Thursday, 26 May 2016

fo: sophie cardigan

Pattern - my own, based on an M&S Chunky cardigan, owned by my friend Sophie!
Yarn - Sirdar Faroe Chunky (rockpool)

Cable charts - back (celtic cable)front (cable cushion), sleeves simple c6b
Ravelry project page - here

IT IS FINISHED! Thank you to everyone for your patience and interest in the ongoing project that has been the Sophie Cardigan! I've been giving you steady updates and hints and sneak peaks for ages now, and I've had to rip back many a section and learn how to do a lot of new things. But I hope you will agree that it's all be worth it!

The whole point, after all, in attempting this project was never just to knit a cardigan I fancied the look of, but to test how far my knitting and design skills have come along and to see if I'm at a point where if I fancy something, I can just make it without a pattern - and I can!! It takes a long time and many mistakes, but over time that will change :)

It's chunky, it's cabled, and it's colourful! I am so happy with the finished project! I've even managed to wear it a couple of times already, because apparently we here in England really don't know how to stay summer. 

You can find more notes on the Ravelry page - including some helpful links to how I learned to shape the sleeve caps and even the sleeves themselves. The sleeves were easily the more difficult section to knit, because they had to slot into the cap which I had shaped through knitting the front and back panels.  I think my maths may have been slightly off, as the sleeves are quite a bit baggier in proportion to the rest of the cardigan. It is supposed to be an oversized cardigan but the sleeves are just a little too big. Perhaps if I were a perfectionist I would re-do them ... naah!

Above you can see the detail on the sleeves and the front panels, and below a close up of a section of the back. The base of the cardigan is moss stitch, and the cable patterns you can find linked at the top of this post if you like the look of them and what to have a go yourself! The small cables on the arms and front of the cardigan are just worked over 6 stitches.

The grey buttons have little flecks of yellow in them - just a lovely little detail you perhaps can't see -and I bought them from Abakhans in Manchester. You can shop online as well.

If you want to read more about how I knitted the cardigan, do be sure to look through the Sophie Cardigan label on the blog. I am considering putting together a one-size tutorial for the cardigan (if I can face working my way through my pencilled notes!!) but I am eager to focus on some other things in the meantime. I am also part way through a baby blanket commission for a friend so need to get my skates on with that!

I hope you like the cardigan as much as I do, and thank you for following me through the muddled journey of it - here is to the next made up item!!

Monday, 23 May 2016

fo: space invader baby blanket

Pattern - coming soon!
Ravelry project page - here

Finished dimensions = 102cm x 76cm (40" x 30")

Here it is - my Space Invader baby blanket! The first of the two big projects that I've been spending most of my time on over the last few months. I've teased and alluded to this project many times, but now it's all finally finished (well, I'm not counting the 200 odd ends I need to weave in on the other side yet...that's a binge watching job for sure).

I thought of this idea a few months ago and got to working on it straight away. As it so happened in one of dad's clearing up sessions of mum's old craft supplies, he found 10 balls of some red wool, and my dressmaking teacher (lovely Lisa) gave me a large ball of white wool that she had no use for! Providence you see, and so I was able to design the below character.

For space invaders fans reading, you might not recognise the cheeky character on the blanket. This is because I designed him on some graph paper. I wanted to have the fun of designing the character, and the option to be able to sell the blanket on, and as it's my own design (strictly speaking it's a space invader inspired blanket then I suppose ...) that should be ok! That is in face the plan, to sell this blanket on Etsy once all the ends are fixed up. Since I've taken the above picture I have actually washed the blanket ready for steaming, so those wonky edges should look a little neater. 

The blanket is made up of 228 individual mini-granny squares (100 red, 128 white) sewn together according to an image I put together on Excel (very hi-tech), and finished with a single crochet border twice round to neaten the edges.

If you are thinking 'gosh, I would love to make one of these myself' (and hopefully not 'oh my, what an awful blanket') then fear not! I didn't just make this blanket with a view to selling the finished piece (although, if it doesn't sell I wouldn't mind keeping it on my chair...) but also for putting together a free pattern for you lovely readers. I should have something for you in a week or so, so watch out :)

If you're very excited and want to get the stuff ready in preparation, you will be about 500g each of the colours that you want to use (my example is of course red and white), plus an extra 100g in your chosen background colour (white - for the border) and a 4mm crochet hook. Yarn should be Aran weight. I will be including directions on how to crochet the mini-square, a chart for 2 versions of the blanket, and written instructions to support this - watch this space guys. 

And of course, in other delightful news, I finally finished the Sophie Cardigan! I've given you sneak preview of this on Instagram, but you can look forward to a more detailed, finished post within the week - I'm very excited that this project is finally finished and I can show you!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

yarn along

Well well well, if it isn't Wednesday again - the days just seem to melt by. I'm working on several things at once, all on the verge of being finished, so I can share a new pattern or post with you (just another day or so, then I will do a new blog post - yeah, right). Yet here we are again, and instead I'm just telling you what I'm up to. Whetting your appetites with promises of what's to come (eventually - cross my heart!). I'm sure you don't mind, really, though - right?

As usual, this post is linking up with Ginny's yarn along - if you've come along through her blog please say hello and leave your link for me and readers!

I've started working on (yet another) project for which I am making the design up for. This, however, is something I've wanted to do for ages, and I hope it will be my first amigurumi pattern to sell (you can find all my free patterns here). It will hopefully be a rather chibi-esqu dragon, (the start of a line of a few patterns and characters) and you can see above the head and the beginnings of the body starting to take shape. As this will be a pattern I hope to sell, I fancy having some testers/giveaways on other blogs; if you would be interested let me know!

I've finished reading the Assassin's Apprentice, and so have moved onto the second in the Farseer Trilogy, Royal Assassin. The first book was really enjoyable to read, with some great twists towards the end (some I could see, some that were a complete surprise - a nice balance) and a pretty satisfying ending, I felt, for a first book of a series. I've started the second with high expectations, so hopefully this will deliver! If you're on Goodreads, do add me as a friend - particularly if you like fantasy, historical, or young adult distopian novels.