I bought Caron X Pantone “Tree Rings” yarn a few weeks back and today decided to put it to good use and make a beanie. I bought 2 lots, so I’ll have to decide what to do with the other set of hanks.
I have never bothered knitting much for Christmas, however, this year I decided to pull out all the stops and make a Christmas Wreath. I still have to finish it with a “Merry Christmas” on it, but alas I cannot find red felt letters anywhere for love nor money, which means I may have to make them, or find a cake topper that will fit.
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.
Today M and I have been married for 12 years (together 21 years this year), so to celebrate, we went for a nice walk and bought lots of lovely snacks and treats. Due to the way the world is at the moment we did not want to go to a restaurant or pub for a meal. We were not too sure where to go as we tend to drive for hours to go somewhere different, but again due to COVID there are so many places in Yorkshire and Lancashire that are said to be hotspots, so that was out too, and I love to walk on the moors in the footsteps of the Brontes as it is rugged and wild.
We finally set on Lydiate where I grew up and walked along the old railway lines from where Lydiate station used to be back in Victorian Times. (1884 to 1952) and headed south along the lines, then on to the canal bank back to the car. All told we walked 6km. The dogs loved it and are currently sleeping. Mazikeen must have run (as she does not walk anywhere) about 20km, back and forth.
I took a few photos along the way which are below, including some yarn bombing along the way.
My friend and his fiancé have just had a baby boy, and with that my knitting needles are at it again. I have made a blanket for his brother a good few years ago and Z still loves her blanket even though it is getting quite old now.
I bought pom-pom yarn over the weekend and started it and it was a load of crap. The yarn just was not right at all. The string between the pompoms was hard and almost like string, the pompoms were long, and at the time I thought the yarn was okay, but then working with it I knew it was not going to work. The cord between the pompoms is knitted into twice, and should then be hidden but this crap yarn seemed to made a feature of it, photo below.
After starting it on Saturday and feeling very disappointed I went onto LoveCrafts.com and ordered Rico Pompon yarn which I have used many times in the past and always ended with a great result. I picked their blue and white pompon yarn which looks really nice, better than the plain white. This is it so far. I only started it about an hour ago.
I am aiming to finish it this weekend, however, the band on the yarn states that three balls are required to make it, yet in the past I only used two. I am going to finish the first ball and if required order another to make it up to three, fingers crossed it arrives soon if needed. Once finished I will post a photo of it.
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.
If you had read my previous ramblings about blocking you will know I was in two camps, especially since I have never had to do it.
Whilst at the hardware store I noticed 9 interlocking play mats for £4. Yes, only £4. Obviously, I bought them as this was a bargain I could not leave. I had seen on Amazon blocking mats that were £35 for exactly the same thickness and size, the only difference was the Amazon ones had squares so you could measure the knitted item on it to block. This is really not something that I required as I have plenty of tape measures so why bother. I bought a box of T pins for £2.49 and have all I need for the job saving £28.51p. Bargain!
I had made two of the squares for the Great American Afghan one of them was smaller than the other and needed blocking to the correct size, so I put my purchases to the test. I admit, I was very happy with the result. Both squares at now the same size. All I have to do is the other 22 squares. Who knows when that will be finished as my knitting is like my reading, I swap to different projects/books all the time back and forth.
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
Over the past week, I have been looking at Shetland knitting after seeing some of the incredible items in one of my knitting magazines. I have done Fair Isle knitting in the past and do stranded knitting quite a lot, but I have never really gone the distance and made any Shetland garments. The blanket I am currently making is getting close to the end and I am doing the lace pattern edging now, so I thought I would look for something to make over the next few months, and a Shetland Kep seems in order. One that I have found that I really like is Uradale Fisherman’s Kep kit which I found at uradale.com site. It isn’t all that cheap, £42.40 including postage, in the kit you get a copy of the pattern and 6 balls of 25g each and 1 ball of 50g, a total of 200g of organic Shetland breeds wool. Not a massive amount for the money, but worth it as it is top quality wool which should knit up something special. If I get it, I will first try with other yarn to get used to the patterning again as I have not done Fair Isle for quite a bit and do not want to waste any of the good stuff.
Another project I quite fancy is home dying yarn. I have found a kit from UK Alpaca for £40.75 including postage. The kit contains 2 x 50g skeins of DK and 2 x 50g skeins of 4ply and of course, the dyes and full instructions. It looks like a lot of fun, and all I will need to do is find something that I can make with the skeins, I was thinking about socks, as that is the go-to for the 4ply, but the DK I am not too sure about at the moment.
Whilst on my Shetland journey I have also found a book that looks quite interesting and may give me an insight into the joys of Shetland knitting. It is suitably entitled “Shetland Wood Adventure Journal Volume 1”. Quite fitting I think for my latest adventures in knitting, and it has 6 patterns, recipes, walks and much more. £23.95 including postage. I am a sucker for a beautiful book on knitting and this one covers other topics that I love. Okay, so I have now ordered the book. I was writing this and thought, stuff it, I want the book. As I said, I cannot resist beautiful books. More on it when it arrives in the next week.
I look forward to showing some of the projects I will be embarking on, and if any of you have done any traditional Shetland knitting, please let me know, and as always, any handy tips and advice will always be welcome.
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.