Sea of Knitted Red

red

I am so done with this project. An unending sea of red. Mile after mile of crochet and a row that literally took two hours to complete. Two damn hours people, which is also a lot to frog back when I ran out of the original red with half a side to go (you might have wondered what the animal like howl was you heard in the breeze). I have fudged it by doubling my substitute red with a white to hide that it almost but not quite matches (the thickness was also wrong, but the double thread compensated for this).

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I did manage to keep the spirit of the stash blanket going. The trim of white/silver thread was a stash dive, as was the purple (bought at a bring-and-buy table at a yarn group weekender). It does give the edge the nice border I wanted. I am now left with a small bag of leftovers and I think I will use them to make a couple of flowers for the granny garden blanket, as it would be nice to have them completely used up.

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I am now officially cured of the will to do big projects, so I am going to focus on the small and quick for a bit. Here are some photos of my new favourite winter blanket (drum roll please)…..

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I do like the Doppler effect that the contrast rows give; but frustratingly I realised that if I had done 10, not 12, rows of block red then the last red block would have been the same width as the other two *sigh*. Luckily, I saw the sanity in not frogging back the whole damn thing and decided that even my infamous wish for balance and perfection in my projects had its limit.

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The size isn’t very clear from the picture, and surprisingly Cat wasn’t lurking with intent, so here is a picture with a book in it for scale. After weeks of suffering under a blanket, time to do some light summery knits!

LouBug

 

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A Small Matter of Casting On #knitting

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Oh dear, I might have gone a little nuts. Even Cat is face-palming at the horror. I have now accidentally cast on all my spare row counters (even I am not sure how many I have) and I also broke the rules and solved the problem of running out of knit pro 3mm tips by buying more. Basically a large casting off bomb went off last week and I am still dazed and confused as to what happened.

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It all started off innocently enough. Knit-knit-knitting at my log cabin blanket. Cro-cro-crocheting at my big red granny. And generally picking at other projects. Then I started strolling though some yarn books and accidentally started another Calmer cardi (to join the purple and green one). Lovely shade of pale teal and will look lovely with a wavy border, reliable yarn and the self-designed pattern for the body already a proven success (it will even be made with the same needles). Logically it does make sense to make a start on an autumn weight cardi now so that it is going to be ready in time. So far, so reasonable.

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The pair of socks was also an accident, I wanted a simple pattern but also some lace, and I have been meaning to use the yarn for a while. Just ignore the other four pairs shall we. Between them they cover plain, lace, colour work and simple rib. The moody grey/teal is nice with the mock cables though!

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As previously mentioned I have been chain knitting shawls recently and looking through my brand new Sock yarn Shawls II book it would have been rude not to try one. The first book has already proven to be a firm favourite and I will admit to a loud squeak when I spotted number two in the Amazon pre-order list of temptations. The second book builds on the first and has a good mix of classic triangle shawls and long and skinny sideways ones. It has also included larger two skein shawls (some in contrasting colours, some in the same), which are based on 70g balls.

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The yarn doesn’t photo well, but it is basically a pale mushroom grey with a sparkle thread running through it. And it will look awesome next to my big white dress (dum dum di dum), or alternatively on exotic location for the honeymoon. The yarn was bought from Olympia a few years ago (it was apparently dyed to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee) and I have been saving it for something worthy. And people, this pattern is gorgeous! Luckily I have 150g of it, so I should be able to make one long enough to wear as a proper shawl (opposed to the triangle forward style) and I might dip into my bead collection when I cast off to give it a bit of extra bling.

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I also accidentally cast on this blue shawl (I was comparing book 1 and 2 and fell in love with it) which basically means I am now making both cover photo shawls. I absolutely love this Tardis blue yarn (and had to put my foot down when Mr LouBug tried to claim it for socks). I need to come up with a suitable Dr Who name for it, (perhaps River’s Song, or Timey Wimey). I regret nothing on this one and I am impatiently getting to the lace section, to the point where I will start it 12 rows early (to allow an extra repeat). Wearing my Blue Yonder shawl, I have found that the large triangle does make it bunch up a bit under the chin, lace tends to sit better (as seen on my Purple Happenstance) so there are practical as well as impatient reasons behind this.

Blimey, I had better get knitting.

LouBug

 

 

Blasting the Cobwebs with Chunky

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After the soul destroyingly slow never-growing scarf, I am happy to report on my other big summer project – Granny’s Garden.

This blanket came out because KnitWit started making flowers, and it reminded me how much I like making flowers. My LYS then had a sale and happened to sell some dark green chunky yarn, and so I decided to crochet a big green blanket and cover it with flowers.

The yarn is 50% wool to acrylic and is nice and soft. It should be very snuggly, with the added bonus that I will give myself a garden to enjoy in the deep dark winter.

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This was the progress at the start of the break and now (drum roll…)

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Here it is at the start of term!

I have put a flower on it for scale and, as you can see, things are looking good for it to cover the double bed. It is not finished (6 balls down, three and a half balls to go) but despite only working on it in short burst to dodge heat exhaustion, it has spectacularly grown. An ironic twist on the cobweb scarf (that I worked solidly on for the holiday) but never grew.

Oh chunky, how we love you!

I am currently playing with the idea of stash busting some Kermit green eyelash yarn on the border. I do quite like the solid edge the chunky crochet gives, so we shall have to see on that. Kermit may have to linger in the box a while longer.

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The grand plan is to make (and start using) the blanket and then cover it with flowers. A plan that realistically reflects the available time in the hectic first term. I can make a flower in an evening or two with minimal brain power needed.

This will give me short achievable goals at a time when I will be frazzled and/or frantically Christmas knitting. To give myself a head start I have re-claimed flowers from a never-worn scarf (as previously mentioned, there was nothing wrong with it; I just made a second one I liked more).

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I have also re-claimed these from various bags and jackets.

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Deciding that the start of term was already melting my brain, I also made this flower earlier this week out of sparkly sock yarn. I like the idea of playing around with different yarn weights on the flowers, as it will naturally change the scale of the flowers and hopefully create a more English garden effect.

It should also help work through my sock yarn scrap – there are only so many mitre pillows a girl can use.

(*Quick plug* – the pillows are a fantastically useful user of sock scrap, go have a peek, it is on our free pattern page “Bug’s sock scrap pillow” and on Ravelry).

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I also plan to make a few butterflies and bugs to dot about (mainly from my 75 Birds and Butterflies to Knit & Crochet by Lesley Stanfield) as I think this will help to balance the look. I do like it when a plan comes together!

Has anyone got any suggestions for flowers for me to try?

LouBug

Big Blue Baby Blanket – Free Pattern

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This is the first baby’s blanket I made for my first ever nephew and I wanted something relatively easy but suitably eye-catching. I made this for a boy, but naturally there is nothing to stop you playing with the colours to make something either girly or more neutral.

Knowing that it was going to be a summer birth I didn’t want to make a heavy blanket, but knew that if I tried to make an heirloom lace blanket that the kid would be at university by the time I finished.

Taking advice from the lovely ladies at my knit group, I made a modular blanket that included a crochet element (to allow an airflow and prevent overheating).

It seems to be a hit and has progressed from a sleep pad to a play mat to a pram blanket to a car blanket. This pattern uses both knitted and crocheted squares with a knitted-on border. This is another addition to our Free Patterns page.

Free Pattern
Big Blue baby blanket

LouBug

Yarn Bombing

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Yay! My status as an official stalker has been confirmed! Deadly Knitshade is my new girl-crush. Yarn bombing makes me want to guffaw out loud, snigger into my coffee and shout from the hilltops “LOOK A KNITTED TEA COSY ON A BOLLARD. HOW BLOODY FUNNY IS THAT?!”. Don’t tell me you don’t know what it is – GOOGLE IT FOOLS! IT’LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Several time wasters have prevented me in the past from achieving my full potential. Perhaps a doctorate or an OBE could have been on the cards if I hadn’t wasted so much time looking at YouTube clips. But this – this may even prevent me from finding the time to get dressed or feed myself something that doesn’t come straight out of a Coco Pops box. I’ve already “wasted” half a morning looking at Guerilla Knitting photos and wishing I were 1000 times faster at knitting so I could yarn storm.

After much horrific time wasting contemplation, I have decided on my top three places to devastate with my knitted creations:

1. Somewhere pretentious. I’m thinking Emperor’s New Clothes. I’m thinking maybe the Tate circa 1999. Yes, perhaps a lovely crochet blanket for Tracey Emin’s Bed. Sorry LouBug, but I’m going to have to sacrifice the blanket (see photo above) you created for my equally lovely second born son and borrow your Tardis to go back in time. In your face Turner prize winner!

2. Second on the list…who needs cheering up? Decision made – yarn bomb Jeremy Paxman’s head with a balaclava! Ok, purists, I know it isn’t in the covert spirit of the game (unless I wore a balaclava as well? Ok, getting ahead of myself now). Worth it though, no?

3. Knitted wheel clamps for that one off Top Gear. Nuff said.

KnitWit

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