I cast on this blanket back on 2010. It never really grabbed me, I think it bored me to be honest. Now with being in self isolation and working remotely from home, it is the perfect project to pick up between calls. So far I have completed 25/81 squares. The blanket is worked using four colours and the cream is used in most squares.
I am knitting this the Debbie Abrahams way, knitting a square, casting off and then picking up stitches from the cast off square to knit the next one until the strip is completed. To save sewing in too many ends I have found a way to ease this. This works on most strips but in particular the even number strips.
Strip four use the pink and a full ball of the cream for the first square, then cast off in pink but leave the cream attached and pick up stitches for square 2 using the same cream. Once this square is cast off pick up stitches for the third square and carry on using the cream. If you wish to you can thread beads for the fourth square at the start and push them to to middle of the ball and continue until end of square 5 using the same cream ball. I didn’t do this, however I used the cream yarn from square 6 of strip four to complete the strip.
When knitting the 19a and 19B squares I left the cream attached after the first one and when it came to the next cream row and the yarn was at the other end I just slipped all the stitches across until I was at the cream end and purled the row.
This means less weaving in and using less yarn. I hope this helps, Stay Safe everyone
Well I have been in self isolation for just over a week and all the days are starting to merge into one. I am in self isolation as my husband has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. Ironically his role is classed as a key worker and the government website is a little confusing as to what he should do.We contacted the brilliant CLLSA who has verified, he needs to self isolate.
We have another 5 days before we can be sure neither of us have the virus. I am not going to lie, my opinion of some people has changed since this happened. I will openly admit that I am now judging people on how they acted when we were warned about COVID-19 and when we went into lockdown.
I really dislike being indoors 24/7, I am lucky. I have a garden I can venture into and I can work from home at the moment, I have food in my cupboard and a roof over my head. I am lucky. However, I am missing seeing my family, especially the grandchildren and Miss Evlayns hugs.
One silver lining of this self isolation is that I am finally properly going through the boxes and bags in the craft room. This time I am being more ruthless, none of this -oh I could use this one day- when I don’t particularly like it. No more keeping items of clothing that need completely unpicking and sewing as if they were a new garment to make them fit. No more keeping scraps and old rolls of ribbon that I am never likely to use.
That’s just the sewing stuff, let’s not mention the stationery. How many pens and notebooks does one need?
Prior to this I was selling some of my no longer used books and unloved yarns on ebay. As I am in self isolation I have ended the listings.
Now I have put the items no longer bringing me joy into 3 piles.Normally I don’t separate the items I am giving to charity but this time I have. Clothing is in a bag for one of the clothing charity bins or a charity shop. Small crafty bits are going into old Glossybox boxes. Once filled these can be given to local craft groups or even to a foodbank so children can make use of them. If I give it to a food bank or similar type charity I will add glue and cards so they will be like small craft kits. The final pile is a general mishmash of various items for the charity shops. This is proving quite therapeutic so hopefully I can continue with the rest of the house.
Take care everyone and remember #sixfeetapartorsixfeetunder Stay Safe
As I’ve previously mentioned, I had sworn off Debbie ABRAHAMS mystery blankets as I have far too many in progress or not even started. Last year I relented and signed up to her mystery baby blanket club. My reasoning was that I could knit one and have it ready for when some one close to me has a baby and I could use my stash and the patterns to knit another.
This was lovely to knit, using the gorgeous Rowan Baby Cashsoft. When knitting it again I will omit the bobbles and the Swiss darning on the blocks. The border is my favourite of all the borders I have knit . It has inspired me and in my head I am designing a pram blanket. Watch this space. #staysafe
This is the year I am aiming to complete some of my mystery blanket kits from Debbie Abrahams. I purchased them every year since she started her mystery blankets until 2018, when I thought that I had too many untouched to justify another.. I have knitted some but have too many languishing in airtight containers. In February I finally finished MB 2016 A French Romance. there was real sense of satisfaction when it was finished.
I am currently on the final stretch of the first Mystery Baby Blanket Club from Debbie. I decided to go for this one as it’s nice to have a baby blanket in store for any babies arriving and I can knit another using stash yarn. I am still working on destashing and am avoiding temptation as much as possible. I am also working through my shawl patterns and using stash to knit them up. Shawls have become my go to as they can double up as a scarf and a shawl. Currently on the needles is Learning to Cry from @curioushandmade in the gorgeous Jelly KSH and Wool Cotton
I love going to the cinema, I go at least once a week and see a variety of films, some of which I probably wouldn’t see if I didn’t have my Everyman membership. Blinded by the Light is not one of those films. As soon as I saw the trailer for the firs time I knew I was going to see this film. It looked funny and interesting. Friday I went to see Blinded by the light and I wasn’t disappointed, I really enjoyed it. The film blurb states “Set in 1987, during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, ‘Blinded By The Light’ is a joyous, coming-of-age story about a teenager who learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the words and music of Bruce Springsteen. ‘Blinded By The Light’ is inspired by British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir “Greetings From Bury Park.”
It was a joyous film, what the blurb doesn’t state is that it also show a true snapshot of the racism and the rise of the National Front in the eighties, the miners strike and unemployment. There were moments I had tears running down my face, which I hadn’t expected. One of the reasons for the tears was that my Uncle who passed some time ago was a huge Springsteen fan who would have loved this film, the second reason was for the memories it brought back. I am mixed race my mother was Burmese and my father English. Although I don’t look Asian, at secondary school, I was bullied and called a Paki. In the eighties in the suburbs, there was only one Asian person in my school so the ignorant people I went to school with picked on me. The worst was being locked in the woodwork cupboard and having to find alternate routes home, so I wasn’t jumped. There was one incident where graffitti was sprayed on my home which my father tried to shield me from. Despite this I grew up to be a well adjusted compassionate person. This is probably one of the reasons I HATE inequality and injustice and I am sucker for the underdog. Luckily this stopped when I left school apart from one incident.
I urge everyone to see this film wether you are a Springsteen fan or not you will enjoy it, and you get an insight into the music of the Boss. Support British Independent Films.
Now for the crafting part! My current cinema knitting is the Epic Scarf by Jo Storie. I am knitting it in Rowan Alpaca Colour from Stash, the colour isn’t really doing it for me but the yarn is gorgeous to knit with, if a little hairy.
I have always loved going to the Cinema. I love it all, the trailers, the adverts. the way the screen appears to get bigger as the film starts. You cannot beat seeing a film at the cinema.
All the chains have membership plans. Cineworlds one is great value for £17.50 monthly for one person for unlimited films. I often take my grandchildren to the cinema or go with my husband so I chose a different plan. I chose the Everyman unlimited plan, this is more expensive at £50 per month but it gives me unlimited tickets for 2. This enables me to take my husband, grandchildren or a friend to the Cinema. As long as I go with some one twice in the evening three times in the day I have saved money.
When I take the grandkids to the cinema, they like to travel by bus and Harry loved the sofa seating at Everyman, as do I. Everyman is the easiest Cinema other than out local Reel cinema to get to. The difference is that going to Everyman really feels like a treat or going out. I love the sofas, the food being brought to you and that where ever you sit you get a good view as the rows are up one.
After seeing a film, especially a long one I feel relaxed and refreshed. I always have a simple, garter stitch or stocking stitch project ready that I can knit whilst watching the films. I’ve already started the grandkids scarves for this winter. Expect to see some thoughts on the films I’ve seen in future posts
Not done as much as I had planned on the crafting front, but, I have made good headway on my Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket from 2016. Out of the seven strips and 4 borders , I have managed to complete, 4 strips, 1 border and a few squares. To save my arms from the weight of the completed blanket when doing the borders I am knitting the side borders on the strip before I sew them together.
So far I have sewn two sets of strips together and am feeling a sense of completion. What I like about Debbies Blankets are the range of techniques , colours and yarn choices. The 2016 one has beading, bobbles, cables, lace, intarsia, swiss darning and stranded knitting. Each square feels like one has actually completed an item, which I guess one has. I am on track to complete this by the end of June.
I started a Dust of Snow last year, a lovely wrap designed by Helen Stewart of Curiously Handmade. In the last post I mentioned my dust of snow wrap and how I managed to use a lot of stash. What I didn’t mention was that when knitting the first half of this, I lost my knitting mojo. The wrap uses two yarns knitted together changing colour every few rows. I started with the pastels and Kidsilk Haze Night in a white with silver, When the white ran out I continued with the pastels and a pale green Kidsilk Haze. I wasn’t sure if losing my knitting mojo was the pattern, or just me, so I put this to one side and started a few other projects.
Around the same time I found some mini Knitting Goddess sock yarn skeins, I’d already wound into balls. These were mini balls of multi coloured lusciousness. I love colour and these inspired me, invigorated me. When the pattern called for a new colour instead of using the original 4 colours I started using the mini skeins. After the pale green KSH ran out I used another ball of Kidsilk Haze night in a deep grey blue with Silver. Now the wrap was flying off the needles. It was enjoyable to knit again and I wanted to keep going. Whilst knitting I would stop and look at the myriad of colours worked so far and feel so happy.
For the last section I am currently using Kidsilk Haze in lime green. I am loving how the different colours of Kidsilk haze creates a different effect giving the wrap an amazing riot of colour. Whilst enjoying this knit and observing the colours, it occurred to me this week that the reason I lost my knitting mojo was my colour choice. I love colour, strong, vibrant, jewel toned colours. I’ve never met a colour I didn’t like, although I am not a fan of pastel colours. As soon as I started knitting with the vibrancy of the sock yarn my mojo returned. This is a lesson learnt, when knitting for myself stick to the bright colours.
This year has been a case of starting new projects. On the needles currently are: Laura Frost Flower Poncho in red yarn with sequins, I bought the yarn for Harry but didn’t realise it had sequins in it so Evalyn lucked out, Incunabula cardigan for me in a beautifully soft olive green, Rowan Alpaca DK, Epic Scarf in another beautifully soft yarn, this time Rowan Alpaca Colour in a grey. I have started another garter squish blanket, and am still working on my Dust of Snow wrap. All of these have been knitted from stash which I am very happy about. Shopping the stash has made me knit in colours I may not have used if I had bought new yarn. For the epic scarf and Incunabula it was a case of what yarn do I have enough of for these patterns.
For my dust of snow wrap I did a big stash bust. I used left over bits from other projects, mini skeins and a 3 different colour ways of Rowan Kidsilk haze, where the mini skeins didn’t last for the pattern repeat I have used the blue for the remainder of each repeat. It has resulted in a beautiful colours of the rainbow wrap, which I am sure will be on of my go to wraps to wear. I cannot recommend Curious Handmade her patterns enough. Each pattern is written line by line so you can tick it off as you go and this helped an elderly lady I know who suffered from dementia, she was able to pick it up when suffering from an episode and when she was not.