not have a pattern. You take your measurements, have your swatch ready and then make your jumper based on this and throw in random colour work patterns.

The maths can seem like a scary part but I would not let it put you off. You can always rip back. I did have to. I got my arm circumference completely wrong and had to rip back to where I separated the body. But this is fine and all part of the learning.

In my head I have already made several cardigans and other jumpers like this. The beauty of the technique is that you don’t need a sweater load of yarn anymore. You can make a jumper out of all the leftovers or random single balls you have providing they are a similar weight.

Need some more inspiration? There are some great examples on Anna’s Ravelry, here and here. Also on ravelry using the hashtag #wingittopdown.

If you get the chance to do this class you really can’t go wrong. Part of the fun is seeing what everyone else comes up with as well. 🙂

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A goal of mine is to get through my stash, well parts of it, before buying more yarn and this approach means I will even get some jumpers out of it rather than a million and 1 hats. Haha!

To make my designs so far I used  150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs as a guide for stitch patterns. Others in the class made theirs up completely.

The project was very interesting and creative. I loved the freeing aspect of not following a pattern and choosing designs based on stitch counts and what random balls of yarn I had left.

My finished jumper has several types of yarn. BFL, Merino, a merino and silk blend and some home spun yarn from a friend. Even though I feel it works. I love the sturdy slightly rough nature of the BFL contrasting with the soft merino.

My favourite bits are the colour changing properties of the BFL, on the arms it looks almost self striping, the cat motif of course, because it is knit in my friend’s home spun yarn and it is cats!

I have since heard it being described as, awesome, hard work, creative, interesting (not sure which kind) and also odd. The weather has started to warm up but I can wear it as outer wear and it makes me so happy. It isn’t without its faults though. There are a few things I’d do differently.

Currently the back has a seam line along it where you can see the colour work rows starting and finishing. I think I would move this to the side another time. For the sleeve cuffs I seem to have used different needle sizes, I used the one I wrote down for the second sleeve but I must have misread the size. Luckily this mostly blocked out.

I actually have enough yarn for at least one more in similar colours, so there may be more wing it top downs in my future. 🙂

 

Question:Have you booked any knitting classes this year?

 

 

 

 

Seathwaite

I promise there will be more variety than just knitting posts about hat patterns.

This hat however is my absolute favourite that I have knitted this year. It is Seathwaite and I discovered it during the fringe association hat alongs. These are super fun and you can join in now if you need some hat knitting inspiration, want to try some new skills, or need some ideas for cool presents.

Seathwaite, like the other hat along patterns, is free. The pattern uses a provisional cast on, using the crochet method and then creates a folded brim. This has been my hat knitting discovery of 2016, because a folded brim fits my small head so much better than a normal long tail cast on. I also love the squishyness it creates. If you have never done a folded brim before or provisional cast on using the crochet method, the pattern is great as it has links to helpful  tutorials.

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When I knitted this hat I had not made a hat with cables before. I loved the process. It can be daunting but cable knitting is extremely simple. At least the few cables I have knitted so far had simple cable patterns. On a side note I ordered this book “Knitted Cable Sourcebook” and cannot wait to try and swatch some of the more complicated cables.

Seathwaite is best suited for a yarn that is a mostly a solid colour. The cables can get lost otherwise and they are so pretty it would be a shame to hide them.

Version 1: using Rowan creative focus worsted

This yarn has a bit of fuzz to it, similar to the sample version. It was a dream to knit with and the cables came out really nicely. The hat can however be a tiny bit itchy in this yarn, especially if you do not have much hair or thin hair.

I added a bobble to this version. I actually had to make the bobble twice as the first time around I did not make it tight enough so it unravelled eventually.

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Version 2: using Three Irish girls springvale DK

This yarn was special to me mainly because my best friends Katja suggested it to me and I found a colour way called winter birch. My childhood was filled with silver birches and they are my favourite tree so I saw this as a sign to get the yarn.

The yarn is merino so a bit softer than the Rowan yarn. I was worried it wouldn’t hold the cable shape as much and used a smaller needle size to get a tighter gauge. I also just realise d that the yarn is DK but the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn. I would suggest doing a swatch if you happen to be more observant than me before you basically change the whole pattern suggestions. I was lucky it worked out.

The hat fits perfectly and the speckles are subtle enough to not distract from the cables, in my opinion.

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Question: Do you have a favourite hat pattern for solid colour yarn? What about for speckled or variegated yarn?