A pair of socks

Last post I shared my first ever finished toe-up socks -or pair of socks, directly-. However, those were not the first socks I’d ever casted on: meet my first pair of socks, top-bottom, which I begun in order to learn how to work with magic loop some months ago.

And my inexperience with the technique shows on resulting ladders where there was a change of needles. The first sock took me ages, and then “the second sock syndrome” appeared, and I kept postponing working on the second sock until, after finishing my Mediterranean socks, I decided that despite all the errors, finished is better than perfect.

So now I have a pair of socks to wear with my winter boots. They might not be perfect, but will do the job!

Project: Socks
Date: February – August 2017
Pattern: 6 stitches per Inch, by Ann Budd (from the book “Getting Started Knitting Socks)
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Fabel, colour 659.
Needles: 3.5 mm / US 4

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Mediterranean socks

In June I joined a test knit involving a socks pattern designed by a friend of mine. Although I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to socks, I was over the moon to be able to knit something from her, and to help her along the way.

My inexperience showed a lot while knitting the first sock: who, being a total beginner, starts a heel without a life-line under it? (sigh). It took me ages to finish it! Anyway, the second sock went together extremely quickly, which I think is a more accurate assessment of the pattern difficulty.

It was also my first time working with metal needles. It added some extra difficulty to the first sock, but once I got used to them, I’m finding it difficult to work with wooden needles again… I miss that slipperiness!

This was a public test knit, and I posted some progress pictures on Instagram and Ravelry along the way (you can tell I learnt my lesson- lifelines everywhere!):

Being part of a test knit is quite an experience, and it allowed me to get to know some amazing knitters. I’m really happy I took the plunge and tried the pattern. I love the resulting socks, and with that yarn, they do remind me of the Mediterranean sea.

Project: Mediterranean socks
Date: June – July 2017
Pattern: Mediterranean Socks, by Teresa Sánchez (Ovejita Be!)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Marmi, colour 7006
Needles: 2.5 mm / US 1 ½

Small gifts

Our group of friends has grown recently with two new babies, so I made a set of small welcoming gifts for each of them.

The first item is a double gauze blanket. I know how useful these are for little babies, and this whale print was love at first sight. However, I discovered that sewing with double gauze is not easy – the fabric is extremely difficult to keep straight!!-.

Instead of wrapping the blanket with paper, I decided it would be more useful if the wrapping was something that could be used too. So I picked one of the patterns I have already sewn this year and made two waterproof bags with nylon fabric. One of them is already being used for carrying nappies!

Project: Blanket
Size: 71.5 x 110 cm / 28 x 44
Date: July 2017 – August 2017
Pattern: (none).
Fabric: Riley Blake Designs Pattern 6580 (double gauze)

Project: Waterproof bag
Size: 35.5 x 28 cm / 14 x 11”
Date: August 2017
Pattern: Cotton&Color Project of the Month 2017 #4 Drawstring bag
Fabric: Kyururu 100% nylon, Lecien

“Northward” baby hat

After finishing the “Adorable Ewe” baby sweater, I felt the urge to do something to complement it and, by the way, put the remaining yarn into use. As I needed to practice cables for my big project to come (someday soon, I hope), I found that the “Northward” pattern by Tin Can Knits checked all the boxes.

I slightly adapted the pattern to work with two colours – I added an extra knitted row using the new colour between the ribbing and the cables, so there’s a smoother transition between them-. For the rest, it’s a great pattern for beginners and I had no problems at all to complete it in a reasonable amount of time (that meaning less than a week!).

The only concern I have is, taking into account the sweater is thought for a six-month baby, this hat looks more for a year old one. But anyway, sooner or later, the baby will be able to wear it, won’t she?

Project: Northward -baby hat
Date: May 2017
Pattern: Northward, by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Lana Grossa Bingo, colour 23, 33
Needles: 5.50 mm

Adorable Ewe KAL

The past weeks I was busy knitting a baby sweater. I didn’t plan to do so, but I was told about Michelle Hunter’s KAL and, well, I couldn’t resist. Also, I thought it would be a great training before attempting my own sweater, and that it would be a terrific gift for a friend who is expecting a baby.

And I did have lots of fun knitting this one, as well as learning lots of things along the way too. Lots of “first time doing this…” on this piece! The focal point of the garment is the back, which gives the name to the pattern, and among others, includes working intarsia and knitting bobbles. I think it will be some time until I knit bobbles again, though.

On the front I used buttons I already had, instead of going for the sheep-shaped buttons the pattern calls for. I really like these wooden buttons, and the natural look they give to the finish piece. For the yarn itself, I had trouble finding one that would meet the pattern requirements (reminder: don’t try to buy winter yarn in the middle of Spring), and although I wasn’t at all convinced with that yellow, it has grown on me and now I think it’s pretty appropriate for a gender-neutral garment, isn’t it?

With the leftover yarn from this project I made a baby hat. I still need to block it so I can give it its proper post.

Project: Adorable Ewe – baby sweater-
Date: April 2017
Pattern: Adorable Ewe, Michelle Hunter
Yarn: Lana Grossa Bingo, colour 23, 33, 67
Needles: 5.50 mm, 6 mm

Knitted baby shoes

Back in November a friend of mine told me he was to become father this Spring. So I knitted a small gift, that now that has been delivered, I can openly share.

This was a really quick and easy project, perfect for beginners. I enjoyed working with small needles and that cotton yarn for babies. It’s extremely soft!

Although I already knew the gender of the baby, I decided to opt for a neutral colour (I love neutrals for babies!) and couldn’t resist to use these wooden buttons I purchased in a patchwork festival last Autumn.

Project: Baby shoes
Date: November 2016 – December 2016
Pattern: Patucos – zapatitos bebé, Oh! Mother Mine DIY (in Spanish)
Yarn: Baby smiles Cotton, Schachenmayr, colour 1066
Needles: 3.00 mm

A knitted top!

After feeling comfortable working with stockinette stitch (see my first ever knitted project here), I decided to move on onto something a little more complicated. A friend of mine recommended me this free pattern from Purl Soho, so there I went. First gauge ever, first ribbing ever, first yarn-over ever. I must say, this pattern turned out to be perfect for beginners!

There were several ripping moments along the way, and lots of time invested in re-doing parts already knitted. Specially tricky was the neck part, I re-did it three times until I got it right! But this is how one can learn, and I surely learned a lot with this project.

I changed the suggested yarn for cotton (a matter of personal preference). That’s the only change I made to the pattern, although now I regret that the top is a little too short for my taste. For the next one (my big project to come) I will check my own measurements every once in a while and adapt the pattern accordingly.

Finishing this top before Spring was one of my goals for this year, and I’m over the moon I managed to do so and that I’ll be able to wear it in the following months.

Project: Knitted top
Date: August, 2016 – March 2017
Pattern: Cap Sleeve Lattice Top, Purl Soho
Yarn: Catania Denim Originals, colour 0190
Catania Originals, colour 0263 (peach)
Needles: 3.50 mm, 4 mm

A knitted scarf

2016_11_29

Last May I learned to knit. In June, I learned to purl. And I needed a project to focus onto instead of knitting rows of stockinette stitch just to practice. So when I came across this yarn that was on sale in a local department store I didn’t second guess and I decided to knit a scarf.

I didn’t follow any pattern, just the advice from a friend to begin each row with a pair of knit stitches to stop the stockinette stitch from curling at the edges and this video tutorial from Oh, Mother Mine DIY (in Spanish). Basically, the pattern I ended up with is 2k, purl, k the last two stitches for the even rows, knit the odd rows, repeat until desired length, or, in my case, until I run out of yarn. Cast on as many stitches as you like to get the desired width.

To be honest, I ended the scarf in late September, but I didn’t block it until a couple of weeks ago. Basically, I needed my ironing table as a blocking area, and these lasts months it was difficult to find a free slot in its currently busy schedule.

Project: Scarf
Size: 8 x 65″ / 20 x 165 cm
Date: August, 2016September, 2016
Pattern: Improvised
Yarn: Amelia, Lang Yarns (55% Cotton, 45% Polyamid)
Colour: 897
Needles: 8mm

On-going projects: September

2016_09_09_1

After a (short) break for holidays, it’s time to resume sewing! At the moment there are some few things running along with The Splendid Sampler™, and I thought of writing kind of a monthly update for them. Specially since noticing that the last update from the Stars-quilt was from June… Truth is it had become to a halt until I picked it in the middle of August, and I hope updating its statistics will help to maintain some regular work on it. 

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 431/504 (+186 from the last stats)
Stars completed: 0

The Wild Jelly Roll n. 3 pattern by Me and My Sister Designs has all the blocks pieced and ready to be put together. Now its time to do some more cutting and find a suitable layout before start sewing again.

– In July I started to work on the Frivol n.10, featuring the Cookie Exchange collection by Sweetwater, for Moda Fabrics. And at the moment all that’s left is to attach the binding. I hope to have it finished soon and give it a proper post.

– I’m working in two knitting projects, learning on the go after I felt rather comfortable with my first attempt… the yarn is for a top, which I hope I will have finished by next Spring.

2016_09_09_2

Besides all of them, I have 3 Splendid Sampler blocks to make… I will begin with the latest and squeeze the other two in between the new ones. And, of course, this month’s block from the Cotton&Color BoM… surely, if I don’t sew it won’t be because I’m short of projects!

A tunic

2016_07_31

I had wanted to sew one of the dresses included in the book “Handmade Style” by Anna Graham (Noodlehead) since I made my carry-all pincushion, and when I saw the sew along she organised on her blog it seemed the “now or never” occasion. So I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. Not that I hadn’t sewn garments before, but it was on a workshop with a teacher, and having some extra tips and detailed photos really helped.

Even though, there has been lots of “firsts” while sewing this one: my first placket, my first -and my machine’s- buttonholes… The fact that the tunic’s construction was divided into five-weeks time of work made everything simpler and more achievable, and certainly, helped to avoid frustration along the way. And it’s true: things you haven’t tried look more complicated than they really are.

I haven’t made any alteration to the original pattern. The only personal detail is the use of buttons to secure the cuffs. And, although the photo doesn’t make it justice, I’m really happy with the result.

Project: Tunic
Date: July 2016
Pattern: Women’s tunic, Anna Graham, from the book “Handmade style”
Fabric: Silky Cotton by Penelope, Europe.