Today we’re welcoming Leanne who blogs at she can quilt. Leanne shares her quilts and lately the bird nest at her front door on her blog. One of her most popular tutorials is her video showing how to sew curves without pins which you can find here. She also has a wide range of other tutorials, techniques, and quilt alongs, so you’re sure to find something great on her blog. Leanne is also the host of the 2013 Finish-a-Long, which is taking place now. I really enjoy all the amazing work Leanne does!
Thank you to Jennie and Clara for inviting me to share my hand work with your. When it comes to working by hand, I turn to my knitting. I learned to knit and to sew as a young child and I love them both. When my own kids were very young, I found that the only craft that I could consistently make time for and enjoy was knitting. I am, in fact, only a very recent quilter.
I always carry a knitting project in my bag, and if the project is not easy to remember, I carry a copy of the pattern too. I knit when I am waiting in lines, when I am waiting for teenagers, when I am waiting for my turn at an appointment, as a passenger in a car, on airplanes, or during other down times. Knitting is easy to do and also carry on a conversation or listen, so I knit at coffee with friends, often when visiting friends and family, while listening to speakers, and sometimes even during movies if it is not too dark. It is a perfect activity for the beach or sitting outside enjoying the summer.
When Jennie said that the hand work project for this post ought to be something finished, I realized that she and I have a different view of what hand work is about. For me it is the process, it is a chance to relax and be distracted by the colours and pattern I am working with, and to have some fun while I would otherwise be sitting with nothing to do. My knitting is always in progress, as soon as one project ends, I start another.
Also for me, since my knitting is to fill these down time spaces or just bring a little calm or fun to my day, there is seldom a deadline on the project. So today I am showing you the project that is in my purse. It is a scarf that has two interesting but simple design elements.
First the scarf is reversible – that is, it looks the same on both sides, which is not always the case with knitting. This is achieved by knitting a rib – knit 1, purl 1, on both sides. The rib pulls the stitches together and so it looks the same on both sides, but you can see in the picture above how it looks when you stretch it out. It is also stretchy and feels a bit thicker and warmer when you wear it.
Secondly this scarf is striped by the two different balls of Noro yarn, which is a beautiful designer yarn from Japan. I work two rows with one yarn and then change to the other ball of yarn and repeat. Leave the old yarn dangling, rib (k1, p1) for two rows and when you get back to the first yarn pick it up and use it for two rows while you leave the other one dangling, and repeat. The different colours in this luscious yarn makes a beautiful and unexpected stripe pattern. I will knit the scarf until it is long enough and then cast off. This kind of knitting pattern has been around forever, I know my Grandmother made scarfs like this. It has, in recent years, been often seen being made by internet knitters.
I have included some pictures of a couple of the shawls I have made with this same “always carry some knitting in my purse” approach. The shawl pattern (both shawls here are the same pattern) is called Ishbel by Ysolda and you can buy it here. I wear these all the time, with both my jeans and my work outfits. I also make a lot of hats, as I like to give them to my kids, nieces and nephews for Christmas.
I hope you all enjoy hand work this summer and if anyone is knitting, please share your projects with me. Knitting always makes me smile.