Lots of knitting

I got the large baby blanket for my friend’s baby finished, which means I’ve used a grand total of 1305 metres of yarn on that. I am really pleased with the effect, as the original pattern, Gansey Afghan by Lena Skvagerson was intended to be all one colour. I thought I’d get bored knitting like that, and decided I wanted to go for a rainbow stained glass effect but was a little unsure about quantities and colours.

Anyway, it worked, and I’m really pleased with the end result! The yarn I chose is Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran, which is inexpensive, machine washable, soft and available in about a million colours from Love Knitting. The blanket is huge – it will easily cover a single bed – which is what I was aiming for as I hope it will have longevity and be suitable for  a teenage bedroom too.

I bought three balls of yarn to make a cardigan for my niece – she likes yellow and has a wool allergy so there wasn’t anything in my stash that was suitable. The pattern I’ve chosen is Lush by Tincanknits, which involves a lace panel yoke, then lots of picked up stitches to make a collar and then the body. The yarn is Berlingo by Bergère de France, which has a lovely sheen to it and a glint of metallic. It looks like cloth of gold knitted up 😉


That meant another  493 metres acquired, but my totals so far this year are looking healthier:

2423 metres acquired and 1805 metres used, which means I’ve only acquired 618 more metres than I’ve used so far.

I’ve finished another project too, although this one didn’t involve stashbusting as it was the second pair of socks I’d promised my friend before she died that I’d finish knitting for her Dad – that yarn was never part of my stash, so can’t count! The pattern was just a basic sock pattern and the yarn is WYS Signature sock in the Marie Curie colourway. I must admit it feels like I spent forever knitting these, mainly because it was at the same time as the blanket, so these were my small portable project, but also because they are size 11, so absolutely enormous!

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More rainbows

I finished the socks that I promised my friend I’d finish off for her. These have gone off to her Dad to see if they fit before I knit the second pair I promised. The pattern is the Winwick Mum contrast heel, toe and cuff pattern, incorporating a garter rib stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Yarn is WYS signature 4ply in spearmint and kingfisher.
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And I’ve finished the shawl of doom pattern. This is the Stylecraft Head over Heels sawtooth edge crescent shawl. You may have noticed that it doesn’t appear to be a crescent. I HATED this pattern so much. It is very poorly written and, with hindsight, it was a mistake to choose a pattern which so few people had knitted and those who had seemed to have had problems with it. I haven’t darned in the ends yet or blocked it as I haven’t decided whether it’s even going to stay like this, or whether just to unravel the whole thing. Disappointing.
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But I have cast on for an exciting new project. A friend is expecting a baby and I wanted to make her a blanket. After much indecision on my part, Greensideknits suggested this Gansey Afghan pattern, which I really like, so have gone with that. It is much better written than the shawl above! 😉 I decided that I wanted something brighter but appropriate for either gender and that I’d get bored if I knitted it all in one colour, so decided on doing a rainbox, having seen one like that in the existing projects on Ravelry. Much cogitation about yarn then occurred, but I eventually settled on Paintbox yarn cotton aran as it offered me a whole range of lovely colours to choose from. These are the colours I eventually went with granite grey for borders and garter stitch sections, possibly a lighter grey would work better? The rainbow colours are:  red wine, Seville orange, buttercup yellow, spearmint green, marine blue, royal blue, rich mauve.

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These were all ordered from Love Knitting, who delivered really fast! I am pleased with the yarn as it not only gives the shade number but also the name on the ball band – I hate having to try and work out which shade is which with only a number to go on. This is a big project – the baby is due in June – but hopefully I’ll have enough time. I don’t have anything else on the needles at the moment other than maybe that second pair of socks – which will become my portable project once the blanket becomes too big to take outside the house.

Oh, and stash update so far this year. Well, the socks don’t count in my stash tally as the yarn wasn’t mine. So, so far this year:

Yarn in: 1530 metres

Yarn out: 500 metres

So, a high yarn in total at the moment, but that was the yarn for the blanket, so most of that will get knitted up!

Knitting plans 2018

So, we’re already well into January so I’m a bit late to this! I have a few priorities for knitting this year. One is to sort out a few already-finished projects which need darning or mending in some way so that I can carry on wearing them. One of these is my Owls jumper, which has sprouted a hole just below the neck ribbing. I think this is from pulling it over my head (I am particularly prone to doing this whilst still wearing my glasses…) but a little bit of darning should sort it out. I am about 99% certain it isn’t caused by moths.

I’d also like to finish off the Hey Teach which I almost completed last year, but the sleeves turned out to be too tight at the armholes, and I lacked the enthusiasm to do something about it then.

I need to finish off the two pairs of socks which I mentioned in my earlier post about 2017 knitting – the ones I promised my terminally ill friend that I would finish for her. So, I still have 2.5 actual socks to knit for that. The yarn for the second pair is already wound into two matching balls, as I wound them up for her and dropped them off to her at the hospice, but sadly she could no longer knit for the last month of her life. The yarn is the West Yorkshire Spinners 4 ply signature sock in the Marie Curie colourway. This is the first sock of the first pair for her – using the WYS 4ply signature sock in the kingfisher colourway for the cuffs, heels and toes.

I’ve also realised that I need to have a sort out in my sock drawer, after I ended up washing 18 pairs of handknitted socks last weekend! I have a pile of about four pairs waiting for some kind of mending, but my sock drawer is now at capacity, so I need to have a think about whether to get rid of some of these socks – there are some early examples that don’t fit particularly well (in the days when I didn’t know which type of heel worked best for me) and there are others that have worn holes, and I need to make a decision about repair or not. What do you do about repairing knitted items? Do you always repair, or do you get rid/frog?

And, of course, there is the yarn I got for Christmas which I’m looking forward to knitting up! I think all that will keep me busy for a while.

Knitting round up 2017

2017 turned into a bit of a strange year for knitting. I was trying to knit from stash whilst spending most of my money on childcare. The stash knitting went well, although my stash in/out totals for the year ended up the wrong way round as I was given yarn as presents (how dare they!!)

My last stash bust project of the year was another Beyond Puerperium, 6-12 month size for a friend’s baby. This used up the leftovers of my Rowan Amy Butler organic Aran wool/CottonRowan Amy Butler organic Aran wool/Cotton. I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn, originally purchased half price in the John Lewis sale when I worked in central London in 2011. Sadly the yarn is now discontinued. The recipient’s Mum isn’t a knitter but was very pleased with it!

Other projects completed this year include two rainbow jumpers for LO, one of which is pictured, using West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK. The pattern for both was Conscious. These have already had a lot of wear, as they are easy to get on and off (there are buttons at the shoulder) and the yarn is machine washable.

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I also did a Beyond Puerperium in the two year size for LO, using Ella Rae Cozy Soft Prints, which again has been really useful and is a nice soft machine washable yarn.

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The third Conscious I knitted was for my niece, who turned out to have a wool allergy (hence why LO ended up with both of the rainbow jumpers!). For this one I used Louisa Harding Noema, which was quite nice to knit with (I don’t normally really enjoy knitting with cotton) and has a slight sparkle to it, which my niece apparently loves!
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I’ve also knitted a few dolls’ clothes. This is a dress knitted for my Goddaughter’s doll using up the leftovers from the Beyond Perperium
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My stash knitting totals have also been affected by a couple of other projects. The week before Christmas I decided LO’s doll would like a hat, so knitted one out of some oddments of DK that someone had passed onto me but which hadn’t been recorded in my stash.

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A close friend died in September, and, before she died, I promised her that I’d finish off a couple of knitting projects she hadn’t had time to finish – which turned out to be two pairs of socks for her Dad, who has size 11 feet! So, I haven’t added this yarn to stash, but it has meant a lot of my knitting time has been taken up with knitting these. She was using the Winwick Mum contrast cuff, heel and toe pattern, and the yarn is WYS signature 4ply, in the kingfisher colourway plus contrast.

So, stash in and out in 2017:

In 7256.3 metres

Out 4588.4 metres

so I acquired 2667.9 metres more than I used in 2017. However, 2660 metres of that was gifted to me, leaving only 7.9 metres over! It is safe to say that, had I been doing all of my own knitting, I’d have used up more than I acquired.

Socks finished! 

Finished the Broadripple socks in Cascade Fixation. They have turned out well and are comfy to wear. I’m still not sure what I think about the yarn but it’ll be nice to have a pair of knitted cotton socks when the weather gets warmer. 

It’s DK weight yarn so they are quite thick to wear but fit inside my trainers ok. I hope the thickness won’t make my feet hot though! That used up almost an entire two balls of Fixation from my stash. 

So, it was time to cast on something other than socks. I’d had Hey Teach in m queue since it was published on Knitty and Pakucho Organic Cotton yarn in my stash since I ordered it from Elann a very long time ago when interest rates made North American yarn very bargainous. Must have been pre-recession in 2008?! I think it must have been in my stash for at least eleven years as I definitely bought it before relocating south. 

LO thought that winding up ten skeins into balls was very exciting and insisted on helping. Consequentially it took ages. 
What have you knitted from your stash that’s been there a while?! 

More socks 

Finished the Tootsie Rolls socks and got them to match as well! They are comfy to wear although I’m glad that I didn’t do the rolls on the sole. I have called them the Very Hungry Caterpillar socks as they bear a strong resemblance to one of LO’s favourite books. 

This is my latest pair of socks- Broadripple. I made a pair several years ago but wanted to use the Cascade Fixation I had in my stash which the pattern actually calls for.

Fixation is weird to knit with. It’s cotton with a small amount of elastane in for stretch so you have to be careful not to pull on it too tightly when knitting with it, otherwise the finished knitting will be distorted and not stretchy. As you can see in the picture above, the slightly rippled look to the knitting is where I’ve pulled a bit too hard! 

Beginning to feel like I want to knit something other than socks…

Some knitting content

So, what have I been knitting? Well, I started a scrap jumper for LO to use up a few DK oddments where I only had a ball or two of yarn. The pattern is a free one, Scrap sweater for the small ones. The 2 year size came up small though, only slightly bigger than her current chest measurement so I got this far:

And then decided to frog and knit the next size up. This is the, ahem, four year old size, but I think it will be about right for her next winter. The yarn I’m using up is an acrylic – Rico Design Baby Classic DK, which I have in three different, coordinating colourways. With just the ends to sew in and the neckline to finish, it looks like I’ll use up all the purple and variegated yarn, but still have some of the mauve left over. Despite the sizing problem (which might be me – I never checked gauge!), I’d use this pattern again – it’s a nice, basic jumper pattern which you can use in different ways to use up scraps. The suggested pattern includes a fair isle chart, but I just went with stripes.

My other knitting at the moment includes these socks. The pattern is called Tootsie Rolls, and I chose it as I wanted to use some self-striping sock yarn but wanted a more interesting pattern that would work with the stripes. After a bit of playing around (the first go ended up with the plain colours regressed behind the grey/white bits) it worked out like this:

I call them the Very Hungry Caterpillar Socks, as they rather remind me of the caterpillar’s cocoon.


What have you been knitting in January?