I have been knitting recently (leading to less reading and fewer posts about books). My most recent completed project is a tea cosy. This time I was using oddments of double knitting yarn of unknown composition in two colours. I carefully weighed them on our electronic kitchen scales. I had 38 grammes of dark blue and 44 grammes of pale blue.
Using 4.0mm needles I cast on 98 stitches in pale blue and knitted two rows. Then I joined in the darker shade and made stripes six stitches wide, with one stitch at each end for the seam. (See my earlier posts for detailed instructions.) When the work measured 4.5 inches I began to decrease one stitch in every six. I did this on the following fourth rows until there were 2 stitches in each stripe.
At this stage I weighed the remaining dark blue yarn. I discovered that I had used roughly half of it. I transferred the work onto a stitch-holder and made a second piece to match. The yarn just sufficed to make the same length.
Then I continued in pale blue working across both sides of the tea-cosy. I continued to pull the floats tight across the reverse, but working in a single colour, I was able to do this across six stitches, rather than the short floats behind the stripes near the top. I continued to decrease at intervals until the tea-cosy fitted the teapot ending with 32 stitches, which I cast off.
I joined the top and sides to fit around the spout and handle. As there were very few ends to sew in, I didn’t need to crochet around the openings.
It seems a long time since I wrote about knitting on this blog – probably because it is a long time!
I recently bought a different pattern with a larger range of sizes for baby’s cardigans than the pattern I usually follow. It just happened that I had chosen a ball of the recommended yarn before buying pattern JB001 from James C. Brett.
The pattern was straightforward, but I took the precaution of writing out the rows and stitches for the decreasing of the front and raglan edges at the same time. I adapted the pattern to avoid side seams in the way I described earlier. There are instructions for a round necked cardigan/jumper and for a V-necked cardigan, which was my choice.
Two cardigans of the smallest size may be knitted from a single 100g ball of Supreme soft and gentle baby DK yarn with some yarn left over.
This year a Christmas tree festival is planned with village organisations invited to decorate a tree. An enthusiastic crafter came to choir practice with some ideas.
My last attempt at making an angel was not as successful as I had hoped. This time I hadn’t really planned to make one. I have been taking a break from knitting due to painful thumbs, but I decided I needed the headspace, which knitting gives me, so I began knitting a child’s hat.
‘What has this to do with angels?’ I hear you mutter. The yarn I used was a similar shade to some decorations the crafter had brought to show us. It was lustrous. I thought, ‘This would make an angel’.
During the night in a half-awake state I formed an idea of how to knit an angel.
Pattern for an angel
Oddments of double knitting yarn in colours suitable for angel and hair. Wool or embroidery thread for eyes and mouth. 1 pair 3.75mm knitting needles. Safety pin. Tapestry or darning needle. Small amount of toy stuffing. Crochet hook.
Skirt, body and head knitted in one piece
Cast on 32 sts using DK yarn and 3.75mm knitting needles.
Knit 6 rows.
Stocking stitch 8 rows.
Next row: (K.14, k 2 tog.) twice. 30sts.
Continuing in stocking stitch work 3 rows.
Next row (K 13, k.2.tog.) twice. 28 sts.
Continue decreasing 2 sts every 2 rows until 16 sts. remain.
Work 15 rows for the body.
*Next row: Cast off two sts. k. until 8 sts remain. Turn.
Next row: Cast off two sts. p. to end. **
Cut yarn and leave 4 sts on a safety pin.
Rejoin yarn to LHS of work.
Work from * to **.
Transfer sts. from safety pin to the empty knitting needle and purl across them.
Change colour here for the head if required.
Work 8 rows on the 8 sts..
Cut the yarn leaving a long length for making up.
Using a tapestry needle or darning needle draw the thread through the 8 stitches and secure firmly.
Arms (Knit 2)
Cast on 6 sts and work 28 rows in stocking stitch.
To make up
Sew eyes and mouth on face (I did mine after stuffing the head, which was not easy!)
Join side of head and stuff it firmly with polyester toy stuffing.
Stitch around base of head to gather for neck.
Join shoulder seams and side seam of body.
Stitch back and front of body together at top of skirt to secure stuffing. (I used running stitch going round twice to give the impression of back stitch.)
Fold arms in two lengthwise and join seams, gathering ends slightly. Attach to body at shoulder.
How you make the hair is open to your imagination.
I crocheted a solid base for the hair using a contrasting yarn. Then I looked up how to make looped fur in a crochet book. I worked some loops by winding the yarn twice round my finger and the crochet hook and drawing the yarn through the loops and securing them to the base with a slip stitch.
Attach hair to head.
Draw the shape of one wing on stiff paper such as a used envelope and cut it out. Place the centre line of the pattern to the fold in a piece of felt and cut around the pattern.
Sew wings to body along the centre line.
Crochet a chain to the desired length and attach firmly to head.
I made the harp from part of a hat from a Christmas cracker. I stitched dark grey thread for the strings. The harp is stitched to the two hands and the body of the angel.
How did your angel turn out? Mine measures 8 inches in height from the hem of the skirt to the top of the unruly mop of hair.