Monday, June 25, 2012

Winter knitting and crochet

It is freezing in Joburg the last week. OK, freezing for us southern hemisphere inhabitants who are used to sunny days....The weather has inspired me to do some knitting and crocheting in front of a cosy fireplace.
I found these stunning patterns from Knit 1 on Ravelry. They are the Magnum Reversible Vest in knit and crochet and the Magnum Capelet. All made with Magnum yarn from Cascade Yarns, a super chunky 100% wool. Sadly not available in South Africa, so I had to use substitutes.
First I made the crochet Reversible Vest with Sirdar Indie shade # 0156, a lovely mix of brown, creme, green and purple. Using a size 12mm crochet hook it took me a few nights to finish it. This is such a simple pattern, although I did change the pattern quite a bit to make mine fit as I wanted it to.
The first picture on this post shows the finished vest, all in one piece. Next time I would make the armholes closer to the top to make a smaller collar, but I love the length.
My attempt at making the knitted version was not so successful. Actually the vest came out perfect, but as I followed the pattern exactly, it ended up way too small! The designer must be a very small lady. I am trying to work out a way to make it bigger...
Then I decided to make an even more easy vest. This is also in ONE piece . I knitted with size 12mm circular needles that are 80cm long as it was easier and lighter than using regular iknitting needles. The wool is Gedifra I found at Arthur Bales in Linden at a bargain price of R40 a skein, that is about $5 a skein! Sadly, this gorgeous wool is being discontinued. The story of my life...
I knitted the vest without any shaping for the arms and shoulders and looking at it on, I think it might be good to do that next time. Still lovely, cozy and warm....
Lastly, I started on the Magnum Capelet from Knit 1. This is where I am right now. Very difficult to try on as the needles just hold all the stitches. I am using Sirdar Indie in shade #0155, a beautiful mix of natural, blue and green. Cannot wait to use this warm capelet!
I also made 3 crocheted hats. This Winter's absolute must-have color - mustard-yellow -was a given, so I took 2 skeins from my most protected yarn stash ever - the last 8 skeins of the discontinued Elle Wool Boutique Merino Solids in Light Mustard. (I called EVERY wool shop in South Africa to find only 10 skeins!). I even lined the hat with mustard colored knit fabric. I also made a grey and dark pink hat, but will post pics as soon as they are also lined.
I have had enough of uploaded pictures disappearing for one day, thank you. I will post soon again. Hope you enjoy looking at all my projects.

Stenciling mastered...

I look at the pictures I posted in February this year showing my first attempts at stenciling onto fabric and I cringe! Lots of research and practice later, and most importantly, the right tools, and this is my first top I made with this method.
This is a repeat of several paisley patterns I bought from The Stencil Company at the HobbyX craft exhibition in Johannesburg in March this year. The paint is a charcoal grey, not sure if you can see the color clearly.
I added an African pattern to the sleeves. Cute. Really love this top. I have a few others that are in progress, hanging on the walls of my sewing room...
Like this natural color knit top with the cutest African dance scene stencilled on. This stencil is just one of the extensive range available on based in Cape Town.
A closer picture of the dance scene...stenciling with a sponge makes all the difference!
And this is a skirt I am working on. I plan to do lots more of these.