<![CDATA[Victoria Jay - Craft]]>Sun, 21 Feb 2016 01:06:25 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[At last ....]]>Sat, 20 Feb 2016 19:51:16 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/at-lastFinally, my elbow healed and back in action.

First task was to finish all the projects that had been left.

1. Brioche Scarf

A bit daunted as I was learning Brioche, but soon got the hang of it again (although the edges weren't too good until I remembered how the threads needed to lie).


2. Owl Jumper

Designed by me, I finished the knitting part before the Brioche scarf, but couldn't be bothered to sew it together until after I'd finished the two scarves. 


3. Shetland Lace Scarf

I discovered, when going back to this, that I had left it so close to the finish because I had dropped a stitch somewhere and obviously hadn't been in the mood to pull it back to the lifeline thread.

This done, I finished it, dyed it and dressed it.


<![CDATA[Slice of Cake]]>Tue, 18 Mar 2014 10:12:09 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/slice-of-cake
I have now managed the syncopated diagonals.

The diagonals slope upward from the left, as knitted.

Essentially, this involved reversing the brioche stitch and bringing forward the back colour while sending to the back the front colour.

Now, it isn't as easy as it sounds and the instructions in the book only gives instructions for five rows (only three decreases). Eventually, I did this by looking out for the already turned stitches (these are difficult to spot when initially turned, but the columns of turned stitches decrease by two each time when counting across, so counting the columns helps here).

The dark colour stitch (the first colour yarn to be knitted through) is turned. During the light colour 'turn', the stitch immediately to the right of the turned dark one is turned. On the wrong side of the work the stitches were worked as they appeared.

I also got bored with pink and so changed to turquoise.

<![CDATA[Let Them Eat Cake]]>Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:22:10 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/let-them-eat-cake
Brioche - a form of knitting that produces a fantastic reversible effect. It's tricky and pretty.

Of course, it's another 'dive in the deep end' and I went straight for two-colour. Working with two colours, you work across a row with one, slide the knitting back, and work the other colour, before turning to work the other side. It involves yarn overs and slip stitches in sequence which links the knitting yet dropping one colour behind the other.

And you have to get it right.

After three days of knitting, ripping out, knitting, ripping out, etc ad infinitum, I now have a few inches correctly formed.

Yes, it's a scarf. That tells you how tricky this technique is, as the other scarves I knit are generally in complicated cobweb lace.

Syncopated brioche occurs later in the pattern - essentially this reverses the standing colours - in diagonals, diamonds and stairstep shapes.

So lots more complicated stuff to come ... I might actually finish the lace silk scarf just as a respite for my brain!
The pattern is the Geveldak scarf taken from Knitting Brioche by Nancy Marchant, available on Amazon (other book selling merchants are available).


After, I had posted, I noticed a mistake halfway down the pink side of the knitting:

Now, I wasn't inclined to rip back 4" of hard won knitting, but I'd ripped back and re-knitted enough times to have acquired some knowledge of the formation of the stitches.

Using pins and a cushion (to stick the pins in), I unlocked the pink stitches down to the mistake, corrected the position of the brown strand and, using a crochet hook, hooked them back up. Hey presto, fixed:

<![CDATA[There's Nothing Like a Challenge]]>Sun, 09 Mar 2014 09:38:40 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/theres-nothing-like-a-challenge
Ok, we know by now I don't shirk at a challenge, so I've set myself a challenge and given myself a year to complete it.

Years ago I crocheted a rather filet shawl, a year or two ago I had a go at a couple of granny squares, a month ago I had a go at amigurumi, in the last two weeks or so, a bag. And so a bigger challenge is in order.

In Sue Whiting's Crochet Bible is a rather lovely project called Heirloom Bedspread (incidentally this is where the Peruvian Style Bag also came from). It is formed from 255 motifs in 4-ply cotton using a 2.5 mm hook.

One motif done, 254 to go ....

<![CDATA[Bags of Crochet]]>Sat, 08 Mar 2014 17:37:05 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/bags-of-crochet
I decided on a larger crochet project as I'd got my head around arimugumi.

And I thought I'd make something for myself, so I decided on a bag.

To add some spice, I went for something that involved multiple mid-row colour changes - always after a challenge!

Well, it wasn't as quick, or as easy as I'd thought something made purely of double crochet would be.

First, multiple colour changes meant dealing with lots of strands. I finally settled on a method whereby I would strand across 4 stitches maximum otherwise join a new strand in.

Second, I didn't realise quite how important the 'turn' was at the end of each round - to match the handles the 'turn' had to be done.
Because of the non-turning/turning, I had to rip back and start again - luckily before I'd got too far.

Then there was the issue of weaving in ends. I initially started doing that after every few rounds or so. Then I'd discover a mistake in the pattern and have to rip back, which is actually quite difficult with ends weaved in. I decided to leave that until the end.

Today, I have spent mostly weaving in ends.

Of course,  the mistakes didn't end there; I joined together the wrong handles at first <sigh>

After all that, it might be a while before it gets lined, but it's finished (and so am I for the rest of the day).
<![CDATA[A Little Cute Something]]>Sun, 23 Feb 2014 11:04:22 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/a-little-cute-something
I'm approaching the end of the Shetland Lace scarf (update soon), but I needed a distraction from loopy lace before I went completely loopy.

Apart from edging, the only crochet I've done is a couple of shawls and a few granny squares, so I thought I'd have a go at amigurumi. Strangely that means doing something fashionable!

I got this book:
First, I had a go at the dog. I'd given that away before I thought of taking a photo, so the elephant is my second attempt at this style.

It went pretty well. It took a while to perfect the starting circle - I ended up doing the magic loop/double loop technique as that gives the best finished look.

Alterations from the published pattern: I changed the position of the eyes as I think they look more cute. The pattern didn't have a tail, so a plaited six strands and tied a knot in the end.

<![CDATA[And Now For Something Completely Different ....]]>Fri, 17 Jan 2014 18:47:27 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/and-now-for-something-completely-different
I've spent the last six weeks or so knitting numerous pigs, gloves and a couple of scarves. So it was time for something completely different ....

I decided on a Shetland Lace scarf and, to add a little something extra, to do it in silk.

As usual, at first the lace looks messy and unlike the finished result.

There is a danger period, for me, until the end border has been done, the stitches picked up and the first lifeline has been put in, to give up, especially when dealing with silky smooth silk.
Now that this danger zone has been traversed successfully - although I did drop the stitches off the needle at one point and it took several goes to get the stitches picked up nicely - the rest of the scarf has a much better chance of being completed.
<![CDATA[On the Bandwagon]]>Mon, 09 Dec 2013 15:45:23 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/on-the-bandwagon
I didn't do headbands. I thought they were in the same category as knitted mobile phone covers - something for a beginning knitter to have a go at, but nothing anyone would actually want.

Well, it seems that I was wrong. So, having been asked to knit up some headbands, I thought I'd use the opportunity to practise some techniques and stitches.

Top band - simple 4 stitch cables. During this one I discovered that 'kinked' cable needles are actually quite useful. I usually use a dpn, but I have to admit that getting a couple of cable needles free with a magazine turned out to be pretty good.

The second is a straightforward headband in basket stitch. I rather like the textured effect of the stitch.

Then came some bobble practice, and, boy, did I regret that! They're not difficult, just a right faff if you're doing lots.

Finally, stranded colour work. I found the pirate pattern on someone else's headband pattern and just nicked skull and crossbones part of the chart.
So, having got over my prejudice against headbands, I have produced four quite different pieces, each showing a different technique. Of course, anyone with any sense would have just whipped up a few simple ribbed ones and added a few flowers .... but that would be making things simple for myself!
<![CDATA[Hooting Cars]]>Fri, 22 Nov 2013 11:15:48 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/hooting-carsWhatever to do with the total disasters?

I knitted an owl hat. Lovely, I thought. The intarsia wasn't great, but I was out of practice and it made a good practice piece. A successful run and I could make a couple more.

The idea was sound and looked pretty good in the pattern picture. A simple square hat and the corners stick uppish like feather 'ears'.

I used a different yarn to that specified., but it came together quite well (apart from a few intarsia issues). So far so good.

Then I finished/blocked it - ie threw it in the washing machine. Now, I knew the acrylic yarn would come out lovely and soft, but it came out too soft and drapey. It could be said that I could knit another and not completely block it, or block it at all, but a hat is of no use if you can't just throw it in the washing machine. If I made another, I would have to get a different yarn.

It got put to one side and after two unfortunate outcomes in a row, I had to knit a pig (could be worse!).

But I've come up with an idea - car seat headrest cover!

Facing front: an anti-theft device

Facing back: scare kids in the back seat

Win, win!

<![CDATA[Trotting Out Again]]>Thu, 21 Nov 2013 23:16:23 GMThttp://www.lethandrel.com/craft/trotting-out-again
Uh oh .... another mini-pig.

But they are just sooo cute.

Update: You can buy him here.