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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!!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Wow! Look what I just received....



This beautiful yarn arrived today.  It was sent to me by Kate at Loving Hands. This is the biggest online community of knitters, crocheters and sewers that I know about.  I was delighted when I came across it years ago.  There is a very active forum where many members log in every day for a chat. The group is heavily into making items for several charities, though there is no obligation to do this.  Many members are busy just making things for friends and family.

Occasionally, people send donations of yarn to Loving Hands.  When that happens, Kate puts a note on the forum inviting members to ask for it.  She then does her best to divide the yarn fairly among everyone who replies.  Loving Hands is a non-profit making organisation but still pays the postage costs which are very high in the UK.  It is entirely optional whether or not members send in a small donation to cover the charges.  Many members use the Easyfundraising website to raise funds when they shop with participating stores.

Some very generous yarn donations were made recently.  I made a request as I am running short on baby yarn for my preemie items.  What arrived certainly exceeded my expectations.  There is some lovely quality yarn here including the very soft Peter Pan Cupcake.  I have never knitted with this before.  There is just enough white to make a small preemie square.  So I am off to cast on now...

Friday, 12 August 2016

Birthday bounty....



Today, I am another year older (unbelievable but true) and another year wiser (really?).  I noticed that it is a whole month since I updated this blog.  Summer is always my busiest time.  I have been knitting, but only have a preemie blanket to show for my efforts.  Here it is.  It is so plain and boring that I didn't open it up for the photo.  Just picture this multiplied by four and you get the idea.

This morning, I decided that the weeds and grass can party as much as they want to.  I went to the shops under instructions to buy a new blouse.  I don't need a new blouse.  But, if someone else is paying, I'll attempt to buy one.  The weather here is very warm and summery.  The shops, however, have brought in their autumn jumpers.  No wonder they struggle to get customers through their doors.  I eventually found a lightweight jacket, which I do need, and bought it.

My mind then turned to wool.  I don't need any of that either and have been very good about not buying any recently.  But a charity shop was selling balls of aran wool for £1 each.  I bought two grey balls which will make a lovely scarf as they are an acrylic and wool blend.  I was very restrained because I picked up and then put back two more balls.  They were a sickly mustard shade and even I would have trouble finding a use for them.

Then, I saw a wool stall which is normally only open on a Thursday.  I think it must be under new management because the prices are now very reasonable as opposed to jaw-droppingly expensive.  The range of wool has also improved.  It now resembles what most people would actually knit with.  Before, the wool was so specialist and expensive that I was almost afraid to touch it.

The stall holder was very chatty and told me he was selling 100g balls of King Cole Country Tweed for £2 each because they are now a discontinued line.  He had a huge range of colours and choosing what to buy was difficult.  Eventually, I bought 2 variegated pinky balls and two maroon balls.  Again, these are an acrylic and wool blend.  I am going to look through my patterns and start something today with this lovely yarn.  Decisions, decisions!


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

PreemiesUK...




This little quartet was posted recently to PreemiesUK.  Sometimes I hear about people who struggle to find homes for their preemie items.  Well, I love this group because it has a very active website that is regularly updated with photos of donations received and news of deliveries to premature baby units all over the UK.  I knitted the angel pockets with them in mind.  I added the blanket and hat to the parcel at the last minute.  I was saving them for family and friends' future babies. But, although they are newborn baby size, I decided they would be outgrown very soon.

I still remember happily knitting a little jumper when I was pregnant with my daughter many years ago.  She wore it ONCE before she outgrew it. That is one reason I now prefer to knit things with a longer shelf life.  Blankets and hats meet that criteria.  

I couldn't bear to part with the little jumper. So, it is now in the loft which might or might not be a complete waste depending on whether or not Daughter has a baby of her own one day.  No pressure then!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

More 4 ply...





Well, the scarf that I have been working on is now finished.  It is 48" long and will fit a young child.  I was knitting with two balls of 4 ply pink yarn together and kept going until one of the balls was completely used up.  The remainder of the second ball has gone back into the bag and will star in a future project.

Then I took a couple of balls of 4 ply blue yarn and made an aran weight hat to fit a toddler.  I still have quite a bit of blue yarn left.  But my 4 ply mojo has left the building, flown the coop and gone awol. My collection of 4 ply yarn barely fills one carrier bag.  But it will probably last me for five years if I keep using it at the current rate. Never mind.  It will eventually be turned into useful items.

Both these items will go to Operation Orphan for their Keep A Child Warm project.  I'm afraid I don't have links for the patterns. They were both so easy that  I just scribbled them down instead of printing them off.

I am now happily looking at blanket patterns.  I want to knit one that will be easy enough to qualify as mindless knitting and interesting enough to take my mind off some very depressing world and UK events.  Enough said...

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Not much to show for three weeks......




I don't have much to show for the past three weeks.  This is my crazy busy time of year.  Even though I cut some activities out of my schedule, the rest just seem to have expanded to fill the void.

The angel pocket in the photo is a smaller version of the one I blogged about at the beginning of June.  It used up another oddment of blue yarn and some of the white yarn that I bought recently. The pattern is here.  I used 36g instead of the 30g stated in the pattern. So anyone thinking of knitting this pattern should be aware that it might use more yarn than expected.

I am knitting the scarf with two balls of 4 ply yarn held together. Both these yarns were donated to me some time ago.  It is a one row pattern and very easy.  I never made a note of the link, so I can't pass that on here. But there are lots of one row patterns available on the Internet and I can recommend them as great for when mindless knitting is all that can be managed.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Angel pocket...




When summer arrives, I tend to feel more inclined to use up my 4 ply yarn.  It is a dwindling supply mainly made up of odd balls.  It barely fills a carrier bag.  But, as it goes a long way, it takes me a long time to even make a dent in it.  I'm very aware that most of the things I knit or crochet are the opposite of delicate.  The word "clunky" comes to mind.  So, I occasionally relish the opportunity to make something more refined.

I decided to knit an angel pocket and found what I thought was the perfect size ball of pale blue yarn.   Anyone who has knitted one of these angel pockets will know that you first knit a diamond shape. Then you pick up the stitches along two sides and knit a triangle shape to form the pocket.  When I finished the pale blue diamond, I knew that I would not have enough yarn to knit the triangle.  I have other blue yarn but the shades didn't look good together.  

As I couldn't match the blue, I decided to use white instead.  But I used up all my 4 ply white yarn last year.  So, I had to go out and buy a ball.  I can't remember the last time I bought yarn, but it definitely wasn't in the past twelve months. I like the way the white looks with the blue though, so it was all a happy accident.

The pattern I used was this one from Ray of Hope.  I knitted the third size which, according to the pattern, should have used 40g of yarn.  I don't know why but I actually used 60g.  I have made a note on my pattern as I will knit this again.  When I have enough for a small parcel it will go off to one of the Preemie charities. 

Meanwhile, my 4 ply collection has grown by an almost complete 100g ball of white yarn.  Hey ho.

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.