Helen Knits

Knitting and Crochet adventures

My most epic project of all time… a present for my sister and her new husband :D

Key knitting facts:

Pattern: Persian Dreams by Jenise Reid- wonderful pattern, the colourwork is charted so that made it easy to follow, and I found the grafting well explained.

Needles: 2.75mm - oww tiny needles!

Yarn: Drops Alpaca - beautiful yarn, steam blocks so well!

  • Each hex is 8,394 stitches
  • 19 hexes: 159,486 stitches
  • The border has 30 edges
  • Each section of edge is 940 stitches
  • Border total = 28,200
  • Grafting came to 1,974 stitches
  • Total number of stitches was 189,660
  • Started 7th May - finished knitting 19th August = 104 days elapsed time.

Modifications

Apart from the obvious change to the colour palette, I missed out 5 hexagons and made the overall shape a hexagon, this was due to running out of time and not wanting to knit another of the middle hexagons - the non symmetrical patterns were much harder to knit than the symmetrical ones.

The border - this was supposed to be knit on as you go, however I read on the ravelry forum for this pattern’s designer Feminine by Design, that other people were leaving it until the end and I thought that was very sensible incase I wanted to adjust placement (which it turned out I very much wanted to do!). When I got to the end I asked various knitterly folk their opinions on the best way to tackle the border and the consensus was to knit it on. This meant using the following formula:

co10 separately, then

row 1: k9, k2tog (second stitch from the edge of the blanket)

row 2: k9, slp1

Repeat the two rows until you meet the cast on - in my case 28,200 stitches later, using short rows at the corners (add 10 stitches on the outtie corners and take away 10 on the innies)! If you want more detailed instructions for this let me know.

Knitting speed

I have been knitting an average of 1,823 stitches per day - some days I didn’t work on this at all though, especially at the beginning because I was working on the stripey crocheted blanket until the 6th June.
I was knitting a section of edge in about an hour, so I probably worked on the project 2 hours a day for the 104 days, so that’s at least 208 hours wow! I was taking about 4 days to knit a hex, so 2 hours a day seems about right. Overall if I assume 208 hours to knit 189,660 stitches, my rate is about 15 stitches per minute. The hexes were slower than the border because the middles were fiddley.

Finally starting a new project after months of blog silence! Please be patient I have been busy working on one of the most epic projects of my life, but I can’t reveal it yet - anyway that has now got to the stage where I can’t take it on the train anymore, so I needed a new project for my commuting time. This is a swatch for the new project: Hitofude cardigan. I knitting this with the fyberspates vivacious yarn that I got when I went to unravel in 2013, it’s the most beautiful yarn I’m in love. I can’t wait to have a lace cardigan made from this it’s going to be stunning! 

Finally starting a new project after months of blog silence! Please be patient I have been busy working on one of the most epic projects of my life, but I can’t reveal it yet - anyway that has now got to the stage where I can’t take it on the train anymore, so I needed a new project for my commuting time. This is a swatch for the new project: Hitofude cardigan. I knitting this with the fyberspates vivacious yarn that I got when I went to unravel in 2013, it’s the most beautiful yarn I’m in love. I can’t wait to have a lace cardigan made from this it’s going to be stunning! 

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!