Starting the cables!

Following on from last week’s post I decided to start working on the cabled cushion cover.

First I made a sample swatch. SampleFor the first part I cast on 20 stitches to check the tension. As usual, I discovered that I knit to the right tension using the needle size recommended.

I then worked a few rows of the simple braid, to check I could do it.

Then I cast on an extra four stitches at each end to give 28 stitches so I could practice the more complicated part of the pattern which is charted over 24 stitches. (Two stocking stitches added at each end).

I was fine until about row 6/7 when I found I made mistakes and dropped a couple of stitches. (Not helped by using a too short (for me) cable needle so the stitches kept slipping off!)

Eventually I got this bit correct (or almost) after undoing a couple of rows twice!

This exercise was actually very useful as by the end I was beginning to understand the charts and to realise that the surface was either stocking stitch or reverse stocking stitch so if the stitches I needed for the next cable bit looked wrong it probably meant I wasn’t where I thought I was!

corrected one repeat
Replacement photograph!

Thus I found that I have managed to knit the first sixteen rows of the main chart, which is the repeat, and it looks okay and wasn’t as hard as I thought! I might even be able to do it in company! (I found my longer cable needles, though I seem to have mislaid the thicker one half way through!)

One repeat of cable patternHaving written the above and knitted another couple of rows I realised that I had made a mistake on the left-hand simple braid and so I had to undo a few rows. the mistake had been on row 14 of a 16 repeat so more undoing than I would have liked! You can see the mistake if you click on the thumbnail on the left!!

I  think I need about five more of the above for the full cover.

Interestingly, I am finding that my reduced energy levels and emphasis on looking after myself means that instead of the normal sense of pressure to knit or crochet all evening so as to complete the latest project and get onto the next one and thus have something for the blog, I am sometimes actually watching TV with no knitting and just pick it up when I feel in the mood. In fact I am probably watching more TV without knitting than with. I think I like this more relaxed approach.

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Just a bit of a catch up

Started into the chemo last week. I found the most tiring aspect was not, as yet, a side effect but having to make sure that I did not encounter cold: objects, food, drink or air. At least this only applies for the first few days so should wear off soon! However having to boil a kettle every time you want a drink, even just to take a few pills (and there have been lots of pills!) is a bit if a pain and gets wearing.

All this has made me think more of just resting in between, not even done much sock knitting (except when hospital appointment was delayed by an hour and a half!)

Also my daughter came to stay for a couple nights and we had a lovely day on Saturday, visiting the Sea City Museum in the morning, then going to a Greek restaurant for a late lunch followed by home by teatime for a restful evening.

I did think however that I could share with you the next knitting project on my list that I am a little afraid to start in case a make a mess of it.

If you remember this recent crochet that I was going to use as a cushion cover. cushion coverWell the big question was what to do for the other side.

In the end I thought of this cardigan cardiganThat was meant to wear over summer t-shirts but makes my arms itch. Now I have quite a lot of  wool over which is obviously not very suitable for clothing and decided that maybe I could use the wool for the reverse of the cushion and knit a Celtic style cable square. This would give me an opportunity to learn more about cable knitting as so far my only attempt was the collar of this jumper. 

I found a pattern for a celtic style pattern I liked but the chart looks a bit daunting! chartThere is also all the swatching and counting to get the piece the right size. But maybe I might start it soon, with socks for when I go out and this at home.

Update with flowers and bread!

I still haven’t felt inspired to do any more than work on my sock(s). Though I have got beyond the heel now! sock latest

I would have got a bit further but when I had got about this far I realised that I had dropped a stitch a couple of rows after finishing the heel and the only safe way to sort the problem was to undo back to that point stitch by stitch!

Not much to show, so I thought I would share a few more of the highlights of my week with you.

Now a few weeks ago when my daughter came down she brought me a bunch of flowers. At the time I was still pretty weary and my granddaughter kindly put them in a vase for me. The flowers lasted well and when they were all gone I rather fancied buying some more but I have been shopping with a back pack lately and flowers would suffer in a back pack.

But then on Tuesday my brother came to visit me and brought lots of flowers! This time I felt up to arranging them myself, not that I have any special skill at this, but they looked so lovely in the vases that I decided to take some photographs.

I don’t have an ideal place to take photographs and by now it was the evening, so don’t expect something exceptional.

First I took some pictures on the dining table.

There were enough flowers for two vases!flowersand similar flowers to the above with roses and ?. flowersThe roses are much redder than this but, as someone very colour conscious, I frequently bemoan the ability of cameras to capture colours accurately.

I then took the flowers upstairs to the study to take against a more neutral background but this was taken at ISA 800 by artificial light so I adjusted the colours a bit to restore a green tone to the walls! flowersand flowersThe flowers were much more open on Friday so I took a picture of the first vase from above. flowersThe other flowers didn’t make an attractive picture from above so I just photographed one of the roses. roseI was also making some more bread: a white loaf this time, so I photographed that. bread

My latest project.

I have finally decided what to make to get back to crafting – socks!

I chose socks because apart from the toes and heels they are just so easy, perfect for ‘Crafty Coffee’ mornings, watching TV and totally not stressful or challenging. I don’t feel up to challenging!

So what socks?

Years ago when I was wanting to make the first pair of socks for myself, I fell in love with some really soft looking sock wool called Mini Mochi and bought enough to knit two pairs of socks. Now my favourite of course was the darker rainbow one but I didn’t want to risk making a mess of knitting it up, so I used the pale rainbow one for that first pair. Now the socks are indeed the loveliest softest socks imaginable and still are, but they do lose their looks a bit when you wash them. As you can see in the above picture. (several years later).

I hand washed them at first but found that they were no worse for being tossed in the machine. (Maybe this is a comment on my hand-washing abilities!)

After this I tried out lots of different types of sock wool (again as you can see in the above picture) but was sort of saving the darker rainbow wool for when the light ones wore out.

Well they haven’t worn out but I can see that the area around the heel is getting a bit thin and I wanted something really soothing and delightful to knit so I decided that now was the time.

The wool I am using now does seem more even in thickness than the earlier ones but maybe I am just not remembering very well.

I wasn’t aiming to make matching socks so I just picked up a ball and started with the end of the yarn – a dark orange. Starting with orangeWith a short row toe this is the underside of the sock.

I am almost back to the orange! I love the way the colours change!

My latest make

Unfortunately, I am feeling less well than I did last Monday but I still felt that I wanted to share what I had intended for today.

The only creative thing that I have completed since I have been ill is a pair of socks for my younger daughter’s birthday.

I had finished the first sock and was about a third through the second when I went into hospital. I thought at that point I had plenty of time to complete the pair but in the event it was a bit of a struggle to finish them off just in time to put in the post. socksThe yarn was Regia Galaxy. An interesting pattern in the colours I thought!

Two hats and a dishcloth

I have been feeling a little out of sorts lately, not sure which project to start next, so when I heard that the Apostleship of the Sea wanted hats (among other things) as Christmas presents for seamen, I decided to make one.

I found a pattern suggested by the Apostleship of the Sea in a different area which said that aran weight was best. Now I have quite a bit of yarn left over from making thisbed jacket because I adapted a pattern with three quarter length sleeves and a fitted body and so had to guess the amount of yarn to buy and I over-estimated.

The yarn is a lovely soft 100% merino wool so should be great for keeping seamen’s heads warm on chilly days.

I had enough to make two hats and here they are. I don’t feel the sewing up of the seam is perfect but it won’t show too much if worn round the back.

Another thing that I have made recently is a new dishcloth, as I reported I would be doing when I showed you this yarn. yarn

This time I made it bigger than last time, using 40 trebles across. dishcloth I used the same two rows of three border from my book as before although I chose it independently! Dishcloth foldedBecause it is bigger than before it does take longer to dry but I like it in use.

What was I doing on Saturday?

I met up with my eldest and family and had a couple of meals and had fun in an Escape Room. After we escaped!

Although this is not my photograph and therefore I do not own the copyright I am sure the Escape Plan guy won’t mind as this can be considered  an advert. He was keen on us passing on the word.

The Escape Room is located in SE London in Iliffe Yard.

We had great fun. We had been there previously for a Second World War prisoner themed escape and this one if anything was even more fun.

If you are interested in learning more here is a link – https://escapeplanltd.com/ Highly recommended.

I also took with me the socks I had made for my granddaughter (which I have shown you previously). socksand the hat I made for my daughter. hatMy camera really didn’t like this yarn. The colour is much more of a vibrant peacock blue. Imagine the above but brighter and a little darker. The above has been edited by me for colour but nothing I could do would get it the correct shade.

Here is another photograph of the hat standing up. hat in the roundIt is alpaca and merino wool, wonderfully soft.

The pattern for the hat came from Debbie Bliss and here is a closer look at the stitches. knitting stitchesThe hat was very popular and my daughter put it on immediately!

A Foray into Planned Pooling!

A long time ago I made a cowl for someone who wanted one the same as the one I was wearing at the time. I couldn’t get exactly the same yarn but I bought something similar and proceeded to knit it.  (The yarn was a multi-colour, random sort of yarn.)

However it came out with stripes in some places. stripey partI quite liked the stripes but didn’t seem able to reproduce them further up, though you can see a narrow band that gets a bit stripey.Cowl almost finishedso I contented myself with the fact that this part wouldn’t not show when it was worn, but it puzzled me.

Recently on a Ravelry Forum, there was a thread about planned pooling and I mentioned this item and asked whether it was a change in tension or a change in the way the yarn was dyed that caused the difference. The person who responded said she thought it was a matter of my changing my tension. It is an unusual stitch and so although my tension was good enough it may have varied.

Now I had half a ball of the yarn left in my “stash”,

I therefore decided to try knitting the yarn so as to create stripes and see what happened.

The colours seemed to repeat about every 120 stitches. At first I cast on with the yarn but then decided that I probably used a slightly different amount of yarn casting on, so cast on in white then knitted until the colour change. It was obvious that the colours would need to be knitted in the round to get the repeats to line up.

And I produced this. Yarn knitted upI read about the fact that to get things perfect you might have to adjust your tension, and I did this a bit in the early stages but soon realised that the sections of the different colours would move out of sync and then back again if I kept my tension even. Showing colour slippageAs you can see here the colours were quite a bit off but then regrouped when I came round again.

The yarn has obviously been dyed to make a variety in the length of the different colours but not enough to lose all regularity.

I also decided that I had been right when I though that the colours might have repeated at half the width. one side of knitted circle

As you can see when you compare the one side to the other half.
other half of knitted cirle I can now see that there is even an amount of left right symmetry so it might have been possible to knit the yarn flat as well.

So the question is shall I try to make something that uses this effect?

At this width it could maybe be a cowl but I have lots of scarves and cowl type things so I wondered about undoing it and halving the number of stitches to make it into a project bag.

I also thought of seeing what would happen if I chose to crochet the yarn.

So you may be hearing more about this in future.

If I want to do the sort of precision planned pooling I have seen though, I would have to choose a different yarn.

For interest my original cowl came out like this.

My cowl when originally made
The new and the old

But the matching fingerless gloves (that turn into mittens), I made for Friday food shopping when it was raining, do have the colours bunching a bit.matching fingerless/mitten glovesThe idea was to be able to keep my gloves on in the greengrocers, while having my fingers covered when out in the cold and wet.

Socks and a Blanket

This is all I have for you this morning, I am afraid.

Still doing less knitting and crochet than normal but have managed to do the small amount of knitting and crochet to finish the socks for my granddaughter and complete the main body of my Symmetrical Granny Ripple blanket.

I am going to add the pattern for the blanket to Ravelry when I have finished it but am not sure what to call it. My original Granny Ripple blanket is called “Soft Granny Ripple” though that name was not chosen by me but the lady who persuaded me to let her put it on Ravelry.

So here are the sock for my granddaughter. Short ones, as requested. socksThe yarn is Regia (One of my favourite makes of sock yarn). Nothing much on the ball band. Colour 0525 which I have found on-line called Papillion. I think I must have picked it up in Hobbycraft as my other sock yarns seemed a bit dingy for a teenager.

And here is the body of my “sea and sand” colour blanket body of blanketbased on the four times fourteen rows that form almost half of the blanket I made for my daughter. Completed sea and sand blanket

Stylecraft Special DK in the following fourteen colours:-

White, silver, parchment, camel, mocha, turquoise, sherbet, aspen, teal, royal, bluebell, denim, aster, cloud blue.

selection of yarnsAs with my other sea and sand blanket, I am not going to fill in the ripples, but have not finally decided on the edging.

Published Angel pattern

Pattern on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/three-small-angels

Even though the opinions given were that the angel didn’t need arms, I couldn’t resist trying out what arms would look like.

First I just made a more colourful one. Then I decided I would try adding arms. And rather liked it.

So I decided to create a pattern with both angels I showed you plus the coloured one with arms as an option.

I took the first two angels to Crafty Coffee on Friday – well at least I can still drink coffee! – and I wanted to see if they liked the pattern. They did – Yay! so I gave them a free two angel one to use as they wish for their project and have published the full set as “Three Small Angels” on Ravelry. 

I was making a version of the third one in different colours but with my arm out of action. I have decided I can always add that as a photograph at a later date.