Just a quickie!

Been busy so just a quick look at my latest finished project.

Some of you may have remembered these. first pair of socksAnd how I said that as they were so short (as requested) that I had almost enough to make another pair.

And so I bought this. sock woolWell here are the second pair! new pair of socksDelivered and appreciated!

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Montage – May

In May I showed you how I was working on adapting a pattern to make a pair of slippers. I am making the second one now! I also showed you the new larger pot holder I had made and some recent purchases of crochet hooks and a whole variety of yarn. I have just included the rainbow yarn in the montage.

May montageThere were also many photographs of flowers in my garden, especially clematis and lily of the valley. I made some crochet flowers too: poppies. There were also photographs of the apples to be.

I shared a whole load of photographs of pages from my knitting and crochet journal and finally details of my late celebration of Christmas with my family.

Projects for life!

I seem to have been spending rather a lot on yarn lately but all with good ideas for using it!

I bought what I thought was enough for the slippers. More on this.

And I also needed a 7mm or (knowing me) an 8mm hook. So since they were relatively cheap and as I wanted different colours if possible I decided to buy an 9mm and 10mm hook at the same time. crochet hooks

Because they are thick I find them as comfortable as my Clover Amour hooks to use.

Now I had plans to make some more socks for my daughter and granddaughter like they had beforedaughter's socksgranddaughter's socks

but with different colour toes and heels so it seemed a good time to buy this. sock wool

And while I was about it, since it would mean I didn’t have to pay postage (so it makes them virtually half price!), I decided to buy some of the new Stylecraft colours. Stylecraft yarnI like having different blues and greens to choose from and the buttermilk will do for my dinosaur.

Maybe that would have been enough for now but then I discovered (don’t tell James!) that I didn’t have enough for the slippers because I hadn’t realised that the slippers would need to be scaled up more than I had estimated, especially with regard to width. Luckily the yarn was now reduced and I could get the same dye lot. Drops AlaskaTwo more should be more than enough but I bought three again as the cheapest way to get just above the ‘free postage’ figure and it is great yarn and I am sure I can use it for something, maybe with the same sort of yarn left over from this. cardiganThis jumper looks more grey than this! In fact as I had over estimated I used it for my cushioncushion

where you get a better idea of the colour. I still have almost a whole ball left over.

And then as I browsed. I fell in love with this sock yarn. fancy sock woolNow I had promised myself that I would only make socks from yarn I had already but this looked so amazing in the pictures of made up sock; I just had to buy some.

I am very fond of this crochet hat. crochet hatI wear it more than any other; just pull it on. But it does need a wash sometimes so I planned to make another in rainbow colours and I found this.

rainbow yarn

I bought two balls because I am not sure if one will be enough and if it is, someone else might like a similar hat! or I could make mittens!
Now I wouldn’t have got up to the free postage amount just with that but I needed some more Stylecraft colours for a blanket I have in mind to make (mostly from leftover yarn I have already but some colour amounts are too small.) So I bought this. Stylecraft yarn

The red will also be useful for some poppies I am going to make.

And lastly

On Saturday I went to Haskins garden centre and came back with these. plantsHobbycraft is next door so I had to go and have a look around. I fell in love with this jumper! pattern(A lot of falling in love lately!) I was about to leave the pattern there for another time but then I saw they were selling the yarn as 3 for 2. So I bought three balls, just like the picture. Marble chunky yarnI used this type of yarn yarn for a shrug earlier shrugand although it is acrylic it is comfortable to wear and work with.

 

 

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.

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.

Monthly Montage: July

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!