hand knitted orange and pink scarf by sally ridgway designs

Whats on my needles this winter

Whats on my needles this winter?

I often show some of my very basic sample knits at events when I am asked about what to do with my hand dyed yarns and people will say things like, ooh that’s beautiful, I could never knit like that ... Well here’s what happens behind the scenes with my knitting! 

Hand dyed yarn selection by sally ridgway at the Campbell Town Show 2019

Over the last few autumn months, like most people we’ve all been getting back to basics and I’m no exception to that rule.  

I’ve settled nicely into a little routine of knitting away the hours in the evenings and have been working on some more samples for my hand dyed and hand spun yarns.

One of the scarves I knitted, I ended up pulling completely undone and knitting the whole thing again using another pattern.

Why??  I can hear you asking already ... Well like a lot of people I am not the world’s best knitter, I can knit a decent simple scarf or beanie and fair attempt at a basic work jumper for the winter but that’s my knitting limit these days.  I am not and have never professed to be a prolific knitter, and least of all a pattern designer.

The pattern I settled on first was the Amplify Shawl by Felicia Lo.

Pretty simple and only had 2 stitches, garter, and k2YO.  Now how hard can you make something that easy?

Orange hand knitted shawl on hand dyed yarn by sally ridgway

I managed somehow to get 3 mistakes in the rotten thing, probably due to knitting in front of the tellie when I was half asleep in the evenings.  One was so mind blowing obvious I have no idea how I missed it and the other two were sticking out as plain as day when I stretched it out to have a good look before washing and blocking it.  

After throwing it and the pattern in the basket for a few days I decided that I really did need to sort it out so I decided to knit a Be Simple Scarf with a simple increase one side and decrease on the other edge. This idea lasted for about 20 rows of garter stitches before I decided to change things.

Orang hand knitted shawl by sally ridgway using hand dyed ayrn

So the next night I decided to mix things up a bit and add some interest by putting in a row on k2YO then a section of stocking stitch and another row of k2YO then back into a section of garter stitch.

This seemed to do two things, keep me awake and add a nice amount of interest to rather simple but very versatile scarf pattern. 

I managed to finish this one without any mistakes (Yippee) and I’m pretty happy with it now.  It had a little picot edge for the cast off row but because by then I was playing yarn chicken and running out of yarn rapidly on the longer rows. So I decided to do a simple stretchy cast off (which I have to look up every time) and be happy with my efforts. 






The moral and message here is.             

pile of multi coloured hand dyed yarn for sale by sally ridgway

You might not knit or crochet very often, or you might not know how to knit many stitches and you might be like me, years and years since you knitted anything. But it’s always better to try and yep, pull it undone and start again, than to never give it a go in the first place?

Another thing to remember is that all those people you see around you that have knitted lots of fantastic things all have a little secret!

They will do a test knit a few times before they jump into a big fancy project.  It’s true! most will test knit to learn the pattern repeats, handle or drape and knit swatches for needle gauge and all the boring stuff beforehand.  This way, when they start their main project they are very familiar with the pattern and how to interpret it and correct anything in it that is not quite right for them.

So there you have it, none of us are as good as we may seem, we all make mistakes and have to un pull our knitting and start all over again just like you do! And we all just practice, practice, and then sometimes, practice a little bit more.

Remember, knitting should be enjoyed, even when we un pull it and have to start all over again.

Be proud of your efforts, keep calm and carry on knitting!


Sally :)


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