Knit: Simple Handspun Socks

Simple Handspun Socks

Simple Handspun Socks
Pattern | Adapted from Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman
Yarn | Simple Scarves Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach
Needles | 2.75 mm & 2.25 mm DPNs

After nearly a year of no sock-knitting, I decided to cast one my first pair using my own handspun. To count for the thick yarn, I decided to continue using 2.75 mm needles as I have always and also increase the stitch count from 64 to 68. While the resulting sock fits just alright on the foot, it was a little baggy on the leg. If you look closely, you can see that I waited too long to start the gusset, resulting in a little crinkly action going on on the instep. O’well…the socks still fit and they’ll do for home wear.

If I had to change anything, I would knit these in a smaller size around the leg and then drop another size (2.25 mm like what I did for the cuff) for the bind off. The Russian bind-off works like a charm and the cuff is a definite improvement compared to my previous attempts. The only snag in the whole thing is the length of the leg. I underestimated the yardage; had thought I was going to run out of yarn so I bound off the socks sooner than needed.

This project has inspired me to come up with a goal – to knit at least one sock a month starting from September (when I started) till June or July next year. This should help me destash all that fingering-weight yarn that I have lying around. I do foresee one thing though. With all this knitting action going on, I’ll have less time for my quilting project and winter knitting for the kids. Hm, time to manage projects again!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Knit: Citron

Citron off the block!

Citron
Pattern | Citron by Hilary Smith Callis
Yarn | Simple Scarves Silk-Wool Laceweight in Electric Blue
Needles | 4.5 mm circulars & 4 mm crochet hook

This was a simple knit – knit, purl with plenty of increases and decreases to get the ruffles. I made a crochet edging to finish off the shawl and instead of the recommended number of repeats (five), I made seven (or was it six?) repeats, resulting in long tedious nights of stockinette stitches and mindless knitting in front of the TV/laptop.

Blocking this was a challenge – I think I overblocked towards the bottom of the shawl which resulted in the last section of ruffles disappearing. I’ll have to keep in mind not to do the same the next time I put this in the wash.

Other than that, I’m loving the yarn and colour despite how “noisy” it seems. It’ll go perfectly well with solid tops or dresses – I can see it being showed off prettily on a simple black number. The silk in the yarn gives it an added shine and like my Jaali, I cannot stop molesting it. If I were to ever go back to dyeing, this would be one yarn base that I would hold onto simply because it’s amazing to knit with!

Now that I’ve cleared this, I’ll be gearing up for a cardigan KAL as well as the upcoming Ravelympics 2012 (and more reviews on medical scrubs)! I don’t know what possessed me to sign up for a KAL (Knit-A-Long) and the Ravelympics but hey, I figured I might as well hang onto my knitting mojo while I still have it! Hehehe.

Citron off the block!

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Simple teething pads

Teething pads

Simple teething pads
Pattern details | None
Batting | PSR Quilt Bamboo batting (0.9 m x 1.25 m)
Fabric | 100% cotton fabric from www.fabric.com

Of lately, Noah has taken to gumming the straps of the Ergo carrier whenever I babywear him and I can’t exactly dump the entire carrier into the machine to wash it even though it’s okay to do so (not frequently tho – as per manufacturer’s recommendation). I was not very keen on spending around €20 for teething pads and decided to make a simple pair with the leftover batting I had from the quilt I made from him. To match the green of my carrier (Ergo Performance), I picked a paisley patterned fabric I purchased while I was in Singapore.

While measuring it, I thought I had enough fabric to go around the strap in order for me to utilize the KAM snaps I have in my stash. However, after topstitching the layers together, I discovered that I had forgotten all about seam allowances, resulting in a pad that didn’t lay on top of each other. I will have to make do with hook-and-eye closures instead so until I get my hands on them (tomorrow, I think), it’ll be held together with basting pins.

I didn’t use a pattern, just decided to layer the batting on top of the fabric (right sides facing in), sew and turn it inside out before topstiching around to reinforce, beautify and close off the opening. It’s a quick project (I did this while doing other things like checking out diet pills that work) and you can whip up a pair of these in under 30 minutes or less, depending on how fast you sew and cut/prep your fabric.

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Quilt #5: Noah’s Stripey Cuddly

Quilt #5: Noah's Stripey Cuddly (Front)

Quilt #5: Noah’s Stripey Cuddly
Width | Approx 75 cm
Length | Approx 84 cm
Pattern details | Inspired by A Quilt Is Nice’s stripe baby quilt here. Top made from cotton stripes from stash (Coton & Colour, Nil’s trip to India and www.fabric.com)
Batting | PSR Quilt Bamboo batting (0.9 m x 1.25 m)
Backing | 100% cotton fabric from www.inespatchwork.com
Binding | 100% cotton fabric from www.fabric.com

I had been thinking of sewing a nice warm blanket for Noah (since I made one for Eva – it’s not so warm but she likes it) but never found the time or inspiration. When it was decided that Eva was going to stay with my father-in-law for the week, I decided to dust off my sewing machine for good and get back to quilting. I dug out a few different fabrics I have in my stash and came up with a few combinations. What initially was to be a repetition of about five stripes turned out into a double repeat of 13 stripes of different fabrics. Nil insisted that I use the fabric he bought from India to add some colour while I insisted that I wanted something pleasing and co-ordinating. We settled for what is the end result – this stripe colour combo.

Quilt #5: Noah's Stripey Cuddly (Back)

Because it had so much going on for the top, I decided to stripe to a simple (but not too plain) backing with a stripe of the remnants of the top going across. I hunted the Internet for local fabric suppliers and came across this very lovely black-grey pinstripe pattern. So it was black for the back – I figured it would bring out the colours of the top piece.

For the batting (yes, it’s my first time using batting for quilts), I settled for bamboo batting but only because the cotton ones were out of stock. It is a first for me – basting and batting. Took me an afternoon just to bast the quilt and even then, I didn’t really do a great job as it showed on later when I machine-quilted the top. To make matters worse, my sewing machine doesn’t come with a walking feet so my top fabric ended up bunching. This also resulted in the back puckering – as you can see in the photo above. It took me 2.5 hours just to machine-quilt the top (about 30 minutes or so just to test out the sewing and get the right tension – GAH) and mind you, I was just doing stripe outlines. Towards the end, I cheated and skipped some stripes. It adds some variation to the pattern thought but I think I botched the stripe for the back portion.

The tag on Noah's quilt

And I haven’t even reached the part about the binding. It has been ages since I last sewn binding on anything so I did a couple of errors which resulted in me having to use a zigzag stitch instead of topstitching as I normally would. Well…I don’t think Noah would care if the errors were obvious or not – it’s a bit annoying though. I reckon in time, I’ll forget about it…just like how I forgot about those errors I made with Eva’s blanket!

And oh, those are the woven labels I had made originally for the store’s handsewn items. Since the store is in hibernation until further notice, I thought I would use them for my personal projects, namely sewing and weaving.

Y’know, I’m quite proud at having completely my first batted and quilted blanket. It’s a little on the small side – smaller in terms of length – compared to Eva’s blanket. Instead of getting a nice 116cm as I calculated, I lost a good 30 cm or so due to cutting and trimming. Still, it’s a nice size for Noah…for the first two years before it becomes a cover for his blanket (like what we do with Eva’s – mind you, she’s attached to hers and won’t even let us keep it!).

Mmmm, the sewing machine is now back in the cupboard. Time to focus on my other crafts – soaping and knitting namely. Am so itching to get back to designing lacework too!

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Knit: Brown Meret

Brown Meret

Brown Meret
Pattern | Meret (Mystery Beret) by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn | Noro Kureyon in 149 and 242
Needles | 5 mm circulars

Finally, a knit for myself! With the awful weather and my last hat being a lousy fit (it’s more suitable for Eva than for me), I decided to start work immediately on a beret with some Noro yarn I bought last year when I wanted to knit a hat for my mum. Beanies don’t really look great on me with my round face so I thought why not a beret. After scouting around, I decided to stick to a pattern that I was familiar with. (Perhaps I should be more adventurous and try something different next time!)

Unlike the one I made for my mum which had four repeats, I made this extra extra slouchy by adding another repeat giving it a total of five repeats. I also blocked it over the largest plate I could find here at my father-in-law’s place – that really help bring out the shape. In terms of the dramatic striping that you need here, well, that’s because I split the two separate balls into half – meaning I knitted the brim in one colour (149) and then the other colour (242) and then 149 again before ending with 242.

I should take an action shot – perhaps tomorrow when the weather is better and we’re out AND I’m done weaving the ends. Hahaha.

Brown Meret

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Burgundy Cowl

Burgundy Cowl

Venetian Harlequin
Warp
4 Louisa Harding Fauve (Red-pink)
8 Tendance Crea (Pink-Red-Beige)
10 Three Suisses Bamboo (Pink)
6 Bergère de France Bergerama (Red-pink)
4 Tendance Crea (Pink-Red-Beige)
6 Bergère de France Bergerama (Red-pink)
10 Three Suisses Bamboo (Pink)
8 Tendance Crea (Pink-Red-Beige)
4 Louisa Harding Fauve (Red-pink)

Weft
Bergère de France Bergerama (Red-pink)
Tendance Crea (Pink-Red-Beige)

Reed
7.5

I had initially planned this for an adult but somehow, miscalculated on the part when I was supposed to take the waft off and weave it into the scarf. Instead of making allowances for 2.5 times the width of the scarf, I upped it to 3.5 times resulting in a very short body and overly long “fringe”. In the end, the cowl was only long enough to fit over an adult sized head but not long enough to encircle the neck a few times. Also, the waft-into-weft weave was too tight, no thanks to a short body, and such, it crinkled a little.

Still, it fits Eva and so will end up as hers instead of the original giftee. Back to the loom again, I reckoned, and after my search for Pastry/Baker Chef Jobs – an assignment. Heh.

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Quilt #4: Log Cabin

Quilt #4: Fresh from the oven

Quilt #4: Log Cabin
Width | Approx 200 cm
Length | Approx 150 cm
Pattern details | Cotton strips from fabric from Cotton & Colour & Spotlight
Batting | None
Backing | 100% broadwidth cotton fabric from Spotlight
Binding | None

My project from when I was pregnant with Eva is finally done and as predicted, it is a lovely single sized quilt. Yes, they are definitely getting bigger although I might go back to making baby or children-sized blankets for Noah and Eva (she loves her Red & Pink Cuddly and will roll around on it, in it, etc) since we’re heading back to Europe and just in time for winter too!

Initially, I had planned for the quilt to have a “lighter” look to it with a pale border instead of the royal blue which Nil insisted that we try. He also pointed out that white or anything pale wasn’t exactly great since it would get dirty more easily that dark colours. So I decided to go for blue…again. (I will definitely opt for a green-blue-white blanket next time around – am getting tired of the whole dark-colourful combo!) For the back, I chose a printed fabric instead of plain because I wanted to give it some variety; a big plain piece on its own, I figured, didn’t really look nice at all.

Quilt #4: A close-up look of the backing fabric and the topstitching

For the finishing, I decided to do a pillow-case styled edge by sewing both right sides facing each other and turning it inside out before topstitching around the edge for reinforcement. Initially I toyed with the idea of a zigzag around the edge but after inspecting my machine, I thought I’d play around with some of the untested stitch designs. It turned out to be quite pretty but ate up a lot of thread and I ran out halfway around the edge only to find myself carefully positioning my needle in order to start on the right spot. It took about 30 minutes to finish the topstitching.

The result is a simple, not-too-fancy quilt which we’ll probably use as a sofa cover-blanket. I’m still not very convinced about the colour combination and would have preferred to see it in something other than blue like cream-beige or a very pale latte colour. O’well…next time, *I* must have dibs on the colours for the border and backing! In the meantime, it’s back to more packing and trucker gps software assignments.

Quilt #4: Doubling as a sofa cover

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