Knitting Conundrums

A Second Attempt

You might remember my cotton top, made for my baby granddaughter, that caused me so many problems.  It looked absolutely lovely on Isobel, the pale yellow was a good colour and the fit was excellent, although not much room for growth.  Overall, I was quite pleased with it, BUT, my son in law apparently remarked to my daughter that overall the knitting 'wasn't quite up to the usual standard' and that I 'had made quite a few mistakes'.  These 'mistakes' were the bars where those wretched increases were made.  I wasn't worried by his comments as it wasn't as though I didn't know about them, I was devastated! Not really.  However I was determined to make this top again and this time it had to look fabulous.

So, bearing in mind that cotton hadn't worked well for me, I chose a skein of Merino/nylon sock yarn that I had hanging around.  I love buying indie dyers sock yarn, but as I never, ever knit socks, it is kind of pointless.  Particularly as I'm far too mean to buy several skeins that could work as a project.  I only buy one.  This could be just the thing for it.  This one was dyed by Qing and is the colourway Cove.  It's really nice.

This time, I made the 1 year size as Isobel is growing fast.  I took the advice of the very talented and expert knitter, Janine, and was more careful with my purling.  As she said, cotton is quite unforgiving, and I must say the wool worked better.   I used circular needles to do the back/forth rows on both garments and it perhaps that was the problem..  It's hard to tell and I might in time knit another one in cotton to see if I could do better.  Anyway, this looked much better but I was concerned about those increases.  The pattern instructs you to increase by 'making one' by lifting the bar between the two stitches, twisting and knitting it, but it does leave a little straight bar that is noticeable.  After testing this method with the wool, I decided it is noticeable when you do a lot of increases in the row as this pattern demands.  So, I read the whole of my Increase/Decrease book and learned masses about the process.  However, there wasn't one which suited my immediate needs.  Eventually, I hit upon pulling part of the stitch below up to the needle and knitting it - rather like a slip stitch.  This worked better for this garment, particularly with the variable colours of the yarn.  Here's how it looked:


You can see the slipped stitch but it doesn't show as much as the make one.  This might be because of the random colours of the yarn, or it might be because this is wool rather than cotton.  Anyway, it was more successful for the multiple increases in the row.

I'm really pleased with this and the photo below shows the finished garment.  My son in law viewed it yesterday and pronounced it as 'fabulous'.  He may have been primed by my daughter to say that.  No matter,, I'll take the praise either way.

Tunic Top Version 2

I'm still working on my mosaic sweater and it's coming along well,.  However, my next project is a little cardigan for Isobel which will show off  the skirts of her collection of fabulous dresses.

Created On  5 Apr 2021 14:40 in Knitting Conundrums  -  Permalink

Knitting in the Round and Blocking Part 2

Firstly I would like to say thank you to all of you who commented or emailed giving me hints and tips on how to avoid the uneven stitching.  I will reply to you all, but I don't know how at the moment and am waiting for the software people to let me know what to do.  

Moving on, I finished the little top yesterday evening and it looked like a limp rag.  I meant to take a photo and completely forgot.  However, I'm sure you will know what I meant by that.  This morning, I soaked the top in tepid water with some wool wash - I use  Eucalan which is excellent for delicates and as an added bonus is no rinse - perfect for the lazy.  It had a soak for about 30 minutes, mostly because I became distracted into riveting household tasks, putting washing away, cooking lunch and making sure Ian had something  useful to do at all times.  After soaking, it was rolled in a towel and gently squeezed to remove the excess water.  Then blocking.  I bought these 'blocking boards' or 'hopscotch' squares from B&Q a couple of years ago and very useful they are.  It was then pinned out using dressmaking marking pins because guess what? I couldn't find the 3 packs of KnitPro T Pins that I own.  They are by far the best for blocking, but anyway, they are somewhere safe, probably laughing at me.
Izzy's Sweater

This is the outcome so far.  You can still see the ridge a bit and definitely the marks where the increases took place.  I looked at all the finished projects on Ravelry for this pattern and the increase marks on most projects were quite noticeable. However, the unevenness of the top bit, where I picked up the stitches on one sleeve with a large circular to do magic loop and then changed my mind, and some general poor tension in knitting is showing.  Maybe when it dries it might even out a bit more, but frankly I'm not hopeful.  Still, Isobel isn't a position to complain and frankly nor is her mother, so I'm not too worried about the general state of it.

So, I did enjoy knitting this, but I think a wool might be better.  I'm going to get straight onto it.  What about the Krea Deluxe Cotton?  I liked the feel of it and it knitted well., especially when you take into account I'd unpicked this cotton at least three or four times when knitting a really lacy cardigan during our epic 'Game of Thrones' marathon watch last summer.  You can't do both and I used to knit really fast when the gory bits came on - every 3 seconds.  The top took almost 2 balls so very good really.  I had unpicked both of the balls several times, I was determined not to give up.  So, to sum up, I like the pattern and will try it again  using something more forgiving of increases etc and I like the cotton and will use it again on something more easy going.  I will add a photo of the completely finished article.

Created On  21 Feb 2021 12:39 in Knitting Conundrums  -  Permalink

Knitting in the Round and Blocking Part 1

First post in this new blog and I should introduce myself.  I'm Sharon, owner of and worker at Great British Yarns.  Assisted by husband, Ian who does the accounts and stock control, in the form of 'don't buy anything else' and Daisy the dog, who likes to stand on my printer when I'm in the warehouse.  That's it really.  We live in a hamlet a few miles south of Perth, Scotland.  Originally from Bath, this is a little different, but beautiful and we love living here.

Now, down to the real business of the blog.  A discussion of knitting and other things.  I would love to receive comments, preferably helpful ones on how you've improved your knitting.   This week I started a very pretty lacy top for my 6 month old grand daughter.  It's knitted in the round, apart from the first couple of inches which is knitted to and fro for the neck opening.  Nothing sinister so far.  Here is a link to the pattern. Little Erantis Top by Knitting for Sif.  I'm using Krea Deluxe Organic Cotton for this top as it is a good quality cotton that's machine washable so perfect for young children.  I'm using 3.00 mm needles and so that's all ok.  Did I swatch?  Nooooo, but I've used this particular cotton before (and I mean this particular cotton as it's been unpicked several times) and I'm not too worried about the size but mostly I'm lazy.   
Little Erantis Top

Anyway, leaving the 'To Swatch or Not to Swatch' question for another time, I cast on and worked backwards and forwards for slightly more than the allotted amount, due to watching 'A Place in The Sun' and wondering whether Portugal, Spain or Greece is the preferred spot for our new holiday apartment.  Eventually I remembered sun and heat aren't my friends, we don't have the funds for a holiday apartment and that something didn't look right.  Not to worry, I thought I'd add a ribbed band fastening because I can't crochet a loop as the pattern demands in any case.

So I carried on and joined the knitting in the round and merrily set off knitting, doing yarn overs and moving stitch markers with impressive speed and dexterity.  However, a few rounds down and I can see that things aren't as beautiful as anticipated.  There is a definite difference in tension between the back and forth knitting and knitting in the round.  It's really noticeable to my eye.  I asked Ian but he said he couldn't see a thing, but then added 'once you've come out of the rib'.  What rib?  That was a little disappointing to say the least.  I spent quite some time wondering whether to unpick, but thought that wouldn't work unless I then steeked it and come on, this is a baby top.  So I spoke to daughter about it.  She said it didn't matter as Isobel would immediately be sick on it so the state of the stitches would probably be immaterial.  I'm ploughing on and am hoping this will come out when blocked.  If you have any ideas, comments, hints or tips on this, do please let me know.  Although I probably won't unpick this one.
Strange Tension

Created On  14 Feb 2021 11:30 in Knitting Conundrums Feb 2021  -  Permalink