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Published on October 15th, 2016 | by Merion

43 comments

Made by Merion: my project journal

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Merion wasn’t sure about joining the community – but she loves it!

Merion and the community on the LoveKnitting blog

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I am a very keen knitter, crocheter and yarn obsessive. I always have several WIPs on the go, and I always have needles or a hook in my hand. I am forever excited about what I’m going to make next and a terrible magpie where new yarn is concerned!

Nordic Knits by Martin Storey on the LoveKnitting blog

Reindeer Cushion from Martin Storey’s Nordic Knits

When we launched our Community online, I wasn’t sure it was for me.  Firstly, I don’t take many pictures of my makes, because I am often making gifts – and I’ve never really thought that anyone would want to see them beyond their recipients! Secondly, everyone makes mistakes. I am a perfectionist, and if I don’t get things absolutely right, then I certainly don’t want anyone to see it! Thirdly, I am a terror for having lots and lots of WIPs, and I don’t finish anything in a chronological order.

Steadily, the community began to grow, and pictures began to appear of so many different kinds of projects, both knitted and crocheted – and before I’d even realised, the familiarity of flicking through my feed had crept into my heart. I loved seeing everyone else’s makes – and more than that, I loved clicking the little heart button to favourite a project and leaving a comment too!

Inspiration from all over the world!

So I posted a couple of projects, and,  amazingly, a few very friendly fellow crafters began to favourite them and add comments! I found myself re-discovering that it’s a very small world, and this is a new way of crafting – I have made friends with makers all over the world, just from sharing… and it’s been such an inspirational change to make! 

Mishaps along the journey…

Then I decided to share a mistake. I was inspired by Alice in Knittingland to try knitting a jumper without a pattern. I wanted a raglan sleeve neckline with an empire-line shape, and slightly fluted sleeves – it was a little bit bold for someone striding into design who had no experience at all, but I have knitted lots of jumpers and I had a sketchy idea of where to go – but look at that terrible neckline! I completely ruined the raglan shaping (by attempting to calculate it by eye rather than writing it down) and then badly sew the join at the neck because I was in a rush!

Merion's made up jumper on the LoveKnitting blog

But I love this jumper! I learned so much when I made it, and it was a first attempt with no pattern. The yarn was a fabulous colour, and I decided that it was important to share the whole journey, not just perfect pictures! Nobody is perfect ALL the time!

Blueberries and cream blanket on the LoveKnitting blog

My Blueberries & Cream crocheted blanket is from a Freda & Bettina pattern called Monochrome Circles.  It was favourited five times (I’m very proud to say) and I was excited about it because I love using variegated yarn for crochet.

I wanted to include both knitting and crochet in my profile, because they are fibre art cousins after all – a crochet border along any knitting edge is a gorgeous addition, and with crochet you can whip up a blanket no time at all compared to how long it would take to knit one!

Three easy tips for taking great photographs

There were two reasons I didn’t take pictures of my knitting.  Firstly, I give most of it away  – and secondly, I don’t own a supersonic digital camera!  But you don’t need a supersonic camera to take fabulous photos – you can take beautiful photos with your phone if you follow a few handy photography guidelines!

Berry Cowl by Merion on the LoveKnitting blog

  • Light is everything: take your pictures in good lighting! We want to see those beautiful colours and stitches as they really are! This might mean making sure you take your photos in the mornings, when the light is better, or hanging near a window.
  • Composition: there is inspiration everywhere! Take a look at pictures of knitwear and crochet on Pinterest, follow your favourite bloggers, or patterns – read a knitting magazine – and take your cues from those!  You don’t need to turn your bedroom into a photographic studio, but it’s a good idea to move old coffee cups and chocolate wrappers out of shot!
  • Background: in most cases, plain backgrounds work best.  Use a wall, the back of a door, or arrange your knitwear on a table – plain backgrounds won’t detract from yarn colours or lace patterns!

To read an in-depth guide on taking better photos, check out Eric’s post here.

WIPs are just as good!

It’s great to see a project evolve as you knit! I have so many works in progress, that I’ve decided to share some of my WIPs too.  There’s always a chance that someone might have knitted or crocheted a pattern that you have, and might have some handy hints to throw your way – and it’s fascinating to see a pattern in a different yarn, or even a different colour! It’s the crafting journey I love – not so much the finished article! This will seem an absurd paradox to many people but probably not to you, if you’re a knitter or crocheter. It’s the reason we have so many WIPs, and so much stash!

My latest offering is this very exciting Crochet Project cardigan, Aberfoyle, by Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin.  I was so entranced with Rachel Coopey’s Socks Yeah! yarn, that I couldn’t resist starting a cardigan in the beautiful mustard Sphene (104).  Watch my profile in the community and you’ll see it emerge one day soon!

Aberfoyle Cardi by the Crochet Project on the LoveKnitting blog

We’d love to hear your stories! Why did you join the community and what do you like about it?

I’ll be starting my Christmas knitting soon, and I’m on the hunt for small gift patterns! Watch this space!

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About the Author

Merion admits that her stash is wildly out of control, but has many projects in dream-form! She loves knitting, crochet, Shire horses, cake and garden swing-seats.


Last updated: October 15th, 2016.

43 Responses to Made by Merion: my project journal

  1. Georgia says:

    Thanks for sharing with us, I have justed started to learn to knit , and seeing this makes me want to learn even more best wishes xx

    • Merion says:

      Hi Georgia! Fantastic! Knitting is a life long joy! Don’t forget to share your projects with us so that we can encourage you!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  2. Jackie says:

    Thanks for your story. I also have many WIPs I love knitting but like many knitters not too enthralled by sewing up!
    I have been knitting since I was a little girl (60 years) For the past 2 years my main projects have been nursery and fairy tale characters for the nursery class that my daughter teaches and orders from my Granddaughter.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Jackie!

      I’ve battled with the sewing up too – but these days I love all the seamless knits on circular needles! Have you tried those? Please do show us the nursery and fairy tale characters on Projects if you have a chance! We would love to see them!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  3. Liz Barningham says:

    I am what I call a KNITOHOLIC! I learned to knit about 13 years ago (I am almost 65!) and I have done a lot since then…… I too gather yarn and it feels good to give it away too! I give it to people who may not buy such yarn in the first place and it makes me feel less guilty! I HATE to sew so I tend to knit sweaters top down …… I have a great pattern which I have adapted and I knit scarves and hats…. I’m not very good at two identical things so I tend not to knit sock and mitts…. my sweaters have non-matching sleeves … I have found that people love them! Next up…. crochet!

    • Marcia says:

      Can you share your sweater pattern? How would I adapt it for size14 girls?

      • Merion says:

        Hi Marcia!

        I am so excited the other people like my sweater! I will be writing the pattern down as I re-knit it especially, and I promise I will include lots of sizes. Watch this space!

        Kindest,
        Merion x

    • Merion says:

      Hi Liz – I love the sound of non-matching sleeves! I think I’m going to try that!!! I learnt to crochet a few years ago, having been a knitter for years – and once you get the hang of it, it’s SO fast! Great fun! How very kind of you to share the knitting love and give your yarn away!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  4. Helen says:

    Loving your story Merion :). I almost thought I was reading about myself! I love creating designs that are swimming around my head but like you I never think my projects are good enough to show the world! You are an inspirational lady. I have been crocheting for just over a year now and so love the versatility compared to knitting. The house is full of shawls that never seem to be the right shape!! I am like a child in a sweet shop when I browse the Love Knitting site. Sooo much wool sooo little time! ! Happy creating everyone x

    • Merion says:

      Hi Helen! Thank you for such kind comments! I absolutely promise you, everyone will LOVE your projects and designs, please do show us!!! It’s amazing how flexible crochet is – I feel just the same as you, I adore knitting, but I was so surprised how versatile and speedy crochet is! I love both! (I absolutely understand about the sweet shop!!!)

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  5. Liz Gray says:

    I too have been knitting for years. Firstly for my children followed by a rest to go to university and then worked as a social worker and didn’t have much time for knitting. I started knitting again when in my senior years and now have so many WIPs both knitting and starting to learn how to quilt. I’ve knitted a lovely baby blanket and I plan to quilt the other side of it. I also run a Crafternoon Tea Project once a week for people interested in all sorts of crafts. My biggest problem at the moment is that I’ve knitted a number of WIPs but have still to get round to sewing up. Need to get that done after I’ve finished some of the bags I’ve knitted for filling with home made projects for Christmas and so many other things planned. Inspired by Merion.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Liz – fantastic to hear from a fellow knitter in the same boat! I will finish all my WIPs one day too! It’s wonderful to hear that you give your time to your Crafternoon Tea project! Craft is such a joyous thing to share, and can make us feel so much better if we’re feeling flat! What an inspirational lady you are! xxx

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  6. Janis Susan Hobb says:

    Hi I love your story. I knit and sew but am annoyed to say that I can’t get my head round crocheting. I almost always post my knits on FB and love the feedback from my friends on there so might join in.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Janis!

      Knitting and sewing – amazing! I am a little bit too slapdash for decent sewing – I do try, but I get a bit sewing machine happy and am not quite precise enough! Keep trying with the crochet, once it clicks – it really clicks! Please do share your knits with us, we’d love to see them!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  7. Connie S says:

    I love the sweater knit from the bottom up!! Are you sharing the pattern?

    • Merion says:

      Ooooh Connie, you are very kind about the sweater! Because (I am thrilled to say) so many people have asked me, I’m going to reknit the sweater and write it down as I go! (and this time I will be more careful with the raglan and neckline!) Watch this space!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  8. Claire says:

    Oh yes I can relate to your story.learned to knit sitting next to mom 65 years ago! Also. Crocheting and sewing and it all comes in handy! The children and grandchildren all have knitted Christmas stockings….and my 15 year old grandson said to me recently ” gram you’re going to have to make me another stocking so someday I can give it to my youngster! ” Oh my!
    Talk about a melt down.

    I continue to strive to finish my UFO’s and as of late ..doing better. Love to design the fibers NOW are so interesting and I’ve founds knitters are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet…and always will to share. I always have a to go bag ready ….have to keep my hands and brain busy! I can listen to an audio book and still watch sports at the same time!!!

    I will close with a FUNNY. We called my mom the human knitting machine. ..one day when she and dad were in the family room mom decided to use the bathroom (right off the family room) after she went in my dad proceeded to pick up her knitting and slip it in the door!!!! “HERE…While your sitting you may as well KNIT”:) GOD BLESS ALL THE KNITTER

    From the northwoods of WISCONSIN
    LOVE IT.😄

    From

    • Merion says:

      Hello Claire!

      V funny – I am sure many knitters would appreciate that!!!

      I love the fact you’ve taught all your children and grandchildren to knit! My daughter knits and crochets, and my son loves knitting but can’t get the hang of crochet – it’s wonderful to pass these skills on and encourage future generations to find such joy in crafting!

      Knitting in the northwoods of Wisconsin sounds gorgeous!!!
      kindest,
      Merion x

    • Tanja says:

      What a great story !!! Thanks for sharing it .

  9. Claire says:

    Crazy the time here is really only 12:45 pm!!!

  10. Carolyn says:

    I’m going to join this group whether I have time or not! I’m seventy-eight and am trying to learn to let my house stay messy. I think it’s time to enjoy the things I love to do: crochet, knit, quilt, read, and cook. The latter is no longer an everyday thing, and I no longer prepare long, lovely meals. (I’m inventing lots of quick one-dish things that are fun to make and good to eat.)

    About ten years ago, I took a garbage bag (:>) of lap robes (crocheted) to a local nursing home. What a great experience watching people — some of whom get very little attention from family and friends — chose their favorite!

    I’m a sixteen year survivor of colo-rectral cancer and a nine year survivor of anal cancer, so I’m very familiar with the chemo room at the cancer center that saved my life. I still go there frequently for shots and infusions to control a hereditary blood problem, the obvious symptom of which is chronic anemia. One day a year or so ago, I noticed that the basket of hats was nearly empty. What an ideal charity project — hats to knit! I watch television in the evenings with my husband and I knit and knit some more. I take a bag with me wherever I go with one or two WIPS (hats, of course) to work on. Small projects are wonderful to work on at home between large ones and ideal for carry-alongs!

    My short note of introduction became a long note. I didn’t intend to write this much, but I’m excited to be part of a group like this one and I found it difficult to stop. Happy day….

    • Merion says:

      Hello Carolyn!

      WOW, you are fabulous! How extremely kind of you to knit hats for the chemo room, and crochet for your local nursing home too! My house is never very tidy, but I’d rather be knitting and crocheting! Crafters are lovely people, who share and share and share – I bet the recipients of your lovely projects are thrilled to receive them. Thank you so much for joining in and sending your lovely message!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  11. Gail Turvey says:

    What do you mean by WIPs?

  12. Gail Turvey says:

    As I am a Knitter and I have never heard the term wips what does this stand for? I have been knitting since the age of five When my Mother taught me how to knit and I have some really beautiful Christmas Knits that I could share.

    • CherylS says:

      WIP means works in progress, something that most knitters have lots of!

    • Merion says:

      Hi Gail!

      We would love to see your beautiful Christmas knits! You can share them on the Community page – I am sure it would be so inspiring for other knitters, especially coming up to Christmas!

      WIPs are works-in-progress… I have far too many!
      Kindest,
      Merion x

  13. Pat says:

    Gail a WIP is a Work In Progress. I like to call mine PHDs – Projects Half Done, sounds more like a university degree. : -)
    I have been knitting since I bullied a girlfriend’s grandmother to teach me. I was 7 yrs old. Mum was too busy working to feed us to have time to teach me.
    Do not know when I started crocheting. Been doing it since before I went to high school as I had an idea what to do with the hook when doing a project for school. I didn’t like doing it, so my best friend of the time finished it for me. 45 years later I am enjoying exploring the world of crochet ever so much. And I have been teaching & introducing younger folk to knitting and crochet. That is fun. Not that I am fantastic at it, just a good teacher of the basics.

    • Merion says:

      OH Pat, I love that – PHDs!

      It is wonderful that you share your crochet skills – it’s fabulous to teach future generations these wonderful skills. I am a great believer in the philosophy that simple stitches and gorgeous yarn can make a wonderful project – some people love complex patterns, but not everybody wants to memorise long stitch sequences. That’s what’s so wonderful about this whole knit and crochet world – everybody can express themselves in yarn, whatever they love! And there’s always something new to learn! I love it!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  14. Pat says:

    I never used to photograph my work and I have given heaps away over the years. Being a perfectionist, always kept the not so good ones at my place while the good ones were gifted.
    Since someone asked me to show them my work about 10 years, I have been taking some photos.
    The one I like best is the oven pad that I crocheted for a friend using scraps of wool. The two sides are so different to look at and I used exactly the same colours. One side consists of intarsia style work in odd shapes; and the other is rows of colour. All joined together with a lovely row of scallops in one colour.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Pat,

      Your intarsia oven pad sounds fabulous! (how many people have an intarsia oven pad! I love it!) I never photographed my work either – but from now on, I am taking photographs as I go along, and of the finished object – it is really fun to look back and see what I’ve created. I have been so inspired by looking at all the projects in our Community too! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  15. Louise Tilbrook says:

    Such a great piece, thank you. I just shared it on my Facebook page as I often gets comments from makers who are reluctant to share their work online or who don’t realise what benefits there might be from being part of an online community.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Louise!

      Thank you so much for sharing the post! It’s so lovely to be able to share projects, and the knitting and crochet communities are very kind and supportive, it’s a real inspiration to see other crafters’ work – I love it! Your beautiful sock patterns are calling me – but I just know I want to make that beautiful Hebridean Hap first!

      Kindest,
      merion x

  16. Cilla James says:

    Like so many others I would love the pattern of the raglan big jumper . Could we pay a decided price that could go to the ‘authors’ chosen charity Just an idea !!

    • Merion says:

      Hello Cilla!

      That’s a lovely idea! I have been absolutely tickled pink with all the comments about the raglan jumper – I’m going to re-knit it and write the pattern down as I go, and make sure I include lots of sizes. Watch this space!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  17. Gail Turvey says:

    Thank you for explaining to me what wips are Mine are also Projects that are half done but they are works in progress none the less I have a few Works in progress as my needles suggest like I have a Christmas as well as a babys hooded jacket and more toys on the go too.so I have lots of things on the go as well as a navity set which I am knitting.

    • Merion says:

      OOoh Gail, please do upload pictures of your lovely Christmas projects – and the nativity set! I am sure all our knitters would love to see them!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  18. Gail Turvey says:

    should read Christmas stocking,

  19. Barbara Standen says:

    I am also an avid knitter with lots of WIPs ,I have loots to make for Christmas ,I have already made 3 Rag dolls ,1 pink pig and I am in the process of knitting 2 dogs all for friends and my new great granddaughter

    • Merion says:

      Goodness Barbara, you’re going to be very busy! How lovely to hear from a fellow knitter! We would love to see pictures of your rag dolls and the pig too! Congratulations on a new great granddaughter, what a joy! Thank you so much for telling us about your WIPs!

      Kindest,
      Merion x

  20. Barbara Standen says:

    I am also an avid knitter with lots of WIPs ,I have loots to make for Christmas ,I have already made 3 Rag dolls ,1 pink pig and I am in the process of knitting 2 dogs all for friends and my new great granddaughter

  21. Sue says:

    I, too, am absolutely hopeless at sewing up. However, my local
    wool shop knows a lady who likes to make a little pocket money so I take my knits there and am extremely happy when I pick up the finished article. Just a thought!

  22. Bertha says:

    Vilken fin liten kvarn! Du fÃ¥r allt lära dig att tycka om muskot 🙂 Annars fÃ¥r du helt enkelt ha den framme som prÃ.yaddSn¥ sorgligt med hunden. Jag tycker apselut att du skulle ha lyst grannen rätt i fejan för att se hur han sÃ¥g ut 😀

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