That’s right, I said “Despicable!”.  OK, so that should actually be: Despicable Me, as in the animated movie of that name…  Without doubt, he characters that seem to have been liked most are the Minions!  These strange little folk have won many hearts and that’s proven by the fact that there is a knitting pattern.  Kat Lewinski’s pattern is fun and quick, though some experience is needed of the techniques used.  Numbered with those who love the minions is Jenny LOL.  Naturally, therefore, it was inevitabale that I’d end up knitting one for her.  He’s now to be found dangling from her workaday handbag!

Jenny's Minion

Jenny's Minion

Finishing Old Projects

Like most knitters, I have various projects that I started but which stalled for one reason or another.  Every so often they emerge from hiding and, of course, the idea of actually finishing them surfaces.  Well, there are still some kicking about, but I’ve actually managed to finish two old projects!  The first was originally started way back in January – a sleeveless sweater for myself (it was meant to be for cooler Summer days LOL!).  Knitted in a really nice Aran (Robin, 75% acrylic/25% wool), in Denim (my apologies for the poor quality photo):

"Peter Easy" Sleeveless Sweater
“Peter Easy” Sleeveless Sweater

The pattern has the arm bands being knitted on straight eedles but I did them on a circular needle.  I kept putting off finishing the sweater because I lacked confidence in picking up stitches.  I’ve learnt a great deal from my sock knitting!

The second project is the “Heirloom Teddy” by Patons of Australia, as published in That’s Life magazine.  I went for a plain bear, rather than the more colourful ones in the pattern.  Completed, he’s now with our newest granddaughter – Kayleigh-Anne and goes by the name of Chicago Bear:

Chicago Bear
Chicago Bear

The delay on completing the bear was due to a lack of suitable toy stuffing.

Catching Up

I’ve been having a bad time recently, ever since a routine blood test threw up an alarming result.  An INR target of 2.5 was returned at 17.6 instead!  So the hospital have been tinkering with my Warfarin dosage and taking frequent blood samples.  So much fun for a trypanophobe (needlephobe)!  As emergency treatment initially, I was given a large dose of Vitamin K (mercifully an oral solution).  That, of course, disrupted my system for days…  Life is so much fun!

I should have known better but I started making a pair of lace socks for Jenny, despite difficulties in concentrating.  Yesterday, the errors just became absurd so I frogged the first sock and started again.  Let’s hope I can get further…

Better news: on Monday, we picked up our new car    It’s a Kia cee’d SW and is our first diesel-fuelled car.

Finally, for now, I’ve signed up to the trial of Google +.  This is a new networking/sharing concept.  You have to be invited to join at the moment.  I’m hoping that some of my knitting and cross stitching friends will join me.

iPod and Socks…

Following being given an iPod touch for my birthday, the first thing I did was to make a knitted cosy for it:

iPod cosy

iPod cosy

It’s based on the iphone case by Charlotte Nash.  I had to adjust the size some, and I added the flap, which is secured with a large bead.  A lightning fast project!

Today will see the completion of the first of the dayflower socks, which had reached this stage when I wrote this:

Dayflower socks WIP01

Dayflower socks WIP01

I love this pattern!

With regard to the iPod, I’m using the app KnitMinder by Quilt2Go to record my projects, and to provide a range of handy counters.  I tried the Lite version first and our eldest son bought me the full app as a surprise!  I’d love to know what JKnit is like to use but there isn’t an evaluation version and it’s rather pricey to take a risk on…


New projects at last!

Now that I’ve completed Jenny’s socks, I’m far more confident about sock knitting. That’s helped with the advent of my new iPod touch… I can now keep track of what I’m doing far more effectively. So, I’ve now started making a pair of lace socks for our younger son’s partner :D

Sock It To Me… The Sequel : Part 2

I’ve completed the first of the classic cable socks for Jenny:

Classic Cable Socks - WIP03

Classic Cable Socks - WIP03

Just have to knit the second one now!

Stitch Switch

I’m feeling kind of proud of myself this morning.  While working on Jenny’s sock, I discovered that I’d made a mistake in the last round I’d knitted.  I had gained an accidental Yarn Over and also knitted what should have been purled!  The thought of tinking back over two and a half needles was really unappealing…  I wasn’t in the mood to go hunting around for guidance on fixing the problem, either, and I was briefly tempted to ignore the error.  However, I decided that there must be a way to fix it, if I thought about it carefully enough.  In a fit of daring, I decided to try to sort out the error!

First of all, I slipped the stitch onto a crochet hook.  I then used a cable needle to lift the loop of the stitch below (that wrapped round the legs of the knit stitch).  Drawing the stitch through the loop, I had the two parts separated.  I then managed to convert the knit stitch into a purl stitch and replace it back on the DPN I’d removed it from.  I felt a great deal of satisfaction in working out what had to be done for myself, without guidance 

Sock It To Me… The Sequel

I’m making progress on the classic cable socks for Jenny:

Since starting these socks, I’ve learnt something new.  Apparently, there’s a rule that the pattern instruction Sl 1 means Slip 1 stitch purlwise unless otherwise stated.  Having encountered patterns where this is stipulated and those where some other action is dictated, plus several where no guidance is given, I naturally assumed that you slip stitches in the manner of other stitches in the row – i.e. slip knitwise on a knit row or purlwise on a purl row.  When I reached the heel flap and turn heel, I followed that assumption.  Not having reference books or a computer handy at the time (we were out and about), I had no chance to investigate the undefined instruction.  I find it odd that the pattern includes the definitions:

ssk (slip, slip, knit) Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right needle; insert left needle into fronts of these 2 sts and k them togther


sl = slip

but the sl definition doesn’t simply add the word purlwise for clarity!  Why?  Why assume the reader knows the rule or can look it up?  It seems very odd to me…

Well, all my slipped stitches are done wrong, except the SSKs, but I’m not going to “fix” them!  I actually like the effect I’ve got, especially as it cushions the back of the heel.  What a pity, though, that the confusion arose because the pattern writer thought that one eight letter word was superfluous…

Sock It To Me…

Yes, I’ve finished my first ever pair of socks!

Sock WIP03

Sock WIP03

I’m delighted with the result.  And now I know how much more comfortable they are than bought socks, I’m going to be making more!  In fact, I’ve already started making a pair for Jenny – Lion Brand’s Classic Cable Socks.  A bigger challenge, using DPNs and a cable needle… but so far, so good.  I’m making them in Cygnet Yarns DK Shade 150, Heather, on 2.75mm DPNs (the smallest I’ve used so far).

Edit to add WIP photo:

Here’s a WIP photo of the Classic Cable Socks:

Classic Cable Socks - WIP01

Classic Cable Socks - WIP01

Sweating Over A New Project : WIP Part 2

I finished the back of the sweater on Thursday.   Now I’m back to using 3mm metal needles to start the front!  Murder on my hands but I’ve only got one, old bamboo 3mm needle.  I’m pleased with the look of the back.

Paul's Sweater - WIP02
Paul’s Sweater – WIP02

Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.

I’ll be glad to get back onto my 3.75mm bamboo needles on the front part!  I’ll also be glad to get the bulk of the black out of the way again, but that’s some days away yet.  I’m still working on other projects to break up knitting in black, and to ease both my eyes and my hands.  The sock is the primary thing but I’ve also started work on making a bag to my own design.

I’m making the bag in Aran (Stylecraft), in a lovely denim colour.  It will feature two cable panels, one on each face, and four two-colour “knot” panels, two on each face.  I’ve written up the basic pattern instructions and am amending it when necessary as I progress.  I’m knitting it in the round, on a 6mm x 40cm circular needle, to minimise sewing and in hopes that it will make the bag stronger.  I was originally planning on using ready made handles but having seen the prices, I’ve decided to knit the handles too, making them double thickness and also knitted as part of the main body, rather than making them separately.  There’s nothing to see yet, really, so I’m not including a photo at this stage.  I’ve yet to select the two colours for the knot panels so I won’t be getting very far just yet, as I’ll have to find the yarn and buy it.

As a substitute “distraction project”, I’ve located some cotton yarn in our stash and I’m planning on making another cloth with that.  It’s quite soft and if it knits up that way, it will become a face cloth for one of our granddaughters   Of course, if that comes to be, then I’m going to have to do another for our other granddaughter