Sunday, 23 February 2014

Flat knitting

I've been working on two projects since the New Year.

The first is a baby blanket for the SANDS charity. Knitted in white DK yarn and I'm using 4.5mm flat needles. It's a fairly simple pattern but it takes longer than I had expected and I'm not even doing the lace border. I've just cast off my first blanket and only need to weave in the loose ends. (My mother has already finished two blankets in the time it's taken me to do one!)

I've assembled a group of knitters across the country and we are aiming to knit a whole load of baby blankets to send off. If possible, we're hoping to get sponsored along the way for the total number of blankets we make. Several people have told me how much they are enjoying knitting the blankets and thinking of the babies that they might go to. Everyone seems to know someone who has lost a baby and there is a lot of love going in to these blankets.

The second is a quick project to use up a ball of green/pink, merino and tencel sock yarn that I bought years ago and have been saving up. Originally, I planned to make myself a pair of socks but I recently changed my mind and found a pattern for a lacy scarf. Again, it's a simple pattern and I can do it whilst I watch TV.

My husband commented that it wouldn't be scarf weather for much longer. I tried to point out that it's not supposed to be a 'keeping you warm on a cold day' scarf but a 'looking pretty against a plain top' scarf. He doesn't understand...!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Resolving power

I don't normally make New Year's resolutions but this year I have decided to right a few wrongs.

I somewhat lost my knitting mojo in 2013 so I plan to find and rekindle it in 2014. I intend to design and knit at least one new pattern of my own creation. (I'm already feeling the touch of inspiration!) I also plan to get through more of my stash. I'm going to frog all wips that have not been touched for months and repurpose the yarn for new projects.

I also want to do some charity knitting. I'm affiliated with SANDS and have an idea for getting together a group of people to knit blankets. A friend who used to run a stitch-n-bitch group has offered to organise it and we hope to raise funds through sponsorship for our endeavours.

Finally, I am going to read more in 2014. For the last couple of years, I haven't read much for pleasure. I read for my job and I've read a few non-fiction books but, this year, I want to get into a reading habit (mostly to set a good example for my daughter, who is just learning to read for herself). I'm starting with "Knitting Rules" by Stphanie Pearl-McPhee. Just three chapters in, I have already found myself nodding in agreement and laughing out loud at some of her wisdoms.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Long Winter Nights

Well, my daughter's lace cardi is still on the needles. (I haven't the energy to think about lace at the moment!) I do intend to finish it soon, though, because we have been invited to a couple of Spring weddings and the cardi would make a warm cover-up.

The mini-monkeys are taking some time, too. They are knitted on 2.5mm needles and are very fiddly! Especially the one I'm doing in dark brown - it's quite hard to see the stitches on the needle for the increases and decreases.

Socks for me will have to wait. A friend has just announced that she's going on sabbatical to do some volunteering and an outdoor research project for her OU degree, so I'm going to make her some welly-boot socks or leg warmers! I just need to find a pattern and choose some yarn from my stash.

Oh, and I've been struck by inspiration. A colleague was wearing a very interesting sweater, which looked like a backwards, slash-neck cardigan. It had raglan sleeves and was knitted in reverse st st. She's promised to wash it and bring it in to work next week for me to have a proper look at, so I can figure out if/how I could make something similar. I've done a quick bit of research on Ravelry and have some ideas for starting points. I've all but decided to abandon the open lace cardi I was making for myself and re-purpose the yarn for this new venture.

All I need to do now is pull my finger out!

This blog has been somewhat neglected over the past year. I've lost my knitting mojo a bit these last 12 months but I'm hoping that it will return over the Winter months. I'm going to stoke the fire by getting the lace cardi and monkeys closer to fruition.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Autumn/Winter collection

I've started planning which projects I'm going to line up to take me through the long, cold Winterr nights. I'm not allowing myself to buy any new yarn until I've made a significant dent in my stash, so whatever I knit must come from my somewhat limited stock.

Firstly, I've promised a friend that I'll knit a pair of mini monkeys for her newborn twin boys. This will be my first project so that I can get them in the post in time for Christmas.

Secondly, I would also like to design and knit a reversible dolly for my daughter. You know, one of those whose skirts gets flipped to reveal another dolls head underneath. This will be a huge challenge so I'm going to have to do some research!

Thirdly, it's about time I made myself a pair of socks. My stash contains some merino wool that I've been drooling over for about five years but haven't plucked up the courage to knit. I'm going to find a nice pattern and get some socks out of it.

Finally, I also want to finish my stash-busting crochet blanket and do a crochet sampler in preparation for making the awesome owl blanket!

It looks like I'll be spending a lot of time curled up in the sofa with needles or hooks in hand and yarn dangling by my feet!

Juniper scarf

Well, it's not tubular and I didn't knit it on circular needles but I have turned the three skeins of Sirdar Juniper yarn in my stash into a lacy scarf of sorts.

I cast on 25sts and worked 3 rows in moss st. Then I worked the next row as follows: k1, (k2tog, yo) rep to last 2sts, k2. These 4 rows formed the lace pattern and I repeated them until I ran out of yarn. Then I cast off all sts knitwise.

The result is a short scarf (approx 140cm long) that will tuck quite nicely into the collar of my grey felt jacket.

I've been coveting this yarn for such a long time that I'm hoping to get plenty of wear out of this scarf over the Autumn/Winter season.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Getting hooked

I think I'm finally getting the hang of crochet! Until this point, it has seemed akin to magic or witchcraft but now I'm getting used to hooking the yarn and keeping tension with my fingers. I understand how the chains and links are constructed.

I've made 60 flowers (like the ones below) for the garland bunting I'm making for my daughter's bedroom:

and now I'm starting to plan my next project.

I'd love to make this owl blanket but I don't my skills are advanced enough yet. So, I've added it to my Ravelry queue and I'm thinking of doing a sampler project first to practise the stitches a bit more. Perhaps something like this...?