You may recall that last time I mentioned that I had become a monogamous knitter, well…it didn’t last. I am not one of those people who can only work on one project at a time without starting to hate it. I resisted the urge to cast anything new on for a while and just cheated on my one knitting project by starting other craft projects but in the end I caved and cast on all the things. This cheered me up no end, the joy of a new knitting project is unparalleled although teaching one of my best friends to knit at the beginning of the week did come close.
On the needles:
The tie of doom (linen stitch, 4ply, 3.25mm needles) is ongoing, I’ve got it to a whopping 42 inches so far but it needs to be at least 53 inches before its finished. All I can say is that I am so glad my brother isn’t taller, if I was making it for one of the others it would need to be up to 60 inches in length!
The socks of doom (there seems to be a theme here) that I cast on for my OH 3 years ago got frogged just after Christmas but I have reused the yarn to cast on a new pair of socks, a simple single cable design on 2.5mm needles using the magic loop method. I may be a little bit in love with magic loop, something which I have no doubt mentioned before. I’m on the first sock but I have turned the heel (using the fish lips kiss heel) and have about 2 inches of the foot done. I only get to work on these when my OH is out at work though as they are secret socks for his birthday in March (they were originally supposed to be for his birthday 3 years ago, better late than never hey!).
Last night I started a crochet cardigan for crafty baby as she is rapidly growing out of the ones my mum made for her. I’m making the design up as I go along but I’m not sure about it at the moment so I may end up ripping it out. Watching The Bridge at the same time probably didn’t help.
Off the needles:
One of my friends kindly donated some acrylic DK yarn to me a couple of weeks ago, I’m a sucker for free stuff at the best of times but free yarn during a stash down was irresistible and acrylic is perfect for baby knits. Yes I know merino is meant to be wonderful in terms of softness and temperature control etc but crafty baby will mash banana in to it, chew it and put it through a whole host of other tortures so I need to be able to throw it in the washing machine and not worry about it.
Sunday I was left at home with crafty baby whilst my OH went to Wales to ride his pushbike in to a tree (he was supposed to be just riding it around a trail, riding it in to the tree was an accident!) so I got chance for a bit of guilt free knitting. I used the DK yarn but held it double and treated it as a chunky yarn and used 6.5mm needles to make this little shrug.
Not the best of project pictures but crafty baby was not being co-operative, she has got to the age where she knows when you are trying to take a picture so she keeps moving to try and see the screen and giggle about how pretty she is. The pattern is a scaled down version of a Drops design that I made for myself a couple of years ago and it looks pretty cute, my only concern is that it doesn’t stay on her shoulders (I have the same problem with mine so I shouldn’t have been surprised) so I may have to add a ribbon or clasp to the front to get it to stay on properly.
Also for crafty baby I made some more baby socks using left overs from some socks I knitted for one of my brothers a couple of years ago, the yarn is King Cole Zig Zag but I’m not sure of the colourway as it no longer had the ball band on it. The design is one I modified from an adult pattern by Marian Moldan and she actually suggested I write it up so hopefully the details of this pattern will be featuring on the blog soon.
As I still had yarn left over* I thought I’d have a go at making a hexipuff. I had drooled over the Bee Keeper’s Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits for several years (along with most of the world) but couldn’t justify buying the pattern, mainly because when I have funds for patterns I end up spending them on whatever pretty object has caught my eye at the time. So, having decided that I still couldn’t justify buying the pattern I thought I’d have a go at working out how to make a hexipuff myself. It turned out to be relatively easy and only required me to do a tiny amount of maths. Having looked at some other hexipuffs since I knitted mine I can see its not identical but its a hexagon and puffy so it works for me. It also required me to teach myself a new technique – the Turkish cast on. A massive help for getting the hang of the Turkish cast on was a tutorial Diane from the Knitabulls Video Podcast had made on how to knit the stitch surfer socks which I’d watched the week before. Anyway, ta-dah!
I may try to make these with left overs from other sock projects, after I’ve made some baby socks too but I’m not sure what I will end up doing with them. A whole quilt will take me a life time so they may end up as something smaller or just sit in a jar looking pretty.
Last week my friend brought round a needle felting kit that she had bought for herself but didn’t know how to make so we had a needle felting session. In the end we ended up using fibre from my stash so as not to ruin the kit that she had just in case it all went a little bit wrong. This is what we made;
She is a bit of a mutant in my eyes and needs a lot more work to be up to a standard I’d be happy with but I’m not really a fairy person either so I’m not feeling the love for her. My friend on the other hand was over the moon with hers and has put it in pride of place on her crystal shelf. It made me really happy to see someone else getting excited about crafting and being proud of something that they had made themselves.
As my mum’s birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks I decided to spin her some yarn as a present. I had some fibre in stash that was a collection of purples/ blues/ pinks and grey which I decided would be perfect. She may well hate me though as its come out at a 4ply weight and she is not a fan of knitting with anything below a DK. Still, if I find her a suitable pattern she might just forgive me.
Its 88g of 100% merino and as I said came out at about a 4ply overall and made 220m.
Finally, I also started some cross stitch. It seems that the whole knitting podcast world is jumping on the cross stitch band wagon and I may be a little bit guilty of being a sheep in this respect but in my defence when I first got pregnant I wanted to make some Scandinavian cross stitch pictures for the nursery but never got round to it. The podcasts just reminded me that I’d had that plan and it was a good excuse not to be knitting on the tie of doom for a couple of hours. I actually ended up using a Fair Isle knitting chart as the design rather than a traditional needlepoint chart and so far it seems to be working out quite nicely. I’ll post pictures when its finished along with details of where the inspiration for the Fair Isle came from.
Progress with 2014 resolutions:
– With the socks and the shrug I can put a tick against knitting more things for crafty baby
– One pair of baby socks counts towards my 3 sock goal for 2014 (you know full well I am going to double dip where I can!)
– Last weeks blog post counts towards writing making pattern notes for my improvised patterns
– Finished objects this week mean I have used up 120g of fibre and 100g of yarn as part of my stash down (I should probably do more knitting with bulkier weight yarn than 4ply as I have a real urge to buy some new yarn but as I’ve only used up enough this year to allow me to buy 250g and I need that for yarn for a friends baby blanket I can’t see any lovely yarny purchases coming my way any time soon).
* King Cole Zig Zag works out to be really good value for money, I made a pair of socks for my brother (mens UK size 8) and still had 38g left over from a 100g ball so I have been able to make a pair of baby socks 12 month size and have enough left over for at least 3 hexipuffs.