And In With The New…Knitting


During Easter I took the time to give the stash a bit of an airing and (predictably) now cast on a pile of things. I have even bagged up some Christmas sock knits (yes, I do know it is May). I had the slightly embarrassing conversation with Mummy KnitBug where I revealed the full extent of where the stash went (which is basically like admitting to how much you weigh, although it is possible that I might actually weight less than the stash – what a frightening thought….). The conversation started with asking what colour she wanted, which she said could be anything I could spare from the stash. This then led me to admit that she could pretty much name any colour and I would have it (for example I have a few different shades of purple) and yes, I did in fact have the requested bright pink/blue.


Dolly Mix has progressed well, and has got the planned 6×6 (36) squares completed; to cover a double bed I think I need about 12×12 (144) squares but I knew before I started that there wasn’t going to be enough to do this in one hit. The point of the blanket is to use up scrap DK (from projects, free magazine yarn or from knit kits that don’t catch my eye) and not buy more yarn! So (as planned) I am now going to rest it until the summer to give me time to generate more scrap DK acrylic.


One potential source of yarn is the now started crochet kit by Attic24 bought at last year’s Ally Pally. I usually resist kits, as in my heart I know that I can do it cheaper (or in a better colour, material or with massive design changes) but I would have bought the finished blanket (if available) as it is such a perfect balance of colours. For once I “want that one” and have no planned changes. I am still very much at the starting blocks, but given that projects can languish for years, a six month wait is practically a rush starter. I am considerably slower on crochet that knitting, so it might be done for winter (2015? 2017? 2049?). Hopefully I will speed up as I go and chew through all 84 rows (with 213 stitches per row) nice and quickly.


Last (but not least) I have now flown through the blue yonder shawl. This is from the very lovely 4ply that KnitWit bought me at Christmas (which is incredibly soft) and I chose “Timpani” from Sock Yarn Shawls. This starts off with a plain section, which should show off the subtle blue/lavender purple colour wash and then ends with an interlocking rectangle lace trim. Things got a bit interesting when I completed the original number of repeats, popped in a little lifeline and then attempted to squeak in another pattern repeat before the trim. For those that heard the howl of frustration, I didn’t! but my trusty life-line meant that it was annoying and not soul destroying.


As a top tip, I have used dental floss for my life-line; not as random as it sounds! The hive mind of Ravelry rates it for life-line as it is slightly waxed (making it easy to remove), stronger than sewing thread (so less likely to snap) and easy to stash in your notions case. However, the minty fresh aroma is definitely a little odd with the lavender scent generated by the anti-moth herb bag.   Let us hope the smell fades over time!







Waving On – The Knitted Mitten


To increase the chances of finishing things I have been limiting my scope to two main projects, wavy mittens and big red jumper. This has actually helped to motivate me to knit on as both have large areas of knitting and by focussing on just them I have started to get some real traction on them.


So first up on the progress report is my waving mittens. Made with incredibly soft alpaca yarn (foolishly with 4 ply) they are shaping up rather well. One box-set marathon later and I have now finished mitten number 1.


Do not be fooled by their good looks, these suckers fought every inch. 60 stitches (increased to 90 on the thumb gusset) by a mind-boggling 90 rows and all in a six stitch pattern repeat. I have never been so grateful that I have the hand size of a child (seriously, I teach year 7 students with the same sized hands as me).


Thankfully I have got better at carrying the yarn (which helped stop my nesting ball of yarn from tangling), so I did get quicker as I went on. I now have a finished one to admire and pet, a good motivator for finishing up. Many people talk of second sock/mitten syndrome (when you lose all will to knit the second in a pair), but I have always found the reverse to be true. The first one is always an epic struggle of motivation, errors, re-dos and problems, but (provided I took good quality notes) the second one is always quicker and easier to knit. I even find this when I am knitting old favourite patterns (like my candy cane ribbed socks) when all problems have long been dealt with. Perhaps it is the simple magic of turning string into clothes that still gets me every time; perhaps, I get so caught up in knitting that I “forget” that the knitting leads to products.

Either way, these are going to be some mighty toasty mittens!


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