Month: April 2020

Blocking

I am in two camps at the moment as to whether to block my work. As posted I am making the Great American Aran Afghan, and although the squares are not too far from each other, they do need a bit of work to get them matching. However, the other part of me thinks that it will be okay as once I have made all the squares and fixed them together and added the outer ridge it will all fall into shape.

I have been looking at blocking mats, and the price difference from one to another is madness, and if I get the “play mats” they are a third of the price, but are they thick enough.

So todays question is: do you block and if so what do you use. Do you use blocking mats, or do you have a cheat that does not cost the earth.

Let me know.

Double Knitting

This is one thing I have never tried in the past as I have never needed to use that style, however, I saw a Star Wars Double Knit Scarf by Jessica Goddard on Ravelry that M really liked and I said that I would make one for him. For those who do not know, double knitting is where you knit with two strands at a time, one knit and one purl, so the knit is the front and the purl is the back

The one think I am not too sure of is what colours should I use. It has to contrast, but M will not go for garish colours, so do I just to black and white? The pictures by Yadis shows black and white yarn and I think it looks stunning and you can see the pattern with no problem. However, with Star Wars the colours are red and black (so I believe as I have never seen the films), but if black and red I feel it may not be as striking.

One of the other things that has been in my head is if using DK yarn do I still use 4mm, or drop down to 3.25 to keep it tight, or increase to say 5mm or 6mm as it needs room for the pattern to work. With all this in my mind I have decided that I will do a test run with one of the many yarns I have in my stash boxes (which are that big you could keep bodies in them and I have 6). I will post what I do on here and see what it looks like before doing the scarf for M. On saying that I want to use WI yarn as it is really nice to work with, so will have to wait until the planet resumes normal service in order to go and purchase it. I was looking at LoveCraft as there is so much yarn to pick from, but I like to feel the yarn if I have never used it, as we all know, as DK in one yarn can be different to a yarn made by another manufacturer. I love marino yarn, but working it out it would cost a small fortune to make. But the hunt will go on, well, as soon as possible that is.

Let me know if you have done any double knitting and any tips and advice would, as always, be gratefully received.

Great American Aran Afghan

I bought the pattern for the Great American Aran Afghan a couple of years ago and decided since we are in lockdown I would make it. Not that I was able to do a great deal as I had to go back to work as the company decided to ignore the fact that they are no essential services. I could go on, but will not here.

So far I have managed to make two of the twenty squares, and I am quite happy with the result. Lots of cable work, which I love. However, and there always is, some of the patterns do not read right and need correction. The square I am doing at the moment states in the instructions start with row 17 on pattern B, then row 1 on the far side, but when you look at the chart layout it reads the other way round, so row 1 then 17 on that row. I decided to follow the first instructions, but got partway though and thought it looked odd, so started again. Hopefully this time it will work. I had a slight problem with the second square as it seemed too large, and I thought it was my tension, but when I did it again it was the same size, and when finished it worked in the end.

So far these are the two squares I have managed to do.

Prague

Back in February M and I went to Prague for a few nights. I have meant to post about it, but every time I went to I got distracted. Anyway, it was a present from a friend for my 50th Birthday. Part of me didn’t want to go as I just didn’t want to leave the dogs in the kennels. Not that there is any problem with the kennels as Barbara and Peter are really nice and good with the dogs, but Mazikeen can be a funny bugger when it comes to eating, and we tend to have to coax her into eating. Harper, on the other hand, will hoover any food about without a thought, as most dogs do.

Our flight out was at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and flights were starting to be grounded. As we watched the departure boards more and more flights were grounded, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Hamburg, Brussels, Malaga, Lisbon, and on and on it went. More and more people looked disappointed and one by one left the terminal bar. In the end, our flight along with Amsterdam and a couple of other places were the only 4 left. Not that that was easy, as we were delayed for an hour and a half. As we had transport booked from the airport to our hotel I had to call them in Prague to explain what was going on. Once we boarded the captain said that he would try his best to make up for the lost time in the flight which he did, and we arrived only 45 minutes after the original landing time. However, once we retrieved our bags the taxi company called me to berate me for being late. WTF! I shouted back at him telling that I had called to say that the flights were delayed and his company said that they knew about it and would track the flights and it was not a problem. What an arse hole he was. We were introduced to our driver and whisked to the hotel which was another 40 minutes, and at no point did he talk apart from asking if we minded if he put music on. We didn’t mind and was completely amused at his choice. It was like a mixture of Klesma, rap and folk, quite a different sound. It must be what the youngsters there are listening to. But I am glad it was not all the factory-made crap that the western music industry spews out day in day out.

We stayed at the Grandior which was fabulous. Our room was enormous and I could have fit all three of our double bedrooms into it. There was a beer spar and a casino, but as I do not gamble the casino was of no interest, however, the beer spa was, but as we were only there for a few days I wanted to explore the sights and go out for nice meals than sit in a bath and drink beer, although Czech beer is really nice, then again so it Czech red wine.

We visited many places including the castle, Jewish quarter which included a lot of synagogues, and wandered about taking it all in. The hotel was a short walk from the old town square which depending which way we went took us through some really nice streets with old trams running through them.

We went to a lovely restaurant, Beefhouse Grill & Bar for my “birthday meal”. It was fantastic. I had for starter beefhouse tartare and my main was a 400g Veal T-bone steak with fries, grilled vegetables and champignons. Needless to say, it was quite a lot to eat and I was busting at the seams. We did not have dessert as I could not fit it in, especially after two huge beers.

Prague is a beautiful place, and I will definitely go back there. The weather was mostly nice. However on our first day it went from sunny to cold and rain, driving rain, violent winds and rain, then the sun was out and it was tee shirt weather again. The evenings were cool but not cold which was not their usual weather at the beginning of February, usually down to minus 6 and snow. We did have a little snow the night we left and the aircraft had to be defrosted as the wings were all frozen up, and at this point it was minus 2.

All in all, it was a lovely place to visit, the people were really nice, and the food and drink was excellent. The culture was all around and in all honesty I could have been there for a few weeks exploring the city, and I would have definitely done the beer spa.

Here are a few photos from the trip.

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