My lovely sister gave me some beautiful blue Merino wool roving for Christmas (with a particularly swanky pair of 35mm needles 🙂 ), and I decided to make a simple cowl.
Although the roving makes a very chunky yarn, the finished cowl is quite lightweight to wear, and lovely and soft. The large needles- and use of stocking stitch- meant that this was definitely the quickest knitting project I’ve ever completed!
I am currently weaving a wool snood/cowl, using a mixture of mohair and merino yarn. The purple and grey yarns (the weft threads) are relatively chunky (Rowan ‘Cocoon’), but weaving rather than knitting means that the finished material isn’t so heavy/thick. I have previously knitted a cabled scarf using Rowan Cocoon and it is lovely and chunky, but too warm for all but the coldest of days!
Every autumn when the weather gets colder I start knitting again, and produce at least one pair of socks a year. Having hunted for properly warm socks for years previously I have decided that hand knitted is definitely the way to go- they can be as thick or as thin as you like, and you can use the softest, warmest wool you can find.
There are also some great colour ways and self-patterning sock yarns available these days, so it’s easy to make quite complicated pattern using just one ball of yarn.
I came bought this humorous cartoon at a car boot sale earlier in the year. It dates from the beginning of the First World War (1914), but anyone who has struggled with a knitting pattern will recognise the sometimes strange results that stem from ambitious intentions!
“That looks easy enough…”
“I’m sure tension doesn’t really matter…”
“Well, I suppose that it’s the thought that counts!”
“I can honestly say that I did wear them…”
I haven’t made a friendship bracelet since I was at school, but decided to experiment with the method as I have plenty of embroidery thread in lovely colours.
As you can see, I experimented with a few different colour combinations and patterns. The free-form pattern below I made up as I went along, experimenting with changing direction.
I wanted to use the finished piece as something other than a bracelet, so decided to make a short length to use as a zipper pull on a jumper.
As I had cut longer strands of thread than I required for the pull, I left a gap and then knotted a second section below the first to use in another project.
I trimmed the ends and cut the top section free from the bottom section.
The top section became the zipper pull, with the loop used to thread it through the metal ring on the zipper.
This was a good way to use up some of the odds and ends of thread that I had in my stash: now I have to decide on projects for the other pieces that I made…:-)
If you fancy having a go for yourself (and didn’t learn how to make these as a child) then there are plenty of helpful guides and how-to videos to be found online.
After accidentally slightly shrinking some wool socks in the wash, I thought I’d give them a new life as a pair of fingerless mittens.
This easy upcycling project would also work using the sleeves from a wool jumper.
All you need is a pair of wool socks (or a pair of jumper sleeves), a needle and thread, and a pair of scissors.
First cut your socks to the desired size- you will be using the leg section, not the foot section.
I thought I’d take advantage of the length of these socks, and make cosy mittens with a long wrist/arm section- they can be worn long, or bunched up at the wrist. The original cuff of the socks will form the cuff of the mittens.
Next, using your hand as a template, cut a small horizontal slit where you would like the thumb hole to be.
Now try the mitten on, and enlarge the thumb slit if necessary. Decide how long you want the hand section to be and trim accordingly, allowing approximately 1cm extra to turn under for the hem. Take the mitten off, and sew the turned-under hem in place.
At this stage you could just hem the thumb hole using a blanket stitch, but I chose to add a thumb section using a piece cut from the foot of the socks. I sewed a small tube that comfortably fit my thumb, and then attached the tube to the mitten.
Now the mittens are ready to be worn… probably ensuring the swift arrival of warm spring weather!
I have started knitting a pair of socks using this lusciously-coloured Opal sock yarn from my stash- to make them slightly more interesting I decided to add a single cable running down the front of each sock. I was originally going to have the cable running down the back, but thought that it might rub at the heel.
As the weather is FINALLY starting to improve, and spring appears to be on it’s way (although I probably shouldn’t have tempted fate by saying that…) this may be my last pair of the season. I am definitely a seasonal sock knitter!
I have finished the cowl knitting project that a started a couple of weeks ago, using some lovely soft Artesano alpaca and wool yarn that had been languishing in my stash. As you can see, I decided to use the left over yarn to knit a bobble hat- I had just enough yarn!
The hat and cowl were both easy knitting projects, and the stripes mean that they would be great for using up yarn left over from other projects.
At least the continuing bad weather means that I have already had an opportunity to wear my newly finished items- every cloud has a silver lining!
As the weather has finally turned to a more seasonally-appropriate temperature (i.e. cold, rather than warm and wet!) I have dug some thicker yarn out of my stash and made a start on a striped, stocking stitch cowl.
The GORGEOUS (yes, it is so nice that it deserves shouty capital letters!) yarn that I am using is Artesano Superfine Alpaca and Peruvian Highland Wool, and it is sooo soft. As I am knitting in stocking stitch and using an aran-weight yarn I decided on a cowl rather than a scarf to avoid it being too bulky when worn under a coat (particularly where the knot would be if it was a scarf). Cowls also have the added benefits of being quicker to knit than a scarf, and using less yarn (so I’m hoping that I’ll have some left over for a hat too…).
I have made a few decorative hair clips this year, and really like using feathers mixed with something sparkly. The ones shown here are rather dressy- the two mainly blue ones were made to wear to weddings. It isn’t very clear in these pictures but the clip with the peacock feather is backed by a fluffy white marabou feather, adding some width to the clip.
The brown, gold and black clip in the centre (in the picture above) is a more subtle design, and I made it to wear to work on bad hair days! It consists of a row of diamontes sewn onto a piece of black patent leather, with feathers glued to the back of the leather. To the back of this was then glued a second piece of leather, onto which had been sewn a metal hair clip.
Decorative hair clips are a definite stash-busting project, and they are so quick and easy to make. Vintage brooches or earrings can be up-cycled to provide a sparkly base for a decorative hair clip, and all sorts of haberdashery bits and pieces can be added. I plan on making a couple of clips to give away as Christmas presents…!