Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sunday sewing...

I have had the sewing machine out for a couple of weeks so I thought I ought to get my table runner finished. I know its hardly started but I have good intentions on a rainy day. Patchwork always looks a mess before pressing.
patchwork table runnet
The colours are subtle, jollying up of the dining room is nearly done. Only 2 months late!

In the background, by my tropical bag, are some limbs from my first Little Cotton Rabbits girl bunny, a pair of stripy legs ending in red Dolly shoes. There is a head knocking about in the bag, all very disconcerting!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Fingerless Mittens - DONE!

Yes I know mittens are fingerless! However, these are fingerless gloves that convert to mittens. I can never see the point of fingerless gloves as it's the extremities of my fingers that get cold. However,doing anything with gloves or mittens on is impossible. If you have fingerless gloves that convert to mittens then you can do things (like text or fish coins out of purse) and then swiftly pull the thumb and mitten flaps over to keep warm in sub-zero temperatures. Brilliant!
These fingerless mitts are destined for the frozen north aka a student house in Newcastle where you wear gloves with your onesie indoors as well as out but being fingerless is not an option!
 Fast texters need to use their thumb too.
 The flaps don't get in the way when in nimble finger mode.
 ..and now they are mitts for the walk back home at 3 in the morning.
 I didn't match the yarn.
Up close and personal.
 I can see the stitches picked up for the mitten flap quite clearly!
 not the neatest pair of knitted gloves ever, but they were my first attempt.
Knitting them all in the round was a juggle! At times I was totally yarn befuzzled with cocktail sticks everywhere!
...but I did it. now I think another 2-3 pairs are required. One pair in pink for girly youngest who actually admired the concept but not the earthy colours and a pair for me for when I'm on my bike at 6am, so I can still deal with my lights and lock at the other end. Even the husband admired them and suggested some mods so they fit him better! Now that is a first.
One finger one thumb keep moving..
One finger one thumb keep moving.....
One finger one thumb keep moving...........
We'll all be merry and bright!

Fingerless Mittens Podster Gloves finished 18th January 2014 (took a month with Christmas interupting, so a few nights really!)

SIZE: Large

YARN: Schoeller and Stahl Fortissima Mexiko shade 244- 100g ball 4-ply/fingering sock yarn 75% superwash wool/25% nylon As ever. there is enough left for 1 glove or sock so I am glad I bought 2 balls! Purchased from the ever wonderful Get Knitted in Bristol
Pic courtesy Get Knitted, Bristol.
NEEDLES: KnitPro Symfonie 2.5mm dpns

PATTERN: Convertible Mittens Fingerless Gloves Podster Gloves

HAPPY KNITTY INDEX: 8/10 (workmanship needs refining!)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Sock it to 'em - Jolly Socks - DONE!

It's that time of year with too much grey, so as an antidote to greyness meet some jolly bright socks.  Yes I have knitted at long last.
I couldn't find my trusty Opal top down sock leaflet that I normally use, so I Googled and chanced upon Susan Anderson's "How I make my socks" pattern. Perfect. I knitted these when recuperating from debilitating flu back in November, the first week of which I was incapable of knitting even!
This is an Opal 4 ply sock yarn I bought a couple of years ago but it has lost it's band. This pattern was quite intuitive, the ribbing around the heels was different, but the lay out on the needles meant no need for markers, no dropping little rubber loops down the sofa and muttering! I use KnitProSymfonie double pointed needles or dpns, well worth the investment in the one size you use for socks as they don't slip or clickity clack. A friend says she can't abide fiddling around with cocktail sticks but it is easier than it seems once the first round or two is done.
My kitchener stitch still isn't quite right for joining the toes, mine isn't invisible.
 I am most proud of matching the yarn on both socks. I am easily pleased.
Jolly socks have popped off to Holland as they were a Christmas present for my eldest daughter to wear in her boots when cycling in the snow. I just wish I had another ball so the sad third of a ball of yarn left wasn't sitting around. The morale of the tale is to always buy 2 balls of favourite sock yarn and you can make 3 pairs of socks!!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Retro nautical crochet travel blanket with pom pom border - DONE!

I can't remember when I started this throw, it was sometime earlier this year, probably between April and June. It was a lovely summer and I hooked up a lot of squares outside joining as I went, now it is November and my throw has basically been finished for about 6 weeks but I had to finish off the border, and then I ran out of yarn for the pom pom trim, and then I had to wait for lipstick to come back in stock, then I got ill. Never mind, it is all finished and I am very happy with how it turned out.
It's a throw for the king size bed in our spare room, I thought it could be the traveller's room, whilst en route to wherever our family and friends are off to next. Really it is middle daughter's bedroom as we moved here whilst she was away at university, but her home is still with us whenever she wants to be home. However, the "en route" room was really hit upon because I discovered this gorgeous VW classic camper van fabric and made some curtains.
I made some curtains very badly, I re-did them 3 times, the blackout lining was a nightmare and I was very cross with myself. I only did one curtain for each of the 2 windows, I have not taken close up photos as the workmanship is so bad! Even more annoyingly I cut the fabric incorrectly, and one was too short, so I had to buy another length, the shop I bought it from is very reasonable for make up charges so in the end I spent as much as if they had made them, properly, silly girl.
The colour inspiration for the blanket came from the material, although I added in a couple of extra colours (navy and claret) for some more contrast. As ever I raided my Stylecraft Special DK stash, so I only had to buy an extra ball of each colour, 11 colours in all; 2 reds, 5 blues and 4 neutrals. The squares are classic 4 round granny squares, working 3 rounds and using join-as-you-go aka JAYG on the 4th round. then I sewed in the 2 ends per square very religiously after each half row, I lose the will otherwise. I weave the ends in very thoroughly in several directions before snipping, I wouldn't trust just crocheting them in.

Retro nautical throw finished 22nd November 2013

SIZE: 190cm x 190cm including the border and pom pom trim, 170cm square without

YARN: Stylecraft Special DK weight 100g balls)
#1246 Lipstick      3 balls
#1123 Claret         2 balls
#1203 Silver          2 balls
#1218 Parchment  2 balls
#1005 Cream        2 balls
#1011 White         2 balls
#1302 Denim        2 balls
#1034 Sherbet      2 balls
#1019 Cloud blue 2 balls
#1011 Midnight    2 balls
#1003 Aster         2 balls

HOOK: 4mm

PATTERN: Classic Granny Square so the start of each round is not obvious 4 rounds, JAYG as fourth round.
4ch and sl st to a loop
1st round Work into loop catching tail of yarn as you go
2ch (counts as 1tr) 1tr 1ch *3tr 1ch repeat from * twice more 1tr sl st to 2nd chain from hook to close. sl st to corner space  NB Only one chain space in the corners on the first round
2nd round 2ch (counts as 1 tr) 1tr into corner space 2ch 3tr into same corner 1ch *3tr 2ch 3tr into next corner 1ch repeat from * twice more 1tr sl st to 2nd chain from hook to close sl st to corner space NB Two chains for each corner space now
3rd round 2ch (counts as 1 tr) 1tr into corner space 2ch 3tr into same corner 1ch *3tr into side space 1ch then 3tr 2ch 3tr into next corner 1ch repeat from * twice more then 3tr 1ch 1tr sl st to 2nd chain from hook to close sl st to corner space
4th Round 2ch (counts as 1 tr) 1tr into corner space 2ch 3tr into same corner 1ch 3tr into side space 1ch 3tr into next side space 1ch *3tr into next corner 1ch then JAYG into corner of adjacent square by slip stitching from above 1ch 3tr into same corner space JAYG into next side space from above (NO chain required when JAYG on side spaces) 3tr JAYG into next side space from above  repeat from * once more if 2 edges are being joined JAYG into both corners (so 3tr 1ch JAYG into first corner JAYG into second corner 1ch 3tr  and finish final edge/s as set sl st to close. All squares but the first one on each row are JAYG on two sides.

Granny Cluster Border classic granny clusters, work 3tr into each space but just one 3tr cluster into the JAYG space between the 2 corners, as you can see in the close up below. Also, to stop a wavy border DO NOT WORK A ONE CHAIN SPACE BETWEEN THE CLUSTERS!! I worked 9 rounds changing colour for each round and finishing with lipstick.

Pom Pom or Bobble Crochet Trim
I started a new ball of lipstick for the final pom pom border as it uses the vast majority of a 100g ball, based on this pattern

*sl st to space between clusters
ch 8
tr3tog in 4th ch from hook
tr3tog in top of prev tr3tog
slst to opp side of base tr3tog in the single stitch to close the bobble
Repeat from * to end working 2 repeats in corners.

Thanks to Laura and Sue at Get Knitted in Bristol for teaching me this adaptation of the granny square and the pom pom trim adaptation, although I may have changed it slightly from her demo!

PS this never got posted in November and December has disappeared but I got there in the end!
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