Category Archives: knitting

3 Things This Tuesday

Happy Tuesday to you all!

3 things I have been looking at/ pondering this week…

Knitting Magazine…lots of vintage inspired patterns

Lace weight wool only a ÂŁ1 a ball from Boyes…bargain!

Pattern and wool was free with a magazine a few months ago for a simple scarf. Think the scarf would be a good practice first time one to start with lace, but horrible choice of watermelon colours. So, since lace wool was a quid from Boyes….

Also, I have been deciding whether to knit a ballerina hippo. As you do.

Have a happy Tuesday everyone! 🙂

Malice in Wonderland

I don’t knit toys. I don’t crochet amigurumi. I don’t do fiddly.

But a couple of days ago I thought I would try a free kit with Let’s Knit magazine. My stitches were perfect, I didn’t drop any stitches or anything. They were all neat. Everything was fine and dandy.

Until I came to sew it up.

She looks quite creepy if you ask me. And a bit like a nurse,

KNITTING FAIL!

Why can’t I finish projects like this to a higher standard?

lol…that’s all I have to say about it…just lol :O

March WIPS

Progress updates:

WIP 1 Knitted Spring Bunting

This is almost done, just one triangle to go. Will post more pics when ready, not much change since last update.

WIP 2 Lizzie’s Housewarming Blankie

I am nearly finished first ball of wool and onto second, it should take about 3 200g balls. Good but slow progress, no pics yet because it’s not finished!

WIP 3 Knitted Wristwarmers

Back in November or December I started a pair of knitted wristwarmers and I had to adapt the pattern big time and make it up as I went along. I haven’t done any more to them, but want to get them off my needles and finished so I can use the needles for other projects!

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As you can see from picture before – no progress. But the yarn is pretty and now I realise this type of yarn you have to wind into a ball before you start…not really used hanks before, well lesson learned!!

WIP 4 Crochet Stormtrooper Blanket

I am exactly 6.4% of the way through as I calculated this morning. Had a sausage butty in cafĂ© this morning and managed to get 3 squares done there! In case you are wondering, 6.4% of 625 squares is 40, so not bad at all I think. No pics as it’s all just what you’ve already seen….white, grey and black squares. So this one is a positive.

WIP 5 Use up all old stash

I am making even more granny squares when I have a spare minute to use up old wool and the freebie wool you get with magazines but never end up doing the projects (I hate just throwing it away!). I have donated a huge bag of this type of wool to a charity shop before as they want crafty stuff, but this time I’m going to use it all up productively, maybe into a blanket, maybe donate the squares to charities that make and donate blankets, I don’t know yet but this is ongoing with no end date.

I know Woolly Hugs accept squares in UK and possibly Post Pals too, I can’t remember.

Actually Post Pals is a really sweet (but often sad) charity. Basically they have a list of very sick children (and their siblings who can often feel left out) and sometimes terminally ill children too. People write letters to them and send little packages, maybe little toys, homemade things, if it says on their profile page that the child likes lego then there are lots of small figures/ kits to send. You get the idea, Fearne Cotton is patron of this charity. Here is the link:

http://www.postpals.co.uk/

I can’t get onto the woolly hugs site, I think they are experiencing problems with their server, but they have a variety of projects, they make blankets for children in UK hospitals, blankets for children of Chernobyl who visit each year and other things like baby memorial gowns -I think. I may have posted about it somewhere else on the blog, can’t remember, but anyway two good charities to send things to.

Ideas for future projects:

Use spare wool to knit myself a cowl

Make another cushion

Knit that double knitting star wars scarf on ravelry

Knit a hat and socks which I am dying to do and I found some sock yarn today as well, so I know where my local shop keeps it now!

Knit/ crochet a shawl

And finally…BASICALLY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT IS KNITTED OR CROCHETED!!!!!!!

Ellen xx

Knits and Bits

Now that I have all that technical wisdom stuff out of my system, I can get back to what I have been up to.

Making Mozzarella Cheese

Christmas 2015 – my parents bought me a cheese making set to make either mozzarella or ricotta (you provide the milk and there’s enough rennet and citric acid to make 10 batches). I think they got it from Steamer Trading which sells kitchen stuff in the UK but here is a link to the actual cheese company’s website.

http://www.bigcheesemakingkit.com/

The kit has lain around the house in various places and it’s only now I got the oomph to make it (with a little help from my lovely assistant aka mum). It was quite easy to do too although I didn’t really take a lot of pics and document the whole process as a lot of it is literally looking at milk! In the picture below my balls of cheese are in ice water cooling down and the white stripe across the pic is the reflection of the light above! Just in case you were wondering…don’t think you were, but anyway. I also added a few chilli flakes to a few balls so we will see how they turn out.

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Knitted Spring Bunting

Just got one more triangle to do, weave in ends and make a long strip to attach them to and hang up, also they are quite twisted so will need blocking first. I think I am going to go down the edge them with crochet route so that should help them stop curling too. I changed my mind slightly on colours, sticking with 4 triangles of 3 colours – pink, yellow and green. I was going to do light blue as well but decided it just didn’t fit. Also I may do the strip in blue to denote the sky! And since I had to throw 3 triangles away after realising I had done them in 4mm needles and not 5mm ones….this project has taken longer than it should have!

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New stuff

Yesterday bought Let’s Knit magazine and a few more stitch holders since mine has gone walkabouts. The knitting mag came with a free crochet pattern mag and I actually like a few patterns from here, so not a bad buy I think!

The stitch holders were from Wilkos which I never think about for knitting supplies.

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Mollie Makes

Magazine through the post today, will look at later. 🙂

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Books

I am reading Daniel Deronda at the moment, tried to get into it a couple of years ago but lost the will, so am trying again. Of the 13 books in my Read What You Have Challenge in the pages above I have now read 4 so only 9 to go! Most are classics which as we all know are never a quick read, especially when, with some of them it’s a case of here is a paragraph. Three pages later the paragraph has ended. The style of the writing itself can make a book very hard to read, even though the story may be fantastic.

I am also having a look at the ones below. Coz I have a whole shelf of crafty books. And sometimes we just need pictures!

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Using up my stash

The only problem with knitting magazines is that a lot of the time for me the free gifts are either naff or just what I wouldn’t make. So I had LOADS of leftover yarn and nothing to do with them. Finally decided to make a few knitted squares as I think I showed you in a previous post somewhere and some crochet granny squares which are a heck of a lot quicker to make. Will darn in the ends and maybe find a charity to donate to or make something simple, don’t know yet, just wanted the pile of tiny balls gone!

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And it has suddenly got REALLY dark and rainy now. I’m British, so a dark overcast afternoon means only one thing – time for a brew! 🙂

3 Things Knitting And Crochet Has Taught Me

I was just scrolling down the list of early blog posts (cringe) that I wrote at the start of this blog and I came across this and it made me smile, I, having forgotten all about it.

https://chronicleofellen.wordpress.com/2015/07/28/the-ten-crochet-commandments/

It made me think of what I have gained from my hobbies. Crochet, Knitting, Reading, Blogging, Writing, Sewing, Cross-Stitch all have similar roots you could say in the crafty and creative sense. My personal 3 things are as follows:

  1. Patience

The amount of times I have had to frog a piece I was working on, or, with knitting, accidentally slipping a stitch and watching in horror as it leaves a ladder down the work, or noticing I have missed a stitch and therefore have to re-do a whole row or the whole piece is off. Seriously, the amount of times! I have never screamed or cried over a project, although there are times when I have felt like it (especially with learning to knit last year!). But, now, I just rip it apart/ undo that last row and start over. I’m not even so bothered anymore because I realise, for me, it’s the making that is the most fun part and redoing it? It’s not the end of the world is it?!

2. Problem- Solving

This is kind of linked to the first point. I have been crocheting since 2009 and knitting since last year, so I am able to notice when a pattern has a mistake in it. Like the wrist warmers I am STILL knitting, I tried a few variations on a theme, then decided to make up my own pattern. And when I slip a stitch knitting? A crochet hook will pull the stitch back onto the needle. And when I don’t have exactly the materials/ equipment that a pattern recommends? Improvise – paperclips for stitch holders; a safety pin on the working stitch to stop the stitches unravelling when you put it down for the night and take the crochet hook out; pattern calls for a zip and you don’t have one – use buttons or ribbon etc.

3. Confidence/ Appreciation

I have always been guided by one rule, even when I was a teenager, and it trickles it’s way through my life now, as an adult. And it is this.

Like what you like and don’t be put down or put off by other people for liking it.

I like crafts. I like nerdy sci-fi stuff. I like love books. I like space. I like Ancient Egypt. I like Sausage Dogs and Labradors and Spaniels. I like environmentally friendly things. I like the idea of me raising pigs and keeping chicken one day. I like helping dad on his allotment. I like a lot of other things too. So what?

I can appreciate other people’s work and creations and understand/ empathise with how much consideration and effort has gone into it. I can understand patterns and charts. I can sit on a ferry to the Isle of Wight as I did last week and confidently get out my crochet/ knitting even though I will get stared at by the little children nearby and just about anyone who walks past. I’m OK with liking what I like because I am the one who likes it.

And I swear I will talk about something else in the next post, it has been knitting this and crochet that recently for ages.

Except. I’ll probably forget and show you the granny squares and the stash-busting that has been going on lately!

Till next time, Ellen xx

 

A Granny A Day

You know what they say – a granny a day keeps the boredom at bay!

After all these months learning how to knit and then discovering the actual JOY of knitting, I have suddenly made a U-turn and decided to do some crochet for a little bit. I was sorting out my stash drawers, and put all the yarn I wanted used up asap because it was ugly or horrible into bags.

When doing this I found some yarn which I thought would look good as neon granny squares. YES, I said NEON grannies!

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The white one you see in the background was a test one for size for another project I have brewing in my head…a nerdy one that needs 675 squares…so I need to think about that before I say anything more here.

Had a thought that the green and orange squares would be good for a Halloween blanket as I was making them, HOWEVER, I am not going down that route. I thought a small-ish granny funky cushion. With  maybe small squares on the front and either a bigger one on the back or stripes. I have seen granny stripe blankets which look quite good and are quite quick to make up (being a tall treble stitch and lots of gaps.

I only did 3 rounds, 2 in colour and 1 in black.

The only thing I would say is that I tend not to do chains on my grannies! I do 3 chains to make the first stitch as normal, 2 chains in the corners and that’s it. I find just doing your trebles into the spaces between your stitches makes a much neater and tighter square (that will mean NOTHING to people who don’t crochet!).

Anyhoo…

The freebie yarn from different knitting and crochet magazines is being made into practice knitted squares, as I said in my previous post. Yesterday I completed a double rib square, but now I realise when doing ribbing it pulls the work together quite tightly so I know to cast on more next time.

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Are those colours just the most hideous ever?!

And I am slowly continuing with the bunting and other projects.

Hope you all have a crafty weekend planned!

Ellen xx

Waffle Knit Stitch

Yesterday I knitted 2 squares – 1 a simple knit stitch and the other a simple waffle pattern.

I find that when I buy knitting and crochet magazines they come with free kits, but ones that I would rarely want to have a go at (Willard Whale being an exception). So, what to do with all that free yarn? I have given some away in the past, either to my local primary school or to local charity shops.

But now I have an idea. I’m going to use all that cheap and nasty free yarn and use it for my experiments – Muahahahaha!

By which of course I simply mean I shall use it to practice new stitches with. It knits up quite tightly and stiffly, so would be good for things like coaster, place mats and floor mats, randomly enough! And I hate throwing things away without using up as much as I can…

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The colours are bright and horrible, but it’s just a trial. I figured out on which row to change colours now so you don’t get that extra row of colour. I forgot to take a pic of the back, but the back looks quite interesting too.

Maybe if I do enough ‘trials’ I might have enough for another blanket! Or maybe a picnic rug or something!

The waffle stitch is really easy to do as well. There are lots of variations of this stitch out there, so see what you come across when you type it in.

I am trying to keep all my squares as close to 40 stitches (cast on) as possible so they all line up when I come to sew them up (if I get that far with the small amounts of freebie yarn I have left).

I have seen versions where you slip stitches or wind yarn around needle many times. It’s up to you which one you go for. I think basically it is a combination of whether you do a couple of rows of knit before or after your couple of rows of single rib.

Here is another version with bigger squares: http://newstitchaday.com/waffle-stitch/

And one I found on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHLlNxePCe8

I think this pattern would be really good with thick chunky wool, maybe cream or grey or brown…in natural colours.

And best of all, if you’re not a knitter, you can do a waffle stitch in crochet too…which would be SOOOO much quicker to do, methinks!

Ellen x