Super chunky: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 69

super chunky
Yarn for a Glasgow Warrior

Welcome to Super Chunky, episode 69 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: socks, cowls, brioche knitting, yarn shopping and stash, plus a first in the village show but was it for the beret?

Ft patterns:

super chunky
Shiny tidy stash cupboard – super chunky bottom right

Super chunky

Super chunky, known also as super bulky, is one of the thickest yarns you’re likely to use on any ordinary project. Substantially heavier than aran, it tens to be used for warm swathing items such as hats and scarves. It’s definitely designed for warmth! It’s knitted up with big needles, 9mm or 10mm,  which can come as quite a shock after the usual 4-6mm you’d use for DK or Aran.

One of the joys of super chunky, speaking as a project knitter, is that it knits up really fast. I’ve made super chunky projects before – this Quick Cabled Cowl in Patons Fab Big Colour being one of my favourites, I wear it every year – but other than that I knit with it rarely. I admit to being driven entirely by colour scheme than yarn weight in this instance, but we all have our weaknesses!

I’ll be knitting another cowl, probably Herringbone Cowl by Wollen Berlin if I can get the hang of creating the herringbone effect they way they write it. So far I’ve found the stitches are coming out almost too tight to manipulate, so I just pulled it all out last night. The alternative is creating a simple ribbed cowl which is a good fall back, but I’m getting a bit ribbed out just now with socks on the go too and fancied a change.

Music credit:

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

Berets: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 68

berets
Himself models the Slip Stitch Beret

Welcome to Berets, episode 68 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: the Slip Stitch Beret, progress on those towels, socks, and crochet.

Ft patterns:

Berets

berets
Flying the thistle

We’re off to the first Doddie Weir Cup match in November, Wales v Scotland at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. We’re very dedicated Scotland rugby fans and I’d like to wear something that demonstrates that, without buying a ton of merch.

I have the cowl I made last year, but I want a hat so I’ve landed on the Slip Stitch Beret. You can hear all about it in the pod, but I thoroughly recommend this pattern. My only caveat is the sizing, which comes up pretty big round the head. I’ve made two and much prefer the second, and will definitely make more, but I’m going to experiment with sizing. I’ll make a small, with the extra repeat to give it the flop in the crown, and if that’s too small I’ll do an M/L but reduce the number of cast on stitches and increase with great care for the main part.

I had wondered about using the basic stitch count for the hat and putting in my own design, and I’m umming and ahhing about that just now. The flop in the hat might obscure the thistle, but I do have the space to create it. I’ll have to experiment, and will then have the pleasure of identifying appropriate non-acrylic yarns.

Music credit:

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

Scrubbies: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 67

Scrubbies

scrubbies
Owlie Sleep Sack with Flat Knit Baby Hat

Welcome to Scrubbies, episode 67 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: picking up, dropping and ripping out odds and ends, washing up scrubby success, experimenting with a slouchy hat, and making some rather intimate items. I consider it a minor victory to be here again less than a month after last time, even if I haven’t achieved all that much in the meantime. Before I get going, I should warn you that I’ll be talking about making my own sanitary towels. If that’s straying into too much information territory for you then I suggest you skip this episode and I look forward to having your company next time.

Ft patterns:

Scrubbies

scrubbies
Scrubby about to go into action!

I’m distressed to have quite so much to say about washing-up scrubbies, but I find feeble washing-up accoutrements very frustrating. I thought I’d bought a nice big bottle of washing up liquid the other day rather than two smaller ones, reducing our plastic consumption a little and saving a few p, but when I used it I realised I’d instead picked up a crappy value washing-up liquid that needs twice as much to bring up a lather. I’m looking for affordable bulk washing-upliquid that doesn’t charge a fortune for shipping but that’s proving quite the challenge.

My brief was to find a scrubby that had the oomph to get things clean and that lathered well. Stephanie Lindner’s Spongy Dish Cloth does all that, especially knitted with the cotton & acrylic yarn I bought in such volume from Aldi and used to make the unworn Hertz. These knit up in no time, and with the Judy’s Magic Cast On tweak are an absolute doddle to make. You can turn them out and give them to friends as a little gift and they weigh nothing so would be easy to send as an ‘I was thinking of you’ gift for those people you want to smile at from a long way away.

Music credit:

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

Brick: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 66

brick
The skirt you can make in a hour, one year on

Brick

Welcome to Brick, episode 66 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: Brick is finished, hurray! Modifying old projects, and the last bit of baby knitting for the time being. My silence has been entirely due to not having much to say about my progress on Brick, which has been glacially slow. I’m delighted to be on the other side of it and back to interesting smaller projects.

Ft patterns:

  • Brick
  • Purl Soho Evening Shrug

Brick

Brick
Mind the Gap: unexpected caverns in the oxter area

Well where do I start? Never has a simple jumper been so deceptively difficult to make.  There were several stumbling blocks for me, between the sizing not being quite right for my daughter, the picking up needed and the scope for getting it wrong on the bind off, never mind whether or not it’s a TRUE raglan (pet peeve alert).

Ultimately the jumper is made, the picking up gaps largely neutralized, and the bind offs more or less smooth. I’m not thrilled with the end result but it is what it is and I’m sure she’ll get some use from it, even if it’s as a nightshirt. She’s a cold being on the whole, her heat regulation being quite badly affected by her coeliac disease, so she piles on the layers in the winter and this will at least help with that. The day she dons it to go off to college you will be able to knock me down with a feather, and that’s no mean feat!

Music credit:

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

 

Anniversary: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 65

Anniversary

Anniversary
This bauble went into my mother-in-law’s coffin with her, not something I envisaged when I made it.

Welcome to Anniversary, episode 65 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: a funeral bauble, progress on Brick and a unicorn called Sundae. By the way it’s the pod’s two year anniversary! Long service medals due to anyone who’s been with it from the beginning. Apologies for talking at a million miles an hour today.

Ft patterns

Ft videos

Ft Ravelry pages

Anniversary

anniversary
The offending cardigan, which my mum now wears.

I recorded my first pod on 4th April 2016. In fact I recorded the first three as I had so much to say. The pod started as although I have a few friends who knit I had lots of knitting chat in me, unanswered questions, philosophical conundrums and a million patterns in mind to knit, and I needed an outlet!

The catalyst in the end was making a cardigan that didn’t fit me. I wanted to discuss why this had happened and look at the lessons for the future, and a pod seemed the ideal solution. I’d had it in mind for a while so decided to act on it.

Over the last two years I’ve knitted loads of different project, learnt a huge amount about knitting (and podcasting!) and really enjoyed the pod. Originally I expected to pod once a week and more or less stuck to that, but in the last little while I’ve podded when I feel I have enough to say. When I have lots of small projects passing through my hands there’s lots to talk about, but when I’m working on a large project such as a jumper there’s not much to talk about, even for me.

Over two years my listener numbers have grown steadily, to my delight – no-one wants to feel that they’re shouting into the abyss – and continue to surprise me. Here’s to the next two years.

Music credit:

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

Headband: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 64

Headbands

headband
Finished Owlie Sleep Sack and hat in King Cole Recycled Cotton Aran in Cream, Crocus and Merlot

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry.  This week: Owlie Sleep Sacks and more Owlie Sleep Sacks, a jumper called Brick, a make-up headband called Showcase and a sudden interest in knitting from my teenager.

Welcome to Chainmail, episode 64 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

Ft patterns

Ft tutorials

Headband

headband
Modelling Showcase

So much of my knitting comes from a casual remark or spotting an opportunity to provide someone with a useful little something. I commented to my daughter that she could use a headband or something to keep her hair off her face when she looks after her skin (she puts lots of time into this), and she said that would be great. I love this stage of a project, when you know roughly what you want but it’s time to interrogate Ravelry to see what there is.

This pattern is ideal. It uses up small quantities of 4-ply, it’s a quick knit but it has interest by using wrap and turn short rows, then a three-needle bind off to create a smooth band round the back of the head. As this is knitted in mercerised cotton it will be quite resistant to the worst effects of greasy creams and so on. I’m half-tempted to make one for myself, but I want to get the sleep sack done, make the jumper and design this bra top, so unless I’m going to be very very busy knitting, it’s going to have to wait.

Music credit:

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

 

Chainmail: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 63

Chainmail

chainmail
The Owlie Sleep Sack just before the decrease rounds.

Welcome to Chainmail, episode 63 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry.  This week: chainmail, how creative are you?, gauge, short tips and a parcel from Wool Warehouse.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft tutorials

Ft links

Chainmail

chainmail
Frantically trying to bind off before taking the children to school so I can try it on my son!

Not for the first time, I’ve been merrily working on ‘scheduled’ knitting, when something crops up that demands a knitted response (clearly I’m actually wildly creative). On this occasion it’s a children’s story-telling workshop that’s part of this weekend’s Leominster Medieval Fair. My mum was telling me about it as she’s helping to run it and is taking my son along. Obviously the occasion would be incomplete without a knitted chainmail helmet.

I looked at lots of patterns but as I don’t have grey worsted or aran, but lakes of grey DK, I was drawing a blank as most patterns were written for a chunkier yarn. I then came across the pattern Monty’s Knight’s Helmet, link above. The picture showing the little boy wearing it is really cute and I think the helmet looks quite convincing. This pattern had the huge advantage of using a double strand of DK, allowing me to take another nibble out of my embarrassingly huge stash of grey acrylic. Don’t forget I have lots of grey acrylic to swap or sell so if you want a skein to make one of these please do get in touch.

However this was a partial pattern. The Ravelry page above is to a project page which is itself based on a balaclava pattern that’s no longer available online. The project page includes basic instructions, but once you have a ring of neck ribbing and a large flap going over the back of the head, you’re on your own. I was delighted when bit by bit, tongue sticking out, I worked out what I needed to do to turn it into the finished article. I’m ridiculously pleased with myself, but my son has now requested a chainmail tunic too!

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 pods: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 62

Sleep pods

sleep pods
Waiting in the wings for a birthday

Welcome to Sleep pods, episode 62 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. Apologies for the croakiness this week (then again I have been frogging), but I can’t pass up this opportunity to knock out a pod. This week: sleep sack progress, produce bags in the wild and yet more yarn purchases. Perhaps this episode should be called The Mother’s Day one.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft yarns:

Sleep pods

sleep pods
Looking forward to turning this into another Owlie Sleep Sack

I’ve had a lot to say about sleep pods in the last couple of years, and here we are again. Having intended to make the Baby Cocoon Sack and Cap I’ve ended up making the Owlie Sleep Sack (and hat). It’s been a very bumpy ride but as far as I’ve gone with the Owlie Sleep Sack I’m much happier, snapped needles notwithstanding, and anyway that’s a great excuse for acquiring new needles. I’m feeling the need for some sort of smart needle storage set-up as I’m beginning to lose track of what I have and my original KnitPro Symfonie set bag has long since had a broken zip. How anyone can say I’m hard to buy for baffles me.

In this case I switched projects as I was struggling to make elements of the Baby Cocoon Sack and Cap work out well. I had laddering and colour jogs and the sack itself looked enormous. After three attempts I felt switching projects was my only option. One advantage of this is that I don’t need three colours for my next project and can instead choose a yarn with variegation or a marl in it, so I’ve settled on Sugar n Cream Twists in Barnboard Twists, a cheerful summery mix of red, yellow and white.

Music credit:

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

Produce bags: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 61

Produce bags

produce bags
Destined to become a snuggly hot water bottle.

Welcome to Produce bags, episode 61 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes or acast, or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. I’m making slow progress with the podcast this year, but just lately my knitting rate has picked up and I hope to have a bit more to say. This week: sock progress, produce bags, yarn purchases and a return to baby knitting.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft yarns:

Produce bags

produce bags
Jackie’s Goodie Bag in a double strand of sport weight yarn, 83% cotton, 17% acrylic.

I’ve been wanting to make some of these for a while. I’m keen to reduce plastic use and get very upset that loose produce can be more expensive than packaged, especially as I have a family that can eat a vast amount of fruit and veg (particularly fruit!). I was also looking for a present I could make from stash for a present for my mum, whose birthday is close to mother’s day, and this seemed like the ideal thing.

There are several bag patterns on Ravelry but they tend to be for quite large bags and I needed a smallish one, say for six apples or tomatoes. Jackie’s Goodie Bags seemed just the thing, although without the handle as I didn’t think it would add anything. I would add the handle if I was making a present for a child. I did wonder about developing a clutch-style handle rather than a strap-style handle, but I don’t have time for it at the moment. The knitting clock has begun ticking in earnest again!

 

 

 

 

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 continental: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 60

Knitting continental

knitting continental
Proto-socks

Welcome to Knitting continental, episode 60 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. Find it on iTunes through your podcast app or subscribe via the feed link on the right hand bar (https://www.theordinaryknitter.net/feed/podcast).

My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. I have a teenage daughter who’s coming up to her GCSEs and who would like to be a linguist, so we’re trying to raise £500 to cover her travel to, fro and within Europe for a trip this summer. She’ll be staying with family at each destination as we’re lucky enough to have family sprinkled through France, Germany and Hungary. If you enjoy the podcast and would like to make a wee contribution, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/polly-europe and hearfelt thanks from Polly’s mum. Back to the knitting.

This week: new knitting goodies for Christmas, sock progress and more hot water bottles.

Ft knitting patterns

Ft yarns

Knitting continental

knitting continental
Caught knitting (UK-style)

I was going to say that the two main methods of knitting are continental or ‘English’ (UK-style as I prefer to call it), but that’s a gross simplification. Knitters tend to divide into those who hold the yarn in their right hand and those who hold the yarn in their left, but beyond that there are lots of variations in technique, from those who tuck one knitting needle under their arm to those who never knit with straight needles (me!) and even those who knit backwards so that they never have to knit on the wrong side.

The various techniques, recognised and improvised, have their pros and cons. I’ve always felt that not knitting continental marks me out as a bit of an amateur, like not being able to tie my shoelaces or whistle, so in this pod I talk about my experience of trying to incorporate it into the socks. It’s been a very mixed experience, ultimately boiling down to a combination of “help, I don’t feel in control!” and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’d hoped that knitting continental would ease the strain on my left arm but it didn’t make any difference that I noticed and gave me a bit of jip on the ribbed top of the foot, so for now I’m sticking with UK-style knitting. My next project will be a hot water bottle cover that’s knit in the round in stocking stitch so maybe I’ll give it another go then. I’m a big fan of biting the bullet, as long as I can spit it out again.