A quick fix

The weather has been a little chilled this week. Today I picked up my crazy stripes cardigan to keep me warm and as I lifted it up to throw it on, the light from the window behind it illuminated a hole! I cannot fathom how it came to be, but I’m glad I spotted it.

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Fortunately, having been digging around in my stash just last night, I knew I had leftovers that could be used for a quick fix.

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A little duplicate stitch, running out a few stitches either side of the hole, weave in the ends, and voila!. No harm done.

Blocking nerves

I always get nervous when it comes to the final step in a knit project – blocking. Not so much the blocking bit, but the washing bit. So nervous that I usually skip the step entirely.

When you’ve spent so many hours working on something, the thought of it possibly felting, or otherwise going horribly wrong is quite nerve-wracking.

But, it had to be done, so after a couple of days procrastinating, I tried not to think about it too much and threw* it in the machine.

*carefully placed inside a mesh laundry bag, with nothing else in the machine, having checked and double checked all settings and the detergent, cross-referenced with all useful advice I could find in a quick Google search.

It emerged feeling lighter and softer and floppier than it went in, and has stretched out beautifully and so much bigger than I thought. I love it!

Can’t wait to get this packed up nicely and sent off to my friend.

The final stretch, and a treat for me.

The end is in sight; I am on to the final edging of the blanket!

A little maths meant that I had to cut short the main body of the blanket by one repeat, as I wouldn’t have had enough yarn to do the last repeat as well as the edging. I’ll probably now end up with a little more leftover than I’d like, but not enough to do much with. Ah well.

Hopefully I can get the knitting finished in the next couple of days and then washed and blocked ready to package up and send to its new owner by the end of next week.

During the knitting process, I find stitch markers hugely helpful to keep track of where I am in a pattern. I have some gorgeous plain silver ones I purchased at Unravel a few years ago, but for this project I ideally needed markers in two different designs to show the different repeat points. I have some crochet stitch markers too, from Sconch, but the claw attachment was too small to fit over my 4.5mm needles, and the coloured plastic Pony ones were way too big and clunky – they got in my way more than being helpful. I tried using small loops of scrap yarn, but they were also a pain, and left different coloured fibres caught in the knitting. So what’s a girl to do? Time to treat myself to some new ones!

I tried Sconch, but she had nothing large enough to fit my needles. I tried various other online shops and found nothing suitable, so I turned to Etsy and treated myself to not one, but two sets of gorgeous stitch markers from the lovely The Woolly Tangle.

Some plain rings in three different colours.

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And these gorgeous honeycomb and bee ones.

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They were exactly what I wanted.

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Good call

Sometimes, it’s just good to know you’ve made the right decision.

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I’m so much happier with how this looks now, after ripping and re-knitting with two fewer garter ridges. I’ve gone way past the point I had previously got to and my mojo is back. It was absolutely the right call to make. Phew!

Stewing

I’ve spent all day stewing over what to do about the edging. Do I hate it enough to be bothered ripping it back and carefully catching all the original edge stitches back onto a needle, or is it bearable enough that I can just continue and hope it blocks out ok at the end?

Friends, I have not knit a single stitch today, or most of yesterday, and I want this thing done so I can gift it as soon as possible. Not knitting is Not. Good. Clearly I don’t like it enough, and the only answer is to riiiiipppp!!!

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I have successfully caught all the stitches up (I think! Better count.) and am ready to begin again. Phew. Here’s hoping my intended fix makes the intended difference.

Garter grumbles

Little Tern is coming along apace. I have knit two full balls already and the main body of the blanket is almost two thirds done. I’ve now started work on the first knitted on border, picking up my provisional cast on edge as I go, to calculate how much yarn the final border will take, so I can use as much yarn as possible for the body without running the risk of not having enough to complete it at the end.

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I’m enjoying the lace section, though I’m not totally happy with how it sits on the end of the blanket. I feel like there are too many garter rows and it doesn’t quite match in with the garter edges in the body section. I’m debating whether to rip it back and begin the lacework again with one or maybe even two less garter ridges, but not sure if its worth the effort, or if it might block out and look better at the end anyway. What do you think?

Garden knitting

How lucky am I!? My yarn arrived this week, along with the beautiful weather, and I’ve got all the time I please to sit in the garden and knit a baby blanket.

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This is Little Tern by TinCanKnits, in Cascade 220 Superwash Merino in Dark Berry. The yarn is super soft and mega squishy DK weight. It’s quite chonky in comparison to the sock yarn I’ve been used to knitting recently, but it’ll make a lovely squishy bubba blanket.

My garden isn’t very photogenic at the moment, but I’ve also been spending more time doing actual gardening. We have some wooden-framed veg boxes set in the lawn which haven’t seen much use since we moved here, (we managed a few mange tout last yesr, and a pumpkin the year before) but we’ve decided to make a more concerted effort to grow some veg this year. Anyone else getting more veg inclined at the mo?

I took at tip from Phil at The Twisted Yarn and have been growing a few things from kitchen scraps on the windowsill. The leeks and parsnips are sprouting merrily, so will be interesting to see if we can grow actual full size veg from them.

I’ve also got a few packets of flower seeds, so maybe we can have some colour in the garden a bit later in the year.

Baby, don’t wait for me

Yarn has not been forthcoming this week, so the baby blanket will have to wait a few more days. I can’t say the same for the baby it’s intended for, as she made her appearance yesterday and is doing well.

In the meantime, I dug out my big box of long untouched Stylecraft Special DK, and got to work crocheting a seriously frivolous item. Any guesses what this is?

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Jack-in-a-hat

This picture is roughly titled: Self-portrait, or Jack-in-a-hat.20200331_220159

Terrible photo, I know, but it shows the hat and not too much of me, and the colours are actually pretty good, despite the shoddy lighting. I’m very pleased to have finished this one. I’m not usually a huge fan of variegated yarns, but this one has worked quite well without much pooling on the main body of the hat and it’s pretty.

I had a bit of a down day yesterday, feeling a bit under the weather physically and mentally, so a finished project win today feels extra good. And I also got to indulge in a little retail therapy today, ordering yarn for the baby blanket I’ve promised to knit for a friend. I’m a bit behind the times as she’s due in the next couple of weeks, but at least I actually have time to knit now, since I’ve been furloughed from work for the foreseeable. Yarn should arrive on my doorstep later this week, so I’ll give you a sneaky peek then and share my plan.

Hope you’re all staying safe and sane and healthy.

And so it grows

My knitting speed has slowed considerably over the last couple of weeks, but I am still working on it here and there. My most reliable opportunity to knit is whilst the kids are attending various weekly activities. This was in the car while Pumpkin was at Athletics this week.

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I have also been reading a little more recently. I’ve just finished ‘Invisible Women’ by Caroline Criado Perez, which is a fascinating study of how data collection, or lack of it, shapes our world, often to the disadvantage of women in all areas of life.

I’m now reading The Martian by Andy Weir, which is rather different!

We’re not on coronavirus lockdown yet in the UK, but it looks like we may be soon. My work is likely to be affected if mass gatherings are banned, but I guess the silver lining would be more time at home to spend reading and knitting!