Four seasons quilt

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Knitted dishcloth

I have made a trialled my knitted dishcloth and all I can say is it has surpassed expectation. I didn't have to use my little pot scrubber that I usually have to use with my shop bought dish cleaner. It is heavier and so it cleans and scrubs easily. It is not for heavy duty scrubbing. I had some decent dishes to try it out on. It gets inside jars and cleans them easily. It brings up saucepans and my stove top. I sound like a walking advert but I am going to make more and use them. I can throw them in the wash. This one is an acrylic yarn and cotton knitted together. I am making another one which is not so thick. I am wondering if it will do as well. If , after it's worn out it doesn't break down in my compost bin, I shall be using it to stop soil erosion. Some of my soil just gets too dry and dusty so this will help hold the soil at the end if its dishwashing life.

 I used 7mm needles and 32 stitches and started with 4 knit , four purl along the row. That's for four rows and then you reverse it for four rows. My picture has done well on Instagram and I am getting a lot of encouragement for my decision to try out a knitted dishcloth. Way to go!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Knit a flat round circle

I made a bag with my homespun wool but when I started it I realised I didn't know how to knit a circle for the bottom. I could have knitted a square bag but I thought the sparkle fibre and the other colours would suit a round bag. I crocheted a round for the bottom and it looks nice.It also suits the style of the bag.  I then just picked up the stitches onto a round needle so I could do the fair isle pattern for the sides of the bag. I really enjoyed making it but now I have decided it's time to learn how to knit a flat , round circle! My bag is made of sparkle fibre, wool, cotton and alpaca fleece. I crocheted chains of double fibre for the bag strings and added some beads I had for decoration. The sparkle fibre was mixed with Finn and Corriedale but the other wool is ram's wool because it is very strong and suits bags. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Knitted dishcloths

I have decided I'll give these knitted dish cloths a go. I haven't been very comfortable with the idea but I have researched and worked out you can soak and wash them and so, in the end, they are more hygienic than anything else you use. You need cotton or a cotton blend so that they are absorbent but that also makes them easy care and easy wash and they wouldn't be adding to the washing load. I have also worked too they would be a good way to practise new patterns before you try your main project with that pattern! There are some good free patterns on allfreeknitting. Favecrafts discusses the best yarns to use. Frugalandthriving looks at the benefits of knitted dishcloths from a personal and environmental point of view. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Easy knitted fingerless gloves

Joan Laws explains everything about fingerless gloves. She explains it all carefully and, as she goes along, she gives you insight into how you can change the pattern for your own needs. The free pattern is here on Craftsy. Once you have mastered them you can change yarns, colours and texture. You can knit patterns and Fair Isle. You can cable them. Fingerless gloves are important when you need to keep your hands warm but you want access to your peripheral dexterity. Fingerless gloves with parts of the fingers can slow you down or make you clumsy. These don't. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Knitted panel jacket

This was an interesting jacket to knit for several reasons. It is the first garment I have made for myself with my own homespun wool. I had odd balls of wool I had spun and they were all nice and I wanted to use them for something for myself. The panel jacket was the very thing. It's the Butterfly Stitch Jacket from a Better Homes and Garden magazine pull out . I didn't use the butterfly stitch. It worked well because I could coordinate the odd balls of wool I had into the panels. I used 8mm needles. The patterns suggests 10mm and 12mm but they were too big to get the right tension. The jacket is mainly merino wool with some ram's wool and alpaca fleece. I put a ribbed band on the bottom because I didn't like  the way it looked without it. With thicker wool it might have looked all right. I used a round needle to do the bottom of the jacket and around the edges at the front. I knitted the front edges in one piece because I used a round needle. The pattern suggests knitting it in two halves. People could not believe how quickly I knitted this up. I did. It was very quick! It has two oblong pieces and then 3 more of less triangular pieces. One piece goes in the back and the other two at the sides. It really is an interesting pattern and great for thicker wool. I really like it and it's very cosy to wear...even though it was 31 degrees Celsius in Adelaide on the day I finished it!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Scotch tension or double drive

I have an Ashford wheel with Scotch tension and once you get used to it you can really use that Scotch tension to adjust how the fibre is going onto the spool. If you are learning to spin it means you can give yourself time to draft. if yo are wanting to make fine wool you can adjust he tension so you can do that. You can make the wheel do what you want. I also have a double drive wheel. The man in the video is right. It pulls the fibre in fast and with a stronger pull which you night need for heavier fibre but you cannot control it well.

 I have worked out a way to convert my double drive wheel so it can run with Scotch tension as well. it wasn't easy as there is no cross bar of wood under the spool as there are in most double drives. This way I can have more control over that wheel. A double drive can over spin the fibre and the yarn starts to twist back onto itself. You can work with that and fix it as you go, but why not just have the Scotch tension where you can adjust the pull? Finer wool you really need that with. I made some sparkle yarn on the double drive and that worked well. Double drives are really good at plying. To me, all wheel should have both options and if I were to have only one wheel, I'd opt for Scotch tension. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

How to use a zipper foot

I know. I get lazy too but I have put this video on here to remind me why I need to use my zipper foot more often. I sometimes just get in the mood where I thinks it's too hard to install the zipper foot. It's not. You just have to do it because it means sewing in a zipper will be a lot easier and that's why they made zipper foots (feet?!) for sewing machines. The video takes you through everything so if you are unsure you will be able to proceed confidently!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Knitted baby jacket

I used the Garter Stitch baby jacket pattern to make this and am more than happy with the results. It is warm, soft and cuddly. I bought the toggles in Spotlight. It is homespun wool and it was good to have enough wool I had spun myself to make a garment. It is made from light and dark ram's wool, white merino wool and light and dark alpaca wool. I had to spin some extra dark alpaca which is a lovely chocolate colour and dark ram's wool for the hood. I love the look of this jacket. Knitting it in once piece, except for the hood which is knitted on last was an interesting challenge. You have to make sure you get the left side attached the right way round and then knit the last sleeve the right side especially if you are doing stripes!