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, 12 January 2019

Best laid plans....

Having finally succeeded in using up my 4 ply yarn, apart from a few scraps, (which may have a future use, after all), I decided to use up my Aran yarn which is taking up an unreasonable amount of space. I knitted my favourite, easy hat pattern. I have knitted many of these in the past. It is very simple. I found the pattern on the Loving Hands website. I don't know whether or not it is still there, but it is called Ellie's Easiest Ever Hat and certainly lives up to its name. It is knit in the round with Aran wool. You simply change the needle size to make it fit a child, teenager, woman or man. I definitely recommend this as a quick, easy pattern.

This one will fit a teenager and will go to Operation Orphan when I have enough to post. It barely made a dent in my bag of aran yarn, so I can see another year of knitting hats ahead of me.

My plans to clear the big yarn fell apart when someone gave me three of these humongous balls of wool for Christmas. The beauty is that it won't take me long to knit something with such a thick yarn. The downside is that I have had to order new larger broomsticks knitting needles and I also have no idea what to knit. 

A quick search on Ravelry shows that most people use it for thick scarves. I have enough of those, so will probably make a simple, thick lap rug. Any other ideas? I only have 150 metres of it....all pink!

The person who gave me this wool is not a knitter. They just thought it was lovely and it was a kind thought, so I'm not really complaining. The original expression about best laid schemes comes from a Robert Burns' poem about a poor mouse whose home was ploughed up in a cold winter.

With thanks to Robert Burns, To A Mouse, 1785, and Wikipedia 2019:
The original wordingThe poem in modern English
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a pannic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

Thy wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear![5]
Little, sly, cowering, timid beast,
Oh, what a panic is in your heart!
You need not start away so hasty
With bickering prattle!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering paddle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth-born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, that you may steal;
What then? Poor beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse green foliage!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and piercing!

You saw the fields laid bare and empty,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! The cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.

That small heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear![citation needed]


  1. That hat looks lovely and cosy Una. Gosh that yarn does look super thick, working with thicker yarn really puts a strain on my hands. A cowl maybe? you could add to it by using maybe three strands of DK to make a striped lap rug, fingerless mitts, it would make a cosy hat. I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide in the end. xx

    1. I have already tried it, and yes it hurts! It will have to be something quick

  2. I have had strange wool as gifts from non-knitters and it takes some thinking about but I always find something because I think they were a brave and thoughtful person to buy it in the first place. What about a cushion for your bed or a chair? Cables would look fantastic with it. Jo xxx

    1. Thanks for the ideas. It would have been perfect for Daughter's room when she was much younger.

  3. When I was in college, Una, half a century ago or more, we had to tackle that very poem. I loved it. You just take it slow, like many other projects.

  4. I love that Burns poem :)
    I'd say maybe to make a soft baby blanket with that yarn because it's so pink. it would be a thick blanket, so many not for a newborn, but a little girl would love it. Some ladies would love it as a lap blanket too. Do any of the charities you knit for accept scarves? A thick pink scarf would be a kind gift.

    I tried to find the hat pattern online, but it mostly led me back to your blog. Nice hat!

    1. It looks like this pattern is no longer on the Internet, sadly. But similar versions are available free on Ravelry. Thankfully, I printed it of those occasions when it is a good idea.

      The pink wool is very likely to end up as a small blanket!


Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. You are a star.