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!!

Saturday 28 March 2015

Another Teddy glove puppet....

I have some yellow yarn to use up.  I'm not keen on wearing yellow and, for that reason, don't make yellow hats or scarves etc.  If I'm not prepared to wear it, then I can't really inflict it on anybody else!  

But this colour is perfect for teddy bear glove puppets.  I have knitted lots of these in the past and, luckily, I printed off the pattern a long time ago.  Every time I look for it on the Internet it has moved.  It's latest location is on Pinterest here.

The puppet looks a bit wonky in the photo.  But it looks good on a human hand.  I think this one is for a great niece who I will be visiting for the first time in June.  She is 4 years old but lives in another country so I have never met her before.

This is an easy knitting pattern as it is all garter stitch.  One puppet uses up just 19g of double knit yarn.  That means I have three more puppets to make, unless I can think of another use for yellow yarn.  Any ideas?  Please!!

Saturday 21 March 2015

Two toddler hats....

I had just over 100g left of the Emu Bainin Aran yarn that was kindly donated to me by Joanne of the Cup On The Bus blog.  This is quite a thick, strong Aran yarn and probably not soft enough for a small baby.  But it is pure wool and very warm.  So I decided to knit the toddler size of my two favourite hat patterns. 

Despite being a knitter for over 50 years, I can still be amazed at how far a ball of wool goes.  The Basic Winter Hat used 59g of yarn and the cabled Nottingham Hat used just under 50g.

I have knitted these patterns a few times now and can recommend them.  The basic hat is easy and the cabled hat has enough detail to be interesting. Both are stretchy and both get good reviews from other knitters.

These will eventually go off to Operation Orphan for distribution to children in need around the world.

Sunday 15 March 2015

The 39p scarf....

What can you buy for 39p these days?  Not very much, so I was amazed when I found a ball of yarn for that price in a charity shop.  It was in the bottom of a dusty bin and I suspect it was very close to going into a real dustbin.  But I could see it had potential. There was no label on it.  But when I rescued it and took it home, it weighed 100g and measured as 4 ply.  I think it was on sale at a giveaway price because it was knobbly yarn which is generally considered difficult to knit with.

I decided to knit one of my favourite scarf patterns.  This pattern is for dk yarn.  But it is easy to adapt.  I used size 3.75mm needles and cast on 35 stitches for a width of 6.5 inches.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the knobbles were quite small and didn't cause me any problems.  The 100g of yarn kept on giving until the scarf was 51 inches long.  That will be ideal for me as I plan to just wear this one tucked into a coat or jacket.  I put my scarves and gloves away in March, even if the weather is still cold. So this scarf will have its first outing next winter.

There are lots of "yarn over" stitches in the pattern.  The resulting holes just call out for a scarf or shawl pin.  So I trawled the Internet until I found this unique pin made from a recycled knitting needle.  Top marks go to someone with imagination.  I wish I had thought of it first!

Monday 9 March 2015

The "Days of Wine and Roses" blanket...

I completed this large granny square blanket for SIBOL recently.  It has become a tradition that these blankets are given a name before being delivered to residents in care homes.  

Sometimes, I think of a name first and then plan the colours. Sometimes, I start to crochet and hope that a name will suggest itself.  This blanket fell into the latter category.  It is a mixture of pinks and purple and was lovely to make, but a name eluded me until near the end.  Then the phrase "Days of Wine and Roses" came into my head and kept coming every time I thought about the blanket.  

So, I Googled the phrase and was amazed at what I discovered.  The words come from a poem by Ernest Dowson who was born in the part of London that I have lived in since I was 32.  He died, aged just 32, in another part of London that I lived in until I was 32.  Eerie!

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.
– Ernest Dowson, from "Vitae Summa Brevis" (1896).

Without going into too many details, Ernest Dowson had a short and tragic life.  But he understood how precious it is.  His poem and the sentiments behind it are beautiful.