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 of if they ask nicely!! I think 2014 will be a year full of squares and blankets, plus some much-needed vests and jumpers for yours truly.

Friday, 17 October 2014

A real red head....

Here's my latest knitted hat.  I used lovely red yarn that I bought cheaply in a summer bootfair.  I love the coloured speckles in it.  I made this slightly bigger than the last 3 hats because heads come in all shapes and sizes.

This hat was inspired by the Awesome Hat pattern.  But I swapped to stocking stitch after the ribbed brim as I think it shows off the yarn better.

My obsession with neat hat crowns continues.  So here is the crown:

I love it!

This has to be a short blog post.  The 3 girls for whom I knitted the little fingerless gloves are arriving tomorrow.  I will finally find out if they fit them!  

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The big blanket is finished.....

I'm delighted to say that I have just finished my big crochet blanket. It measures 40" x 57" and is destined for Operation Orphan which is an organisation that distributes clothing and blankets to children in need around the world.

I'm really pleased with how this turned out.  As it will be going to a cold country, I chose real wool Aran yarns.  I can't imagine this blanket will ever be thrown into a washing machine.  So the chances of it being ruined are minimal.  The teal yarn came from a lucky charity shop find.  The rest of the yarn was donated to me by Joanne of the Cup On The Bus blog.  Thanks again, Joanne.  I still have enough of your yarn to make another blanket or lots of hats and scarves.

I used the wonderful free Random Stripe Generator to plan the stripes.  This is worth considering if you make a lot of stripy things.  You simply input your colours and number of required rows and it throws up lots of different suggestions.  

I didn't follow any particular pattern.  I used a 5mm hook and crocheted 160 rows of 125 half trebles (UK).

CONFESSION TIME: I ended the blanket with 2 fewer stitches than I started with .  I have absolutely no idea how this happened, especially as I was very careful.  It doesn't show over such a big blanket.  But one of my aims in life now is to complete one of these blankets without losing or gaining any stitches.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Another awesome hat....

Here is another hat that I have just knitted from the Awesome Hat pattern.  I forgot to mention last time that, apart from the neat decreases, another feature is that the ribbing lines up when the brim is folded.  So the knit and purl rows continue along the hat instead of switching places at the fold line.  That is just a minor detail, but I like it.

This is how the neat decreases look in ribbing:

I'm really glad I bought this glass head model as it shows off the hat perfectly.  I feel one more of these hats in my near future.  Then I might move on to other projects.....

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Big Knit campaign...

I've been knitting these little hats for the Innocent Smoothie Age UK appeal.  They eventually end up on bottles of smoothies in supermarkets and a 25p donation goes to Age UK for every bottle sold.  There is more information about the appeal here.  The deadline isn't until November 14th.  But I decided that I wouldn't have time to knit any more of these.  So they are going in the post now.

Apologies for the poor photo.  My new computer needs to go to the repair shop to sort out the glass of water that I accidentally spilled over it.  Hey ho!  I am back on my old computer which doesn't have such a good photo editing function.  I am surprisingly calm about wrecking a good computer.  I had already been cutting down on my computer time and my old computer might turn out to be all I need.  Time will tell!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Introducing SIBOL.....

Just a quick post today to introduce a lovely organisation called SIBOL which is an abbreviation for Sunshine International Blankets of Love.  It is run by the tireless Sue who is really good at drumming up support from knitters and crocheters.  The completed blankets and shawls are dropped off at care homes in the UK and we have recently started to make some smaller items such as hats, gloves and scarves to give to the residents as C******** gifts.

Sue always lets you know when your items have arrived and also when they have been delivered to the homes.  It is so satisfying to see a blanket that you made actually in situ in its new home.

For people who use Ravelry, there is a friendly SIBOL group here.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Fingerless gloves...

Three nieces are coming to visit next month and I wanted to give them a little gift each.  I thought fingerless mitts might be welcome at this time of year.  I phoned their parents just to make sure and they suggested the colours of the girls' favourite football team.  They don't simply follow this team; they are IN it.  The team strip is dark blue with light blue trimmings including 3 stripes.

I found the following Catchy fingerless mitts pattern which gets good reviews on Ravelry.  I amended the pattern slightly as I wanted only 3 stripes.  I'm really pleased with the way they turned out.  I have knitted simple fingerless gloves before.  But these are the first that I have knitted in the round and with thumbs.  They fit my smallish adult hand snugly and I'm keeping my fingers crossed (pun intended) that they fit the girls' slightly smaller hands.  I want them to be a surprise so I couldn't ask the parents to measure them!

These gloves use a tiny amount of yarn and could be knitted at the rate of one per day.... if I had nothing else to do!  I knitted the first four fairly quickly and then developed the dreaded "second sock" syndrome.  I just couldn't find the impetus to cast on the fifth glove.  Eventually I had to as the stress of thinking about the unfinished project began to outweigh the missing mojo.

I recommend this pattern and will probably knit it again in the future.  But, for now, I am really glad I have finished all six.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A quick peek....

My big crochet blanket has already passed the halfway point.  This is now it looks now.  The photo shows the colours very well.  (Please ignore the has been folded up.)  I think I was very lucky to find the job lot of teal Aran yarn in a charity shop.  It complements perfectly the cream and beige that was donated to me by Joanne of the Cup On The Bus blog.

I'm being very good about crocheting at least 2 rows of this blanket at the end of each day.  That doesn't sound like much but I have other smaller projects in progress and the calmer life I was looking forward to after a hectic summer has been put on hold by some big DIY projects at home.