Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Since having my first baby 2 and a half years ago, I have been exploring ways to make simple but effective pieces that can quickly be put down without the fear of stitches being dropped or increasingly active little fingers getting a hold of pointy needles. So, I went back to basics and started experimenting with the most basic of finger knitting techniques and came up with a rope scarf design.
Basic finger knitting is simply a chain stitch created with your fingers. Just like the crochet chain you create a slip knot, and then using your thumb and index finger pull the yarn through the loop in the slip knot and form a new loop. Keep doing this until you have a long rope then start experimenting with it.
The scarf in the photo was made with one ball (100gm) of our Slubby yarn in a dusty pink multi-colour. I finger knitted the whole ball (less 1 m) into a long rope and then lay it out across a long bench zig zagging back and forth 7 times to create an overall scarf length of about 1.7 metres at the same time aligning the colour variations. The colour that stands out the most was positioned at each end. I then cut and knotted the yarn where it turned resulting in 7 individual strands. To tie them all together I used the left over piece of matching yarn to individually tie the strands to each other in two places about shoulder width apart, leaving about a 1cm gap between each knot.
The effect is a lovely rope scarf which highlights the colour variations in the multi-coloured yarn. This project works best with multi-coloured yarns that have been dyed on a hank and repeat the colour range consistently. Try to pick a hank that has a couple of contrasting colours and have fun.
Monday, 17 November 2008
Here is a list of my top 5 knitting tips - crochet and felting to come later.
- Knit a tension square for every project you embark upon. Tension is the key factor in succesfully following a pattern and making a garment that fits perfectly. Many people think they know their tension and most people think they have average tension. Unfortunately tension can vary a lot over a lifetime of knitting and depend on the type of yarn you are using. If you regularly substitute yarns you will have a better understanding of how important it is to check tension and that not all 8ply yarns are create equal. So take the time to knit your tension square - I usually aim for a 12 by 12 cm square - and try a few different needle sizes until you get it just right.
- Work shapings one or two stitches in from the row ends. A lot of knitting patterns will have you working increases or decreases at the beginning or end of rows resulting in a bobbly finish to your edges. Working all shapings one or two stitches in from the end of the rows will give you a neat finish to your edges and make sewing the pieces together much easier.
- Count all rows. Many knitting patterns will ask you to knit a part of the sleeve or back until it measures a certain number of centimetres or inches. Count the number of rows it takes you to achieve the stated length on the first sleeve or back and when doing the second sleeve or the front simply work the same number of rows again. This will ensure you have perfectly matched pieces.
- Try it on as you go. Knitting allows you the time and options to tailor a garment to fit you perfectly. The key measurement for jumpers is the centre back to wrist measurement. Try the sleeves on before casting off and check the width of the back when you get to the arm-hole shaping. A loose basting stitch to keep the pieces together often helps when doing a fitting.
- Start knitting with the yarn end located in the centre of the ball. Sometimes this is hard to find, but worth digging around for. It saves a lot of time chasing the ball around the room.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
My favorite green is finally teamed with some lovely Lara Cameron fabric. Lara and I had a few hair raising moments whilst trying to colour-match our yarn to her fabric designs. But, it was worth it all in the end and we now have four yarn colours matched to 3 designs. I am knitting a cushion cover in this yarn at the moment. Front will be knitted and back will be fabric. I will post the image as soon as it is finished.
Monday, 3 November 2008
I have been wanting to see this lovely Nicky Epstein pattern knitted since the first time I saw it in her Knitting On the Edge Book a few years ago. It is so girlie yet so bold in our orange viscose ribbon yarn. I recently lined it with a light chartreuse version of the Lara Cameron print it is photographed on.