What else can I make helical?

Does your knitting ever grip you to the point where you can't imagine that you'll ever want to work another technique? I still remember the fever of tubular cast ons that I went through after first discovering this beautiful way of starting a 1x1 or 2x2 rib. No other edgings were contemplated for quite a while. Eventually it fades, and something else will come along to inspire and excite me, but when I'm deep in the obsession, nothing can dissuade me. I seem to be in the middle phase of helical stripe fever. I've worked obsessively on the first few projects that use the basic technique, and now I want to apply it to every other project* in grabbing distance.

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On the needles

As I mentioned last week, much of what I'm knitting at the moment needs to stay under wraps for a while longer, which doesn't make for exciting chat here on the blog. But I do have a few projects that have advanced somewhat since my last round up of projects. If you click on any of the images in this post, it will take you to my Ravelry pages, where you will find needle and yarn information and all the cool technical details you may require!

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FO: Wee Cria

This is a really, really lovely pattern. When Little Red in the City first came out, Cria was my favourite design by a long shot. When my good friend Nic bought Ysolda's Wee Ones collection for me, I was delighted to discover that Ysolda had designed a babies' version called wee Cria. Did you know that you can buy patterns and eBooks as gifts for your knitting friends? I've been lucky enough to be gifted patterns a few times through Ravelry, and it is such a lovely treat!

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Wee Ones was a great present - thanks Nic! - and I've really enjoyed knitting my wee Cria. I cast on back in July, before the summer holidays started. I chose a skein of Wollmeise "Pure" 100% Merino Superwash, in the Sabrina colourway, that had been sitting in my stash awaiting the perfect project since Knit Nation 2010. It's a good thing that yarn doesn't go mouldy...

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I had previously knitted up 2 skeins of Wollmeise - one in twisted stitch socks and the other in some pretty complicated gloves, and I'll admit that I didn't much enjoy knitting with it. I know that many people feel similarly - it doesn't have much in the way of stretch and if your needles are too sharp, it's easy to split the plies of the yarn. This time it was different. There was no complicated texture, as I had used in the past, and the yarn made the most incredibly beautiful flat stocking stitch fabric. I absolutely fell in love with the fabric, and would definitely choose Wollmeise Pure again for a kids' garment. It comes in 150g skeins, so this cardigan, in the 12 month size came comfortably from 1 skein, and I'm completely chuffed with how it looks. It just goes to show how much the pattern and needles can affect your enjoyment of a yarn...

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And that's what we were waiting for... A picture of the cardigan on my clever niece, Honor! Happily, the cardigan is a bit too big at the moment, but I'm hoping it will be just right in a month or two's time, when the weather starts to get colder.

I really enjoyed the construction of wee Cria - it is knitted from the top down, with all the sleeve head shaping incorporated, so there is very little finishing beyond sewing in a few ends. I struggled to remember to count the rows between buttonholes, but managed to drop a couple of stitches and put them in a few rows later when I realised my mistake. I should have been using some scrap yarn to track the rows, but it wasn't a big problem to fix.

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I even discovered that I had some great contrasting buttons in my button box. They work so well with the cardigan, that Honor was in danger of being too well camouflaged on her quilt!

You can find all the technical details of my project over on Ravelry: JenACKnitwear's Wee Cria where you will also find an option to purchase the wee Cria pattern from Ysolda for £4.00 or buy the whole eBook (7 kids patterns) for £10.95. If you have little people to knit for, I would definitely recommend it!