accessories · crochet

Back to crochet: fan pattern gloves

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I’ve been taking a bit of a break break from any crafts recently. Partly because of work, and partly because I’ve been busy planning the trip to Poland around Easter, buying and setting up the new working area for me in the apartment (finally! no more working at the kitchen table, yay!) and generally trying to figure out the plan for the rest of the year. Some things are still not certain, like my boyfriend’s employment once his current contract is over, so it’s a bit of transition time for us, which has been keeping my attention away from my hooks or needles. The only crafty thing I made is a pair of gloves for Mum – crochet this time.

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clothing

Something blue!

 

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So… it happened! I knitted my first top – not exactly a sweater but a summer sleeveless top in cotton yarn. Yay!

I wasn’t sure if knitting an actual garment was a good idea at this stage. I thought that maybe I should stick to scarves, gloves, small projects more suitable for a beginner. But I really wanted to try, to move beyond things that could just be crocheted – to feel why learning to knit was the right choice. And this is when Drops designs came to the rescue, one more time 🙂

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accessories · knitting

Knitting, crochet and colours!

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Can there be anything better for a beginner knitter with crochet skills and colour fixation  than a project covering it all? You are right, probably not 😉 That’s why my latest project, baktus scarf, has been such a joy!

I’ve had my eye on the Drops pattern (another one from their basic patterns collection) for a while. First – it took me some time and learning to understand it, as knitting patterns in general are still somewhat mysterious to me, and Drops patterns are written in their strange, specific way, which usually makes me want to give up instantly after reading them for the first time. Second – I really wanted it to be as colourful as possible, but I didn’t have the right yarn. I had worked with the recommended Drops Delight before and I didn’t like the feel of this yarn too much, especially for something to be worn close to the skin. It is a little too coarse and stiff and the nylon in it is too visible, so despite the beautiful colorways I knew I needed something else. When I added all the new yarn to my stash last week, Noro Silk Garden reminded me about this pattern and I knew it was time to knit it.

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knitting

Combined (=combination) knitting

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As I mentioned in the past, I have serious problems with maintaining a nice looking, even stocking (stockinette) stitch when knitting flat. I figured that the reason was the difference in tension between knit and purl rows, but it still didn’t make fixing the problem any easier. I was planning to go to a few knitting classes and ask for advice there, hoping that someone experienced could tell me how exactly to correct it. But then I found an advice to try combination (or combined) knitting if I can’t knit in the rounds and my stitches really look very bad. I only regret that I don’t remember the address or name of the website where I first read about it, and my browser’s cache has been cleaned since then 😦

In any case, I’d read more about the method and tried it out immediately – and  was amazed by the result. You can see it on the photo above: the bottom part of the sampler was knitted in the regular, Western way, and the top part – in the combined method. It’s still not perfect and requires more practice before it looks really well, but the difference is clear and the quality of the stitch is acceptable for me now.

Below another picture, in different light: the stitches in the upper part are smaller and more regular, while those in the lower part just… just make no sense at all.

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