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
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.
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
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.
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.
Today I am in the strange position of not having anything on the needles. The cove cardigan pictured below is finally finished,its more of a coat than a cardigan and I have 3 or 4 blankets to finish, but there are no squares on the needles so it is just weird. I really want to start a new project, but, as usual there aren’t any patterns in my vast library that jump out and say knit me. Well that’s not strictly true. I have grabbed a few balls from the stash I want to use these and it is for these yarns I can’t find the “knit me” pattern. I don’t want to knit a pattern I have knitted previously, I want to knit a new one. I keep going back to a new one I would need to buy, but why, why, why does this always happen when you have shelves full of patterns ?
I am currently knitting two projects (not including those in the UFO pile), my Cove Cardigan, which has been on the needles far too long and a Slip stitch scarf. They are very different project with yarns of completely different weights and fibres. I knitted both this evening and whilst I enjoyed both, a realisation came to me. A light bulb moment if you like. I knit them in a different way. The cove Cardigan, I enjoy the first few rows and then whilst I still enjoy knitting it , it is more about getting finished and becomes a bit of a chore. The slip stitch scarf is a a soothing pattern to knit, I’m not sure if it’s the simpleness of the pattern or the yarn- Manos De Uruguay Nanu- or the thin needles. The slip stitch scarf is so relaxing and enjoyable to knit, I am definitely knitting this one for pleasure . My only concern is how long the yarn will last.
It’s funny how different projects give you different experiences, both have wonderful yarns. For the Cove cardigan I am using the sadly discontinued Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky in a gorgeous undyed Shetland colour. The slip stitch scarf is knitted in a silk, merino bamboo blend. It is deliciously soft and smooth. I am using a mid grey and deep blue. This pattern could be the one to use up all those skeins of sock yarn.
I thought I would take part in this years Ravellenics. For those of you not in the know, Ravellenics is a knitting competition on the fabulous Ravelry. timed to tie in with the Olympic games. We cast on during the opening ceremony and finish before the end of the closing one. There are numerous events for us to take part in and laurels to be won. These include WIP Wrestling, Scarf Hockey and Bag Backstroke, full list below with how many competing in each category. For each event we wish to enter we set up a project page with tags for the relevant event. I am in Team Tea Yarn 2016
In my moment of madness I have entered 5 projects for events. I have entered 2 in the mitten medley, 1 in WIP wrestling , 1 in Sock Put and 1 in Scarf Hockey. What was I thinking? I was thinking, that this is the incentive I need to get more of my stash knitted up. Four of the projects are from stash , so this is a bit of a result. Most of the projects were cast on last night and I have made great progress on Breamish for my grandson.
The other projects I plan on knitting are Zauberlehring a nice easy scarf to do whenever I have time but can’t concentrate on something more difficult, Daughter of Eve fingerless mitts and Back hand Hitch fingerless mittens for Harry or Evalyn as I can’t decide on which yarn to use. The final project I entered was this years Mystery Blanket from Debbie Abrahams. I am behind with my squares so I have set myself the target to finish the ones up to August as well. I made my self a chart so I can track how much I have do and how much I have done.
I am really looking forward to all this knitting , once it’s all done I can get back to some sewing.
It’s that time time of year when one has to start making lists. One almost has to write a list of the lists one has to write.
This year hasn’t quite got to that stage yet but so far we have the Christmas card list and the Christmas present list. It’s too early for the Christmas food list. I also have these sewing to do list and the knitting to do list, I had got to the stage where I only had one knitting project on the go but that has gone by the wayside. On my needles at the moment are:
1-Vibrant Sweater from Vogue Knitting, I am onto the body,
2-Hogwarts Express a small shawl in worsted weight yarn
3- Lille a cardigan in 4 ply for Evalyn
4- Mystery Blanket 2014 , this strictly speaking is in hibernation but I do need to start knitting it for Evalyn.
I have written another two hat patterns Harry and Nick so have been test knitting these. I am pleased with the results.
Now we come to the sewing projects. I am so very far behind with these as I just do not have any free time to sew at the minute. The knitting gets done because it’s portable and I can knit whilst travelling.
1-numerous project pouches which are the most important to get done.
2- 2 dresses for Evalyn
3- Advent calendar for Harry and Evalyn
4- stocking for Evalyn
5-tulip dress for me
6-vintage top for me
7-sew buttons on a coat
8-shorten sleeves on a top
9-2 pairs of PJs
All of these are cut out or part sewn and need to be finished. The pouches are the most important but I may need to finish the two dresses for Evalyn before she outgrows them