A re-entry to the world..

Well, hello there, good looking!  First up an apology for being absent for so long – and thank you to everyone who took time to drop me a comment after using my ‘how to use crochet charts’ tutorials – it’s really appreciated.

Secondly, a shout out to the lovely ladies at F this Knit and Teaching your Brain to Knit – two podcasts I started listening to recently on my stupidly long commute who have inspired me to get my act together and start posting again.  Of course it also meant I started commuting by bike again so I no longer have time to listen to three 1 hour long podcasts a day but I am listening when I can, and both these are interesting podcasts for different reasons (warning: F this Knit is “not safe for work” and if you are easily offended or don’t like swearing this is not the podcast for you)

FOs (Finished Objects)

What’s been finished since my last post

Finished Items – May 2019

Obviously I have finished more than these since my last post, but I am going to go with just this year or it will get way too depressing.  Hopefully doing this will also mean I start updating Ravelry properly to keep track of yarns, needles/hooks, yardage and pattern sources as I am really bad at that!

WIPs (Works in Progress)

Works actively being worked on – (not hibernating or we’d be here forever) including my PP (Purse Project or the project that is living in my handbag)

  • Spiderweb Skirt, Hook 5mm, Knit Picks Dishie in “EggPlant”
  • Test swatches for a bias wrap (PP)
  • Test swatches for modular stole
  • Cotton Baby Blanket

Every Day’s a School Day

What I’m learning from my crafting this month..

  • Gauge
    My Ambient sweater has taught me that my tension might be different on circulars to dpns and that it might be worth swatching with both types if making a sweater or cardigan that you want to fit you particularly in the sleeves!
  • Don’t design in the round if you aren’t going to use the benefits of working in the round / READ the damn pattern.
    Started the skirt and ripped back twice before realising that the perfectly clear word ‘turn’ at the end of the pattern row was meant to be followed.  I think the pattern designer was trying to prevent a visible seam but I was getting a horrible noticeable diagonal ridge (sure that’s my fault for not turning) and was having to count the over 100 stitches every round to try and get it to place right – it just wasn’t working for me.  Personally I think if you are not going to take advantage of working in the round to get the (really pretty) fabric that looks different to standard crochet for 30 something rows then work flat and seam with a flat stitch.

Bits of Sheep

Stash reduction or enhancement

I am very definitely SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) and have been on a self imposed yarn diet for the best part of 4 years now.  The stash however isn’t reducing, so i think they might be breading. Of course if I go to a yarn show it would be rude not to support independent traders or pass-up on the large retailer discount sales, and I am very good at starting projects that I just don’t have the yarn for in my stash…!

Going “Cold Sheep” refers to when a crafter (usually self nominated) decides not to buy more yarn/fibre until a self determined dent has been made in the existing stash.  But obviously we *need* that pretty skein for those thingymajigs we might have to make at some point in the future

I did buy a bit of yarn in France, but given I was in La Droguerie (a wonderful fairytale of a yarn shop) I thought I was very restrained (1 small cone of lace-weight mohair sparkle – Voilette, 67% superfine mohair 33% stelina, 35gr, 300mtrs in colourway Cendrillon) and Phildar let me buy yarn to play with some ideas – two balls of Phil Mohair Soie (70% mohair, 30% silk, 25gr, 195mtrs in colours givre and minerai (similar to Rowan kid silk haze but a ¼ of the price) and a ball of 100% cotton in the palest blue for the collar and I may have bought a packet of 8 different 10g mini balls for the cuteness factor.  Oops.

Having also taken 8 months to realise I need to make another baby blanket (I really should have realised that one a bit quicker – she looked pregnant from about month 2) I was cycling home and thinking about what cotton I had in stash… I knew I had a couple of balls of cotton for making ‘spa cloths’ (dish cloths) at Christmas but wasn’t sure about the quantities or colours.  Of course once I got to my stash I discovered the 50 (yes, that’s fifty) balls of 100% cotton in baby pink, lilac, baby blue, soft fushia, a muted purple and white that I picked up for about £20 a few years ago with the intention of using them up in my classes. So I guess I can sacrifice a few of those to the cause! I’m having great fun with this one. Starting with a simple crochet block stitch pattern, I discounted the blue (normally I don’t do baby blankets in gendered colours but the blue jarred against the other pink shades and she happens to be having a girl) and having laid out one ball of each in order, I’m using a random number generator (a 4 sided dice for those amongst you who know what that is) to decide the colour for each colour block row.

But I have reduced my stash by a further 5 balls at least.  I have also used my 10 balls of Knit Picks Dishie (for the Skirt).  I bought specific yarn for my other completed projects this year so they came in and went out again.

Balls/Skeins In Balls/Skeins Out Net Balance
5 15 -10

Oh Shiny…

The source of my startitis – for example planned projects , inspirations or ideas that have caught my eye or subjects or topics that have snagged my attention..

Honestly I am playing with so many ideas at the moment I barely have time to think!  After a recent one week trip to Lille in the north of France I came back with so many photos of things that could be turned into knit or crochet (or, in one case, a hand painted silk scarf) patterns.  At the moment I am swatching (and frogging and swatching and frogging and swatching) a bias knit rectangular wrap which has single stitch vertical lines.

Who would have thought that there is more than one way to do a vertical line, but the single stitch of a different colour doesn’t work.  I’ve tried dropped stitches, beading, double knitting, duplicate stitching, travelling or raised stitches..… nothing is working right yet, but I will get there I promise.

I have also been distracted by a crochet pattern idea (also inspired by the trip to France – a 17th Century Persian sandstone window screen in the Louvre in Lens being the source) which involves modular triangles.  I had done a pattern that wasn’t modular in a couple of hours but it just doesn’t have the crisp definition of line I want, even after blocking…

So, before the post gets even more ridiculously long I’d better sign off and progress with some of those current projects.  See you next month!