Bounce Blanket

 

Bounce Blanket Close Up
Bounce Blanket in the Sunshine

 

Ok so we all know I have a weakness for the fabulous patterns from Tin Can Knits so I was super excited when news of a new arrival gave me an excuse to finally cast on the Bounce Blanket which I had been hankering to make for a while.

I ordered the full kit from Rainbow Heirloom and I am completely thrilled that I did, the superwash merino wool in the kit is gorgeous to work with. From the moment I cast on until the moment I cast off I enjoyed knitting this yarn so much – no one around me could really understand my raptures (must spent more time with fellow knitters) – it’s an absolute joy to knit and the colours are fabulous, slightly variegated and they look stunning in the finished product if I say so myself. It’s also handy to have smaller skeins of the stripe yarns so you don’t end up with too many left overs.

In typical me fashion I didn’t bother swatching or gauging really – am aware I need to work on this – but it’s a blanket, whatever size it comes up will be grand and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

The pattern is pretty straight forward and I absolutely love how it looks – no amendments required, the ladies at TCK know exactly what they are doing. You can pick your own gradation of colours (google is great for inspiration) but I really don’t think you can go that wrong however you choose to order them.

I knitted the sunshine and storms colourway which I think is beaut. I didn’t actually use all the colours in the pack as, for me, the brighter yellows looked a bit incongruous but I truly agonised over this decision and am sure for lots of people they are a perfect contrast. I did also end up ripping back every so often when I wasn’t happy with the colour order I’d knitted but honestly the yarn was so lovely to work with I didn’t mind!

Sunshine and Storms
Sunshine and Storms

The lace pattern did take a little concentration at the beginning but once you’re underway it’s a pretty quick knit and the wiggles are really good fun without much extra effort.

I have ended up with a few bits of yarn left over which I’m enjoying making into little hats and things and yes, I definitely do need to block this one so the lace is more apparent but I haven’t quite got there yet…

Helpful Information

Pattern – Bounce Blanket from Tin Can Knits
Modifications – none!
Sewing in the ends – use your favourite method, mine is this one from Tin Can Knits (obviously)
Difficulty level – intermediate given it involves some lace work but it’s really not too much of a challenge, if you’re a pretty confident beginner give it a whirl!
Recommend? – Definitely yes!

Materials

Needles – 4.5mm circular needles – I used Addi turbo circulars as ever I like the weight distribution of circular needles when working on a larger project, it’s much more comfortable for me than working on straights
Yarn – Rainbow Heirloom’s Sweater Yarn – you can get everything you need as a kit here

Bounce Blanket

Advertisements

Hue Shift Afghan

This was meant to be a quick project to keep me happy over the Christmas break. Turns out I overestimated my knitting speed and it’s kept me happy for December, January, February, March, April (spent a bit of time waiting for extra wool here) and then final bits of seaming in May! BUT the Hue Shift Afghan from KnitPicks has been totally worth the wait, it’s fabulous!

20180505_104407
The finished product – Knit Picks Hue Shift Afghan

The pattern itself is simple, it’s a patchwork that knits each square onto the last to minimise tedious sewing up (there is still some, don’t get too excited!). Each square is garter stitch with a central decrease that creates diagonals to add a bit of interest and in a great set of colours that look insane as you knit and work beautifully when all put together.

I bought the whole kit from KnitPicks (currently not available but you can still get the pattern here and then could make it with a yarn of your choice) and although I wasn’t super impressed with the quality of yarn for the price (about £25 total) it was fine. The yarn had a few flaws (knot joins here and there (see pic below) and irregular thickness in places) but not enough to affect the overall quality of the finished blanket. On the plus side it’s really not expensive at £1.79 a ball, it’s nice enough to knit with and the colours were great.

20180408_114259.jpg
Knot in yarn right at the beginning of the ball – not a huge problem to cut it out but did find this sort of thing a few times

I did run out of a few colours which a few folk had warned about online – and to be fair I didn’t check gauge at all so this is more my fault than the pattern! – but if you are a haphazard knitter who ignores gauge like myself beware this might well trip you up. KnitPicks seem to ship everything from the US so expect to wait a few days to receive new wool and it does mean postage is more expensive than the usual.

As you’ve knitted the sections in quarters you don’t have to spend hours sewing squares together but you do still have to join up the four quarters – I used this video here to teach me how to get a neat enough join for each. Took me a while to get it right but definitely worth the perseverance. There are still quite a lot of ends to sew in but it’s not as bad as having to do all the seaming at the end in my humble opinion. My favourite end weaving in method is this one from Tin Can Knits.

Overall it’s definitely one of the best things I’ve ever knitted and I’m really, really pleased with it and, for £35ish (including second wool delivery), it’s a bargain!

So, once again, here’s the finished product! Hurrah!

20180503_20325120180505_104407

Helpful Information

Pattern – Hue Shift Afghan from KnitPicks
Modifications – none! The pattern says it all!
Seaming – I used this video from VeryPink Knits for neat seaming advice to sew the quarters together. It’s super important you take the time to line these up properly to make sure the hue shift effect works. It might take a few attempts but it’s worth it in the end!
Sewing in the ends – use your favourite method, mine is this one from Tin Can Knits
Difficulty level – intermediate probably due to the decrease method and the stitch pick ups for each square and the borders and the difficult of getting neat seams
Recommend? – 100% yes!

Materials

Needles – 3.75mm circular needles – I used Addi turbo circulars in 20cm for the squares and 80cm for the borders. I think this project is definitely easier on circulars than straights
Yarn – Brava Sport Yarn from KnitPicks in Celestial; Marina; Tranquil; Alfalfa; Canary; Caution; Orange; Red; Rouge; Fairy Tale and Black.

 

 

Epic Fly Away Blanket

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3c6a

Epic knits. It’s always best to actually plan them but sometimes, they just happen. This was meant to be a beautiful knit, a fun knit, a useful knit, a learning-to-seam knit. It wasn’t meant to be epic but it accidentally turned out that way.

With a wee niece on the way, I wanted to knit a baby blanket and spent a lot of time on Ravelry pouring over patterns and projects.  I’d previously knitted the Treetops Baby Blanket and the Honeycomb Stroller Blanket with great success but I wanted to try something different for my niece. Enter the Tin Can Knits Fly Away Blanket.

This pattern was perfect for a good few reasons. First, I’ve always admired Tin Can Knits as designers for their great sizing, general aesthetic and the sheer fun of their designs. The Fly Away blanket is great fun but it also takes inspiration from quilting and I really liked that. Since it’s knitted in squares, it’s also totally different from any of the blankets I’ve knitted before so I thought it would be a bit of a new challenge. And finally, I saw undone57’s Prism blanket and I couldn’t think about anything else. I just had to knit it.

Yarn wise, I went for Stylecraft Special DK and followed the colour scheme given by undone57. I knew the blanket would need to be acrylic to make it practical but since I don’t tend to knit with acrylic, I wasn’t sure what yarn to choose. So I took my mum’s advice! Sound advice it turned out to be, the yarn is soft to the touch and was good to knit with. The massive range of colours also really helped!

Following undone57’s modifications, I knitted each square to 40 stitches, changed colour and then decreased. What I’d vastly underestimated was the amount of time it would take me to knit all the squares! For months, I’d show up all over the place with half finished squares – friends houses, coffee shops, ferries. There really wasn’t anywhere I didn’t knit this!

Knitting the squares was one thing, seaming them altogether was quite another! I hate seaming. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t hate seaming. I’d really hoped this project would make me like seaming. It didn’t! I am definitely much better and faster at it  but that was A LOT of seaming. I’d be happier now taking on other projects where seaming is required but there’s still a way to go before I could say I enjoy it.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3c93
The good, the bad and the plain ugly of seaming!

I wove in the ends as I seamed and by jove, that was a lot of ends! To finish the blanket, I did an applied i-cord edge, a new technique to me, but pretty easy to do and made for a great finish.

The elephant in the room? How epic this became! I hadn’t fully read the original pattern so I hadn’t realised that undone57’s blanket was much bigger (48 smaller squares instead of the original 16 bigger squares)! It took way longer than I thought to knit and then even longer to seam. I do still absolutely love what I’ve knitted and I wouldn’t change it at all but I do think I’ve lost some of the practicality of it as a blanket for a baby. She’ll get more use out of it when she’s older?!

I also just wanted to give a huge thank you to Laura (undone57) for putting her project and modifications on Ravelry. I would never have had the imagination to come up with something so beautiful and I’m immensely grateful to everybody who takes such great notes and so generously shares them. Knitters are the best people.

Helpful Information

Pattern – Fly Away Blanket by Tin Can Knits
Modifications – I fell in love, hard, with this version by undone57 and followed her modifications with a roughly similar colour scheme. I used DK yarn as specified in the original pattern but knitted to 40 stitches on the squares and used the applied i-cord edging (following undone57). I also didn’t weave in my ends as I went and instead, just sewed them in at the end.
Seaming 101 – Tin Can Knits put out fantastic resources with their patterns and the video on this page about seaming totally sorted me out.
Applied i-cord advice – I’d never done this before so I drew heavily on the instructions on Purl Soho and Interweave (with a good bit of bodging also!). To learn how to graft the ends of the i-cord together, I followed this video by YYC knits and for help turning the corners, this post by Mason Dixon knitting was invaluable.

Materials

Needles – I used a 4.5mm circular Addi needle bought from Jamieson’s in Lerwick. No reason for the circular, it’s just what I had to hand.
Yarn – Stylecraft Special DK purchased from Wool Warehouse. The colours I used were: 1005 (cream); 1263 (citron); 1821 (grass green); 1826 (kelly green); 1725 (sage); 1062 (teal); 1019 (cloud blue); 1068 (turquoise); 1117 (royal blue); 1188 (lavender); 1123 (claret); 1246 (lipstick); 1132 (shrimp); and 1203 (silver). They come in 100g balls and I did use 2 balls of the cream but otherwise, just used wee bits of the other colours.

Quick photo note – I’m sorry they’re rubbish! Trying to take pictures in December in Scotland with an ancient iPhone does not go well. With Spring, there should be improvements!

Stash Busting

I’m still ploughing through trying to use up wool from my stash and racing to complete the mammoth (and hugely enjoyable) project that is the Hue Shit Afghan. An update is overdue and the Shetlander’s amazing posts have inspired me so here’s what I’ve been working on the last couple of months…

  1. The amazing Knit Picks Hue Shift Afghan
    22580534_489070121465658_8182082006490808320_n
    Hue Shift Afghan 1st quarter

    I am completely loving knitting this. It requires enough concentration that it’s fun to knit but is simple enough that you can happily watch TV, chat, knit on the tube. Pretty ideal. Although the first few squares look a bit nuts (really crazy colour combinations) when you can start to see the colour changes it’s super exciting and looks awesome. I’m on the final quarter now and can’t wait to sew it all together although, despite knitting each square onto the one previous, there are still quite a lot of ends to weave in….sigh.

    November/December after a three month reprieve from knitting Christmas decorations I got back on it. I can’t help it, they are just so jolly! Also great way to use up scrag ends of yarns.

    Christmas Decorations - Knits from a Small Island
    Bowl of Baubles
  2. On-going stash busting. This took precedent for a while because I wanted to get something half the way round the world to accompany friends on a pretty epic journey. In October the incredible Emily and Sam set off on their amazing Two By Bamboo adventure. You can read all about the journey here. They have made their own Bamboo bicycles and are now cycling 10,000km from the bottom of South America to the top. I know. Wow, total heroes. I wanted to send them something small and, hopefully, useful. In the end I settled on Shetland wool headbands they can wear to keep their ears warm under their helmets, a beanie hat and the Bon Bon mits to keep Emily’s hands warm. I managed to finish just in time to get them to the adventurers before they set off, hurrah!Two By Bamboo

Now back to the Afghan…