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How long is ‘long enough’?

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Or how long is ‘to the desired length’. I am talking knitting terms here. I am deliberating with myself. I am currently knitting a pattern called Spring Roll, by Annie Baker. The pattern recommends knitting with a particular cotton double knit yarn. Instead, I used yarn from my stash, a gorgeous Louisa Harding, Orielle which is mostly alpaca and knits more like a sport weight even on 4mm needles. Hopefully knitters reading this will understand the jargon. If not, you may learn something or move onto another blog post by someone else!

So it needs to drape artistically (!). Currently it’s 113cm at it’s longest point. If I’d gone with the suggested yarn I’d have needed 600m. I have about 550m. I am deciding whether to just keep going or whether I just won’t like it if it’s too short. Kind of playing yarn chicken, or just chicken. Do I continue or will it just not cut the mustard if it’s too short to be effective?

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Finished at last

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Ta dah! My little lacy number is finally off the knitting sticks. It’s sewn up and the buttons are on – it’s no longer a work in progress! Adapted from a 1980’s waistcoat pattern, using Paintbox Cotton DK. I shall wear it as a layer over a summer dress or two. In the UK you never know when you need an extra layer. Can you hear a sigh of relief that I never have to rip this one back again and reknit it? !

RIP, Knit, RIP, Knit, progress. Meanwhile, envying others beautiful crafts.

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My last blog post was about progress and deciding to tackle another WIP. I put aside a pale green scarf and picked up a half-done cotton summer top.

My boy, Mercury watched me as I ripped back. No matter what I do to the camera settings he is so difficult to photograph, being black (with the odd white fleck peeping up as he’s 12 now) he always seems camouflaged. Armed with coffee in one of my ‘knitty’ mugs I was ready to go. This mug was a lovely present from my long suffering husband, you can find them here https://www.dearewe.com/

So, I ripped back, knit, undid a few rows, found a fault, knitted again, found a dropped stitch, couldn’t pick it up, ripped back, continued (you get the idea!). Then yesterday I finally started sewing up and I am now on the home stretch. I am feeling rather proud this WIP has finally progressed but am frustrated this fairly easy knit nearly beat me, probably as I didn’t follow the pattern exactly, changed stitch count and sizing along the way.

Over the last couple of weeks I also thought about my fabric WIPs, none of which are top of the pile to revisit. Mine will be nothing as gorgeous of these, but wanted to share here to help inspire others. This first one is hanging in our local library. It is a work by Orpington Quilters Group. Beautiful, isn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t hung well, I couldn’t get a better photo of the whole quilt.

This fantastic one was made by a friend at my knitting group. It is her very first foray into quilting, techniques learnt at a Beginner’s quilting group. Despite (again) my photography skills I hope you think it’s fantastic too. Anne, beginner quilter extraordinaire you have definitely inspired me to do better and in particular try the quilt as you go method. I was wondering how I was ever going to tackle the length and breadth of one of my half done quilts!

Knitting progress over a busy weekend

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Another hectic weekend just done and dusted. There were several hours of gardening and today I ache practically all over! We visited the mother in law too which is exhausting in other ways but I still managed to get a bit of knitting done. A few rows on a car journey and a big stretch one evening. There would be more but it’ been ripped back twice after discovering extra yarn overs in places there shouldn’t have been.

Knitting is my reward – this time making the weekend better after having to do chores. There has been a lot written about the therapy of knitting. Your brain is made to work in different ways, one way to work out a pattern, another to count, it is tactile, physically feeling the yarn feeding through your fingers, hopefully enjoying seeing the colour and shape of what you are uniquely making, to calm you without distraction, to switch off from the thrusts of today’s modern living. All these have been described as being ‘mindful’ or ways of ‘mindfulness’. I subscribe to all these and add ‘to teach you patience’. You sure have to be patient when ripping and reknitting!

I often throw down WIPs in frustration if they go wrong. I have been known to hide them from myself for days, years even. Today I shall revisit at least one and see if I can make progress on it. I will be working two projects together, not giving up on one nor the other.

What’s been the progress in your world, crafty or otherwise?

Bluebells, Lilacs and Knitting

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Spring has sprung and ‘my’ world is full of new blues and greens. I leave a patch of my garden here in the UK wild. Nature takes over, bluebells pop up – this year they are glorious.

Lilacs have arrived too. In Sussex my German sister in law has snipped off a few to adorn her dining table. They are so beautiful. This lilac bush was just a twig from Germany a few years ago and this is the first year there are blooms to enjoy.

I have just returned from a few days in France and lilacs are in my garden there as well. I only wish you could smell their wonderful scent.

And a little knitting for the journey to France. I switched between this new pale green wrap and another white lacy top currently being worked on. You could say is was a ‘mystery’ knit. I printed off a pattern before I left but the printer ran out of ink so I had the instructions but not the photos. It’s called Spring Roll by Anne Baker. It even has ‘Spring’ in it’s name! So there’s a little bit of my Spring. I hope you enjoy the views.

A Knit WIP no more

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This sparkly little toddler bolero was started in March and finished in April – that’s almost a record for me! I actually knitted the pieces quickly (it is a simple pattern and oh how I love making short sleeves!) but I procrastinated over the sewing up and as usual other projects popped up. Unfortunately this is not a great photo – snapped in haste before it went off to it’s new home.

So that’s one less WIP in my pile! Yay! Tomorrow it’s back to reviewing another WIP before I knit or sew other ‘stuff’!

Patchwork pit stop, knits on hold briefly

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I have taken a little break this week from lacy knitting and ‘rediscovered’ an ongoing patchwork project which I have been dipping in and out of for about eight or nine years! This started off in my head as a cushion but I actually love making these these carded hexagons (reminds me of my grandmother teaching me how), so it’s progressed to a sofa throw and is now to become a bed throw, though it will be a while before it is finished and that’s totally ok for me. I like organic crafts and a change is as good as a rest. It uses mostly fabric from my stash with a little added here and there. I am sure I will be back to knitting soon.

Tacking card onto a few hexies! This is something I can easily do away from home, no fiddly sewing.
A larger pile of hexagons starts to turn into four rounds of stitched together hexies.
A few sets of four rounds that will become part of the bed throw. The colours are autumnal. The prints are flora and fauna. I still debate with myself what colour will join them altogether – possibly a deep shade of brown – still looking into that for the future (for fabric knowers, Moda plains are a-calling to me!)

I visited a friend’s mother yesterday. She has been stitching for most of her 75 years. I envy her houseful of patchwork throws and cushions. She even has one that was her own mother’s. Maybe one day someone might envy my own houseful of handicrafts. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?