Casting Off

For one reason or another, this has been a year more dedicated to the woolly crafts than the fabric ones.

I started this first project last November but, by the time it was ready for ‘the sewing up bit’ the weather was far too warm to wear it so I left it until this November to assemble it.  It was my second oversized or ‘boyfriend’ cardigan from Kim Hargreaves ‘Storm’ book of patterns using one strand of Rowan kidsilk haze and one of Kid Classic throughout giving it that nice fuzzy look.  One reason I’ve showed it on the mannequin rather than me is that the photos of the mannequin wearing it show the fuzziness better than the ones of me and the second reason is, despite being over 100 years old, she looks slightly less raddled than I do at the moment.

I like it but I don’t love it as much as the silvery grey one I made.  It will be worn around the house when I can’t be bothered to light the log burner and will make me a magnet for cats seeking comfort which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Since I re-taught myself to crochet, there has been quite a bit of hooking going on this year.  I was enticed by these gorgeous colours in Attic 24’s Hydrangea blanket and the dense stitch pattern was an easy one to do in front of the T.V. which means I get on with it more quickly.

I didn’t register the measurements of the blanket which is single bed size so I’ve only just finished it but love it to bits.

Most of the crochet projects I’ve done so far have been in rows so I thought I’d challenge myself a bit.  Sheila over at Sewchet started on this lovely blanket called Persian Tiles in the Eastern Jewels colourway and, although I’d already spotted it, I thought it might be a bit complicated but after reading about it on Sheila’s blog I thought I’d give it a go.

Unfortunately, that is not me holding up the finished blanket – I’m nowhere near that finished, blonde or young.

I’m really enjoying it so far – although I’ve only done two and a half octagons – but it’s something a bit different for me to get stuck in to and I’m gaining a bit of experience ‘in the round’ at the same time.

I’m weaving my ends in as I go along because there are multitudinous ones and it will be a mammoth task at the end if I don’t.

Thinking that I would work on both that project and one other over the Christmas holidays, I got out two balls of sock yarn I bought last year and cast on for a pair of socks.  As this is only my third pair in as many years I have to keep going back to the tutorials to see what to do.

I like to do both socks at once so I don’t fall prey to the dreaded ‘second sock syndrome’ which I know I would be prone to and there is, apparently, no cure.  Also, I knit from the toe up for various reasons but not least because at this stage it looks as if I’m knitting a teeny bikini top or a pair of woolly sunglasses.  I am easily amused.  This method works for me but involves tricksy beginnings such as Judy’s Magic Cast On and the Magic Loop Method which I need to remind myself of when I embark on my annual sockfest.

All is not so successful.

Remember the Sunshine and Showers Crochet-A-Long I embarked on a while back? Another crochet challenge I thought I’d set myself.   Well, I got off to a flying start and then came the flowers.

The flowers are done separately, joined up and then attached to the existing piece.

This is where they are now.  It might have been a challenge too far.

I might go back to this project at some future stage but I am also fearful that the edges of the blanket will be less than straight because of all the different stitches and patterns in each section and, in my inexpert hands, it is more likely to happen than not as I’ve noticed other people, more experienced in the ways of crochet, have had this problem.

Unfortunately, having had a pair of needles or a hook in my hands almost permanently for some time now, I think I’ve got some sort of repetitive strain injury in the fat part at the base of my thumb so I might have to resort to an ice pack, some ibuprofen, massage and a few days of yarn deprivation to see if it will right itself.

In the meantime, I will gaze at my lovely hydrangea blanket – repelling all dogs and cats until the novelty wears off –  and, because I’m so chuffed with it, put a second photo on, which is almost exactly the same as the first one,  just to make myself feel better about not completing the Sunshine and Showers one.

Plus, I will read the book I asked Mr. T. for for Christmas and try to finally get to grips with pattern cutting.

So, in more ways than one I am casting off until the new year which is only two sleeps away but I will raise a glass of something sparkly to you all on New Year’s Eve and I will make the most of it because I am intending to test myself again this year by doing ‘dry January’ when I will try to maintain my sanity (and my liver)  while not drinking any wine (or any other alcoholic beverage) until 1st February.

Thank you for your support, comments, good wishes, contributions, virtual hugs and all those other things bloggers are so good at, in 2017 and I hope you will stick with me in 2018 – even though I might be a touch grouchy in January 😉

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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on December 30, 2017 - 16:19

    I can’t imagine you being a touch grouchy, that sense of humour will always out. Your blanket is wonderful, no critters allowed for sure. I hope to be a bit more adventurous on the crochet front next year too.You have given me inspiration. I like the new cardigan too, pretty colours and I am sure you are not raddled! Happy New Year.

    • #2 by tialys on December 30, 2017 - 16:39

      Well, a bit raddled – I’ve had a cold in varying forms for several weeks and I overdid ‘drinks and nibbles round at the neighbours’ the night before last so I’m not exactly radiant. Ah well – a detox is looming. x

  2. #3 by katechiconi on December 30, 2017 - 18:04

    A lovely yarny review of your year. I hope your hand recovers promptly or you might suffer unduly, being deprived of both yarn crafts and alcohol… Think how lovely and sparkly clean your liver will be by February!

    • #4 by tialys on December 30, 2017 - 18:57

      Yes, I shall keep that image in my head.

  3. #6 by Dartmoor Yarns on December 30, 2017 - 18:17

    Of course that’s not you holding up the blanket! It’s me. Mind I seem to have mislaid the pattern, can you tell me where to find it on that big vast internet thingy. Fab review of your year of yarniness. Hope you hand is better soon. Happy New Year!!

  4. #9 by PendleStitches on December 30, 2017 - 18:32

    The blanket is exquisite! A friend and I are off to Toft on the 7th Jan to start 2018 as I mean to go on and learn new skills. We’ll be crocheting stripes and small animals and eating cake. That blanket is now firmly on may radar!
    I’m planning to start learning to pattern draft too. Great minds think alike. I shall watch your endeavours with great interest. I suspect they’ll be less hamfisted than mine!

    Hoping 2018 is good to you. xx

    • #10 by tialys on December 30, 2017 - 18:47

      That sounds like great fun. I need to crochet animals great and small because I have spent lots of money on (Toft) books in order to do so but haven’t got round to them yet.
      I have just had a quick flick through the pattern cutting book and my brain hurt so much that I nodded off – not a good sign but I will persevere.

  5. #11 by magpiesue on December 30, 2017 - 20:49

    I love that Persian Tile blanket!!! I hope you continue to enjoy making that; I want to see it finished! And in the meantime, your hydrangea inspired effort is wonderful. The cardigan looks yummy and cozy. My sister retired earlier this year and was looking forward to knitting her days away. She’s having to be careful about overdoing it too. She’s taught herself to knit Continental in an effort to spare her muscles and tendons. It’s helped, but she still has to pace herself. Hope the cold clears up finally. You know we’ll be here for you no matter how cranky you get in January. 🙂

    • #12 by tialys on December 31, 2017 - 10:43

      I usually take a turmeric supplement which I haven’t been doing for a few weeks as I forgot to take them when I went over to the U.K. and then I had a persistent cold so didn’t want to take anything other than decongestants and paracetemol. I’m back on those bright yellow pills now so that might sort me out – it’s hard to tell whether supplements are really doing their job or not but I don’t usually suffer with aches and pains so maybe they really do help.

  6. #13 by craftycreeky on December 30, 2017 - 22:19

    I love your hydrangea blanket,the colours are beautiful. The persian tile blanket is going to be stunning too, looking forward to seeing that one grow! Reading this post makes me think I really must make a concerted effort to finish my ripple blanket 🙂

    • #14 by tialys on December 31, 2017 - 10:36

      Those colours work really well together don’t they? I couldn’t see the hydrangea connection at first but it is true that they go through all those different changes at different stages. I am hoping my thumb doesn’t play up for too long so I can get back to the octagons – I was on a roll with them.

  7. #15 by sewchet on December 30, 2017 - 22:57

    I haven’t picked up a crochet hook for a month now, as I’ve been finishing off presents, but I’ve only got the border left to do on the Jewels Blanket. I really must pick it up again. The fluffiness of your latest cardi is very attractive, even if it second best after the grey one. I hope you don’t discard it in favour of the other all the time. RSI of the thumb is my worst fear! Hope ice and rest sees you back at the yarn soon. As for dry January – we’re actually considering it for the first time……

    • #16 by tialys on December 31, 2017 - 10:33

      It scared me to death when I saw a photo of somebody’s finished blanket where they hadn’t been weaving the ends in as they went along – there were hundreds of them – so I was determined not to end up with that task. Yours was looking gorgeous last time you posted about it so I’m dying to see the finished blanket.
      My thumb is still tender – although I’ve just left the hook and needles alone and only remembered to administer an ice pack once so it’s not surprising. – I’m finding it very frustrating not being able to knit or crochet as I was hoping to come out of the other side of the holidays with a pair of socks and many more octagons than I’m going to have 😦
      I won’t say Dry January is fun but at least you can prove to yourself you can do it if you want to. The trick is finding something else you like to drink that isn’t alcoholic for those times you’d normally have a glass of wine or whatever. Elderflower Pressé works quite well for me.

  8. #17 by yarnandpencil on December 31, 2017 - 00:00

    A yummy visual feast 🙂 I love your hydrangea blanket ❤ Very best wishes for the New Year.

  9. #19 by Susan on December 31, 2017 - 05:56

    What beautiful projects you have finished, and even the one that you are classifying as not a success right now. So … crochet and leave the flowers out. The yarns are gorgeous in all of them.

    • #20 by tialys on December 31, 2017 - 10:24

      I was actually thinking about maybe doing that – after all, the flowers are only the border at the top and bottom of the blanket so I could always substitute something else. Once I finish the Eastern Jewels one, I’ll probably go back to it and worry about wavy edges later.

  10. #21 by claire93 on December 31, 2017 - 14:45

    wow Lynn! your purple cardie is lovely . . . if you don’t wear it, I have 4 cats a a purple car, so it would fit in nicely here ^^
    As for your crochet – you have been so industrious and made some gorgeous things. I do love all the bright colours.

    • #22 by tialys on January 1, 2018 - 13:27

      Thanks Claire – I’ll bear you in mind 😉

  11. #23 by sparkscrochet on December 31, 2017 - 23:30

    I am loving the start of your blanket tiles! You are a glorious crocheter! Your hydrangea blanket is so striking and vibrant!

    • #24 by tialys on January 1, 2018 - 13:25

      Thank you – I’m still a relative novice in the crochet stakes but I’m getting very keen on it lately.

  12. #25 by Born To Organize on January 1, 2018 - 04:59

    I love every last one of your projects, but that hydrangea blanket makes me want to take up my crochet again, immediately. It’s a thing of beauty.

    I like the idea of working on both socks at once. That makes good sense. I have a great time at your blog. I’m looking forward to all my future visits in the coming year. Happy new year!

    • #26 by tialys on January 1, 2018 - 13:22

      Thank you Alys – I don’t usually display much sense but two at a time socks (and sleeves come to that) seem logical to me. x

  13. #27 by KerryCan on January 1, 2018 - 14:30

    Look at all you’ve made! And all really pretty (but *especially* that blanket)! I don’t crochet very much and after about 20 minutes my hands get sore–I can’t imagine how yours must feel when you’re doing so much of it. I’ll look forward to seeing what 2018 brings!

    • #28 by tialys on January 1, 2018 - 15:28

      I am suffering a bit with the base of my thumb on my left hand at the moment – I’m right handed and have never had a similar thing happen with knitting so that’s a bit strange. I really wanted to finish the pair of socks and some more of the Eastern Jewels blanket over the holiday period so I’m finding it very frustrating that I’m not able to do as much as I want to :/

  14. #29 by Kim on January 1, 2018 - 16:27

    Some real eye candy here – your crochet blankets are stunning. Good luck keeping the beasties off them!
    I hope your thumb gets better soon. I can’t imagine not being able to craft due to the pain it creates.
    Hope 2018 is a good year for you 😃

    • #30 by tialys on January 2, 2018 - 11:27

      Neither could I until now. I’ve heard of other bloggers having to stand up to use the sewing machine because of back pain, etc. and I’ve always thought about what would happen if you couldn’t knit/crochet/sew/paint/insert craft of choice due to a painful condition but I usually push these thoughts to the back of my mind in horror. Not that an achy thumb is that terrible but it does get you thinking.

  15. #31 by poshbirdy on January 2, 2018 - 13:44

    Lovely projects and thank you so much for inspiring me (after many years) to pick up my needles and cast on and cast off before the end of the year. That little neck warmer took very little time and has whetted my appetite for more projects. Does anyone successfully take knitting needles on aircraft? It always seems such a lot of downtime, but I can’t see needles getting through security, even bamboo ones?

    • #32 by tialys on January 2, 2018 - 14:44

      It’s a lovely, quick knit isn’t it but looks complicated enough to look as if you’ve put some proper time and effort into it! Great for gifts – you can impress your friends and family this winter now 🙂 As for needles on aircraft – like you, I couldn’t see them letting such things through but my husband commutes with EasyJet Toulouse/LGW/Toulouse with a woman who knits during the flight and I took mine over to the UK in my hand luggage with me recently and they didn’t sideline my bag. I guess each airport security might be different so it might be best to check the printed rules of whichever airport you’ll be using, print the relevant bit out and take it with you.

  16. #33 by Wendy on January 4, 2018 - 16:44

    the blanket is beautiful! I also fell in love with the Persian Tiles blanket.. I’m very tempted to give it a go! don’t worry about your row blanket, I’m making one from a Cherry Heart CAL and my edges are wonky as anything. I just plan on blocking it when I’m finished. But how often is a blanket spread out neatly anyway, use it as a couch blanket and it won’t matter!

    • #34 by tialys on January 4, 2018 - 17:04

      It’s true – a couch blanket or even a cat blanket :/ Once I’ve finished Persian Tiles blanket I might go back to the Sunshine & Showers one because I really only decided to do it to build on my skills and it will still do that.

  17. #35 by Jo on January 13, 2018 - 15:07

    Such wonderful projects. I love the hydrangea blanket, beautiful colours and it looks so drapey and cosy. It’s quite some time now since I’ve had a hook in my hand, I’m all for knitting at the moment.

    • #36 by tialys on January 13, 2018 - 20:45

      Funny how you can be ‘in the mood’ for different crafts at different times isn’t it. I’m all about yarn at the moment and sewing isn’t getting much of a look in.

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