The Knitted Wolf Sweater

Wool Monkey Wolf Sweater

There is a printed pattern which has been sitting on the ‘must knit at some point’ pile on my desk for several years now.  It was given to me by one of my customers back when I had a shop.  She thought I might like it.   I do, I love it.  I’ve been waiting for a chance to knit it for quite some time.

Here it is, looking a little worse for wear as a glass of wine was knocked over onto it a few days ago, by an over-enthusiastic dog.

A couple of months ago I had to go into hospital for some day surgery and I knew that it was going to involve sitting doing nothing for many hours. The nurses had told me the week before that I was going to be last on the surgeon’s list for that day. I still had to turn up for 7am though, then sit there all day in my dressing gown,  awaiting my turn.  7 hours as it turned out.  I figured there was no point worrying about it, that I should treat it as an opportunity to use the time as best I could.  After all, no kids, no dog, nobody to talk to,  no disruptions.  I wasn’t even allowed to leave my chair other than to go to the toilet, which was only a couple of metres away and to be honest I didn’t need to go as I wasn’t allowed to drink.  Perfect opportunity to start a new project!

So, out came the pattern I had been saving for so long.  It felt like the right thing to do.  I had a good rummage in my yarn stash, got everything I needed together and then off I went for my day long wait. 

It’s surprising how much you can get done in 7 solid hours of knitting.   I got a good way up the back of the jumper! 

It normally takes me a while to knit anything for myself.  I usually have other projects to do, for other people or other purposes, which take priority over anything I knit for myself.  Plus, I don’t often knit during the day.  I only work part-time, but I have kids to look after, parents to keep an eye on, the dog to walk etc. etc.  Knitting in the daytime is usually a very guilty luxury.  What a terrible shame, (hint of sarcasm), that I wasn’t allowed to do anything much after my surgery.  I was told that I must rest and do nothing for at least a week. Then nothing strenuous for several more weeks.

No longer did I need to feel guilty for knitting in the daytime.  Sat on the sofa, under my favourite blanket with a cup of tea, the biscuit barrel, the tv remote and my knitting all within arms reach.  Ahhhhhh.   And relax…

It didn’t last long sadly.  The kids and my other half were only willing to wait on me for a brief period, so normal life quickly resumed.  I did enjoy my short-lived period of respite though. Guiltless pleasure!

I loved the design of this sweater, especially the stitch pattern.  It’s a lot easier than it looks.  It might look better with more contrasting colours than those I decided to use, but I still think it looks great. Helped I think by the fact that one of the yarns I choose was ever so slightly self-striping.

Anyway, despite having such a good start, the speed of the project gradually got slower and slower.  More or less directly and inversely proportional to the rate at which I recovered from my surgery.  So, as per usual it has taken me a couple of months to finish it. I finally got around to sewing it up a couple of nights ago.  On the sofa, with my dog helping by moulting all over it whilst I worked.  I can forgive her though, she has been my only companion most daytimes lately and is an extremely good listener, as well as a fabulous hot water bottle.

Unfortunately, there was an unexpected down side to knitting a new sweater whilst recovering from surgery.  It would seem that sitting more than normal and eating maybe one or two more biscuits than usual isn’t that good for your waistline.  The size I chose to  knit back in September is now ever so slightly too small for me.  So, I am not modelling it for you, sorry.  I think the extra few kg I have gained are going to have to go before it will fit me like it should and look good.  Oops.

Oh well, better get the running shoes out, I have no excuse anymore after all…

 

 

 

If you think you would like to try the pattern above, then I believe it is still available to purchase online as a download.  You can get to it using either of the links below, one for Ravelry and one for the designer’s website.

Quick growing beginner snood

Wool Monkey Quick Grow Beginner Snood

Anybody who has been knitting for a while will probably know the pleasure of a quick and simple project.  I’m talking about the type that looks big and complicated, but actually grows really quickly and is super simple to do.  The one that you can do whilst watching TV, without having to think too hard or concentrate too much.

It’s nice to do complicated stuff sometimes, but every now and again my brain needs a rest. So, this is my latest relaxing project.  Nice and quick and simple.  So much so, that I reckon it it will actually be a really good pattern for beginners.  It introduces a couple of new techniques beyond just the knit stitch, but in a very simple way.

It’s versatile too.  It can be done with more or less any chunky yarn and the size can be altered really easily if you fancy.

So, here it is, the Quick Grow Beginner Snood…

 

If you are interested in making it then the link below takes you to Etsy, where you can get a copy.

If you are a beginner and need help with the new stitches then everything you need to know is in the Wool Monkey Learning Zone here on the website.

Please get in touch if you get stuck, need more help, or if you would simply like to send me a picture of your finished snood.  ( I always love to see your finished projects)

Happy Knitting!!

 

Easy Oddball Triangle Scarf

Sometimes, in my stash of yarn I end up with lots of little balls of yarn, all leftovers from other projects.  Each one is a different colour and a different yarn and generally not much use for anything.

So, now and again I find myself trying to think of something to do with them. I can’t waste them after all.

Last month, whilst looking for something else in my stash, (this is not always easy – it often involves emptying lots of plastic boxes out of the wardrobe, as the one I am looking for is usually the one right at the bottom), I found an envelope with lots of very small yarn samples, sent to me by various different yarn supplies.  All the samples were too small to be individually useful, so I added them to the pile of leftovers I was gathering together.  

Something had to be made from all these yummy bits and bobs, so I decided upon a new, very easy, scarf pattern.  The cold weather is coming and so it seemed appropriate.

So, I started knitting. My dog, Red, helping me of course.

It turned out to be a really relaxing project.   Very easy to make and great for beginners. It is mostly just the knit stitch with a little bit of detail on the edges.  I decided not to waste any yarn at all.   So, rather than working in complete rows and potentially wasting some, I kept knitting with each ball of yarn until it was almost done and then joined to the next yarn straight away – even if it was in the middle of a row. I think it gave quite an interesting striped effect.

It’s one of those patterns where you can just keep going until you have either run out of yarn, got bored, or simply think you’ve made it big enough.  The shape is a non-symmetrical triangle, so nobody can tell you that you have made it wonky, as it’s meant to be like that!

I also found that there was an unexpected plus side to this scarf.   I was intending to keep it for myself, but then my ‘other half’ decided that he liked it too.  Quite a lot actually, which I was rather surprised about.   When he agreed to be photographed wearing it I realised that he actually looks better in it than I do!        Hmmmmm.      Now it is a ‘shared’ scarf.   

I think I’ll knit myself a sweater next – he won’t want to share that…..

 

If you are interested in this scarf pattern then it is currently available from Etsy:

If you would like some help with learning to knit, all the stitches in this pattern are in the Wool Monkey Learning Zone on this website…

Learn how to do a slip stitch and psso (pass the slipped stitch over)

This is another short Wool Monkey lesson on what to do when your pattern asks you to slip a stitch, or to psso.  (This is short for pass the slipped stitch over)

It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but is essential if you want to progress your knitting.

We hope you enjoy the lesson and don’t forget to get in touch if you need any help.

Good luck!

 

Learn how to do a yarn over, or yarn forward increase.

This is a new Wool Monkey lesson on how to do an increase called yarn over, or yarn forward.

Yarn over is I believe the American name for this increase and yarn forward is the British name for the same thing.

This is one of the simplest increases, so it’s only a very short lesson.

We hope you enjoy the lesson and don’t forget to get in touch if you need any help.

Good luck!

 

Continue reading “Learn how to do a yarn over, or yarn forward increase.”

Beginner snood pattern

Beginner knitter?
 
This Wool Monkey pattern is an old favourite and perfect for both wet, winter weather and beginners who want to practice their skills.  It has been well loved and well used by many beginners.
 
The weather here is awful – which made me think of this pattern. I think I might make myself a new one!
 
You only need to be able to cast on, cast off and do the knit stitch. (If you need to learn these you can visit the Wool Monkey Learning Zone for help).
 
Enjoy!
 
 

Learn the Basic Purl Stitch.

This is a very brief Wool Monkey lesson on how to do the basic purl stitch. 

Hopefully by now you have mastered the basic knit stitch and are ready to move on to bigger and better (and more complicated) adventures, by learning the purl stitch.

The lesson below is a brief instruction on how to do this.  We hope you enjoy the lesson and don’t forget to get in touch if you need any help.

Good luck!

Learn how to cast on for knitting

This is a very brief Wool Monkey lesson on how to start a piece of knitting by using the basic knit cast on.

The lesson includes most basic and easiest method of casting on which is essential for any beginner in order to be able to start a piece of work.  You might know an experienced knitter who is willing to do your cast on for you at the beginning when you are just starting to learn, which can be a great help, but at some point you will have to learn how to do it yourself!

 So, if you are just starting out please enjoy the lesson and let us know how you get on, or if you need any help.

Good luck!