Thursday, 30 June 2016

Finishing someone else's WIPs

In with the yarn that I collected recently were several projects that had been started but not finished.  One was a pile of lilac double crochet squares, a couple of which had a darker lavender border.  Another was a granny square approximately 26 inches across.  Seeing these unfinished objects or UFOs really gave me pause for thought; how many have I got of my own?  At least half a dozen, I should think!  I really must finish them off before I start any more new items.  But then a friend sent me some beautiful 4 ply yarn in pale green which was crying out to be made into baby cardigans with a lacy leaf design, so guess what I cast on at the weekend...........

But I digress - back to the blankets.  There were 23 lilac squares in total, 3 with a border.  I tried to reproduce the border on one of the plain squares, but without success.  So the 20 plain lilac ones were joined with darker lavender yarn using a slip stitch join, which gives the illusion of a border.  I then made a broad border of half trebles and v stitches, before finishing with a shell edging in the darker colour.

At 30 inches by 36 it's a practical size for a baby blanket.  However, I am rather tempted to crochet some motifs (flowers?) and sew them on some of the squares to make it a bit prettier.

The other blanket was crocheted in 3 or 4 ply yarn in cream, brown and fawn.  I found additional balls of cream and brown in among the stash, but I couldn't find the fawn.  So I added in some apricot 3 ply from my own stash which seemed to go well with the other colours.  By trial and error I decided a size 3.5 hook would best match my tension to the previous crocheter's, and carried on until the blanket was approximately 38 inches across.  A simple shell border finished it off.

I'm not sure that the colours are ideal for a baby blanket, but perhaps this one could be used to wrap around an elderly person's shoulders or legs.

It is very strange, completing work started by someone else, not really knowing what their intentions were.  There is another pile of crochet squares, 18 of them this time, that I need to plan to use.  But I have a green cardigan with a leaf pattern on to finish first!

Monday, 6 June 2016

Is there any hope of reducing my stash?

Since the donation of yarn that I received in April, I really don't know how much stash I have.  But two facts I am aware of:

  1.  I have used up almost 7 kilos of yarn since January 1st this year
  2.  I have bought a further 600g of yarn this month
In Weston we have a lovely old-fashioned 'bit of everything' shop near the sea front called McKee's which stocks King Cole yarn.  I try not to go in there too often because not only do they sell a good range of regular yarn, they also normally have what King Cole sells as 'Bin ends' for only £1 for a 100g ball.  The yarn comes in packs of 6 balls, but the shop owner is quite happy if you only want to buy one or two balls.  Well, I was wandering around that part of town with no specific goal in mind when I found myself in the shop and rooting through the Bin ends.  There was a pack of 6 grey fleck balls which looked and felt like aran (a challenge of bin ends is that there is no indication on the ball band of what weight it is - you have to use your own judgement).  I thought about my self-set challenge to knit 12 boy's jumpers this year, and I'm afraid the yarn fairy did the rest.  

So having a further 6 balls in my stash, I chose to start to use it up by making a Henley sweater using one of my old favourite patterns from Ravelry.  I used size 4.5 needles for the rib and 5.5 for the body, and this is the result:

I find that it knits up really quickly because it is done in the round, and I did it in 3 days, finishing it sitting in the garden in the sunshine yesterday.  It took less than 2 balls, though, so I shall probably make a larger one to use up more of this lovely quality yarn, which was a real bargain.  I do have some grey 4 ply in my stash, and I might just see whether the aran and 4 ply knitted together will make a chunky weight.....