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Posts Tagged ‘crochet’

I’ve been in a bit of a lull, craft-wise, for the last few weeks – I became strangely addicted to making crochet throws and couldn’t summon up the energy to do anything more challenging than go round and round the outside of a square.

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But my second one is now finished, and I’m not starting any more for a while!

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This one’s in RYC Luxury Cotton dk (long discontinued, unfortunately). I had two balls of blue left over from a cardigan, and the other ten balls came from Kemps in their great Rowan bargain bags a couple of years ago. Whoever put them together chose the colours well, and they’ve made a lovely throw. There were five balls of the pink, and two of each of the others apart from the dark blue, and I thought I’d worked out a stripe sequence to use them evenly, but I failed miserably and had two and a half balls of pink left at the end. So I used them to do a border – four rows of triples with one chain between, then a row of doubles round the edge to finish it off. I’m pleased with it, and it’s used some yarn up. It’s a bit of a drop in the ocean, but I suppose it’s a start!

My next project is a very old WIP – I started this Coraline cardigan nearly two years ago, I know I knitted the body up to the armholes during Wimbledon that year. Then it was abandoned until last April, when I did the sleeves, and the yoke up to the start of the smocking, when it languished again. This time I’m going to finish it!

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But the smocking was nearly the project’s downfall – the pattern says to slip the first knit stitch onto a cable needle and hold at the front, slip the next four purl stitches onto the right needle, slip the next knit stitch onto the cable needle, slip the purl stitches back to the left needle, wrap the two knit stitches on the cable needle with the working yarn, knit the first one, purl the four purl stitches, then knit the other knit stitch from the cable needle. Which makes sense if it is rather long winded, but I hate cable needles at the best of times, and having one dangling at the front of my work with one stitch on it was just horrible. I did about six wraps, then turned to Ravelry for an alternative. Thankfully it didn’t let me down, and I found Interknitty’s very helpful notes, which basically say to wrap the first knit stitch before working it, purl the next four, pick up the wrap, knit the next stitch, then slip the wrap over it. Which is tricky in the multi-stranded Bamboo Soft yarn I’m using, but much easier than messing about with a cable needle!

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The wraps round the smocked stitches are stretching out a bit more than some others I’ve seen, but I think it’s because the bamboo yarn is very slippy and isn’t gripping the stitches. It’ll do! I just want it finished now, and I’m not too far off. I’m doing another repeat (six rows) of the smocking pattern as my row gauge is off, but I’m nearly there, thank goodness.

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And now for something completely different! I bought two cones of Habu merino/stainless steel yarn (in lilac) and one of the merino (in grey) at the Knitting and Stitching Show a year or two ago, and seeing a reference to stainless steel yarns on Ravelry prompted me to get it out and have a go at using it. I’m sort of following the Kusha Kusha scarf pattern, but I’m not going to change to a single yarn for the second half, I’ll just keep going in the two held together and see how long it turns out.

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It’s looking quite wiry and open at the moment, but you hand felt the finished scarf, and apparently it makes it more fabric-like. I really should have done a swatch first to see how it works, but I’m living dangerously on this one!

So those are the projects I’m taking to Anglesey with me this week, with maybe a sock as well (there’s a couple of half-finished ones lurking in my WIP box). I’ll let you know how I got on when I get home!

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Remember the crochet throw I picked up again a couple of weeks ago? The one where it had taken me nearly two years to do 30 squares? Well, going round and round the edge of 25 of those squares proved much easier, not to mention more addictive, and it’s finished in just a fortnight!

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I did have a enough yarn for a few more rounds, but I’d run out of the white, and I really wanted it at the edge, to match the white round the central flowers, so I just did a round of double (UK) crochet and it seemed to finish it off okay.

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It was a bit uneven and wouldn’t like quite flat before I blocked it, partly at least due to the fact that the squares in the middle were much more solid than the edging, so I blocked it by giving it a quick soak in the sink, then rinsing and spinning in the machine, and then pinning it out using blocking wires. I put wires round the central section first, pulling it out as much as I could, then put more round the outside and pulling till it laid flat.

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It’s blocked out to about 1.1m square, but it seems bigger somehow. It weighs 770g, and I used Creative Yarns mercerised cotton – one 100g ball of each colour, and three of the white. The central squares are from the Summer Garden pattern from Attic24, but I’m calling mine Spring Garden, because it looks spring-like – much more so than the miserable weather outside!

Now I just need to decide where to put it – on the sofa as above, or possibly on the Poang chair in the conservatory

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Or on the basket chair in the conservatory

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I think Mollie’s going for this option

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She had a good look at it

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Then sat down for a wash, doing that thing cats do where they leave their back leg in the air.

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She’s my gorgeous girl and she knows it.

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Two knitted FOs to share tonight, the first is the socks I spun the yarn for a couple of weeks ago -

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The fibre is BFL, hand-dyed by the lovely Fiona at Grace and Jacob in York. I spun it as a fine single then chain plied it to get about 220m of fingering weight yarn.

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I split the fibre down its length, but I obviously didn’t get it quite even – the stripes on the second sock (on the right above) are much wider than on the first! I did break the yarn on the foot of the second sock so that I managed another peachy stripe before the toe, which made the stripes a bit narrower on the top of the foot.

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I cast on 60 stitches on 2.75mm needles, and did a short row heel over 32 stitches. The leg measures 5”, and I used about 200m of yarn for a foot size UK4.5. I’m very pleased with both the yarn and the socks, they’re lovely and soft and should be very cosy next winter. Or next week if the weather forecast is to be believed, they’re now muttering about the possibility of snow, which doesn’t seem possible after the warmth of the last week, but it is only the end of March I suppose!

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Next up is a cardigan which didn’t make it to the blog whilst it was in progress, largely because it’s a pattern I’ve done before and I didn’t think of anything to say that I didn’t say the first time round. It’s Peasy, and I used Rowan Felted Tweed. I’ve worn my grey one lots, it’s a really useful little cardi to slip on over things, so I thought I’d do a cheery red one too.

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Only a headless modelled shot, I’m afraid – I’d just got in from work, and it showed on my face! But it is nice to be able to photograph things during the week again. I love summer time and light nights.

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The cardigan’s worked top-down, with a pretty vine lace pattern at the yoke, then it’s plain stocking stitch all the way, with only a tiny bit of shaping. The bands are garter stitch picked up up the fronts and round the neck, and I used the little flower shell buttons again, largely because I have lots of them and they go with everything. Well, most things.

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The skirt was a charity shop bargain in Grassington – I got this Wallis one and a flowery sequined Phase Eight one for under £9 the two. I may give up on sewing if I can find skirts for those prices and alter them if necessary. Speaking of which, I found this M&S one in a different charity shop a couple of weeks ago.

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It’s not easy to see from this photo, but it’s got eight panels, with eight triangular sections let in to make it flare out, starting about eight inches below the waist. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s a style which just makes my stomach stick out in the straight section before the skirt flares from underneath the bulge, which really isn’t an attractive look. I nearly put it back, but then I pulled it up and turned about four inches over at the top, and was inspired to buy it and alter it.

I took off the facing at the waist, undid the side seams and took out the zip, cut four inches off the top, tapered the side seams so the facing fitted back on, put the zip back in,  sewed up the side seams and put the facing back on. Which was a little fiddly, but, apart from the unpicking, no more so than sewing from scratch, and before long I had this.

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Which is a lot more flattering, and is also the length I’m preferring at the moment, just below my knee. The fabric’s a lovely linen/viscose mix, of the sort I can’t seem to find anywhere, and it was a bargain £8. I think alterations are the way to go.

Oh, and one last thing – a couple of years ago I started making flowery granny squares for a blanket, but all that stopping and starting and sewing in of ends meant that I quickly got fed up and shoved it all in a box. Until last week, when I had the bright idea of using 25 of the 30 I’d done as the centre of a blanket, then just doing rows of different colours round the edge. Which is what I’ve done.

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It’s a lot less tedious! I’m going to keep going until I either run out of yarn or of the will to live, whichever comes first…

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