Remember me struggling with the fisherman’s rib stitch jumper? The stitch makes a great looking fabric but every mistake shows and it’s very hard to put them right. Anyway, having undone almost the whole thing once, I persevered and now I have a back, front and almost one sleeve so it looks as if I might have a wearable ‘slob around the place’ jumper at the end of it after all.
I need another blanket/quilt/throw like a hole in the head but I was sorely tempted by this knit along (KAL) run by Black Sheep Wools and designed by Sarah Haddon. It’s called ‘A Day Out’ and I liked the idea of lots of squares made with different knitting techniques so I thought I’d do it and call it a learning curve.
The above example was made with one of the colour packs put together by Black Sheep Wools but it’s a merino wool which is not as easy care as acrylic and, much as I would prefer merino, any home furnishings in this house need to be as dog and cat proof as much as possible. So I tried to find similar colours in the alternative yarn (Sylecraft Special Aran) but couldn’t see a similar purple so substituted a dark charcoal.
So, full of good intentions and unreasonable expectations I joined the Facebook support group and cast on for the first of many 20cm squares. The new squares have been introduced weekly on Tuesdays and some new (to me) techniques were involved and looked a bit scary
Week one was fun and we had to make four of these.
I finally gave in and bought some foam interlocking mats which were much cheaper than proper blocking mats – although I did treat myself to those rather cheerful rainbow blocking pins. A lot of people don’t block at all – let alone acrylic yarn – but I find pinning the squares out to size and giving it a couple of squirts with the steam iron held a a few inches above, not touching the yarn, works wonders in getting the size right and opening out the pattern.
Week 2 was mosaic knitting which I thought would be very scary. However, it wasn’t scary at all and I enjoyed it. Quite difficult to see the effect in the subtle colours I’ve chosen (I have lots of crochet blankets in bright colours so wanted a change) but this square proved to be my undoing in the process of trying to keep up in the KAL as we had to do eight of this particular one and I just don’t knit that fast or that often.
So, once I made five I decided to come back to this one and carry on with the following week and, up to now, have managed at least one of the new blocks released each week just to try them and give myself some encouragement and will go back and finish the others in the fulness of time.
Here’s week number three’s square, a pretty lacy sort of design.
Week four looked very scary but it turned out to be one of my favourites and was actually quite simple. You make the inner cabled square and then, one side at a time, pick up the stitches on each side and do the stripy garter stitch to make it into a 20cm square with the inner square on point.
I was also happy to see my charcoal coloured yarn introduced into the three colour mix as there are only three colours and I was getting fed up with only using two.
I love this mosaic square for week five.
Week six was a bobbly pattern which involved a different technique than the usual one for making bobbles which some liked, some didn’t, There have been quite a lot of mavericks on the Facebook group going off in different directions or substituting different blocks for the ones they found too difficult or just not to their liking,
Week seven was one some people weren’t keen on, It could be worked flat or in the round – I’m not keen on circular needles so did mine flat. It was quite fascinating the way it started off with a lot of stitches then gradually decreased in a clever way until it looked all frilly on the needles.
Then, when you cast off, and after sewing up one seam, it turns into this square.
Fascinating to make but it’s not my favourite and we have to do eight of them. I’ll probably make four and do a different pattern for the other four – somebody on the FB group has come up with one that looks nice so I’ll use that, I’m not proud.
Anyway, this is where I am up to so far. Long way to go but there’s no rush.
Which is just as well because now I have my knitting mojo back I bought this….
to make this
to make this.
What am I like?
That second pattern with the star in relief wouldn’t have caught my eye if I’d just seen the pattern leaflet but, when I went to the local ‘town’ the other day, I noticed there is a yarn/fabric/haberdashery shop – Glory Be! – and they had the finished article in blue on a mannequin in the window and it looked really good. So it is now in my ‘knitting whilst watching (although nothing with subtitles)’ queue which has to be simple knitting otherwise I go wrong. Those squares have to be done with concentration so have to be ‘fully conscious during the daytime’ knitting and that’s probably why I’ve fallen behind.
The only thing is, I have taken up a whole bedroom in the new house as my workroom and I tend to knit downstairs so Mr. Tialys is starting to doubt the wisdom of that decision. This means I have to get back on to that sewing machine but I really do have too many clothes already and my patchwork mojo is decidedly absent at the moment. I have made a few new items for my Etsy shop but, since the ‘B’ word and the ‘P’ word (Brexit and Pandemic) I’m only selling within the U.K. so my audience is limited and, therefore, so is my enthusiasm for it.
Not to worry – I find that, unlike fly-by-night crafts I sometimes indulge in, my regular enthusiasms are on a constant turnaround – what happened to my dog portraits for example? I would do those in my workroom. I’d better get back to them at some stage as I have the national collection of wool fibre in assorted colours – probably enough to make a life-size dog, let alone a 2D ten inch square portrait.
I got up at 6a.m. this morning – the sunlight glinting off the frost woke me up – but I wrote this post instead of knitting another square. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.