Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Group Work

This is another blog post where I rave about the talent and generosity of my friends. First of all my wee mum has been poorly. Our knitting group sent her beautiful flowers to let her know they were thinking of her. THEN they got together and made her this beautiful quilt as a group. Obviously taking my mum's favourite colour into consideration.

 Not everyone in the group are quilters and so those who don't quilt attached buttons which added a lovely personal touch. I'm not going to tell the whole story as Helen tells it much better on the blog. I just couldn't not let this go without showing it off.

It has become a prized possession. My mum has always wanted her very own quilt.

You will see on the same post another group project. One of our members emigrated to Australia recently. We all made squares in order to make a blanket as a little memento. I contributed a few squares to this one. My favourite is the top one. This is the pattern I have used for my blanket but I stuck with the one colour. I quite like it without the colour changes too. Would be tempted to make one entirely in cream.

Last but not least, the lovely Lisa behind For the Love of Yarn now has her own studio. Some of her customers have been sending her in items to decorate the place. She asked us to make her some squares (with a specific pattern in mind) and each square would enter the person into a giveaway. I would have done it without the giveaway as I quite liked the pattern and well, it's Lisa. I attempted one square with lots of colour changes but didn't actually like it. I then made another, which is in the picture, with just two colours and I liked it a little better. The ones I really liked are the ones with just one colour. What is wrong with me? I have went from 'all the colours' to hardly any. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what Lisa plans to do with them.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Mission to Mars

It would seem there is creativity in both sides of the family (well, I already knew that but that's another story). While in hospital my wee mum was pretty bored much of the time. There isn't much she could talk to visitors about. So she mentioned that she had read about all these people who had been signing up for a one way trip to Mars. My dad latched onto this and had been telling her that he was signing her up for the trip. Every day he would update her on this and one day he told her good news, she had a seat. My mum just called him a daft so and so. I suggested that he should make her a ticket but that was a good few weeks ago and it had been forgotten about. Or so I thought.

This morning my dad calls me in to show me this envelope he had addressed to mum with the NASA and Ministry of Defence logo. I had to take it into mum with the rest of the post so that she wouldn't catch on. My mum however, is not daft and the air was blue before she even opened the envelope.

You have to admire his craftsmanship here. He clearly put a lot of work into it. Including adding an advert for ensuring you can keep in touch while travel. Not sure her phone would get a signal there. It also included her passport number which I have blanked out for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Signing Up For More Sock Yarn!

Considering I have only managed to knit one pair of socks this year it's ridiculous that I keep adding to my sock yarn stash. And that one pair was only very recently. I have my sock mojo back though (to the detriment of my other ongoing projects) and my growing stash is the result. Having said that my recent purchase I bought with a plan. That book I mentioned in my last post has a lot of fabulous double knit socks with cables. I have one of those patterns on the pins just now. What I really wanted to see was a pair of cables in a solid cover. My poor mother is my guinea pig (I am sure she doesn't mind, she gets socks out of it). So I ordered some lovely red DK yarn from Wool Warehouse. I also ordered a 4ply red yarn for a nice lacey pattern I haven't even picked out yet.

I very rarely recommend yarn or crafty online stores other than those my friends have. I would recommend Wool Warehouse. Not only did it arrive very quickly. It also arrived in this mesh bag which will make a very handy project bag.

The problem with my talented friend Lisa is that she keeps coming up with these fab ideas and I can't say know. I blame lovely Lisa for my growing stash. I also blame my sock knitting friend Ginnie. When I was first learning to knit socks my friend (also known as the sock lady) would love to try different sock yarns. She would go out of her way to find the most unusual. She came across quite a few made from things you wouldn't believe and they always turned out lovely socks. One of those was the gradient yarn. I'm not sure it was called that from the place she got hers but basically it's a blanket of knitted yarn which is then painted. You then re-knit it into socks making it a surprise as to how it will turn out.

I was always going to do this but I left it so long that the place that my friend got hers from had very few colour selections none of which appealed to me. It comes back to me every now and then that I should go back and check but I never do. Then the lovely Lisa posts her knew yarn club and low and behold. It's a gradient yarn club. How could I say no? The good thing is that I always love Lisa's colourways so there will be no disappointment. I did steel this image from her facebook page. You can sign up for it there if you are interested.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

In Which I Give Up On Everything.

Or at least that's the way it feels. Remember this scrummy yarn that I won in an auction many moons ago?  Well, I promised myself back then that it would become a pair of socks for myself. After knitting my mum sock's with my favourite pattern I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

The yarn had other ideas though. A few rounds in and I could already tell that the pooling of the colours was going to be all wrong. A 50/50 split right down the middle which would just look daft (in my humble opinion). So back to the drawing bored.

I then picked out a pattern with some cables in it. It wasn't what I wanted but I had knitted this pattern before and liked it. It also used fewer stitches per round which should mean better pooling. Wrong! Again it was going to come up one half purple and the other green right down the middle. So I pulled the needles again. I really don't want to do a plain sock but I think I am going to have to resign myself to the fact that this yarn might only work with a basic sock pattern. A friend suggested re-balling the yarn so that I knit from the centre but I don't think it will make a difference here. Or rather I really don't want to do that. Life is too short to wind yarn that I have already spent half an hour winding (for now, might come back to that one).

Remember this beautiful yarn?

I know that it's hard to tell from the image that it's the same but this sock is from that yarn. I loved the striping of it. It was knitting up too large thought. I knew it was DK before I started but thought I could get away with it (sometimes I can). So a few weeks back after getting to the toe graft (I kid you not) I put it aside until I hunted out a pattern specifically for DK yarn. I did that today after spitting out the dummy with the purple and green.

I found a pattern in one of my folders from an old magazine that I thought would suit. It involved knitting on a pair of normal needles but I was okay with that. Thought it might be nice to try something different (and meanwhile ignoring the sewing at the end).  I did the cuff and then started on the pattern. A few rows in I realised it wasn't going to work out. It was written as though each row was a round although you are knitting back and forth and so the cables were going to be off. It was then I noticed that they were men's socks anyway. So back off the needles they came.

Finally I have picked a pattern from a book that I have admired but yet to use. In fact a friend of mine has used it more than I have. I think the pattern and the stripiness of the yarn is going to clash a bit or drown each other out. However, I am sticking to it. It's going to happen. Sadly it does require that I use up all 200g of the yarn. I'm okay with that though.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Okay, a day late but I hope everyone in the UK celebrating Mother's Day yesterday had a good one. I baked mum's favourite chocolate cheesecake and I made three cheese macaroni (following my mother's instructions). I have no good images of these so here is a picture of my lovely mum wearing her new top and jewellery instead.

I can also finally share this image with you. I ordered Lisa's Mother's Day box for my mum. Since I have a problem with holding back I had my mum open it as soon as it arrived. She loved it (as if there was any doubt) and has plans for this lovely yarn already. She also loved the candle and is happy that her For the Love of Yarn crochet hook collection is growing. Thank you lovely Lisa!

While I didn't make anything I coincidentally finished these socks for my mum yesterday. Again this uses some of Lisa's lovely yarn.

I decided that the colour changes were so short through the yarn that a pattern was in order. So I picked my favourite from Knitting On The Road by Nancy Bush. I have reviewed this book already and knitted this pattern many times.  I never get bored of it and I think it suited this yarn perfectly.

Sadly I don't have an image of the yarn when I received it (which was a lovely gift from Lisa). I had it wound and cast on the needles as soon as I got it. Instead here is a photo of the back of the sock which I love but you don't really get to see.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Yet Another Blanket!

Sorry for the late reveal. Things have been mental of late. However, I don't want to let this blog go as I love the creative outlet and I like seeing what other people are up to. A few weeks ago my knitting group had a baby shower for one of our members, Aileen. I was sadly working and as I had just moved to the ward I didn't want to ask for a swap. So I had to miss it.

I was still able to send in a gift though. I once again made one of those hear blankets. This will make for the third time as I did two of these last year. I did one for Swati and one for Lisa.

As with the other two ladies Aileen wanted to wait to find out the sex of the baby. As I am not a fan of traditional baby colours this was a good thing for me. I chose this vibrant orange against the white. I love the way it stands out and I love the edging. I decided not to add a round of white to it as I wanted to keep the effect.

I never learn. It took me hours to sew in all those ends. I am definitely not going to do this pattern again. I think I will look out something different for next time (as I am more than sure that there will be a next time). Something maybe without ends.

I still enjoyed making it though and I am still happy with the end result. It is a pretty pattern. The last few times I used Eco essentials cotton. This time I used the Women's Institute 4ply yarn. It feels like a cotton and goes a lot further. It's maybe just a tiny smidge thinner but it really has a lovely sheen to it and there is far less splitting.

The baby shower theme this time was Valentines as it fell round about that day. You can see how the night went over at the Stitch 'n' Bitch blog thanks to my friend, Helen.