The Eldenwood Craft Knitting Podcast - Episode 38, May 2022
I tried really hard this week to get the podcast in at around half an hour - I failed! But perhaps that was because I had lots to talk about. In this week's episode (you can watch it here) I had a couple of finished objects, some new knitting on the needles and I even delved in to book talk and what I'd been watching. Oh and I revealed the winner of the first quarter draw in the Make Nine Makealong (but you'll need to watch the episode to see who that was!).
Rose City Rollers
This is one of my most favourite sock patterns to knit. So much so that this pair is the sixth pair off the needles. They work so well in spring, summer and autumn and I've been known to have a pair on in winter too if it's not too cold a day. They are quick to knit, I really like the way they look on the foot and you have loads of yarn left over for another project or two at the end.
I knit this pair in a self striping yarn from Down Sheepy Lane (not currently dyeing yarn). The colourway is At the Return which must be a reference to something but my Googling skills have fallen short and I don't know what it is! Whatever the colourway is meant to refer to, they remind me of a lovely bunch of spring tulips and so were a perfect spring knit. The yarn came as a sock set with the main yarn being a 50g ball and the yellow used for the heels and toes was an accompanying 20g mini.
The pattern is by Mara Catherine Bryner and is a free pattern on Ravelry. It's a great pattern for beginner sock knitters because they knit up relatively quickly.
I also finished a new jumper just before recording the podcast. This is another free knitting pattern, this time from Tin Can Knits. If you've not knit a Tin Can Knits pattern before I can highly recommend them. They have an exceptional level of detail and tutorials and they are very beginner friendly.
This jumper is a basic raglan construction with very few frills and is rightly described as beginner friendly. I'll hold my hands up and admit that I didn't swatch which may explain my sleeve issue (see below). I knit it out of Drops Nord in the Dark Grey Mix colourway. This is a sport weight yarn (although is often put in the fingering weight bucket - it's a fine line but I always think of it as sport weight as you get 340m to 100g) and the pattern calls for fingering weight yarn. I knit the large size and I reasoned that with a slightly heavier yarn it was going to fit so swatching wasn't necessary and I'm glad to say it's a good fit.
The jumper is knit top down and the neckline has two options. You can either start straight into the rib the traditional way, or you can do as I did and start with the yoke and return at the end to knit the neck ribbing. I'd never done this before on a jumper and as it's supposed to give some more structure to the neckline I thought I'd give it a go. I don't mind the job of picking up stitches. I went a step further and turned the ribbing into a folded collar and it gives a really polished finish. Definitely a new favourite feature of mine.
I did face one problem and that was with the sleeves. I found that I only needed to knit about three quarters of the required decreases before I reached the point that the cuff ribbing should start. Had I continued with the decreases the sleeves would have finished at my knees (slight exaggeration but you get the idea). I checked and checked my measurements and couldn't see where I had gone wrong, but gone wrong I must have done (lack of swatch???). However it wasn't the end of the world. I decided to do a very rapid decrease of stitches and start knitting the cuff. This gave a slightly puffy sleeve but not too much. I think it looks fine and wears well.
The hem and the sleeve cuffs were cast off using the Italian bind off. It's my go to bind off for sweaters. Yes it takes quite a while and you need quite a bit of yarn which can get a bit unwieldy, but it creates a beautiful stretchy and neat edge and I think it's worth the extra time.
I now need to find my next garment and I'm thinking it might be the Yume sweater by Isabell Kraemer.
Works in Progress
Hove Actually socks
As the knitting laws decree, as soon as a pair of socks comes off the needles, a new pair must be cast on and so here we have the Hove Actually socks. Knit in Giddy Yarns sock yarn in the Hove Actually colourway (based on beach huts along the seafront in Hove).
I'm knitting these socks as two tubes (knit concurrently), then I'll add in an afterthought heel using the heel from Kay Jones' Umbrella Socks pattern. And finally I'll pop a toe on the end and hey presto another pair of socks will be finished. At the time of writing these notes up I've knit quite a bit more on these socks than you can see in the video - about 20 colour bands on each sock. I didn't think they would be, but perhaps they'll be finished by the next podcast episode!
Bits and Bobs Blanket
And speaking of Kay Jones, I'm knitting another of her patterns, this time a blanket. Because it's blanket weather right?! I am completely obsessed with working on my Bits and Bobs Blanket. This blanket is all about the texture created by the stitch pattern. It's a bit like brioche, but a bit easier. Another beginner friendly pattern here! And - oh joy - there is no purling required. It creates the squishiest of all blankets and I will enjoy curling up underneath it when the weather turns cold.
The pattern calls for two yarns held together throughout. I'm using my favourite Drops Nord again, this time the Pearl Grey Mix colourway. And I am holding this with all the odds and ends and minis that I have been hoarding over the years. It's a brilliant stash buster, creates a beautiful softly marled and cohesive fabric despite all the colours being used, and it's finished off with an icord running round the edges. I know we say this a lot as knitters, but really, I like this pattern so much I can see many more of these in my future.
As well as a new sweater I have a project that I need to knit for a wedding coming up in October. I'm going to a family wedding overseas and to help manage the evening chill I'd like to make myself a large lace weight wrap - not too lacey though and something more on the modern than traditional side of the design fence. I had seen a couple of patterns on Ravelry but thought I would ask the audience and boy have the podcast viewers come up with some wonderful ideas, thank you. I need to go to several weddings to knit all the ones on my short list! I'm looking at using Isager Alpaca 1 yarn but need to find a dress first before I choose my colour. I'll keep you posted with how I get on and I'll share some of the options when I next record.
Whenever I have a book segment in my podcast I get lots of positive comments and you seem to enjoy the recommendations. So I'm going to keep this segment going because I'm really enjoying reading at the moment. I used to be a BIG reader before I both had my daughter and then discovered knitting. Both are big time sucks (in a very good way I hasten to add). But now that my daughter is off at university and I'm not out at work any more I have a bit more time and energy for reading and I'm enjoying escaping into new worlds every evening.
I've recently finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Many of you will at least be familiar with the concept of this book even if you haven't read it. I had done so many years ago but could only tell you that it was a dystopian novel and had something to do with the role of women in the new world. I had forgotten pretty much everything else about the book. And that really surprises me because it's a magnificent read. A challenging topic but one that is tackled incredibly well, with beautiful writing and it's one of those books that just makes you stop and think and has plenty of scope for reading in between the lines. I loved it and later this year will read the follow up book - The Testaments. I'm a bit worried for this one because how can it live up to the first book. I'll let you know what I think.
I'm now reading something a lot less challenging but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's Ken Follett's The Evening and the Morning and it's a prequel to his Kingsbridge trilogy. I had read all three books in the series over the last five years or so. They are basically about the birth of a cathedral, the people that built it and the community that lives in its shadows, with the odd foray into France and other places. The Kingsbridge books are easy reads (despite the 800 + pages in each book) but the author tells a story and presents his characters well. And so I find myself having read the first hundred pages or so of his newly published prequel and it's just as enjoyable as the first three books.
Finally I previewed the new project bag collections coming to my shop in May. I'll be sharing more about these over the next couple of weeks on Instagram, in my journal here on the website, and in my newsletter (sign up here) so keep an eye out in these places if you want to see more. If I may say so, I'm rather pleased with these two new collections!
I hope to record again soon so until the next episode, happy making x