Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Off they go....

This hat looks 100% better in real life!  I had some variegated yarn left after finishing my recent blanket and, as usual, didn't want to "put it back in the bag".  So I knitted a hat to fit a toddler.  I had a tiny amount of matching plain pink yarn and thought this was the perfect opportunity to use it up.  There was enough for the 8 rows of ribbing and also to insert a very subtle single round every nine rounds in the main body of the hat.  These contrast rounds barely show up in the photo.  You can just about see one on the left side of the hat above the ribbing.  But I am very pleased at how they look and will do this again with another hat.

I added the hat to the parcel of goodies that I have just sent off to Operation Orphan for their Keep A Child Warm campaign.  That is 4 scarves, 8 hats and a jumper out of my home and on their way to keep someone warm.

I managed to use up every last scrap of the plain pink yarn.  I love it when that happens.  However, I still have some of the variegated yarn left and just had to put it away.  I'm all pinked out for now and have started a little project in blue...more about that soon.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Tickled Pink blanket....

Why is this called the Tickled Pink blanket?  Apart from the obvious fact that 99% of it is various shades of pink:
  1. I learned how to crochet a new granny square
  2. I learned how to crochet a new edging
  3. I used up some of my shocking pink yarn
  4. I managed to sneak in some grey
  5. I finished it!!
The new granny square is the Not So Square Granny by Bob Wilson and I added the link to the brilliant video tutorial in a previous blog post.  I will definitely use this square again in future as it is so pretty.

The edging is the Attic24 Bobble-shell Edging by Lucy. This is another great tutorial with some very helpful photos.  It is a quick and easy edging and most crocheters would fly along with it.  However, I made things difficult for myself because I was using two strands of yarn held together.  That meant that, at one point in each cluster, I had eight strands of yarn on my hook!  This slowed me down a lot.  It would obviously be a much easier with one strand of yarn and I will definitely use this edging again.  A lot of people commented on Lucy's page that this is a great edging for a baby blanket.  I think that is probably because there is something for baby fingers to wrap around but no holes to trap them.

I vastly underestimated how much shocking pink yarn I would need for the rounds and the edging.  Consequently, I still have miles of it left to use on more blankets. That will not be a problem.  I like the colour when it is used in small amounts.

This blanket has gone off to SIBOL from where the busy Sue will include it in her next delivery of blankets to a care home for the elderly somewhere in the UK.

What is there to do when a blanket is finished?  Well, I could start another one.  So I will, though it will probably take longer as the summer months are always busy for me.  Watch this space...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

And now, one for the boys...

Having recently knitted some bright pink hats, I decided to play fair and knitted a balaclava with some grey wool left over from a recent project.  I added three stripes in a variegated grey yarn to add some interest and because I really like this yarn. I bought it a couple of years ago from an enterprising lady who was selling items from her front room.  The plain grey yarn came to me in a bargain joblot and is very soft. This will be a warm and comfortable hat.

This balaclava should fit a child aged 3-4 years.  It is from this very easy balaclava pattern.  I have knitted several of these in the past and never cease to be amazed at how little yarn is needed.  100g of dk yarn is more than enough to knit two of the age 3-4 years size.  This one will be going off very soon to Operation Orphan.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Pretty in pink hats...

This time last week I was on the last round of a very big crochet project that I have been working on.  It has gone surprisingly quick because I have worked on it exclusively.  Then I needed a bit of a break from it.  So I knitted these two hats.  

The bigger one is toddler size and follows the Simple Lines Baby Hat pattern by Heather Tucker.  The smaller one is for a six months old baby and is a slight variation on the Basic Baby Hat pattern also by Heather Tucker.  I just added a row of eyelet holes above the ribbing because I felt like it!  I managed to use just 27g of yarn on the smaller hat and about 44g on the larger one.

I love the pink and the variegated yarns in these hats.  Little girls seem to love pink even when their mothers try to steer them towards other colours.

If I had stuck with my larger project, it would be finished by now. But the weather here is very warm at the moment, so it still doesn't appeal to me.  I feel one more hat in my system before the temperature cools down a little next week.  Watch this space...

Friday, 22 April 2016

A sneak preview of that shocking pink....

I finally made a start on using the shocking pink yarn that I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I have a huge ball of it.  I found it in a big bag of tangled yarn that someone was trying to sell at my local market.  I said "Oh, it's all tangled", offered a cheeky price, and the stallholder snapped my hand off!  I quite enjoy sorting out tangled yarn.  So I did that first and then mulled over what to do with the shocking pink.....and mulled, and mulled.

Then I remembered a pattern that I had saved on one of my Pinterest boards.  It must be good because lots of other crafters have taken the pin.  Here it is:

Observant readers might notice that I copied the colours.  That was by sheer coincidence.  They are exactly the colours I needed to use for the start of my project. The pattern and video tutorial are very well done.  I was able to follow them easily and I did so until I reached the grey rounds.  Then I winged it a little as I wanted to continue making a much bigger granny square.  

The fact that I was able to crochet something that looks like a flower and then adjust the pattern to make a larger square has me stupidly chuffed.  I might be starting to understand this crochet business!  

I usually stay well within my comfort zone when crocheting.  But this pattern has made me think that I might tackle one of those beautiful mandalas that I see on other blogs.  At least it's on my future "to do" list and that is progress for someone who always has to look at instruction books whenever she starts a new crochet project!

PS: If I regularly comment on your blog and appear to have stopped recently, it could be due to a new Blogger problem.  Some comments are coming back as "undeliverable".  I'm hoping this is just a temporary glitch.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Two little boys' hats...

I had some blue yarn left over after knitting my recent scarf and I didn't want to put it back "in the bag".  So I knitted two newborn baby hats.  The colours are possibly a little darker than most baby hats.  But I would have used these if Daughter had been a boy and I also have nieces who are crazy about a football team that wears these colours.

The pattern I used for the darker hat is by Heather Tucker and can be found here.  I like the raised stitches detail as it adds just enough interest.  It is very easy, though you do have to keep track of which round you are knitting.  For the variegated hat, I followed the Basic Baby Hat pattern which is also by Heather Tucker.  It is a complete breeze to knit as it omits the raised stitches detail.  Just point your needles and go!

The nieces I mentioned probably have at least five years living to do before they produce babies.  So I will probably send these hats off to Operation Orphan.

Newsflash: my dilemma about what to do with the shocking pink yarn has been solved.  I have actually made a start on using it in a new project.  Watch this space.....

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The "One in, one out" scarf...

My scarf drawer is now officially full.  If I knit or crochet a new scarf for myself, I have to get rid of one.  Spilling over into another drawer is not an option.  Our 5-10 year plan includes the strong possibility of downsizing, though there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then.  Meanwhile, I am trying NOT to add to my possessions.

I had lots of scraps of various blue yarns left over after crocheting a big blanket. I like blue and have a couple of blue jackets.  So I decided to crochet yet another scarf.  I used a simple v-stitch pattern and a 5.5mm hook.  Eight full v stitches plus a half stitch at each end of the row gave me a scarf measuring 6.5 inches.  

I combined some variegated 4 ply yarn with 3 different dark blue dk yarns.  I managed to reach a length of 41 inches before the dark blues were used up.  This length is fine on me as I like to tuck my scarves into my jackets and prefer not to have lots of unnecessary bulk.  

It is not a thing of beauty and I wouldn't dream of giving it to someone else.  But it looks better on than in the photo, is warm, suits me and made good use of left over yarn.  Win, win, win, win.

No scarves suffered in my scarf cull.  I found one that is small, soft and pretty.  It will be perfect for a child and is now destined for my next Operation Orphan parcel.