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that was the CAL cowl

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Fit for purpose and very warm

Tracy was running a series of KAL/CAL events, with a range of themes. For the March event, I knitted the Bloom-ing beanie for Nic, and delivered it for her 50th birthday, as planned. I’m sure it’s been getting a great workout since then as she dashes about suburbia on her morning walks. We are past midwinter and the daylight hours are noticeably longer, but early-morning temperatures remain appallingly unfriendly.

I managed to crochet a cowl for the April event, with the intention of wearing it under my new, maroon jacket. That’s it in the photo. I used Moda Vera Malibu, a pure wool 8-ply yarn, with inbuilt colour changes and slightly irregular thickness. The colourway is 86718, which is mostly shades of blue and grey. I used a 5.75mm hook, and worked half-trebles (UK terminology) into the back loop only. The side outermost in the photo looks knitted and is delightfully smooth. The other side is also attractive enough to wear facing out. It is bumpier in appearance and rougher in texture, but not harsh against the skin.

For August, the theme is to finish a WIP. I have so many that you’d think I could gallop to the finish line. You’d be wrong. I find myself well occupied with other sorts of creative work: reinventing oneself requires new ways of looking at everything. Repackaging and presenting to best advantage is surely creativity at its finest.

I am also rewarding myself by catching up with a few old friends during the interlavorum. This is a new word I coined in the style of interregnum, to mean “the time between jobs”. Purists – that is, people who are Latin scholars – might argue that it ought to be interopum, but that doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as easily and, you know, it’s my word. I can do what I like with it.

All the best to you with enjoying your interlavorum if you happen to be at such a stage 😀

 

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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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or with the brim not rolled over

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And if the brim isn’t rolled over, the beanie fits better because it sits closer to your head. It also keeps your ears warm.

As a matter of interest, and the spirit of full disclosure, this is how I would wear the Bloom-ing beanie: with the brim up, rather than double-rolled. In my experience, it provides a tighter fit, hence a warmer head. It also means that the crown sits flatter, rather than tending to the conical.

It wasn’t a quick knit for me; but then, as I’ve said frequently, I’m not a quick knitter. I started it on about 6 March and finished it by the KAL deadline of  31 March, so I’m not complaining unduly.

This month’s Knit Spin Weave KAL/CAL is cowls and/or scarves. I have a reasonable success rate with cowls, so I’ve signed up. Yeah. Right. I’ve already frogged two efforts!! Sigh. I don’t think I want to do a scarf, but then again…Perhaps the better part of valour might simply be to admit defeat now 🙂

I do hope that your crafting endeavours are meeting with slightly more success than mine. One beanie is good. A cowl as well? That would be even better!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2019 in Knitting

 

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fully blooming

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Nic’s Bloom-ing beanie, finished by its KAL deadline.

With some dedicated knit-on-the-bus efforts and only a couple of late nights, I managed to get the knitting done and the seams sewn. I would be lying if I were to suggest that the sewing is good. It’s not. I’ll have to do it again. I’ll also need to block the beanie. However, I met the KAL deadline.

Am I pleased with myself? Given how much ordure is being thrown around our section of the globe right now, I am inordinately pleased. Also, I am still slowly crocheting my table runner, which is the background fabric in the photo.

I hope you’ve managed to meet all your crafty deadlines 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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…little bit…

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New yarn and old needles for a new project

I have to admit, when I knitted along that first row of my tension square last Wednesday evening, I just couldn’t help myself. “Oh, I love knitting,” I exclaimed to anyone who might be listening (mostly dust and spiders, to be fair, because there was nobody else around at the time). And I have been happily knitting ever since.

I did a little bit on the bus, a little bit while watching TV, a little bit at lunchtime, a little bit after dinner, a little bit on the suburban train, a little bit in the car on the way to our Thursday dumplings and coffee date (and during that, of course; the Bs barely notice nowadays), and a little bit at the bus interchange as I sat and waited for a connecting bus and chatted with an elderly Italian woman who prefers crochet but complimented me for my dedication to the cause: “It’s good to see.”

I did a little bit in the car while Dr B drove us to an early-morning appointment and a little bit more while we waited there. I did a little bit at the coffee shop, a little bit while Dr B bought motorbike things from the local dealership where he and YoungB are habitues, and then I had to have a little bit of a pause because I didn’t have the pattern with me and I needed to check it.

At this time of year, the mornings are cool and dewy and the evenings chilly enough for a shawl. I’m sorry to see the end of summer, but at least when the weather is like this, nobody looks at you strangely when you whip out the needles and knit for the 10 minutes it takes your homeward train to reach the city, or if you do it while you reminisce over coffee and cake before heading back to the busyness of the day.

I haven’t suddenly stopped crocheting. In fact, I have a plain crochet project at which I intend to keep plugging away while watching TV. It uses a thick, light-coloured yarn and a large hook, so is easier on my eyes. However, there’s that series of KALs/CALs I mentioned and this month it’s beanies and, well, there’s a workmate who’s about to turn 50 and who likes to walk in the mornings – those increasingly chilly mornings – so I thought a handmade beanie would be just the shot. And there’s nothing like a deadline to maintain the momentum with ticking off rows, as it were.

Anyone who knows me would agree that my doing a tension square is a little unusual. It’s true that, if I am knitting a familiar pattern using yarn I know well, then I might give it a miss. In this instance, although I am using a familiar pattern, I’m working with a new-to-me yarn; hence the tension square. Also, I was interested to see how the colours looked once knitted.

Satisfied on both counts, I unpicked the tension square and cast on the first row of the  lady’s size for Pattern 23 – Knitted Family Cap – from my old Patons Winter Warmers, Book 483. And I am more than a little bit pleased to have now reached the body of the beanie.

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Very pleased indeed with this progress 😀

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2019 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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planning ahead

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The size of the problem.

I know, I know. I never plan. Right? And joining in with things? In the past, that’s rarely met with success. This time,  I’m – look, I don’t want to say I’m committing to a knit-along (KAL) or crochet-along (CAL) I might not manage. But I’m thinking about participating in one run by this yarn shop. YoungB desperately needs either new fingerless mitts or a major rescue operation on those he already has: as you can see clearly (despite the fuzzy photo), one already has a hole in the palm, the other is wearing through. The point is, the KAL/CAL is flexible as to whether you knit or crochet, or what pattern or yarn you use. Also, most significantly, the May option is for gloves or mittens. I don’t doubt that YoungB will need something before then. So, I could do a rescue in the meantime, and knit a new pair as part of the KAL/CAL I’m not singing up to. Right? To that end, I’ve ordered some yarn. What’s more, I’ve ordered enough to make a hat, too 🙂

Shall we take bets on how quickly this all falls over?!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2018 in Crochet, Knitting

 

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diversification

Replanted and still alive

I dug up a clump of agapanthus. The wisdom has it you should thin them every five years. We’ve been here more than three times that and I haven’t done it once. It likely hadn’t been done for a while before, either. So it was a big clump. I managed to divide it and replant about 60, The green bin was full. I also dug up and replanted lots of irises. There might not have been 60 of those, but they’re so prolific when given a chance that there might be that many next year. I also replanted a geranium of which the best you could say was that it was alive. The aim with relocation is that it now might thrive. I’m not a gardener, and have been known to kill plastic plants, so this will be an interesting journey. There’s also a tub of mysterious bulbs. I’ve no idea what they are, because they’d been so choked by the agapanthus that they never bloomed.

In other news, I have knitted a blue beanie. Dark colours and plain fabric don’t photograph well, but I think you get the general idea.It’s meant to have been my commute knitting, but more often ended up as my lunchtime knitting. No matter. This is a progress shot from a previous, rainy weekend. Yarn is Bendigo Woollen Mills’ Classic 8 ply, colour Ensign. Knitted on UK 10s, I think, because they were readily to hand. There wasn’t much science in this one, it simply happened to be all I could find when I was desperately looking for something to knit 🙂

Actually finished knitting this today. I have only to sew the back seam and block it, then it will be ready for its recipient 🙂

 
 

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multiskilled just isn’t the right description

YoungB signed our work, because all of us had more than a hand in it 🙂

Once upon a time, Dr B and I built our own house (and yes, I do mean with our own hands). Back in those days, he and I poured a concrete tank-stand and some paths. Recently we’ve concreted more paths, one of which now boasts a tank on a stand without necessarily being the tank-stand.

The path behind YoungB’s cabin, seconded to use supporting a tank-stand.

We’ve also ventured into laying pavers, greatly assisted by a variety of online resources. My personal observation is that, when your little fingertips are very sore from laying down little brickies, you do NOT want to pick up any sewing. This is, however, gratifying in a different way.

They wanted to finish the cabin’s courtyard before we went out for my birthday 🙂

And when I say I did some paving, it’s quite true. My input was to the path connecting that cabin courtyard to the garden shed.

Going with the flow around the curve and lots of fussy cutting (Dr B did that part).

Back to getting on with something else now. Winter is here, and I’m craving the feeling of working on a beanie. Plenty of those in my UFO pile 🙂

Whatever you’ve been up to, I hope it’s been as gratifying – if, perhaps, less labour-intensive – than my recent efforts.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Knitting, Musing

 

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