This and that

“Oh, you knit! What are you working on at the moment?” I have been asked this question many times. Almost as often as “how long does it take you to knit a jumper?”!

Does the person really want to know? There are so many variables, so I usually give a friendly but generalised answer, which seems to work well in most situations.

The longer answer could take a while! I’ve got a mixed project bag at the moment, and I’ve just finished a couple of smaller projects too. Want to see?

Finished objects …

Works in progress …

It was thanks to these on-going projects that I succeeded in attending the Wool@J13 event without buying any wool! Are you impressed by my restraint? There was plenty of yarny temptation, with lots of talented crafters showcasing their designs and wares. My resolve to merely “window-shop” was tested, I can tell you. How about a hand-crafted, hallmarked, silver crochet hook from Lyn Roberts Design, based in Wales? Gorgeous! It was lovely to see the new generation of yarn-artists too, such as Hermione Crowe, applying a fresh take on the old skills. The weather was surprisingly good, making it a pleasure to sit outside and listen to The Haywood Sisters, singing a variety of songs from the 1940s to the 1980s.

And meanwhile, the garden continues to burst into life with beautiful colours, shapes, and textures that change a mundane day into an inspired one!

Osteospermum, enjoying the sunshine!

What has inspired you this week? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy crafting!

😃

 

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Short Rows and Frills

The gardener at Hanbury Hall was taking a short breather, contemplating how best to mow the triangle of grass so that the lines were straight and in keeping with the rest of the lawn.

We had an interesting chat about the options and – being A Knitter – I suggested the principle of short row shaping, applying it to the grass scenario. I reckoned it would work pretty well!

Elsewhere in the garden, there was more creative inspiration – the colours of the bluebells against the bright green grass stopped me in my tracks.

Back at home, the frilly edge of these tulips reminded me that I’ve been meaning to knit the Lintilla shawl by Martina Behm for quite some time.

I’m sure I have some suitable yarn in my stash … albeit in a less striking colourway – I’ll go and have a look!

Has knitting cropped up in your conversations this week? I’d love to hear about it!

😃

 

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Hooked!

My latest project is a step outside my comfort zone … it has been a while since I crocheted and it is long overdue.

The yarn is Lana Grossa Shades of Cotton, in the 101 colourway. It works up as double knit weight, but is made up of 4 fine strands to create a subtle colour change which somehow transitions from turquoise to orange over the course of the 200g skein. Clever!

I am crocheting a scarf from the accompanying German pattern booklet – it is design number 7, Schmaler Schal im Wellenmuster, which showcases the yarn beautifully.

It may take a while, as each row is very long and needs attention, but I’ll get there!

Happy crocheting!

😃

 

 

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Retro Tea Cosy

This little project proved to be an unexpected challenge – pulling the stranded yarn tightly across the back of the work felt so wrong!

Normally, stranded colour work requires a nice, even tension to stop the floats from pulling. Here, I had to make a conscious effort to pull them tight, in order to create the pleats with their insulating pockets of air, to keep the teapot warm.

The pattern is Patons Classic Pleated Tea Cozy, a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn is Stylecraft DK, unlabelled part-skeins from deep stash.

I made the middle size, the 4-6 cup, and it fits my Brown Betty teapot perfectly. Sadly, it is only a temporary pairing. The vintage-style cosy is destined for the Black Country Living Museum for the Summer Fête stall!

Anyone for tea?

😀

 

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Log Cabin Mitts

Sometimes you see a project on Ravelry and decide to try it out, there and then!

The Log Cabin Mitts pattern by Karen Templer of the Fringe Association was one such project.

image

I had two part-skeins of Drops Nepal in my stash, so knitted the colour blocks in such a way that the yarn was evenly distributed. The original pattern shows lots of possible permutations, and you could use as many colours as you want.

The pattern is free and I can definitely recommend it to you. Let me know if you give it a go!

😃

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Edd the Duck

My decluttering has had its ups and downs, I have to admit. It’s a work in progress – much like my knitting!

One of my rediscovered treasures was a video (yes, a VHS video) of Edd the Duck, recorded from the TV over 25 years ago. Why would I have recorded and kept this? After all, Edd was (spoiler alert!) a hand puppet on Children’s TV, accompanying Andy Crane and Andi Peters in The Broom Cupboard, and appearing between the main programmes.

Well, encouraged by my young nieces, I had designed and knitted a jumper for Edd, with the Blue Peter logo worked on the front. We were all thrilled whenever he wore it and I managed to capture it on video a couple of times too …

So that’s my claim to fame – Edd the Duck wore my jumper!

Have you taken a trip down knitting memory lane recently? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy knitting!

😃

 

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A nose for wool

There’s a “nose” in relation to wine, so why not for wool? I’ve thought about this several times this week, as I’ve found myself burying my nose in my knitting and breathing in the distinctive wool fumes emanating from my works-in-progress …

This is the first time I have knitted with Snaelden, a heritage yarn from the Faroe Islands, and I’m very impressed with it so far. I particularly love the woolly smell 😍 [Hmm, I wonder when we will be able to capture smells on our smartphones and iPads?]

I also made my first attempt at felting a block of soap this week …

In theory, the felt acts as a gentle exfoliator on the skin and also keeps the soap in shape longer, but I haven’t tested it out yet. The sheepy smell is quite strong when the felt is wet – I’m not sure that’s such a good thing when you’re trying to get yourself clean!

Have you made or used a bar of felted soap? What did you think of it? Do you like the idea?

It looks pretty anyway!

😃

 

 

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Darn it!

During the cold winter months I have been wearing my cosy alpaca house socks more than usual, and they are getting rather threadbare …

The heels have completely worn through, and the soles are thin, but I couldn’t bear to throw them away. They have more life in them yet!

The surrounding fabric wasn’t strong enough for me to darn the hole, so I decided to have a go at patching it. I picked up a few stitches, knitted a few rows to form a flap, then sewed the edges down to cover the hole.

From this …

via this ..

to this …

They won’t last forever, but they may now see me through the rest of the winter!

Have you made any repairs lately? I’d love to hear about them!

😀

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Snowflakes mitts ready for the snow!

My Selbu mittens with the snowflake pattern have been successfully road-tested this week – I finished them a matter of hours before the wintry weather hit! ☃

Having made a major adjustment to the original cuff, my plan had been to turn the stocking stitch panel inwards to create a folded hem (left mitt in the photo below)

But when I saw the mittens lying on the side table, waiting to be finished, I decided I quite liked the way the stocking stitch rolled outwards on itself, so I joined the ends and declared them finished …

Snowflakes, all ready for the snow! ❄☃🌨

Take care, stay safe and happy knitting!

😃

 

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Mitten mash-up

For some reason, the cast-on edge of my Selbu Mittens wouldn’t lie flat, and as I was working the rest of the mitten, it began to irritate me. I tried dampening it and leaving it to dry, but it still wanted to curl.

I know life’s short and all that, but I also know that rolling edge would spoil the mitten for me. When I finished the top of the mitten, I tried it on for size and cut the cuff off at a suitable point.

I re-knit a simple rib, adding a single stripe of navy and a purl row to act as a turning edge, followed by a few rows of stocking stitch to finish, which I am going to tuck inside and catch down, to form a warm, neat cuff. It will be quite a bit shorter than the original pattern, and that’s fine for me!

I have now started the second mitten, using a provisional cast-on at the point in the pattern where I cut the first cuff, so that I will able to replicate the improvised replacement cuff.

It seems I just keep tinkering with patterns these days 😉 A tweak here, major surgery there. Isn’t it great that knitting allows you to do that? 😀

What’s the biggest alteration you’ve made to a pattern or project? I’d love to hear how it went!

😃

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