Spot the Deliberate Mistake

Perhaps I could alternatively title this ‘Why I should never knit while taking migraine medication’ or ‘Why grafting is a saviour’.

I started knitting an Abalone cardigan last week when I was laid low with flu and a migraine (it was a fun week). Obviously, since I am never one to make things simple, I decided to rework it, instead of simply following the pattern’s bottom up construction, and switch it to top down. Thankfully at least one other Raveler had decided to do this and left detailed notes, which did make things simpler. Lots of provisional cast ons, grafting and linking sections later, the shoulders and arm holes were completed and I started on the main body. A couple of inches in… guess what I spotted.

Now these pictures are taken after I spotted the mistake and unpicked the row which joined the front from the rest of the body. The stitches were placed on stitch holders. But I thought it fair to share the sheer stupidity of this error. Yup, I managed to twist the front twice. Oops!

Thank goodness for grafting. The joining row was unpicked and then reattached properly.


Knitting saved!

12 Twelves in 2012

I had grand plans last year as I mentioned in my Resolutions 2013 post. These were the aims…

  1. 12 Sweaters, Cardigans, Tops
  2. 12 Socks (6 pairs)
  3. 12 Mittens, Gloves (6 Pairs)
  4. 12 WIPs or Queue Items
  5. 12 Favourites
  6. 12 Scarves, Cowls, Shawls
  7. 12 Hexipuffs per month (12 x 12)
  8. 12 Techniques (New and Previously Used)
  9. 12 Seasonal Decorations
  10. 12 Wildcards
  11. 12,000 Yards Knitted
  12. 12 Months Keeping my Knitting Stuff Organised

And with hindsight, probably a tad excessive. Maybe I was aware of this at the time, as I did add this postscript:

I’m planning on having a fair bit of overlap between the various categories, means I can tick off more early on!

Nevertheless the start of 2013 seemed like a good excuse to actually assess what I did last year in terms of these knitting goals.

So, here goes…

1. 12 Sweaters, Cardigans, Tops

  1. January Morning
  2. Blaithin
  3. Viisi Päivä

Only three in the end. I am hoping to get more garments knitted this year, so maybe I will improve on this total in 2013. 

2. 12 Socks, Slippers (6 pairs / 12 individual socks or slippers)

  1. Vanilja 
  2. Double-Layer Slippers
  3. Circle Socks
  4. Maeva
  5. Longitudinal
  6. Pink Elephants!
  7. Skew

14 individual socks and slippers knitted, seven pairs. Am pretty impressed with this, 3 of the pairs were gifts and have been well-appreciated. Plus I finally got the Socks of Shame (Skew) finished!

3. 12 Mittens, Gloves (6 pairs/12 individual gloves or mittens)

  1. Twelfth Night Mittens 
  2. Wanderlust

I need more mittens. 

4. 12 WIPs or Queue Items (Started or Queued Pre-January 1st, 2012)

  1. January Morning (Started December 2011)
  2. Twelfth Night Mittens (Started December 2011)
  3. Sharktooth (Started December 2011)
  4. Arroway (Queued)
  5. Oeste (Queued)
  6. Vulpix (Queued)
  7. Cumulonimbus (Queued)
  8. Honeycomb Quilt (Started December 2011)
  9. Skew (Started June 2011)
  10. Kimono Wrap (Started January 2011) – Still ongoing

Hmm… I cannot really remember what else was on my queue back at the start of last year. So this category will just have to be left as is. I did get all but one of the items started pre-2012 completed though. So that is good. Fingers crossed that the Kimono Wrap will finally get done in 2013. 

5. 12 Favourites

I started listing these, then twigged that pretty much everything I’d knitted this year had been on my favourites list at some point. I think I can safely say I met this target. 

6. 12 Scarves, Cowls, Shawls

  1. Sharktooth
  2. Arroway
  3. Oeste
  4. Vulpix
  5. Cumulonimbus
  6. Rockefeller
  7. Spectra
  8. Flightless 1.0
  9. Hemlock Ring
  10. Slip Stitch Cowl
  11. Shipwreck Shawl – Still ongoing

Two observations. 1. I knit fewer of these items than expected, and 2. I seem to have an obsession with Stephen West patterns. 

7. 12 Hexipuffs per month (12 months of 12 hexipuffs)

  • 230 Hexipuffs knitted between December 2011 and February 2012

As I suspected, I knew I’d go overboard with one of the categories. I just didn’t anticipate that it would be this one. Aim was for 144 hexipuffs over the year. I managed 230 in 3 months. Oops. 

8. 12 New Techniques

  1. Magic Loop
  2. Afterthought Heel
  3. I-Cord Bind Off
  4. Two at a Time Socks – Top Down
  5. Two at a Time Socks – Toe Up
  6. Steeking
  7. Steek Sandwich
  8. Cables without a Cable Needle
  9. Spinning with a Drop Spindle
  10. Spinning with a Wheel
  11. Kitchener Stitch / Grafting
  12. Crochet
  13. Tunisian Crochet
  14. Pattern Designing

Lots of new things! 

9. 12 Seasonal Decorations

  1. 26 Korknisse
  2. 3 Baubles
  3. 1 Festive Wreath

Total = 30 Decorations

All Christmas decorations, but to be honest that is the only time of year I have decorations up so that works. 

10. 12 Wildcards

  1. Sheepheid
  2. Mucklemuff
  3. Honeycomb Quilt
  4. Kentigern Blanket
  5. Phone Case
  6. Ripley
  7. Snapdragon Tam
  8. Encircle
  9. Bath Scrubbie
  10. Waffle Knit Scrubbie
  11. Boxy Scrubbie #2
  12. Boxy Scrubbie #3
  13. Snawheid

Unsurprisingly, I went over in this category. But I always was easily sidetracked. 

11. 12,000 Yards Knitted

Based on the project pages on Ravelry with yardage totals, I easily cleared the 16,500 yard mark. But this does not take into account all those projects which used scrap or non-stashed yarn – like the decorations or the Honeycomb Quilt. I think the quilt alone would take the total over the 20k mark. 

12. 12 Months Keeping my Knitting Stuff Organised

Partially succeeded. Some months were messier than others. But I have no excuses(!) now that the office is organised better and I have space for things. I’ll spend some time this month getting everything sorted after the chaos I’ve created over the Christmas break. I appeared to have established a knitting nest (or fort – depending on your viewpoint) of papers, books, laptop, coffee cups, tissues, blankets, and knitting and spinning supplies at one end of the sofa. 


Maybe I did better at this than I thought…

FO: Skew!

Or the Socks of Shame as I’ve been referring to them. Since it has been a year and half since I got one knitted up. On the other hand, a year and a half for a full second sock is better than previous attempts. My first pair of socks took over a year and half to knit a third of a foot – so that is definitely an improvement…. or is that worse?

The construction of these socks does make them a very cool knit. And a quick one too. I cast on the second sock on a Friday night and it was finished by tea-time on Monday. Which does nothing to excuse the delay in getting it done.


Christmas: Festive Wreath – Part One

a.k.a. finally a use for novelty yarn…

In this post we’ll cover the basic construction. Part two will deal with the decoration of the basic wreath.


1 ball of Stylecraft Ruffles, knitted up into a scarf (follow instructions on ballband).

Large sheet of sturdy cardboard

Assortment of baubles



Needle and thread


Strong cord or thread for hanging the wreath

Approximate Dimensions 30cm / 12 inches in diameter


Step 1

Step 1Trace a circle using a plate or similar (choose something with an appropriate outer dimension) onto a piece of cardboard. Sketch (or trace) a second circle outside the first one – this will be the width of the wreath (allow about 1″-1.5″/2.5-2.5cm).

Step 2

Step 2

Cut out the cardboard following the outer circle. You should end up with a circular piece of cardboard with a smaller circle drawn within it.

Step 3

Step 3

Using a pair of scissors, cut wedges from the centre point to the inner line. These should be fairly narrow as these will be folded. Larger wedges will distort the circular shape.

Step 4

Step 4

Fold each wedge back and wrap around the main wreath base. Tape each wedge securely into place. This will add a little more rigidity to the wreath – although be aware it will still be fairly flexible.


Step 5

Step 5

Anchor the scarf to the yarn attached in step 4 – secure it using the free length of yarn either with a sewing needle (or a crochet hook). Begin wrapping the scarf around the wreath.

Step 6

Step 6

After wrapping the full scarf around the wreath, secure the free end at the start point using the same yarn which anchors the beginning of the scarf. Tie / secure the anchor yarn into a loop or strand from which to hang the wreath.

Once the scarf is anchored in placed at start and finish, it is possible to shuffle the wraps to ensure that the cardboard is fully covered. For larger wreaths, more than one scarf will be required. Dimensions of this version will be provided in the next post.

The 2012 WIPs

I’m taking stock of my knitting. I have a habit of casting lots of things on, then setting them aside when I get distracted by the next shiny thing. Last Christmas I was in a similar sort of situation and I did make an effort and try and get several things finished properly.

So this year, I’m taking a similar approach. I have – much to my surprise – only 3 wips at the moment.

wip #1 – Kimono Wrap

Started January 2011

Incredibly dull to knit, hence the delay in actually getting anywhere with it. The stitch pattern is complicated enough that you have to pay attention but completely uninteresting so you get bored rather quickly with it. According to my notes – I started in early 2011 and picked it up again in November-December 2011, and again in March 2012. One sleeve is done and the second is started. The main body needs a back and left front panel and collar. Plus all the seaming. Fingers crossed this gets finished, as I do actually like the look of the knitted fabric. The bamboo tape has a lot of drape too which will work with this pattern even if it stretches considerably.

wip #2 – Skew

Started June 2011

Got one sock finished very quickly and just never got around to getting the other one done -oops!

wip #3 – Shipwreck Shawl

Started August 8 2012

The most recent wip and the one I’m least irritated by, given that it is 1500m of laceweight with several thousand beads attached. This one is going to take time. And while I’m up to the beaded section, knitting in the beads is not particularly interesting. So this one will probably get done in little bursts over a long period of time.


A few months ago I started knitting up the Shipwreck Shawl (a free pattern from Knitty amazingly), which was swiftly christened the Epic shawl by my mum on the basis that a) it was going to take quite a long time – given that I’m using 1500m of laceweight, and b) Shipwreck Shawl is something of a tongue-twister if you aren’t paying attention.

So far I’ve managed to complete the central lace section – with some errors but I can live with those.

Last night I started stringing beads…. and promptly dropped a few dozen on the carpet.

Beads get everywhere – did you know that?

And You can tell the Weather has Changed…

… As I (and many of my friends) have suddenly gone mad knitting and crocheting scarves, gloves, hats and other cosy accessories. My obsession at the moment seems to be hats. I knitted two over the last weekend and have plans for three more. I also seem to have fixated on two pattern books, Whimsical Little Knits 1 and 2. Both of which have a number of hat patterns – Cairn, Icing Swirl Hat and Ishbel Beret in WLK1, and Ripley and Snapdragon Tam in WLK2.

Hat #1 Snapdragon Tam, WLK2

Many, many cables but intuitive and fun to knit. I used some leftover Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed in a lovely rich purple shade. I also added a crochet reinforcement to the brim to help it keep its shape. This is a great idea which I picked up from the Yarn Harlot’s blog a few years ago and much easier that finding elastic!

Hat #2 Ripley, WLK2

A super slouchy hat in Rowan Cocoon. Loved knitting this, only took about 4 hours. Quite a clever design too, integrated pleats mean that it really does slouch in an attractive manner.

On the Needles just now is:

Hat #3 Woolly Wormhead’s Mystery KAL Hat in Drops Merino Extra Fine (Nordsjøen).

And currently planned are:

Hat #4 Icing Swirl Hat, WLK1 in New Lanark Aran (Pebble).

Hat #5 Ishbel Beret, WLK1 in Malabrigo Sock (Playa).