Wip’s and a Plea for Advice.

Firstly, thanks for all your kind wishes.  I am feeling a lot better now thanks, apart from it bringing on the brain fog associated with both the Lupus and Fibromyalgia!! So if this post is rather rambling and forgetful then please forgive me :-).

Well, back to business, after finishing several wips back in July, (see here and here) I was able to start some new projects and I just love starting new projects.

So, what do I have on the go now?  Firstly, some more knitting.

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Yes that’s right, more knitting!  Do you know what, this time I am really enjoying it and have done right from the start.  I am knitting the ‘So I Gather’ shawl.  I saw it on one of your blogs (I have forgotten who, if it was you, if you leave a comment I will put a link to your shawl here) and asked if it was fairly easy and after being assured that it is I decided to give it a go.. The pattern is easy, it has a 12 row repeat but with all the rows being mostly purl or knit with a couple of different stitches at the beginning and end of each row it doesn’t tax he brain too much :-).  It uses a lace weight yarn and what with this and my dottie shawl I have decided that lace weight has to be my favourite yarn to work with!  It feels so special and delicate, I love the feel of it in my hands, I just love working with it altogether.

I am halfway through Abi’s stocking pressie and have finished Josh’s so that will be something for the end of the month, which I am sure will be here in no time!..

I have started making my sewing book/case that I have been thinking over in my head for some time.  I am really loving making this.  I just need the time now to sit down quietly and do the next stage.

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I have been doing some stitching for my nieces 21st birthday, a tada post coming soon.

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You have probably noticed that I like trying out new things, well this time it is Tunisian crochet.  I got a hook and decided to just make a dishcloth to try it out.  It is different, crochet with a hint of knitting I suppose but to be honest I am not really enjoying it.

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It is harder on your hands and seems to take a lot longer as you work in one direction adding stitches to the needle and then in the other direction taking them all off again.  It is about like doing all double (single US) crochet but slower.  Having said that I do like the effect of it.  You get a much closer fabric.  I did most of this whilst stuck in traffic!

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I have started using my latest handspun yarn.

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I made a trial shrug with some yarn I had in stash first as I didn’t want to use my handspun straight away in case I didn’t like it but it turned out really well so I have now nearly finished using the yarn I spun for the second shrug.  I really love the way the colour changes are working out.

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I decided to get some more yarn on the go and have started spinning with these rather colourful wool tops!

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I wasn’t sure about it before I started but I am trying to take a couple of colours to spin together and it is coming out a really pretty colour.

There are a couple of other little bits I have made to show you soon and the mice are just waiting for faces!

Looking at that list I am really surprised as I have had very little crafting time since the hols began!

Now comes my plea for HELLLLP!!

Most of you will know by now that I am much more of a crochet person than a knitter.  I persisted with the budgies just because there was no crochet pattern I liked enough for budgies. I enjoyed knitting the slippers a bit more and I am now loving knitting the shawl.  The reason I am trying to get better at knitting is to achieve my unltimate goal…

To knit a pair of socks!  So many of you knit the most gorgeous socks and I would just love to have one pair of socks that I have knitted.  The idea was to gradually increase the difficulty until I felt ready to progress to socks but I have catapulted myself forward by one little comment on a blog post on DaniellaJoe’s Blog. She had knitted some gorgeous socks and I commented about wanting to knit a pair of socks but maybe I should crochet some and she replied she was the opposite way round and she would have to crochet some somewhen.  So I opened my big mouth (or tapped my keyboard) and said that if she was to try crocheting a pair of socks I would try to knit a pair.  And, yes, you guessed it, the challenge was taken up so here I am asking for tips.

I have a beginners book with a basic pattern but any tips would be amazing.  I mean, the book talks about different casting on methods that are good for socks and then needles!!  Do I use three, four, two circular, one circular?

So here I am, hopefully with your tips and a bit of cheering on I might end up with a wearable pair of socks.

Congratulations if you have made it this far in my ramblings!  Just to give a bit of notice, I have some goodies to giveaway and I hope to post about them on Saturday, so if you are interested just keep an eye out for it.  😉

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, the weather is gorgeous here, hopefully for you too.

Happy Crafting

Sharon xx

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment.  I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

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31 thoughts on “Wip’s and a Plea for Advice.

  1. Hi, Sharon! Good to know you’re feeling better 🙂

    Here’s my advise for socks: I like doing them toe-up because then I can see when to add the heels a bit better; I use the magic cast-on technique with a circular needle (magic circle) and when I’ve reached the spot to add the heels, I add some scrap yarn and then keep going until I’m finished with the body of the sock; then, finally, I do afterthought heels!

    There’s a good pattern by Laura Linnenman (Lala on Ravelry) and The KnitGirllls have an afterthought tutorial on YouTube that’s really helpful, too.

    Hope that helps. Happy sock knitting! I’ve added all the socks I’ve knitted on my Ravelry yesterday, it was most satisfying 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Sharon. Well, I am completely opposite to Leonor cos I find it easiest to start from the top especially as all my patterns do! And I use 4 needles simply because I always have I suppose. I weave a scrap of bright coloured yarn down the work at the beginning/end of each row as a marker.
    You have lots of lovely work on the go Sharon – your knitting looks stunning as does your pretty crochet shrug. xx

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    1. Hi Lin, thanks for the advice. The book I have shows both top down and toe up but it starts with top down so maybe that is more of a starter way? The yarn is a good idea, maybe easier than keep removing stitch markers? I am enjoying all my wips at the moment although the knitting is slow going 🙂 xx

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      1. So much to comment on! I love the shawl from your handspun yarn, just gorgeous! The new yarn you’re spinning is beautiful too. Do you use a wheel or a spindle? Can’t help you on the socks I’m afraid!

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            1. I am no expert on drop spindles but I chose one that could be either top or bottom whorl so that I could see which way I prefer. I started with the whorl at the top and using the hook but then I tried it the other way up using a half hitch to secure the yarn at the top and much prefer it this way, it feels more controllable. so I would say to look for a simple wooden drop spindle with a hook on the end nearest to the whorl. This is the one I purchased
              http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-x-Drop-Spinning-Spindle-Hand-Spinning-/331052868323?hash=item4d1449e2e3
              (she also has kits so you get some wool tops to start you off.)
              There is a fantastic video that I was recommended that helped me immensely. It is a download and you do have to pay, I think it is about $15 but it is an hour long and well worth every penny. you can find it here at the Interweave store.
              http://www.interweavestore.com/respect-the-spindle-the-video-download
              It is so much fun, I would recommend giving it a try, it is also so satisfying to work with yarn that you have spun 🙂 xx

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  3. Hi Sharon,
    You said that your ultimate goal was to knit a pair of socks so it struck me that you were doing shawls and other things. I figure if you want to learn about socks, just grab the simplest sock pattern you can find and have a go! A pattern with plain stitches allows you to focus on the sock construction without the distraction of detailed fancywork. The first sock I ever knitted with dpns was a simple free top-down pattern from Lion Brand by Karen Ratto-Whooley which was easy to read and work out. http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/70739AD.html

    I commend you for trying new techniques like the Tunisian crochet. You say it feels slower, but then it uses more yarn than other stitches too – that is why the resulting fabric is denser than a swatch of regular double crochet stitches.

    It doesn’t have to be hard on your hands. A common problem for beginners to Tunisian crochet is having too tight a tension. Experiment with different hooks and maybe try some different stitches. Tunisian lace is definitely easy on the hands and works very quickly.

    When I first began learning about this technique, there were barely any resources about it. In Australia, it was always called ‘tricot’. Nowadays there are lots of online resources but they call it Tunisian now (even though it seems to have nothing to do with Tunisia!) I look forward to seeing your finished washcloth. Do you plan to add your beautiful embroidery to it? The afghan stitch that you are doing is perfect for cross stitch.

    You do beautiful work. Have fun and good luck with the socks. You’ll be right! 🙂
    Jodie

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    1. Thanks Jodie. I hope to start the socks once Josh is back at school and I have time to really concentrate. Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it, I shall definitely start with a plain pattern as you suggest. I shall persevere with the Tunisian crochet thanks to you for your encouragement. I shall maybe work the other half in a different stitch if you have any suggestions? I have heard of Tricot lace so that is really interesting. I would love to do more work with lace weight yarns. Thanks again and have a great weekend. xx

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      1. I have been meaning to blog about a tricot project I did a couple of years ago – after seeing your post here and your questions, I will just have to get myself into gear and finally do the blog entry! The first three stitches most people learn is ‘simple’ stitch (the ‘afghan stitch’ that you have made in your washcloth here), ‘knit’ stitch and ‘purl’ stitch. Like crochet, the different stitches come from where you insert your hook. Like knitting, the different stitch effects come from having the yarn in front or behind your work. Tricot/Tunisian crochet really is a blend of the two crafts in many ways.

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  4. Hi Sharon, glad you’re feeling better. All your projects look fab! I will be watching the washcloth and the socks with interest as they are both things that I want to try myself. I am not very good at knitting, so it will be a while before I try it as I need more practice. I find crochet easier, whilst my Mum and Sister find knitting easier! Good luck with the socks. 🙂 xx

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    1. Thanks. Jodie has just been encouraging me to continue with the Tunisian crochet, so I am going to try a new stitch for the other half and try to work a little looser. Working too tight seems to be a problem with me when I work something that I am not confident with as I have found the same with my knitting. Crochet wins for me still every time 🙂 xx

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  5. What a lot of lovely projects. I am in awe of your spinning skills. I picked up a beautiful spinning wheel from an antique shop a while ago but so far can’t seem to get the hang of it! I’m even worse with a drop spindle! You are obviously a natural 🙂

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  6. I really love all your wips!!!! I’ve tried Tunisian crochet as well, and loved the result, but it is hard on the hands. About the socks – one of my goals is to learn to knit, and someone [a master knitter] told me to START with socks. She said they’re easier than you think. So don’t be afraid – just jump right in!!! Find a pattern marked “easy” or for beginners and go for it. You can do it!

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    1. Thanks Allie. I have been told that a lot of people start Tunisian crochet too tight so I shall try working looser and see how it goes, even if I do end up with a wonky dishcloth 🙂 Thanks, I think I shall definitely be giving socks a go all being well, thanks for your encouragement. xx

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  7. I read somewhere that working from the cuff down is easier for first time sock knitters and I have to say I did my first pair this way with no problems. I jumped in at the deep end with a patterned pair instead of using a self striping yarn which I would advise against – the construction needs all your concentration as a beginner so stick to stocking stitch! Good luck:)

    Liked by 1 person

I love to hear from you, so please feel free to like or leave a comment. I will try to reply as soon as possible. x

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