Thursday, 24 November 2016

Another stripy jumper

I have just 2 more boy's jumpers to finish to reach my target of 12 for the year.  Well, only one now, as I have just finished this one.

it's a 26 inch chest, knitted in double knit on size 4.00 needles, and I used my favourite jumper pattern.  I think I have made about 8 of these in total in the last 5 years.  It is a free pattern from Ravelry called simply Child's jumper pattern.  I made the stripes 10 rows wide, but you can choose your own colour and stripe combinations. From my stash I chose Copper and Mocha by Stylecraft, and a dark brown (no shade name) from Marriner.  Lots of Loving Hands members, inspired by another member, Pat, have been making a special effort this year to knit jumpers for boys, as they seem to get fewer donations.  To date, over 400 jumpers for boys have been made, which, as Pat says, represents a school full of warm boys!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Hats galore

Hats have turned into a bit of a compulsion.  Over the last 10 days or so I have made 8 hats, four knitted and four crocheted.

The first one is an adult hat, knitted with one strand of DK and 2 strands of coned 3 ply.  I really enjoy the mindlessness of knitting rib, and the finished hat is lovely and stretchy.  This has gone into my box for the Mission to Seamen, who do a brilliant job in helping those who work at sea (both my grandfather and father were sailors).

After the simple ribbed hat, I decided to try a bit of fair isle.  This is a technique I am still perfecting, and so I went for a basic toddler beanie and a simple pattern.  I took inspiration from a pattern on Ravelry called Celebration Day, although I changed it a bit, using more stitches and making the fair isle more symmetrical.  I like the finished effect (each of the colours is 2 strands of coned 4 ply) which is quite subtle.  It probably will get a pompom before I send it off.

Next up was crochet.  I found a ball of James Brett Baby Marble that I had forgotten about, and used a 1 - 2 year size Ravelry pattern (Spring Lacy hat) that I thought would work with the colour changes.
Although the pattern is for worsted yarn with a size 5.00 hook, it worked well with DK and a 4.5 hook to make a newborn hat.  They were quick to work up, so I made 2.

Back to the knitting.  There was a small ball of white 4 ply in my knitting bag, just enough for a preemie hat.  I cast on 80 stitches and did a couple of inches of 2 x 2 rib so it would be nice and stretchy.  Then I decided to do a bit of cabling.  Why, I do not know, as I was using dpns, and adding a cable needle to the mix was really asking for trouble.  Well, I got there, but not without a few dropped stitches and a bit of frogging on the way.  There was enough Marble left to make another preemie hat.  This one you will notice has no cables.  Can you work out why???

Finally I went back to crochet for a couple more adult hats.  The pink one is a slouchy one, and has a button on the brim, cunningly concealed in the photo.  The blue/brown one is based on Julia Odie's Magnus hat pattern, sized up for an adult.  Julia is a fellow Loving Hands member, and I have made this hat many times in many different sizes.  Both of these hats are made with different combinations of coned yarn.

So now I have made over 40 hats this year, and my target of 52 by the end of December seems more achievable.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Mixing colours

At the start of the year I set myself a challenge to knit 12 boys' jumpers and 52 assorted hats by the end of the year.  As we start November, I've managed 10 jumpers, and another is well underway, so I'm pretty sure I will reach that target.  But I've fallen way behind on the hat front.  I have recorded 31 hats so far, which leaves 21 to complete by the end of the year.

I've started by knitting these 2 children's hats:

Although they are quite different in appearance, they both use the same multicoloured yarn as their base.  It's another King Cole bin end yarn, which is great value for £1 per ball.  I love the different colours in the yarn, but as a fairly thin DK (or at least that's what I think it is - you have to guess with bin ends yarns) it needed boosting to make warm hats for children.  Coned yarn to the rescue!

Two strands of 3 ply wool / acrylic mix in ivory went into the paler hat, while two strands of alpaca / acrylic 2 ply in a camel colour went into the darker one.

They both make interesting mixes that could be worn by either a boy or a girl.  I am enjoying experimenting with mixing colours like this - I might try with some green next!