Helen Knits

Knitting and Crochet adventures
On posting my WIP yesterday, I realised that I hadn’t shared the pretties that I brought at the first Bristol Wool Fair! And even worse I hadn’t shared that I had been to the Bristol Wool Fair. How remiss of me!
Nearly 2 weeks ago I went to Clifton Downs in Bristol for the first time to visit the Wool Fair. I had a lovely day with my friends from Knit2together, we looked at yarn, we ate (msg) sausages and we looked at some more yarn, then we did our stint at volunteering where I was stewarding the knitathon - so much fun! This involved 20 people knitting one long piece of material in a row.  I only came away with the book and the red and blue skeins of yarn.
This made me feel a bit unfulfilled so I went back to the fair on Sunday and found a bargain bin at Rosie’s moments and the pink and purple yarns joined my collection. None of them match, but I love them! I’m sure they will become something beautiful. I also got some sheeps icecream and had a lovely afternoon with my hubbie :)
I really hope there is another Bristol Wool Fair because it was so much fun and nice to have a local wool fair where we can discover new yarns that are being produced locally. Amazing! 

On posting my WIP yesterday, I realised that I hadn’t shared the pretties that I brought at the first Bristol Wool Fair! And even worse I hadn’t shared that I had been to the Bristol Wool Fair. How remiss of me!

Nearly 2 weeks ago I went to Clifton Downs in Bristol for the first time to visit the Wool Fair. I had a lovely day with my friends from Knit2together, we looked at yarn, we ate (msg) sausages and we looked at some more yarn, then we did our stint at volunteering where I was stewarding the knitathon - so much fun! This involved 20 people knitting one long piece of material in a row.  I only came away with the book and the red and blue skeins of yarn.

This made me feel a bit unfulfilled so I went back to the fair on Sunday and found a bargain bin at Rosie’s moments and the pink and purple yarns joined my collection. None of them match, but I love them! I’m sure they will become something beautiful. I also got some sheeps icecream and had a lovely afternoon with my hubbie :)

I really hope there is another Bristol Wool Fair because it was so much fun and nice to have a local wool fair where we can discover new yarns that are being produced locally. Amazing! 

Wip Wednesday :) working on a lace weight cardi… it’s painful!
The pattern I’m following is Spirited and the yarn is adriafil zephir 50 which is 50% wool, 50% acrylic. I’m not sure why the yarn hurts so much but it’s going to make a lovely light cardigan in my favourite colour :) 
I think this will have short sleeves due to the fact I only purchase 1 skein of this yarn (1367yards), so I’m really hoping there will be enough. The pattern calls for 2000yards in my size, so I’m hoping that the sleeves will be a good proportion of this. 

Wip Wednesday :) working on a lace weight cardi… it’s painful!

The pattern I’m following is Spirited and the yarn is adriafil zephir 50 which is 50% wool, 50% acrylic. I’m not sure why the yarn hurts so much but it’s going to make a lovely light cardigan in my favourite colour :) 

I think this will have short sleeves due to the fact I only purchase 1 skein of this yarn (1367yards), so I’m really hoping there will be enough. The pattern calls for 2000yards in my size, so I’m hoping that the sleeves will be a good proportion of this. 

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.