Monday, 26 June 2017

Nights drawing in?

Just past the Solstice! And a week of weather that was just a tad too hot for me on a couple of day s- hottest June since 1976, they say. I remember that well, queueing up for shops in Quorn by 9am to be able to get back to cool house ASAP. Made a Jane Austen dress and shrug which came out so horribly small (and not having E to try it on) instantly cast on for another. This went well, not needed second ball of yarn so cast on for a third. Thanks to a new fabric shop opening next door to wool shop in Breedon, cold get yarn and material on same day. Material was at end of roll, so can just squeeze two dress lengths out of it. Now thinking what next project should be, especially with family holiday in Polperro coming up, followed by another trip to France.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

In tune with June

Hols went well, but there were so many flies we demolished the fly swatter and had to buy another! Made the Estonian hat inside the first week. Far too big for Erika of course, but a tad too small for me and only know if I would have the courage to wear it. Went mad on the string bag front - Using base of a Tote bag pattern as it was pretty, and less solid looking, than the original "Aunt Lydia". No, I haven't got an aunt called Lydia, I think the original was using the cotton of that name. Margaret had given me two small squarish cones of red cotton, so I'm well away. It is better if both bases made first and joined. Base is 15 sts, every other round is loops of 3ch. Sts eventually increased to 120 with no spaces between, for 40 loops for sides (1 dc miss 2 ch method). Started with loops of 4ch,for two rounds, inc to 7ch on this thickish yarn. Don't think I need to go up to 9ch. UP to about 12 inches, then 4dc in every loop for four rounds, handles over a quarter, using dc foundation chain, then another round, putting trebles over handles, dc over sides.
Also made one glove in red on two needles with a two row pattern repeat. Stopped there, as needed to weigh the ball of yarn to see if I had enough for second glove (I have). The finger seams do not lie quite where I would have expected though. Cast on for a similar four needle version (in grey) which has a three row pattern. Have now ordered shorter glove needles from Woolstack, as 15cm or 20cm long ones are a blasted nuisance at finger level. Back home, after tackling the jungle that is the garden --- Amazed to see how big that one weld plant had grown, especially after unloading all my dried weld on Lesley at the Vendredi Club! Cut side shoots for drying, leaving main stem for now. Continuing Jane Austen dress top for Erika - far, far too small, will pass this to Emily I think. Investigated new fabric shop in Breedon next door to wool shop (oh, so handy!)and got just over a metre of owl fabric (roll end) so may split into two and do one for Jessica for upcoming giant family hols in Poplperro.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

May be okay

The day after picking up the new car started with a sore throat, which developed into that blasted coughing virus again, and has lasted a full four weeks. Not much enthusiasm to do anything, and gearing up for the hols. With that in mind, and knowing we get a fair few flies over there, made a beaded milk jug cover and a string bag that is so small it is ridiculous! So then dug out my old pattern (original made in pink), but using stitch from cream bag for a black one. As using huge 6.5mm needles, found that just yo, k2tog creates large enough holes, rather than double yo. Also cast on two strands of Harris wool. 15 sts, moss st. Will create a cushion cover in my "make a strip then knit sideways" method. Noticed that Wilko's have some square cushions for just £1.50 - will see if I can torture one of these to make an oblong. Too many silly bits of work on the go at once, with sock yarn blankie no.3 int he background all the time, of course.

Monday, 10 April 2017

New car

Not knitted, obviously. Used for first time to take stuff to Long Eaton Machine Knitting Show. It may be the last time this show is held, it is certainly shrinking every year. Lots of interest in the sock machine, and in the new plastic Penguin kid's knitting machine. Somebody at the Co-op knnitting group had passed on a freebie from a magazine she had just bought, awful sparkly purple acrylic. Instantly tried it on the machine, came out a very stiff tube, and then decided to turn it into an owl. Stands up on its own without stuffing.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Not another hat, Granny

I came across rather a fetching Estonian Hat in Piecework, Eesti Muts. It's the shape of a bonnet, with an off-square back piece and a stand up rim. It's reminiscent of the bonnet I had as a child, for which I found the pattern. The photo of me wearing it, with cardi and shorts, on Skegness beach in the 50's, still brings back the shudders of that freezing cold, windy place. Intriguing though to compare and contrast the two patterns. "Mine" is called a Plaid Bonnet, and has turned up elsewhere as a Scottish bonnet - maybe because Patons was a Scottish firm?
Similarities and differences - Estonian shaped back panel knit first, three sides picked up and knit on. Bonnet square back panel worked last from one edge, other two sewn down after. Both have stand up frill, hemmed afterwards. Both have a short neckline and string right round neck. Grand-daughter has refused another hat, says hats itch her head. SO I ended up crocheting dresses for Sylvanian rabbits instead ...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Going Round in Circles in Kegworth, March 2017

Think I can allow myself a small pat on the back and aglow of satisfaction. Single-handedly organised a conference for 52 circular sock knitting people at local hotel. 45 in room on Saturday, 36 on Sunday, 29 at official conference dinner. Three days later still recovering from the sheer physically of it, but knew I could do it, and I did it. Organising ahead on paper a doddle, marshalling 45 people into room with heavy equipment was almost Bedlam. Made a decent profit for the museum of £200, plus 10 people visited museum or joined Friends, so with Gift Aid worth £300+ to them. And they all want to do it again next year.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February fever and Esefen Gloves

Nearly missed February! Pancake night tonight as well. I have been busy organising Circles 17. This is a gathering of circular sock machine knitters. I did small events in 2012 and 2013 at the Framework Knitters Museum., getting 20 people each time - bit of a squash. Then in 2014 my pal Jane did an event in Coventry, only 7 of us but I w=think we all learnt a lot - the excitement there was one of the brand new machines from NZ. 2015 saw a weekend event in Bristol - 28 people. We all loved it, and sat around waiting for JO to do the same thing last year. She couldn't as she was out of the country. Summer and autumn have so many other textile events a date clash would have been inevitable. So we all sat around some more until last November I thought "Sod this" and went to look at a couple of local conference hotels and sent 80 invitations out. Now, a week before the event, there are 50 people booked in. Wow! I am not sure I will be any good at crowd management on this scale! The ever faithful Margaret will be by my side. So, I was frantically knitting socks to have in a "guess the yarn" competition. The only other knitting I was doing for myself was Esefen gloves. I had bought the book A Shetlander's Fair Isle Graph Book. One page was roughed out as the palm and back of hand patterns for a glove, entitled Norwegian. I called mine Shetland Fair Isle Norwegian, SFN, or Esefen for short. Looked up the word on Google and it exists as a type of Ibuprofen! For speed, the ribs and fingers were knitted on the Knitmaster. As usual, my tension is rubbish, especially where changing from one needle to another and there being a single contrast stitch on the edges.