Silver Lining

I am a realist, however I also believe that whatever the situation you can find a silver lining. It may be a tiny one

In the COVID-19 lockdown I have found a few silver linings. The latest one was getting to the last of the boxes in the old craft shed. In amongst them was a complete boxed kit for Debbie Abrahams Fish blanket. When I say complete kit . I mean complete. It has the beads, the sequins, the bobbins, the yarn and at the bottom some needles.

This is not only a silver lining because I found a complete blanket kit, this is a silver lining for another reason. Let me tell you a tale of Rowan Cotton Glacé shade 724 bubbles. I was knitting another DA blanket and needed a pink so I borrowed a ball or two from the Teatime blanket I started in 2010. This was cotton glacé shade 724 unfortunately I forgot to replace it. I am on the final two strips of the Teatime blanket and need another two to three balls of , yes you’ve guessed it CG shade 724. Now I have found the fish kit with the needed CG shade 724 yarn in it The silver lining arrives and I can finish the teatime blanket without worrying about running out of yarn. It may have gone from the fish kit but I can change the colour for this. Happy days

Needles

In lockdown I managed to break 3 of my short 2.75mm bamboo needles. Specifically the needles for my Debbie Abrahams blankets. I bought two pairs of gorgeous Lykke driftwood needles from Tribe yarns to replace them, I cannot stress enough how beautifully smooth and wonderful to knit with these are. After knitting a few squares with them, I found that when knitting at my desk they are a tad too long. Looking online for some 20-25cm needles there just just weren’t any that made me want to buy them. Then the light bulb moment came, I have a box of beads, some 20cm DPNs and super glue. Out came my creative side -not that it’s ever in-and my DPNs transformed into short needles to continue my blanket. I have a feeling that this will be my path if short needles are needed again and I have the right size DPN.

Lockdown

I have been isolating since 19th March and it has had it’s ups and downs. There was a week near the start when I was very snappish and an emotional rollercoaster and now for the most part I am settled in my routine. I am lucky, that through out my isolation I have been able to work from home. I still get up and at the same time and do some chores before I start work. I think this has helped, although the one thing to suffer is my sleep pattern. I go to bed at the same time and spend most of the night tossing and turning. I have tried all the usual tricks, reading, knitting, warm milk, deep breathing, nytol, nothing works.

One good thing about the isolation is that I have managed to get on and properly tidy and sort the rooms I’ve been procrastinating about for months. Normally I would start sorting, then think of a reason to leave the house and not finish it. Now of course, I haven’t been able to leave the house so it is finally done. I have also sorted out the old craft/junk shed and it has been sorted and filled with boxes ready for when the charity shops open . I donated two large bags of fabric to my local scrub hub which made me feel like I was helping the cause, as there was enough fabric for hundreds of scrub caps and a few scrub sets. if I wasn’t up to sewing them at least I could provide the materials.

Craft wise I am still knitting the Afternoon tea blanket which is coming along nicely. Five strips have been knitted and sewn together and am midway on the sixth. I have also been sewing, mainly masks for the family and extended family. When my daughter asked me for masks I obviously said yes and just got on and did it, I didn’t dislike it but it wasn’t a joyful process. When I chose a different style- the full faced masks- I found the process of sewing the masks very therapeutic and want to sew some more. I am lucky as I did not need to buy anything to sew any of the masks, everything came from stash, well apart from one fat quarter of Star Wars fabric my grandson requested for his masks. One WIP I did manage to sew was The Raglan Dress by The Avid Seamstress. I absolutely love this dress. The fabric makes me smile and the pattern is a dream to sew. The instructions are clear and raglan sleeves are for me the easiest to sew. There will be many more of these in my wardrobe. I think I may need to do a post on this at a later date.

Talking of WIPs, I am the worst for having a day where I will cut out a few projects ready to sew at a later date. Some of these projects have been untouched for a few years so I decided to be ruthless and have decided to bag up those that didn’t inspire me any more and donate as a kit – fabric, pattern, pins- to the charity shops when they reopen . This actually made me relieved, as if a pressure had been lifted as now I only have two projects cut out ready to sew.

I really need to start a simple knit project, something I can pick up and knit mindlessly when I need some mindless knitting. Just to be contrary and play devils advocate, I also want to knit something intricate and lacy. when sorting out I discovered the Year of Lace 2009 patterns, only one of which I got around to knitting . Now if I can just find the yarn these came with …….

Afternoon Tea Blanket

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

2020 The Year of Blankets & Shawls

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

Working on a PHD or two

In this case my PHD stands for Projects Half Done! I still have a number of sewing projects to be done but I am working slowly but surely on the vibrant sweater by Marie Wallin’s from an issue of Vogue Knitting. I only have the body to knit and am aiming to knit a minimum of two rounds per week. Cosy by Kim Hargeaves is going well and I only have the front to knit. This years Mystery Blanket by Debbie Abrahams has made progress but I started to get a little bored so I have shelved this for the moment and have decided not to knit next years even though I know I will regret it at some point. Although I still have a number of projects on the go I have decided to cast on a pair of socks so that I can knit them at work. That has to be mindless knitting.
The gorgeous Liberty Alice In Wonderland fabric has been made in to a summer dress/tunic ( well some of it ), unfortunately the to do list from my previous list is unchanged. I also have to sew some bunting for my cousins gorgeous son Jacob Oliver . I also need to sew some for my adorable grandaughter,
The craft culling is going well although I am getting into my card making again so I need to be careful I don’t splash out on card stuff. I really need a good day so I can pull out everything from the workshop and sort out my notions.
When my grandson was born I made him some taggies which he never used. They just never appealed to him, his younger sister on the other hand cannot sleep with out one. She only likes one of them, it is in a Rowan fabric nd it is the fabric that she likes. Luckily I still had some of the fabric so for her birthday I made another 5. One for each grandparents house and car and a spare phew