Over the past year or so, I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting. I originally started learning back in 2011, but made the mistake of using some really old yarn (originally purchased by my mum when she was pregnant with me!) that kept unravelling and wasn’t a colour that appealed to me. Rather than being sensible and getting myself some that could be made into a simple scarf, I gave up for about three years. Considering the situation I was in at that time (living at my parents’ house in deepest darkest Lincolnshire on an interruption of studies from university) I could probably have benefited from having it as a hobby, but we live and learn.
Since writing my 25 Before 25 list, which included a resolution to “knit one actual thing”, I’ve completed nine actual things in total. Most of my knitting gets done while watching TV in the evening, though this does mean I have to stick to relatively simple items. I do like to listen to podcasts while I work on the more complicated projects as well. I’ve decided that I’m going to blog about my finished items in batches of five, which will hopefully be a good way to track my progress (and, uh, bash out a few easy posts…). Without further ado, here are the first five things I knitted! Enjoy the incredibly imaginative names I gave them.
Blue ribbed scarf
As I had a specific pattern in mind for a scarf for myself, I decided that my first project should be a scarf for my lovely boyfriend Gordon (pictured right, doing his best “Blue Steel”). Since I was a newbie, I didn’t want to anything too complicated, but I also wanted something with a bit of texture. I decided on this horizontal ribbing, which I achieved by doing stockinette stitch for nine rows, starting with a knit row each time. Each rib has a little bit of a curl at the edge, which looks quite effective. The beginning end could do with some blocking, but Gord says he likes it how it is, so I’m happy to not spend be spending ages on that! I can’t remember what brand of yarn I used, but it was double knit and I picked it up from Linens Direct in Harrow.
Chunky garter rib scarf
Apparently Gord wasn’t available for this picture, so K-9 is acting as my model instead. This was another ribbed scarf, but vertical instead of horizontal (every row was knit two, purl two, and repeat). I wish I’d made it a bit longer and narrower, but it was nice and chunky and should hopefully keep someone warm. This was the first thing I sent to Knit for Peace, a charity that distributes hand-knitted garments to people in need. Again, I can’t remember what brand of yarn this was, but it was super chunky and came from Linens Direct.
I love my Plum Planner, but didn’t love the idea of paying a huge amount of money for a band to go around it. The bands themselves tend to be cheap, but shipping is a nightmare, plus I didn’t really like the styles I found on Etsy. I decided to solve that by making my own! This was a very quick project and gave me my first taste of joining, since I knitted it as a flat strip rather than in the round. The yarn is lovely – it is black double knit with silver running through it. The brand is King Cole Glitz in the shade “Starlight” and I bought it from Wool Warehouse.
Kindle Fire case
I’m in two minds about this project and whether it was successful. It was my first time using a pattern, though of course I couldn’t just follow it and instead sized up an iPod cover pattern by Grannies, Inc. I was aiming to make a cover for my Bluetooth keyboard, but even after a ton of blocking it didn’t fit properly (though I swear it did before I cast off!). My Kindle Fire fits in it, though not snugly unless it has a case on the back. I also got lazy with joining the project together because I’m so impatient, meaning the sides look pretty terrible. The buttonhole isn’t too bad, but it isn’t particularly neat.
Even though this project was a big step up in terms of complexity and I did okay with it, there were still lots of things that I could have done better. I really liked the yarn though, which is Drops Alpaca in the shade “Rust” and also from Wool Warehouse. The button I bought from there turned out to be too small, so this one is just a random one I had lying about.
You’ll be seeing more of this yarn because my incredibly generous colleague, who is a fellow knitter, gave me five skeins of it! It is Cygnet Seriously Chunky in the colour “Candyfloss”. Chunky yarn knits up really quickly, so these mittens only took me an evening to complete. I used this pattern, though I increased it by a couple of stitches because the edges seemed a bit tight (possibly a mistake as they could be fitted a little tighter to my weird tiny child hands). This was my first time knitting in the round and I love it! I would definitely recommend this pattern as a first project on double pointed needles. I am wondering about giving them to Knit for Peace as well or, if not, doing something to make them a bit more fitted.
As I said, I’ve completed nine projects at the time of writing this, so another post should be along soon. My next goals are to knit a pair of mittens and a pair of socks, plus practise crocheting as I got some needles for Christmas and definitely haven’t got the hang of it. I’ve also got a fun project planned for Easter, so I’ll get that underway soon as well.
(If you’re really keen to follow my knitting progress, I’m also on Ravelry! I like seeing what other people get up to as well.)