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Striped beanieAfter my on-again off-again vest, it was quite exciting to finish this in just 5 days! I reckon I need a few small projects for small wins along the way while I’m working on something bigger.  Anyway, I’m quite happy with how this turned out and it’s ready just in time for crisp morning dog walks. Wonder if it would fit under my bike helmet too?

The hat is in Rowan Felted Tweed and the pattern is by Martin Storey from a Rowan book Classic knits for men. Unfortunately all the lovely jumpers in the book begin at large size and go up to massive so I’ll have to stick to the smaller projects.

(Dear Rowan, your designs are beautiful but we aren’t all built like rugby players. Can we have some more modest sizes as well please?)

The beanie is knitted flat and then seamed. This is my first seam, which started off far better than I expected, then went a tiny bit wonky because I made the edge stitches too tight.

Although it was only a small project I still managed to make an astonishing number of mistakes but retrieved the situation thanks to the plain-speaking advice of Maggie Righetti in her book Knitting in plain English. So here’s one of Maggie’s tips…

You know when you have to rip back, because you’ve been paying too much attention to RuPaul’s Drag race on TV and you’ve messed up the stripes? When I rip it back and then pick up the stitches I always seem to get my needle back into the stitches so it’s pointing the wrong way. Maggie suggests getting a small circular needle and using that to pick up the stitches. That way you can never have the needle pointing the wrong way. Genius!

I got a 2 mm circular needle which worked great.  Once the stitches are safely back on the circular needle, just slip them purlwise onto the correct needle and you’re good to go. As you slip the stitches you can easily spot any twisted stitches and fix them before you start again.

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Knitted snowman christmas card, from a Ravelry pattern by Frankie.

I made five of them, but only discovered last night that I’ve managed to make two of them back to front – they’ll have to be for left handers 🙂

Wayne thought the deer in the photo looked a bit chilly so I might knit her a scarf too.

Our last stitch n bitch for the year is next week. If you can’t make it, have a wonderful Christmas and we’ll see you in the new year. My New Year’s resolution is to learn to crochet. How about you?

I found this Japanese amigurumi kit in a secondhand store in Northcote today. The lady in the shop warned me that all the instructions are in Japanese but I’m tempted to have a go anyway.

(Actually, there were three other kits and I’m tempted to go back and buy them too.)

The label says りんご帽のくま which means something like “apple cap bear”.

kawaii ne? (cute, huh?)

vestI have developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with Rowan summer tweed. It’s very very beautiful, but tricky to knit with – well, for a beginner anyway.

Being cotton/silk it doesn’t have much stretch so all my beginnerly knitter imperfections get amplified. I got as far as knitting one skein of it, then decided to start over.

Spending a couple of days at my mum’s place I had another go from scratch and this time it turned out better. Mum said it looked fine, except… “wasn’t it a bit small?”

Uh oh, I forgot to switch to the larger size needles after doing the ribbing for the waist. Bum.

So then I got some motherly tips on frogging and rethreading my needles and now I’m all set to restart the main part tomorrow! The pattern is from Erika Knight’s book  Men’s knits.

learning to unknitIt’s a wintry day so I’m aiming to finish the scarf this weekend. It’s been a good learning experience with simple rib and stocking stitch, and along the way I’ve learned how to fix up quite a few mistakes! Already, sometimes my fingers tell me something has gone a bit wrong, so I must be getting the feel for it. (But I still can’t knit and watch TV at the same time.)

I used Debbie Stoller’s tip to get neat edges. After inserting the needle for the second stitch, before knitting it, give it a tug to tighten things up. I think early on I was tugging a little too much – if it was a jumper I’d never be able to sew up those edges – so I’ve loosened things up a bit towards the end and it’s looking a bit better.

For the next project… I’ve got some simple kelly green wool, enough I hope to knit a basic jumper from the Paton’s men’s classic knits pattern book. And I’ve got an eBay bid in for 6 skeins of Rowan Summer Tweed to do the vest in Erika Knight’s Men’s Knits book.

If anyone is interested you can get the scarf pattern here.

The stripey scarf is now more than half way, but I’ve just spotted a  stripey mistake!

stripey scarf

Memo to self: stop knitting under the yellow lamp where both colours look the same. Now I’ve got a double width blue stripe.

As it will be where it wraps around my neck I’m tempted to ignore it and knit on. What do you reckon?