Can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned it here before, but for the past couple of years I’ve been involved with Girl Guiding. Or rather re-involved – I was a Brownie & a Guide myself, and now its fun to help give girls the chance to take part in the fun experiences & opportunities Guiding can provide.
So far I have failed to get any of our girls interested in learning to knit, although I am hoping to run a spinning session at camp next year (I did have to explain to someone that it’s this kind of spinning not that kind of spinning – I prefer to do my cycling out in the fresh air). But of coure I take my knitting along to do in rare quiet moments in meetings, and have made some “Guidey knits” this year.
Guides & Scouts go to church parade for Remembrance Sunday. I know that we had at least two poppies in the house but on the night before church parade I could only find one. Son needed that to pin on his Scout shirt, luckily I managed to find this pattern and crochet one for myself.
ravlery project page
A cast sock for one of my Guides who broke her leg & so couldn’t come to camp.
raverly project page
TREFOIL ILLUSION SCARF
I love illusion knitting, so this was was a perfect knit for our Unit Leader & my leadership mentor. The pattern was written by a Brownie leader to raise funds for her unit, so do get one if you have Guides to knit for.
ravelry project page
I have a new cardigan, complete with zip.
pattern: improvised; yarn: James C Brett Kool Kotton shade KK12; needles: 3.25 mm & 3.75mm rav project page
I made it up as I went along, trying to copy an old cardigan I already own. One of my favourite features of the old cardigan is the two-way zip. After reading up online and with plenty of virtual handholding, I installed my first-ever zip-in-knitting.
oh and that on my head is my new beret. I have fallen in love with wearing slouchy hats in summer-ish yarns, this latest one is Phannie crocheted from Kool Kotton.
The Never Ending Crochet Blanket of DOOM, it has ended
pattern: Wavy Blanky by Stephanie Gage; yarn: Creative Yarns Style DK; hook: 4 mm
I do love this pattern, it was just a bad decision to make a single bed sized blanket in dk yarn. If I ever decided to make another blanket, remind me not to use anything thinner than aran weight. Oh except for the sock yarn squares blanket but that is a loooong term project.
Anyway I had much of the blue yarns left over so I made son a matching Manchester City cushion cover. The pattern for a patchwork cushion is from a book, and I used Rhonda White‘s charts for the letters.
pattern: Patchwork Cushion by Jane Crowfoot; letters charted by Rhonda White; yarn: Creative Yarns Style DK; needles: 4 mm
Looking at the flickr bar on the right, I see that all my recent projects have been blue. And so is my main WiP, a lacy(ish) jumper in bamboo tape which I am making up as a I go along based on a jumper I already have.
It’s been a bit stop-start because I don’t always feel up to calculating shapings, so I put it aside and knit something with a pattern instead. It’s not the actual calculations that put me off but the decision making process. With a pattern, someone else has decided where to place the sleeves and what size the neck should be and so on, so I can blame them if I don’t like the end result. But with this jumper I will only have myself to blame. Eep.
I am not one of nature’s artists. I know I can’t draw or paint, but sometimes I delude myself about my ability to undertake other creative tasks. Take for example the time I decided to bake my son a train cake for his birthday, like the one my friend made for hers. Baking cakes I can do, and she said it was easy to make the carriages & engine from sponge cake. At 3 am, surrounded by bits of sponge cake hacked into random shapes and soggy with tears, I found out that her definition of ‘easy’ was different to mine (and then went to the 24 hour supermarket to buy a damn cake).
This is a lesson I seem to need to keep relearning, apparently. I can crochet, so I can do knock up an amigurumi Darth Maul for my nephew, based on this cute pattern. Right?
I don’t know which aspect of this is worse, my inability to crochet tightly enough for amigurumi (despite using big yarn and little hook) or my attempts to embroider the features on to it? On balance, I think the embroidery is the biggest fail. The tension I can work on (as a self-taught crocheter I can probably learn from some RL crochet gurus) but the embroidery I think falls outwith my creative sphere.
So then I decided to crochet a hat. This also went sadly wrong, managing to be both too tight at the brim and too floppy on the crown. Luckily however I found someone it fit perfectly.
We had a great camping holiday in Pembrokeshire in August. Of course there was knitting on the beach
and by the campfire
and a visit to some lovely angora goats
And I became slighly obsessed with blanket making. The people in the neighbouring tent had blankets to keep them warm round the campfire and we had none. Which is clearly wrong, for a knitter’s family not to have cosy blankets. So when we got back I used up some of my oddments for a crazy cat lady kind of blanket
Now that’s finished, son wants one of his own in blues. Plus, I have finally got around to starting making squares for a sock yarn oddments blanket.
Oh and my summer chevron that I finished ages ago, I loves it. It turns out to be perfect for holidays and got lots of wear
pattern: Summer Chevron by Audrey Eschright (from “More Big Girl Knits”) (with heavy modification, see my ravelry notes)
yarn: Patons UK Vintage, shade 07008 acidic
needles: 5 mm
Due to a combination of Stuff* happening at the same time, I’ve been a bad blogger recently. I will start posting again properly soon, and catch up on what I’ve been knitting and otherwise doing in the past couple of months. Apologies to anyone who has contacted me for pattern help in the last couple of months, I’ll catch up with your emails as soon as I can.
For now, please to enjoy pretty picture of things I’ve been making and yarns I’ve been meeting
* work, study, holidays, summer school, laptop near-death experiences …
sari for lack of posting recently, but here’s updates on some current projects:
pattern: Baby Cable Rib by Charlene Schurch (from Sensational Knitted Socks)
yarn: Regia Line Steps Color shade 5371 Granite
needles: 2.5 mm bamboo dpns
Finished at last, after being on the needles for over 2 months. I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to complete a pair of socks, they were sidelined by the pressures of various presents. I like this pattern and will probably make it again, good for man socks (just don’t tell them the name of the stitch pattern has ‘baby’ in it).
pattern: based on Easy Peasy Catnip Mouse Toy by Meelai
yarn: Patons UK Spirit, shade 4503 Bracken
hook: 5 mm
Because Sparky seemed to like playing with soft toys as big as himself
Shap Blue Socks
We went to Rivington again this weekend and I got some knitting done under a tree in the Japanese garden.
Body & sleeves finished, now just the button bands to do (ugh) and the sleeves to seam (once I’ve learned mattress stitch). I have gnawing doubts about the fit but won’t find out until it’s all blocked …. fingers crossed.
I can’t in all conscience claim that knitting your own things saves money. Even with the cheapest nastiest baby-melt you’d be struggling to make a jumper for less than you’d pay for a new one in Primark. And let’s not dwell on the economics of sock yarns. But when it comes to gift-giving, knitting makes your money go further with the addition of your time and skill and lurv *. Some things I have given to people recently ….
pattern: Owlings by Kerrie James
yarn: Green Eyed Monsters GEM Squirrel in owlie-brown
needles: 3.25 mm bamboo dpns
Made for my sister, with some very gorgeous squishy yarn that lovely Kate dyed to the perfect greyey-brown for me.
Green Fluorescent Jellyfish
pattern: Juvenile Sea Nettle by Hansi Singh
yarn: Rowan Pure Wook DK in Cloud and Cedar; Bernat Glow-in-the-Dark Green Glow
Made for my dear friend and unofficial chemistry tutor, because last year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded for work on green fluorescent protein, originally extracted from jellyfish (and yes, someone has made green fluorescent sheep so all-natural glow-in-the-dark yarn should be on the market soon).
Tasteful House-Warming Gift
pattern: Toilet Paper Roll and Kitschy Doily by Denise Plourde
*At least I fondly imagine this is so (and ignore any nagging thoughts in those wee small hours that my nearest and dearest dread unwrapping the next ‘soft’ present I give them).
and I’ll no doubt say it again, and it can never be said enough:
I bloody love ravelry
I’ve been swapping again, and received the most amazing box of lurv from my swap partner, including yummy sock yarns cute stitch markers, a squidy bag and a gorgeous hansigurumi octopus.
I love cephalopoda so much, must get around to knitting up the hansigurumi squid pattern I have.
My partner in the same swap has now received her goodies from me and loved them too, and now I can share a couple of small makes I did for the swap.
pattern: Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag by Nina Hyland
yarn: oddment of Noro Kureyon
made for swap and various other cats of my acquaintance
pattern: Easy Peasy Catnip Mouse by Meelai
yarn: random oddments
In between the sewing, I have managed to get in some knitting time too, enough to finish son’s bee socks:
pattern: basic sock, 54 st, leg in k7p1 garter rib
yarn: Opal Rainforest shade 1613 Bee
needles: 2.5 mm dpns
turn the heel on my second bamboo sock and cast on a new pair of socks for DrM. And I am desperate to cast on a pair of Owlings, after meeting Lucyvanp’s cashmere pair at knit night. I have a single ball of alpaca from a swap, and some matching beads. When my bamboo socks are finished my Owlings are starting.
For the first 25 or so years of my knitting life, I was content with the skills I learnt from my mum and the odd book. It’s not that I stuck to simple things – I did cables and fair isle and intarstia – but I didn’t try new or different ways of doing things. Mostly I didn’t know there were different ways of doing things. Until I took up knitting again with a vengeance a couple of years ago and discovered the knitting internets, I genuinely did not know that there was any other way to knit than the way I was taught (which I now know is ‘English’ style). I had no idea there were so many different ways to cast on and cast off, and I’d never knit in the round.
Now I enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques when I need them. I’ve learnt new cast ons and cast offs, become a sock addict, taught myself to crochet, read lace and cable charts, learnt different ways to increase and decrease, and more. But one thing I’ve never done is entrelac. I just don’t particularly like the effect and so have had no desire to knit anything in it. Then last week, someone brought along a hand-knit entrelac cardigan to knitting group and asked how it was done. And while I could seen in principle how it must be done, I had to confess I didn’t know exactly.
Well now I do, for I have knit this entrelac tea cosy.
pattern: improvised, first two sets knit in the round, middle section knit flat with decreases, top section knit in the round, I-cord loop
yarn: ancient dk acrylic from stash
needles: 4 mm
Can’t see me wanting to knit entrelac again, all that going back and forward and picking up stitches is a right pain and I don’t like the effect enough for it to be worth it. But at least I now know how it’s done and the cafe where we have our knit nights has a new tea cosy. Actually they have 3 new cosies because I fell out with my current wip socks and wanted some simple makes, and because it seemed to me that a cafe that’s often full of knitters really should have knitted tea cosies
pattern: Strawberry Tea Cosy by Katya Frankel (available as a free ravelry download)
yarn: stash acrylic dk, used doubled
pattern: improvised, crocheted in treble crochet (US = double crochet), retro-fitted with bobbles
yarn: stash acrylic dk, used doubled