Monday, 19 May 2014

Unusually small patterned Hottie

Apologies for the gap between posts, I was floored by a particularly nasty ear infection which made it hard to concentrate enough to craft much.

Now that I am recovered, I thought I would share my most recent project which was fantastically quick to knit up, with excellent instructions.

For my Christmas, my sister and brother-in-law gave me the Knit Camp 2014 kit, which contained a pattern book for three projects, a 1L hot water bottle, two large balls of Libby Summers Fine Arran wool in Navy, one small ball in pink and another small in turquoise.  It also came with two stitch markers and 5mm wooden needles.

Being the ambitious sort, and having got a bit bored of garter stitch on my previous hottie, I decided to dive in with the hottie pattern.  It is fairly easy as long as your husband doesn't talk to you when you are counting (once finished I could tell when I'd been forced to have a conversation!) and mostly contains knit and purl in various combinations, as well as various methods of increasing and decreasing.

The pattern book was excellent, and gave a summary of how to do any unusual things.  I had never done the M1 (make 1) method of increasing, but thanks to the booklet and a quick check on youtube, I managed easily.

The kit did include links to the website and I wish I had looked at that first, as there are detailed blog posts to help you with every step.  However, I think it would be useful for them to stress the importance of the tension guide.

Every knitter has a different tension to their knitting, and I should know by now that I have a fairly tight tension, no matter how hard I try to relax it.  The tension guide stated that 18 stitches over 24 rows should measure 10cm...I didn't check and this was the result...

As you can see, my hottie knitted up tiny, I would estimate it maybe worked out about half size.  If I had taken the 20 minutes or so to knit a test patch, I would have realised I needed to use 6mm needles with the Arran wool to make the right size.

I did really enjoy the pattern, and I am planning on trying it with different wool and needle size to make one for a normal hot water bottle.  The design looks complicated and time consuming, but I would estimate it took me maybe 10 hours to knit and make up the whole thing, so definitely a weekend project.

I now have the little mitts and hat to try, the hat involves changing colour which I have never done, so I'll let you know how that goes.

What was your most irritating lesson?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Cosy Hug Hottie

This weekend was a great holiday weekend for me, as I managed to finish a project that has been sitting in a bag for far too long, a huggable hot water bottle cover in Rowan wool.

I wasn't able to sew over the weekend as I had to have my legs up, so got out my knitting and worked away.

The design I was making was the Hug Hottie pattern from Rowan, which is available for free from here.  I chose this pattern initially as it seemed fairly easy and I thought it would be quick.  The pattern definitely is easy, you only really need to know how to knit, purl and do an increase and decrease.  The downside is that for the most part, you are doing garter stitch which I found pretty dull, and I had no impulse to pick this up and finish it.

When I looked at what I had done before, I wasn't happy with the quality, so ripped it all out and started again, so this definitely is a weekend project.

You knit it in three parts, the back, upper front and upper back.  The recommended wool is Rowan Baby Alpaca, but I used Rowan Baby Merino Silk as I wanted a nice colour.  As these are both DK wool, they were interchangable, although I did have to go up a size of needles and used 5mm and 5.5mm.  I finished it with three cream buttons to add contrast, and decided against the ribbon, as the person I am giving this to has a puppy who might enjoy pulling at ribbon.

What do you think, would you like this as a gift?