Today there is a review of Knit Accessories: Essentials and variations as well as some DK pattern ideas for sweaters and some random chat.
Finding the Knitting Mojo in COVID Chaos
I have found my way back to my knitting this week. This may have been due to admitting I was struggling with finding the mojo for the knitting. I realised part of the problem was that knitting, for me, is a way of ordering my thoughts. This became apparent when the thoughts immediately began to race upon picking up the needles. I decided to sit with the feeling and luckily, it appears to have abated and I can knit again.
Love for Podcasting
I am really enjoying being back behind the mic on a more regular basis. It seems that podcasting is a form of reaching out for me. When I started the show, I lived in rural Limpopo in South Africa and was quite isolated. It was hot, not many people knitted and the knitters that were in SA were a long way away in Joburg or Cape Town. I feel like this recent inspiration is connected to that – once again, I am physically isolated, despite being at home and near friends.
I love that it is a running joke about how I know someone wherever we travel. These friends are – more often than not – as a result of the podcast or knitting. I also love how I can ‘be’ with people all over the world via the podcast. Just this week, I’ve been on an oil rig in the North Sea!
Audio is a conversation and I love the idea of keeping you company. Please do let me know where you are listening from, so I can enjoy my virtual travels and say hello.
Shoutouts this week go to the following lovely listeners: Poppy Pipkin, Nicolan Nolan, Janet Killips, Diane Kawagoe, Mary Jones, Nicola Lane, Charlotte Dadswell, Sally Fiona, Miranda Shelley, Lynne Greatorex, Darryl Joy Borders, Saz MacKay, Mitchel Thornley, Niel Wark, Zoe Gilmour, Hanne Lehmann Taylor, Aless Parsons.
DK Weight Pattern Ideas Feedback
Having just brought back a sweater quantity of Nurturing Fibres Supertwist DK in the colourway Sapphire from South Africa, I have found that there weren’t many patterns that were appealing to me on Ravelry. I asked the lovely listeners of the show for some suggestions for patterns.
Laura Stephens suggested to look at patterns by Libby of Truly Myrtle.
Lori Hathaway suggested to look at the patterns by Kim Hargreaves. Now this was a great shout and there were over 230 patterns on Ravelry for some really nice looking garments. Unfortunately, most of them are only available in print rather than as a PDF for download. Many are available via online yarn retailers. Definitely worth a look.
Then I mistakenly believe that Kim Hargreaves (knitwear designer) is the same name as Kim Catterall (bird on Sex in the City). Oops!
There also was some chat about Rowan Kidsilk Haze which surely must have reached the stage of being knitting nostalgia now.
DK Sweater Pattern Update
I have settled for now on one of two patterns for this yarn. The choice is between two: Orchidacae by Susan Crawford and Cloudburst, which was originally part of the Drift Collection for Eden Cottage Yarns. It was designed by Dieuwke Schack Mulligan and is available on Ravelry here. The Beast was a model for Honey Bee by Dani Sunshine.
You can listen to an interview with Victoria in Episode 21.
The other option is Orchidaceae, which is by Susan Crawford and is part of her new collection, Evolution, which is available now. I was intending to buy this collection anyway, so I was pleased to be reminded about this.
Is knitting anything like a garment beyond you right now? If so, Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade has just made her Habitation Throw free for the month of April 2020. The pattern is still for sale and all proceeds from sales of this pattern will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency.
Don’t compete with other people or yourself is the main feedback for yoga. If you fancy something different for the kids, they can try Cosmic Kids Yoga.
I have great ambitions of writing a series of childrens’ books based entirely on the calamities of Sam. These are all true stories of actual perils experienced.
Review of Knit Accessories, Essentials and Variations by Kate Atherley
This book was originally published in 2012 and was re-released last week. I offered to review this as I am getting a lot of requests for suggestions of how to get into knitting at the moment. This book is ideal for that purpose.
The ‘before you start’ section kicks off proceedings in this book. I know that when I got back into knitting, it was lead entirely by some somewhat dodgy yarn found in Poundstretcher. A lot of detail on how to choose yarns is covered, which is very useful for a beginner. It can help to avoid regrettable choices like splitty cotton or hard-to-frog mohair.
Variety of Yarns
I like how the recommended yarns include indie and commercial yarns, hitting all the budgets. It also has a section on substituting the yarns for non-wool yarns and different fibres. Swatching is covered in a decent amount of detail. This is a subject that ca often be skimmed over in beginner-suitable books. Let’s face it, swatching isn’t fun and you can usually get away without it for accessories. The necessity of the activity is explained and there are instructions for how to alter your needles if your gauge is off.
The side notes that accompany the patterns are solid and really help to draw attention to the important points.
Design Your Own Elements
My favourite aspect of the book is the addition of the ‘design your own’ element for each group of patterns. This takes all the maths out of making alterations to your projects, particularly for yarn changes. Just plug in the yarn weight, dimensions and length and it will spit out the yardage required. Additionally, there are stitch patterns to substitute into the project to completely change the outcome, including some photographs of swatches to illustrate how they will look.
The book contains lots of examples of projects knitted in different weights and dye styles of yarn. This helps to gently educate the reader as to what yarns might be suitable for which type of project. Knowledge and information on this usually comes from trial and error. To have it included is very helpful, particularly combined with the pattern variations and design information.
Design Your Own sections in each group of patterns
Cheat tables for the yarns and lengths
Would love to see
Would love to see some DK in the patterns
Links to videos or tutorials for the techniques would be great additions
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Music for this episode is with kind permission of Adam and the Walter Boys with ‘I Need a Drink’ – available on iTunes.