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!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Another week, another scarf.....

Here's another scarf I'm knitting for Operation Orphan

I really like the way it's turning out.  I'm using size 6mm needles, and rust colour dk wool and cream 4 ply wool together.  I just happened to have these colours already and love imagining how various yarns will work together.  I can tell that this is a scarf I will have difficulty giving away.  It brings back memories of my school days because my uniform was rust and cream.  I didn't particularly like the school but I did like the uniform.  I'm going to be firm with myself though.  I already have a drawer full of scarves, hats and gloves and have no desire to start filling a second drawer.

The pattern is taking longer to knit than my usual slightly lazy garter stitch scarves. But the end result is chunky, warm and worth the effort.

Here's the pattern:
Aran, chunky, or dk used together with 4 ply yarn
size 6mm needles
Cast on 27 stitches
Knit 2 rows then change to the pattern:
Row 1: knit 3, purl 3.  Repeat to the end of the row.
Row 2: knit 1, purl 1.  Repeat to the end of the row.
Repeat the 2 pattern rows until the scarf is the desired length.
Knit 2 rows.
Cast off.

My scarf is for a young child, so it will eventually be about 36"-42" long depending on how much wool I have left.  The rule of thumb is apparently that a scarf should be as long as the height of the person who will wear it.  It looks like I will need less than 150g of each yarn.

For an adult scarf I would cast on 33 stitches and continue the pattern for approximately 60".

Friday, 23 November 2012

Angel and preemie hats.....

Here's a little collection of angel and preemie hats for my Upon Butterfly Wings group

Before I returned to serious knitting a year ago I had never heard the terms preemie and angels as they applied to babies.  Now I know they mean poor babies who are born too early and possibly do not survive. I love to knit for these babies.  While some knitters find it a very sad thing to do, I strangely find it uplifting.  

I had lots of small amounts of dk and 4 ply to use up.  The smallest thing I can bring myself to knit is one of these hats.  I'm not really a stuffed toy or catnip mouse type of person.  Any scraps still left over have gone into a little bag and will eventually be joined together into a big ball of random wool.  But that's another blog post.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Off they go.....

I've been filling a box with charity knitting for several months now and it was starting to get in the way.  I also reasoned it wasn't doing anyone any good sitting on my bedroom floor so I finally got my act together and posted it off today.  

In the box were 3 children's waistcoats, 1 baby blanket, 6 boobs and 3 birds' nests.  The boobs are used by midwives and health visitors to teach breastfeeding and the nests are used at animal shelters as bedding for small mammals and birds.  Quite a mixture this time!  

I sent this box to Loving Hands from where they will be distributed to various good causes.  They promise to find a good home for anything and regularly create wishlists for quirky items such as boobs and nests as well as the more mundane baby items.

I kept back a pile of knitted hats and scarves which I will eventually send to Operation Orphan for their "Keep a Child Warm" initiative.  I just need to build up a bigger collection to fill a good size box.  That will mean I can use a courier instead of the Post Office.  Today I used the Collect+ service and saved over £2.  That equates to another 2 balls of wool.  That is how I tend to think these days whenever I save money on anything.  Does that make me a knitting addict?  My name is Una and I'm a knitaholic.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Just what I needed.....

Here's a photo of my latest bargain wool purchase.
This lot came from Ebay and cost about £13 including postage.  That definitely meets my criteria of never paying more than £1 per 100g of wool.  The wool ranges from 2 ply to Aran and will be perfect for hats and blankets for my favourite charities.  The photo doesn't show the colour of the coned yarn very well, but it is called "Meadow" and is a lovely mix of soft green and dark beige.  This is 4 ply so it will mix nicely with some cream 4 ply that I already have waiting to be turned into a small blanket.

I've noticed that wool without labels usually costs less than banded wool.  But the missing labels are not a problem for me ever since I learned the "wraps per inch" method of determining the weight of a yarn.  For more information about this see:

I was like a child on Christmas morning when the postman delivered the parcel.  You hope for the best when you buy wool online.  This time I was pleasantly surprised at the good quality.  I am a bit of a cleanliness freak so I put it out in the back garden for a few hours just to freshen it up.  Luckily the weather was dry.  But it was so cold I started to wonder what frozen wool would look like.

It is now safely back indoors and packed away with the rest of my wool.  I can't pretend I was short of wool before I bought this lot.  But I was short of Aran and my double knitting wool had dwindled down to pastels only.  So this was a good buy.  But I really must stop buying wool for the next few months.....unless I see another really irresistible bargain.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

On my needles today.....

On my needles today is a child's scarf in shocking pink.  I found the pink wool in a charity shop for 50p and the cone of pale pink was given to me as a freebie.  I love a bargain and this theme will become a common one in my blog.  

The dark pink wool is a brushed double knitting wool. I use the terms "wool" and "yarn"  very loosely.  I know all yarn is not necessarily wool, but I love the word "wool" because it evokes images of softness and warmth.  The label was missing when I bought it so the brand will be forever a mystery.  The cone of pale pink wool is only 2 ply and in my opinion only fit for adding to projects like this.  I personally can't imagine knitting with 2 ply yarn on its own; though some people do, so each to his own.  My little brain tells me that 8 ply plus 2 ply = 10 ply and I am using size 5mm knitting needles.  For this scarf, I am simply using garter stitch.  This seems to be working out fine as the scarf is turning out to be beautifully soft.    

I like the way the pale pink is toning down the darker pink and making it a bit less "in your face".  The coned yarn is a bit firmer than the brushed yarn, so it is also giving a bit of body and strength to the scarf.  That's important because this will be one of my many charity donations.  It will possibly end up in a part of the world where life is hard and garments have to last.