Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Blue Cardigan

 On Sparkpeople we do various Challenges and I joined in the July Stash Buster Challenge, I wanted to knit a cardigan that was made in one piece as I dislike picking up lots of stitches for the front bands.
So I hunted around and found this pattern on Ravelry


Now for me this was a real challenge as I have never knitted a garment in one piece before and not used markers or short rows. Then there was the grafting of the sleeve seams to master as well so a challenge all round.
This was the end result

I am quite pleased with it, I need to get the buttons for it so closed it with a shawl pin for the moment to take a picture of it. It is not blocked yet but still does not look too bad.
It is knitted sideways so I had no idea what I was doing I just followed the instructions in the pattern an after a while I could see what I was doing.

I read the instructions in the pattern link of how to graft the stitches for the seam on the sleeves and it made no sense to me so off I went to YouTube and found this
Grafting Garter Stitch

That made sense and as I worked on the technique I soon found it was not as difficult as I had thought.

So now I have learnt to use markers something I had not done before and it has opened up a lot more patterns that I could try as well.
Knitting short rows is easy and again it means I will be able to do more patterns that call for short rows and not be put off by it.
Grafting garter stitch was the one thing I was dreading but again after seeing it done I was able to do it myself.

It is not the usual style of cardigan that I go for as I tend to go for longer ones and knitted in the traditional way that means a lot of sewing. This pattern was easy to use and the instructions nice and clear. As it is knitted entirely in Garter stitch it was a nice easy project to do whilst watching TV, no fiddly reversing rows for the right or left side or sleeves, that always get me in a muddle and I have to be extra careful or I make a mess of things.

Now that I have tried this pattern I will have a look at other cardigan patterns that are also knitted in one piece. I may end up with a couple of cardigans that will serve me well for early Spring and Autumn and even in the Winter months that I will have made myself.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fred the Frog

I have been busy knitting a cardigan but wanted a break and made this little chap.

I am on Loving Hands  forum and we knit things for various charities and this little character will be part of a family of frogs that will go to Siblings Together.

On Loving Hands they have seasonal challenges and this Summer we have various things going on one of which is the Critter Challenge and this time it is Frogs. Anything frog related so wash cloths, dish cloths, hats toys you name it if has a frog on it you can make it. All items go to various charities that can use them to either raise funds or give to people.

I have a Jean Greenhowe patter booklet that has the Frog family in it.  Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Animals

This is the Frog Family in the booklet I added a scarf that is sewn on at the back so it will not get lost. You use two strands of DK yarn held together and knitted on 4mm needles for the Mother and Father Frogs and single DK yarn on 3mm needles for  the frog children. That way you use the same pattern and amount of stitches to create two different sized frogs.

Why I chose Siblings Together.
Many years ago when I was 11 years old my Mother had Cancer and it was not looking good. If things had not gone well then myself and my brother would have ended up in care and back then the chances of us being together was slim. I knew this and worked hard to make sure everything was as easy as possible for my Father so I took over the running of the home and made sure my brother who was 5 years old at the time was clean as I insisted he bathed every night and had his hair washed as well. I was determined that we would stay at home no matter what as the thought of being separated from my brother was unbearable.
Thankfully my Mother survived and we did not go into care but it was a close run thing.
So I know how I felt at the thought of being separated from my brother and realise how how hard it would have been if we had been taken into care.
Children need time to be together with their siblings if they are separated due to circumstances beyond their control. So Siblings Together provide something that is needed and they like things such as these as quoted from a message on Loving Hands

The children love poncho's, hats, blankets, bags for carrying their small items at camp and whatever you could possibly think of, toys, definitely teddies, dolls all sorts, all the more special because they have been made especially for them !!.

So I will make the frogs and send them off I am sure some of the children will like them as they are different.