Monday, May 24, 2010

Knitterly Ever After

Hugo & Louis getting down dirty in the sand pit.

As the rain falls here finally in Hawkes Bay after one of the warmest, driest Autumns on memory, I am taking the time to catch up on some knitty paper work. Progress on Knit August Nights has been steady, with only a handful of places available, if you haven't registered you might want to get a wriggle on. The traders market, now coined 'Don't get your knitters in a twist', is also starting gather some nice momentum, so if you can't attend KAN, you can at least indulge in some fibre follies at the end of the weekend.

Hugo Sporting Milo #2

I have also been keeping myself busy with my own knitting. I have now completed two Milo's for the boys with number three 50% complete. I have also cast on another project for myself in a fresh green Merino Possum that had been lurking in the stash for some time & recently saw the light of day. The latter looks like it is going to be the project that will keep me going through most of the Winter, punctuated by smaller gift & sock projects.

One of those smaller projects has been a pair of fingerless gloves, well gauntlets really, which I made for my mother in law as a Mothers day gift & then re devised in a decadent Ruby Red 10ply yarn that arrived in store at Skeinz. It's a neat little project that's quick, takes just one ball of yarn & is ideal as a stash buster or knock up an emergency gift for a special someone.

Ever After Gauntlets You will Need:
5mm needles, one ball of 8 or 10ply yarn (10ply is pictured), yarn needle to sew up.

Cast on 36 stitches
Knit three rows
Row 1 of pattern: k2tog twice (“yo, k1” 4 times, k2tog 4 times) repeat until last 8 sts, "yo, k1" four times, k2tog twice
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Purl

Continue working 9 sets of the pattern (or until you have reached the length desired)
Work row 1 of the pattern
Knit 3 rows then cast off.

(edited Feb 2011 for correction to pattern row)

Make up

Using mattress stitch, join the side seam from the cast off edge & sew 3cm. Bind off & rejoin the yarn 5cm from bound off point & sew to bottom (in effect leaving a 5cm thumb hole). You should have a straight edge at the top of the gauntlet & a scalloped edge at the bottom. Weave in ends & steam block if desired.

Abbreviations: K1 = Knit one stitch. K2tog = Knit 2 stitches together. yo = Yarn over (take the yarn from the back of your work through to the front & over the needle to knit.)

The pattern is written to fit an average sized ladies hand. My hands are quite large, & they still fit me well. If you wish to down size, just use 8ply yarn on a 4.5mm or 4mm needle – do not reduce the number of cast on stitches.
If you wish to make longer gauntlets, it is advised you purchase two balls of yarn.

Time to get back to more knitting, planning & insanity. Well maybe not knitting, Hugo & Louis are reinacting the WWF in the living room, it might be time to referee - ah rainy days!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Knit Steam Ahead

Knit August Nights
Registrations have been flowing in thick & fast, we now have the retreat two thirds full. Thank you to everyone who has been so prompt & enthusiatic at getting on board so quickly.

For those who are yet to make up their minds, this might help, the workshop schedule for the retreat. James from JOY has done a stirling job & the biggest hurdle I think for most has been narrowing down which workshops they wish to attend!

Day One
SOCK DESIGN - Examining Different ways to construct toes, gussets, heels and tops and everything in between.
TUTOR: MORAG McKENZIE of Vintage Purls

OVERVIEW: This course looks at the various ways to construct socks and why as a designer you might choose a particular method over others. Learn the skills to design a sock from scratch or alter existing patterns to fit you well because there is no such thing as one size fits all. Although this workshop uses socks as it's focus the skills learnt are applicable to knitwear designing in general.


OVERVIEW: A chance to practice different methods of casting on and off, and learning the appropriate uses for each method - a great way to actually try these methods instead of trying to follow a You Tube video!


OVERVIEW: This workshop will be for knitters who are interested in sharpening their colour observation in design. Participants should know how to knit and purl – only the basic stocking stitch will be used in the workshop. This course inspires knitters to sharpen their observation of color by working with a range of light and dark colors in contrasting tones to create the ever popular Persian Poppies design by Kaffe Fassett. The experience gained should give knitters the confidence to use their own personal color scheme in any of their own designs in the future.
Day Two

MAKING LACE SOLID - Taking the Holes out of Lace Knitting
TUTOR: MORAG McKENZIE of Vintage Purls

OVERVIEW: Learn how to make lace stitch pattens not lace and open a whole new world of stitch pattern possibilities. Look at how best to convert existing lace patterns, learn a variety of directional increases and their best applications. Examine the differences between a standard lace pattern and its solid alternative and learn how best to incorporate them into your work.


OVERVIEW: A Sock Yarn Blankie is an ideal way to use up your left over sock yarn (or any left over yarn in your stash) and learn some new techniques at the same time. This class will teach you how to knit the cabled design featured on the basic block and then using an entrelac method how to knit other blocks to create the blankie. You will also be given information on other Sock Yarn Blankie patterns including the classic mitred square and swimming fish.

FEARLESS KNITTING & how gauge can become a fickle friend

OVERVIEW: How to analyse your yarn so you can understand how to get the best out of your knitting
(Looking at the yarns structure, is it z or s twist, how many plies, how strong the twist and how these factors can be best understood and utilised)
Gauge and how to use it. (Including how to work out formulas for yarn substitution in patterns) why it’s important (no two 8-plys are necessarily the same) and why you can’t sometimes trust it but by giving it a go you increase your chance of a successful garment. This includes looking at deciding end choices of desired fabric and drape of finished project.

Send me an email to if you haven't got a registration form, with this great line up, KAN is a real 'must do' on this Winters knitting calendar.

A Baby is Born
I am pleased to announce that my 'baby' has arrived. Now you don't have to visit our unique factory shop in Napier to take advantage of genuine yarn bargains. Put your yarn diets aside & check out the site, I'm sure you'll find it most tempting!