Manjumper: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 48

manjumper
My haul from Alison’s clearout

Welcome to episode 48 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: that manjumper, knitting magazines and pattern books, and slow progress – or no progress – with my new-found enthusiasm for dressmaking. Thank you for sticking with it while I took a little while off. It was partly down to not having much to say about endless yards of 300+ stitches of 6×6 rib, and partly because my mojo took a break.

Ft knitting patterns:

Manjumper

manjumper
Just cracked open the second 400g skein of Aldi’s Kirkton House aran

I had a plan. That plan was to make my husband’s necessarily large jumpers during the summer so that there was no pressure to finish it while the north wind blew and the leaves swirled. I’ve come to the conclusion that that was a misjudgment. In the warm weather having a large aran jumper draped cross your lap isn’t very appealling, especially when it’s such a repetitive pattern. I started putting off picking it up in the evenings and played too much Solitaire on the laptop instead. I wasn’t knitting anything else or going to my knitting groups either and had to acknowledge that my mojo had left the building. But, I’ve made progress with the first sleeve, having made 10 increases out of 12 (yup, one more than when I recorded two days ago – there’s no stopping me now!) and am now back in my stride.

 

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Sleep Mask: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 47

sleep mask
Look at those straight seams!

Welcome to episode 47 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: knitting a sleep mask for a tricky customer, Herz pattern review, rummaging in Clever Betsy and my first go on a sewing machine in 30 yrs. I hope you’ll forgive me for including a dressmaking element. At the moment it’s new and exciting and I can’t help sharing my enthusiasm.

Ft knitting patterns:

Sleep Mask

sleep maskMy husband has slept in a sleep mask ever since I’ve known him. Over the years he’s gone through novelty masks, aeroplane-issue slinky masks – he doesn’t like those as he finds them sweaty – and even in an emergency slept with a top wrapped round his head. The other morning I found him in a woolly hat, because the mask he’s used for the last couple of years has suddenly disappeared. That had started life as a the Braided Cowl for Kids, which my son wouldn’t touch with a bargepole for no apparent reason. A new sleep mask was needed so I started looking. I had considered knitting another cowl to repurpose as a mask but really it’s too big and heavy for the warmer weather. He didn’t want anything with ties at the back as they would be fiddly and uncomfortable, so between us we settled on Cotton Sleep Mask by Patti Anne. This is a free Ravelry download, kknit on 3.5mm needles with aran yarn. The close knit is ideal for blocking out the light and the 1×1 rib gives it a good stretchy texture. My son wants one now and my husband would like a spare, so I’ll be churning these out for the next couple of days. After that, maybe a man jumper.

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Tension: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 46

tension
Fancy foray into tablet covers

Welcome to episode 46 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: tension changes between knitting in the round and knitting flat, what to do with knits you no longer need or want, progress on Herz, and toe is firmly in the dressmaking water.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft knitting videos:

Ft sewing patterns:

  • Wrap skirt

Tension

tension
Can you see how much more widely spaced – vertically – the lower rows are compared to the upper rows?

Even tension is the holy grail of knitting and something I didn’t know I struggle with. In the pod I explain that I noticed during Herz that I have different tensions depending whether I’m knitting flat or in the round. Knitting flat my tension is looser due to the way I hold my yarn for a solid row of purl stitches, but fortunately it’s far less obvious on the right side than the wrong side. Because this yarn is a marl and the pattern is knitted flat from the top to the point of the V then in the round you can see a change in the way the fleck of the marl falls, but it doesn’t look bad.

I make a point these days of giving my yarn an extra tug when I’m switching purl to knit or vice versa to avoid the stitches become loose and strung out and that has definitely improved things but there are still areas to work on. Underarms are a classic point where things can become loose but care is always required when pulling yarn tight – I’ve succeeded in snapping yarn once or twice, and desperately tight stitches are a pain when you meet them next time round and you have to winkle your needle into them. I’m coming to the conclusion this area of knitting is a real art.

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Techniques: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 45

techniques
Mistake Braid Socks, my first experience of reverse stocking stitch

Welcome to episode 45 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: techniques, as I’ve come across them knitting Herz, a sport weight V-neck top designed by Claudia Eisenkolb, and contemplating a move to the dark side: dressmaking. This isn’t quite the one year anniversary episode, but in case I don’t pod for a couple of weeks I thought I’d mention it. I’ve really enjoyed the last year of podcasting and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s listened and got in touch. Keep up the good work.

Ft knitting patterns

Ft knitting videos

Techniques

techniques
Just joined for the V-neck

Some projects are very straightforward, others ask for a little more in the way of different techniques, and Herz has been one of those. It calls for specific increase methods including cable cast on, backwards loop cast on, M1 left, M1 right, M1L purlwise, M1R purlwise and cable. As I talked about last week I branched out and used KFB – knit front and back – instead of the given increases as it turns out better for me. Then of course there are rescue techniques, and the main one I’ve need to use is changing a purl to a knit. In a nutshell you drop the stitch back to where you went wrong then pick it up with a crochet hook and ‘knit’ it back up to the top and then knit it as required.

I’m very much enjoying this project so far and if my hands are up to it I’d love to have it finished by next week.

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Increase stitches: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 44

increase stitches
Orchard on the Hill hat by Adela Simova

Welcome to episode 44 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: increase stitches, Orchard on the Hill hat and finally, a sport weight project for me: Herz by Claudia Eisenkolb.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft knitting tutorials

Ft knitting videos

Increase stitches

increase stitches
Tragically matching markers

There are all sorts of options when working increase stitches, and usually the designer will stipulate the appropriate increase stitch in the pattern. The most common I come across are M1L and M1R, which gives you a left- or right-leaning increase stitch. If you don’t know how to do these visit the link above which will take you to a Staci Perry video. I always use Staci’s videos if possible as they are so clear, well-presented and free of unnecessary faff and chat. For some reason I find it almost impossible to keep the two M1R and M1L methods in my head and have to refer to a video or notes every single flipping time, which becomes a real bore when you have several of each in every row.

My preferred increase is KFB: knit front and back. It’s an extremely simple increase method but doesn’t achieve the same design ends as a left- or right-leaning stitch and isn’t as invisible. I’ve decided to use it for Herz, however, as I think my cack-handed execution of the M1 methods were contributing to laddering that I was getting between knit and purl sections. These are worse as I’m knitting round a marker too, so I decided all in all to use KFB, move it in one stitch when it’s by a laddered section and see if that improves matters. If all else fails I can cover it up with my hair as these increases are up high on the back.

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Sport weight yarn: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 43

sport weight yarn
Bookmark Bird-in-progress for Mother’s Day

Welcome to episode 43 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: finding a sport weight yarn project for me, the sweet and quick Bookmark Birds, and s l o w progress on the Orchard on the Hill Hat. The buzz is back, probably because I’m still getting settings back to normal since my new hard drive and install, and I sound a bit thick-voiced as I have the dregs of a cold. Apologies for both, which should both be sorted by next time, whether that’s next week or next month.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft knitting videos:

Ft episodes:

Sport weight yarn

sport weight yarnHave you ever made anything in sport weight yarn? I don’t think it’s as common in the UK as it is in America. It’s a little lighter than DK, some would say interchangeable but that hasn’t been my experience when I used some to inset an intarsia design into a DK mitten. It was noticeably thinner so I abandoned the project and that would definitely put me off substituting sport weight for DK on a project where fit mattered. I’ve been hunting the web for a sport weight top pattern and have been surprised to find how few there are, free or bought. I’ve found a few I don’t mind but wouldn’t we all prefer something we really liked, when there’s hours of work involved and probably a bit of head-scratching? I’m still looking but if you see anything please let me know. I’m going to set an alert for my search on Ravelry and hope that as we get into the milder weather more patterns will be released. Wish me luck!

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Knitting a cowl: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 42

knitting a cowl
Little Houndales Wristwarmers

Welcome to episode 42 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: knitting a cowl (or cowls), the top secret cushion project and recording problems. In the weeks since I last released a pod I’ve had a new hard drive, been to Scotland and recorded two pods that for one reason and another I couldn’t release. I hope this one makes up for it.

Knitting a cowl

knitting a cowlThis did not go smoothly! Knitting a cowl has been a vague idea ever since I received tickets to the rugby for Christmas. I had no pattern but took the stitch count from a plain cowl on Ravelry. I began with 4.5mm needles but this gave me too open a weave so dropped down to my 4mm KnitPro Nova Cubics, now my go to needle for aran projects that aren’t gauge-critical.

My first attempt at a cowl didn’t go well. In my wisdom I had decided to have a rolled stocking stitch edge as it had worked on the Little Houndales Wristwarmers, but as a smaller project the wristwarmer rolled edge had been much more successful. On this cowl the edge rolled over so badly it revealed the floats, obscured the decorative motif and ended up looking like a surgical collar! My second attempt, shown left, was much more successful. The ribbing should have been deeper as it did flip top and bottom, and it could have been fractionally bigger, but it was a great learning experience. Next, I look forward to knitting an item following a pattern to the letter!

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

 

Colour work: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 41

colour workWelcome to episode 41 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: colour work in my experimental cowl, Taylor is all done and dusted without sleeve trauma and has even been worn in public, and cup-a-soup, which is more relevant than it sounds. Have you heard the new advice to eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day? I’ve taken this to heart (and feeling noticeably more energetic, which is fantastic after years of sluggishness) and it seems that all the plums I’ve been eating are having an effect. Apologies for sounding quite so home counties today and what is all that umming about?

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft articles:

Ft knitting projects:

Colour work

colour workDo you enjoy colour work? I’ve come to love it, despite all the faffing around with floats and the risk of pulling them too tight. I’ve done lots of colour work Christmas baubles over the years (and am looking forward to lots more this year now I have polystyrene balls, sts) and a few decorative odds and ends on jumpers, but nothing very recently, so I was really pleased to get back to a proper full-on two strand project. I’ve brought several design elements together – in no way have I designed this from scratch – to come up with a plan. After a false start with a bodged stitch count and the wrong size needles I’m now motoring along and expect to get more or less finished over the next couple of days. Will I make the proposed mittens? I’d like to, but time will probably get the better of me.

 

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Setting in sleeves: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 40

setting in sleeves
Khaki yarn from Aldi for a husbandjumper

Welcome to episode 40 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: setting in sleeves, the last word on Ivy, tangling with Taylor, to buy new yarn or not to buy new yarn and if I do will I get my knickers in a twist about all the projects and stash building up? Once upon a time yes, but not this year because I have a plan. Before I go on, I do hope ‘fecking’ isn’t a swear word. If it is, the more sensitive listener might wish to put their fingers in their ears and sing ‘I can’t hear you, la la la’ at 16 minutes.

Ft knitting patterns:

  • Ivy
  • Taylor – the original is quite different from the image with the Ravelry link, which has a different neckline

Ft knitting tutorials:

Ft knitting Twitter accounts:

Ft Ravelry threads:

Setting in Sleeves

setting in sleeves
You can see the wonky shoulder, a portent of things to come.

I’ve had problems with setting in sleeves since the first jumper I made for my son. You can see in the project photos that one of the sleeves is a little bunched at the shoulder. I’ve since had problems setting sleeves in neatly on several occasions, and now realise how wonderful raglans are for completely avoiding this problem. The general consensus on the Ravelry thread I link to above is that it will be okay, but on this occasion I’ve complicated everything by making Taylor in garter stitch rather than stocking stitch so I won’t know for sure til I start making up properly, which I’ll do tonight. I’m very pleased that my next two projects don’t have a single sleeve between them.

 

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Ivy, the debrief: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 39

IvyWelcome to episode 39 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: Ivy is finished, hurrah! Today I talk about the whole experience and reveal my thoughts on the fit. The other project I discuss is Taylor, a jumper my daughter has asked for and that I now have to shoe-horn in to my knitting ‘schedule’, ie my mental list of projects. A Twitter user I know asked recently whether anyone has trouble deciding what to do next – I have the opposite problem of having far too many projects rearing up in front of me, all clamouring to be made. Taylor needs a little bit of tinkering to meet my daughter’s requirements, so no doubt that will give me something to think about. Apologies for talking so fast – I’m just so excited to be back at the mic after two weeks off!

Ft knitting patterns

  • Ivy
  • Taylor – the original is quite different from the image with the Ravelry link, which has a different neckline

Ft knitting videos

Ft knitting articles

Ft Ravelry threads

Ft knitting needles

Ivy

Ivy has been with me for quite a while. I started it in November but it had to take a back seat while the Christmas knitting was underway. I was determined to finish it once Christmas was over, and managed that a couple of weeks ago. I don’t like it as much as I’d hoped and might end up giving it to my mother, but whatever happens, the armholes need some attention. My sleeve problem strikes again, so when I’ve finished all the other knitting I have going on I’ll investigate the armholes and see if I can work out whether they’re too small, the sleeves are too big, or both.