Monday, 30 April 2012

On the go....and not!

Sorting through my project bags today I realised I don't have that many on the go.
There's this:

A cardigan I was supposed to be knitting for a Christmas gift for a grown girl but which got cast on, quite literally, and then left without one further stitch worked. In fact I didn't even finish casting on, I was 14 stitches short when I pulled it out of it's bag today! So where did all those extra rows come from I know you're asking? Well after counting and finishing the cast on I decided to just work a couple of rows to see how the colour looks worked up. I love it. Hmm, I'm about the same size as the grown girl I had in mind, maybe I'll sneak this one away for myself?

Next up was this:

One single sad sock. Well actually it was a sock and a bit but I couldn't work out where I was up to with the lace pattern so I pulled the second one back ready for a fresh start. Probably a good idea as my tension may well be completely different by now - I completed this first sock getting on for two years ago now!

Then there's this:

Another of those little KC Dolman jackets. I enjoyed working the first one so much, after the initial worry over what I was actually doing, that I cast on this next one straight away. Haven't got too far have I? Well at least pulling it out of it's bag has reminded me that I owe Dawn an email (thanks for your pm btw - the patterns would be lovely and you got the email address right x).

And finally there's this:

The crochet bobbly cardigan. Not many projects on the go really is there?

Actually there's one less:

It wasn't the sore fingers making the bobbles that forced me ti rip it back - honest :) It was just that I felt the many colour changes in the yarn were swamping the pattern rather than allowing the bobbles to be the design feature. So it is no more. I still want to make that cardigan though, I'll just have to go through the stash and find a nice single colour yarn to work with.

Oooh, talking of stash, do you know I have bought only 2 skeins of yarn so far this year - how good am I? As always I started the year resolving not to buy yarn until I had seriously dented the stash. And then I lost my crafting mojo which meant I didn't even want to buy yarn, oooer. But now my mojo is back it seems, so I'm determined to start denting that stash......

Better get back to it then. Hmm, which project shall I pick up?


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Two little things

Both from the same book.
First up this little hat, knitted in an unknown yarn, which I think is most likely pure wool with maybe a little cashmere, it is so wonderfully soft and lovely to work with. I came across a bag of miscellaneous yarn at a charity shop and this was in there, only the one skein but enough for this super cute hat. So good to finally use it after having it in the stash for several years.

And then this little wraparound cardigan:

Worked in Sirdar Bamboo ribbon yarn, again stashed away for several years. This cardi used around 70g so I still have some left although it might be a long while before I use it again. I really don't like using ribbon type yarns - far too slippery! Actually this cardi was very quickly turning into a disaster as my tension was way off but I didn't realise until I had knitted the fronts and back and then wasn't going to rip back and start again! I kind of stretched bits and gathered in others and it looks ok, don't you think?
By the way - what do you think of my model? She's my demo baby for work when demonstrating breastfeeding positioning but now she has a second job too modelling my makes. Good job she doesn't want paying for all her work, she does more hours than I do......

Oh and I know I was supposed to be coming back with a finished bobbly cardi, and I will, but I needed a little break from all that hooking already. Maybe I'll get back to it later, especially if this rain, wind and cold continues to keep us inside......


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Yarn along

Keeping the yarn flowing and joining in with Ginny after a long break.

After the knitty makes of the past week a return to the hook after many month of them being hidden away - well apart from the constant that is the Granny stripe blanket (now in hibernation).

Working away on this cardigan from the book weekend crochet for babies using yarn from stash. It's a bit of a detour from my usual hooky skills (or lack of), I'm pretty much sorted with basic stitches but this cardi uses a bobble pattern with a stitch called htr3tog which means making one stitch from 7 hoops for every other row. And seeing as my crochet is worked very similarly to knitting as I still can't get the hang of tensioning the thread in my left hand, this means an awful lot of stopping and pulling the hook through the loops individually. It's coming along though and I'm envisioning a finish by this time next week. Who said crochet was faster than knitting then??
Reading at the moment, Breastfeeding special care babies. Support is offered to mums right cross the newborn services so I spend a proportion of my time in the hospital in the SCBU as well as the delivery suite, the postnatal and of course the community. Knowledge is fairly basic around special care babies and breastfeeding and refreshing this knowledge is always a good idea. And it's of genuine interest too so not just a "work" read.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is up to this week :)


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Oh no, it's a.........

Well kind of, I haven't been able to get him back long enough to add his horns, Heather is rather fond of him you know.

Not sure he is quite as Gruffalo as I'd hoped but hey, Heather recognised him straight away and she's the one I was knitting him for although that may be more down to "the purple prickles all over his back" Can't think of any other creature that has such lovely features?

So now we have the Gruffalo himself to watch the DVD repeatedly, throughout the day, with Heather. And to be read the books too. Oh, and of course the video all about his child too..... In fact Heather keeps changing her mind as to whether this is the Gruffalo or his child, I think there is a little of the fear factor when it comes to the Gruffalo himself, although not so much as the BIG BAD MOUSE where Mama must always have her eyes covered by a tiny persons hands although he's not really big you? He's just a shadow ;)

Pattern found on Ravelry of course and knitted up on 3mm needles from scrap bag DK. 
Right, upstairs to see if I can ease him out of her sleeping hands and give him the horns I have waiting for him.....

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Will it, won't it?

So remember I told you I had 20g of the Fyberspates yarn left after knitting the cardi and hat? I really wanted to use every scrap as it is such yummy soft yarn, but what to make with such a small amount? The thought process went kind of:
.....20g can't make much and I don't want to knit away and run out near the end. If I knit something that can be be made in two halves at least I can measure one to be sure I want run out on the second. Mitts with matching card is a bit...hmm...woolly overload, so maybe footwear?"
So I cast on using a very old Woolworths' knitting booklet:

I knitted away and getting towards the leg part realised I didn't have an awful lot left. I decide to leave the pattern and make a little roll cuff finish instead. It looked very sweet but I was a bit wary of how much yarn was left. Still if there was less than half at least I'd only wasted an hour knitting up one, rather than longer and running out. So I grabbed the scales hoping for it to flash up with less than 10g for the weight of the finished piece. And you know what? It weighed...............10g exactly! The length of yarn left weighed exactly the same. Well that wasn't as great as I'd hoped! Now I would have to cast on the second bootee and hope that the finished 10g bootee was just on the 10g, not 10.4g, or 10.5g, but 10g exactly. And of course that the 10g remaining was at least 10g, maybe 10.5g, or even 10.2g,  as long as it was exactly, or more than, the amount used for the first bootee.
So I cast on, knitted frantically, not once daring to look at the dwindling amount, all the while wondering if I could tweak the first bootee further and skip a row somewhere.  And you know what? This is what I ended up with:

Do you want to see what was left? Here you go:

Could it have been much closer? John very kindly asked why I had worried, why not just get another skein of the yarn? Well I couldn't tell him how much just one skein costs, could I? He still lives in the world where yarn costs a couple of pounds for enough to knit a whole jumper, where it's more economical to knit your own than to buy....... He knows I have some nicer yarns, but I don't think he knows what a short distance they actually go. You and I on the other hand, well we know don't we? We know that getting all of these from just one £15 skein of Fyberspates handpainted sock yarn is totally worth every stitch and every penny :)

So the crafting hiatus is over, I'm back with a vengeance. In fact I might even be back in a day or two with a completely different finished knit, something I'm already working my way excitedly through.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Waving hello :)

Ooh, it's been a long time hasn't it?
I have posted on and off on my other blog, but here? Well there has been nothing, absolutely nothing to blog of creatively! I've had no crafting get up and go at all. Days are spent at work or with the children, evenings are spent reading with the children, watching a DVD, and going off to bed as early as possible. I've thought about making stuff. I've flicked through patterns, other blogs and Ravelry for inspiration, but I just haven't had the energy to do anything. By time the evening meal is out of the way and the dishes washed, children calmed, PJ's on, I just want to relax and then sleep. I haven't had the energy to even walk up the stairs to bed most evenings. You know, I haven't even bought a single knit/sew/crochet/crafty magazine this year! Oh no, I lie, I bought the March issue of Let's knit hoping for a hit of inspiration, but no, nothing. Even flicking through the magazines in the shop has failed to inspire me into actually buying them. I've bought no yarn, not checked out the links in the yarn shop e-mails, not even hopped around Ebay looking for beautiful yarn bargains. Creative crafting has been at an all time low.
BUT, and yes it's a big but (literally and figuratively lol), I did keep the creative flow ticking over in that quiet place in my mind. And so I worked on the mega granny stripe. An odd few trebles here, a few clusters there, whole rows taking days and weeks to conjure up. But I had to keep at it. It needed no thought, no planning, no concentration, it just came out, ticked along, and reminded me that the feel of the yarns, the hook in hand, the growing project, is all good, and not to be let go forever. So far the mega blanket is around 220cms x 100cms, almost big enough for a single bed, and I've stopped for now. The blanket is happily living across the foot of our bed, the days are slowly warming and it is providing just that little extra comfort for chilly morning toes, although it's a little too heavy to work on now the evenings are a touch warmer. I haven't edged it, I'm hoping to work some more on it when autumn returns, hopefully using up a lot more of the acrylic scraps I have lurking around:

But it's ok like this for now, it did it's job, it kept the creativeity ticking along. A few days ago I cast on the King Cole Dolman cardigan. It's very similar to the EZ baby surprise jacket I think? Anyone who has knitted the BSJ please feel free to offer your thoughts :) I wanted to try the BSJ for ages but couldn't find the pattern in the UK. A colleague at work was also trying to find the same pattern and she came across the KC dolman and kindly offered me a copy. So I took this as a sign that I needed to get the needles out and get creative once again. Casting on and starting the jacket was a bit ....hmm...strange? Apparently I was casting on the sleeve edges, shoulders and back of neck. Even looking at the front picture I couldn't work out how that was happening. But then it shows the jacket from the front, the initial knitting is the sleeves and the back I later discovered. Just like I've heard about the BSJ, this jacket doesn't reveal it's true self until you're almost through. There came a moment, about 80% through, that it suddenly clicked, and that was such a blinding moment that I was in awe. I couldn't wait to cast off and before joining I had to share the reverance with anyone who happened into the room - look, a baggy heap of knitted fabric, a quick fold up and ta-dah, a beautiful baby jacket! Stunned faces all around. Even the "not into knitting" passers through were taken back by the sudden transformation.
And so I joined the shoulders, the only joining required, and here it is:

Lovely don't you think?
I knitted it using some of my lovely, luxury stash, one skein of Fyberspates hand dyed Sheila's Sock yarn, and I used such a tiny amount, just about 60g, it's such a soft, squishily smooth yarn that I'm happy to have left overs. I cast on straight away with another favourite pattern - the Aviatrix. A super speedy knit, a couple of hours later I was done:

Ok so the buttons aren't added yet, but I wanted to share and let you know I was back, hopefully, the creative juices flowing once more :)
Both together, beautiful for a newborn don't you think:

And the hat itself took only 20g so I'm hoping there's enough for a little something to complete the set.....

Can I just say, if anyone has actually stuck by me through the drought, that I am so happy to be back, I've still been following so many blogs, but circumstances have just made it impossible for me to stay regular, stay in touch, and let you know I'm around. Thanks for the awards received whilst I've been away, accepted gracefully in mind if not in type. And thank you for coming back again, to share the haphazard creativity. Happy crafting days for all of us.