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!!

Sunday 30 June 2013

Entrelac baby blanket: almost there....

I'm really enjoying knitting this entrelac baby blanket and, despite being really busy this week, I have pressed on and managed to finish the main part.  The top ball of wool in the photo is for the border.  The others are what is leftover.  I could probably have knitted another white, blue and green row.  But the pink is almost all gone.  All the balls of wool were partially used when I started, so there must have been less pink.  I'm looking forward to making a few little hats with these oddments.

Today was the first time I have seen the blanket off the needles and laid out flat.  I could almost hear it breathing a sigh of relief as I cast off the last row.  It currently measures 26" x 32" but that will change when I add the border and block it.  I haven't blocked it yet as Julie of Mack and Mabel, who wrote the pattern, advised me to add the border first.   I'm really pleased with it.  I went over it sewing in loose ends and checking for holes but, all things considered, it is a very good first attempt at entrelac. 

Now I just need to add the border.  There will be a slight delay in proceedings as I had to order the correct size circular needle.  I had a very long pair of 4mm needles and managed to knit the main blanket on these.  But the border calls for 3.25mm needles.  It is knitted straight, not "in the round"; but my straight needles of this size are too short.  I found a 100cm circular needle on Ebay for absolute peanuts and snapped it up.  It will get plenty of use in future, so I am a happy bunny.  I am normally more organised than this and would already have the needle waiting for me.  But, hey ho, I can always find something else to do until it arrives.  Hopefully my next photo will show the finished blanket.

This is the pattern I am following.  It is well written and comes with loads of photos.  

Sunday 23 June 2013

Entrelac baby blanket: are we there yet?

I just have one more block of 4 colours to knit and then the main body of my entrelac baby blanket will be finished.  I just have to add a knitted-on edging after that.  I have a few decisions to make first.  Should I block it before or after adding the edging.  How severely should I block it?  I could make it almost flat.  Or I could leave it quite springy and quilt-like.  I will probably sit on the fence and aim for something in-between.  Depending on what it looks like after blocking, I might or might not line it.  I have some lovely soft white flannelette that would do the job nicely.  Decisions, decisions.  

Saturday 15 June 2013

Entrelac baby blanket: progress report

The entrelac baby blanket I'm knitting is now more than half finished.  If I keep to the pattern there will be five repeats of each block of 4 colours.  I have nearly finished the third block.  I'm amazed that so much yarn is still unused.  I could make the blanket longer.  But I have already seen some baby hat patterns that appeal to me.  So any leftover wool will probably end up as hats.

This is the pattern I am following which I won on the recent Mack and Mabel giveaway.

It is a very clear pattern and is my first attempt at entrelac.  For crochet fans, I have found many crochet patterns for entrelac blankets.  Just Google "crochet entrelac" to find them.

I'm pressing on with this blanket whenever I have some free knitting time.  Today for example I have not yet picked up my needles, but intend to before nightfall!!!

Thursday 6 June 2013

My first entrelac baby blanket....

When I returned to knitting about 18 months ago I found things had changed.  The Internet didn't exist when I used to knit.   Now it has really transformed the way information is exchanged.  By looking at blogs and forums, it is easy to see what other crafters are making.  One of the things that fascinated me was entrelac which is a method that produces diamonds that appear to be woven in long strips.

When I won a giveaway on the Mack and Mabel blog, I chose the entrelac baby blanket pattern as my prize.

Here is the blanket after working  on it for one week.  It is all scrunched up as it is still on my knitting needle. But it will eventually make a rectangular blanket big enough to fit a cot or pram.

Entrelac can be worked in any number of colours.  I have chosen white, pale green, blue and pink with a border of variegated yarn that includes all these colours.  I think the first baby girl born into my extended family will be the lucky recipient.

I chose this pattern as a bit of a new challenge.  I also wanted a project that could be "on the burn" through what are going to be some very busy weeks for me.  I can already picture the finished blanket in my mind's eye and it is going to be beautiful.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Last charity donations for a little while.....

As Royal Mail postage costs went up recently and courier costs have started to rise, I pulled out all the stops and finished filling a box for Operation Orphan which is an organisation that distributes warm clothing to children in Central and Eastern Europe.

Here are the contents: 2 scarves, 12 hats and 2 waistcoats.  Some of these items have been ready for months and now they can actually be useful and keep someone warm. it might seem odd thinking about warm clothing in the summer, but this is the time of year that charities start to prepare for distributing clothing in time for winter.

I have already started knitting a baby jumper for one of my favourite charities.  But it will probably be another year before I have enough items ready to fill a box to capacity.

I wonder what postage costs are like in other countries.  In the UK we definitely have to thing twice before posting something.  In the last week, I have spent nearly £10 on postage.  That is £10 that i can't spend on wool!

More and more people are looking for local charities that they can support by dropping in with their knitted/crocheted donations.  That is good news for the local charities but not such good news for those that rely on  receiving lots of parcels.  I would choose the local option if I could.  But, for now, my favourite charities can still rely on one box per year from me.