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Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

Is this little scarf I made for a friend’s birthday. I needed a quick knit and found this pattern, which was apparently ‘mindless knitting’. Not mindless enough for me, it seems – I still ended up making a mistake and needing to rip a load out!

P1010119

But it was finished and delivered and the recipient was happy, so that counts as a win!

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This weekend is Wonderwool, so Littlest S&S and I tootled off together yesterday to see what we could see. (Littlest S&S slept pretty much all the way through in her sling, oblivious to all the admiration she garnered. By the end of the day I felt like having ‘My baby is 9 weeks old’ written on my forehead, but that’s what happens when you take a cute baby out, I suppose!) I had plans to meet friends at lunchtime, so once I got the knitting needles I knew I needed, I spent the first hour and a half moseying around, browsing aimlessly and taking photos of all the lovely yarn and fibre. So many pretty colours and lovely textures. Want to see? Of course you do.

Pretty coloured fibre:

Purple yarns aplenty at Fyberspates:

Jubilee yarn at EasyKnits:

Lovely subtle colours at Natural Dye Studio:

Gorgeous threads at Oliver Twist:

Gorgeous natural colours at Jillybean:

Recycled sari yarn:

Silk and sequins:

And some lovely natural fibres:

Then came lunch – a Scotch egg from the marvellous Scotch egg man (he makes lots of different types including a gluten-free version, God bless him) and a chat with some friends, and then more ambling and purchasing until it was time to go home. I tried my very best to be restrained as I absolutely don’t need any more yarn, and was moderately successful. If anything I was even more inspired to use up my stash, as I want to go back next year and be able to stock up on new projects. I saw some utterly beautiful needlefelting:

and the most gorgeous crocheted throw:

and some gorgeous yarns which I long to be able to justify buying.

So, are you wondering what came home with me? Well, a relatively modest haul, for once.

The needles and cable I knew I needed:

Some lovely stitch markers I knew I didn’t, but couldn’t resist:

And um, about that not buying yarn… and especially not laceweight because I have far too much. Well. I bought this:

The photo doesn’t do it justice – it’s called ‘Treacle Toffee’, but I think it’s the colour of new pennies and I’d not seen anything quite like it before. It’s silk and merino laceweight and I tried very hard to be strong, but I kept thinking about it and then I figured that if I was actually taking people to the stand to show them the yarn, I had better buy it. I’m already pretty sure I know what I’m going to make with it. Mr S&S is very rude about it and keeps making remarks about the Bristol Stool Scale, but knickers to him; I think it’s lovely and unusual.

I also picked up this magazine in return for a donation to the Air Ambulance:

I like this pattern for a girl’s coat:

And this shawl:

I also bought some shell buttons and a pattern for a very pretty tie-front cardigan. All in all a good day and apart from the yarn, no real extravagances, which is nice.

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Oops.

Remember how I wasn’t going to buy any yarn unless it was on a ‘two out, one in’ basis? Well, I’ve been doing very well. Until now. I’ve been using mainly stash yarn (with a few little balls here and there to finish off stash projects) and starting to feel quite virtuous. And then it all went a bit wrong.

I used a heap of yarn making the crochet blocks I posted about a while back, and then decided what I was going to make with them, which meant that just needed some black yarn to complete the project. Off I tootled to my bargain yarn source of choice and sure enough, they had what I needed at a good price. And if it’s to finish a stash project, it doesn’t count, right? But while I was there, I thought, ‘Well, once that’s done, none of my planned stash projects are really mindless/put downable enough for me at the moment, what with the baby’. So I, um, bought yarn to make a Granny Stripe blanket. I’ve been longing to make one of these for ages and I couldn’t resist this lovely bamboo yarn. It comes in the most gorgeous colours, which all have plant names, so I spent half an hour agonising and chose these:

Top row: Cyclamen, Delphinium, Catkin, Primrose. Bottom row: Lavender, Fennel, Hydrangea. It was really hard to choose – there were at least four other shades I loved, but I wanted a balance of colours and a ‘spring’ palette. I wasn’t 100% sure about the yellow, but I thought it needed something to ‘lift’ it, and I think it works quite well, although I’m going to have to use it with care.

And then, while I was there, I also bought six balls of merino 4ply in the most delicious colours. I broke one of my golden rules here, as I have absolutely no idea what I’ll do with it – the state of my stash is largely due to me buying yarn without having a clue what to do with it, but it was a bargain and I need projects I can work on. It was a bit naughty, but as I said to a friend and fellow knitter, yarn is cheaper than therapy. And look, aren’t these lovely?

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Felting

I made this bag while I was pregnant – it’s very simple. The bottom is knitted flat, then you pick up the stitches and knit in the round until it’s finished, and then make I-Cord for the handles. Very straightforward and very easy and a great accompaniment to the late-pregnancy West Wing marathon. And then it spent a few weeks hanging around looking floppy and shapeless, waiting for me to get around to felting it. Eventually I found a load of old jeans and slung it in for a few 30 minute washes and a couple of rinses and spins, before filling it with cookbooks to hold its shape while it dried.

It’s turned out very well, I think, and I’m really pleased with it.

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So, the knitting…

I did manage to get my one and only knitted present finished – not before Christmas, sadly, but before my mum (the recipient) went home. Here it is:

It’s an Incus cowl (you can get the pattern – part of a collection of three – here). Mum chose the pattern and the yarn – it’s Manos Silk Blend in Aurora – and I knitted it up. The pattern is lovely – once you’ve got the stitch pattern set up it’s mindless knitting for 9 rows, then a teeny bit of concentration to cross the cables, then mindless knitting for another 9 rows. The yarn is heavenly – absolutely gorgeous to knit with, and a lovely sheen.

The variegated yarn makes the cabling a subtle detail rather than a big style feature – I am tempted to knit myself one in a solid colour for comparison purposes. I have a skein of yarn I’d love to use, but it’s the wrong weight, so I’ll need to do some sums to adjust the pattern and do a bit of swatching to work out if I have enough.

I have some other projects on the go – the monochrome crochet, a nice simple knitting project that is currently not impressive enough to show off, and a more complex one which I can’t show off because it’s for someone who I know reads the blog. But I will say that I have already used more than 1000 metres of yarn this month, so that resolution at least is off to a good start!

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Taking stock

My knitting/crochet mojo, long missing, has resurfaced. I have been looking at knitting books borrowed from the library, and thinking about what I might knit as Christmas presents (yes, I know it’s only August, but I start my Christmas knitting in September, to avoid the ‘knitting frantically on Christmas Eve’ panic I have experienced in the past) and the urge to pick up my needles and hook has returned.

So I’ve been stocktaking. Before the knitting mojo deserted me, I made a pledge that this year, I would use at least as much yarn as I bought. This seemed, at the time, realistic. I wasn’t saying I’d buy no yarn (because we all know how that would work out) and I wasn’t committing to knit with the exact yarn I bought (because that would be stifling). Just that there’d be a bit of a ‘one in, one out’ principle applied.

So, having had a few yarn-craft-free months I thought I’d better see how much yarn I’d bought that was still unknitted. I think, to be fair, I have to look at length, not weight – 100g of chunky yarn is much quicker to knit than 100g of laceweight. And the slightly shocking total is, um, 5649 metres. And that doesn’t include the stuff I’ve already used this year (quite a lot). In fairness, one seventh of this is contained in a single skein of laceweight yarn, but still. I think it’ll be a bit of a tall order to get through over a kilometre a month between now and New Year. But I shall make a valiant effort, and shall keep you apprised of my progress!

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Knitting update, part 1

There’s quite a bit of knitting I haven’t shown you – some I need to photograph, but here’s some things I did last year.

First, a scarf I made for a friend’s birthday. R. has red hair and suits vibrant colours, so I fished some red yarn from my stash to make a scarf. It’s Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, which is, as the name suggests, a blend of alpaca and silk. So, as you can imagine, it is soft and lustrous. It is utter, utter bliss to knit with. I did a simple 1×1 rib to show off the texture of the yarn, but wanted to embellish it a bit, so I improvised a flower and stitched it on, and used a button (filched from a friend’s button box) as the centre. I was very pleased with it, and might use the flower for other things, as it used only a small amount of yarn.

The second thing to share is my entry into knitting first aid. When I was at camp in the summer, a fellow camper’s beloved cardigan got too close to the fire, and one sleeve was damaged and threatening to unravel:

So, with some trepidation, because the charring meant I was dealing with lots and lots of loose ends at once, I unpicked the charred section, leaving a row of live stitches:

which I then picked up on a circular, before transferring them to double pointed needles. I knitted a ribbed cuff which matched the uncharred one in terms of stitch, if not colour. The yarn I used looks much whiter than the rest of the cardigan, but it actually matches the original colour of the yarn (which I could see when I unpicked), so I reckon with a bit of time hanging around campfires, it’ll match perfectly before long:

So, A.’s cardigan lives to camp another day.

I have a few more bits and bobs I can show you once I’ve sorted photos – and the freeform knitting I posted about last year is coming on a treat…

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