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.
I have been listening to a lot of audio books lately, when I walk, can’t sleep and for crafting too. After watching A Discovery of Witches on Sky I wanted to read the books, I decided to go for the unabridged version of the audio books. it became something of an obsession, every waking moment where possible. The books are slightly different to the show, which is as to be expected, and I found them more compelling then the show. Having always been a bookworm, if I get into a book whether audio or print that’s it I am in the zone. It drives my husband mad as I will be so into the book that I literally do not hear him talking to me. He doesn’t understand how I can’t hear him, I have explained that I am so immersed in the book that I am in another world. Book fan Karina Westerman is also a fabulous knitwear designer. Late 2017 her book This Thing of Paper was released. I have decided that 2019 will be the year I knit through the book. so far I have knitted Letterpress Cowl , Majuscule hat picture below and the Minuscule fingerless mitts all from stash. I have cast on Incunabula in alpaca dk from stash in a green, this will probably be a year long knit alongside other things.
Whilst I have been bad and not update this blog for a while, I have been productive in my creativity. It’s been a hectic start to the second half of the year and I truly believe that if I hadn’t had my crafts I would not be a good place mentally.
According to my Ravelry Projects Page for 2018 I have made a total of 34 items with another 3 still WIPs using a massive 15,768 yards of yarn. The year hasn’t gone yet and I am sure that I will surpass the 16,000 yard mark. I have also donated and sold another 25,000 yards of yarn, which has made me very happy.
That’s the knitting and yarn accounted for and on the fabric and sewing front I have made plenty of clothes for Evalyn, and a lap quilt for both Harry and Evalyn. I have so much planned for Christmas but as usual has left it until the last minute so not many sewn or knitted handmade gifts apart from those made earlier in the year.
I have been continuing to shop from stash and trying unsuccessfully not to buy or download any more patterns. As I write this I have an Emoji vest top in red and blue, the addition by subtraction shawl and the Mayhem shawl part of the Shawl Society III on the needles. I also had Vellum from This Thing of Paper on the needles. I had carefully chosen my colours, looked at my wardrobe seen what colour I needed, kitted up and cast on. I had chosen from my Felted Tweed stash. I cast on and would normally be full throttle on the rib but it just didn’t seem to get going. It was on my third row when I realised, it was the yarn. I didn’t like knitting with it. As I have 6 boxes of Rowan felted tweed destined for a variety of colour work projects, I wasn’t very happy. I have knitted with it before with other yarns in smaller projects so I didn’t notice it too much. Knitting with it this time I found the yarn rough and it made my hands dry. The felted tweed chunky and Aran I have knitted many an item with and love them both so whilst feeling slightly perplexed I have come to the tough decision that I am going to sell all my Felted Tweed DK. I am using two balls on another project but as it’s not every row I am persevering