Posts Tagged Judy’s magic cast on

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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A Feverish Weekend Blog – Atchoo!

I’ve got a cold and feeling very sorry for myself.  I haven’t had many colds at all since moving to France and this is my first one for 5 years so I am making the most of it.  I am managing some incredibly loud sneezing fits, going through boxes of tissues as if I had been watching ‘The Notebook’ (again),  professing not to be able to taste anything so may as well not bother to cook (but ‘perhaps could just eat something if you’re doing it anyway’), ensuring everybody notices that the slightest exertion is making me short of breath,  appear to be covered in an attractive red rash which always happens if I’m a bit poorly and generally wafting about the place no use to man nor beast.

I’m doing as little as possible.  I think these two have the right idea although nobody would want to be that close to me at the moment so I might have to drape myself decoratively somewhere solo.

Curled Up Cats

Did you have a pull-along dog when you were a child?  I did – I think – and if I didn’t, I should have – and I’ve always fancied buying a vintage one for nostalgia’s sake.  Hard to see one that isn’t ripped, isn’t a donkey and isn’t an absolute fortune though so, when I saw Northfield Primitives’ Shop on Etsy I just had to go for one of her gorgeous dogs.  Handcrafted in Yorkshire, Sarah makes her animals on her old Singer treadle machine.This one (my one!) is made with hand-coloured mohair,  has a rusty bell and vintage meccano wheels, I am in love.

Hand Made Vintage Style Pull-Along Dog

Something else I bought on Etsy recently was this little pincushion ring from Lifepieces.  I have bought gazillions of her gorgeous pincushions for myself and as gifts and they are beautifully made – so much so, I can hardly bear to stick pins in them but, when I saw this one, I had to have it.  Look! That little owl is a pin – can you bear it?

pincushionring (2)

 Is it practical?  I’m not sure.  Is it gorgeous? Well, obviously.  Redressing the balance after my rant about re-sellers on Etsy recently – these sorts of shops remind me how it is still possible to find beautiful, hand made items from skilled artisans on the site when you really look.

Anyway, having no energy to do my usual housework chores (!) I have forged ahead with my new addiction.

Two at a time socks

I know it looks like I’m knitting a pair of sunglasses or a bikini top for a two year old but I am, in fact, knitting a pair – yes, you heard right – a pair of socks.  At one time.  On one long circular needle.  From the toes up. And…… drumroll…… I appear to be matching the stripes at the same time.  A bit ambitious for only my second pair of socks I know – considering the first were in nice chunky wool too and very fast to knit – but I know that I will be prone to ‘Second Sock Syndrome’,  a medical condition discovered by scientists studying the lifestyles and habits of sock knitters whereby, in layman’s terms, you finish one sock and then can’t be arsed to do the second one.  Not wanting to suffer from this – especially on top of a cold – I decided to go down the toe up, two at one time route and, with the help of the  internet and some incredibly helpful people who selflessly write out  reams of instructions and take loads of close up photos (or video themselves) for no apparent personal gain, I am on my way.

Honourable mentions for such tutorials go out to Knit Purl Hunter for ‘Judy’s Magic Cast On’ here 

                                                                                                       Liat Gat for Magic Loop Knitting here

                                                                                                       and Heidi Bears for knitting two socks at one time on one circular needle here

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