I Still Knit!

SIX weeks! I haven’t talked about knitting for SIX weeks. There were posts about crocheting, sewing, cooking and even spinning but none on my actual knitting. I do admit that I lost my knitting mojo when I became very preoccupied with family and being sick. I didn’t have the brain space to be working on what’s on my needles.

What is on my needles, I hear you ask. Well, it’s an intricate lace scarf I’m knitting for a friend in Singapore who lost her young husband last November to cancer. She wanted to commission a scarf from me and I refused, only allowing her to pay for the Malabrigo lace yarn. We agreed that she can make some handmade jewellery for me in return for my time.
Muir Scarf WIP

Marina and I used to dream of starting our own company together, her jewellery making and my t-shirt screen printing. We got started with the business, Annabeau, sold once at the markets in Singapore and then life took over. Her then fiance got really ill, I moved on to Australia and Annabeau just fizzed out.

I don’t screen print anymore. My brother, Salihin, was much better at it then I was. He taught me what he knew but he had the patience for it, not me. Sometimes you just got to know when to quit and now I’ve moved on to other things that I feel connect better to my true self.

I picked the Muir pattern and lace-weight yarn because I feel that the lace and openness of the knit is more suitable for the hot and humid Singapore weather. You only need a light scarf or shawl in the sub-zero malls and public transport. Don’t really need anything too thick and bulky. The pattern knits up slowly. Lace just slows me down but I’ll persevere through my brain fog. I do not like to break my promise and the scarf is looking good. I can finally see some progress!

On a less sombre note, I was delighted to walk into a doctor’s waiting room the other day and saw a basket full of knitting, with a sign “Wrap With Love“. What a joy to see other knitters doing their share of charity knitting together in a public place. Strangers from all walks of life would have added a few rows of garter stitch to the blankets, which would end up all over the world to keep someone warm.
Wrap with Love

Naturally I picked up a pair of needles and added a few rows of my own. 🙂 Happy days!
Knitting for Charity

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

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Detailed Modifications to the Bow-knot Wisp

This is a continuation from the Knitted Bow-knot Wisp scarf blog post. Below are the detailed mofications to the Wisp shawl pattern from Knitty.

Bow-knot Wisp

Pattern: Wisp (free pattern)
Yarn: 75g Target Mardi Gras 8ply (96% acrylic, 4% metallic thread) in 3 colours
Needles: 7mm and US 6/4mm needles
Mods: Details below

With 7mm needles, CO 46 sts in the first colour yarn

Row1-4: Knit all
Row 5-14: K4, [YO, K2tog] rep to last 4 sts, K4
Row 15-18: Knit all

Change to a different yarn colour and repeat these 18 rows 9 more times

Moss Stitch Bow-Knot

To make slot, I used a pair of 4mm needles and a stitch holder.

Divide sts equally onto one 4mm needle and stitch holder, alternating one st on needle and next st on stitch holder. You should have 23 sts on needle and 23 sts on stitch holder.

Knitting sts on needle first and using the next colour yarn, work in moss st for 2″.

Moss st: K1, [P1, K1] rep to end
Repeat row

Cut yarn.

Slip sts from stitch holder onto one 4mm needle. Slip the stitches that you have just worked in moss st onto the stitch holder.

Using the same colour yarn, knit the sts on needle in moss st for 2″. Cut yarn.

Transfer sts from stitch holder to one 4mm needle.

Using the next colour yarn and 7mm needles, knit from each 4mm needle, alternating between the two.

Continue pattern of 18 rows 3 more times.

BO loosely. Weave in ends.

Related Posts:
Knitted Bow-knot Wisp Scarf
Yarn Stash Explosion

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Knitted Bow-knot Wisp Scarf

Do you remember the yarn stash explosion and how I’m knitting Rosemary a Wisp shawl? Well, it didn’t turn out quite as planned. The “shawl” was more like a wide scarf and since it was knitted in acrylic, I couldn’t block it to make it wider. I could have kept knitting and just gave her a normal scarf but I don’t think she would like it. I’ve never seen her wear a scarf but she wore a Fourteen neckwarmer last year. She likes the cold and doesn’t like anything fussy around her neck.

So I had to come up with an alternative very quickly. I was going to see her the next day! Coincidentally, Oiyi blogged about the bow-knot scarves she’s made and I had an AHA moment. Bow-knot Wisp!

Bow-knot Wisp

Instead of having a ribbed “knot”, I knitted it in a moss stitch.

Moss Stitch Bow-Knot

I was still anxious about giving the knitted scarf to her. What if she hates it? “There’s nothing more you can do now”, I consoled myself. She came over the next day in a bright pink top and her purple watch. So far, I was spot on with the colours she normally wears. I gave her the scarf and she wasn’t too sure about it. She smiled and thanked me, saying the scarf is pretty. The uncertainty was still there.

We went to the beach after lunch and she agreed to let me take photos of her wearing it. It was such a beautiful Autumn day and the metallic threads in the lacy scarf caught the sunlight and sparkled.

Rosemary Wearing Bow-knot Wisp

Rosemary Wearing Bow-knot Wisp

Rosemary volunteered to take photos of me wearing the scarf. The scarf matched both our tops beautifully.

Salihan Wearing Bow-knot Wisp

Salihan Wearing Bow-knot Wisp

She looked carefully at the Bow-knot Wisp around my neck. “It’s pretty”, she said, “now that I can see it better”. “It’s sparkly too”, she went on. You cannot imagine how relieved I felt when she said all that. She also appreciated that the scarf stays put and doesn’t move around like a regular scarf. Phew!

We went to the club after the photo taking, where she treated me to cakes and tea. Let me be more specific. She shouted me THREE slices of cake! I protested but she insisted that the two of us can easily finish THREE slices of cake. Nope. I could only finish two halves. Haha… Boy, were we full after that!

Rosemary @ The Mantra

In my next blog post, I will write up the knitting pattern for the Bow-knot Wisp. Have a lovely week and I’ll see you soon!

Related Posts:
Detailed Modifications to the Bow-knot Wisp
Yarn Stash Explosion

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How to Block a Scarf You Can Be Proud Of

Let’s start with why you should block your knitting. “The Knitting Answer Book” by Margaret Redcliffe summarises it into five reasons:

  1. Reduce curling, straighten edges and make sewing up easier.
  2. Get rid of slight variations in length or width between two pieces that should match.
  3. Open out a fabric, such as lace, to show off the patterning.
  4. Smooth the surface of the knitting and make the stitches more even.
  5. Adjust the shape of the finished garment or reshape it after washing.

You can see how this is demonstrated in my before and after photos of the my Asherton Reversible scarf below.

Before & After
Knitted Asherton Scarf WIPAsherton Reversible Scarf

There are many ways to block knitting depending on the item you’re blocking and what yarn you use. The most common ways are misting, steaming and wet blocking. The method below is wet blocking. I’m by no means an expert but I have successfully blocked several knitted wool scarves and shawls this way. I hope this tutorial helps beginner knitters overcome the fear of blocking and guide them through the procedure . It really isn’t that hard! 🙂

HOW TO BLOCK A KNITTED SCARF

You’ll need wool detergent, a sink, washing machine, pillow case, a large flat surface like a bed and rust-proof pins.

1. Wash
Fill tub or sink with warm water and add a little wool detergent. (Check the bottle label for exact measurement.) Soak scarf in warm soapy water for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, roll the scarf gently while still in the water and pick it up in your hand. Make sure to support it well. Place aside.
Soaking Knitted ScarfHandling

2. Rinse
Empty tub and refill with lukewarm water. Place scarf back into the water and unroll. Swoosh the scarf around lightly in the water.
Rinse Knitted Scarf

3. Spin
Get your pillowcase ready. Roll the scarf underwater and pick it up in your hands. Squeeze as much water out as possible. Place rolled-up scarf into a corner of the pillowcase (I use a bolster case). Tie a knot so that the scarf is squashed into the corner and will not move around. Set washing machine into spin cycle. Spin on fast speed.
Place Knitted Scarf in PillowcaseSpin Knitted Scarf in PillowcaseSpin Cycle

4. Blocking
Carry the pillowcase to a large flat surface like a clean bed. Take the scarf out and unroll it onto the bed. Carefully stretch the wet knitted scarf out onto the bed to about the width and length that you want. You may wish to stop at this point if you are satisfied with the way it looks and leave the scarf to dry completely.
Wet Knitted Scarf

However, you may need to pin the knitted scarf in place to really show the pattern and get the right size. This is especially so in lace knitting. Using rust-proof or dressmakers’ pins, pin along the edges of the damp scarf. Use as many pins as needed to keep the edges straight and even. Dry the scarf completely before removing pins. You have successfully blocked a scarf!
Blocking Knitted Scarf

Related posts:
Asherton Reversible Scarf
A Tale of a Bad Yarn Shop Experience

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Asherton Reversible Scarf

I have finished knitting the Asherton Reversible Scarf which is meant to be Richard’s 32nd birthday present. It’s 3 months early but just in time for the start of autumn. I can’t believe it’s March already! Although this scarf started with a bad yarn shop experience and two pattern changes, it ended beautifully. I absolutely adore the Sublime yarn and the knitting pattern was so easy that at some point, I knitted this on the train – with my eyes closed!

Asherton Reversible Scarf

I can’t go on enough about how much I’m in love with this scarf. The whole knitting experience was the best I’ve ever had. The Sublime yarn is now my favourite yarn to knit with. It just glides off my knitting needles and I do not have to compromise price for stitch definition and softness either. Malabrigo yarn is a close second but it’s not as good for patterns with strong stitch definitions. It’s pure Merino wool composition makes the Malabrigo yarn a little fuzzy with wear.

Richard Wearing Asherton Reversible Scarf

Pattern: Asherton Reversible Scarf by Smariek
Yarn: Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK
Needles: 4mm
Mod: None

Richard Wearing Asherton Reversible Scarf

On a side note, Richard and I walked nearly two hours on the Box Head Track through Bouddi National Park to this vantage point. It was a hot summer’s day but Richard put up with the warm scarf around his neck to take these photos. Thanks darl! 😛

In my next blog post, I am going to talk about how I blocked the Asherton Reversible scarf. A friend, who is knitting the same scarf, has finally moved on from knitting ribbed acrylic scarves to something a little bit more advanced in pure wool. She has never blocked before and she is a little worried about it. I thought I would help her out.

If you don’t want to miss the next blog post on How to Block a Scarf, get automatic blog updates from Salihan Crafts via email or RSS.

Related Posts:
A Tale of a Bad Yarn Shop Experience
How to Block a Scarf You Can Be Proud Of

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