Blog home that is! Although I quite like tumblr, I’ve been playing around with blogger, and I really prefer the blogger interface. It’s much easier to like up tags for example, and the dashboard is a lot nicer than the one on tumblr. I also had a lot of fun playing around with the templates on blogger, which are much easier to customise than the tumblr ones. There’s also other advantages, like not needing to enter my Name/url to comment on other peoples blogs.
I’ve copied all of my blog posts over, although I know I’ve missed a couple. If you notice any mistakes, like missing titles, please let me know! My new blog address is http://yarnberry.blogspot.com/ Please come and join me over there and let me know what you think! Don’t forget to update your bookmarks/RSS Feeds!
WIP Wednesday 28
Well Wednesday is here and I have a new project to show you! I finally finished off the lace edge for Magrathea and it’s ready to be blocked! I have some new blocking mats - the interlocking ones on the way, but I don’t think they’ll come before tomorrow, or Friday, and I really want to get Magrathea blocked so I’ll probably get out spare towels and my yoga mat and use them tonight. My yoga mat is too thin to hold the pins so I have to put a couple of towels under it, which is why I decided to get some new mats - plus my yoga mat isn’t wide enough for big shawls. The bind off edge of Magrathea is going to take a bit of blocking to give it the same nice spikey edge as the other side. I’m really excited to see this one done, and I’m planning to take it down to London with me next week. Here’s a photo of the nearly finished lace for you.
I let my hairpin lace blanket fall by the wayside a little last week, because I was so keen to get on with Magrathea this week. But I picked it back up yesterday, and I’m currently on 250 loops on my third strip. It should be finished and joined up by the weekend if everything goes to plan.
And last night I cast on something new! I’m finally getting to use my stash addict yarn and it is gorgeous! I love the colours and the way they sit together, and the Blue faced leciester yarn is lovely and soft. I’m never used BFL before, and I really like it. I’ve cast on for Henslowe. It looks beautiful in the photos and hopefully it shouldn’t be too hard. It will be the first crescent shaped shawl I’ve done and so far it’s going well. I’m using 3.5 mm needles which are tiny! the only in my right hand is fine, but holding the one in my left feels a little awkward. I think it’s partly the change from 5mm to 3.5mm and I’m sure I’ll get used to it soon.
Check out Tami’s for more WIP Wednesdays!
Year of Projects: Week 29 Summary
Here we are at another Monday, and another whole week till the weekend! It was sort of light on my way to work this morning, so it’s starting to feel like spring is actually on the way at last! I’m looking forward to warmer days soon. I’ve been pretty busy this week. We’ve got a new TV - a flat screen at last, instead of our old huge bulky one - so we rearranged the living room to give us more space now we can have the TV wall mounted. It’s opened the room out a lot and makes it feel a lot bigger.
This weekend the Hairpin lace has fallen behind a little, because I’ve got swept away with Magrathea! Magrathea is nearly done! I used around two and a half skiens of yarn to make the body, which was 17 repeats long. Then I joined the fourth skien right befor starting the lace border. I didn’t want to have to join a new skien during the lace, so I thought this way would be best - which didn’t work out because I found a large ugly knot and had to cut it out, but I managed to get the join in the middle of one of the diamonds, so it shouldn’t show too badly. I’ve only got a few more rows left to go, so hopefully it’ll be done by the end of the week and I’ll get it blocked.
The blanket has been going along fine, although it was very ignored yesterday, after I’d started working on the border of my scarf! I have the colours all planned out, so I know which strips I’m doing when. The third strip is underway and I quite like the colours so far, although the pink is very hard to photograph well! The true test will come after this strip, when I move into other colours, and start to get a feel for how the colours will look together. I chose this colour scheme by putting all of the colours into a colour wheel, then taking every third colour , round and round in circles. I have 19 colours, so using every third number let it go round nicely, moving the pattern over one colour every time I went round.
The most exciting thing about being nearly done with Magrathea, is that I can start thinking about what to cast on next! I’m off to London a week on Thursday. I’m going there and back by train, which is a seven hour journey each way! That’s 14 hours of knitting time, with no distractions! I’m going to treat myself to a new audio book for the trip, and I’ll work on a Garter Ruffles Scarf on the trip! I’ll be making it with the Debbie Bliss Andes yarn my husband gave me for Christmas - it’s replacing the two options I had in my list before, because it’ll make better use of the yarn. It should be uncomplicated enough not to give me any problems - important when I don’t know if I’ll be able to get internet access on the train - but the short rows will hopefully keep it interesting. As for the next week or so, I should be good and work on my Childhood Memories shawl, but it’s another crochet piece, and I’d really like to have some knitting on the go, along with the blanket which is crochet. I’ve also been longing to do something with my Stash Addict yarn for ages! the blues and greys are gorgeous, and some of my favourite colours. So, I’m going to give in to temptation and cast on for Henslowe.
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls
FO Friday 25
Well, it’s Friday at last, and this week it couldn’t come fast enough! I’m normally at work by ten to eight (and finish at four) so I’m really looking forward to having a lie in tomorrow! I’ve got really behind on my blog reading this week - sorry everyone - hopefully I’ll be able to catch up tonight/tomorrow!
My FO this Friday is a nice little quick pattern. It’s a really neat little ball, that I think could make a great little baby toy. One of my friends is having a baby this summer, and I think some of these in a selection of bright colours would make great safe little toys. Especially if I could get rattles, squeakers and crinkly noise things into some of them. I don’t think I stuffed this one quite well enough. It felt really full before I closed it, but afterwards I thought it felt a little empty. It was a really nice fast little pattern, and I learnt and practiced quite a few techniques, like picking up stitches - I admit to resorting to my crochet hook a couple of times to pick up stitches! - and I learnt how to do kitchener stitch to graft the last end together. It was a really neat seam and I really like it.
I think while I’m working on big projects, I’m also going to keep looking for small quick projects that will teach me or let me practice new techniques that I don’t use often as a way of broadening my horizons and increasing my skills I’m sure by the end of the year I’ll hae learnt a fair bit.
Check out Tami’s for more Fo Fridays!
WIP Wednesday 27
Well this week, I haven’t got too much done. I had a disasterous time with my second New Era glove, which you can read about here. They’ve been banished to the bookshelves for a while, until I can face frogging them - they could be there till autumn! I did manage to finish the hairpin lace strip I was working on last week, as well as a second one, but I haven’t started the third strip yet. I planned out a few different ideas for a blanket and you can see more about the blanket here. My husband chose the pattern he likes best - it’s the middle one on the left in this image, so I’ll be starting that tonight. You can see in the photo, that I’ve joined the first two blanket strips together - they are really easy to join, so I’m going to keep joining as I go. So far I think I need 32 strips, but if I’m joining as I go I can either stop early, or put in some more colours.
Last night I picked up Magrathea again. I’m really glad to be working on it again, and I’m going to resist casting on any large projects till I’ve got it done - everyone needs some instant gratification every now and then! I frogged back to where I’d missed a yarn over the last time, and I’ve done another repeat or so since then. I’d forgotten how soft the yarn I’m using is! It’s gorgeous and I’m loving working on it again. I’m being very careful now, and counting the lace every time I finish a row now, to make sure I’m up to the right place. I need to always have an even number of stitches, either 24, 26 or 28. As long as I can keep that right, everything else should follow on nicely.
I’m already starting to think about this years Christmas presents. For the girls/women I want to try and do as many handmade things as I can - and for the guys too, although they’re a lot harder! I have plans to try a lot of new things this year, like making soap, and I’ll definitely be blogging about them all. So this year I want to start early. I always put a small toy in the boxes I make up for friends and sisters (have a look here). Last year I made knit bunnies for everyone. This year I want to make something else cute! There’s a lot of cute patterns on ravelry like bunny nuggets, chubby chirps, owl puffs and monster chunks. Loads of things that would be prefect for using up the scraps of blanket yarn I’m sure I’ll have, and be cute and cheerful little gifts. So on weeks when I know I’m not going to have anything else finished, and I need a little instant gratification knitting, I’ll be testing out these patterns with scrap yarn in my stash! This week I’m going to make an out of yarn ball. One of my friends is having a baby this summer, and I think some of these in loads of colours would make great little baby toys!
Check out Tami’s to see what everyone else is working on!
One a Day: Week 1
Well, today is time for my first One a Day update, and I can safely say I’m on track! My aim is to do 50 - 100 loops a day, and last week I did 614 loops. I think that’s preety good going! Hopefully I can keep it up. I made my first strip 500 loops long, then took it through and laid it on the bed to find a length I was happy with. I decided the bast way to keep the loops from getting tangled was to do the up - like you would for the sides of the finished blanket, so I did that, which helped me to work out exactly how many loops I needed. The answer is 414! Which isn’t too bad. I’m going to keep aiming for 50 - 100 loops a day, and I’ll manage to finish at least one strip a week, so the blanket should keep growing nicely.
I made and finished a second strip at the weekend, and you can see what they’ll look like together. The black is going to be a border at each side, and the reddish brown is the first colour of the blanket. I’ve worked out that 30 more strips should make it a good size for our double bed, and if I want to make it wider I can always add extra black strips at each side. I want to keep joining the strips as I go, which should keep things neat and make it easy to see how I’m doing. So to do this, I wanted to plan the colours. I’m still not quite sure which I like best. I have one here that’s random - and that was hard to do! One is a rainbow, and the other four I made up from taking the colours from a colour wheel going round and round taking every third/fourth/etc colour. I need to see what my husband like best too, but what do you think?
Don’t forget to stop by Gingerbread Girl’s and see how everyone else is getting on!
Year of Projects: Week 28 Summary
Well, this weekend has not been the most successful one for me, knitting wise. I started the weekend looking forward to making my second glove. In fact I was looking forward to starting so much, that I forgot I’d swapped to my 4.5mm tips for the thumb of the last pair, and didn’t swap back to my 5mm tips. I did discover the mistake eventually. But only after I’d finished all of the glove and started on the thumb. So I put them down in disgust on Saturday night and haven’t looked at them since! I’d be tempted to wear the glove and hope it stretched out over time, but the thumb hole is just too small and tight - even just trying the glove on for a couple of minutes I had a red mark around my thumb, so I don’t think that will work. Really I should frog it and start again, but right now I’m just going to ignore them for a while, lol. The next time I make gloves, I think I’ll make both at the same time - that way if I make a mistake like that, at least it will be a matching pair of mistakes!
I did make some good progress this weekend though, with my Hairpin lace blanket. I finished the first strip on Wednesday I think. I worked out that I needed 414 loops for each strip which isn’t too bad. I joined the One a Day group on Ravelry with this as my project, and I’m aiming to do 50-100 loops a day. I managed 75 on Thursday and Friday, 50 on Saturday, and then I decided I just wanted to get it finished and I did 214 on Sunday! I got the two strips crocheted together, and I think I need 30 more strips to make it a good size to cover the bed. I’m going to have one strip of black on each side, so if I need to make it wider later I’ll just add black strips. I have 19 different colours so it’s less than two strips of each colour which should be manageable. Once I’ve made the strips, I’m going to add them straight away, to save the loops getting tangled or anything like that. I’m also doing up the unjoined side for the same reason. Because I’m joining them as I go, I need to make sure I do the colours in an order I’m happy with, so I’m not starting a new strip straight away. My plan is to take proper photos of all the balls of yarn then plan out my colour scheme on the computer. So far, I love how the strips look, and they’re really easy and pretty quick to join together.
And that’s pretty much it for this week. I’m looking forward to getting on with Magrathea again, so it’ll be pulled out of the bottom of my bag tonight. I’m going to try not to cast on anything new until Magrathea is done and try and get through my WIP that way. It could be a struggle!
The Revised List
Scarves and Shawls
FO Friday 24
Well, it’s Friday at last and I’m having a short day today. My office has a flexi-time system. We can start anytime before 10, have lunch between 11 and 2, and leave after four. You can either work extra hours and save up for 6 extra days off a year, or you can just use them as you go. I had six hours saved up, so I decided to make use of them. Instead of starting at 8am, I’m starting at 10 and having a 6 hour day! The perfect thing for a Friday I think.
Today I have the first of a new pair of fingerless gloves! I did most of the knitting over last weekend, and finally got round to sewing in the ends and sewing on the button last night. I really like this pattern! It’s really easy and pretty quick to make. The only problem I had, was as I suspected, with the thumb. The pattern had you place 11 stitches on a holder, and cast on an extra stitch when you made the thumb hole. Then you went back used those 11 stitches and picked up one stitch to give you 12 for the thumb. I tried it, but it just left me with a couple of big holes at the top of the thumb. So I picked up five stitches, to keep the pattern the same and after a couple of rows I went down to a 4.5mm needle. I’m really happy with how the thumb turned out in the end! It’s a great snug fit. The other problem I had was with the button hole. It came out too far to the left and too low down for me to be happy with how it held the flap closed, so I think I’ll skip it for the next glove. Instead I closed up the hole when I was sewing in the ends, and I sewed on the button where I thought it would sit best.
I seem to have lost my tension a couple of times when I was knitting this glove. I think it’s partly because I was knitting a lot tighter than normal - the pattern reccommended using a needle slightly smaller than the one recommened, but when I used a 4.5mm needle I had no chance of getting my hand through the loop! So I decided the next best thing was to use a 5mm needle and knit tightly. I didn’t want to add stitches to make it wider because I didn’t know how far my yarn would go, and I only just had enough for these gloves. I really love the seed stitch band at the top, and the button. Instead of going up a needle, which made it a little too loose, I just relaxed my tension back to normal. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I’ll have a second glove finished, check back next week to see the pair!
For awesome FO’s check out Tami’s and see what everyone else has been up too!
WIP Wednesday 26
Well, this week I’ve been busy, but I don’t have very much to show you. I cast on for a fingerless glove at the weekend, but the first one is finished now - although I still need to sew in ends and put a button on. It’ll be ready for you to see on Friday. I’m not going to cast on a second one until the weekend. Just now I’ve been working on my hairpin lace blanket. I’ve joined the One a Day group on Ravelry, with the aim of doing between 50 and 100 loops everyday. I got 75 done last night, so my total is now 375. The first two strips I want to make 500 loops long, so that I can see how many loops I really need and undo any loops I don’t need . It’s always better to have too many to begin with because it’s much easier to pull them out than add to them.
Magrathea is still in timeout for bad behaviour, so I pulled Genevieve back out of the bottom of my bag. If I want to be able to wear this one, I should probably get on with it while the weather’s still cold. This is an old photo, because I only did a few rows last night, and really it’s still just a rectangle. I’m very close to putting the sleeves on now and then it should start to look more interesting. It isn’t the most exciting pattern to work on, since it’s just long stretches of the same stitch, but I’m determined to finish this one, and I just have to keep pushing myself to carry on.
To see what everyone else has been up to, check out Tami’s!
One a Day - Hairpin Lace Blanket
I’ve just joined the One a Day group, and this is my first post, so since there’s nothing to update, I’ll tell you what I’m working on. My big project is a blanket using hairpin lace. Hairpin lace is a really interesting technique which uses big loops of yarn held in place with single (double in UK terms) crochet stitches. It’s a really cool technique but it does take a bit of getting used to. You have a loom to hold the stitches and spend a lot of time swinging it round to form the loops, and feeding the crochet hook through from front to back. I made my own loom (although I can’t take credit for the design) using 5mm knitting needles and some bass wood with holes drilled through them. It was ridiculously fast and easy to make, with just one trip to the craft shop. I set my needles 3 inches apart because I don’t want to make the blanket too loose. I’d rather keep it tight and warmer.
I’m using a tutorial from Wee Folk Art to help me with my blanket! There are detailed photos of pretty much every step and it’s really easy to learn the technique. One thing I did do though, was start with a slip knot on my hook, and slip stitch to the first loop. I found it a much easier way to join my yarn. The tutorial uses aran yarn, but I’m using DK, do I had to figure out my own number of loops and sizing. I’m using a 4mm crochet hook and I’ve settled so far on between 400 and 500 loops on each side. I’m not sure how many strips I’ll need yet – I need to make at least two or three strips and then I can start figuring it out hopefully. I should have enough yarn for 44 strips, but hopefully I won’t need that many or it will take me forever! I’ve already done 300 loops for my first strip, and I’m aiming for between 50 and 100 loops per day, depending on what else I have going on. Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll have almost finished my second strip and be joining them together!
Check out everyone else’s progress at Gingerbread Girl’s blog!