Posts Tagged heidi bears two at a time socks

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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My Second Sock Selfie and Another Disturbing Image

Off to the U.K. for visiting, theatre going, shopping, art gallery viewing, fish and chip eating and general catching up and seeing what I’ve been missing (if anything).  I won’t dwell on a dentist appointment I’ve booked myself in for as it can’t all be fun I suppose.

I couldn’t go without showing you these.

TwoatatimeToeupSocks (2)Yes, these are the bottoms of my legs but what I’m really showing you are the temporarily abandoned but finally finished two at a time, toe up socks.  I am so in love with them that I never want to wear them.

Do you know what I mean when I say that?  If I don’t put them away somewhere safe they might get spoiled/dirty/lost/eaten by a dog.  Please say I’m not the only one.

Anyway, here’s another view where I didn’t have to put my legs up in the air whilst holding a camera at a funny angle, as you do.

TwoatatimeToeupSocks1

Just in case you are wondering, I am not a master of intarsia knitting, this is the way the wool knits up.  It’s like magic!  I’m so chuffed they match although I did have some input into that.

Now that I have finished these, I can cast on for another project free of guilt.

I have been making dog bandanas like a crazy woman for the fund raising efforts of my local Dog Rescue group as mentioned in my last post and I have turned to festive fabric as one does at this time of year, such as these.

Festive Dog Bandanas

Whilst the trusty Stan was modelling for pet accessories in the hope that I would throw a ball for him at the end of it, I happened to get a disturbing photograph of him which revealed he has a much longer tongue than I gave him credit for.  It is a rubbish photograph of the bandana but I include it here for your edification.

Dogs Long Tongue

I’ll be back in a week or so having hopefully replenished my wardrobe, fabric stash, cholesterol count and cultural education.

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It’s Nippy! Must Be Knitting Time.

It’s that time of year when I prefer the comfort of a big, warm, fluffy ball of wool and a pair of chunky needles to a cutting mat and some flimsy fabric.  That’s not to say I have abandoned the sewing machine.  I have the new Grainline sweatshirt pattern, ‘Linden’  and some french terry fabric ready to make something to keep me warm at the start of my yoga class.  I also have Colette’s new Dahlia dress pattern for which I’m going to throw caution to the wind and try sewing with plaid again – they promise it’s an ideal pattern for plaid (no darts) and will hold my hand along the way which I will need after my last disastrous attempt.   So I’m just awaiting a huge fabric delivery, praying Customs won’t punish me too much for ordering from the States,  then I can get going on that.  I also have a sort of 70s boho vibe top cut out and ready to go for Mlle Tialys the younger and just need to make or buy some bias binding and ribbon and I’ll be off.  But, for the moment, I’m mainly in knitting mode.

In a timely fashion for the temperature change we’ve just experienced – one day in swimming pool*, next day looking at snow on the mountains – I’ve just recently finished this jacket or short coat, as it is called on the pattern.

* not me in swimming pool of course.  As if.  It needs to be at least 27 degrees for me to get in – and I’m talking water temperature not air temperature

Square Patterned Jacket

This is Sirdar Pattern 8951 in Denim Ultra which is a joy to work with and also knits up quicker than you can say ‘I think I might actually wear this one’.  My mum had made one for herself and I liked it, especially when I saw the size of the needles (10mm) and the rope like yarn.  It’s definitely a quick fix knit.  I was lucky enough to find somebody selling it for a fraction of the price but only in one colour – Laurel – which is a dark green with black fleck, although I know it looks grey in the photo.  So an economical knit too.

Here is the back but I confess that, true to form, I made an error right at the beginning by ignoring my usual insistence using cable cast on and following the pattern instructions to cast on using the thumb method.  I’m sure there is a good reason to do this but, not being used to it, I cast on too loosely for the back and it stayed a bit ‘loopy’.  When I took these photos I hadn’t fixed it but now I have by weaving a length of yarn along the cast on edge at the back to neaten it up.

SquaredJacketDenimUltra

 

The reason it is on the mannequin instead of me, by the way, is because it was bloomin’ hot on the day I took the photos and I usually relish any excuse not to photograph myself plus my mannequin carries off a jaunty silk scarf much better than me.

Before I start my next project, I must must must – I really must – finish my socks I started back at the beginning of the year and then abandoned (or hibernated, as they call it on Ravelry) .  Remember these?  My two at a time, toe up, striped socks using the tutorial from Heidi Bears.

Two at a time socksWell they are now past the heel and halfway up my leg so another couple of evenings will have them finished but, until then, I am not going to cast on for this pattern called ‘Shale’ from Kim Hargreaves book ‘Storm’.

in this

SirdarDenim UltraBlackberrywhich is Sirdar Denim Ultra again, in Blackberry, and I’m going to use it instead of Rowan Big Wool which is what is used in the pattern.  It is half the price and, after reading some negative reviews on Ravelry about the Rowan yarn, might be a better choice anyway.  I’ve knitted a swatch and I think, by going down a needle size, I can make it work.

But first, I have a pair of stripy socks to finish.

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