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!!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Especially for you.......

If this is the first time you have visited my blog.....welcome.

I was amazed to receive an email from Saga to say that my blog has been reviewed in their latest magazine article about the fifty top blogs by over fifties.  I'm not sure how that happened as I didn't enter any competitions and there are many brilliant blogs.  I'm just going to take it as a huge compliment.   The article will be published on August 28th.  For more information about Saga Magazine, see here.

I started this blog about 8 months ago just to record my crafting.  Since then it has had over 13.000 page views from all over the world.  Along the way I have met many other crafty bloggers and have been entertained, amazed and educated by their blogs.  You can see many of them listed in my right-hand sidebar.  The joy of blogs is that each one is as unique as the blogger who created it.

To me, age is just a number.  I feel as fit and active as ever.  Nothing slows me down.  In fact my age was a real advantage when compulsory redundancies were being dished out by my employer 2 years ago.  Luckily, I was just old enough (by 6 weeks) for my pension to kick in and I haven't looked back.  I relished all the unexpected free time and returned to knitting as a hobby.  I have also taught myself to crochet.  Most of the things I make go to various charities which I list at the top of my blog.  I usually photograph my creations and these can be seen by clicking on my photostream in the left-hand sidebar.

By sheer coincidence, my current project is a blanket that will be donated to a care home.  Here is a photo of the centre panel.  It is called Twining Trees.  

I found the pattern on Ravelry and fell in love with it.  It was a bit of a challenge but looks wonderful.  I added a log cabin border as this project was a good chance to try the technique.  My next job is to add a couple of rounds of crochet until the panel measures 18" square.  Then I'm going to knit leaves in autumn colours and sew them to the panel. I'll write another blog post when it's finished, so watch this space!  

I will send it off to SIBOL which is an organisation run by a lovely lady who distributes crocheted and knitted blankets to residents of care homes in the UK.  If you are experienced at knitting and crochet or feel like giving it a go, making squares and blankets is a worthwhile pastime.

I am always making something.......crochet, sewing and knitting....and I update my blog regularly.  If you like my blog, please come back again.  Even better, why not leave me a comment?  I always read my comments.

Before I go, I must applaud the regular visitors to my know who you are!!! 

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Looking after number one.....

I absolutely love this time of year.  The thought of summer keeps me going through the cold, wet, dark months.  But this week I remembered those months and my mind turned to hats.  I don't suit hats but there are maybe a few days each winter when I would really benefit from wearing one.  When the cold is so perishing that everyone brings out their woolly hats I feel tempted to join the club.

I found a hat pattern on Ravelry and liked it enough to buy it.  That is really rare for me.  The pattern is called Awesome Hat.  It is simple yet clever.  The brim turns up neatly and the crown decreases fit well and look tidy.  My blue and pink hat is just as the pattern was written.  The black sparkly hat is slightly amended as I did stocking stitch instead of rib for the main part.  Both yarns came as bargain buys, the black from a charity shop and the blue from Ebay.

I knitted the biggest size.  I have shortish hair and like to push it all into a hat.  I also like to pull a hat down to keep my ears warm.  These hats will match my winter jackets and I might actually wear them!!

That's me sorted for the winter.  Now I can get back to enjoying the summer and making my charity knits.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Not a sheep in sight........

This is slightly off topic for a wool/knitting/crochet blog but I just had to show the 2 dresses I made this week.  I used to sew a lot many moons ago and even made my own coats, trousers, jackets and blouses.  Then I stopped sewing and promptly forgot nearly everything.  These dresses have been a steep learning curve and I'm pleased with the way they turned out.

They are very similar to the pillowcase dresses that people make but I actually followed a Simplicity pattern.  I looked at lots of online tutorials about how to make this type of dress but gave up partly because I don't have any spare pillowcases and partly because I bought this lovely material for the bargain price of £1 a year ago and have been itching to use it.  The blue material at the hemline is from an old sheet that I had already chopped up and used to line a baby blanket last year.

These two dresses are supposed to fit a girl aged 6 years old.  The organisation I am thinking of sending these to is Sew Scrumptious which distributes dresses to girls in Africa, India and other countries worldwide.  With that in mind, I made a great effort to make these dresses as indestructible as possible.  They will hopefully be handed down and worn by many girls over the next few years.

As I am not lucky enough to have a sewing room, I have to use the dining room table.  This time of year the room is bathed in natural light and warmth.  I'm going to take advantage of that and do a bit more sewing before the weather changes.  

Friday, 2 August 2013

Playing yarn chicken.....

Every time I saw this wool in my wool bag, it shouted out "Make me into a balaclava hat."

Balaclavas are a bit of a nostalgia trip for me.  When I was growing up, all boys wore balaclavas   They keep the ears and neck warm and are, in my opinion, the perfect alternative to a hat and scarf.

The pattern I like to use for children's balaclavas is here.

I know from experience that 50g of yarn is enough for the age 3-4 years size.  My very inaccurate scales told me this ball of grey wool weighed roughly 50g.  I decided to play yarn chicken and cast on for this size.  I didn't want to make the smaller size because I feel odd about knitting grey for a baby.

The photo doesn't do justice to the wool.  It is grey with little black and white flecks.  It seems to be a better quality than my usual acrylics, so there is probably some real wool in it.   It was really lovely to knit with.   I had a Plan B in case I ran out of wool, but
I kept my fingers crossed that I would have enough to finish the hat.  Knitting with crossed fingers is not easy!

I won the game of yarn chicken!  Here is the finished balaclava together with quite a bit of wool left over.

I'm always amazed at how little wool it takes to make one of these cosy hats.  This one will be going off to a children's charity as soon as I have enough to fill a smallish box.

These balaclavas are quite easy to make and very addictive.  I will definitely knit more in future.