Posts Tagged ‘f.o.’

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Since my last post…

March 31, 2014

A hat, with trains on (on Ravelry)

(actually two of these)

A sausage dog (on Ravelry)

A little amigurumi owl (on Ravelry)

(actually several of these)

A boy cardigan (on Ravelry)

Some hand warmers for me (on Ravelry)

(actually two pairs of these)

A santa hat (on Ravelry)

Some cotton washcloths for my vegan sister-in-law (Ravelry)

And some toddler socks. (Ravelry)

And that only takes us up to the end of 2013!

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New arrival

September 29, 2013

This is something I actually finished back at the start of June — a welcoming gift for a friend’s new baby. I was rather late finishing it, but that wasn’t helped by the fact that the little boy arrived a month early!

I really enjoyed making this — the pattern is by Lucy from Attic24 and as with all of her patterns it was easy to follow, and easy to get into a rhythm with — nice to work on without having to think too hard. The yarn I used was Baby Cashmerino which is lovely and soft to work with and the colours just pop. When I started making it I still didn’t know if the new baby was going to be a boy or a girl, so the colours were chosen to suit either. Adding the first round of edging was about the only part that I didn’t enjoy, but once that was done the rest of the edge detail was easy.

What do you think? I was totally pleased with it — I think it is possibly one of the nicest things I’ve made, if I do say so myself.

Pattern: Neat Ripple Pattern by Lucy of Attic24 (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Hook: 3.5 mm

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Little Spring Mandala

September 29, 2013

We have been away, to the seaside! The weather wasn’t great — September in the UK is often sunnier and warmer than August, but this year we had the best summer we’ve had for years, and my hopes of a late Summer snap weren’t to be. It was mostly dry though, and the weather didn’t stop us making the most of our week away. We avoided the crowds by going off-peak, when the schools had gone back, and D had a great time running on the beach with his wellies on, putting stones in his bucket and digging and drawing in the sand.

Possibly even better than the beach, in his eyes, was a Thomas the Tank Engine ride-on that was there — you know, the sort that you put 50p in for a minute or so of music and gentle motion. Like most little boys he loves Thomas and this was seriously the best thing ever!

His bedtime is still pretty early so evenings were spent sitting quietly reading, checking the Internet and (for me) a spot of crochet to keep my hands busy. I took a small selection of yarn but didn’t have anything particular in mind that I wanted to make, so I spent a while browsing around the patterns on Ravelry until I landed on this one – the Little Spring Mandala. Something “pointless but pretty”, I called it. And it has turned out very pretty indeed.

Pattern: Little Spring Mandala by Barbara Smith (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Acrylic DK leftovers
Hook: 3.5 mm

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More owls

August 27, 2013

These little owls are proving to be very popular. I’ve made three so far, and have been asked to make more for friends – including one request to size it up to cushion-sized. I had originally thought that it would be quite easy, but having made one with aran yarn instead of DK and on a larger set of needles, I’m not so sure. It turned out a little larger but not nearly cushion-sized, and I think that if I worked with chunky yarn and even bigger needles I would just find that the lacey-type holes in the pattern would get too large and the stuffing would leak out. Using an actual cushion instead of toy stuffing is of course an option, but then I’d lose the shape – I’ll have to have a think about this one!

Here’s the original owl (on the right) next to the aran-weight version – made as a birthday present for my God-daughter’s 9th Birthday! (Not sure how she can be 9 already – where does the time go?)

The third one is possibly my favourite though, even if his body is slightly squished. He was a sort of experiment, I used a different stitch for the body – it’s from the “Chequered vase cover” in Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet issue 52 and essentially has two rows of slipping the stitch instead of the one for each pattern repeat. I love the colours – there’s nothing weird about having green eyes, right?

Pattern: Sidney by Susie Johns from Let’s Knit! issue 66 (on Ravelry)

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Little fair isle hat

February 5, 2012

It all seems to be learning about new skills and techniques this year. My last project (the Chevron lace fingerless mitts) required me to learn all sorts of new things, and since I was feeling quite adventurous after that, I thought I’d try something I’ve been coveting for years but not quite daring to have a go at — fair isle knitting. I always thought of it as something for people with far more skill and experience than me — and more patience too.

Once I found the pattern for this little hat I was so keen to get started that I couldn’t wait to get the right size needle. See what I said about having no patience? Both Baby D and I have been under the weather here for most of January and were too ill to venture out to the yarn shop (which is a good half hour’s drive away and not really large enough to take a pushchair into anyway, and Baby D is now too heavy, wriggly and grabby for me to try to carry him in there!).

The pattern calls for a 3.5mm 40cm circular needle — all of mine were far too long — so I went with the next best thing I had to hand, which was 3mm DPNs. Even though I made the hat in a larger size to counteract the smaller needles, it still turned out way too small — probably the right size for a newborn or even a premature baby.

The size really was the only big problem though. It turns out that fair isle knitting really isn’t as scary as it looks. I think I made life harder for myself by using DPNs — going around the “corners” where you change needles without pulling the carried yarn too tight took some getting used to, but since I knit all of my socks on DPNs it wasn’t completely strange and it only took a slight adjustment to get it right.

The pattern really is gorgeous. As well as the fair isle pattern I particularly love the little i-cord loop on the top — I’d never heard of i-cords before and I love them. So clever!

It only took a couple of days to complete, and — you know what I said about patience? — I couldn’t wait to try again to make one that would fit. I realised that even the largest size would still turn out too small, so I adapted it by adding a couple of extra pattern repeats (I cast on 140 to start). This time I was mostly worried about running out of yarn (the yarn I used was left over from making this striped hooded jacket a couple of years ago. Do you remember that?), but it worked out perfectly.

It’s just the right size that it should last Baby D the rest of the winter. With the snow arriving today, he’s certainly going to make good use of it!

Pattern: Little fair isle hat (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply

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Chevron lace fingerless mitts

January 22, 2012

I got two brilliant new craft books for Christmas, both of which had been on my wish list for a while. The first was Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant and the second was I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks by Karen Whooley. I was probably more excited about the concept of crocheting socks to begin with, but as soon as I browsed the one-skein wonders book, a dozen projects were crying out to me and demanding my time right away. I do have rather a lot of stashed sock yarn and quite a bit of it was purchased before I knew much about knitting socks. You know, little things like hand knitted socks can be itchy unless you buy just the right yarn – and hand knitted socks are super-cozy and warm but your feet might not actually fit inside your shoes when you’re wearing them unless you go up a shoe size!

So the first project I decided to tackle was not socks, but these fingerless gloves. I needed to learn a few new skills to make them:

* Crochet picot cast on! A completely new concept to me – crocheting onto a knitting needle. Very confusing at first, but how completely clever once you’ve worked it out!

* Using a stitch-marker! I really don’t know how I got by until now without knowing this, but I really didn’t know how to use a stitch-marker properly before. I have some which are like little tiny plastic paper clips and have always used them by hooking them around the yarn itself. I couldn’t find them when I needed them though, which caused much cursing and rummaging and made me very stressed indeed, until I remembered I had these beautiful beaded stitch markers which my lovely friend Amanda made for me a few years ago. “But I can’t hook them over the yarn, they don’t have an opening!”, I thought, and finally went off to Google to search for how to use a stitch-marker properly. You just slip it over the needle. How silly did I feel? It’s easy when you know how!

* Thumbs! I’ve never knitted anything with thumbs (or fingers) before. It was a little bit daunting at first but worked out fine. I’m not sure what I was so worried about.

* Picot bind-off! Fortunately the instructions for this were included in the pattern so I couldn’t go too far wrong.

And I love them! The only thing I would do differently is to make them a bit smaller (by using smaller needles). I wish I had checked Ravelry before I begun knitting as I found that almost everyone who’d made these before me had said the same thing. I may well make another pair before long though as they were a really quick knit.

Pattern: Chevron Lace Fingerless Mitts by Lynne A Evans from Sock-Yarn One Skein Wonders (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Wendy Happy Bamboo yarn in Lavender (2525)
Needles: 2.75mm DPNs (but I would use 2.5mm or even 2.25mm if I were to make them again)

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Born under a star

January 6, 2012

Happy New Year everybody!

We’ve had a couple of days of dreadfully windy weather here. We suffered minimal damage compared to some parts of the country, but the fence between our house and the neighbours’ has come down, a lot of my loved plants have been knocked about and pots broken, and despite having our house number painted on it in huge white numbers, our recycling box was blown down the road never to be found or returned. Today, though, has been gloriously sunny, spring-like and fresh. I even heard a chaffinch “pink-pink”-ing outside which was very cheery and really gave me a glorious new year feeling, even though the worst of the winter is probably yet to come.

Christmas and New Year were fun, if a little chaotic. I may have taken a little too much on, resulting in a feeling that I didn’t quite get to sit down and enjoy things as much as I could or should have done, what with it being baby’s first Christmas. It was the first time we’ve hosted and overall it was a huge success though — it was good to see my family and everyone said they had a lovely time, which is what it’s all about I suppose!

I’m going to try to do a mini review of 2011 in pictures if I get a chance, but I thought I’d show off my first finished object of 2012 — this cute little blanket for Baby D.

I made one before he was born from a pale turquoise coloured Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino yarn — it was his “coming home from hospital” blanket and he slept under it in his moses basket. He’s outgrown it as a bed cover now but as he’s got larger he’s taken to cuddling it and chewing on it — it’s his favourite snuggle-blankie and when we put him down to sleep he immediately looks for it and gets quite agitated if it’s not there. So, I figured I should make another as a spare — if only so that I can wash the first!

I couldn’t find the same colour yarn but found this gorgeous green Baby Cashmerino and hoped that the colour wouldn’t matter too much so long as it felt the same. It certainly seems to have done the trick — I finished it yesterday and gave it a light steam blocking before swapping it for the old one (which went straight into the washing machine). When he went for his nap he reached up for it, pulled it over his head and dozed off right away. I think we can say that’s a win!

Pattern: Born under a star baby blanket – from the book Purls of Wisdom by Jenny Lord (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Baby Cashmerino – shade 340047 (2 balls exactly)
Needles: 6.5 mm
Baby D approval test: Pass with flying colours!