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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Castonitis

Yep, the Single Project Status didn’t last long 😉

Last week I started a vintage style cardigan, which is making good progress, but it isn’t the best travel knitting. So I had to cast on some self-striping socks …

And of course, while I was looking in my stash for this sock yarn, my creative juices were in full flow, so I also cast on a new shawl, just for a bit of variety 😉

Now, none of these projects is a quick project. So to keep my motivation high, I decided to cast on something else as well! This crocheted jar cover looks lovely with a tealight in it and it was completed in an evening = result! 😀

Have your creative juices been flowing this week? I’d love to hear what’s on – and off – your needles!

😀

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Vintage knit

What Elaine knit next!

I recently joined a group of volunteers who meet at the Black Country Living Museum, knitting and sewing clothes and accessories to support the museum’s costume department.

Having finished my grey cardigan in super-quick time, I was perfectly placed to cast on a new project, so put up my hand to volunteer to make a 1940s-style cardigan. The costume department provided the pattern (Belinda by Patons Australia) and the yarn (Cygnet Aran in colourway 309 Earth Brown) and I’m making good progress using 6.5 mm needles.

With the current cold spell (we had snow again this morning), I feel inspired to complete this cardigan quickly to help keep one of the museum re-enactors warm! Let’s see how it goes …

Have you cast on a new project this week? I’d love to hear all about it!

😀

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Philodendron Finished!

This cardigan pattern has been in my queue since I bought it in 2015, so when I was deciding on a Christmas project, it seemed like a good time to make it happen.

Cast-on on Christmas Eve, it has grown so quickly that I haven’t had chance to tell you about it … and I have finished it already!

The pattern is Philodendron by Holli Yeoh, and the yarn is Drops Karisma (100% wool) in marbled light grey, colour 72.

It turned out a little on the large size, due to my choice of a substitute yarn, and the sleeves were rather long, so I took the scissors to them, removed two pattern repeats and re-knitted the cuffs.

Result! 😀

I’ve surprised myself by finishing it so quickly – I think this may be my fastest cardigan project ever!

So what shall I knit next?

How’s your knitting coming along this week? I’d love to hear about it!

😀

 

 

 

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So … Socks

A short post this week to share with you my latest Finished Object … My Nutkin socks are off the needles and ready for my feet!

The only change I made to the pattern was to use rib for the cuff, instead of a folded hem. I’m not sure how the ridge across the toe flap will work in practice when in a shoe – I guess time will tell – but it was interesting to knit and I’m willing to give it a go before making a judgment.

I’m already lining up my next sock project … Just a case of deciding which ball to use from my (greatly reduced) stash 😀

Do you have a favourite sock pattern? I’d love to hear about it!

😀

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Second Chances

Somehow, over the course of 2017 I managed to address my WIP (work-in-progress) pile; bravely unravelling a small number of the languishing projects and happily finishing others.

I was surprised by the sense of achievement I felt. Yes, the finished objects were satisfying, but unravelling the ones that weren’t making the grade was equally (and possibly even more) worthwhile. Recognising a lost cause and doing something about it?

In particular, I was smitten with the idea of rescuing some yarn from an unhappy situation and giving it a second chance. There aren’t many times in life where you can simply unravel something and start again 😉

So why stop at unfinished objects? My Ravelry record tells me that I had completed an aran cable jumper back in 2014 … and I know I have never worn it. Too warm, too long, too bulky. I didn’t even like it enough to offer it to friends or family. But it was a finished jumper, so it had never occurred to me to undo it … until now!

From this …

to this …

in less than 30 minutes!

The back of the wardrobe is unchartered “frogging” territory for me and I’m disproportionately happy about it! Even finished objects can be reviewed, unravelled and upcycled. I am already excited at the prospect of creating something new with this rescued wool. It feels like a metaphor for the year ahead and one I want to remember.

I’m also a little worried that I might have got a taste for unravelling … so if you have any yarny items you want “frogged”, feel free to pass them in my direction!

😀

 

 

 

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Lovely Lichen

My knitting prompt this week came while tidying some winter damage on the apple trees with my volunteer colleagues – the branches carried a range of coloured lichen, in amazing patterns and textures …

I believe it’s possible to dye with lichen … I haven’t tried it – have you? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

😀

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The opposite of unravel

I’ve been unravelling this week – just some knitting, you understand 😉

It occurred to me that I often “unravel”, but I’ve never used (or even come across) the opposite word “ravel” … So I looked it up to check it exists, and sure enough, “ravel” is both a verb and a noun …

VERB

1. (Ravel something out) Untangle or unravel something.
‘Davy had finished ravelling out his herring net’

2. Unravel; fray.
‘a shirt with a ravelled collar’

3. Confuse or complicate (a question or situation)
‘I’d prefer you to keep your nose out of my business and not ravel things further’

NOUN

A tangle, cluster, or knot.
‘a ravel of knitting’

ORIGIN

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘entangle, confuse’): probably from Dutch ravelen ‘fray out, tangle’.

I have to admit I find the above definition of the verb rather confusing, with its use of the word “unravel” as part of the description. The confusion is appropriate, I suppose 😉

No, “ravel” is not a word I’m going to be using in everyday conversation. How about you?

Have you discovered any new words lately? I’d love to hear about them!

😀

 

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