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.

Easter Knitting Mix

This Easter weekend has seen me behaving like a grasshopper, in knitting terms.  Sunday saw some growth of the sweater, until my fingers started to hurt constantly, using 3mm metal needles.  If only I could get a pair of bamboo needles in that size!  As a gap filler, when resting from the sweater, I continued work on the sock too, and it’s going well – I’ve even turned the heel.  I also started on making another of the rabbit wash cloths for our youngest granddaughter, which I finished this morning, and another yarn blossom.

Eight inches of rib for the sock seemed to take forever and I expected the same for the rest of the sock, but turning the heel didn’t take long at all, even though I did have to tink (undo stitch by stitch) several rounds because I got confused on the decreases after nodding off…  I do have some decreases to go, but I’m feeling much more confident now.  So, the sock is now at this stage:

Sock WIP02a

Sock WIP02a

Sock WIP02b

Sock WIP02b

The yarn blossom, which I named Spring Camelia, was knitted with a variegated yarn that I found in our stash.  It’s 4-ply and we only had a very small bit left, but I do think that it works well for these blossoms:

Yarn Blossom 02 - "Spring Camelia"
Yarn Blossom 02 – “Spring Camelia”

The wash cloth was knitted using a cotton blend yarn that Jenny found in the stash.  Unfortunately, there was no ball band with it, but it’s 4-ply for sure!  It has a subtle sheen and knits up beautifully, with a softer feel than many cotton yarns.  The photo doesn’t do the cloth justice, being rather blurred and nothing like the correct colour.  The yarn is actually a dusky pink!

Hippity Hop! Wash Cloth
Hippity Hop! Wash Cloth

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 

Not Just Knitting : Friendship!

This post is only incidentally involved with knitting!  It’s more about friendship, really.

Both Jenny and I were upset by an incident last week, which I won’t go into.  Anger and distress in equal measure were involved, though.  Well, first of all, a friend gave Jenny some cash and told her that he’d like me to make him a sweater  like mine!  I’m proud of that sweater, but I was amazed at the request, not considering myself that good a knitter.  I have previously made him a scarf, but that’s much simpler!  I’ve got plenty of time though, as he wants it for next winter.  In truth, it’s a way for him and his partner to help us with that which upset us.

Today, another friend brought a carrier bag in to where Jenny works, saying that there were some “T-shirts and things” in it for me.  When Jenny looked, she was quick to say that we’d very likely share LOL!  The bag contained official gear from the Oakland Raiders (NFL*) and several cricket teams from the IPL**!  Jenny has claimed a bright yellow T-shirt from the Chennai Super Kings – I’ve yet to choose my preferred team  To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement!  It’s yet another demonstration of support and friendship at a time when we most needed it.

There are no adequate words to convey just how much these two acts of kindness and caring mean to us!


* NFL =American football

** IPL = Indian Premier League (cricket)

Sweating Over A New Project : WIP

While I’m waiting to find and obtain the right size needles to finish Jenny’s new hat, I’ve started on another project.  This one is a sweater for our daughter’s partner, using the sweater part of His’n’Hers from The Family Knitting Book, the edition which was published exclusively for W H Smith.  As I’m having to make this in black and white (mostly black), I’m discovering why my Mother hated knitting in black!  It’s fine in natural light but horrendous in artificial!  As I knit mostly at home in artificial light, it’s a real challenge.  Most of the time, I can’t see the stitches on the needles properly.  If desperate, I use one of those little battery operated LED lights that stick up on walls but that’s still not as good as natural light.



The pattern calls for double knit (8-ply/DK) yarn, the first 24 rows knitted on 3mm needles and the rest on 3¾mm needles.  That’s challenging too, especially using black yarn!  It’s quite difficult to make the transition back to DK from chunky  The sweater is in a rib pattern throughout, which is rather mind numbing too.  The real “feature” is the stripes pattern at the top, which I’ll be doing in white.

So far, since Saturday, I’ve gotten the starting rib (on 3mm) of the back done and have finally started on the main body (on 3¾mm).  During all that time, I only had about an hour (in total) of knitting in natural light, hence the painfully slow progress.


Paul's Sweater - WIP01

Paul's Sweater - WIP01


This could be a very long project!

Major Project Completed!

I finished my biggest project to date last night!  The pattern was in Simply Knitting magazine’s Simply Chunky Knits, under the title Big Softy.  It’s a wonderful cable sweater designed by Grace Melville.  It was a challenge, but only due to being the most significant single object I’ve attempted.

The photos make it look as though the sleeves are uneven but that’s a consequence of the size hanger I used!  The sweater’s a perfect fit, happily.  I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed making it.  I couldn’t get a 10mm circular needle, but the 9mm one I used for the neckband (which is worked in the round) worked fine.  Interestingly, I knitted it in Stylecraft‘s Life Super Chunky (Shade 2377 Sage) rather than just chunky.  Knowing that I was using a somewhat heavier yarn, I did try to adjust my tension to compensate.  The yarn’s beautiful to work with and is super soft.  It’s 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool.