Friday, 30 December 2016

The final three!

With one day to spare, the final three hats are done.  There's a man's chunky blue and black hat, a lady's dk dark red hat, and a newborn dk hat.  As ever, I've been combining yarns make inroads into the donated coned yarns and to get different weights, so the man's hat is a strand of black aran and a strand of blue 4 ply , while the lady's hat is 2 strands of 2 ply red wool/cotton and a strand of 2 ply grey mix (probably acrylic, but I can't be sure).  The baby hat is made of some King Cole Bin Ends yarn which is very pretty and puts me in mind of cup cakes sprinkled with hundreds and thousands!

This completes my self-set challenge to complete 12 boys' jumpers and 52 hats in one year.  This target has certainly spurred me to knit and crochet more this year than I have previously.  The donations of yarn that I have collected on behalf of Loving Hands this year have also encouraged me to think more laterally about what I can make and how I can combine yarns to get different effects.  I have used up almost 16 kilos of yarn since January, without counting December's finished items.

I have, however, decided not to set any targets for 2017.  It will be interesting to see whether I use up just as much yarn when I am free to make whatever I like.

There is one final item that I finished off just after Christmas.

I took these two cones from my stash in November.  They are both 4 ply, and the bright pink is very bright!  The paler pink is from a range called Magicolour, and has a rainbow of other colours running through it.  Working directly from the cones, so no ends to darn in, I started a corner-to-corner blanket.  This photo gives you an idea of the different colours:

The completed blanket is 42 inches square and looks like this:

It is bright and cheery and will be going to Chemogiftbags, a charity which provides support for people undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Happy New Year everyone, and thank you for reading and commenting on my posts in 2016.  

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Hat chase nearly over

Just a quick post to report that I have finished hat 49 of 52 for 2016.  These are 3 chunky, tweedy hats, made with multiple strands of stash yarns.  The green ones are adult size and will be going to the Mission for Seamen.  The grey and maroon one is child size, and will be for Operation Orphan's 
2017 campaign to Keep a Child Warm.  On 27 December we will be driving up to Twickenham to meet friends and go to the Harlequins rugby game at Twickenham Stadium, so I will have time to make progress on a matching scarf go with the child's hat.  I don't tend to knit hats in the car because of the danger of losing dpns under the driver's seat.  Once bitten, twice shy definitely applies in that case!

Still lots to do on this Christmas Eve; both my sons and my daughter-in-law will be arriving later today, so there are beds to prepare, baking to be done, and still quite a few presents to be wrapped and stockings to prepare.  So I will use this picture of our local woods in the snow to wish everyone who happens on my blog a very Happy Christmas, and thank you for taking the time to read my posts.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Log cabin

Back in April last year, I started knitting a log cabin blanket.  I had a lot of Stylecraft Wondersoft variegated yarn in peacock, but when knitted up, it looked more like camouflage than a flamboyant bird's tail.  I think the jumpers below demonstrate what I mean.

So I put the rest of it to one side, and had a think about what I could make with it (did I mention that I bought a kilo of this yarn?  Probably not!).  Finally I came up with the idea of a knitted log cabin blanket.  There have been lovely ones knitted by other Loving Hands members, so this seemed like a plan.  I chose a range of different colours that were in the peacock, and two that weren't, to provide a little bit of contrast.  This was a project that my heart really wasn't in, and so it only came out when I didn't have anything else to do.  But do you know, as I was sewing it up, I began to fall in love with it.

Somehow it makes me think of modern art:

Doesn't this look like it could be on a gallery wall?
OK, I'm getting a bit carried away here.  Because it uses different brands of yarn, some of the squares are not quite as even as they might be, but this adds to the overall patchwork effect of the blanket.  And there are so many ends to be darned away - I still have a good few more to do.  But it is lovely and warm and weighs in at 460g.  It's a bit odd and quirky, and I have a feeling that I might keep this one for myself!

Ideas for what I should make with the remaining 300g of the peacock will be welcomed!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Jumper number 12

Yessss!  This is boy's jumper number 12, so I've met the first part of my challenge for 2016.  It's knitted from a Knitwell pattern which I found among my Mum's patterns.  There is no date or price on it, but it uses old needle sizes (9s and 7s) so is pre metrication of knitting needles, which I think was around 1975.  It was interesting to knit; the front centre panel has increases and decreases to make the little stocking stitch squares.  I enjoy cabling and knitting twisted stitches, which featured on the sleeves as well as the front.

The yarn is from a cone which I bought from the scrapstore.  It is marked as chunky, but to me it felt more like aran.  I compromised and knitted it on size 4.00 and 5.00 needles (8s and 6s) instead of the recommended sizes.

I have another half a dozen hats to make to meet the second part of the challenge by 31 December - watch this space!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around....

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, jump up high,
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky.

This week, Loving Hands was asked if we could supply some tiny teddies for babies in Kings College Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit to receive on Christmas day.  Although I'm not especially fond of making toys, these little teds are very quick and easy to do, so I thought I would make a few.  As I was knitting them, I suddenly remembered an action rhyme that my boys and I used to sing when they were small.  And days later, I can't get it out of my head! It must be at least 25 years since we last sang that rhyme, but now it keeps repeating and repeating in my brain.  

These are the tiny teds; they are 2.75 inches tall, just right for little babies.  They are knitted in 4 ply on size 2.50 needles.  Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.......

As well as these, I have been making some things for Children's Hospice South West to sell to raise funds.  A child's hat and scarf set is knitted with two strands of double knit:

 The pattern is called Luuk, by Annis Jones, and is free on Ravelry. I think the hat looks rather like a creamy cup cake with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on.

I've also crocheted a few snowflakes for tree decorations or to add to parcels:

The two at the top of the photo are made with a tinsel yarn found in a charity shop.  They really sparkle when they catch the light.  The bottom two are just made with crochet cotton, and stiffened after blocking with a little spray starch.  

Hopefully they will help with the fundraising.  Teddy bear, teddy bear,turn around...............