Monthly Archives: September 2013

Check it out

I have been really busy the last couple of days and have actually been working on the rest of this blog. I have created a few new pages where you can find pictures of my knitting sorted in categories. I haven’t quite finished yet but please check them out.

I am also working on my knitting class. We are already half way through (and didn’t get as far as I had planned it). But I just thought that I should actually go back to my roots as a teacher, so I will prepare a fun (hopefully) quiz as a form of recap rather than just always ask questions and answer them myself in the end.

And as I will have to slim down the program a bit, I have decided to show them only one increase and one decrease and I am now wondering which increase to chose. I can not really tell which one is the easiest. I think my first increase was  M1L or M1R or maybe both together (which would make sense) and i only got to know KFB when I have started to follow English patterns where it seems to appear quite often. So is it seen as the easiest way of increasing the number of stitches? In any case, we are in England, so I should chose the most common way of increasing in English patterns if I am only going to show one way for now.

Any thoughts on that from other knitters are more than welcome.

a long, long time ago….

 

…. I knitted a cushion cover, wrote down the pattern, lost the pattern, knitted an other one, wrote down the pattern, knitted two more, lost the pattern again, bought matching fabric and zips and got the sewing machine out of its bag.

But then there was never really time to actually sew them together or more urgent things to sew. I can easily knit with children around but the sewing machine with its sharp and fast moving needle is a different matter.

But last weekend I could finally finish them and here they are…..

I have used mercerized cotton, so the knitted part has very clear lines, strong colours and is a bit shiny. Which goes extremely well with a contrasting background. I am really pleased with them. I chose burgundy as a less contrasting colour for the back this time (In the past I usually used the background fabric for the back as well – nice look too)

front and back

front and back

I have done another one as well, with Sirdar Smiley Stripes. It’s a bamboo-wool-blend and is actually very soft. As the yarn is multicoloured in itself, I chose a light blue background as a bold background is rather disturbing in my opinion.

IMG_0912It is knitted in garter stitch diagonally from corner to corner with an eyelet square to break those diagonal lines.

I really like diagonal knitting. It is perfect when you want to avoid the gauge swatching and calculating at the beginning. And I do like the look of it too.

So now that those cushion covers are knitted, I will only have to put them in my etsy-shop and also get those patterns finally typed up and on to ravelry. I guess, it won’t take me longer than a couple of weeks to get that done.

 

 

 

first impressions

knitted mouse

knitted mouse

As I will be giving my third knitting class tomorrow it certainly is time for an update here since I had gotten a few comments and wishes  after my last post, and this little mouse might actually be a good final project for the class as it involves almost everything we are going to learn, but isn’t too time consuming.

So, I am teaching a mixed group, some of my students have learned how to knit in the past, for others it really is the first time. Some of them have learned it the English way, others the continental…. which is particularly interesting as I am actually knitting the continental way but teaching in England. As there were many new students joining in week 2, we had to start all over again, but I am really hoping that tomorrow everyone will be feeling really confident about the knit stitch, no matter which hand holds the yarn or which way you get it around that needle.

Those who have learned it the English way tried my way at first but after starting a new row, the yarn naturally changed hand and they were back to English knitting.

I was particularly intrigued by an American lady who has never knitted before and therefore just did what she has been shown…. only to wrap the yarn around English style but with the Continental hand. She swears she has never ever knitted before so I suppose it must be genetic… or she has just seen it too often. Anyway, she was determined to do it Continental style even though I told her to do it as it feels natural for her so I am really curious to see which style she has finally adopted.

Some of my students are really ambitious and they show me their work whenever we meet (and some of them cross my way daily). So I am actually expecting some small half finished projects, like a phone case or a pretty bow tomorrow.

Well, that’s about it, I have a few half finished projects myself, nothing really to talk about. But I do hope that I will find some time soon to get some of them finished to show them off here. So hopefully soon more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

back to school

Stitch Samples

Stitch Samples

After years as pupil, student and teacher, September has always been more of a new beginning than January. Maybe a bit less in the recent years but September 2013 is definitely the beginning of something new as I will be going back to teaching. But this time it is not French nor Chemistry, it’s knitting.

As I have mentioned before, I will be giving knitting classes within the Children Centres in Kensington and Chelsea and the first one will start on Monday.

So I am actually quite busy preparing the classes. My students will be mothers of small children, so probably always busy and tired from sleepless nights. So the knitting might not be on top of their list so I should keep that in mind.

I am thinking of letting them practice the stitches and produce samples rather than just letting them knit an unwearable scarf. I have been inviting people to those classes and quite a few are traumatised by past knitting experience and it always seems to involve a long stretchy thing. So I really want to avoid scarfs.

I also want them to produce samples of their stitches and techniques for future reference as they might not have enough time now but will pick it up again a bit later.

Once they got a bit more confident, we will knit rather small items as I want to make sure that things can actually be finished to get the full satisfaction.

The courses only last 5 or 6 weeks and I am almost certain that most of my students will miss at least one class, that’s just how it is if you have small children.

The smallest pretty item I could think of is actually a garter stitch bow which can easily be made into a hairband, either by attaching it to an Alice band or by a simple crocheted cord. I can only hope they all have little girls rather than boys… although the same might be used as a bow tie….

Or a tiny bag or a case for the mobile phone would be easy too.

I am also currently trying out soft toy patterns to see if they would be suitable. Somehow it would be an ideal project. Lots of small pieces with a variety of tasks, casting on, binding off, increases and decreases, sewing pieces together,…. and literally everyone of my students will have at least one small child who would probably be delighted.

I have made one rather big bear, I found the pattern in the last Let’s knit issue, or rather in the complementary booklet with free patterns. It is not too bad, slightly too big I think for my purpose, very classic though and reminds me of the Mr Bean teddy which I always found very cute.

teddy

teddy

The other toy is a bit smaller, either a rabbit or a bear, depending on the ears, it is lovely too. I really like the shape of the head and the floppy ears of my rabbit. It is written by April Cromwell. She has a great blog too. bysmallmeans.wordpress.com

IMG_0780

This one might be a bit too tricky to sew together, so I will have to think about it. Or I will end up writing my own pattern.

I will see how people are doing the first two weeks and then we will decide what to knit as project.

So, I am quite busy now but I have also been busy over summer. As we have been visiting friends and family back home, I actually had to produce a few gifts for babies. So I did a few new Versa tunics as they are highly effective, quick to knit, cute to look at and long to wear as they “shrink” from dress to top.

The only boy in the list of babies to meet and greet got a Little Rascal. As my daughter found the plain sweater “boring” I added a little orange car which got her approval.

I also made a few scarfs. A too small for me Baktus in Sirdar Smiley Stripes, a Clapo-ktus for a wedding in a beautiful  Wool-Silk-blend hand-dyed by Dye for Yarn and triangular scarf in my own design, again that great Yarn from Dye for Yarn, in the most gorgeous red.

So, I guess it’s not a surprise that I didn’t actually have time to keep this blog up to date. Sorry for this long post, I really should post more regularly.