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!!

Thursday 24 September 2015

Eye eye...

This is all I have managed to knit this month.  It is approximately half of a baby blanket.  Just before my 60th birthday, I received the less than welcome news that I had cataracts.  That was a real party pooper.  But, strangely, it was also the catalyst for doing something that has been on my mind for years.  I have had bad eyesight all my life.  An optician once told me off for using the word "bad".  I suppose there are others, such as restricting, limiting, challenging.  But "bad" is what most people in my position use.  

For the past few years, I have been watching developments in eye surgery techniques. There was an operation that would help me.  But all eye surgery carries risks and I always told myself that I would only take the plunge if I had no choice. Being diagnosed with cataracts qualified as "no choice, get on with it".  So I did.

My first surgery was on September 3rd and it went well.  I can read and knit...slowly. The second op was supposed to have happened last week.  But it was delayed for reasons far too boring for this blog. Until my second eye is fixed next month, my vision is going to be extremely unbalanced.  I am currently very shortsighted in one eye and marginally longsighted in the other eye.  I craft when the lighting is good, but I don't want to end up with eyestrain and headaches.  So I am pacing myself very carefully.

The pattern for the blanket is Emily's Baby Blankie.  I deliberately chose to knit it in my favourite blues to cheer myself up.  One good side effect of cataract surgery is that blues look even bluer.  I wasn't expecting that and I don't know how long ti will last.  But it is a very welcome little gift.  

Note to self: keeping informed is good.  But Googling eye problems and operations can be a bad idea.  There is such a thing as "too much information".  Just saying!

Thursday 17 September 2015

3 more hats...

At the beginning of the summer, I set myself a target to use up all my 4 ply yarn.  In my last post, I described how I used up the last of my white and cream.  I then set my attention to using up my darker shades.  Once again, I combined yarns and managed to knit 3 toddler size hats.  I followed the Be Loving pattern.  This is written for Aran yarn; but 4 ply doubled works just as well. 

I actually had lots of little nuggets in various greens, blues, beiges and browns and was quite pleased at how they worked together.  Admittedly, they are rather dark for toddlers' hats. But they will be going off to Operation Orphan for distribution in countries where warmth and sturdiness are the most important attributes in children's clothes.

I am now looking at a bag of 4 ply yarn that contains only blues and pinks.  I think my job is done.  I am quite happy to save this for future family babies.  In fact, there is already a great niece or nephew on the way.  I must put on my thinking hat....

Friday 11 September 2015

The last 50g...

I recently knitted some preemie items and had just 50g of white 4ply yarn left.  My 4ply mojo returned and I paired it with 50g of cream 4ply to knit these two hats. Combining the two colours produced a lovely shade of pale banana.  The white was a baby yarn and the cream was ordinary yarn.  Together they made a texture just right for a toddler.

I followed the easy Be Loving pattern which is really for Aran weight yarn, but 4ply doubled works just as well.  The pattern comes in many sizes from toddler to adult and I can definitely recommend it as well written, simple and quick.  I managed to make two toddler size hats with just a tiny amount of yarn left.  I think there might be enough to make bootees or pompoms.  Nothing is ever wasted here!

NB: there is a reason why my posts are a bit on the short side this month.  All will be revealed in a couple of weeks time!

Friday 4 September 2015

Ripple scarf


In the spirit of lifelong learning and continuing with my aim to learn new skills in 2015, I was very happy to finally learn how to crochet a ripple.  I followed the excellent Gentle Ripple How To tutorial on Linda's Crafty Corner blog.

I am such a slow learner where crochet is concerned, that it took me a few attempts to master the decrease stitch.  But I persevered as I really wanted to make a ripple something.  

I must be a tight crocheter. This was starting to look more like a rug than a soft blanket!  In the end I decided to turn this into a baby scarf.  I think I am a tight crocheter, especially when I am concentrating on something new.  I broke the cardinal rule and didn't make a swatch.  If I make another blanket I will go up to size 5mm crochet hook and do two rows per colour.  

Thanks, Linda for the very clear phototutorial/