Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

It’s time for, The Most Obnoxious Clapotis in the World. And it’s finished!

Clapotis - FO

Clapotis - FO

Clapotis - FO

In this post I just wanted to give some hints and tips for a few people thinking about starting their own Clapotis – as I promised I would. Mine is also a little different as I used only one skein of sockweight – to get a longer, skinnier scarf, rather than a stole – as per the pattern.

Clapotis - FO

Clapotis - FO

Before I give specifics on what I did for mine, I’ll go through some general info on how it works and what might be helpful for people to know before starting theirs.

Basic Info

The Clapotis is essentially a parallelogram. That means it’s like a square/rectangle that’s a bit wonky:

What does this mean in terms of knitting? Well the sections of a Clapotis are shown below:

Clapotis How-To

We start off with just 2 stitches on our needle – and go through a section of increases, which is where we make the Clapotis the overall width that we want it to be. Once the increases are done, we knit without increasing or decreasing the overall stitch count (knitting straight) for a long time. Then at the end, we decrease at the same rate we increased and we are done.

While “knitting straight”, although the overall stitch count doesn’t change, we do still use increases and decreases:

Clapotis How-To

To get the “slanty” edge, we increase one st at one end of every other row and decrease one at the other end on alternate rows. That ensures that the Clapotis grows in one direction and maintains the same width and angle that we use at the beginning in the increase sections – where we increase at one end on each row.

The colour changes in the photo above give away what direction the knitting happens in, while the increasing and decreasing of the straight sections takes place.

The other thing that’s important about getting the shape and size right, is how much yarn to use for the increases, straight section and decreases.

If you want to knit a stole-sized object, or a wider scarf, where the top and bottom edges are longer/wider than they would be on a scarf, where the end edges are proportionally much *smaller* than the long sides, you’ll need to use different percentages.

For a stole, people commonly use the rule of fifths. This means that out of the total weight of all your yarn, you use one fifth for increasing, one for decreasing and three fifths on your straight section. This keeps all your proportions right for a stole.

But what if you want a scarf, where you want it to be narrower, but longer? In my case, using one skein of sock yarn, I found the rule of tenths to work – one tenth for increasing, one for decreasing and the remaining eight tenths for the straight section.

Enough about proportions

The pattern itself is made up of a simple 6-stitch repeat knitted in 12-row sections. On the eighth row, you get the fun of dropping a stitch and watching it unravel all the way down.

The standard pattern uses just knit and ktbl stitches on the right side (along with the kfb increase) and on the wrong side, straight purling with a p2tog at the end of every row. This then means that you have to use loads of markers to identify where you’ll be dropping stitches later.

To save all the markers, I and a number of other people have changed the stitch pattern slightly. Instead of using markers to single out the dropped column, purl it on the RS and knit it on the WS. The gives you a line of reverse stockinette – that makes it really easy to see where you will drop a stitch later on.

You end up with this:

Clapotis How-To

The standard pattern asks you to ktbl the stitches either side of the ones you’re going to drop later. On the WS, it just asks you to purl them. In mine and other versions, you purl this stitch through the back loop – to keep it twisted on the RS. This makes for a neater edge as you can see in the pic above.

This makes the 6 stitch repeat as follows on the RS: k3, ktbl, p1, ktbl.
On the WS it is: ptbl, k1, ptbl, p3.

The above sequences don’t apply at each end – as there are differences because you have to increase or decrease. But if you start off by purling the stitch you are meant to be marking, on the RS, it starts to become obvious how the pattern develops.

So in summary:

  • Decide what size Clapotis you want to knit (scarf or stole/how much yarn do you have?)
  • Knit the appropriate amount of increases – in my case this meant knitting until I’d used up my first 10g – which amounted to 4.5 total increase sections – a total of 71 sts
  • Knit the body straight until you have a corresponding amount of yarn left – for me this was 24 repeats
  • Decrease at the same rate with which you increased
  • VOILA!
If you wish, you can make the following mods:
  • purl the stitch to be dropped on the RS, knitting it on the WS – this will enable you to forego the use of stitch markers
  • on the WS, purl through the back loops, the stitches that you ktbl on the RS – this will give you neater edges once you drop your stitches
You can find my Rav notes on the project here. Above all I just encourage people to have a go – if you begin to follow the pattern it soon becomes clear how it works and how to combine any changes you want to make.
For those that wanted a bit more info on how it works, I hope this makes sense and helps you a little bit πŸ™‚

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What do you think?

Clapotis - WIP

In my defence, this 75% complete garment is being knitted for an 11 year old girl who should love it. I am a bit charmed, I have to admit, by the wild colours, but could never wear it myself.

Full info will come when I’ve finished it – but it’s nice to be back in the habit of making, and posting things on a Monday!

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Making Progress

Let’s start off with some good news – my broken spindle that I blogged about here, came back! Fixed and beautiful and I’ll do piccies of it very soon.

I’ve finally been making some progress on my queue. The Hoody of Woolly Goodness is coming along in between other things. I have finished the top-secret sample mittens and will hopefully have some piccies soon. I have also now finished a hat!

Norie - FO

Norie from the Shetland Trader Book 1.

A Shetland hat in yarn from the Isle of Skye! The yarn as you might have noticed is some of the Shilasdair Luxury DK that I got as part of my anniversary present. Annoyingly, the skein only weight 90g instead of 100g which is rather annoying, but it was more than enough for my project.

Norie - FO


  • Did a cable cast-on using a crochet hook.
  • Knitted 70% of the hat on Saturday.
  • Finished hat weighs in total 60g.
  • A hat in a day! Woop!
  • Followed the pattern exactly as written – some people have taken out a repeat of the lace, but as I have a giant noggin, I wanted to leave it in.
  • I love how the lace does indeed look like little cat’s paws – the yarn is also gorgeous – very soft and warm but retaining a slightly rustic quality. Love it.

Nice to have another new hat for winter! Got lots more knitting to do, with scarves and all sorts coming up over the next few months I hope. I’m trying my best not to get horribly sucked in my Shetland Lace knitting – I love the intricacy and the beauty of it – I may get one or two books and investigate that a bit more. I love all of the history behind a lot of these sorts of knitting. It’s one of the reasons I love Victorian Lace Today so much, although I haven’t knitted anything from that yet. I’ll start with my Celes, which is Shetland inspired – a few more Shetland Trader patterns and take it from there.

I’m off to have another browse through Victorian Lace Today.

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I can’t believe I’ve had a whole nine days off and haven’t blogged once. Or even taken many photos!

It’s been a busy few days – we had our wedding anniversary and went out for a lovely meal out at our local italian restaurant. We’ve also been out to our favourite thai for lunch, eaten lots of pizza, fish and chips and more. It’s a good thing we don’t have a set of scales in the house as I’d be sobbing over the weight I’m sure I’ve put on!

But it’s been awesome – got good amounts of knitting done on the secret mittens (which are much further progressed than this):

Secret Mitten Sample

We also went to the cinema to watch Jane Eyre and I got a haircut! Not had it cut in at least two years and it’s still long-ish, but rather shorter. No pics yet, but hopefully soon.

I also received some lovely yarn from Trev for my anniversary. Some Shilasdair I’ve wanted for ages:

Four skeins of the 4 ply which will become Celes:

Shilasdair Luxury 4 Ply - Fleece Cloud

One skein of the DK which has already become a Norie hat – pics soon!:

Shilasdair Luxury DK - Summer Loch

Trev also bought me the most beautiful roses:

Anniversary Roses

Can’t believe we’ve now been married for nine years! We’re planning something special that we can do for ten years next year. It doesn’t half go quick πŸ™‚

Sorry for the drive-by post – hopefully with being back at work this week I’ll get back into good habits and blog a bit more!

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Making Socks

I finally finished what felt like a truly never-ending pair of socks. I started them at the beginning of August and finally cast on September 17. Took a little while to get around to taking photos, but at last here we are.

As a quick note, the actual yarn colour is somewhere between the 2 shades shown in the pics. Could not for the life of me get the colour captured properly. So you’ll have to do with my best attempts!

Pattern is 2luvcrew from last year’s KnitLoveClub and my Ravelry page can be found here.

2LuvCrew - FO

2LuvCrew - FO

Knitted the large size and came across no end of issues. I think a lot of the maths used just didn’t work out with the larger stitch count so a lot of fudging was necessary and my socks are slightly different in a few places as I didn’t make as extensive notes as perhaps I should.

Pretty sure the maths for the heel flap didn’t make sense – the initial instructions leave you with 38 stitches, but then the pattern begins to refer to you having 39. The heel turn numbers were not correct – I had to frog and redo with separate numbers (19 and 4 for my own notes). One of the charts was not right – had an additional decrease or stitch where there should not have been one, so a bit more fudging needed. Finally, there’s no allowance given to the extra length of the toe, if you decrease at the same rate as the smaller size. The toe should probably be started a half inch or so sooner than on the small size, as the foot ended up being too long and baggy (you’re decreasing from 88, not 66 sts, so a lot more rows involved!).

Despite that, I am pretty happy with how they’ve come out. I do like the little hearts pattern and like some of the little touches, such as the pattern into the heel transition:

2LuvCrew - FO

The yarn bled quite a lot on blocking, but the socks have retained their actual colour, which is a relief. First time I’ve used any Lorna’s Laces yarn and really enjoyed it!

Few notes for myself here:

  • Knitted 13 rows for cuff
  • 19 (4) for heel turn
  • Pick up 16 sts, knit and do 1st decs on next round
  • Start instep on row 2 of pattern – pick up sts
  • Row 3 of pattern – dec extra st
  • Decrease on: Row 4, 5, 7, 9, 10
  • Knit foot for 70 rows before starting toe (inc gusset decreases – 60 rows for plain foot knitting)
  • Decreased toe until 30 stitches all round – then grafted shut
  • Used 110g for both socks – got two tiny balls of leftovers

More pics!

2LuvCrew - FO

2LuvCrew - FO

2LuvCrew - FO

This may well be the last pair of socks I knit this year. I’ve managed six pairs now – and want to finish off some other projects I’ve had on the needles for a while. Nice to be making progress on things!

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I hate them. Who doesn’t? Sometimes they can be useful to maintain a sense of structure – other times they’re just a pain in the butt.

I have decided, that as useful as it has been to this point, the deadlines I’ve set myself for my Self-Imposed Sock Club are now making me feel anxious and paranoid about not finishing things on time. Particularly as the next three pairs of socks are meant to be knit in less than six weeks each!

So, once I’ve finished the current pair of socks, I’m going to call it a day. Not to say that I won’t knit any more socks this year, because I might! I’ve already wound the yarn for my next pair. But I have other things I want to knit, like the hoody and cardigan that have been in progress for many months now, or the laceweight cowl with the kidsilk I bought from Knit Nation. Or a funky pair of gloves for my baby sister.

What I don’t need is for knitting to feel like pressure on account of a self-imposed deadline.

But instead I will focus on what I have achieved – soon to be six pairs of socks finished this year – double what I knitted in 2010 and plenty to tide me over during the winter.

I will hopefully now be able to knock out a couple of sweater/cardigan projects that I have in my queue! I shudder to think what progress I could make on a sweater with the number of stitches knit into a pair of socks for my wide, long feet – but once I get used to using thicker needles again, hopefully things will just fly by.

For me this learning to say “no” to myself is a big step forward. Knitting is meant to be my hobby – the minute it starts to feel like a hassle it’s time to change something.

Bring on the change!

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Making Monday & Moving Forwards

A quick FO to share this Making Monday.

Sage Lace - FO

I finally finished the never-ending angora lace scarf!

Sage Lace - FO

Sage Lace - FO

Sage Lace - FO

I actually started this back in December last year and knitted a bit – then didn’t do anything on it for ages! It’s the New Shell Scarf by Jamiesons – and this time I cast on fewer stitches and used a larger needle – 4.5mm instead of 3.75mm. This has given me something much longer and lacier – the finished article is over 6 feet long despite weighing only 48g.

The cast off I did was: k1, \[k1, pass both stitches to left needle, k2tbl\], then repeat what’s inside the \[]. Gives a lovely stretchy edge that blocks out beautifully.

That’s it in terms of knitting – I’m finishing off the socks and doing lots of spinning – so hopefully more soon.

Onto the topic I mentioned last week – about the makings of a new job. On Thursday last week I was offered the job and on Friday I accepted it and handed in my notice! Been a tough decision to make – it’s technically a step down and is a little less money, but the stress and pressure will be less and I have the chance to make something good from it if things work out. Yes, perhaps not the best career move, but then I was never out for a career so it doesn’t worry me too much. As long as I have enough money to pay the bills and buy a bit of yarn, I’ll be happy.

The six-week count-down begins! I have six weeks to go and will start my new job on the 24th October πŸ™‚

To read the other Making Monday posts click here.

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