Monday, 16 September 2013

How To Knit A Sweater

I've always wanted to knit a jumper and have a few patterns that I'm eager to try out. Even with
the patterns I still want to know about the basic construction of a jumper. Last night I searched on
YouTube for something that would help and stumbled upon Knit Picks "How To Knit A Sweater"
video tutorial.

The videos cover 7 lessons were Nina explains how to take measurements, calculate the number 

of stitches, decreases, increases, sleeves and the neck line. You can use the lessons to design
your own jumper by adding your chosen colours and stitch pattern.

The videos were great and made the idea of knitting a jumper less daunting. Along with the videos 

there are notes which you can download, with all the calculations and space to note down your own.

Here's a link to the blog were the videos are posted. The bottom link is for lesson 2, which for 

some reason isn't with the others.
You can download the PDF for each lesson in the blog post.

Lessons 1, 3-7

Lesson 2

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Fiber Factor Review - Challenge 4

Due to lack of time I’ve decided to just show the winners from the previous challenges. Trying to go through all of them was very time consuming, not just because of these boys running around me but also because of this swollen pinky finger that refuses to return to its normal size. This is my fourth day without knitting or crochet and I’m itching to back to work.
So here they are, the designs from Challenge 4 – Express Yourself. The contestants were given the addi Express Knitting Machine to make their designs, though they could also use hand knitting. I'm writing these comments before watching the judging video as I don’t want to be influenced by the judges. I will add additional comment after watching the video.
Tracy Purtsher – Claudette

What first got my attention about this was the colour, I really love this green. The belt and the colours used are a really nice touch. The ribbing effect on the sleeves and aroud the shoulders and collar also adds to its appeal. I’m little concerned by the shaping below the belt, it doesn’t seem to sit evenly, but this may look completely diffent when sitting on an actual moving body.
Terri Rosenthal – Queen Ann Bomber
Though not something I would wear, I do like this design. The colours work well, though I would have prefered a different combination. I prefer the jacket in the second picture where its opened. Its hard to tell how the sleeve is supposed to look without someone wearing it, hopefully in the judging video I’ll get to see this.
Talitha Kuomi – Buzzz

Overall I can’t say I like this, again it would be easier to judge if I were to see it on a person. I do like the colour and the detailing on the sleeve. It’s just the shaping of the neckline that im not sure about.
Steve MaY – Trans express Europe


I was looking forward to seeing this after watching Steve’s progress video. He talked about using the machine to an i-cord and then using this to make his garment. I have to say that I am vey impressed. The roping is really interesting  and the pop of colour at the back makes it stand out. I would love something like this and may even make something similar myself for next summer.
Rachel Henry – Prinsecc Ozmas Twirling Skirt


 This is my least favourite of all the designs, not only for the colour combination but the general look of the skirt. I’m not a fan of pointy hemline, but even with a straight one I probably still wouldn’t have liked it. The skirt is something that I think would appeal to a young girl.
Natalie Larson – Shades of Grey
This is another that I’m not fond of, the main colour is fine but the contrasting colour and the motif its worked in, arent working for me. I do I like the back and think that a smaller motif at the fron would have been better.
Meghan Navoy – Emma Oversized Sweater T
In terms of the colour combinations, I like this. In terms of the shape and style, I’m not so sure. What bugs me are the sleeves, and as with Terri and Talitha’s designs, I can’t really judge it without see someone wearing it.
Lauren Riker – Fall Frolic

When I saw this I thought, “Another girlie design from Lauren”. Overall I like it though I wouldn’t wear it (mayber the top on it’s own).  I don’t thin the bag is necessary, and makes everything look too matching. The frilled detailing along the top also makes it look geared more towards a little girl. If it was bigger, say like a weekend bag, I would have liked it.
Katie Rempe – Lazy Sundays

Another one I’m not sure of. From the back it looks fine, but the front (to me) makes it hard to imagine what it would look like when worn. Hopefully it will be worn in the judging video.
John Ravet – Bainbridge

I do like this. The colours are perfect and the plaid like detailing at the front gives it that little bit extra. This is the type of thing that I’d like to make for my husband, I'd even wear it myself. I can see this in mens clothes stores and being worn on the catwalk. I can see many men and women wearing this.
Jody Gordon Lucas – Tout de Suite
I like the general concept, but not the colours. If the main colour had been darker maybe, like a terracotta. The style of the sleeves are not my cup of tea, but they do work with the overall concept. I would have liked more deatailing on the front, as when I look at this I think I’m looking at the back, just something maybe along the waistline or collar to make it standout.
Jennette Cross – Haunt and Fade

I’m not sure. I like the coloursand the general look but theres something about this swaeter that’s causing me to stay on the fence. I may feel differently after watching the video.
My top three, starting with my favourite are:  John Ravet, Steve May, and Terry Rosenthal
Now that Iv’e seen the Judging video, here are my additional comments. Plus the winner.
Jody Gordon Lucas – Tout de Suite
It does look very good on, but I would like to see something on the front. She also made a sleeveless version, but Iike the sleeved one more.
Katie Rempe – Lazy Sundays
After watching the video, I’m still not fond of this. I like that it can be worn by any one of any size and then tied and folded in order to fit. But on a smaller person this means that the leg looks very baggy, even though the bottom of the trouser can be folded and buttoned to make it tighter.
Rachel Henry – Prinsecc Ozmas Twirling Skirt
The skirt IS for girl, so I don’t mind it so much. If it had been for an adult I don’t think it would have worked at all.
The Winner Is
Lauren Riker- Fall Frolic
Though not one of my top three, I can see why she wone in terms of the use of the addi Express.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Oh My Poor Pinky

I would have liked to have posted the review for The Fiber Factor Challenge 2 by now but alas I've inured my left pinky finger. It's swollen, particularly at the secong joint (if tfats what you call it). I went to the GP who said it could be tissue swelling, but sent me for an X-ray just incase.
I can use my hand but its very uncomfortable. I can't even knit or crochet, so crafting is on hold. 
Tomorrow I'll have to try my best to cook (oxtail stew), I took ill just bung most of the ingredients in the food processor and use the dishwasher as even hot and cold water make it feel worse. Boo Hoo. 

Friday, 6 September 2013


I'm currently running a sale on Etsy, MISI, and Craftsy, with 25% off everything. I want to do the same on Ravelry but need to sort some technical issue first. This sale will run until the 30th of September. There will then be 10% off your next purchase valid from the 1st of October. Happy shopping.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Fiber Factor Review

I know, I know, The Fiber Factor has been up and running for sometime. The contestant have completed challenge four and we watchers are waiting to see what they've come up with.

I caught up with all the challenges a couple of weeks ago and recently decided to write about my thoughts. I thought that it would be weird (at least for me me anyway) to start a review in challenge four, so I'll do a quick review of Challenges 1-3 before the makes from challenge four are revealed. 

Now I say review but what I really mean is my thoughts on the contestants work and a recap on what some of the judges have said and weather I agree with them. I'm not a knitting expert, and I have nowhere near the talent that these contestants have, so my review won't be a critique but merely me just saying what I like/dislike about each item.

So far I've been amazed by what they have produced, especially within the time frame given. I would love to be able to swatch along with the challenges, maybe the next series......or the one after that.

Check out what's been happening so far at The Fiber Factor

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Meet Elise

I have finished Elise, apart from needing to be blocked to smooth out the bottom edging, she is ready and rearing to go.

                                                       Elise gilet by Mrs U Makes.

I initially used a clasp to close the front, but it was small and didn't complement the piece.

Then I remembered that I had a silver button left over from the Christmas presents I made for my sisters. I think this looks a lot better.

Now I just have to write up the pattern. I've done a little but need some serious quiet time to be able to sit and get on with it without little hands interrupting me.  I also have to take a great picture, either modelled by yours truly or I may ask one of my sisters.

In other news, I've already casted on for the Madison poncho designed by Martin Storey of Rowen. I'm also preparing to start another project, a ruana. Check out my 'Ruana Inspiration' board on Pinterest.