Monday, 24 March 2014

Birthday Blankets

First up today was a birthday gift I knitted for my daughter almost exactly a year ago now.
She was getting a doll's bed for her birthday that came with a little mattress, pillow and sheet and I felt that it needed a snug blanket to finish it off properly and keep her doll cosy.

I used New Lanark Aran in a lovely pale teal colour that they call Lovage Blue and improvised a cable design on 5.5mm needles with a seed-stitch border.
I really like the effect of the off-set adjacent cables and wouldn't mind revisiting this on a larger scale in the future!

Next is the blanket that I knitted for the birth of my son (also about a year ago now). I used the Chasing Rainbows pattern by Trisha Mitberg, but improvised a bit with cream garter ridges between each colour and a cream border.

The yarn is Pisgah Peaches and Creme worsted weight cotton, knitted on 4.5mm needles. I like cotton blankets for babies as it makes for easy laundry and is not too hot.

I designed the colour selection in this blanket to use up left-overs and spare balls of yarn that I already had available. This let to a couple of sticky moments as the Pisgah Yarn and Dyeing company is no more and Peaches and Creme has been discontinued (and it was never easy to get in the UK in the first place). Both of  these problems were solved by the generosity of others:

While I was knitting the green band of the blanket, I ran out of yarn about a round and a half before the end. I'd used this yarn previously for a wash-flannel for my daughter and she very graciously allowed me to rip out her wash cloth and use it to finish off the green band. After this, when I was working on the outer colours, she would come over and look hard to see where 'her yarn' was. I did knit her a new flannel as compensation.

Later, when I was knitting the garter ridge before the final red band, I ran out of cream yarn. This was more of a problem as I had nothing else that would substitute, and cream aran-weight cotton isn't really that easy to come by in winter / early spring. I put an appeal out on Ravelry and a lovely lady in the states offered to wind 100g off a cone that she had stashed. She sent it to my FIL in boston and he brought it back to the UK for me, allowing me to finish the blanket. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Two Shawls

Next in my catch-up list are two shawls I've knitted recently...

The first is some thing that has become a regularly worn part of my wardrobe and I'm not sure I could do without it.

This is the Hitchhiker Scarf by Martina Behm. I knitted this using some very old Fyberspates Cobweb Lace yarn that I held double. Jen did not produce this yarn for long, it was quickly superceded, but it's lovely both to knit with and wear. This photo does not really do the colour justice. It's a mixture of deep turquoise and blue-green through to almost inky blue in places.
I got 52 'teeth' out of my skein with a little left over.
Knitted on 3mm needles.

This second scarf is something that I knitted on holiday when my son was about 8 weeks old and I felt that I wanted to knit something I could get my teeth into a bit without being a massive project. I've never really worn it yet, but it is lovely and I'm sure I'll work out what it looks good with eventually.

This is the Primavera Shawlette by Lidia Tsymbal. I knitted this from some Dye for Wool 4ply in the colourway 'Burnt Cinnamon Roll' that I received in a secret santa swap at The Yarn Cake. It's a lovely yarn with some depth and variation in tone and best of all, I only used half the skein so I can use it for something else too.
Knitted on 3.75mm and 4mm needles.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Owl Obsession

In an attempt to resurrect my blog and get it going again, I'm going to show you all projects that have been finished in the last year while I was on maternity leave. There is no particular order to how I'm going to do this, it could well depend on availability of photographs when the blogging mood takes me!

First up is Owl Obsession. I crocheted this for my new nephew who was born in November.
The pattern is amazing... I have not crocheted in any meaningful way for years and have never successfully followed a pattern but I needn't have worried. The level of detail in the instructions and the photographs provided are brilliant.

The yarns I used were KnitPicks Chroma Worsted in the colourway Lolly Pop and Drops Big Merino in cream. The Knitpicks is not easily available in the UK and not at all in this colourway but a friend bought it for me in the USA and my father-in-law brought it back with him to the UK. 
The hook was 5.5mm.

The colours were absolutely addictive. I finished this in no time at all and even the making-up and finishing flew by.

I'm really pleased with the finished product - it's warm, colourful and perfect for a winter baby.