Monday, 5 January 2015

New Year, new project! (...or three!)

Now that Christmas has been and gone and all the decorations are safely packed away until December I can at last turn my attention to some new projects that have had to sit on a back-burner (ok, filed away in the dark recesses of my brain!) while I got on with my pre-Christmas sock-knitting marathon - see my previous post.

Following on from the 'c2c' green and white blanket I'm indulging my fascination of patchwork quilts - but in yarn rather than fabric.

I started with a few colours (l-r) Sherbert, Turquoise, Claret, Teal and Midnight (all Stylecraft 'Special' DK)

Red might seem an odd colour to throw in the mix, but I wanted to do a variation of 'log cabin' patchwork. Traditionally, that starts with 'red' in the centre, representing the fire or hearth of the home, around which the strips or 'logs' of the cabin are arranged:

In this pattern, I have lighter colours one side (representing day) and darker ones the other side, ('night')

When I ordered the colours (online) it was hard to get a true idea - I think the 'Midnight'/dark blue colours is a little too much but it's growing on me.

Next comes the fun of 'playing' around with putting the blocks together!

I think I like this pattern ('fields and furrows') :

It creates the illusion of diagonal stripes (still not sure about that dark blue....)

Mind you, I'm only on my seventh block so it may all come together ok eventually, especially with a dark blue border, perhaps. I'll post progress, as and when - I'll need to order more wool, so it's just as well that as part of my Christmas present my son gave me a shopping voucher for Wool Warehouse!


Along the same lines, I picked up another project that had been abandoned in favour of the 'sock-marathon'. Similar in principle to the 'ten stitch blanket' but picking up stitches all along each new side and knitting out a few rows, I created this:

I'm using this yarn I picked up at a craft show last year: 
554-02 Wholesale

It makes for mindless knitting in front of the TV, as it's random-dyed yarn so no new colours to join in, just knit each block, cast off all but last stitch, turn 90deg and pick up stitches along the next side and away you go again. (Casting off loosely makes for easier picking-up!)

This piece is progressively looking like a piece of wood-block flooring, thanks to the yarn colour.


Living up to my Facebook icon......

......I went to Coventry with DD so she could buy some wool from our
favourite/nearest REAL yarnshop and I was just going to have
a look....honestly.....until this 'fell' into my basket!

The 'James Brett Marble' will probably become a cowl, the Robin 'Paintbox' is for a baby cardigan but the rest is all for another 'log-cabin'-inspired piece,,,,,,watch this space!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Not quite 'the night before Christmas' - but it's a close-run thing!

Never mind '....the stockings were hung by the chimney with care',  how about: the socks were all pegged up  - and not just ONE pair!

Phew!  Just about done in time for Christmas, six (yes SIX!!) pairs of socks! That'll teach me to offer to make them at short notice!

I started on 25th November and finished the final pair on 20th December - and I think I shall have a wee break from sock knitting for a while! (although I do need to make a pair for a January birthday present.....)

After knitting in 4ply sock yarn for so long, using DK yarn feels like knitting with rope!! ;-)

Still, back to some of my other projects-in-waiting......a blanket, an experiment with knitting  'log-cabin patchwork'-style,.....and delving into my stash....bliss!

Happy Christmas, everyone - I wonder what projects YOU have in mind for 2015???

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Turning a design on it's head - part deux!!


A few months ago I posted about a new crochet technique I'd come across called 'c2c' or 'corner to corner' (here)

In a fit of clearing the decks of 'WIPs' prior to a visit to the craft show in Birmingham (more on that in a forthcoming post!) I pulled the completed squares out of a bag and began sewing them together!

Thus, this....

...became this....


...and soon 'morphed' into this....

......and with a little more 'embellishment' it finally became this....

(apologies for colour quality - using phone cam under electric light :-/)

Sewing the squares together was tedious, matching the white and green wool on each seam - if I do this again I will try to find a more satisfactory/simpler way!

It was just an experiment to find different ways to use the squares - not really keen on the colours though (reminds me of broccoli and cauliflower!) However, it didn't turn out too bad! (even if it ends up as a car blanket! ;-p)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

B.O.Y - just what I needed!

A good few months ago I had a message on Ravelry from a local knitting group inviting me to join them. I had every intention of following it up - but then 'life' got in the way, as it so often does.

However, I got a 'second chance' when our local newspaper did a feature on the group, celebrating their first anniversary and I thought "I'll have some of that, please!" So, DD and I plucked up courage and went to join Ball Of Yarn - and what a warm welcome we got! :-)

It is SO nice to meet up with other knitters and crocheters (sounds better than 'hookers'!) all doing such a variety of different things with yarn! Great to be able to learn and share from each other, too!

Currently there's been a drive (for those who want to, it's not mandatory) to produce cot and incubator blankets and hats for a local SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit) - a project dear to my heart as DD was a wee 'premmie' herself, all those years ago!

Well, the request was for 'colourful' items so I took them at their you think this is colourful enough? ;-p

A cot blanket, waiting for ends to be sewn in:

....and hats...

Meanwhile, back to B.O.Y - I'm enjoying getting to know a few of the members of the group and I'll try to snap off some pics of them at 'work'.....what DO you call a collection of knitters, I wonder?

Friday, 26 September 2014

All 'dolled-up'

Recently, I laid down my yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles and picked up my dressmaking shears for another 'unexpected' project!

A friend who volunteers at a local home for the elderly had asked my help on behalf of one of the residents, who had made a doll but was now unable to make any clothes for it. I say 'it', but of course this doll has a character all of her own and her name is Matilda!

The lady who owned her had made her from scratch, with jointed limbs....

...and an amazing Victorian-style hairdo!

.....but she needed some clothes to preserve her modesty!

My friend supplied a pattern and material and one Saturday morning a couple
of weeks ago I set to work with my shears and sewing machine.

So, she soon acquired a petticoat:

....and a blouse:

Then came a new over-dress:

(I had forgotten how fiddly 'rik-rak' braid is to sew on - I'm glad it was just for a 21" doll and not a full-sized garment!)

However, Matilda was barefoot and I couldn't have that!
So a bit of fiddling about with some brown felt produced these:
 (They were as near to Victorian-style boots as I could manage!)

Now Matilda sits in splendour, admired by residents and staff alike; her maker was
absolutely thrilled to see her new clothes.

It took me a couple of long days to complete
(good job hubby was away, so I could just work right though!)
but hearing of the elderly lady's pleasure at seeing Matilda restored to glory
is more than sufficient reward!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Turning a design on it's head.....!

In my last post I was waxing lyrical about the 'c2c' crochet technique I've recently discovered. Well, I got to thinking about how to progress from just doing the large squares and rectangles I've seen it used for so far. So - I decided to play around with the concept and have fun....! ;-)

One little square, with various stripes:

Doesn't look all that much, right?

.....but try adding a few more:

...or shuffle them around ....and add another couple....

....see where I'm going with this....?

It's like a combination of crochet squares and patchwork and now there are all sorts of possibilities rattling around in my head.......!

I'll get back to you with some other combinations!

(oh, I do love a NEW project!!)

Monday, 25 August 2014

New tricks!

I haven't died - just been too busy 'doing' to have time to blog about it! I've been having adventures in yarn...... here's some of what I've been up to:

I discovered that the Drops 'Cotton Light' I talked about in my last post (months ago......!) has proved to be a right royal pain to crochet with, because it's very splitty and I kept catching the hook in it which slowed progress :-/  However, it is rather nice to knit with! One of my quartet of recently-finished cushions was crochet one side and knit on the other side:

....and here's the full quartet:

This diagonal striping is commonly called 'c2c' (corner to corner) - here's  a link to a fab tutorial if you haven't come across this!  It is fast becoming a favourite - two cushions and a part-finished baby blanket already testify to my growing obsession with this technique and I'm starting to tinker around with the design for my next project.......wait for my next post!! :-)

Of course, all this crochet takes it's toll - my right hand was exhibiting some pressure damage and I was getting pins and needles from where my steel hook was pressing into my palm and causing nerve problems. 
But then I discovered the sooper-dooper hooks pictured at the top of this blog - and hubby treated me to a set for our 34th wedding anniversary a few days ago! These Knit-Pro 'Waves' hooks are just SO comfortable to use......I may never go back to ordinary ones again!

Any way - back to to the hooking........!

( know what I mean ;-p)