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, 2 February 2016

Nothing much happening here.....

.....well that is not strictly true.  The downstairs of my house is slowly being ripped apart and put back together again.  Our kitchen has been replaced and all the floors have been renewed including the floorboards and joists.  We have taken the opportunity to put insulation under the floors which should make this cold house a bit more comfortable. 

The carpenter is now working in the last room.  Woo hoo!  Then I will be able to put all the furniture back where it belongs and come back down from the bedroom where I (and the poor cat) seem to have been hiding away for weeks!  To make matters worse the road outside my house is being dug up by the National Grid.  So I am being bombarded by drilling noises from all directions.

The dust gets everywhere.  So my crafting activities are restricted to the evenings when the cloud of dust has settled.  I don't have anywhere decent to take photos at the moment.  But I managed to take a photo of my current project.  It is a scarf that I am knitting with two 4 ply yarns held together.  The variegated yarn came from a charity shop and the plain blue was donated to me.  I chose to use 6mm needles and the texture is beautifully fluid and soft.  I'm using a one row pattern.  It is so simple and mindless as every row is the same.  

I can't remember where the pattern came from.  So I sadly can't add a link. But experienced knitters will probably be able to work it out from just looking at the photo!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Yarn chicken: you win some, you lose some...

I bought the first issue of a new crochet magazine last year.  The only reason was its cheap introductory price.  This made the free gift of two balls of yarn very good value. One was a useful white and the other was a cheerful green.  I chose to make something with the green last week as it reminded me of the spring that can't be far away.  

The yarn bands did not give any information about its weight or recommended hook/needle sizes.  I measured it as 5 ply which is not something I am really used to.  I decided to knit a baby hat.  I like this colour on children but I chose the 6 months size as it might be a bit too strong for newborns.  I wasn't confident that I would have enough yarn and I was right.  I had to speed up the crown decreases and this hat would probably now fit a baby of 4 months.  

I then took the white yarn and knitted a hat for a newborn.  I'm much happier with this one as there was enough yarn to knit the pattern as written.  The pattern is the Simple Lines Baby Hat by Heather Tucker and I will definitely knit this again.  The designer has even included links to coordinating baby blanket patterns.

I realised too late that I should have knitted the white newborn hat first.  That way, I would have been forewarned that I didn't have enough green yarn for the 6 months size.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Farmer's Market Scarf

My scarf drawer is groaning under the weight of scarves that I either bought years ago or made recently.  The winter here has only just arrived.  So I am really pleased to have just finished this scarf that I knitted with wool Daughter gave me for Christmas.  I emailed a photo to her and she loves it.  That is real praise because she is someone who speaks her mind.  If she says she likes something, she means it.  If she doesn't like something, she finds it hard to be tactful!

The yarn is Wendy Festival Chunky and I used almost 100g.  The free pattern is the Farmer's Market Scarf by Rebecca Shepler.  She gave it that name because she designed and made it while working at a Farmer's Market.  Outdoor jobs must be quite challenging at this time of year.

I love this scarf because it it as cosy as a keyhole scarf but is less bulky and can be made with just one 100g ball of yarn.  The pattern starts with a clever shell design which, admittedly, takes a bit of concentration.  After that, it is plain sailing.   You can do a 3-needle cast off and spend time blocking it. Or, like me, you can have an easy life.  I just did a simple cast off and didn't block it. Report me to the Knitting Police!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Mochi Neck Cozy...

Daughter gave me two balls of Wendy Festival Chunky yarn for Christmas.  The perfect present!  She even surprised me by looking through a knitting book that was on my bookshelf.  I'll make a knitter of her one day!

I started a scarf for myself with one of the balls and made a neck cosy for Daughter with the other.  It used just over 40g of yarn so I have enough left for another one. The pattern I followed is Mochi Neck Cozy by Sarah Keller and can be found HERE.  It is well written and I followed the pattern exactly.  

It looks small in the photo.  But it is very stretchy.  Daughter is petite, so it will fit perfectly.  I chose beige buttons.  They are not an obvious colour choice for a blue/orange/purple scarf.  But they match her winter coat.  They will also look good against her mane of glossy brunette hair.  Sigh!

As this pattern is for chunky yarn, there are only 18 rows x 62 stitches.  This is a super quick knit! 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Knit For Winter 2015: the finished hats...

An amazing 55g of 4 ply yarn was all it took to knit these little bonnets for the Knit For Winter 2015 campaign.  Sunrise Senior Living organises annual campaigns and this year opted to help First Touch which supports sick and premature babies at St. George's Hospital in London.

Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year and 600 of these are born at St. George's Hospital.  Keeping them warm is very important and the hats and blankets that will be made by many knitters will be invaluable.  If you want to get involved, there is still time this winter.  You can download the knitting patterns here

Each hat takes only a few hours to knit and they are a wonderful way to use up small scraps of yarn.  I was able to knit one of each size in the pattern with just 55g of yarn.

I knitted these in the peace and quiet of the last couple of weeks. This is my first post of what looks like being a hectic 2016 for me.  Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Blanket finished....

Having said in my last post that I was setting this blanket aside, I then changed my mind and finished it.  It only needed a couple of hours work and it makes a lovely festive photo.  Here are all four sides completed in different colours.  I really like the effect and will probably do this again one day.  I followed this pattern from the What A Woolly Life blog.

There are 21 little pattern repeats along each edge.  These help to stop the strange phenomenon of a square diagonal blanket trying to turn itself into a rectangle. 

This blanket was crocheted with a new great-niece in mind. However, Hubby, who never usually says anything nice about my projects, saw it and said it should be saved for a really, really special baby.  I think the old softy (not) must be thinking ahead to grandchildren!   The great-niece won't go without.  I have a small stock of baby hats and blankets ready for all the babies that will probably start arriving in the next few years.

Vital statistics:  the blanket is 31" square and used 290g of dk yarn.

This is probably my last post of 2015, so here's wishing all my blogging friends and readers:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Knit for Winter 2015: Supporting First Touch Premature Babies

My mission for the next couple of weeks is to knit tiny bonnets for premature babies. I was recently contacted by Sunrise Senior Living and asked if I would be interested in supporting and publicising their latest  Knit For Winter campaign.  This year they are helping First Touch by knitting blankets and bonnets for premature babies born at St. George's Hospital in London.  I'm a Londoner and love to support local causes as well as those further afield.

Sunrise Senior Living very kindly sent me this yarn.  I would have used my own yarn if I had any left.  But I spent the summer knitting through my supplies of 4ply baby yarn and couldn't really justify buying more.  

I chose to knit the hats rather than the blanket as I already have a large blanket in progress.  I have set that aside temporarily even though it is almost finished.  The intended recipient won't be born until March!  So these little warm hats are needed more urgently.  I should be able to knit several with this 200g of lovely King Cole Baby yarn. 

If you fancy knitting a simple blanket or some baby hats, see here for details and patterns.