Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Friday, 22 April 2016

A sneak preview of that shocking pink....

I finally made a start on using the shocking pink yarn that I mentioned a few weeks ago.  I have a huge ball of it.  I found it in a big bag of tangled yarn that someone was trying to sell at my local market.  I said "Oh, it's all tangled", offered a cheeky price, and the stallholder snapped my hand off!  I quite enjoy sorting out tangled yarn.  So I did that first and then mulled over what to do with the shocking pink.....and mulled, and mulled.

Then I remembered a pattern that I had saved on one of my Pinterest boards.  It must be good because lots of other crafters have taken the pin.  Here it is:

Observant readers might notice that I copied the colours.  That was by sheer coincidence.  They are exactly the colours I needed to use for the start of my project. The pattern and video tutorial are very well done.  I was able to follow them easily and I did so until I reached the grey rounds.  Then I winged it a little as I wanted to continue making a much bigger granny square.  

The fact that I was able to crochet something that looks like a flower and then adjust the pattern to make a larger square has me stupidly chuffed.  I might be starting to understand this crochet business!  

I usually stay well within my comfort zone when crocheting.  But this pattern has made me think that I might tackle one of those beautiful mandalas that I see on other blogs.  At least it's on my future "to do" list and that is progress for someone who always has to look at instruction books whenever she starts a new crochet project!

PS: If I regularly comment on your blog and appear to have stopped recently, it could be due to a new Blogger problem.  Some comments are coming back as "undeliverable".  I'm hoping this is just a temporary glitch.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Two little boys' hats...

I had some blue yarn left over after knitting my recent scarf and I didn't want to put it back "in the bag".  So I knitted two newborn baby hats.  The colours are possibly a little darker than most baby hats.  But I would have used these if Daughter had been a boy and I also have nieces who are crazy about a football team that wears these colours.

The pattern I used for the darker hat is by Heather Tucker and can be found here.  I like the raised stitches detail as it adds just enough interest.  It is very easy, though you do have to keep track of which round you are knitting.  For the variegated hat, I followed the Basic Baby Hat pattern which is also by Heather Tucker.  It is a complete breeze to knit as it omits the raised stitches detail.  Just point your needles and go!

The nieces I mentioned probably have at least five years living to do before they produce babies.  So I will probably send these hats off to Operation Orphan.

Newsflash: my dilemma about what to do with the shocking pink yarn has been solved.  I have actually made a start on using it in a new project.  Watch this space.....

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The "One in, one out" scarf...

My scarf drawer is now officially full.  If I knit or crochet a new scarf for myself, I have to get rid of one.  Spilling over into another drawer is not an option.  Our 5-10 year plan includes the strong possibility of downsizing, though there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then.  Meanwhile, I am trying NOT to add to my possessions.

I had lots of scraps of various blue yarns left over after crocheting a big blanket. I like blue and have a couple of blue jackets.  So I decided to crochet yet another scarf.  I used a simple v-stitch pattern and a 5.5mm hook.  Eight full v stitches plus a half stitch at each end of the row gave me a scarf measuring 6.5 inches.  

I combined some variegated 4 ply yarn with 3 different dark blue dk yarns.  I managed to reach a length of 41 inches before the dark blues were used up.  This length is fine on me as I like to tuck my scarves into my jackets and prefer not to have lots of unnecessary bulk.  

It is not a thing of beauty and I wouldn't dream of giving it to someone else.  But it looks better on than in the photo, is warm, suits me and made good use of left over yarn.  Win, win, win, win.

No scarves suffered in my scarf cull.  I found one that is small, soft and pretty.  It will be perfect for a child and is now destined for my next Operation Orphan parcel.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Stop Gap scarf...

While I ponder what to do with some really bright pink yarn that I recently rescued, I have been busy crocheting this scarf.  I used up most of the red wool that was left over after I knitted a boy's jumper.  
This is one of my favourite crochet scarf patterns as it suits my abilities.  For some reason, I don't have any problems at the start and end of each row.  I think it is because the pattern is so well written and illustrated.. Here is the link.

For this scarf I used 136g of dk wool and a 5mm crochet hook. That produced a scarf measuring 5" x 55".  This is intended for a child and will eventually go off to Operation Orphan.  The yarn is 85% real wool and 15% nylon so it should be very warm and hard-wearing.

I now have just 25g of this wool left.  So it will probably reappear one day as a stripe or two.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Decisions, decisions...

Do not adjust your brightness control.  This pink really is this shocking.  In fact, it is probably even brighter than it looks here.  I bought it very cheaply at a local boot fair. It weighs just under 300g and seems to be a 4 ply acrylic.  

I like rescuing unloved yarn.  It's only later that I think about what to do with it.  I rarely knit with 4 ply yarn and, when I do, it is usually something delicate for a baby. This is too bright for that.  So, I could combine it with another yarn for a speckled effect.  Or I could knit with two strands to make it roughly equal to a double knit yarn.

I have no works in progress at the moment.  I think I will use this pink shocker next. This afternoon, I watched a version of "Jane Eyre" that I hadn't seen before.  Probably because there are already so many versions of this story, the director spiced it up a little by using flashbacks which don't appear in the original novel.  My eyes were, therefore, fully occupied.  But my hands whiled away a couple of hours by rolling this yarn into smaller balls.  

Now I am ready, just as soon as I decide what to do with it.  Any suggestions would be very welcome!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Free Jumper finished...

Here is the jumper I have been working on.  I found the pattern in Yours magazine.  It was described as "for knitters with some experience".  I'd say that was a fair description.  The tricky parts were the neckline and shoulders.  I am well used to knitting v-necks and shoulders.  But the magazine didn't really help matters when it published the photo back to front.  It showed the buttons on the right shoulder and I had to read the pattern several times to make sure I was following it correctly.

I'm calling this a free jumper as the wool came to me as a donation from a Freecycler and the buttons were sent to me by Joanne of the Cup On The Bus blog.  The photo doesn't show them clearly but they are lovely wooden buttons and go well with the real wool.

I knitted the size that should fit a seven year old child.  That has left me with about 100g of the wool which should be enough to make a matching hat or scarf.  Then I will be sending them off to Operation Orphan.

I now have absolutely no works in progress.  I can't remember the last time that happened.  Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

The Clew Bay blanket...

I started this blanket months ago and then had to put it away to protect it from the clouds of dust that filled the house while we were renovating the ground floor.  Well, the renovations are over and I have almost finished dusting, polishing and painting. So I felt it was safe to take out this blanket and finish it.  It is basically just one very large granny square.  It has now gone off to SIBOL from where the busy Sue will add it to others and deliver it to a home for elderly residents.

Sue likes to name the blankets.  The only name that sprang to mind when I was making this was "Clew Bay".  Anyone who knows the west coast of Ireland will know where I mean.  The bay is best viewed from high up the Croagh Patrick mountain in Mayo. Here is a typical view of the bay.

It shows a few of over 100 sunken drumlins or small islands.  I have happy memories of climbing that mountain when I was 11 and being amazed by the view.  Little did I know then that I would end up marrying a man whose ancestors had close connections to this part of Ireland.

I used a variegated blue and green yarn that I bought in Poundstretcher.  I find their wool to be a very reasonable price and a more than acceptable quality.  It is a strong acrylic which is perfect for items that will need a lot of washing.  I added to that various balls of blue and green yarn that I needed to use up.  

I like some parts of the blanket more than other parts.  But that's life. I learned a good lesson near the end of the blanket.  I could see that I would not have enough green to complete a round so I turned the blanket and went backwards.  This produced two corners that needed a lot of concentration to sort out.  I just about got away with it, but I won't be repeating that mistake again!

I used my favourite easy Double V-stitch edging that can be found on the Knot Your Nana's Crochet blog.  It is pretty and does not use a ton of yarn.

I am already planning my next blanket.  I can see it in my imagination, though it will be a long time before it stars in this blog. There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then!