Saturday, 29 August 2015

Now, what to make next...

My upcycling project with the very old and rabbit-mutilated crocheted blanket has finally borne complete new little blanketty fruit. And here it is. I don't think I was into subtlety colourwise back in the seventies, and it's pretty crudely crocheted - it definitely doesn't bear close inspection - and it doesn't have those lovely colour changes or 3D flower effects etc that current afghan patterns feature, but it'll still keep someone warmer than if they weren't huddled up in it. I did my best with the decades-old squares and the dark joining-up cotton that I could hardly see and the limited time I had available! (Hmmm, are there any more excuses I can think of for a less than excellent job?)

This one, on the other hand, is reasonably okay. Altho' the photo manages to make it look washed-out grey and pink, it's actually hot pink and a pretty green. It's a strange shape, but would make a lap blanket or a baby blanket, or something anyway.

These were both too late for the Nepal appeal so they'll be going to Knit for Nowt later in the year, along with the stuff made at the knitathon in September. Don't forget to let me know if you're coming along; we have so much acrylic that will benefit so many people once it's knitted or crocheted up.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Cricket and crochet

You spend a day at the cricket - Yorkshire won, by the way, with a day to spare - you have the sunshine, you have the packed lunch...what else could you possibly need? A bit of crocheting, that's what, so I grabbed a ball of cotton and a hook and started on a market bag.
I love market bags. Really they're just upmarket, updated string bags, but more stylish and with added cachet these days when a plastic bag is - so some people would have us believe - a crime against the environment.
How to make one? Well, basically you produce a bit of solid crocheting at the bottom, a bit of mesh, a bit more solid crocheting, add a handle or two and you're done. Adjust stitches used and proportions to match your size and shape preferences. You need more than that?...take a look at for lots of free and paid for patterns.
Here's how far I got with mine in a few hours:

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Every time I resolve to finish a few things and reduce my pile of stuff that's in progress, someone shows me a new yarn, or offers me a sample ball or I realise we have something fab in the shop that I've never knitted with. It's a hard and confusing life.

Here's a couple of things I'm working on at present:
This is going to be a new cardigan for the wire lady in the lovely Wendy Ramsdale, a 100% British wool. It feels really lush in the knitting, as though it'll be cosy and warm through the coldest Old Bank winter. I'm using a very simple pattern from August's Knit Today but any DK pattern would be great.

And then there's this:
This is two balls of Debbie Bliss Angel knitted together in a simple lacy pattern from a stitch directory with a garter stitch edging. Prettier in the flesh.

So, that was all very straight and sensible, wasn't it? Anyone know any jokes?

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Oh, the tension!

The wire lady's been looking a bit sad lately. Could be because she doesn't have a name and is a bit dodgy on her feet, but I suspect it's more that she's been wearing the same little jumper for several weeks. I's a nice little jumper, but a girl needs a change now and then. I had one or two scrummy yarns I'd never made a sample for, so I set about finding a pattern.

I chose this one:
Lovely! Free! Entirely suitable for one of the yarns I wanted to use and it would be nice and chunky because I had to use the yarn double. I chose my yarn colours and set off. And then I did something I never do: I checked my tension. I spend my life telling people to check their tension. But for me, nope, can't be bothered. Anyway, it turned out I was getting a perfect 13 stitches to four inches and I felt pretty smug. See, I told myself, I don't need to check tension!

I'll cut to the chase: when I'd knit up the right front, it reached down to my knees. There might be designs where knee length is desirable and attractive, but this wasn't one of them.

So, I'll just say this: if you're substituting yarn, check the row count on your tension square as well as the stitches. You always do? Oh, right. Just me then...

Friday, 3 July 2015

The 5 Hour Baby Boy Sweater

A free pattern from ravelry, this, altho' I think the pattern it's based on has been around for a long time. And it's only a baby boy sweater if you purposely avoid the holes that come from making an extra stitch in the conventional way. And if you put the buttonhole on the boy side of the band. And it's only a sweater at all if you come from the USA or somewhere else where they call cardigans sweaters.

Anyway, see the difference in size? That comes from knitting one in aran and one in a wannabe - but not quite making it - aran. No worries for me - the blue one's a sample and the green one's a charity knit - but it's a pattern you might want to check your tension on if size matters, because even the proper aran one came out smallish. Plus, there's an issue with the sleeve instructions which required a little fudging. Hey ho. It's a free pattern - it'd be churlish to complain about the need for a little fudge.

Anyway, pretty cute. I think this might become my favourite for baby charity stuff - quick to make, but interesting enough to keep your attention.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Ten Poems About Knitting

A poetry book about knitting! Who'd have thought it?? Fab little collection anyway of poems old and new, sad and happy, long and get the idea.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Patricia Roberts

You know a knitwear designer's famous when you ask your Significant Other if they remember you having a knitting pattern book by Patricia Roberts back in the eighties, and they say yes. But that's what happened this morning and then I went off to find the book and I can't. Oh no! Of all the many fantastic knitwear books I've bought over the years, why did it have to be that particular very fantastic one that went missing? Did I look at it one day and think: these are all very eighties - time to let go? Did I lend it to someone? Did I never unpack it after we moved in twenty five years ago?

Well, I'll have a better look later, but in the meantime someone very kind has uploaded all the Patricia Roberts patterns to ravelry. Not the instructions, just the photos and signposts to where they can be found (mostly in books in secondhand bookshops, I think). Very well worth a scroll through for a taste of the more exciting end of eighties woolly fashion. I wasn't as adept or cavalier about yarn substitution at the time and some of the designs would've required PR's own yarn but I did make probably the most conservative garment featured - Some Like It Hot.