Yarning Along – March

Making: Yesterday I dug these strips out, last seen in 2018 when I darned all the ends. Pulling them out of their bag brought back all sorts of unexpected images from our last home and memories attached to the time. Who knew that strips of crocheted fabric could bring back a wash of memories? Suddenly I could see the patch of sunlight that used to fall on the carpet just inside the French windows, while I crocheted in the afternoon. I thought of a friend I haven’t seen since that summer. Trips to places restricted to us still.

I began these on a whim in December 2017. They’re made of moss stitch, a.k.a. granite or linen stitch. I liked the idea of doing continuous patchwork type of blocks and then stitching (crocheting) them together at the end. I used Stylecraft DK leftovers and a 4.5 mm hook as the stitches looked better with a larger hook size. it’s a really, really nice fabric; very bouncy and soft, quite thick too, so should be a warm covering.

They have been bugging me a bit recently, I don’t like things hanging around but didn’t complete them as my hand pain took over and crochet went into remission. So, yesterday I sent a quick message to a friend offering to make them into a baby blanket as her first baby’s due in May. She was delighted and said “No one has ever given me anything handmade before!” and told me it had totally made her day. She’s not having a great final stage of pregnancy, I’m so glad my offer cheered her up. As a crafter that’s 100% the reaction you want, don’t you? I’m always aware that people might shrink back in horror at the idea of something handmade, or hate the colour scheme, or perhaps they’re already awash with handmade blankets from other friends and relatives. During our year long restrictions lots are taking to crafting. We’re still under heavy restrictions here in England.

Finally having a plan and purpose for these strips nudged me to immediately start to edge one, ready for joining. I tried the preliminary stitches for a flat braid, but it wasn’t quite the right look. These need a plain, not fancy or fussy, joining method.

Reading: I seem to be dipping in and out of lots of books. I started a new library ebook via the BorrowBox app on Wednesday: The Glass House by Eve Chase.

Two chapters in and I knew it was going to be a good read. The Harrington’s are living in a remote Manor House in an idyllic setting in the woods and find a baby. They’re grieving a tragedy of their own and the discovery brings joy and hope, but then ….

There are several books I can’t mention until nearer the publication date, since they are ARC (advance reader copies) but I’ll definitely be coming back to recommend one nearer its publication on 1st April. It’s a real goodie.

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling) was a 5* read, as was Hungry by Grace Dent. I don’t usually give many books 5/5 so hit the jackpot with these in February. 

My rating system is:

1* NOT good

2* Disappointing

3* OK, bit patchy

4* Really liked it

5* LOVED IT

I’m drawn to podcasts on and off at home right now, without train or bus journeys I’m not really listening to audio books. In the last year or so I’ve stopped listening to anything while I walk. Or rather, I’m listening to birdsong and noises around me, saying hello to people and maybe exchanging a few words with them (at a distance, blah, blah, blah.) We are isolated enough, so when I’m outside I don’t need further isolation through plugging my ears up.

~~~~

What are you making and reading?

~~~~

Although Ginny has stopped her monthly Yarn Along posts it’s something I’m carrying on with, because I enjoy writing them. I might step it up and write more regularly, as and when I’ve got new makes and books to share. Join in if you want to, add your link to the comments below so we can see what you’re making and reading.

Yarn Along – February

Knitting

Have you heard about the new KAL on the block?

It’s #YearofDishcloths and is a good chance to dust off your knitting skills, or practise following a pattern if you’re a new knitter. Or, like me, you just might fancy a new FREE pattern popping into your inbox at the beginning of every month. No choice overload or dithering, both good things for me.

I wasn’t even contemplating taking part in a KAL/CAL but saw a friend’s photo and immediately found myself running straight upstairs for cotton and delving for my needles. I’m using 4.5mm Knit Pros for mine.

Patterns will also be listed for free on Ravelry, but later in the month than the subscribers will receive the emailed version. Just go to Garlene’s The Kitchen Sink Shop for the links in her bio which will take you to the January pattern and the KAL sign up.

This is the beginning of ‘Icicles’ the January design. It’s looking like a Gansey style pattern to me. They’re made up of knit and purl stitches, which create simple but beautiful designs.

I delved into my yarn storage and found lots of cottons I’d forgotten, including several brand new balls of Rowan. Way-hey! It’s way too posh for a dishcloth, (and I do prefer using J-cloths) but I can think about other uses later. I may turn it into something else…

As I said on my IG post this was a proper old style Instagram. I put my knit down at the end of the row, to quickly take a photo. No flat lay styling, with randomly placed pinecones. I like it, so it’s this month’s Yarn Along pic.

Reading

I’ve just started Robert Galbraith’s (aka J.K Rowling) Troubled Blood. The fifth book in the Strike series, it’s an absolute brick of a hardback book. It weighs 1,340g. Wow! I propped it up on a cushion next to me, last night. It’s too heavy to even have on my legs for any time.

I’m also looking through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things, Liza Tarbuck’s Annual for Grownups and Freeform Crochet by Carol Meldrum. So plenty on the go book wise here.

Let me know if you can recommend a good book on tatting, please, one you’ve actually tried.

What are you making and reading at the mo?

~~~~~

NOT joining in with Ginny this time as she has stopped hosting Yarn Along for now. If you’d like to link to your blog or social media post in the comments underneath, we can still see what you’re making and find out what you’re reading. I’ll miss the linky thing, but last time I tried to host one it wasn’t compatible with WordPress.

Yarn Along 



I’m not even going to check my 16 for 2016 list because I feel sure I said no more buying yarn, as I need to use what I have. But I shall blame today’s lapse entirely on my friend! It was so silly of us to meet at a yarn shop where there’s a sale on, with baskets and shelves laden with really lovely, good quality yarns at great prices.  This Louisa Harding Orielle was originally £6.95 a skein, now it’s reduced to £4; well you would probably have found it difficult to resist too.

It’s lovely stuff that I used to knit my first pair of mock cable fingerless mitts. It’s such a lovely colour, with a pretty sparkle running through and is really soft and warm. They are my most favourite pair of mitts. Ok, lapse justification over..!

I’m still darning blanket ends, they’re nearly finished then I can start a new project, rather than post photos of skeins of yarn. I banned myself from starting anything new until the blanket was done. It all has be finished by tomorrow night, so I shall probably be darning the last ends and speed crocheting the border as you read! I’ve just started this audio book by J.K Rowling, it’s the third in the series. Robert Glenister is from TV’s Hustle  and does such a good job narrating these audio books that I find myself totally transported to where the story is taking place. I’m gripped by what’s happening. Let’s hope it happens again as I plod on with the remaining ends tonight…

I’m joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along once again.