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Quilted beginning of something

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So, again it’s being a while since I blogged.  Dare I say I am back on track and intend to be back on WordPress more often?  I was having a mini cupboard sort out (that’s a mini sort out, not a sort out of a mini cupboard!) and found these little star quilted patches.  I put them together, added the long strips either side then ran out of steam …. I think when I made them (a few years ago now), as well as having a play with fabric and a new craft book, I thought I would make a quilt.  Ha ha ha, say those who know me, rolling their eyes skyward.  Another over ambitious project.  I absolutely love blues and whites together so this time I thought maybe ‘a cushion cover’, then realize i do not have a space in a room where blue and white would be shown off to effect.  I am now thinking of either a knitting needle case, making sure the stars are uppermost so I can see them every time I go into my craft room or maybe a sewing machine cover. I am learning not be over ambitious with my crafting.  I may have many projects but none are large and many are portable. 

In the last month my crocheted granny square blanket has grown, though the aran wool is warm to work with so that has been put aside in favour of a DROPs cotton shrug or wrap – I say either as it is being created as I work on it. For non knitters that may sound weird, but there may be other knitters who will understand!  It began as a tunic top, though working from a girls pattern rather than a ladies, despite sizing it upwards, it has not grown enough and I know it will not fit me as a tunic top.  I love the colours – teal, raspberry and lime green (sounds ghastly, watch this space!) and I will not rip it back, so I shall get to a certain point and decide what it will eventually become. 

I have also nearly finished a fabric summer top.  You see, I have been busy making rather than blogging!  I have also been getting stuck into a new ‘real’ job, travelling up to London three days a week.  I knit or crochet on the train and bus, get a few strange looks along the way, and have only been approached with interest once!  I don’t think there are many fellow travelers around my way who craft or maybe there WIPs are too big to bring along!  Who knows?!Image

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Knit Meter

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Knit Meter.

I like this too! It would make me feel I had accomplished something rather than just have a handful of half finished projects!

Granny Squares is my latest thing …. this week anyway!

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I haven’t blogged for a while… oops …. Life, eh?!   New job and all the stresses so far …

My knitting has come to a halt. My sewing has come to a halt.  I am going great guns with a little crochet at the moment though.  I think it was the need for something portable that fuelled this and last weeks granny square frenzy.  I was wondering just what to take whilst travelling on the bus and train recently.  I have a purple cardigan on knitting pins which kind of called out to me but I decided it was just too bulky to carry every day. I’d gotten to the sewing up stage and I know that is something I can never contemplate whilst travelling!  Sewing is probably the worst part of knitting to me.  I put it off time and time again!

A ‘lifetime’ ago I used to have a daily commute of 90mins and I went through a phase of enjoying hand quilting.  I remember the pile of hexagons in my bag, on my lap, falling on the floor, the hunt for the missing sewing needle ….. I must have been a nightmare fellow traveler but in the bliss of youth didn’t give it a second thought! Then I moved onto knitting (hurrah), resurrecting a craft I had neglected for years.  It was so fab for me – all that time just sitting in one place – happily knitting away – chatting to friends around me (I was one of those who commuted the same long distance regularly, collecting fellow commuters as friends along the way – oh it was a ball some mornings! I even gained a boyfriend on this journey, years before I was married of course!  He and hubby are not one and the same, thank goodness.)   The knitting was definitely more successful, though the occasional dropped knitting needle was a real ache!  Of course, the days the needles went were those when I was sat next to strangers, those usually grumpy middle aged men in suits who were not impressed to be asked to stand up whilst I rooted inbetween our seat cushions!  As I said, I was probably not a great fellow passenger then but didn’t realize it.  I apologise if you were one of those asked to move on the 06.37 Hastings to Cannon Street train in the early 1990’s.

So, recent train journeys are much shorter and so far I have not made ‘friends’ with others, but I have noticed some surreptitious glances my way – whether this is wonder or horror at what I am doing I have yet to work out.  Sharing this with my teenage son he reckons it was horror, but then he reckons his mum is just not ‘normal’, ha ha.  I shall not change who I am, I love living in a woolly place and to sit idle is just not ‘me’.

A pile of granny squares in the pic … this is just the beginning.

Wanted: lost mojo

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So been there too! Thank goodness we know our mojo for knitting WILL return. I read a couple of books instead recently, really enjoyed complete escapism. Your first/next problem will be just what to make first. Good luck!

IntrovertedKnitter

So the sad fact is there has been hardly any knitting going on here at the home of your local Introverted Knitter. Well technically that isn’t true, the knitting that has happened hasn’t actually happened at my place. My favorite knitting group got together about a week ago and I managed to crank out a few rows on the bachtus shawl (which is still missing photos.) I don’t know if it is because I am feeling so burnt out after work or if it is because all of my knitting seems like crap right now, but for some reason I just have no real desire to pick up the needles.

I have experienced a lack of interest in knitting before, so I know it will pass. Perhaps I just need to cast on something knew, maybe stash diving is in order? Do you have any ideas of unbelievable patterns that I…

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The latticework cowl

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I like this cowl.

Kiwiyarns Knits

Today, I’m delighted to release the pattern for the Latticework Cowl.

Latticework in Maniototo Wool

This cowl was knitted in the round from just less than one skein of Maniototo Wool in the Tussock colourway.  The yarn shows up the latticework cables beautifully – you can see the latticework fencing inspiration for this design in the background.

The design can be worn two ways – turned down for those warmer days when you prefer a bit of air around the neck, and full length, when insulation against the wind and cold are a premium consideration!

Latticework cowl turned down

The cowl takes around 180m of worsted weight/aran/10 ply yarn.  It’s a great stash buster, taking only one 100g skein of yarn and (I hope you agree) it’s a stylish addition to the winter wardrobe.  I’ve been wearing mine this week now that the weather has finally turned – and feeling rather grand!

Thanks again to the eldest boy for the photographs.

Here’s…

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Getting on with a WIP

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A new summer top on the pins has stalled as my attention has been taken over by my return to one of last year’s spring/summer WIPs.  For the first time in ages I have actually enjoyed returning to a project !  Over the last week I have knitted a whole sleeve, started another and finished a front piece of this cardigan (which actually if you can work it out, though I shall say it here, I had the back, one front piece and three quarters of a second front piece knitted.) Usually my WIPS remain WIPS for much longer – this one is less than a year old – Hurrah!  You never know I might actually finish this time.  I am working to time, there is a date I need to wear this top! There were three main problems before – one, the season changed and I realized I wouldn’t need to wear it for a while, two, the DK yarn seemed more like 4ply so wasn’t growing quickly enough, and three, there is so much temptation in the yarn and patterns I see wherever I go that I just itch to start new projects all the time.  I suppose one less issue is that I no longer work in an environment surrounded by temptation.  I no longer work in the yarn store, so ideas for my next project, and so on, are not thrust right under my nose.  This could be good for me – it definitely is budget-wise – and one day I may (I say ‘may’ loosely) see the bottom of my stash, though I doubt it as there will always be some yarn in there I just don’t fancy.  Maybe I shall even end up gifting a little of that yarn one day, indeed why do we all keep so much stuff?  I know I am not alone here. 

Just for a knitting pic here I have added a little photo of a baby top recently completed.  I love seeing a pic on blog posts – hope you do.

One person’s knitting history and the best thing hint to pass on

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I was thinking today of all the knitting I have learned to master over the last ‘beep’ years.  I say ‘beep’ because when I add up all the years of knitting I sound much older than the years I actually am in my head!  My first memory of holding my own knitting sticks must have been when I was less than five years old, sitting with my mum, clicking a pair of yellow plastic stemmed knitting needles together the same way my mum seemed to be doing.  I really thought I was knitting as I was making the same noise, albeit without any yarn but I don’t remember being disappointed that I had nothing to show for it.  Today I rediscovered those yellow plastic knitting needles! The first true memory of knitting something recognizable was when I was in the second year infants, Year 2 to today’s kids, when Mrs Ralph (I remember she was a very rotund, mumsy teacher!) helped us to knit our own garter stitch teddy bear.  I wish I still had him to giggle at!  So you could say I started very young but I didn’t knit continuously. In my early teens it became quite fashionable to knit with one huge needle and one standard size with mohair mix yarns.  My best friend and I could knit a short jumper over a weekend.  We thought we were the bees knees creating marvellous lacy tops in fluffy multicolours.  Then as the mid 1980’s arrived knitting took a nose dive and our eagerness with it did. We discovered boys and discos!

That pause in knitting lasted for about 15 years, resurrecting when friends starting producing offspring and I could knock out fairly simple first size cardigans and impress them with baby gifts.  Then when I had my own son I enjoyed showing him off in handknits made by my mum, my Nan and by myself and knitting really came into it’s own again in our house. My husband wasn’t impressed with his son in cardigans, but he got over it once he heard others coo-ing our boy in his beautiful outfits and them telling him he was so lucky to have a talented wife! 

I have never knitted as much as I have for the last five years.  I knit almost every day.  I have too many projects to own up to and keep telling myself to finish one item before I start another.  There is a lot of temptation out there to start something new and sometimes the yarn just leaps out of the shop or out of the webpage and says ‘please buy me’.  Patterns, that’s another thing, I have to have a selection to choose from, don’t I?  That’s what I keep telling myself when I accidently buy another pattern book.  I know I shall never do every item in every book, or indeed every item on every single pattern, but a lady likes choice.

I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in a knitting store too.  That was fun!  Wow, put a knitter in a knitting store – it’s like an alcoholic working in an off licence!  Much of my stash has been from that era.  I will use it all up one day, maybe, or maybe not …….  Watch this space.

www.deramores.com/blog-awards: This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies.