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!!

Monday 25 January 2016

Yarn chicken: you win some, you lose some...

I bought the first issue of a new crochet magazine last year.  The only reason was its cheap introductory price.  This made the free gift of two balls of yarn very good value. One was a useful white and the other was a cheerful green.  I chose to make something with the green last week as it reminded me of the spring that can't be far away.  

The yarn bands did not give any information about its weight or recommended hook/needle sizes.  I measured it as 5 ply which is not something I am really used to.  I decided to knit a baby hat.  I like this colour on children but I chose the 6 months size as it might be a bit too strong for newborns.  I wasn't confident that I would have enough yarn and I was right.  I had to speed up the crown decreases and this hat would probably now fit a baby of 4 months.  

I then took the white yarn and knitted a hat for a newborn.  I'm much happier with this one as there was enough yarn to knit the pattern as written.  The pattern is the Simple Lines Baby Hat by Heather Tucker and I will definitely knit this again.  The designer has even included links to coordinating baby blanket patterns.

I realised too late that I should have knitted the white newborn hat first.  That way, I would have been forewarned that I didn't have enough green yarn for the 6 months size.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Monday 18 January 2016

Farmer's Market Scarf

My scarf drawer is groaning under the weight of scarves that I either bought years ago or made recently.  The winter here has only just arrived.  So I am really pleased to have just finished this scarf that I knitted with wool Daughter gave me for Christmas.  I emailed a photo to her and she loves it.  That is real praise because she is someone who speaks her mind.  If she says she likes something, she means it.  If she doesn't like something, she finds it hard to be tactful!

The yarn is Wendy Festival Chunky and I used almost 100g.  The free pattern is the Farmer's Market Scarf by Rebecca Shepler.  She gave it that name because she designed and made it while working at a Farmer's Market.  Outdoor jobs must be quite challenging at this time of year.

I love this scarf because it it as cosy as a keyhole scarf but is less bulky and can be made with just one 100g ball of yarn.  The pattern starts with a clever shell design which, admittedly, takes a bit of concentration.  After that, it is plain sailing.   You can do a 3-needle cast off and spend time blocking it. Or, like me, you can have an easy life.  I just did a simple cast off and didn't block it. Report me to the Knitting Police!

Monday 11 January 2016

Mochi Neck Cozy...

Daughter gave me two balls of Wendy Festival Chunky yarn for Christmas.  The perfect present!  She even surprised me by looking through a knitting book that was on my bookshelf.  I'll make a knitter of her one day!

I started a scarf for myself with one of the balls and made a neck cosy for Daughter with the other.  It used just over 40g of yarn so I have enough left for another one. The pattern I followed is Mochi Neck Cozy by Sarah Keller and can be found HERE.  It is well written and I followed the pattern exactly.  

It looks small in the photo.  But it is very stretchy.  Daughter is petite, so it will fit perfectly.  I chose beige buttons.  They are not an obvious colour choice for a blue/orange/purple scarf.  But they match her winter coat.  They will also look good against her mane of glossy brunette hair.  Sigh!

As this pattern is for chunky yarn, there are only 18 rows x 62 stitches.  This is a super quick knit! 

Saturday 2 January 2016

Knit For Winter 2015: the finished hats...

An amazing 55g of 4 ply yarn was all it took to knit these little bonnets for the Knit For Winter 2015 campaign.  Sunrise Senior Living organises annual campaigns and this year opted to help First Touch which supports sick and premature babies at St. George's Hospital in London.

Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK every year and 600 of these are born at St. George's Hospital.  Keeping them warm is very important and the hats and blankets that will be made by many knitters will be invaluable.  If you want to get involved, there is still time this winter.  You can download the knitting patterns here

Each hat takes only a few hours to knit and they are a wonderful way to use up small scraps of yarn.  I was able to knit one of each size in the pattern with just 55g of yarn.

I knitted these in the peace and quiet of the last couple of weeks. This is my first post of what looks like being a hectic 2016 for me.  Happy New Year to everyone!