Thursday, May 21, 2020

Newsletter No 4 - sent 20 May 2020


Hi Everyone

I don’t think there are many of us that use the yarn called for in a pattern whether it is for machine knitting, hand knitting or crochet.  So when using an alternative yarn do you ever cut it a bit fine and only have a few metres left or run out of yarn before getting to the end?  I know I’ve played “yarn chicken” more than a few times!

I can remember, many years ago, standing in the local wool shop (when there were such things in almost every town!) waiting whilst the assistant patiently helped a customer choose yarn for a pattern and then refer to a folder on the counter.  The information in the folder told her how many yards there were in the chosen balls of yarn and the recommended yarn and from that the assistant was able to work out how many balls were required for the pattern.  (yes—even then the length of yarn in a ball varied despite it all being the same ply!)

We can still do that today except it would probably be in metres and grams rather than yards and ounces.  Most suppliers and manufacturers give this information on their websites so you should be able to find the relevant information on-line if it isn’t printed on the ball band or cone. 

As an example, I have a number of balls of sock yarn waiting to be knitted up.  You probably can’t read the small print on these four ball bands so the top one is 100g/460m, left is 100g/270m, right is 100g/420m and bottom 50g/210m. 

So you know how many yards/metres (length) to each ball of yarn and how many balls of yarn the pattern says you need.   Multiply the length per ball by the number of balls to give you the total length of yarn you need.  Now divide the total length by the length of each ball of substitute yarn. The answer is the number of  balls of yarn you’ll need.  Don’t be tempted to round down even if it is only a little over.  You’ll need some for your tension swatch and to sew the garment together.  I refer here of course to balls, but it could be cones, skeins, donuts or cakes.

If you are substituting yarn remember that the drape, stretch  and look of a garment will be affected by the composition of the yarn, so substituting a cotton yarn for a wool or acrylic yarn will not only give an entirely different number of balls, but also different look to your garment.  Want to know more about yarns lengths and plys? The Knitting Wool Store and Laughing Hens may be of help.  As usual have a look round these UK sites.  Similar US sites are on the web too so if you do visit one don’t forget you’ll need to do a bit of term and size conversion.


Some of you like to knit from vintage patterns, but the yarns will have long been discontinued. And the information in the pattern gave a yarn name rather than a ply. The website Vintage Knits might be of help to you.  The link is to the Patons page so scroll down to the bottom to find a link to the home page where you can find free patterns and other interesting pages.

If this doesn’t exactly make sense to you then visit Knitting Brain and Sister Mountain to find what is probably a better explanation.

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Machine Knitting

Have you tried knitting from a visual pattern?  That’s how Anne Lavene writes her patterns and they are really unusual but also easy to follow and work from.  I took along a copy of her free pattern when I was knitting at a show.  Visitors who had never or have rarely seen a knitting machine were fascinated that I could knit a summer top in a day. (At home it would have been even quicker!) It’s a great introduction to her patterns which can be purchased through her website.  There are tutorials there too to help you.  (The yarn by the way is Grigna and it took less than a cone. Cream edges are crocheted in a different yarn.  I think it was two strands of Silky, but not sure.)

Marianne Henio is also a designer who has been on the scene for quite a few years now and is building up a portfolio of patterns for both machine and hand knitters.  She also has a free guide “how to Write and Convert your own Knitting Patterns” that can be downloaded from her website when you sign up for her Newsletter.

Mary Anne Oger’s blog “Needless to Say” is amusing and full of useful hits and tips. Some of you may have seen her books and articles in Canadian and American magazines.  

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 Crochet:

Do you like the thought of flip flops, but don’t like the post between your toes?  I spotted a website with details of how to crochet a top onto the base of flip flops and turn them into a slipper or summer shoes using cotton yarn.  There is another pair with a  different top again ideal for summer wear. 

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Hand Knitting:

How do you join your yarn?  Do you use the two methods in this video? Do you use a “magic knot” , a “Russian join” or a “spit splice”?  Maybe spit splice isn’t one we should be using right now but kept for the future!

It’s not easy measuring socks whilst you are knitting them, especially if they are not for you.  This sock ruler may work for you.  Or alternatively you can make your own.  I’ve used an offcut of mounting board for mine as a temporary measure.  I’ll get a proper one in due course. 

When I was looking at the sock rulers I also spotted a row counter that looks like a good idea, especially if you use circular needles.  It would even work for crochet too perhaps.  In the form of a ring it’s unlikely to get in the way or lost.


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Have you been making face masks or know someone that wears one for work?  I’m sure you’ve heard that they are getting very sore ears.  So here’s a simple pattern for Ear Savers for knitters and crocheters.  My guess is that they would be easy to adapt if you don’t have the recommended yarn, or just use two strands together. If you’re not keen on these ones, search on Ravelry for alternative patterns, including adjustable, no button and some especially designed for children and the young at heart.  All these free patterns are on Ravelry, so if you haven’t joined yet now could be a good time. Photos of the ones I’ve knitted for my family in Show and Tell.

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Do you have trouble threading the needle when sewing up your knitting or crochet?  You might find these yarn needles easier to thread and use plus being in such bright colours they should be easy to find!  Pony  also make a similar set, but they are all the same colour.    Some of you might prefer to use regular needles, but have you tried the ones with the little curve at the end?  There are a number of different makes  made from plastic as well as metal.  These ones made by Clover and supplied by the Wool Warehouse as well as other suppliers come in their own tube to keep them safe and you should be able to find them when you need them!

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Browsing the World Wide Web

The first few websites etc that I visited this month all seemed to be based around exercise!

All this knitting crocheting and crafting that is being done could mean you need to do a little hand exercise.  A while ago I brought an exercise sheet along to a club meeting which at the time we all found quite amusing. I came across it again on the same or a similar site. This time it was on the We Are Knitters blog.  After you’ve finished doing the exercises take a look round the rest of the blog—interesting.  You'll just have to look for yourself to find out what, but it will be worth spending time on this site.  It will lead you on to other sites to visit too.

Here’s another website with exercises for knitters.  The Loopy Ewe  is a yarn shop in the Colorado USA that also has a blog on its website.  Their post for April 2017 includes exercises for knitters, some of which are for shoulders and neck as well as hands and wrists.

Are any of you into Yoga?  If so there are a number of YouTube videos showing exercises and positions for knitters.  Here’s one to start you off (Yoga for Knitters and Crocheters) which will lead you on to others.

I’m due an eye check, so these eye charts made me smile.  Just so those of you that crochet don’t feel left out here’s a chart for you..  I wonder what you get if you followed the instructions top to bottom.  If you give it a go, please send a photo of the end results and I’ll include it next time.

Ever thought your knitting could be in code for espionage?  This isn’t a long article but it is an aspect of knitting that I hadn’t thought about.

Fed up with a garment, but don’t want to throw it away.  There is a website call Reknit Revolution that has some interesting and unusual ideas for giving your knits a bit of a makeover.

I came across the Instagram account belonging to Kendall Baker.  She describes herself as a Knitwear Designer and was winner of the GFW Visionary Knitwear Award in 2016.  I can’t fully explore this Instagram and other accounts until I either log in or sign up to Instagram, but it looks as if it could be worthwhile.  Something else to put on my to do list!

Those of you that like experimental knitting may find Kathleen Morris’ website of interest.  Kathleen is a textile artist, researcher and educator.

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My Stay and Home and Keep Busy List

My list is definitely getting shorter.  I’ve spent about a week machine sewing during the day, and doing any hand sewing required, plus hand knitting in the evening.  The results?  Well two dresses and a skirt for those hot days we might get, plus masks for all the family.  

I also found the bag containing two tops I’d cut out but never sewn together.  Everything is there including the pattern envelopes so I don’t have to guess the stitching order, and I’ll be able to put the paper pattern pieces back into the envelope too.  I seem to remember cutting them out originally to see how they fitted before I cut them out in more interesting fabric. I have plenty of tops at the moment so once these are made up I’ll write a few notes on the pattern envelope and delay making more until I need them.

As for the evening knitting, well, I’ve made more socks in the Happy yarn I mentioned last time (see show and tell).  The light colourway yarns are just about gone now and the little left is not worth keeping.  There are two darker colourways and I’ve cast on with one and will change to the other probably as I finish the heel shaping.  They don’t go together quite as well as the other colourways did, but nobody will see unless I take my shoes off! (Isn’t/wasn’t there a craze for wearing mismatch socks?  Doesn’t seem right somehow to wear two completely different socks.)

I didn’t like the market bag I started knitted in the Rowan cotton, so I’ve frogged it and started again.  I think the problem was that the yarn is too fine for what I wanted it to look like.  It looked too fragile to hold any heavy shopping as well as coming out so big you’d never be able to lift it. A smaller size needle would mean it could take me for ever to knit.  So I cast on again using two strands together.  It’s looking good and progressing more quickly too.  It has also enabled me to have another go at “magic loop”.  I’ve never been particularly successful when I’ve tried previously, but I think I may have cracked it now.

Now that the sewing is almost finished I have been thinking about another project for during the day. I haven’t done any weaving for ages so I’ve dug my loom out.  It’s an Ashford Knitters Loom and has had something on it probably for over a year now! It should to be a scarf when finished and is using a technique I saw online   called “clasped weft weaving” which is something I’ve not tried before.  It’s a bit slower than just weaving back and forth so doesn’t grown that quick.  I’ve had another project lined up for a while so am keen to get this one finished and off the loom so I can warp up for the next one. (One jump ahead again!) Once more it will be something I’ve not tried before. 


I’m still experimenting with my loom to learn as much as I can.   I got the loom originally thinking it would be a way to  use yarn from my extensive stash and that it would use lots of it quite quickly.  I was fooled on both counts!  It’s not quicker but I am enjoying another way of playing with yarn. And it would be oh so easy to buy yarn for it rather than use something from the stash.  One day I might, when I have a little less yarn here!

I’m not sure how long I’ve had this band on my Inklette for but it was certainly on there last September so that really must be finished too.  I could use the band as handles on a bag.  In my search for fabric for backing the family history quilt I showed you last time I found something that would work well so I just need to get on with it!  So far I’ve been using cone ends of Branwell Artistic, Bonnies Sable Crepe and similar yarns.  These make quite firm bands ideal as book marks, bag handles and similar and have been great for learning.  I must try some different yarns and fibres to expand my knowledge.  I wonder what other yarns I could try....mmmmm.  Like all crafts, you never have all that you want (not necessarily the same as need!).  The Inklette allows you to make bands up to about 50mm/2” wide and  between 1m/39” and 1.8m/70” long.  On an Inkle, its big brother (or should it be sister?) you can make bands up to 75mm/3” wide and between 1.3m/51” and 2.8m/110”long.  I must resist, I must resist, I must resist.

Update: I have been in touch with the company whose name I was given as a supplier of needles for my Victorian knitting machine.  They responded to my email to say that they can help as soon as lockdown is over and they can get back to work.  It won’t be easy for them to socially distance when they do return so I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait.  But it’s not something that is essential, so I’ll wait patiently.

Still plenty on my list for me to do!  I haven’t started my big clear out yet, or beading or ............  This fine weather is also showing that I do need to do a bit of Spring cleaning, but I still have other things I’d prefer to do first!

Show and Tell


Alison has been knitting pairs of hearts for a hospital in Swindon following an appeal she saw on BBC News.    She’s knitted 15 pairs in all.  I’m sure the hospital will be very grateful and I guess others may like some too, so check locally to you.  It would also be a lovely way of connecting with the younger members of your family.

Alison is also been working on a stalled project—a nearly finished cushion cover for her sister.  Being at home has meant she has been able to get on with it and is now knitting i-cord for the edging.  She’s promised to send a photo when it’s finished. Thanks Alison.

Karen has sent me lots of photos of her scarf that I mentioned last time. This one on the left is as it came off the needles and the ones below show it after it had been finished.  Would you believe that somewhere there is a row that has grafted the two “ends” together.  I can’t spot it even when I enlarged the pictures! Lovely and thanks Karen


Annette has been in touch to say she is really enjoying the newsletter and thinks that it contains much useful and interesting information and links. She hasn’t had time or space to machine knit lately but has been hand knitting children’s mittens for a charity in Romania, plus sewing lots of requested items.  She hasn’t had time to be miserable or bored. Thanks Annette.

I do seem to have been busy over the last few weeks! You’ve already heard about my sewing, so now it’s knitting’s turn.


First off here’s the socks in two different colourways of yarn.  Without using both colours I wouldn’t have had enough yarn for this pair.  And unless someone takes a close look they may never notice!  The next pair of socks is already on the needles, but you will notice the change in colourways for them.

And then there is the ear savers to wear with our masks. I’ve a few more still to knit as they would be easy to loose if we’re not careful and they will also need to be washed from time to time, possibly as often as the masks just to be on the safe side.  The yarn used for these is mainly chunky, the exception being the lilac ones which are aran weight yarn.  Used the same number of stitches for both and there is very little difference in size.  I haven’t counted the rows!

 
Another finished project is a the market bag knitted with two strands of the Rowan 4ply cotton.  The bag itself is about A4 in size so ideal for a 4pt bottle of milk, or a bag of potatoes.  I did make a classic rookie mistake when knitting this and I’m sure some of you have already spotted it.  All the K2tog for the lace holes are in the same direction, so the bag twists.  I should have done some of them in the reverse direction to counter the twist but at the time I didn’t think it would matter as there were a few rows of plain knitting between each row of lace holes.  So lesson learnt.  I made this pattern up as I went along rather than planning fully before I started.  There is still plenty of the Rowan yarn left, so maybe I’ll try crochet next.


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Dictionary definitions:

Procraftinating (pro-craft-in-a-ting):  The act of delaying doing laundry, the washing up, chores and that other project you said you’d finish by starting new craft projects. 
(From www.craft4crafters.co.uk)

And finally

In the rush to return back to normal,
use this time to consider
which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.
 (from Mentors Channel—Facebook)

 Until we meet again


  
Keep Calm
and carry on
Knitting or Crocheting!


Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives

Keep positive—We will meet again




Late News:  I’ve just been sent a link to a News Item on the BBC website.  A lady in Norfolk is knitting the “NHS Knittingale Hospital” to raise much needed funds for her local hospital.


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Newsletter No 3 - sent 29 April 2020


So here we are—Issue 3 already! 

I didn’t know I’d find this much to write about but things keep popping up on the internet which sparks an idea and away we go! I’ve also had a few bits of  news and some photos for our virtual show and tell from some of you.   I’m going to start with machine knitting this time.

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Machine Knitting:

Some of you may not be aware that Elaine Cater now has a website and Facebook page, as well as being on Instagram.  You can purchase her patterns and books via the website, either for download or a paper copy.  There are some free patterns too.

If you’re in need of inspiration, take a look at Iris Bishop’s website.  There’s lots there about her work, not just her machine knitting, but her artwork too.  Definitely a website to aspire to.

I came across a YouTube video called Machine Knitting—Embellishment ideas (so cute).  It has some very different ideas and I was fascinated to watch how the knitter was transferring stitches from the main bed to the ribber.  That bit comes in around 5:45 minutes into the video.  This video is made by Knitology 1x1 so follow the link for others made by her.

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Hand Knitting:

Can you read a knitting chart?  If not Little Nutmeg Productions will show you how. Lots of other free tutorials on this site too.

Are you like me?  It takes me three or four “goes” at having the right amount of yarn for a long tail cast on.  Here’s tip that might help.  Wrap the yarn ten times around the needle you’ll be using.  That will show you how much yarn you need to cast on 10 stitches.  Measuring from that you’ll be able to work out how  much yarn you’ll need for your cast on.  Add six inches or so as you’ll need a bit in your hand when you get to the end.  If you don’t know how to do a long tail cast on there are plenty of YouTube videos to show you how.

Some of you may have noticed that I like to knit socks! But for myself only as I’m not keen on knitting for other people, except occasionally for family.  So if you do find yourself knitting socks for other people, how do you know how long to knit the foot?  I found this chart which could prove useful. If you do use it remember that the shoe sizes are American so you’ll need to find a conversion chart for that.


Are you knitting from a ball, hank or skein? Perhaps  you prefer donuts or cakes?  An Interweave article explains the difference.

I also found Fiona Morris’ blogspot that I think some of you might find useful.  There are both patterns, tips and techniques, including some articles Fiona has written for magazines. 

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Crochet:

Continuing on from last months witterings about crochet, I found a granny square that I hadn’t seen before—one with an offset centre!  Here’s a link to it in Ravelry patterns .   I just had to try it!  Well, one square just to see how to do it.  It also meant I could try out reversing the direction as mentioned last time.  So I searched around and found a few bits of yarn that hadn’t gone to the girls and here’s what happened.  It’s not easy to see from this picture, but the starting point is in the centre of  the square before the 2nd colour was added. I’ve added an arrow to help you spot it! Hope that makes sense!
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I expect most of you know by now, but in case you haven’t heard,  The Knitting and Crochet Guild have postponed their annual Convention.  They have provisionally rescheduled it for the weekend of 11-13 September in the hope that we can all move about by then.  Further details will be available as more becomes known.

The Knitting and Crochet Guild website also has a mystery knit-a-long to help us destash and pictures of all the Collection in 100 Objects.  If you haven’t yet explored their website now could be a good time to do so.

Some of the KCG Branches are hosting on-line events.  They usually get a mention on their Facebook group.    You don’t have to be a member of the Guild to join this group but you will need to answer three simple questions before you get access.

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Just to finish off this section—have you ever tried finger weaving?  You probably have everything you need right at home.  Take a look at these  YouTube videos.  This first one doesn’t have any commentary.  This is an even simpler explanation and does have a commentary.  Just a bit of fun and maybe something to do with the grand kids once we can meet up again!

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Browsing the world wide web

Once again I’ve spent far too long browsing the internet.  Here’s a few more sites for you to look at.  I may sometimes link to just one particular page on a site, but do look around at other pages as you’re likely to find other things of interest.

The Wool Factory  Another place to buy wool online. They also have haberdashery, fabrics and accessories.  They are based at Alfold in Lincolnshire, so when this is all over it could be somewhere to visit on holiday or when you’re just passing through the area and need a break.

So you’ve found a pattern you like, but the yarn is either discontinued, too expensive or you want to use something from your stash.  Take a look at this yarn substitution site to see what might fit the bill.

Can’t find a pattern you like?  Would like to have a go at making your own design, but not confident?  Can’t see that expensive software such as DesignaKnit is for you?  Take a look at KnitAnything to see if they have can help with the calculations.  Another similar site is Made & Worn where you choose a basic shape and add a stitch texture from a range they have available.    Not free but worth a further look.  Don’t forget to look at the faq’s as  you’ll find info there about any pattern you should purchase.

A number of you have been knitting for babies, both prem and full term.  I found Marianna’s Lazy  Daisy Days blog.  There are a number of cardigans and other patterns there with full instructions.  Don’t be put off as some of the patterns give the instructions for each size individually rather than all sizes together with numbers for different sizes brackets.  Can’t always see a button to download them?  At the bottom of each pattern is a green rectangle that says “print friendly”.  Click on that and you have the option to print or save as a pdf.

I saw a question on one of the Facebook groups the other day.  The person wanted to use DK yarn for a 4ply pattern and wanted to know how to do the conversion. After commenting that it would make a very different garment and it might need adjustment to the pattern as well as stitches and rows I pointed her to a website to help her.

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Saturday 13th June is World Wide Knit in Public Day.  It’s still a way off, and there is no telling whether we will be able to meet up, but if we can’t why not take a chair out into your front garden and sit and knit for a while (weather permitting!)?  It’s  a public place and those passing whilst on their daily allowed exercise could have a chat with you at a social distance.  I think that would be allowed!

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Now that we can’t get to wool shows, the wool shows are coming to us!  Yes on line.   Take a look at the On Line Wool Show. Well worth exploring when you have time!  Lots to see and you might even be tempted!  Free patterns too if you’re looking for something different to knit.
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Here’s something to look forward to.  Create-It have uploaded their show dates for late 2020 and for 2021.  Obviously they are all dependant on the situation at the time, so fingers crossed.  If you can’t make a show at Farnborough you could venture further afield to the Kent Showground at Detling.  It’s only about 1½ hours away so probably a suitable distance for a day out.

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The UK Hand Knittering Association website and Facebook Group will be of interest to you I’m sure.  They’ve been busy organising on-line talks, and competitions as well as offering lots of inspiration on Facebook and the website has an interesting blog and patterns.  You’ll need to go to Ravelry to download (and pay) for the patterns.  I didn’t come across any free ones when I was looking but there may well be. I’m also assuming that you will need to sign in to Ravelry to access the patterns although you can see pics on the UKHKA website.

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As Dave and I  can’t go and visit our  Mums we have been telephoning them instead.  My Mum’s Care Home has told me that a few weeks after lockdown and self isolation is over they plan to have a garden party.  I naturally asked if they would like some items for a craft sales table. Ohh yes please!  Now I know what to do with a lot of the things I’ve been making, parcel them up and post them when restrictions lift.  I’m not going to send them now as they aren’t essential and they may not have room to store them.  I may not be able to get to the party, but I can contribute in other ways.  I doubt they will be the only people trying to raise urgently needed funds so don’t stop crafting now.


My Stay and Home and Keep Busy List

One of the things on my list was to knit up yarn from my rather extensive stash.  One yarn that jumped out at me was a pack of ten 50g balls of  Rowan 4ply cotton in a cream colour.  I just don’t knit jumpers or cardigans for me by hand—it takes far too long and I’m never satisfied with the fit, so I ruled them out immediately.  But I do wear socks all year round, so a cotton pair would be good.  Maybe two pairs, but they would need to have different stitch patterns, but before I do that I want to try the first pair for a day to see how they feel and wear.   So one pair knitted and pic in the show and tell. 

I’m on the mailing list for Yarnspirations.  A message dropped into my inbox with something that caught my attention – the stitch pattern on a blanket knitted in a chunky yarn!  I could quite see it as a scarf made from the Rowan Cotton.    However after working out how many stitches I would need and knitting a couple of pattern repeats I could see that the cotton wasn’t suitable.  The stitch pattern needed something like  chenille or with more bulk and not a 4ply smooth cotton, so back to the drawing board on that.  I still want to try the pattern, but I’ll have to look for some different yarn. I’m sure I must have some somewhere!

And it’s thinking cap on again to use the Rowan yarn. As cotton doesn’t stretch I thought it should work well for a “market bag”.  (You know, one of those holey ones for all the veggies!).  I’ve found a number of patterns, both knit and crochet, so you never know, I may end up with two.  My guess is they will be a popular buy from a craft stall! I’d like to think that soon there will be very few people using plastic bags.

Last time I mentioned a blouse that had been waiting about three years for a simple alteration.  This time I am pleased to tell you that the curtains I bought at least 5 years ago have been shortened (by 16cm/ 6½”!) and are now up.  I had been dreading doing it and had felt daunted by the task, but it wasn’t anywhere near as difficult as I feared and I now wonder why I had put it off for so long.  I could almost be tempted to do another pair in the future as our windows are definitely not a standard size and all have radiators under them so length is important.  So ü on my list. 

I’ve also turned a framed cross stitch sampler into a mini quilt so that the my Mum can look at it and her dementia carers can talk to her about it more easily.  That’s ready now to be posted as it may be some time before we can visit. So another ü .  At this rate I’ll be getting a gold star soon!

One of the things on my list is to have a good sort out, not just craft stuff but other things as well.  After all, I am supposed to be decluttering!  One point though —when we can get out and about again I am sure that every charity shop you  can  think  of will be inundated with donations as I expect, like me, you will be turning out the odd cupboard or two.  If you have things to donate why not hang on to them for a little longer and donate them when the first rush of items has been dealt with? It would be such a shame if your donation can’t be put to best use because they have more than they can handle.

The next pair of sock has been cast on and finished. The yarn was leftover from a previous pair and just sufficient.  More about them with a photo in the show and tell. There are further colourways that will work together and should be sufficient for two more pairs.  I don’t like throwing yarn away, unless it’s just a few metres and not enough to do anything with.  So my stash is reduced—not a lot but it’s better than nothing!

My list doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter but it looks like it is holding it’s own. I know I have completed some of the things but added more!

Show and Tell

A few of you have been in touch since the last Newsletter. 

Nina said it is good to catch up via the Newsletters. She has actually knitted a jumper on the machine and that it is so nice to be able to see what she’s doing again.  She hadn't realised how bad her cataract had got until it was removed.  Hopefully there will be a photo to follow.  How lucky was Nina to be offered the op at short notice in January?
 
Although Sally is still working full-time from home, two hours per day have been gained from not commuting.  As a consequence there is more time to clean during the week and less housework is needed on the weekends.

These past weekends have been spent using some of the extra hobby time to start doing some stash ‘housekeeping’ including making gauge swatches for some of the less-familiar stash yarns, to know what the yarn feels like when knitted, and start calculating patterns to use them for. The soft cotton (mink/beige) is going to be a light-weight jumper or t-shirt (depending on whether there is enough yarn for full length arms!). The dark blue acrylic is going to be a work-smart jumper for autumn. Sally has included a brief description of the yarn plus the tension, and stitches/rows on the little tags.

 

The sampling has shown good results. As I was putting this Newsletter together Sally sent a photo of the finished top knitted in the mink/beige yarn. 

In her email Sally said “The shape is based on an purchased summer top that I have and like.  I added a few knit/purl/knit columns in the centre of the front to make it more interesting. 

Looks great and something that will be worn lots.

Sandra tells us she has finished the main part of a cardigan (by hand) but decided to make it a longline one and now doesn’t have long enough needles to do the bands! Sandra will be ordering a circular needle to enable her to finish the cardigan and commented that some may remember it’s not her favourite accessory!  To keep her hands busy till that comes Sandra has returned to knitting baby cardigans for the hospital.  She has also been very busy in the garden/greenhouse so not a lot of time left for anything else.  When the weather changes Sandra hopes to finish a machine knitted tank top for hubby that she started a few years ago.  Unfortunately she can't remember the tension she used. Are there lessons to be learnt here? 1- finish what you started and 2 - write info down.

Karen sent two pictures.  One is of a pair of mittens she’s been working on.  Karen told me that she’s actually onto the fourth mitten now as  these ones are “handed” and the first time she knitted two left hands!



The second photo Karen sent is of a scarf she’s working on.  To keep the pattern the same as both ends you knit two pieces like this (but longer!) and graft them together.  I’m looking forward to seeing this when it’s completed and blocked.  It may have to be a photo only though as it’s for a birthday present at the end of May.




Sylvia has sent two pictures:  this purple cardigan was knitted on LK150 with chunky yarn bought from Bournemouth last year.  She found the pattern in a book given to her by a friend from the Basingstoke club and didn’t need to make any alterations to it.  Very smart and I love the way the stripes match on the fronts and sleeves.

 This white lacy jumper was knitted on a Knitmaster SK700 and ribber.  The yarn is Yeoman Cashmilon and it has been adapted from a pattern printed in MKM.  (It  has a slash neckline rather than as per the pattern.)  There’s also a bit of tucking on the rib at the neckline.  Some of you will have seen this at the last meeting we were able to have, but I’ve included it here as there was quite a few people missing that evening.


This is the pair of socks that I knitted in the Rowan 4ply cotton.  They haven’t been washed yet. There are a couple of errors in the lace pattern and hopefully they won’t be noticed!  My challenge was to pattern the feet as well as the legs/cuffs.



Here’s the second pair of socks I’ve completed since the last Newsletter.  This time in a Wendy yarn called  “Happy” (now discontinued) which is 4ply and 75% bamboo / 25% nylon. It was marketed as a sock yarn. I’ve knitted a few pairs in this yarn so time to use up the left-overs. I weighed the yarn and it looked like there would be sufficient for a pair in one of the colourway, but I did need to play yarn chicken!  The next pair will definitely be two or more colourways.

 And finally:

Re-name the days of the week, so
        Mix and match Monday        
Tuck Tuesday
       Weaving Wednesday           
Trim Thursday
              Fair isle Friday             
Slip Stitch Saturday
Stitch up Sunday

These refer to machine knitting.  Any suggestions for hand knitters and crocheters??

It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.

Keep Calm,
Carry on
Knitting or Crocheting!


Stay Active at Home, Stay Safe, Keep Well.