A little reinvention

I know it’s now a saga, this honey cowl. As you know, I disliked the feel and look of the Stylecraft Special DK when it was knitted, so swapped to a lovely soft DMC Creative World merino I had in my stash.We all know swatching is important, even vital, but it seems a drag – not that I’ve ever actually done it before. The honey cowl is meant to be 12″ in width, but mine was actually looking like 10″ which meant I was knitting a neck brace! I didn’t think blocking would make 2″ difference so after pondering the inevitable I undid it all. It is best to do this quickly, rewind the yarn into balls and stuff it into a bag out of sight, out of mind!

It’s not great undoing your knitting but I have to admit this was accompanied with a measure of relief – since I found the alternate slip a stitch purl-wise, then purl pattern was really aggravating my golfer’s elbow.

But last night I fancied a quick make while I listened to the last hour of The Minotaur by Barbara Vine. I don’t need another pin cushion so this will go to one of my friend’s charity craft stalls.

I can choose a new audio book on Friday when I get my new Audible credit, do you have any recommendations? 

What are you up to this week? What are you reading? 

Hip Hurray!

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I’ve been working on a cushion front from the Hip Crochet book I won in a giveaway last week. It’s been quite funny because it was impossible to keep the balls of yarn organised. It all begins well, then of course you turn the piece at the end of rows and the balls are on the wrong side and you’re gradually wrapped up like a fly in a spider’s web. I’ve missed a couple of ‘phone calls over the last week trying to untangle myself!

This is a jacquard pattern, unlike intarsia where you have separate bobbins or small balls of colours for each section, you strand the yarn across. I like this method. You have to be careful with your tension, leave too little yarn stranded across and you’d have a very scrunched flag.

This needs to be blocked, there’s plenty of give in the strands so I’m not worried. I haven’t blocked a thing yet, to be honest it’s going to be more like ‘stretch gently as I crochet the front and back together.’ Acrylic doesn’t wet block well I’ve read as the fibres just go back to the way they were before. Maybe steam and tugging would be the way to go, if I was going to….?
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The colour chart pattern is easy enough to follow though the technique of changing multiple colours (and not choking yourself in a ‘death by yarn wrapping’ manner) is probably middling to boffin level of crochet. I used a post it note stuck above the row I was currently working on to keep my place in the pattern. A Pony row counter ensured I was on track too. Like others, who’ve reviewed the book, I feel the omission of a skill indicator required for each project is a shame and would be a useful guide for newer crocheters.

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Next I need to make the stripey back cover which is worked in two parts that button together. It’s a little disappointing that there’s two pages showing the front of the cushion, but no photo of the back. However you’ll have nothing to compare mine to, so it might be in my favour!

I like Natalie’s notes at the end of the pattern: ‘The Union Jack is not a symmetrical pattern, the bottom corners are the reverse of the top opposite corners. Purists will point out that this flag is upside down. Popular culture in the 1960s saw the motif used as clothing and even on the mini car.’ No purists here.

Have you tried the intarsia or jacquard technique?

Blooming Flower cushion #2 finished

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I finished this on Saturday. I took the next two photos when it was dark so they’re not the sharpest, sorry.
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Here’s the first Blooming Flower cushion I made back in the summer.

They’re really quite fast to crochet and you can use up lots of odds and ends of yarn. The pattern is one that Lucy adapted, if you fancy making one too you can find the pattern here on her Attic 24 blog.

Blooming thing

I have finished my blooming flower cushion, well thought I had anyway…
After I’d dc-ed the edges together at the beginning of the week, around the sumptuous feather cushion pad I bought from a seller on Ebay, I realised that the joins of the red rounds in the middle are quite not very good. B****r!!!!
I’m going to have re-do it I think. It’s going to be a present along with the Rainbow Granny Stripe blanket but even if it wasn’t I don’t like knowing its not very good.

I have yet another cold this year, I haven’t had so many for years. I can’t believe it. The new Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet magazine was going to help operation cheer-up Rachel this morning, but wasn’t in Sainsbury’s this morning. Boo.

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Blooming ripples

This weekend in free minutes I’ve been…

…working some more rows of the Rhubarb Ripple now my order from Deramores has arrived (a mere two days after ordering online)

…And trying my hand at Lucy’s blooming flower cushion. It’s very fast to make in all its gaudy loveliness. I thought it could be an accompaniment to the rainbow Granny Stripe blanket when it’s given as a fourth birthday present later in the summer.

The ripple is in an Orla Kiely designed bag sold to raise funds for a children’s cancer charity. It was sold in Tesco’s a year or so ago. There is another one of her designs for sale at the moment if you have a Tesco’s nearby. They’re only £4 and really sturdy strong bags for carrying shopping, storing large crochet blankets in progress (and wool), books or whatever. I admit I bought the newest bag a few days ago. It’s lovely.

I’ve been nominated recently for various blogger awards and would like to say that I take this as a real compliment, thank you very much. :-D