Thursday, 30 October 2014

The road to a finished project doesn't always run smoothly!

Do you remember the huge knitted throw I've been working on for ages?  The one I got so close to finishing?  Well, this is what happened!

Yes, that's a gap where there used to be knitted squares!  Sadly, one of the squares got snagged on an upholstery pin so I had to remove it and in the process of doing so I accidentally started removing the wrong square so ended up taking out two squares :-(  They didn't even come out neatly, so couldn't be repaired or re-knitted.  Thankfully I still had leftover wool in the correct colour so new squares could be made: 

Then I just had to block them, sew them into place and finish the border.  The border became a little tricky as it was hard to work out how many peaks to knit and I ended up twice not knitting enough, so had to continue knitting whilst some was attached to the rest of the work, then block it, again, still attached to the work!

 So, all that was left was to sew the last of the border on and then it would finally, finally, finally be done!

God willing I will be putting this onto Ginny's Yarn Along today (Fri 7th Nov 2014).

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I did it!

Much to my surprise I managed to make a large piece of crochet and spend some time out of the knitting zone!  It was so quick that I actually have time to spare before posting it to its new home :-) I'm fairly convinced that the number of stitches in each row varies from time to time, and although my plan to combine a single strand of chunky yarn with 2 strands of double knit yarn seems to have worked satisfactorily, I will try to use the same weight of yarn next time (yes, I really hope there will be a next time!) to see if that helps it hold its shape better! I did manage a border, but only one row of double crochet - I'd like to try something more adventurous next time.  I also struggled with ends when I changed colours or joined in new balls of yarn so I need to investigate ways to keep ends a bit tidier.  The blanket is big enough to go adequately from waist to floor of one person sitting down, or could go across the laps of two people sitting side by side.

I was delighted to discover that I can post this 2nd class for just £2.80 this morning (although that price usual frustrates me as I'm posting something tiny but not tiny enough for regular letter stamps) so the whole thing has worked out to be very economical :-)

Now I have no more excuses not to complete my huge knitted throw - almost there now!

God willing this will be linked onto Ginny's yarn along tomorrow!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Stepping out of the knitting zone ...

I am far more of a knitter than a crocheter, but I have made a few crocheted items over the years - all quite small, or at least made up of small parts!  Presented with the following challenge though, I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and grab the crochet hook!
My challenge was to make a present for my step-grandmother's 91st birthday - I had 10 days (minus postage time) during which I had to continue with normal life and most of which was going to include the addition of a gorgeous golden retriever to our household while her owners took a well deserved holiday.  I also had to use whatever yarn, needles etc I already had at home as I didn't have time to take a trip to the local town.  What I really wanted to make was a cosy blanket for the coming winter, but there is no way I could knit one in the time available and I know that crochet works up faster so there was only one thing to do!  I consulted my trusty copy of The Knitting and Crochet Bible and found a stitch which was quite close - I didn't want too many holes letting the warmth out - and settled on double crochet.  I emptied bags, searched in cupboards and ummed and ahhed for a while and then decided to use 2 strands of double knit in the purple/aubergine colour against a single strand of chunky in the blue/grey colour.  To be honest, my options were fairly limited! Almost miraculously I happened to have an 8.00mm crochet hook which I'd bought a few months ago with some wool which was in a sale and hasn't been used yet. 

I am yet to decide what to do about a border, but I have a little time to work that out yet!  So far, I am really pleased with how it is turning out.  Previous attempts at crocheting large items have been disastrous as I tended to increase/decrease at the ends without knowing where I was going wrong!  I hope to be posting photos of the finished item very soon!