Welcome to my blog. I live, knit and craft near the Northumbrian Coast (but not too near – the waves won't be splashing my knitting!).There's a story in every stitch, every grain of sand, every blade of grass. I thought I'd blog about it…
We had a lively online get together on Friday and as usual there were some beautiful projects in progress and recently completed.
Pictured above are some silk/mohair socks that Y is making as part of her charity challenge for Versus Arthritis – she’s being sponsored for the number of socks she can make in a given time. The socks are promised to the person who supplied the yarn (I think it is handspun – it looks very warm and cosy). She also just completed this children’s cardigan from materials that arrived as part of her Knit In A Box subscription.
R finished her pink cardigan.
Her next project planned is this lovely Fair Isle design cushion.
L has mastered cable as part of her jacket – the cables run up the front edges.
G just cast on with this pretty variegated yarn she bought recently – It’s going to be a baby top.
Last week T acquired a long, narrow hot water bottle – such a practical shape. It’s going to be so much nicer to use now that she’s crocheted a cover for it.
I just started another alpaca hat with a twisted rib edge.
We are a busy lot!
Are you managing to keep in touch with your knitting friends?
Some friends of ours have a new baby boy so I knitted this hat from my handspun alpaca. The pattern is the Maine Baby Hat – available free on Ravelry. I’ve made it before, but not this version, which has a central knotted pigtail
After the decreases, when there are just a few stitches left, these are knitted into an i-cord. It’s the first time I’ve used this technique and it’s quite easy to do. The i-cord is cast off when it reaches 4 inches long, then you tie a knot in it.
The alpaca yarn makes it lovely and soft and warm.
Do you have a go to pattern that you knit when there’s a new baby among family or friends?
The group met again on Friday . Here are a couple of screenshots of group members’ recent projects.
The beautiful lacy baby blanket is now finished, Last week we were talking about how the maker was going to do the edge and she’s chosen this pretty scalloped crochet design. It works beautifully.
She’s also about to start a knitting challenge to raise funds for the Versus Arthritis charity – this will involve knitting as many socks as possible within a set time period – she’s planning on using a silk yarn, so they are going to be very luxurious socks. She’s got her teeshirt to wear during the challenge!
With her pink cardigan almost done except for the sewing up, this member has returned to the sparkly ombre scarf – up to the pale stripe now.
I’ve been working on a project in handspun undyed alpaca. Can you guess what it is?
I met my friend Vera when she joined our ukelele group, but before long I realised that she’s a serious knitter. She gave me a copy of a sweater pattern after I admired what she was wearing and the margins were full of her very detailed notes: that gave it away! Over a year ago (because it’s that long since the group played together at one of our regular weekly sessions in person) Vera gave me a shawl pattern that she thought I might find interesting to knit and I’ve just completed it.
The pattern (Clapo–Ktus) is available to download free from Ravelry here
It’s a triangular shawl that’s perfect for using up an odd skein – you weigh the yarn, start knitting from one end, increasing every other row and when half the weight is used up you have reached the central point of the shawl – time to start the decreases down to the other end. I had some dark blue lace weight yarn left over from another project which was perfect for it.
Simple to knit in basically a 3/1 rib, the quirky part of the pattern starts when you begin the second (decrease) half of the shawl. At every decrease you drop a stitch and let it run right down to the edge. this gives it a lovely lacy ladder design.
When it came to blocking it out, I tried something different as I can never find a suitable space for blocking a large item like a shawl. I have a homemade skirting table frame that K made for me to prepare raw fleece. I dampened the shawl and blocked it out on this, attaching it to the mesh with clothes pegs – I had to fold it in half, but it worked reasonably well and dried quite quickly – the air could circulate more easily than if it had been pinned to a solid surface.
I think I’ll wear this a lot, either as a shawl of looped round as a scarf – it’s quite versatile
Our online Knit and Natter Group continue to meet every Friday lunchtime. The Social Prescribing Team who run the group have been busy working on COVID vaccination sessions in the area so we’ve arranged for group members to host the meetings if they can’t make it. We were thinking of them on Friday when it was bitterly cold outside – if anyone was in the car park directing patients where to go it can’t have been a pleasant job!
The last time I posted we’d been asked to made some Twiddle Muffs for dementia patients. You can see the post about the ones I knitted here. Here are some of the muffs the group members have been making. As always I can’t include them all – sometimes the screenshots are too blurred to use.
They all look great, with such a variety of colours, textures and embellishment and either knitted or crocheted. Those of us able to get to the Alnwick GP surgery on a day when Jane was working there had been asked to drop off our finished items. We arranged to phone her and meet outside at a safe distance. It was pouring with rain so I hardly recognised Jane – she was all wrapped up with her hood pulled up and we were both wearing masks. Then I remembered that this was the first time we’d actually met face-to-face. Normally I see her in our Zoom meetings like this!
Lots of other knitting and crochet has been going on too. One of our members gets a monthly subscription box of knitting and other treats. She’s made some lovely stuff. including this colourful top…
…and this blanket – it’s a real heirloom piece that would make a beautiful Christening shawl.
Her new knitting box had arrived and she showed us what was in it.
Since then she has made good progress with this – a jumper for her grandson
The rest of the group have been working away on an assortment of projects. I think this is going to be a jacket
This is a waterfall front cardigan that is nearing completion
One of the things I miss about the group meeting face-to-face is being able to feel the texture of the yarn and projects that the group are working with. This scarf is growing rapidly -the yarn looks so soft and luxurious – shades of turquoise with a hint of sparkle
.There were hearts for Valentines weekend too!
This crochet blanket is growing . A young relative of this group member had asked for it in black and grey, but she’s added a touch of pink, which works really well.
Our Knit and Natter Group has had a request for twiddle muffs. These tubes of textured knitting, embellished with buttons and beads, give dementia patients something to hold, the repeated action of stroking the fabric or twiddling with a button has a calming effect. Those of us with pets know how calming it is to stroke your dog or cat – the same principle applies. In hospitals the twiddle muffs also provide a distraction to prevent patients with dementia from picking at a dressing or a cannula.
This week I’ve made three twiddle mitts. They are a great way of using up oddments of yarn, especially those with interesting textures, like mohair, chenille and boucle. Alternatively you can used different stitches to provide texture, such as blackberry stitch, moss stitch or cable.
Each mitt is formed from a double layer of stocking stitch. The pattern I used casts on 45 stitches on 6.5mm needles, working with one strand of chunky yarn or two strands of double knitting. The first 11 inches of the project forms the lining of the muff – I saved the most colourful yarns for the outer part. When the piece is 22 inches long, you cast it off .
I find it easier to add embellishments at this point – various beads and buttons, to both the inner and outer parts. It is important that these are sewn on very securely. Next the long edges are sewn together to form a long tube.
The lining is then folded to the inside and the ends stitched together.
I prefer to add a row of stitches to the other end of the mitt too.
The first mitt included a green and yellow flecked yarn, a rust coloured mohair and a very soft yellow chenille.
Once of the embellishments I used was a crocheted sunflower with a button centre.
The mitt linings had various beads, buttons and rings attached.
The second mitt was knitted in shades of pink and purple, Including a lilac ribbon yarn, variegated thin and thin chunky and a couple of different mohair yarns.
Embellishments included some tiny jingle bells, crocheted flowers with button centres….
…and a ribbon slotted through the knitting and securely tied with a double knot then in a bow.
The final mitt, in various teal shades included a deep petrol blue sequinned yarn, turquoise ribbon yarn, pale blue and metallic eyelash yarn, a very knobby boucle in black and shades of green and turquoise and two shades of teal mohair.
I’ll find out tomorrow how we can get these to where they are needed.
When we were looking at patterns so I could knit a headband for Daughter, she couldn’t quite make her mind up so I (rashly) agreed to make two. After the faux cable one in hansspun alpaca, she decided she needed something with a bit more colour and chose this green from my yarn stash – it’s a 3-ply so I used two strands for this pattern, the Woven Cable Headband by Priscilla Uloho (available as a free download on Ravelry)
It features this lovely woven cable design and a garter stitch edge.
It knitted up quite quickly and Daughter likes this one too. She has no excuse to get cold ears this winter!
Having seen the cable bobble hat I made with my handspun alpaca last week, daughter asked if I’d make her a headband – she’d seen some similar to this, so we had a look at some patterns and she picked out a few – this one is the Twisting Taffy headband from Drops Yarn (a huge selection of Drops Patterns are available free on their website). She wanted it in natural white undyed alpaca, so I spun a bit more and got started.
The pattern said to use circular needles back and forth, but that always seems a bit pointless to me so I used straight ones. The pattern is not a true cable, but it was fun to do and the pattern repeat is only 4 rows so you don’t lose your place.
The hardest part was the twist, halfway along the strip. – You put half the stitches on a cable needle, knit the rest in pattern, then knit rest off the cable needle. As there are a lot of stitches this is extremely tight so if took me a few attempts (knitting this part more loosely). Once that’s done you just carry on with the second half of the strip, cast off and sew the two ends together.!
Daughter loves it – she wore it for a walk on a very cold day over the weekend and she says it really keeps her ears warm!
I finished this hat last week. The pattern – Hello Yellow – is available as a free download from Ravelry. I’ve now sent it off to our friends who own Wispa and Aero – the alpacas that keep me supplied with gorgeous fibre to spin.
I spun some more yarn especially – a 3 ply (I’m loving playing with my new Christmas presents, especially the ball winder)
The hat has a deep band in twisted rib.
The cable was quite straightforward to do and I love the way it looks.
To finish I used the pompom maker to make a nice fat bobble. I’ve added a press stud to make it detachable.
More lovely projects were on show at Friday’s online Knit and Natter group. I took some screenshots so we could share what we’ve been working on. My fellow spinner from Berwick is knitting this colourful child’s cardigan.
The pattern (with jumper and cardigan options) and yarn were in this month’s subscription knitting box.
Her husband was drum carding some Gotland fleece ready to spin.
Isn’t this yarn gorgeous? I love those aqua colours. A member of the group from Alnwick has just cast on with it.
It’s going to make a very glamorous/scarf/wrap.
The raspberry blanket is getting bigger.
I worked on my socks with the lovely blue Silent Night yarn.
We’ve had a request for twiddle muffs. These are used for dementia patients – something to hold, stroke and twiddle with, which can be immensely calming – those of us with pets know how relaxing it is to stroke your cat or dog. Twiddle muffs are a great way of using up oddments of yarn, especially if it has an interesting texture, and they can be embellished with buttons, bows and beads, inside and out. I’m going to try and make some over the next week or two and see if I can use up some of my ridiculous collection of yarn!