Sunday, 31 July 2016

How many strands?

I've been enjoying a bit of experimentation this week.  The garments that I'm knitting and crocheting now will be passed on to charities for distribution in the autumn and winter months.  In their latest newsletter,  Knit for Peace were asking for hat and scarf sets, particularly for older children and teenagers.

Time to start combining yarns, then, to make thicker and warmer garments.  When I was sorting out the cones, I noticed some smaller ones (250g or less).  There were a couple of sparkly yarns, and also some multicoloured ones.  I chose two, and teamed them with a navy blue 4 ply.

Using my new toy (the wool winder) I wound them together to make them easier to crochet with.

Somehow I managed to produce a ball that weighed almost exactly 100g.  First I crocheted a simple beanie hat, then I used the Spring petals scarf pattern on Ravelry to crochet a scarf with the rest of the ball.  I like this pattern because it is light and lacy-looking and is a single row repeat.  Using a size 6.00mm hook I got a lovely drape to it, and as the combined yarns were more than aran thickness, the hat and scarf will be quite warm to wear.  

Flushed with success with a 3 strand combo, I went for broke.  I picked 3 strands of 2 ply and wound them together, then paired them with a 2 strand ball of 50% wool 4ply.  Effectively, aran plus dk, so overall chunky weight.

I tried my luck with knitting this time.  I used a simple broken rib pattern (knit 3, purl 1) and made a scarf and hat.  I was really pleased with the outcome, although using a rib stitch meant that the scarf was narrower than I at first planned.  I will knit a wider one that will be more suitable for a teenager.

I probably knitted a little slower than usual, and kept checking that I had all the strands in each stitch.  But using the winder meant that the multiple strands were quite easy to control.  I think it was a good investment!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Rainbow cardigan and another donation

I'm so delighted that the little green cardigan I wrote about in my last post was voted as one of the favourites in Linda's latest stash buster party.  A couple of years ago, Linda, who is a fellow Loving Hands member, had the brilliant idea of holding on-line stash reducing parties to showcase the items we make to reduce our stash.  Lots of crafters from all over the world share their projects on her website and vote for their favourites.  There are some amazing items featured in these showcases and it's a real pleasure to have had one of mine voted as a favourite.  Thank you Linda for all your hard work in hosting the link-up.

Last week I was put in touch with a lady who, very generously, had a lot of yarn to donate to Loving Hands.  It was all coned yarn, and I filled my car with around 100 cones.  Coned yarn is normally sold for use with knitting machines and is often very fine.  Most of this, however, was 4 ply, which is great for hand knitting too.  I advertised the yarn on our Loving Hands forum, and I have been busy this week sending out boxes of it to groups and individual members.

I have kept some cones for me to use too, and I couldn't resist knitting a garment this week.  I chose 2 cones, one in grey and one in a grey / multicolour mix, to put together to make worsted or aran weight.  As it happens, a couple of weeks ago, before I knew about this donation, I bought myself a wool winder.  Boy, has it been useful this week!

When I started knitting a cardigan, my intention had been that, with plenty of grey in the yarn, it would be for a boy.  By the time I came to knitting the button bands, I was not so sure.

I consulted my colleagues on the Loving Hands forum, and they almost unanimously confirmed that this should be a girl's cardigan.  So I put the buttonholes on the girl's side, and, sure enough, when it was all sewn up and finished, it could only be destined for a little girl.  

It is 26 inches across the chest, so should fit a five to six year old.  Although the photo doesn't pick them up well, I found some sparkly oval buttons which I acquired from the Scrapstore, and they finish it off perfectly.  A big thank you is due to Nicola, who made the yarn donation; it will keep lots of LH members busy for many months to come!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Green cardigan with a leaf pattern

In the 1980s, when my children were very small, there was a Phildar wool shop in Weston-super-Mare where I used to buy lots of yarn and patterns for their knits.  This was long before the days of the Internet, Ravelry and free patterns.  Phildar used to produce lovely books of patterns, and I have several in my pattern box upstairs.

When I received the package of pale green 4 ply from my friend Pat, I remembered a pattern in one of the Phildar books that I had always liked but never made (it was too 'girly' for my boys).  It was most enjoyable to knit a pattern with lacy panels, and I am very happy with the result.  It will fit a 22 inch chest, and I finished it off with some pale grey buttons which I had in my button box.

Thank you Pat!