Helen Knits

Knitting and Crochet adventures
Baby boy playing on the wedding present I completed in the nick of time for my lovely friends Hannah and Craig.  I made them the granny stripe blanket from attic24.

Baby boy playing on the wedding present I completed in the nick of time for my lovely friends Hannah and Craig. I made them the granny stripe blanket from attic24.

Some new pictures of my blue hexagon blanket (pattern here), in the blue bell woods (the blue bells were only just coming out). We had a lovely picnic in the wood, including strawberry cheesecakes in jam jars - yum!

Overlynd was a train project which I completed knitting in April, it took me 13 days to knit. It took me a lot longer to get around to sewing the bias binding onto the collar, but I finished that a couple of weeks ago and blocked it. I decided to forego the buttons because I felt the flowery ribbon was so pretty I didn’t want to detract from it, so I just sewed the ribbon over the button holes I had already made. Of course there are no close ups of the ribbon, because it was so sunny at the weekend I was squinting in every close up picture!

The yarn was from Vietnam (the same as my blue sand cardigan), but I knit this jumper on a larger needle (5mm) which gave a much nicer fabric - less dense. 

Windy day in Harvington, showing off my newest cardigan! My life has changed dramatically in the last 2 months, so sorry for the lack of blog posts, I am still knitting, manically - according to my beloved mother in law. I have completed another jumper too but because I’m not living at home I haven’t had a chance to block and photograph that one at all although there are a few WIP pictures in the last post. This cardi was finished ages ago and I’d worn it quite a few times before I got round to photographing it. That’s the problem when you don’t live with your photographer! I imagine there will not be many more photos in this beautiful hillside location (just outside our current front door), because we are moving - don’t know where to or when, but it’s on the agenda!

Anyway some project details: 

The yarn is the acrylic that I brought back from Vietnam, I believe the yarn is actually worsted or aran and pattern is written for dk, thus it is quite dense (but I really like that because it makes it more of a jacket than a cardi!) I would love to make this again in dk though one day!

The pattern is BlueSand cardigan by La Maison Rililie, this is a really lovely pattern and easy to follow. I made a small because of the thicker yarn, and I added some stripes onto the arms because I was worried about running out of the darker colour. I also did the trim in the lighter colour for the same reasons! 

How to knit a jumper a month

People are always surprised when, as a relatively young lady, I say I like to knit jumpers - particularly if they find out that I like to knit a jumper a month. They ask where I find the time to knit so often. So this is a typical walkthrough of my average day detailing where that time comes from.

6:40: Get up, walk to the train station, miss the train then knit on the platform for 20 minutes. 
7:49: Board the train and knit for 32 minutes.

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Don’t feel nervous about knitting in public, people are generally more interested than scornful. Here are some tips for knitting on trains:
  • Have your project easily accessible in a separate project bag.
  • Don’t have too many things in said project bag because you will lose things when you take the knitting out! Prepare your bag the night before, so you have everything you need (like the next ball of yarn if you think you’re going to run out).
  • Use circular needles so you don’t poke your neighbours!
  • People will often try to make conversation - if this is distracting wear ear phones, if you can talk and knit go for it - I do have a chat when I’m working on easy projects.
  • You can use the holder in front to hold your chart, but be careful when the cleaner comes along… I nearly lost my pattern the other day when it was swiped out from under my nose!
  • You might find it easier to knit sitting down but if the train is busy don’t be too put off, a few weeks ago I saw a man stood next to the train doorway knitting some socks!

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8:30: Walk to work before, well, working

12:30: Knit at lunchtime, I used to knit in my lunch hour at my desk, but in my new job I will be frequenting the local park in the summer. I find it difficult to ignore email and phone calls in the office so stepping outside can provide the real break you need.

13:30: Back to work.
17:00: Walk to the local knitting club (this week we met in the local park), knitting for 2 hours in the cold with numb hands by the end! It was a lovely evening and all the better for being in the park surrounded by other people doing all sorts of things; drumming, volleyball, drinking etc. Socialising with likeminded enthusiasts is fantastic for both new and old knitters, you can learn a lot, share tips, and ask people to test knit your patterns. Perhaps even make a friend or two!

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19:55 Get back on train and knit for another 32 minutes. 
20:30 If you’re extra nice to someone with a car there’s always that little extra time to knit between the station and your place.

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21:00 Eat dinner and knit on the sofa for another hour or so and then bed…. Zzzzzz!

That’s over 5 hours of knitting on your average work day. Not too shabby eh?

This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies. 

Knit2together

Sorry for the blog silence, things have been happening in my life that have meant that I haven’t had time to blog. However good news, I’m now settled in my new job and really enjoying it, I seem to have found some time for knitting - more to come on that later… and I have two projects - both jumpers nearing completion :D

Since moving to Bristol (in the week) I have joined a really lovely knitting group called Knit2together. There is nothing better than meeting with people who understand about stash enabling, needles breaking and the best thing was when they showed me how to work my ball winder correctly - the spindle wasn’t correctly attached to the cogs and that was why my balls collapsed all the time.

The worst thing about knitting club is, you get carried away chatting and knitting and then miss increasing by about 6 rows (and they are only every 20 rows). But then you have people on hand to tell you it doesn’t matter and understand when you agree and say it’s odd anyway for a sweater shape!

Buttons and yarn purchased in Hanoi, Vietnam. The buttons were from Homemade Tailor and the yarn was purchased on Dinh Liet Street where there a few yarn shops. It’s not the best quality yarn but it was amazingly cheap and is knitting up into a lovely cardigan!

Buttons and yarn purchased in Hanoi, Vietnam. The buttons were from Homemade Tailor and the yarn was purchased on Dinh Liet Street where there a few yarn shops. It’s not the best quality yarn but it was amazingly cheap and is knitting up into a lovely cardigan!

jamescharlick:

Dancing Asparas (by jamescharlick)
Banteay Kdei, photographed here in the warm dawn sunlight, is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD, it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls, and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries until the 1960s.
An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing - usually in the palaces of the gods, entertaining and sometimes seducing gods and men. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, they are often depicted taking flight or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.
A simple shot to start the post-holiday processing, I’m currently copying 44Gb of raw files onto my computer taken over a month around Asia. This should keep me busy for a while!

So, there might have been a reason for the lack of posts over the last month or so… we went on holiday to Asia for a month and I didn’t take any knitting with me! James is uploading his images of our holiday slowly, so here is the first one :)
Not taking knitting was a surprisingly hard decision to make since this is definitely the longest I have gone without having a project on the needles in 2.5 years, but I decided that I’d have more space to buy wool there if I didn’t take any with me… also I’d come to the natural end of a few projects so there wasn’t any need to finish anything. I did consider taking a lace project but I decided I wouldn’t have time to knit, and in reality I really didn’t! It was an amazing, epic holiday and it was good to have my full concentration on enjoying my surroundings. 
Did I buy wool while we were away… umm… yes of course! I also brought some lovely buttons. The wool was brought in Vietnam in Hanoi, it’s not the best quality wool but it was so cheap that I brought 1.5kg of it (and managed to fit it in my backpack!). I’ve already cast on and am part way through the yoke of the BlueSand cardigan which has been top of my wish list for quite some time. I thought it was time for some easy knitting, and while so far I have had to follow the pattern pretty closely I’m enjoying a relaxing knit. I’m looking forward to some more train knitting in my schedule since I start a new job on Monday and will have an hour a day on the train, compared to the current commute of 1.5hours in the car. So hopefully Dad’s birthday socks and a present for my neighbour will be complete by the end of the month… as well as the cardigan for me!

jamescharlick:

Dancing Asparas (by jamescharlick)

Banteay Kdei, photographed here in the warm dawn sunlight, is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD, it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls, and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries until the 1960s.

An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing - usually in the palaces of the gods, entertaining and sometimes seducing gods and men. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, they are often depicted taking flight or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.

A simple shot to start the post-holiday processing, I’m currently copying 44Gb of raw files onto my computer taken over a month around Asia. This should keep me busy for a while!

So, there might have been a reason for the lack of posts over the last month or so… we went on holiday to Asia for a month and I didn’t take any knitting with me! James is uploading his images of our holiday slowly, so here is the first one :)

Not taking knitting was a surprisingly hard decision to make since this is definitely the longest I have gone without having a project on the needles in 2.5 years, but I decided that I’d have more space to buy wool there if I didn’t take any with me… also I’d come to the natural end of a few projects so there wasn’t any need to finish anything. I did consider taking a lace project but I decided I wouldn’t have time to knit, and in reality I really didn’t! It was an amazing, epic holiday and it was good to have my full concentration on enjoying my surroundings.

Did I buy wool while we were away… umm… yes of course! I also brought some lovely buttons. The wool was brought in Vietnam in Hanoi, it’s not the best quality wool but it was so cheap that I brought 1.5kg of it (and managed to fit it in my backpack!). I’ve already cast on and am part way through the yoke of the BlueSand cardigan which has been top of my wish list for quite some time. I thought it was time for some easy knitting, and while so far I have had to follow the pattern pretty closely I’m enjoying a relaxing knit. I’m looking forward to some more train knitting in my schedule since I start a new job on Monday and will have an hour a day on the train, compared to the current commute of 1.5hours in the car. So hopefully Dad’s birthday socks and a present for my neighbour will be complete by the end of the month… as well as the cardigan for me!

jamescharlick:

Away With The Faeries (by jamescharlick)
I’ve not been out and about much recently due to saving for and planning an upcoming trip, but the one thing I’ve been waiting for is fog.
It was due to be foggy overnight so I dragged my beautiful model out of bed at 5am to head to a local woods to have a play before work. Unfortunately the woods seemed to keep the fog out and it wasn’t nearly as dense as I would have liked.
Still, knowing that for next time will help! Time to try another location, and hopefully not on a school night.

Payment for all the knitting photos - in return I have to wake up at 5am, hike into a forest and freeze wearing just a dress in -2C temperatures! Not sure who gets the best deal here!?

jamescharlick:

Away With The Faeries (by jamescharlick)

I’ve not been out and about much recently due to saving for and planning an upcoming trip, but the one thing I’ve been waiting for is fog.

It was due to be foggy overnight so I dragged my beautiful model out of bed at 5am to head to a local woods to have a play before work. Unfortunately the woods seemed to keep the fog out and it wasn’t nearly as dense as I would have liked.

Still, knowing that for next time will help! Time to try another location, and hopefully not on a school night.

Payment for all the knitting photos - in return I have to wake up at 5am, hike into a forest and freeze wearing just a dress in -2C temperatures! Not sure who gets the best deal here!?

FO: Old Forge Blanket

This is probably my favourite blanket and luckily also James’ since it became his birthday present. I made this from wool I reclaimed from a scarf I made for James when I first started knitting… and then had to add a couple of extra balls to make a whole blanket!

The brown/green yarn is James C Brett marble dk, and the beige yarn is Gedifra Riana Color. I used a pattern by Stephen West (one of my favourite designers), and it’s called Old Forge.

This is a much better use of the yarn since it looks amazing in the blanket, while the scarf was knit far too dense to be wearable.

We found another wigwam in the woods, and decided it had to be in our photos. It was muddy in the woods today, slippery, wet and muddy. But we found some areas that were not destroyed by a million dog walkers, and this was one of them. Lots of beautiful moss and bracken, ready for a cosy home; the sun was so warm on my face while I was having a little snooze.