Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Woolly Legwarmers and Ripping Recession Recycling

The finished legwarmers
I've just updated my blog posting settings to the recommended easy-to-use one so I look forward to hassle-free uploading of posts in the future - or going forward as our ghastly politicians say. The doom and gloom is getting worse by the minute so I thought I'd just share my latest knitting project with you all.

It's short and sweet - a pair of black cable and rib legwarmers for our son Shayne's fiancée and mother of our beloved granddaughter Sofia. Jany asked if I'd knit legwarmers for the winter so here they are. It's a bit hard to see the cable and rib textured pattern in the black but they are quite cosy and warm, (doh, so that's why they're called legwarmers - never have guessed!) and hopefully they'll fit the bill nicely.

I knitted them over about two weeks - I wish I had more time to just knit but work tends to get in the way - as does life in general! I got the pattern as a free download from Ravelry and that is a terrific resource for someone like me who enjoys making new things but might be afraid to venture into unchartered waters. There are millions of patterns - many free downloads - out there and in various knitting blogs there are links to patterns or actual patterns available. You might even be able to read this pattern if you click on the photo. Otherwise here's the link. 

The Pattern for the legwarmers
Just click on the PDF button to get the pattern - it's that simple! You can use pure Merino wool which would be lovely but I didn't - just got a 2 x100g. acrylic yarn, which was cheap and easy to knit. I might make Merino ones later on if I see how these ones look and wear - certainly for warmth you can't beat Merino!

Cable and Rib pattern - legwarmers

Here you can see the finished legwarmers with the cable and rib pattern clearly visible. It was a 12 stitch repeat over 4 rows, and a doddle to do if you have ever worked cable - I used a cable needle for convenience and 4 x UK size 11 DPNs (Double Pointed Needles) - that's 3mm metric and between 2 & 3 US size - how confusing is all that?

The end result
The other innovation for me was to recycle a ribbon-yarn jumper I bought for €7 in Shaws department store in Dungarvan, the town where I'm based for work. It was fine on the rack but not on this hanger - I looked a sight - frumpy and chunky. I'm definitely not as bad as this made me look. So it was at the back of my clothes rail for over a year, and I was clearing clothes out for charity and found it. I thought what a shame to discard it (or foist it on a charity recipient!) as the yarn was lovely. So I decided to rip it - never having done this for a shop-bought item before. Most rip-offs are my own disasters - so it was a new challenge.

A close-up of the yarn
 I got busy with the seam ripper and scissors and had to decide where to cut and unpick - the neck I abandoned as a lost cause as it wasn't worth the few grams of wool I'd salvage - so the stash came from the back, two sleeves, and the front from the V-neck down. Totally - 350 grams - about 12 ozs if my calculations are correct. I have a nice ribbon yarn pattern for a jumper, or I might make a nice cardigan - not sure yet - any ideas out there? I already have a burgundy ribbon yarn cardi - nice and loose and comfy - so if I had a jumper I'd be in the Twin-Set set!

Yes! the makings of another jumper!

Today is 20-10-2010 - some clever clogs even took photos of their clocks at 20:10 - 'fraid I wasn't that ahead of the posse so I didn't, but that's probably the last of the interesting dates till next year - Armistice Day will be cool - 11-11-11.


Joanna St. James said...

do u think it will be easy to make for beginners? I am just your basic knitter and I have never finished anything, but those are really lovely.

SusanC said...

You're very handy Catherine. I'd love to be able to knit. I used to do it a long time ago but never did anything very advanced. The idea of making old into new is a great idea.

Ann said...

What an innovative lady you are Catherine! And beautiful wool for only 7Euro!!! Love the leg warmers. Must check out your pattern site.

diane b said...

Thank you for the award. I might get around to doing it one day. At the moment I have a lot of photo stories to post yet and I've been in bed sick for the last 4 days so that has put me behind. Thank you for your nice description of my blog. I love how resourceful you are and talented. I'm hopeless at knitting and cooking but I love food (when I'm not sick). I need to learn to knit bed socks for Bill, he has poor circulation and always has cold feet and he keeps wearing out the heels. Up til now a dear friend has kept me in supply, but she gave me the pattern and I thought that might be a hint to make them myself.

Stephanie V said...

I do like those legwarmers. The rib pattern makes them look snug and snuggly.

Isn't it fun to take a sweater apart and know you can make one even nicer? That's a pretty pink. Good luck with settling on a pattern...there are so many out there.

Pooch Purple Reign said...

hi catherine
great job on the leg warmers. im only at the knitting squares stage so no patterns in my near future. love the colour of the wool too

Marilyn Miller said...

The leg warmers are lovely and so warm and cozy for sure. I have a pair from a time long ago when I danced. Occasionally they still see the light of day on a very cold winter evening. She will definitely love these.

Catherine said...

Thanks for all the kind comments!

Joanna- these are probably a bit hard for a beginner but they are fine for anyone who's done cable knitting. You should start with simple stitches and get either a good book or a class where you can start with a good teacher. It's great fun then - try to find a knitting circle near you!

Susan - I hadn't done socks since the school experience which was very negative - so this challenge really worked and I enjoyed it. Start simple and work your way up, there are lots of groups and circles out there. Even in Lismore a circle has started and has a social element to it. Bit like a book club!

Ann - thanks - the recycled jumper was just a fun thing - I couldn't bear to throw it out and it was just too much nice yarn to waste. I have yet to do something with it! Still into socks, and love the new wool/craft shop we have in Lismore.

Diane - sorry to hear you were ill -hope you are better now. As for bedsocks - you are probably better off to buy them than knit them as there are lovely fluffy socks out there that are really warm and cosy and cheap as well, I just knit socks for fun. You might give it a shot some day. Especially if you have a nice pattern from a friend. Hope he feels well and have a good winter, it is lovely here still and we might have another few weeks - shorten the winter as they say! Autumn leaves everywhere.

Stephanie - that's something new for me to make something from scratch with recycled garments. The rib pattern is lovely for the legwarmers, keeps them nice and cosy. I want to make them in a random yarn so that's another project!

Laura - thanks - knitting squares is fun too and so is crochet granny squares - I used to do a lot but haven't lateley. The wool is black so you don't always see the pattern easily but they are nice in reality and the photo's not too bad either.

Marilyn - thanks they are cosy and hopefully Jany will get plenty of wear from them this winter. I love that you have a pair from your dancing days - what did you do? I always think Fame or Ballet when I think of legwarmers and dancing!

All the best to all my visitors! Catherine xxx