Finished objects eleven to fifteen

Here we go again! Because I’ve run out of things to write in this introduction, here’s an article about a couple who knit all sorts of cool maths-related objects. I’m particularly inspired to try the hexaflexagon and Pseudoku designs.

CUWiP mug cosy

This was my first experience of doing cable knitting. I wanted to start small, so used this pattern to make a cosy for my rather spiffy CUWiP-branded mug. Unfortunately it’s a little too big, meaning it doesn’t really stay on the mug as it should, so I’m probably going to make another one that is slightly smaller. I’m really pleased with how the cables came out, though.

Double moss stitch scarf

Not much to say about this scarf – it’s very similar to the others I’ve done for Knit for Peace. This is the sort of thing I like to knit while watching TV because it doesn’t require much concentration.

Hurricane hat

Unusually for me, this yarn isn’t purely acrylic – it’s an alpaca-acrylic blend that I picked up in Ruddocks of Lincoln (now closed, unfortunately) for use in another project that didn’t pan out. I knitted this hat for myself, using this pattern, but decided to donate it because it didn’t really suit me after all. I really love this pattern though – it’s so simple, but so effective.

Blue box experiment

Technically this isn’t a finished object, but I’ve listed it as such because I’m quite proud of it. I designed this illusion knitting pattern myself using Microsoft Excel and was intending to knit a whole scarf, but stopped when I realised that that TARDIS design was too stretched out. Maybe it’s falling into a black hole and undergoing spaghettification. Regardless, I’m glad I gave this a go and now I know how the pattern needs to be altered, so in future I can try again.

Festival socks

These were my first completed pair of socks – I started another, but frogged them when I realised I’d used yarn that was too thick. I really love this yarn, which is Wendy Festival Chunky “T in the Park”, and the pattern I used was easy to follow. Unfortunately they didn’t fit me well, so I sent them to Knit for Peace. It’s nice to be able to pass perfectly good knits that don’t quite suit me onto a good home rather than having them languish in a drawer somewhere. It makes me more inclined to attempt challenging projects knowing that, whatever happens, I won’t be wasting my time or yarn.

And that’s it for this batch of knits! Hopefully by the time I write my next post I’ll have come up with some better ideas for introductions and conclusions…

Relevant links:

Finished objects six to ten

It’s been ages since I posted my first five finished objects, and I’ve completed quite a few more since then. I didn’t really do much knitting in the months running up to my final exams, but hopefully now they’re over I’ll get back into it. This post starts with two of my overall favourite projects, so it was particularly fun to reflect on them.

Green Rosalind scarf

This scarf (designed by Alice Bell) is the reason I started knitting. A project combining science with knitting, named after Rosalind Franklin? Sign me up! When you look at it straight-on it just looks like a stripy scarf, but the DNA spiral is revealed when you look at it from an angle – this is called illusion knitting. It only uses knit and purl stitch so is easy even for beginners and it’s very satisfying to see the pattern emerging as you progress. The most important thing is keeping track of the row you’re on, which you can double-check by counting the stripes. I did make a couple of mistakes, but they aren’t too noticeable. If I make another one of these, which I probably will, I’ll make it a bit longer and also see if I can prevent it curling so much at the edges, because it took ages to block. Alternatively, I could learn to be a bit more patient. (I can’t remember what yarn I used to make this, but it was double knit and acrylic.)

Tea cosy

This teapot belonged to my Grannie and came with me when I left home for university. At first I used a tea cosy that looked a lot like this one, but I wanted to try knitting one. However, due to the teapot’s unusual shape I couldn’t find a pattern that worked, so I decided to make up one of my own. I did a bit of measuring and used double pointed needles to create it as one seamless piece. I used a basic rib pattern for the main body of it, then decreased stitches to create the flat top. I accommodated the knob on top of the lid by stopping the decreases for a couple of rows, then restarting the decreases to finish off. It doesn’t look particularly polished, but it does its job and I’m actually quite proud of how I put it together all by myself. The yarn is Cygnet Seriously Chunky in the colour “Candyfloss”, which also made an appearance in my last post.

 Orange hat

The yarn I used for this project, Robin Super Chunky in the colour “Marigold”, was a somewhat misguided purchase. I’d intended to use it for a pair of socks for someone, but when it arrived I realised it was a paler orange than I’d expected and I honestly wasn’t too keen. It was still perfectly good yarn though, so I used it to make this simple hat instead, combining the instructions from here and here. I was aiming to make a child-sized hat, but it ended up being adult-sized, as you can see from the picture on the right. According to my Ravelry notes, it was “a nightmare to finish”, but I can’t remember that at all so it can’t have been too bad. Gordon actually quite liked this hat, but I sent it off to Knit for Peace because I have another pattern in mind for him. Hopefully someone out there likes pale orange!

Diagonal rib scarf

This was another Knit for Peace project, again using “Candyfloss”. Not much I say about it, except that I really like the diagonal rib pattern, which I found in this book that my mum passed onto me.

Purple lattice scarf

And another Knit for Peace project using a stitch from the Harmony Guide! This one didn’t work as well – the lattice pattern isn’t as pronounced as I would have liked – but it was still okay. I can’t recall what yarn I used, but it was chunky and acrylic. (Side note: most of the yarn I’ve used and have in my stash is acrylic because (1) I’m cheap and (2) I don’t want to donate items that are going to be itchy or difficult to clean.)

Here’s my Ravelry profile again – feel free to add me if you don’t mind me nosing through your projects!

My first five finished objects

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.

Planner band

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.

Fingerless mittens

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.)