Having always been an avid knitter, I wanted my Frugally Fabulous Year challenge to push my creativity and learn new skills in the knitting department as well as sewing!
I’ve become fairly accomplished at knitting, through teaching myself how to read patterns and frequenting a knitting club, many years ago, in Bath. Last Christmas, I had great success selling these handknitted gnomes (I’m taking orders all year round for them this year too – please drop me an email if you’re interested) and this year, I wanted to try some new knitting styles and really challenge my abilities, to create new and interesting bits and pieces for the home.
One knitting method I have never tried is Intarsia, a simple form of working with blocks of colours in knitting. I love the idea of creating motifs and wanted to give it a try. I came up with the idea of trying a simple knit square with a heart motif – another possible idea for a Frugally Ever After gift, this Valentine. I think the idea of making a patchwork ‘memory throw’, starting with this heart as a central point, that charts special occasions and moments in our family life is a really special idea and a perfect crafty way to say ‘I Love You and I Love Us’.
So…..here is my first square! I cast on 44 stitches and knitted 44 rows on 4mm needles. I roughly sketched a heart design on graph paper and basically increased my row of red stitches by one on each side, to get the shape of the heart. I had this lovely blue yarn, stashed away at the bottom of the pile and a tiny red double knitting ball that I’d never used. The colours go so vividly together. The heart is far from perfect – indicative of my own, I’m sure; but I was really proud of my first attempt, that I decided to leave it as it was, ready to be stitched up to whatever else I may make in the coming year! I plan to work with new textures and pattern ideas using simply Fairisle and Cable Knit methods, alongside other quirky Intarsia designs and mood colours. I’m lucky that Mr J really appreciates handmade gifts and loves adding to our handmade home with some of my Frugally Fabulous ideas! This Valentine’s Day…why not get your needles out give a loved one a little piece of you!
I’ve learnt the hard way that preparation is everything when it comes to Intarsia and making mini yarn balls is probably the way forward. You know me – renegade crafter by name AND nature. I was more concerned with remembering to twist the yarn in place and work from the right end of the yarn – not to mention engrossed in catching up with some of my TV faves; so I made sure to cut out a few yarn guiders from an old cereal box, ready for my next square.
I’m working on another knitted WIP at the moment, ready for a very special unveiling in March! Trying out Intarsia has given me so many ideas for this one, I can’t wait to share it with you all. I also can’t wait to update you on the Memory Throw as I make progress with it throughout the year. Fingers crossed, by Christmas, we will have a colourful throw of haphazard designs and quirky memories, to snuggle under!
Stay Peachy x