Tag: knitting

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.

Planet Earth… Closed!

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…

No-Purl Ribbed Scarf

I finished the scarf for M using the same yarn I had for my last project of Paris Toujours. M is made up with it and cannot wait to wear it when it’s a bit cooler. I decided to finish it off with one of my oak labels.

Panic on the street of London…

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.

Stay safe.

These things take time…

M asked me to make him a scarf in the same yarn that I used for my last project Paris Toujours. The yarn is nice to work with, so I agreed. He didn’t want anything fancy, and wanted something quite plain, like a moss stitch, but I decided that I would do a ribbed type, but without the aid of purl stitch. Let’s face it, purling gets to be a bit of a drag after a while. This pattern is simple but has interesting results. The pattern is just knit stitch and S1wyif. I used a twisted cast-on as it is good for scarfs, and it is a tougher edge. This is it so far.

KAL – Paris Toujour

Well, I finally finished knitting my Paris Toujour scarf.

I used Hayfield Spirit yarn which was really nice to work with, as is all their yarns. I should have finished it for the 15th February, but, due to M’s birthday (15th), work, baking cakes, and my birthday jaunt to Prague I ran out of time, but what the hell, it is done now so who cares lol. The KAL challenge was made by the guys at FiberHustle, the pattern was designed by Isabell Kraemer.

So let me know what you think!

First KAL…

My Instagram account is ram-packed with dogs and knitting, and yesterday in the feed there was a post by Fiber Hustle advertising their latest podcast/videocast. Now YouTube is not a place I frequent that much and as for video podcasts, they are a hidden world really. However, for some reason, I felt I needed to watch. Luckily enough we can “throw” videos from youtube to any or our TV’s, which is a little more viewer-friendly than using a phone or tablet. This was the first time I have watched their “show”, and although it is not slick or like some of the ones I have seen in the past I felt I needed to watch it all the way, 1 hour 3 minute. The hosts Aaron & Chip are quite entertaining and you can see they have a passion for their crafts. Aaron announced that he would be doing a KAL, and I thought to myself ‘I’m joining in’.

The pattern is Paris Toujours by Isabell Kraemer which is a really nice Shawl/wrap. I had looked for yarn and found some beautiful ones in merino, but at £15 a skein and it requires 3, I thought better of it and decided to go for a more economical yarn. I doubt it will be an item that I wear, so the cheaper yarn is more favourable. If after I have made it I think I would wear it as a scarf then I will order the expensive yarn and make another one. The project doesn’t start until 18th January, and it finishes on 15th February, M’s Birthday. We are away in Prague from 9th to early hours 12th Feb, and I thought it would be fun to have it finished for the trip and take it with us and do a photoshoot with it which could be fun.

I have bought two different yarns, the first one is Hayfield “Spirit” at £5 a ball, which is a new one for me. I have used Hayfield in the past and it is a nice yarn to work with. This one is 80% Acrylic with 20% wool. Very soft and 345m per 100g ball. The second yarn is 100% Acrylic and is the Woman’s Institute Premium yarn at £1.15 a ball with 250m per 100g ball.

Hayfield Spirit Double Knit Yarn (80% Acrylic 20% Wool)
Woman’s Institue Premium Acrylic Yarn Double Knit
© mariakos – This is a photo of the finished item C/O Ravelry

As can be seen in the last photo (credit Mariakos on Ravelry). It is quite a masculine piece and I am looking forward to wearing mine in Prague.

WIP

Not the best photo due to the lighting.

So far so good. I am now on section three which is the bands. This consists of a round of purl in cream, a knit row in grey, and a knit row of brown. This has to be done 8 times, I have only done three rounds of this so far. What started with an 8 stitch round has now grown to 224 a stitch round and 18 inches wide (45cm).

Whilst knitting it the other night I was thinking of my next project and the colourway I want to do. So far I am thinking of dark grey, white and a bold contrast colour, but so far not sure what the final bold colour will be, but I have quite a bit of time until I get to that pattern.

More on the blanket as it grows.

So it begins…

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…

So it begins; knitting

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.

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