I thought I would make J a baby blanket for his new baby. I seem to make all their family new borns blankets. It was nothing out of this world just a Rico Pompon blanket. Originally I had bought two balls of yarn as that is all I used on the last one, but the band said I would need three. I presumed that the yarn was shorter, so sent for another one, but in the end, only used two. I now have a ball spare, but I am sure it will come in handy one day. I popped into my local yarn shop as she sells material among other crafting items and found a lovely blue ribbon with “It’s A Boy” on it, which I feel has finished it nicely as a gift.
As requested by some of my readers, here are the three “A Bit of Ireland” afghans. The middle one in blues was the first, the green on the right was the second and the final one on the left is the latest one. I have other circular blankets I have made and will show them too.
This is the third blanket of this design I have made. I made us one a good few years ago, then M’s mum which we got back a few weeks ago after her death, and this final one is for the bedroom. One thing I was not happy about is a line that has appeared within the knitting where the rounds meet, and this is not on any of the other blankets, and I have made it exactly the same way and with the same needles. It will be placed over the headboard, so the line will be hidden, but again, not a happy bunny.
Pattern: A Bit of Iceland
Designer: Stephen West
Yarn: Women’s Institute
So, how are we all doing out there? I hope that you are all well, and keeping safe in this Stephen King novel we all seem to be part of. Or are we part of a Black Mirror episode?
On Monday night, we were told that we could not go out unless, for essential shopping, medicine and exercise once a day. The company I work for was part of the companies that are able to stay open (construction), but, the owner decided that we would finish on that Tuesday. We came in and finished off what we needed to do and got out products that were needed, I did the month-end accounts and then did out lockdown procedures. However, the next day there was talk about opening up again as construction was still continuing and the government had no intention to stop it. I was chatting to the owner who’s son wanted to open and carry on, but after me telling her of a girl who had just died due to the virus at the age of 21, she decided that it was not going to happen and we would remain closed until the government lifts restrictions. We have all kept in touch via WhatsApp and are checking up on each other. One of the lads who is a driver for us told me yesterday that he thinks his wife has the virus, but from what he said she does not have the symptoms. She is a hypochondriac which does not help, and he seems to believe everything he reads on Facebook. On the last day of work, he told me that over 500 people had died in the UK the night before and argued that it was right. I did point him to the official website tracking the infection and deaths and the conversation was quickly changed. Therefore I am not concerned for them just yet.
I have noticed that the streets are a lot quieter, but from what another workmate tells me when he had to go out that the local town was busting with people going about as though it is a national holiday. Some really do not get it.
I had to go to the shop to get some supplies and although the place had very few people in it, some were not observing the social distancing that is in place, which they are reminded of when entering as there are signs quite literally everywhere. I was rude to a woman who had as much etiquette as a truffle pig, as she was sidling up to people as she was shopping, touching everything including people. She gave me a look that said fuck off, to which I responded with “wanker”. It was all I could do rather than punch her in the face, which I could have done as I was wearing latex gloves. I also noted that the main culprits were old men, I say old, ones in their 60’s. I think if you do not follow the rules and become infected then you do not deserve to be treated in hospital in a live by the sword die by the sword attitude.
We have been out to walk the dogs and get our once a day exercise, but we have been doing this at dawn, no one about and social distancing achieved, but the dogs are not too happy as they are walked a few times a day when I am at home, but I am sure they will get used to it soon enough.
As well as finishing M’s scarf I have frogged 2 projects and am well on my way with another Stephen West blanket “Bit of Iceland”. I have made this before for us and one for M’s mum, but I decided to do another on in colours that would compliment the bedroom. I am enjoying it as it is a large project, and those who know me, know I love big projects.
Yesterday I decided to bake cinnamon swirls as I have 1kg of fresh yeast, although I have frozen most of it.
One final thing I got was the Vogue Knitting book. I kept seeing it, but thought the £35 price tag was a little excessive, however, I found it in my rewards catalogue, therefore cost me nothing. Not expecting it for a few weeks and it arrived on Friday so bonus lockdown reading.
Let me know how you are all doing…
Now, I will preface this post that I understand that many people have died due to the coronavirus outbreak about the planet. That aside, I have never seen so many bloody idiots about reacting to the news. I have witnessed people stealing from other people’s trollies, people running about supermarkets like they are on supermarket sweep. I went into the supermarket this morning to get bananas at 7 am, and the place was rammed full of people panic buying. Most of the shelves were empty and one woman had a trolly full of toilet roll. As she went past me I shook my head and muttered “idiot”, she saw me shaking my head and shouted at me, I am a mother, which my reply was “no, you’re an idiot stockpiling”. I understand people want to have things in, but they forget there are other people about, and what about the elderly who have not been able to get supplies? I also wanted just one bag of sugar and a carton of orange juice too. Due to the stripping of the shelves, I was faced with a 5kg bag of sugar which I did not want and a four-pack of orange. The orange was not a problem, but I was forced into getting this huge bag of sugar, all because of the dickheads acting like it’s the end of the world.
We have not gone mad, and we have enough food in the house for a few weeks, but that is usual, so no stockpiling. One of the things I noticed was the lack of pet food as people have stripped the shelves of that too. The big supermarket close to work has no meat, poultry, tinned food, rice, pasta, pet food, frozen chips/fries, cleaning products of any kind, long-life milk, sugar, tea coffee, water, and the list goes on. My friend who works there said she has never seen so much greed in her life and that people are fighting over things. However, the supermarket has a big responsibility to stop people doing this by limiting purchases to stop hoarding and madness, but so far nothing has been done and they are letting the raids carry on.
Our government seems to reflect that of the USA, and are doing very little about it all, and their so-called measures are just laughable. I think our PM watches the great Cheeto and follows his lead, and we all know the Cheeto buries his head in the sand and patronises his nation with instruction to calm down as it’s all fine.
Our latest instructions are that those over the age of 70 and people that are in “risk” groups have to stay in for 12 weeks, and others should not go out, “even for food and essentials”, but, can leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”. So, they can keep fit, but cannot buy food, in essence, could be the healthiest corpses about. The blind leading the blind in the UK.
One of the things which are becoming annoying is the lack of information. We are not getting told any demographics about those that have died, those that are ill, and those that have it and are fine. The news from the USA is that the average age is 80 and all had underlying health conditions, but we are in the dark here. Although we live in the country, we have a city 24 miles north, 17 miles south and 40 miles east, the Irish sea to our immediate west (safe zone lol) and all cities have reports of people with the virus, so the circle is slowly closing in.
Where I work we are suppliers of building materials, so are in contact with people all the time. It is a family business, so we are all involved with every aspect of the company and as such are all in contact with customers, who are in contact with their customers, who are in contact with many others, therefore, we cannot hide from it. The owner is off ill, and now her son seems to be coming down with the same thing, which she said is norovirus as she if vomiting and can’t get off the toilet.
Today more and more people were calling to see if we were open or we had closed due to this virus. A lot of customers visiting were asking the same thing, so I think it will be a short time from now till we have to close for isolation.
Now, on the positive side, I have just taken delivery of 20 balls (4000 meters) of aran yarn to start making The Great American Aran Afghan which will be quite exciting to do. Remember all you who do knit and crochet, this is the time we have been training for all our lives. Isolation and a massive stash of yarn. It’s going to be like the perfect holiday. Needles going, Netflix playing, feet up and tea to keep us going.
Summer is long over and quite frankly totally forgotten about. It was a fleeting thing that we all loved for the few weeks, alas memories are fading along with the dropping temperatures. Today it was really cold, 8c outside, which is so far away from the other month when we had 32c. The weather forcasters say that this winter will be the worst in 30 years, which will be interesting as near 10 years ago it was -17c at night and a few feet of snow, so god help us. The joys of living so far north.
Anyway, less of the weather and more of this…
Now the weather has turned my knitting is out and off we go again. I am doing a circular blanket which will be in three colours, cream, brown and grey. Cream being the major colour and grey will be mostly edging.
I love knitting in the round/circular knitting. My mum, who has been knitting longer than I have been on the planet thinks knitting in the round is some sort of witchcraft. I have tried to show her that it is just standard knitting with 5 needles until the circular can be used, but she just does not get it. Although I did freak her out with 9 needles just to prove it does not matter if it is one needle or nine, it works just the same.
The pattern I am using is Stephen West’s “A Bit of Iceland”. The yarn I am using is the Womens Institute Aran (Cream) and Hayfield Aran (Grey & Brown), all knitted on 5.5mm needles. This is the third “Iceland” blanket I have knitted. The first is on the headboard of our bed and is in the original Iceland colours. The second is in Ireland as I made it for M’s mum, and done in creams and greens with the edgework in a sage green hank of merino that was rediculously expensive, but was lovely when finished. This new one will be used in the bedroom too. When we decorated the bedroom I did it in suble greys and browns, so this should look really nice when finished.
I have an idea for a hat I want to make for winter after seeing it on a film. I have checked and it is not a commercially available pattern or hat, and was made just for this film and sold at auction for £240. Once I have worked the pattern out and got to making it I will share it with you all. Just have to work it all out as it is not just a standard hat.
I decided to enter a competition on LoveKnitting.com entitled #HappyKnitter. Not expecting to win as there are so many talented people out there, I promptly forgot about it. I was checking my email as I tend to leave it sitting there with only a cursory glance over to see if there is something important, and on the weekend flying through it getting rid of crap and scan reading the things I want to.
Cast forward a few weeks and an email is sitting in my email box, being ignored as it was not the weekend, from LoveKnitting.com asking if I had received the first email as they did not want me to lose out on the competition and that I had won. Talk about bowled away. I quickly messaged back and the next day was presented with my prize, £100 voucher for yarn from their site. The only snag was I could only use the code once and if I did not use the full total of the voucher then I would lose out. Pressure then crept into what I was going to purchase. After an agonising week, I finally decided on what I wanted, coming to a grand total of £130.
Some of the yarn had to come from the USA, but withing about 7 to 10 days all of my yarn arrived, and I was astounded by the quantity I now added to my stash, so much so, I had to go out and purchase two more huge plastic boxes to store it.
This is the blanket that I had made and entered into the competition. It is called “A Bit of Ireland”, and is based on Stephen West’s “A Bit of Iceland”, which I have also made too.
I have not got round to starting any or my project with the new yarn but will do quite soon, well, as soon as I finish the baby stuff for my brother and make my partner his socks.
I love to knit large project, and if complicated then all the better. So my latest project, although not really complicated, it will be large. My Mum had given me tonnes of her yarn stash, stuff she decided she would not need or use. Among the stash was lots of packs of yarn of the same type, so with a pack of 8 balls of Robin Chunky, I decided a blanket was in order.
This is my version of Jared Flood’s Hemlock Ring Blanket.
I love to work in the round, and the first time I did this was back in late 2012 with Stephen West’s Old Forge which is truly beautiful creation. I have also completed his “Bit of Iceland”, and made a green version I called “A Bit of Ireland”. The growth of anything like this so quick to start, then after about 50 rounds it seems to slow right down, and in anything other than this I would get fed up with it and shove it in a bag and leave it, as I have with an oblong blanket I started (also Stephen West design). But there is something about circular knitting I find truly addictive.
For this some of my friends think I need psychological testing….