Sunday, 29 May 2011

C is for..... circular needles!

Before I learned to knit, all I knew were straight needles and every failed attempt to learn involved a pair of long 4mm needles, I didn't know there was a whole world of knitting equipment out there.
Sometime last year (before I learned to knit) I learned about knitpro (knitpicks), those pretty rainbow wooden sticks and when I decided once again I was going to learn to knit I promised myself once I had finished my first proper knitting project, when I was sure I would stick with it, I would treat myself to a set.

I did and never looked back, I have picked up straight needles twice since I started on circulars and I never made it past a few stitches., I don't know if its a mental block or because circular needles are just so amazing! You never lose a needle because they are tied together, you can knit something as wide as you like, you can get little connectors to join the cables together and make them theoretically as long as you like. You can get the most amazingly beautiful wooden ones, acrylic, bamboo, stainless steel, nickel coated, you can even get itty bitty teeny weeny ones for knitting socks! You can get fixed ones with a set length of cable attached or interchangeable so you can use whichever length cable you need with whichever size needle you need (although teeny sizes don't come in interchangeable as the cable join would be bigger than the needle) and you can get a set for all budgets.

What I love most about them is being able to knit in the round, watching the little vest I made for my son grow, its kind of like magic!

Head over to An accidental knitter for more ABC's

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Well yesterdays bargains weren't so much of the yarny veriety, though there were a few things in there which are definatly usable, I was somewhat concerned about the bag of maybe 40-50yr old 100% nylon yarn and half knit jumpers!
althgough there is also three balls of an acrylic mohair blend (in peach) and the grey stuff on the right has a bit of wool in it too.
But that is just a fraction of what I found in there!

A bag of odd balls.

The black glittery stuff really intrigued me, with its blend of lurex and courtelle (imitation wool!) and and im not quite sure what to do with the burghundy double boucle but there is around 15 balls of it!
There is also around four balls of imitation mohair, and four or five of a bottle green mostly mohair blend.
I'm not done yet though, I haven't told you about the patterns, that is what got me really excited! I get a bit excited by old things just the thought of the history attached. Anyway here some pictures of my favourite bits.

Friday, 20 May 2011

B is for ..... bargains and babywearing

Learn your abc's with An Accidental Knitter

I am between cars at the moment and the other half decided he needed his car today so I was on foot. I decided to take advantage of the situation and have a wander round the local charity shops after dropping off the little munchkin to nursery. well I didn't make it past the first charity shop and I came across a huge bag containing a mini sewing machine, a lot of yarn, some needles and a big pile of knitting patterns. I was looking for a small sewing machine for the eldest two to use and took a bit of pot luck on the rest and decided to get it.
It was unfortunately a bit too big for me to carry although I did contemplate trying to squeze it into my lovely pink ikea shopping trolley or leaving it till monday when I would have the car again.
Then I had the perfect Idea, having Isaac already wrapped up on my back fast asleep I rushed home to get the pushchair and loaded it up...

The pushchair is a biiig three wheeled affair so you can see how big the bag was! A lot of the stuff looks like it may be a bit 'vintage'

I also picked up these too!
The red being 100% Icelandic wool and the green being a acrylic/nylon/alpaca blend.
I will post some more pictures when I get chance to go through everything.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A is for absent.

Ok so I was planning on taking part in learn your abc's  but as usual I am a bit late to the party and I forgot my keys.
yeah I kind of disapeared for a while and life got in the way as usual! So A is for absent.

Where have I been and what have I done? Well I think I failed the kids clothing challenge :-(  I made ds three pairs of shorties and cut out the fabric for a twirly skirt and thats as far as I got.
Other than that it was just housework, knitting and very long bedtimes! I was driven to ice cream.

I got out my treadle and am attempting to get it to sew (think there is a tension issue, the top thread keeps breaking and seems too loose before it goes through the tensioner thingy and too tight after, if that makes sense) I have changed the bottom thread after realising the bobbin in there had 3 different types of thread on it and god knows how many years it had been on there and will test it out a bit later!

I do have one exciting thing to share 
I'm finished my shrug!!!

I'm not sure about the sizing, it fits me but think it could have  done with being a bit wider at the front. I am now planning on making smaller ones for the kids.
I am yet to cast on my next project i think its something i need to do before i finish to avoid the "argghh I have nothing to knit" panic that takes me even longer to get something cast on!

Hopefully will be back very soon with "b is for....."

Monday, 9 May 2011

A new week and the sun is shining!

Urgh mornings!

Oh dear It has been one of those morning's I hate! The ones where you know your going to be late and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it! At 8:42 this morning I had 2 children naked from the waist down, a missing shoe and a lot of hair to brush, as it was we literally made it as the door was shutting albeit short a coat, reading book and Amelia wearing a cardigan two sizes to small, nope I obviously didn't look at my child as she shot past me into the car this morning and will never win awards for my organisation skills!

Kids clothes week challenge.

This week I am planning on taking part in kids clothes week challenge , my sewing machine has been sadly neglected and Isaac could do with some summery clothes and some shorties to wear over his cloth nappies, and I would maybe like to make dresses or skirts for the girls. I'm planning on mostly upcycling as I have quite a few bits of old clothes/curtains/fabric and felted wool jumpers around, and will be trying to post daily about what I've been up to.

Knitting progress.

As my knitting grows slowly row by row, I find it hard to see how much I have achieved, so have decided to post a photo every so often so I can see how its going. I have to admit there are one or two mistakes but there is no way I am going to start over with this again!

I am also trying to see how much extra knitting I can squeeze in, a row while supervising the kids in the bath or sitting with them chatting at bedtime. I have a bad habit of wasting odd minutes here and there as I don't feel there is enough time to get much done and I think I need to stop thinking and start doing!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Bad knitting karma!

I have obviously committed some evil yarny crime of which I have no knowledge, and it has come back to bite me on the bum, because for some reason this shrug seems out to get me!
After starting over last time I got quite far on, had to move on to the 2nd ball of yarn. then did a few more rows before I noticed a wandering yarnover that wasn't where it should be! cue me ripping back quite a few rows..... right back before I started the new ball..... back before i had weaved in the ends of the old and new ball! see where this is going?
A few reminders to myself! check for mistakes before adding a new ball of yarn, then again before attempting to weave in the  old a new balls ends and if I am ever stupid enough to forget the above, unweave the ends before starting ripping back. I somehow ended up with a large tangled mess of what seemed like 4 different strands of wool coming from all different directions.
An hour later I had eventually managed to rip back to before the mistake and carried on knitting.
I felt a bit like this thing just wasn't the same anymore, it was no longer smooth and pretty, anyway a bit further on and I noticed a couple of my yarnover's were breeding and had had a little baby yarnover! ARRGGHH I couldn't even bring myself to frog this yet and have started over with the original yarn and 6mm needles. Five rows in and I haven't screwed up yet!

My opinions on the hiyahiya's.

I transferred the previous shrug from my knitpro symfonies on to a  hiyahiya 5mm stainless steel, compared to the knitpro it was very slippy and the stitches moved along it much easier which meant they also fell of it a lot easier! once I got used to them and stopped dropping stitches, they were quite nice to knit with there were no rough edges to catch the yarn and no mysterious places the yarn got stuck. The cable however is not as slippy and the stitches didn't seem to move along it freely it is also quite curled up and not as flexible as the knit pro cable. Shrug attempt #4 was started on a 6mm hiyahiya which for some reason aren't as smooth as the other pair. I will certainly be using them though and for the price I paid am rather impressed. It won't stop me from trying out other needles but was a fix for my hiyahiya curiosity!