Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ramblings from a knit-addict (and a knitting-related sewing project)

I already mentioned (and showed photo proof!) in my last post, that the knitting virus got me again. In January this year I started knitting a bolero, but its second arm never got finished. I didn't like the look much, it took me forever to get that far, my shoulders would start to hurt after knitting for about half an hour every time, and I would make loads of mistakes and took hours to get them fixed. I decided I didn't like it and stopped.

But then I discovered my dream-cardigan. It showed up in my blog feed again and again and each version looked lovely. It's a cropped, sweet little cardigan, with a little lace and perfect for wearing on a dress. I am talking here of the lovely Miette, a free (!) pattern from Untangling Knots.

Hang on, I'm gonna talk about this basket at some point in this post ;).

So I had no choice, I had to give knitting a second try. And as it turned out, Miette is knit in a very different way then what I was used to. It is knit seamlessly, on circular needles. Now, I tried to knit with circular needles once, and it was a complete disaster. So after googeling (googling?) how to knit on circulars I suddenly discovered that there exists a completely different way of knitting, that I was unfamiliar with!

You have to know, I always knitted the English way, that's what we learned at school, and that's the way my mother and everyone I know knits. And then suddenly I find out that there is a way of knitting, where you don't get a completely cramped shoulder from trying to keep the needle under your arm, while you 'throw' your yarn over it, hoping that it catches, where you don't keep poking your husband, when he's sitting next to you on the couch and where even a beginner, like me, would almost immediately knit so much faster! It was truly a revelation. Why had nobody told me this before! Why is the whole of the Netherlands (and England apparently, I gather from the name) still knitting this clumsy way??

Hang on...

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit ;). My mother is very happy with the English way, knits very fast and has no problem with her shoulders, and apparently my dad is fine with the occasional needle prick. But I'm a convert! To anyone who hasn't tried it yet, I recommend it! Just search on youtube for continental knitting, and you will find loads of useful video's.

And so I got hooked :). Just before our holiday. Which wasn't a coincidence, as I was already dreading having to say goodbye to my sewing machine, so I kind of figured it might be nice to have a hobby that you can actually take with you. And what better way to kill the time on a long, transcontinental flight? Or so I thought, until I realised that generally sharp items are not allowed in hand luggage, as pointed (ha!) out by my husband. Again I turned to google (really, I can't live without google anymore, it's kind of scary...) and indeed, someone had asked this question to the company we were flying with, and they said explicitly that knitting needles were not allowed. But I wasn't ready to give up my 18 hours of undisturbed knitting. So I went to a local craft shop and bought me these:

Almost there...

Wooden, interchangeable needles. Just before I went through security I would screw the needlepoints off and the little stoppers on. The needles I would put with a few ball points in a separate pocket and hope for the best. And it worked! I have been knitting in 9 planes in total during the holiday (our honeymoon was a little disaster for the environment, I'm afraid...) and nobody said anything about it (just a few bewildered looks).

I also knitted a bit during the slow moments of our honeymoon, but these were rather rare ;). My husband called me crazy for knitting a warm sweater in a tropical climate, but whatever. When we came home, the project had already progressed so much that it started taking over most of the coffee table in our living room. Everything else started to get buried under yarn, scissors, needles, stitch markers, crochet hooks, etc. So I decided to get organised.

Yay! You made it!

Which made me turn back to my sewing machine. I sewed up a fabric basket from this free pattern, the bucket basket tote. I made a few changes to the pattern. I added divided pockets to the outside, to store all my tools and the pattern. I let the lining of the pockets peep out a little. I didn't sew the straps, as I wouldn't be using it as a tote, but added small handles. The fabrics I used are: quilting cotton Field Study Triangles by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures, Minna canvas from Ikea and some leftover jeans fabric. I interfacing the outside with vlieseline H640 and the inside with vlieseline H250.

The husbands reaction was: "Wow, it even matches your knitting! So I guess you're gonna sew up a matching basket for every knitting project now?" Heh, what can I say, I love pink!


Anyway, (I'm almost done with my ramblings now, well done you, for reading this far!) I'm happily knitting along in an organized fashion now. Hopefully I can show you the end result soon, cause today I already bought new yarn for my next project :).

So are you a knitter yourself? What do you prefer, English or continental style? And do you have some favourite pattern?

This is how far I got already!
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