Easy Baby Blanket

I recently knitted an Easy Baby Blanket for a friend who was having a baby. (He was born big and healthy last weekend and both mum and baby are doing well.)

Easy Baby Blanket
Easy Baby Blanket

The pattern is available on the BBC website here.  (On Ravelry here.)
It is a pattern is for a blanket, knitted as a a square starting at the corner, when finished you then knit a lace edging and sew it on.

I used 200grams off DK weight yarn, a full edging all the way around takes about 20% of the yarn.

I am adverse to sewing anything when doing a knitting project, so I made some changes, to enable me to knit the edging on, making for a neater, seamless blanket.

I used a different increase method, a slip stitch edge, knitted the border on with No sewing!

As Follows…

For increases:
Every Row:
Slip 1 purlwise, K into Front and Back of stitch, Knit to last stitch, Knit through back of loop.

For decreases:
Every Row:
Slip 1 purlwise, Slip 1 Knit 1, Pass Slipped stitch over, Knit to last stitch, Knit through back of loop.

This forms 1 stitch on the edge of the blanket for every 2 rows, perfect for attaching the border.

For knitting on the edging, start on a corner, knit the last stitch on the even rows together with 1 slip stitch from the blanket edge.
This will align the edging on the blanket perfectly, without having to measure how much edging is needed and sew it on.

Edging worked as follows:
Cast on 8 stitches
Row 1 ( Wrong side) Slip 1, Knit 1,(Yarn fwd knit 2 tog)twice, Yarn fwd Knit 2 (9sts)
Rows 2, 4, and 6. Slip 1, Knit to last stitch, K last st together with 1 slip stitch from blanket edge.
Row 3. Slip 1, knit 2 (yarn fwd knit 2 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 2 (10sts)
Row 5. Slip 1, knit 3 (yarn fwd knit 2 tog) twice. Yarn fwd Knit 2 (11sts)
Row 7. Slip 1, knit 4 (yarn fwd knit 2 tog)twice . Yarn fwd Knit 2 (12sts)
Row 8. Slip 1, Knit 10 sts, K last st together with 1 slip stitch from blanket edge.
Row 9. Slip 1 Knit 11 sts Row 10 cast off 4 Sts Knit to the end ( 8sts)
These 10 rows form the pattern.

I hope these changes will help anyone who wants to knit this pattern.

Updated Blog Software

I have updated the blog software and things seem to be running smoothly again, so I should be able to post frequent updates with photos again.

I’m going to join in with the Tour de Fleece, which takes place during the Tour de France; bicycle wheels, spinning wheels, you get the jist! So I will hopefully get lots of spinning done!

Spinning Madness

Sorry I have been so lax about updating, I will try and update more!  It is mainly because my camera has given up the ghost, but after 9yrs of good service I can’t complain too much.  I haven’t settled on a new one, so my picture taking is abit dis-joined at the moment, and I like to include photos in my posts.

So I thought I would update and add the photos in later.

I ordered myself a loom this week, so have tried that out today, its fun and eats yarn quickly! I want to use it to make a blanket and use up all the novelty yarns that have accumulated in my stash box.

I have been spinning lots recently and enjoying new fibres, dfferent sheep wools, alpaca, tencel, silk, etc..

I am really enjoying hand dyed colour ways, the way the colours play across the knitted fabric.

This a shetland Capelet made with handspun yarn (fibre from Wildcraft), Nahajo plying always the colours to slowly stripe.

Shetland Seascape From Wildcraft
Shetland Seascape Fibre From Wildcraft
Shetland Seascape Yarn
Shetland Seascape Yarn
335Shetland Seascape Capelet
Shetland Seascape Capelet

Superwash English Wool Blend from Wildcraft, Navaja plied for striping yarn, this will be a tank top for Em.

Skein1 of Superwash English wool Blend
Superwash English Wool Blend 'Pinks' from Wildcraft

Sheep Yoke Cardi – Keep going

Well I had hoped to post a lovely picture of the yoke which I have finished and am now working on the main colour. But my faithful camera of 8 or 9 yrs has given up, every memory card I put in it just says card error. So a new camera is on the cards, wouldn’t have minded if I had wanted a new one, but the old one worked perfectly and despite being dated I really liked it.

Here is the picture of the work so far.  The sheep need faces and legs! You can see the stitches held on spare yarn at each side.

Sheep Yoke

I have now started on the sleeves, even though I haven’t finished the body, as I haven’t decided if I want to add any colour work to the  bottom of the body, so I thought I would do the sleeves then assess how much yarn I have left when they are done.

Sleeves: Using main colour Pick up 3 sts from Cast on in arm pit and knit 44sts on holding yarn.

Work 1.5inches in Main colour, decrease 2 st at sleeve ‘seam’, and every 3inches, until 41sts remain.

Work straight until sleeve measures 8.5inches from arm pit.

Work colour and ribbing, then cast off.

Repeat for second sleeve.

I have got back to knitting some squares for my sock yarn blanket this weeek too, so its growing again, I think it might be ready for next winter.  The more I do of it, the more I love it and the more I want to give it to Emily, I feel its something she could grow up with and keep for the rest of her life.  But I still really want it for myself, as it fels so nice over my lap, light and warm.

Sheep Yoke Cardi – Cast On & Yoke

Size 3-4yrs

Casting on 70sts

Work as parttern for 6rows of chart.

Before working the flowers, work 4 more rows in blue and more increases (2sts per section).

I am aiming for 236sts at the bottom of the yoke.  Calculation: {28(chest inches)x5.5(sts per inch)}+ {8(sleeve width inches[same as original]) x2 x 5.5(sts per inch)} = 242.  The original pattern doesn’t have additional stitches under the arm, I am going to add 3sts under each arm to improve drape and fit. Therefore 242-6 = 236.

Work as per the pattern rows 7-12 (including the increases in row 7) for the flowers and grass, placing the flower repeat ever 8st.

If you find carrying the yarn floats hard, you can work rows 9-10 and 11-12 using the mosaic knitting (slip stitch) method (Have a read of this helpful Knitty article). But basically you work the stitches for 1 colour for 2 rows, slipping the stiches for the 2nd colour, then work the 2 rows again knitting the 2nd colour and slipping the first colour.

Work rows 13-16 as per the pattern. (166sts)

Work 2 rows with 2 increases per section in the first row. (182sts)

Work rows 17-22 as per the pattern, placing sheep evenly around the yoke.

Work as pattern rows 23-32, including colour checks.

Working with main colour as pattern increase 3 sts per section in the following row (each section now has 27sts). Total stitches (27×8 + 6 + 8 + 8) = 238sts.

Work 37sts, place next 44sts on holding yarn for sleeve, cast on 3sts (for underarm), work 76sts, place next 44sts on holding yarn for sleeve,  cast on 3 sts (for underarrm), work remaining 37sts.

Work evenly in main colour for body.

Sheep Yoke Cardi – Step 8

Yay dry wool!

The pictures I took mid process seem to have disapeared off my mem card (that’s what you get for using a camera with memory card thats 8yrs old and has probably exceeded its max write cycles!).

So here are the pictures of the finished yarn cakes.

Sheep Yoke Cardi Yarn Cakes

In the next picture hopefully you can see the 2tone 2ply for the main colour, and the variagation in the grass green and sky blue.

Sheep Yoke Cardi Yarn Cakes Detail

At last I can cast on!

Sheep Yoke Cardi Step 2-4

I knitted a small swatch with the 2ply sample I had spun and washed. I didn”t bother to knit a sample with the 3ply as I preferred the 2ply and think it will offer a lighter drape in the finished fabric, also will require less spun singles.
I measured the wpi of the finished sample at about 11wpi, which is Double Knitting (US Light Worsted). This is great news as thats what I was aiming for.
On 4mm the gauge is …sts x …rows per 4inches.

My sample only weighed 4grams and gave 8meters, I didn’t think this was a large enough sample to use to calculate yardage per gram. But using it as a guide (2meters/gram) I spun 50grams of the undyed fibre, which was 105meters.  2.1meters/gram. (2.3yrds/gram)

I haven’t rewritten the pattern as I tend to work the pattern out as I go, but I can still estimate the yardage based on the yardage for the original sizing and the final measures of the new garment.

I’m going to work the pattern to fit 3-4yrs.
Chest: 28inches (71cm)
Length: 15inches (38cm)
Sleeve: 10inches (26cm) x 8inches

I could just make a generous guess about how much bigger this is than the original size, however a bit of simple maths will give me a pretty realistic value to use to calculate yardage.  (28×15 + 10×8)x2 = 1000. Technically this is the number of square inches of knitted fabric (it doesn’t take into account the fact the top is narrower than the bottom). For the original size : (22×14 + 7×8)x2 = 728.

To work out the new yardage : ( new size / original size ) x original yardage.  (1000/728) = 1.37

Main Colour (250 yards);
blue (90 yards);
green (90 yards);
cream (90 yards);
black (less than 20 yards);
pink (less than 60 yards).

New yardage / weight
Main Colour 343yrds / 150grams
blue 124yrds / 54grams
green 124yrs / 54grams
cream 124yrds / 54grams
black 26yrds / 11.5grams
pink 83yrds / 36grams.

Total weight = 360grams

So todays job is dying each of the colours.  Cream is undyed, and I’ve already spun 50grams of this.

I still haven’t decided on a colour for the main colour, I don’t want to do tan or any shade of brown, I’m thinking a pink or lilac or purple. Suggestions?

Sheep Yoke Cardi – Step 1

I have spun the singles and done a 2ply and 3ply sample which I have washed and am waiting for them to dry.  Hopefully tomorrow I can knit some swatches. At the moment I prefer the 3ply, as its a more rounded and even yarn, but if I do a 2ply I won’t have to spin as much length of singles.  I need to measure the wpi and gauge before making a decision.  I hope to be able to calculate how much fibre I need to dye tomorrow, and start on the dyeing.

I said to some Ravelers I would document the process of spinning for a project, altering a pattern and calculating required yardage and weight.

The pattern for 9-12months requires:

DK weight superwash wool in tan (220-250 yards); blue, green and cream (60-90 yards); black (less than 20 yards); for girl’s version, pink (less than 60 yards).   Gauge: 5.5 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch.

This gives a garment with 22inch chest and 14inch length aprox.

Sleeves 7inches long by 8inches-7inches.

Spinning

Schacht Ladybug With Lazy Kate

I’m going to look at and hopefully buy my first spinning wheel on Monday.  GoldfishGirl who is an experienced spinner is coming with me.  I’m hoping to get  a Schacht LadyBug Spinning Wheel.    It’s more expensive than the one I had planned to get, but it comes with more accessories; Tensioned Lazy Kate (for easy plying), 3 Bobbins, Threading Hook, Medium and Fast Whorls, Band for Scotch tension setup and Band for Double Drive setup.  It has 3 handles built into the wheel, making it easy to carry and more.
Every Wheel is unique, as somewhere on the wheel there is a little LadyBug pal to keep you company wheel spinning.

Specification:

Double Treadle
Single Drive Scotch tension
Double Drive
Weight: 5.6Kg
wheel diameter: 40.5cm
orifice diameter: 9.5mm
spindle height: 73.5cm
drive ratios 7, 9,(medium whorl) 10.5, 12:1 (fast whorl)

I’m so excited, I feel like a small child all over again!

I haven’t spun on a wheel for about 15yrs, and even then it was only a short go.  Though having used a drop spindle I can draft and I understand the theory behind the wheel.  Here’s hoping  I don’t make a fool of myself in the shop!

Schacht Ladybug

I’m desparate to love it as much when I try it as I do already, I want to get it home and sit and play with it. 🙂

I’ve ordered  some beautiful fibre from Wildcraft , but I think I’ll get some more when I get my wheel, as I’m sure it will soon disappear.

GoldfishGirl brought me a batt of random fibres to our SnB this week.  It was beautiful and quick and easy to spin.  I’ve spun all 25grams and 2plied it.  It’s 16WIP, so about 4ply weight.

I didn’t check the yardage, but I’m going to make a beanie for Chad with it.  If there isn’t enough I’ll spin up some brown jacob with some green to finish the rest.

Spinach and Beans Handspun

Spinach and Beans Handspun Closeup

I’ve finished writing a new pattern,  for kids socks, knitted toe up.  It  needs some tidying up, and calculations for extra sizes.  I plan to make it in baby, toddler, 4-6yrs, 7-12yrs sizes.  I plan to have a few variations in the pattern, traditional or short row heal, ribbed or lace cuff, etc.

Here’s photos of  the first pair which I’ve made for Em, these are size 2-4yrs, with Openwork Rib cuff.

Bex\'s Toe Up Kids Socks

Bex\'s Toe Up Kids Socks OpenWork Rib detail

Dyeing

I am guilty of not updating, but its because I have been busy knitting lots, dyeing yarn for the shop and making a few buttons.  I will post some sneek previews of shop updates here as often as I can.

I found some beautiful yarn recent “Wendy Happy 4ply”, made from 75% Bamboo 25% Nylon.  It comes in a selection of beautiful striping colourways and is so so soft and smooth.  It costs aprox £5.49 for 100g.

A quick plug for a knitting friend who has just started her own blog.

First Crochet

My first attempt at crochet (I had one previous attempt, managed 2 stitches and threw the yarn and hook on the floor).  So I’m very proud of this, its a Golden Snitch from Harry Potter (basically a ball with wings).

I however manage to snap the end off the plastic crochet hook in the process, enough said I think.

In other knitting news, my socks blanket is coming along well.

I have knitted some little socks for a friend’s son’s first birthday. I will try and remember to take and post a better picture.

Sock Yarn wip5

Thank you to Clare for some blue sock yarn, this photo is of the little bit, there’s also a whole ball!
ClareL\'s Sock Yarn
(Clare has just started a sock yarn blanket, using DK yarn, its going brilliantly!)

Thank you to Twiglet Queen for some more sock yarn.
Twiglet Queen\'s Sock yarn

I’ve now done about 40squares of my sock yarn blanket, but I won’t post a picture, as it will hopefully be abit more dramatic when I’ve done some more!

I also managed to buy some King Cole Zig Zag 4ply Sock Yarn today, I got it at a wool shop in Wareham. It was £3.99 per ball (100g) which will do a pair of socks with some left over, which is really reasonable compared to some of the other patterning sock yarns. It is 50% Superwash Wool 50% Nylon, but feels nice and soft.
King Cole Zig Zag Sock Yarn

Just to add… I finished this, its an Ipod Cosy, it’s a pressy for Karen, as she was kind enough to give me some of her beautiful Handspun yarn. The yarn was intended for my sock yarn blanket, but it was a bit thick and I was worried it would felt. Karen didn’t know what to knit with it, so I made her a cosy and hopefully there is enough left for a little phone cosy or purse for me.
Karen\'s Felted Ipod Cosy