23 January 2015

super bulky yarn

I was just experimenting a bit this week and wanted to share two ideas for making your own super bulky yarn. 
The first is to make a knitted cord first, either i-cord or using a knitting nancy. I used double knit /8ply yarn and a knitting nancy.

Once I had made my ball of yarn, I knitted a small sample, in the usual way with 10mm / US 15 needles. You could use larger thicker needles though, for a looser effect.

Another method of making super bulky yarn and a way which would also be a great stash buster is to knit several strands together.
For this I used four strands, two double knit / 8ply and two aran / 10ply weight. You could experiment with different weights and colours.

To knit I used 12mm / US 17 needles, but again a thicker needle could be used. The photos don't really show the bulkiness, I should have included something to show the scale like a coin or a tape measure. I love the way the colours turned out and really like the texture of the wrong side of the work.

There are lots of projects you could use the super bulky yarn for, cowls, berets or even one of the knitted pouffes which are very fashionable these days. I think this is definitely something I will play with  more in the future.

Have a great weekend, Ali.

15 January 2015

stripes and dpns

It has to be said I love my dpns and love knitting with them. One thing bugs me however and that is the stepped affect when changing colours and knitting stripes. Seen here......

I recently saw on the Drops design website a video showing how to minimise this, so I decided to do my own tutorial, for future reference and to share with anyone who knits in the round.

1. Change colour in the usual way.

2. Knit to the last stitch in the round.

3. At the beginning of the next round pick up the stitch directly below the first   stitch on the previous round.

4. With the right needle, pick up the stitch purlwise through the back loop and place it on the left needle.

5. Knit the first stitch of the round and the picked up stitch together. Pull this stitch tight. Continue normally with work.

 As you can see the stepped affect is lessened and there is a more smooth transition between the colours.

For anyone who prefers to watch a video of the technique, the link to the drops website is here.
Now I need a good stripey project. Just the weather for sitting by the fire with some knitting/crochet or whatever.
Till next time, Ali.

8 January 2015

gingerbread house

I previously wrote about a few competitions I was going to enter. One was the campaign for warm homes organised by AgeUk. I eventually got round to knitting up my entry. I had several ideas going round in my head as to what sort of warm home I would knit. Then, before Christmas I was watching Mary Berry on TV making a lovely gingerbread house and so I got the idea of knitting one. AgeUk supply a pattern designed by Julia Marsh, I used this as a starting point and adapted it to create my gingerbread house.......

The main house and roof is knitted flat on two needles. I use a picot edge for the bottom of the roof and moss stitch for the shutters, The chimney was made using dpns, knitted in the round and the candy canes were made using i-cord technique. The smarties on the ridge of the roof are crocheted starting with magic loop.
Some more photos showing the back of the house and some details......

 For more information about the campaign and competition click here.

Till next time, Ali.