Photo Challenge – Orderly

This is a photograph from when I had just bought my merchant’s chest. With time, I now have even more varieties of cotton thread and so although they are still arranged into bags of the same sort , they are no longer so ‘orderly’.

Similarly the draw with Stylecraft yarn in it, Not so good for this post because of the knitting needle case, now with balls of all sorts of different sizes, is much harder to keep in such a nice orderly fashion.

I expect you can see that I like to arrange balls in a rainbow order zig-zag.

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July Montage

In July I only offered two photographs for the Photo Challenge: Pair and Waste. None of the topics seemed particularly easy this month. I did also share some photographs of the  guest house and a few flowers from my Dorchester trip.

July montageOtherwise I shared a lot of crochet but no knitting. Not that I have been doing no knitting this months as I have in fact been making a pair of socks for my granddaughter.

I showed you the tiny pot holder I made for fun and the little case I made for a GPS dongle. I also showed you my attempts at devising a Celtic hot pad and my improved Celtic bookmark. I bought some new yarn from some of which I made the Celtic Coaster style hot pad and the inner of the bookmark.

Thinking of hot pads

One of the early people who bought my Celtic Coasters pattern asked me for some ideas of how I might use the pattern to make a hot pad. At the time I suggested a few ideas based on my recent work on expanding the coaster into a table mat. However when I recently had an idea for another Celtic design, that I knew would be bigger than a coaster made in my usual cotton yarn, once again I began thinking ‘hot pad’!

I wanted to try the new design in ‘chunky’ yarn and wondered if the DMC XL cotton could be the right thickness. The recommended hook size appeared to be 6-7mm and I had a 6.5mm that I had inherited from my mother so it seemed worth a try.

When I went to Winchester, the first shop I visited, because it was near the bus station, didn’t have the DMC but they did have the Patons yarn in the photograph. which had a recommended hook size of 6-7mm and was at a reduced price so I decided to buy a couple of balls in my favourite colours.

I found the DMC yarn in the second shop, though they only sold it in very pale, neutral, sort of colours. At least this was blue even though very pale.

It is worth noting that neither yarn describes itself as either chunky or super chunky on the label.

So I came home, got out my hook, and crocheted a strip of trebles in both yarn. It was obvious at this point that there was a great difference in the thickness of the two yarns. A difference I had already suspected.

It became obvious to me that. whereas the Patons was probably about a chunky weight. the DMC was much more of a super chunky.

So I wondered what would happen if I made one of my original coasters in the DMC. Of course I only had the one colour but I though that I would give it  a go and produced this. As a comparison here is the coaster style hot pad compared to a wooden mat I use on my dining table for extra heat resistance and a trivet that I use on the worktops for saucepans. The mat is about 7 inches and the new hot pad about 6 inches.

I actually think that this is a better solution to the “how do I use the coaster pattern for a hot pad?” question as it produces a much thicker pad.

The Patons is not 100% cotton so not really the best thing to use for a hot pad so in the end I decided to make my new design in my current DK weight cotton and see how it would look. Hot padI was really quite pleased with it, though I would change the starting point for the main strips. (Not that it matters really!!)

I think that if made in chunky weight cotton it would come out about 8 inches across.

So the question is: do I buy some chunky weight cotton in five different colours and make one? Especially as I don’t even use my trivets very much. I tend to put hot saucepans on my chopping board, a ring on the cooker that is off or my steel draining rack.

The only snag I found with the ‘coaster’ in the DMC cotton XL was that it took just over half a ball; otherwise I could have used up the rest by making another one!!

 

Another small make and some new yarn

When I bought a map of part of Dorset for my visit to Dorchester I was pleased to find this Sign on OS mapon the outside of the map.

I already have Here maps and Google maps on my phone and they are very useful when I am in a town but they are a bit lacking in the middle of the countryside so this could be a useful addition.

Unfortunately I discovered that the OS app only works on iOS and Android but at least I have an Android tablet and it does have the benefit of a larger screen.

I discovered that the app would allow me to find my position through Wi-Fi on my tablet but it was fairly obvious that it did not have gps which was not so good.

When I got home I tried to work out how to link my phone which has gps to the tablet which doesn’t. The only option when out and about was to link the Wi-Fi on the phone to the tablet which was at least possible as long as I had paid for Wi-Fi on the phone and had a phone signal.

But then my son bought me one of these! GPS dongleAs long as you are outside it connects fairly quickly.

So all I needed now was a way to carry it about with me safely.

I had made a case for my tablet when I first got it. tablet caseAnd the obvious thing was to attach something to it.

After some thought I made this: GPS dongle and piece of crochet

which I turned into this: device in case

which held the GPS device securely. case closed

and which I then attached to the orignal tablet case. new case attached to original

I have also bought a copy of the New Forest map with a mobile download and there is one from my Winchester map so I am all ready to try it out on my next walk in the countryside.

Now the yarn

Last Thursday I went to Winchester shopping to buy yarn and came back with this.new yarnsIt all came from the same shop except the DMC Natura XL.

I had hoped to buy some #20 crochet cotton in at least white or cream as I had practically used up all of the small ball of white that I had. The shop had obviously decided to stop stocking the Anchor thread  😦 but at least I managed to get large balls of white and cream (#20 Aida) and a large ball of beige (#10 Aida) and two small balls of white and cream (#10 Artiste) cotton as a job lot for £3. Since one of the large #20 balls would have set me back about £3 getting all that for the same price was a good bargain.

One thing I knew the shop had was the Beachcomber yarn on the right.

I had made a dishcloth in some of this cotton a while ago dishclothand found that it soaked up water and wrung out much better than one made with standard dishcloth cotton. The dishcloth took over half a ball so I did not have enough to make another and although it works better that the normal dishcloth cotton it is als0 let durable and so now had a big hole in it.

The shop was selling the cotton at a reduced price so I decided to buy two balls. So with what was left over from the original I should have enough for thee or four new ones.

The other cotton was bought with an eye to another project which I will tell you more about next week.

 

October Montage

This month I have shown you a variety of things.

There has been a bit of crochet and I have shown you my blanket at two different stages and a crochet celtic knot style napkin ring. I also revealed my finished knitted waistcoat.October montageI have aquired two new lots of yarn this month; one of which was a giveaway prize. And lastly, but definitely not least, I have shared lots of photographs from my ‘Danube Adventure’. These have covered the ship, Esztergom, Bratislava and Dürnstein.

Even more yarn!

A little while ago I went in for Angela of http://wishiwerestitching.sg ‘s giveaway for some fascinating yarn and ‘I WON!’

It came yesterday and I took some quick photographs as I excitedly opened the parcel.

ParcelAll those pretty stamps!

And inside pretty too! Inside parcelEven some ‘almost rainbow’ tape. Almost rainbow tapeI say ‘almost rainbow’ because they have left out yellow and put in pink! [Lots of people don’t seem to realise that pink is not part of a rainbow.] But such lovely sticky tape.

As well as the yarn there was this crochet hook. Crochet hookA comfort one and in a new size. Will be great to try it out. So generous!

And lastly, the yarn. YarnHave yet to work out the details of hook/needle to use etc. as much of the writing is in Japanese.

But it is beautiful yarn. Close up of yarnShiny with little specs of colour.

Angela made socks with it but I feel maybe I should use it for something to really show it off, maybe a summer scarf. I think knitting may be a better choice than crochet but maybe I should experiment with the little extra ball.

And if you wanted to buy some Angela has it for sale here – http://wishiwerestitching.tictail.com/product/lithos-hamanaka in eight different shades!

Purchase for a new project!

I have just bought some more wool.

Well when you know what you want for a project and you find it is on sale at a reduced price; what do you do?

It came as a big squashy package. Squashy parcelInside 20 balls! Yes 20. Balls of yarnThis is the same yarn as one of those I was using for my waistcoatYarn for waiscoatand in the same colour too.

It is a lovely smooth soft wool. Ideal for what I want to make. I wasn’t sure about the colour but from buying this colour I knew that they look much more vibrant on the screen and I didn’t want anything too dull, so this seemed a good choice.

So what am I making?

Well years ago when I was a size 12, I bought this fleecy jumper. Fleecy topIt was a size 14/16 but I liked the style and I liked the colour, it was only £5 and this was the only size they had. It was lovely and roomy and comfortable to wear and it still is even though I am now size 14/16!

When it got a bit shabby it was relegated to being a housework jumper and more recently I have started wearing it as a bed jacket when I sit up in bed and read.

So the idea is to knit myself a bed jacket in a similar size and style. I have been looking for a suitable pattern for a while and then recently I found this one on  Ravelry – Amused by Jordana Paige

It has cables! so that could be a good challenge and it is top down, no seams! so that should be good too.

Having made the Miette cardigan and the waistcoat and found both of them fairly fitting. I am going to make this in ‘1X’ even though that is much more than my bust size and leave out the rib. I will probably replace the rib with stocking stitch with a garter stitch border.

I will finish my blanket first but since the cardigan I want to make is for the summer, I will probably start this next.

The Knitting Pattern Expedition

I was given some lovely blue/green 4ply sock wool. More than enough for a pair of socks! Merino sock woolNow years ago my mother made herself a cardigan that I inherited, and love wearing, but which is getting a bit old and I had long planned to make a replacement.CardiganNow this wool seemed to be just the thing for this project but what about a pattern?

I searched my mother’s old pattern’s thoroughly but couldn’t find one for this cardigan.

I looked on line and found a Sirdar pattern that was similar in that it was 4ply and had raglan sleeves, which I love, but seem to be less common.

I discovered that this pattern was for sale in a shop in nearby Hythe. Now I have heard about this shop and how wonderful it is so I decided that it was time for a visit.

I suggested to my friend that we might go together and we chose a mutually convenient day.

The weather has not been too good lately so when we set off it was a bit overcast as you can see in the photographs.

The most fun way to get to Hythe from Southamton is to take the ferry.

Here is the view back to Southampton as we set out.Looking back to SouthamptonWe chose to sit outsideHythe ferryand on the way we saw this rather ugly container shipContainer shipand people who were out sailing.People out sailingAfter about fifteen minutes we were approaching Hythe pier.Approaching HytheWe then took the little train to travel along the pier.Hythe ferry trainHere you can see the entrance in Hythe.Hythe ferry entranceWe then turned and went into the town.Hythe townWe found the shop – “Shirley Wools”Shirley Wools(A closer view of the window.)Shirley Wools shop windowand went inside.Lots of yarnsAs you can see they have a good selection of yarns, needles and other itemsOther stuffand a wonderful display of buttons and threads.Buttons and threadsThis is where they keep the books of patterns.

I bought this pattern and a ball of cotton yarn.Pattern and yarn(I don’t really need any other yarn at present though it was all tempting!)

After this we went and had lunch in a nearby cafe. I had the all-day breakfast All day breakfastand my friend the sausage, egg, beans and chips.Sausage, egg, beans & chipsI decided to finish up with a ‘Millionaire’s shortbread’ icecream Icecream(10p cheaper if you had it ‘to go’.) Delicious! all that fudge and shortbread pieces and chocolate chips.

We went for a wander. However by this time the weather had taken a turn for the worse and I didn’t dare risk taking photographs, as it began to rain, though I did take a quick one of this cottage Cottageand this lonely seagull.

Seagull(This is cropped, I could never have got this close!)

On the way back we sat inside the ferry and looked out at the rain.Return journey

I bought the cotton yarn because the dishcloth I made two and a half years ago.Original dishclothwas finally showing it’s age Old dishclothand might not last much longer.

So I made a new one with this cotton. New dishclothIt may not last as long as the original which was made with proper ‘dishcloth cotton’ but I fancied a pretty one.

The pattern is just rows of trebles (US-dcs) and as I wanted a pretty but not impractical border I decided to go to this bookCrochet edgings bookand close this edging. Edging patternI left off the last row as I wanted a robust outer edge.

Hope you enjoyed coming with me. Don’t expect the cardigan to appear very soon, as it is more for the summer, but I do hope to start it within the next year.

A Crafty Week – Day 1

If I have seemed to be less present on blogs this last week it is because I have had my granddaughter to stay for just over a week.

She came equiped with all sorts of craft materials.Craft materialsI would have loved for us to make something with that material but I wasn’t sure what and we had plenty of other things to do. (She had rescued them from the bin at school! she told me.)

Plus some craft booksCraft booksand colouring books.Colouring book

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I had planned a few outings but Monday was a miserable day so we settled down to some crafting.

Last summer I saw what I thought was a neat idea for using up scraps of yarn. (I think I probably saw it here:- http://marrose-ccc.com/tutorials-2/yarn-ends-bowl/ ) and since then I have been saving up my cut off ends and really short scraps of yarn.

The detail on the web used a home-made paste but I decided to use diluted PVA glue like I had for my crochet baubles.GlueI had bought this at Hobbtcraft and I mixed it half and half with some water.

I covered table and chairs for protection and spread my yarn scraps out on a tray on the kitchen/dining table.Tray of yarn endsThis is just the ones that were left so you can see that there is plenty to make more bowls.

I covered a pyrex pudding bowl and a small glass dish with cling film and we dunked the ends in the glue mixture and spread over the surface.

I used a random placement more like the one I had seenClose-up of my bowlbut Louisa had her own ideas.Close-up of Louisa's bowlHere they are together after drying in the airing cupboard for a few days.Two bowlsHer’s had some gaps in it that I though made it vulnerable to breaking apartGaps in yarnso she let me wrap some yarn round the outside to protect it.Yarn wound roundThis was left to dry for another day or two.

Now the trickiest part was getting them off the bowls.

I think this was because the cling film clung so well to the bowl. Next time I think I will smear some vaseline or similar over the part of the bowl to be covered, under the cling film, so it is only holding in place inside the bowl.

I eased them very gently with a thin knife and my fingers. Here is Louisa’s bowlInside Louisa's bowland another view from the side.Side view of Louisa's bowlThe inside of my bowlInside my bowland sitting on my window sill.My bowl on window sillOf course life wasn’t just about crafting and later we went for a walk and then came home and Louisa picked up where she had left off last summer with Syberia II.Playing Syberia IIWe also started some crochet but what that turned into I will show you later.

Matching socks finished!

Matching socksWell they almost match! If you look closely you can see that the fairisle imitation part has knitted up slightly differently in each sock.

These socks along with at least one other project have taken rather longer to reach completion than I envisaged originally. As far as the socks are concerned this is because at one point it hurt so much to knit them that I had to give up. Not sure why later it didn’t hurt any more but glad to discover that I don’t have to give up knitting socks! 😀

It is always hard to photograph one’s own feet but here are a couple of pictures of me wearing the socks.

This was the easier one to take!Socks from above
and holding the camera out in front.
Socks from frontHere are the ones I made earlier.Original socksThese were meant to match too which is why both pairs are shorter than I normally make socks. (I can now calculate that 100g of this particular yarn should contain eight repeats of the colour sequence.)

The reason the original socks don’t match can be shown in this photograph.Comparison of both pairsCan you see the arrows? I made the original sock (labelled – first sock) and when I got to a colour repeat I cast off.

You can see that the second sock starts with perhaps a little more of the dark blue (as I didn’t know exactly how far into the blue I was at the start of the ball – I knit toe up socks with short row toes so I start under the toe).

Then the bad bit! There was a join not long after the end of the blue. I have now worked out that there was quite a length of yarn missing from the colourway sequence as shown roughly by the piece between the two arrows. So of course that mucked things up!

Luckily there were no more joins so I was able to make a matching pair with the rest of the yarn.

This means that I have now managed to make four socks out of one 100g ball! At £6.39 a ball which is £3.20 a pair that isn’t too bad!

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For the geeks among you, you might like to know that I didn’t cast off the first of the matching socks before I finished the second one. I calculated that there should be enough to make the second sock by weighing the sock and comparing it to the weight of the remaining yarn but just to be safe I left them joined by a length of yarn so I could undo a bit if the second sock didn’t get to be as long.

However there was enough for the second sock with just a tiny bit of yarn left over!

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It is worth noting that these socks are made with Rico Design Superba Bamboo which has only 50% wool and then 25% viscose, which I have been told is where the bamboo comes in. This makes them lighter and cooler than the other wool socks I have made so they are quite good for summer along with the cotton ones I made.

Now the heels!

With the second pair I experimented with a new way of doing the heels as I showed you here. New style heel(Original post including link to pattern here:- https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/a-new-sort-of-heel/)

I am not likely to use this method in future because I don’t like the way it looks, at least when I use it, (The second heel was not much better,) though it does have one advantage which is that if you make a mess of the second part of the heel (as I did on the second sock) you only have to go back to half way instead of redoing the whole heel. (I normally make a short row heel.)