RSS

Tag Archives: Patons

but this one was never for me

Of course I didn’t finish the beanie, even minus the pompom. So there I was this morning with the temperature close to zero – the Canadian coach admitted to feeling cold so we reckoned we were allowed to as well – and no woollen beanie. What to do? Borrow Dr C’s? No, that would never do. I might fall and it might end up in the lake. We wouldn’t want such a fate for a harmless piece of headwear.

So I ended up wearing this instead!

So I ended up wearing this instead! It’s my trusty old favourite, Patons Book 483, pattern 26, Knitted Family Helmet

A long time ago I was making a balaclava for a then-colleague. Loss of a major contract and resulting diminution of workflow saw her move to the opposition. Somehow, we lost touch and, despite my best efforts, I was never able to get the completed balaclava to her. it has languished in my FO box for a few years now, awaiting its moment. These are not my colours, having been chosen specifically for the colleague whose colours they are. But, as YoungB pointed out, any colour is your colour when you’re cold. True, that. So I rolled up the balaclava and used it as a beanie.

As it happened, I tripped on some uneven paving and over I went. The balaclava/beanie remained firmly in place, keeping my head warm. I admit that I was very, very tempted to roll it down and use it as a balaclava, because my face was uncomfortably chill. I thought that might be too wimpish altogether and, well, you know, too embarrassing for YoungB who was out there on the lake putting in some good work in a single scull. Besides, I have some pride!

Now that there’s less urgency about a beanie for me, I shall push on with the last few rows of Middle Niece’s Easy Lace Cowl – which remains my commuting knitting and of which I managed a few rounds on the way home from rowing this morning – and then, but only then, finish the beanie. Famous last words? Could I finish the beanie by Wednesday (rowing training again) AND the cowl so that I could deliver it to Middle Aunt for delivery to Middle Niece? Stay tuned. 🙂

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Knitting, Rowing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

FO: Summer Shimmer Scarf

It doesn't shimmer quite as much as I'd hoped, but it's drapey and beautiful

It doesn’t shimmer quite as much as I’d hoped, but it’s drapey and beautiful – and it only took a few weeks to knit

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 18, 2013 in Knitting

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

stress differentials

Eldest Aunt spent Christmas with us and at one stage she and I were talking about dressmaking. I was interested to hear that she’d actually made a lot of her own clothes when she was at school. I wasn’t altogether surprised though, because she’d attended a girls’ technical high school and dressmaking was a compulsory subject throughout her years there. However, I was startled when she admitted that she’d never worn anything she’d made because, according to her, she’s always been such a perfectionist that none of it had ever been good enough. I’ll bet it would have been at least as good as anything RTW that she might have bought; and I am quite certain that insecurity rather than perfectionism drove her refusal to wear anything she’d made (I accept that some might posit a case for perfectionism springing from insecurity and/or vice versa). I was curious as to why she hadn’t been forced to do so (money having been expended on purchasing the fabric, you would have thought) and, yes, aghast at the wastefulness.

In my family, if money had been spent on buying fabric to make clothes, you jolly well wore them whether you liked them or not. Having said that, I should point out that most of the clothes were made by Great Aunt, whose sewing if not perfect was certainly excellent and highly professional. I have a wonderful dressing-gown sleeve lurking in the scrap bag I inherited from her. For some reason, she must have cut something wrongly, because I know that the matching dressing gown (Youngest Aunt’s, I seem to recall) had the requisite number of sleeves. But the seams are beautifully flat-felled and so neat that I keep that little sleeve to provide inspiration. Everything Great Aunt did was of that calibre, whether it was her sewing, knitting or embroidery.

As to not wearing things, I recall having an absolute meltdown over a particularly hated hat – no, not one that anyone had made, just one that I hated – but in those days, hats were obligatory apparel for women in churches so I had little choice but to wear it. It would not have occurred to me that refusing to wear a handmade article of clothing was ever an option. It wasn’t an option. There was a new garment that had been made, which fitted because of care taken with measurements before and during the making; and, heck, who could argue with the professional finish on those woollen dresses with vintage lace collars?

You could disagree as much as you liked with the fashion that dictated crimplene as a fabric of choice, but the dress made from it? You wore it. You could dislike the styles of the day, as I frequently did, but if a new dress had been made from a current pattern, whether it be something for Sunday best or merely a school uniform? You wore it, no matter what. And I did. Maybe, in spite of my more rebellious nature, I knew when I’d be backing a loser by even attempting to refuse to wear a handmade dress, whereas Eldest Aunt clearly won her quiet battle.

I may have been spoilt, having so many handmade clothes. I probably was. Other people my age, the majority of whom wore RTW clothes but perhaps a greater percentage of handknits than today’s youth, were in no way jealous; mostly, they were dismissive of things that were not shop-bought. The world is a strange place and seems to have come full circle. For years, YoungB was happy to wear things I’d made for him, even pleading with me occasionally TO make things for him (“Could you make me a Ninja helmet, Mummy? Today?” Black knitting, at night. Aagh! That’s the one on the left below; both made using my go-to Patons balaclava pattern).

A popular item, the black balaclava, even if you’re not a bank-robber!

It’s not so very long ago that he was as excited to get new track trousers I’d sewn as he might these days be to take delivery of new motorcycle leathers. And his present genuine appreciation of, for example, his grey sweatshirt, recent PJ trousers and the right-hand black balaclava (same pattern, different size, different yarn) to wear under his motorcycle helmet, or the toob that was even more useful for motorcycling purposes, represents one of those strange turnarounds that make life such an exciting challenge.

I have had dips and swings in my dedication to things handmade if it meant I had to make them myself but I’ve never really stopped. Eldest Aunt now neither sews nor knits because she finds those activitiees too stressful. She channels her energies into yoga and a cafe lifesyle because that’s what helps her to deal with stress. Me? I pick up my knitting or I go and sew a few lavender bags. What about you?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Knitting, Musing, Sewing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

misleadingly spotted

I have to say the weather forecast was misleading. 21 degrees? Nowhere near me!

Spotted just lurking on the bedside table

Spotted this morning atop Dr B’s bedside table pile of books were these keep-you-warm items. He hasn’t had to rug up quite this much in yonks. You will tell me, I know, that they’re not spotted at all but stripey and you’re right; but it was good to see clear evidence that Dr B actually uses something I made for him. That would be the balaclava, which is the colourful number. It dates back a very long time indeed (and was made using my favourite Patons balaclava pattern and any bit of wool I could second to the purpose, hence the fairly wild colour scheme. The job brief was to knit something warm and what it looked like didn’t matter).

I made the fingerless mitts for YoungB (an early experiment with Twinset Ellen’s wonderful pattern) but owing to my less than ideal yarn choice, they stretched significantly. That’s never really a problem because Dr B has very large hands and he’s always happy to have extra bits of covering to keep them warm. The mitts turned out to be a perfect size for him. What happened then was that YoungB appropriated the pair I’d made for myself. Eventually, I made another pair for myself. Then Nonno ended up with those. I still don’t have any!

And as that warmer weather doesn’t seem to be forthcoming, I might need to do something about that sartorial lacuna. What do you reckon, if I start knitting some fingerless mitts for me will the weather take a turn for the warmer?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Knitting

 

Tags: , , ,

rescued beanie

Oh, all right, I wasn’t going to be able to lie down anyway (because I knew it would make me cough fit to break a rib), so I sat up and rescued that beanie. Interestingly, the further I went with the rescue, the more evidence I found of having undertaken such a task previously. Aha! No, I have no idea when. I’ve no memory at all of having done so. Having said that, when the rescue was complete and the last end snipped, I turned up the brim and found myself confronted by a somewhat wavy brim. That rang a bell.

But no matter that the brim might be wavy with a large turn-up, it’s obvious to me that I didn’t intend this beanie to have one of those (I’d have knitted it longer to accommodate that) and it sits fine with the shorter one that you see below. In any case, Dr B uses them both as nightcaps, so I don’t see that it matters much if it is a bit wavy, so long as it doesn’t fall off during the night. It’s now guaranteed not to do so.

Much more useful

In other knitting news, Youngest Uncle’s fingerless gloves are still sitting on the ironing board waiting for me to work out what to do with them. What? You don’t do that with your problem projects? Well, I never. I can do that for years with mine (see my 13 November 2011 post about the jurby) .And at the top right-hand corner of the photo you’ll probably see a bit of blue and some grey. The blue is the Stephanie shawlette I dragged out to assess recently. I shall simply have to get to work and unpick back to the mistake, then finish it off. It’s reasonably pretty, very soft and cuddly, and I would find it useful in the colder weather we’ve yet to endure.

As for the grey? Yes, that’s Boy’s sweater fabric, with its pattern.

Don’t be fooled; it works fine for men, too

But, you know how life throws little unexpected projects into the mix? Boy has done that by deciding to go on the school’s annual ski trip (it’s his last opportunity and although some might say we should be sternly telling him he must study harder, he’s simply not that sort of person so we’d be wasting our breath and causing a lot of unnecessary aggravation all round). He needs a new beanie. It won’t be one of these. It won’t even be this pattern because I have found that, even with the brim rolled up a couple of times, they’re simply not warm enough. I wore such a thing, made with good quality wool, through a snowy, Italian winter and, for all that I loved it, it needed assistance to cut the mustard; or I did to keep warm, whichever way you like to look at that.

I’m happy to knit Boy a beanie like Eldest Nephew’s, though I won’t use the same colour. I’ll use the same Patons pattern 27 from Book C46, Winter Warmers. It’s called a family hat. That will provide a lovely, dense fabric for him, with a long 2×2 rib to turn over twice. I cast on in the car this morning, while we were going to the city together to drop Dr B for some minor day surgery. Boy walked to school from the surgery, I came home. Today I’m home rather than at work not because I’m unwell but because I long ago booked an annual leave day so that I could be around to drive the invalid and stuff.

I’m meant to be back at work tomorrow. Though that presently seems unlikely, it’s true that a good night’s sleep might work sufficient magic that, even if I still sound like Ivan Rebroff at the lower end of his range (or Ezio Pinza; you take your pick, though I doubt I have the smoothness of Pinza’s delivery), I’ll have done with coughing and sneezing and be able to put on a not-too-ghastly face. Rest is a powerful restorative. And it means I’ll probably have a lot more energy for all that extra knitting I’ve suddenly acquired.

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

ever knitted the same item multiple times? have I ever!

Vogue Knitting asked:

Do you have a favorite pattern you have knit more than once? I think many of us do. Have you knit one pattern more than 5 times??? Mine is this one skein NORO hat. What is yours?

Of course I have. I wasn’t surprised that their one pattern is a hat. My go-to items tend to be balaclavas and beanies and it’s easy to see why they are. In cold climes, people need warm head covering. A basic beanie pattern is open to a lot of imaginative reinterpretation.

I have a broken-rib pattern that knits up quickly and can be made to look very different depending on how you choose to do it: do you have a turn-up or not? If no, how do you treat the ribbed edge? Do you vary it simply by being smart with changing colours? Or knit it at a firmer tension than the patterns asks for? At last rough count, I’d made about 10 of those. The pattern came from what I believe to be a now defunct women’s magazine way, way back in the early 1970s.

Another of my hat recipes is a chunky, garter-stitch one that’s even quicker to make. I think I made four of those last winter, one or two the winter before and at least one for myself many years ago. I call that a useful pattern too. Like the broken rib pattern, it’s from the early 1970s, in this case for a Villawool Inca jacket and cap.

Then there are the half a dozen or so balaclavas I’ve knitted for various friends and family members, often at their request because they’re out in the cold and need the wind-blocking properties that a good balaclava provides. Boy was happy to receive one for use under his motorbike helmet. That doesn’t qualify as a quick knit, not for me anyway, but it’s a good, basic pattern from an old Patons book; and it’s one that you can play with.

I’ve also made and given away five or six pairs of fingerless mitts, using a free pattern from Twinset Ellen on Ravelry. They’re quick, they’re warm, they’re easy, they’re small and portable during construction (which means I can knit them on the bus) and they’re funky enough that Boy and Dr B both use theirs in public. Gasp.

Otherwise, feather-and-fan baby singlets (three that I can remember making from a Patons pattern), blackberry stitch booties (three pairs I can remember, and I think it’s sometimes called bramble stitch; again, a Patons pattern) and plain jumpers would head my list of things of which I’ve made multiples and would make again. What about you?

Edited 12/4/12: You can also find the pattern for the fingerless mitts at Twin Set. Just scroll down to Handed Yes, Fingered No, Mitts that Fit for a PDF download.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2012 in Knitting

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,