17 Nov 2014

a crochet project: owl pram spanner

Started another quick little project this week: crocheting little owls!
I bought this amigurumi-type pattern a while ago here. (There is also a Ravelry site for this pattern but the link doesn't seem to work...) The designer sells other accessories too, like the safety-eyes, clips and little wooden balls for the finishing touches.

For this project I use a cotton crochet yarn in the colors of the nursery (our stroller is black): Lana Grossa Cotone and crochet with metric size 2 needles. The stuffing comes from my trusty IKEA pillows (weird, but if you don't need large amounts it is way cheaper to buy the cheapest IKEA pillow than to buy a small bag of stuffing...)

12 Nov 2014

Simple blocks baby blanket finished + pattern!

Here it is! Finally finished this knitted blanket. Though it took me 2 weeks I am very pleased with the results.

material & sizing:
The yarn I used is the drops 'Karisma'. It is a 4-strands, sport weight, superwash-treated, 100% wool yarn. It comes in a lot of different colors. I choose a light blue-grey hue (nr.70)
I used just a little short of 9 skeins of 50g (approx. 440 g)
Using metric size 4 needles my gauge is 21 sts per 10 cm.

simple blocks baby blanket pattern:

material: about 9 skeins of 'drops Karisma'
gauge: 21 sts to 10 cm (approx. 22 sts to 4 inches)
K=knit    P=purl

Cast on a multiple of 8, + 4 stitches
(I started out with 156 stitches, this makes approx. 75 cm in width)

Border: Knit for 11 rows
Next row: continue in square pattern, from here on this is going to be the right side of the work. (This way the border has a nice ridge at the bottom)
You have now 6 'ridges'.

Main part:
The main part of the blanket alters the square pattern with garter stitch rows.
  • Block pattern:
Every uneven row (=right side): Knit
Every other row (=wrong side): K8, P8 * K4, P8 * K8
Repeat these two rows 5 times (you count now 5 ridges along the squares on the right side)
  • Garter stitch rows:
Knit for 6 rows (this will form 3 ridges on the right side)

Border at top:
Continue to the desired length and finish with the garter stitch rows.
Continue in garter stitch for 6 more rows, ending on wrong side.
(You have now 6 ridges on the right side)

Cast off loosely in the next, right side row.
To prevent a tight cast-off I used this method which I learned from my grandma many years ago:
Knit two together through back loops and place the stitch back onto the left needle.

6 Nov 2014

Baby blanket progress

It seems like this is the slowest progressing project ever! Although I'm a fast knitter, it seems like it takes forever to finish this blanket. Probably because I'm used to knit smaller pieces. Even a 40's jumper for myself seems to go faster...
On the positive side I'm already at 2/3rd in the length, so definitely getting closer to the finish!

With 10 more weeks left of the pregnancy the next project is going to be a sewing one: dressing up the family cradle bassinet! I finally made a choice for a cute fabric, which I'm going to use in combination with plain white cotton batiste for the liner at the sides and the canopy!

31 Oct 2014

new knitting project in progress: a baby blanket

Here it is, my latest knitting project: a woolen baby blanket. After a few quick baby garments with more than 150 stitches in width the progress is rather slow, although I'm already around 1/3rd now I think. This time I use another, for me new drops yarn, the 'Karisma'. It comes in a lot of different colors, I choose a pretty light blue-grey hue (nr.70) It is a 4-strands, sport weight, superwash-treated, 100% wool yarn, which could go into the washing machine.
This yarn doesn't have the softness of the baby merino but it is certainly not as 'itchy' as a regular woolen yarn would be. I'm planning to make a soft cotton back for the blanket anyway.

According to the reviews on ravelry garments knitted with this yarn tend to 'grow' after washing. I know this occurs often when a garment is knitted loosely and never experienced it with my garments knitted with drops baby merino yarn. (note: I never wash my knitted garments in the washing machine)
I use metric size 4 needles as suggested on the packaging and I'm happy with the texture right now, although it is not as tight as I really, really prefer. Next time I'm going to use metric size 3.5 needles.
I'm still planning to knit a small test-square to see how this blanket behaves when washed in the washing machine before deciding on the final length. Just in case any lengthwise stretching occurs. (I keep you posted on that)
Otherwise I'm aiming at a size of 70x100 cm (approx. 27 1/2 x 39 1/2 in) which I can use for the stroller in the spring.

The pattern is free-hand, inspired by pictures I came across on the internet. First I wanted a blanket with a more intricate pattern, but then decided that the graphic squares in stotcking-stitch with the garter-stitch rasters would look much cleaner and would also be easier to knit, since every other row is plain knitting. Plus, it has a bit of a retro-feel to it, which I prefer.