Category Archives: Hobby

Itsy Bitsy – Knitting baby stuff

It’s been ages since I have talked about any FO. That does not mean that I haven’t done any knitting, but just didn’t have the time to write about it. Well, what have I done during the hiatus? Lots of things actually.

It’s difficult to choose a pattern when it comes to baby sweaters. All the patterns look so cute. One pattern that stands out is Baby Sophisticate. It is cute, no doubt, but it also has a distinguished look to it which gives babies that grown-up look. I personally think kids look cute when they act all grown-up. I almost made this for Anya, Rima’s little princess, but when Rima knit the same one for her, I decided to knit something else. I am keeping this one for a baby to come along and claim it. The yarn is 3-ply yarn from Pydal. Really soft and has a nice sheen to it. The only problem is the yarn is so thin that I used 3 strands held together for this cardigan.

I decided to make this Pebble vest for Anya. Just when I was about to sew the buttons on and mail it to Rima, she too made the same vest for Anya. I didn’t want to send this vest, but since the day of Anya’s arrival was nearing, I decided to send it anyway, consoling myself that the one Rima made is bigger and mine is smaller, so can be used immediately. The DK yarn is from Pydal and is soft and squishy.

The vest looked so adorable, I made another one for Ninad. I modified the pattern to make it a bit bigger and knit the body in round. This vest looked great too, but I realized that this yarn was not the best choice only after I started using it. The yarn is so squishy that it doesn’t hold any shape at all. Anya’s vest can be easily used by a 2 year old, that’s how stretchy the yarn is. Now I am feeling guilty for using this yarn for Anya’s vest. I should have used a tried and tested yarn. Sorry Anya and Rima if the vest turns out to be unusable.

The moment I saw this pattern on Knitty, I knew I would knit it some day. Kids and ice-cream go well together, don’t they? I was waiting for an opportunity to knit it and I got it when my mom asked me to knit a sweater for my brother’s kid. I finished the front part in just 3 hours. Intarsia was addictive. It’s another matter that I took 2 days to finish the back and 2 weeks to finish the sleeves. One cute sweater and a great pattern. The only drawback is it is not knit in round, but intarsia can’t be knit in round, so that’s how it is. The 8-ply yarn is leftover yarn from Ninad’s blanket. I love this yarn. It’s strong and has good stitch definition. It’s thick, so knits up fast.

So, this is what I had been upto. I also made a adult size sweater for my husband, but that’s for another blog post, when I get to write it.

A special gift from a special friend

Things are not going that well with me. I started working on the Tetris baby blanket. I had finished more than 100 rows when I noticed I had goofed up. It kept nagging me and I decided to tink back and correct the mistake. Only when I started tinking that I realized tinking and intarsia is a very dangerous combination. A handful of working yarns, twisted yarns where colors change, tangled yarn and so many loose ends – I ended up tinking more than I intended. What I am left with now is a blanket with 40 odd rows, a big ball of tangled yarn and a heartbreak. I don’t have the heart to look at the blanket, so I have hidden it. I am going to start with a new baby blanket pattern for now and will worry about this failed Tetris blanket later.

Okay, let us look at some positive things. My Ravelry friend, Preeti, ordered the book Knitter’s Almanac twice by mistake and asked me if I wanted a copy. I didn’t have that book in my collection and who doesn’t want a EZ book, right? So she decided to send me this book all the way from Dubai. The package arrived last week. I knew she was going to send me that book in the package but what surprised me were the other things!

There is the book, of course. A self retracting measuring tape, a pack of body lotion etc. in a lovely lavender fragrance and a cute card. What is not in the photo is a pack of Hershey’s kisses. The reason it is not in the photo is because err… I ate all of them! I have an excuse, I have a craving, you see. Thank so much Preeti, you are an angel! How did you know I was craving for chocolates?

Phildar copacabana in such lovely colors. I love the texture of this yarn. It is papery and so soft.

The best of all is this one. Can you see the cute footprints? The photo doesn’t do justice! It was so sweet of Preeti to think of making this for me. It is such a nice gesture.

After the disastrous Tetris blanket, this gift was a great help in lifting my spirits. Preeti, thank you so much for such a nice and touching gift.

Bamboozled headband

After thoroughly enjoying Calorimetry, I decided to knit another headband. I wanted to knit something for my nieces-in-law and headband was the best – knits fast and it is useful for girls. I chose Bamboozled because it has cables and I wanted to try knitting cables.

Bamboozled comes with a chart and instructions. I wanted to learn a new skill (reading charts) so I tried that first. For every stitch, I would see the symbol, then see the glossary to see what the symbol means, then figure out whether I am on RS or WS and then knit that stitch. Phew! I tried knitting a few rows using the chart, but I was taking ages to knit a single row. When I realized I am going to be knitting this headband for the rest of the year if I use the chart, I switched to instructions.

Knitting cables is stressful. I would knit a few rows and then realize I goofed up somewhere and start all over again. That’s when I realized the importance of lifelines. They are exactly that – lifelines!  After I started using lifelines, I hardly made any mistake. Isn’t there a Murphy law that says: it doesn’t rain when you take the umbrella with you, but always does when you don’t take it.

In the knitting world, cable and lace projects have high regards. To be considered a real knitter, one has to attempt cables and laces at least once. This headband was my first step into the cable world. If you ask me, I don’t know what is the big deal about cables. Yeah, they are fun to knit, but stressful too. It needs my complete concentration, so I can’t knit cables while watching TV or when I am multitasking. I knit to relieve my stress, but this project actually aggravated it. Also, I didn’t especially like the end product either. When I look at a cable sweater, I don’t go weak in my knees like some knitters do. I don’t mind knitting a cable project again, but I don’t think I like wearing it. I think I am weird!

Continental vs. English

This is probably the most frequently asked question in the knitting world. Which is better: Continental knitting or English knitting? Continental knitting is where you hold the yarn in your left hand. In English knitting, you hold the yarn in your right hand, so you are a “thrower” because you need to throw the yarn over the needle while knitting.

My first knitting teacher was an English style knitter, so she taught me her style. I struggled with it for a few days and after that it was a piece of cake. I have read many threads about Continental vs. English on knitting forums, but never bothered to think over it even for a second. Until I started the seed stitch scarf. I consider myself a moderately fast knitter, and when I saw I have knitted just 4 inches of scarf over the past 2 days, I was shocked.

I have to throw the yarn for every stitch and I also have to switch the yarn back and front for every stitch. Thanks to all this throwing and switching, my right wrist hurt. That is when it dawned upon me that Continental knitters must be fast in 1×1 ribbing because they don’t have to switch yarn and they don’t have to throw.

So, I started learning Continental knitting. I learnt knit and purl stitches from Knitting Help. Knit was fairly easy. I fumbled for a few stitches, but purl was the rebel. After purling for a few rows, now I think I get the hang of it. The movements are still not smooth, but I know I will get there one day.

I need to practice this style till my knits and purls are consistent. The day is far away when I can continue my 4-inch seed stitch scarf in Continental style. Even then, it feels good to know I can knit in Continental if I want to. Who doesn’t want to learn a new skill?

I am in no way answering the question of which style is better. I think when I am doing alternate knit and purl stitches, Continental knitting will come handy. It will speed up my knitting and give some relief to my wrists.

Peter Easy Vest

This vest follows the Berroco Peter Easy vest pattern. I used Vardhman yarn in gray. The yarn was not good – one of the skeins was really bad. Needle size – US 8 and 9. I should have used 9 and 10. I made it for medium size (Chest 44). I used up 2 and a half skeins of 50 gms. each.

This is my first project at this scale – both size and complexity. I was hesitant initially whether it will come out well. It has turned out better than I expected. It is not perfect – it looks like a vest made by an amateur knitter. The ribbing on the v-neck is not sharp enough. The front portion and back portion ended up at different length and width – so seaming was a challenge. Knitting was consistent and it shows in the different shapes and sizes of ‘V’ on the right side.

Nevertheless, I learnt a lot from this project. Ribbing, circular knitting, picking up stitches, armhole shaping, neck shaping, knitting a v-neck – the lessons are endless. Looking back at this project, I am happy and proud of myself. I think for a beginner, I did pretty well.

iPod cover knit in round

This was my first project on double pointed needles. I got the basic pattern idea on the net (Can’t find the site now). It was a simple rectangle in a single color.

I learnt knitting on dpns from Knitting HelpAmy’s video on dpns is very very helpful. It’s clear and easy enough to understand for a newbie like me.

After knitting a few rows, I got a hang of it. I thought a rectangle in the same color would be boring, so added two rows of a contrast color to spice it up a bit.  Result: a warm, cosy cover for my shining iPod.

I used this for a few days. I used to keep the iPod and the earphones together and my iPod was getting scratches because of this. So, I added a pouch to the rectangle. What you see is this version.

I want to add a flap with a button or Velcro.  This will make the cover complete.

My first hat!

This was extremely easy to make. I haven’t used a double pointed needle or a circular needle before, so this was perfect for me. Flat needles, no advanced skills necessary, knits fast – it will be over before you know it. The patter can be found here. I left out the VW because I am not a big fan and I wanted to keep the hat simple. I followed the pattern word to word and ended up with a very small hat. Not a problem, at least I have a finished hat.

Let the knitting begin…

I have started on another journey: knitting. I learnt the basics from my previous landlady. She was kind enough to bear with me and teach me knits, purls, yo’s and tog’s and

Baby socks

 

what not. After struggling with it for almost a fortnight, I was the proud owner of a pair of baby socks. They looked cute, but not as cute as I wanted them to be.

 

My first baby bib

I knit two more pairs of socks, one for my nephew and one for my colleague’s son. I got bored of socks and wanted to try something different. What better place to look for but internet? That’s when I landed on knittinghelp.com, such a lovely site for knitters. I got a free pattern for a baby bib from this site and knit one. It is a nice baby blue bib and is so easy to knit. I am so proud of it.

I am on to more exciting things now. Plan to knit a dish cloth listen on Knitting Help.