All I need now are five Buttons

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A new cardigan!

I have a new finished object! I’ve been finishing things fairly quickly recently, since we got all the junk out of my crafting room. This one is actually a girls’ pattern by Sirdar, it’s 1273, but without the fair isle pattern. Knitted in Patons FAB which is 100% acrylic. The shade was Rio, a lovely bright slightly boys  shade that I’d put a girl in any way.

When I say finished I mean I need to get buttons, but I’m going to venture into a physical yarn store to do that, for once…

This was how it started…

Again I was shopping on Deramores and I was just looking at Patons, I like the brand and I’ve been using it for years, always good quality. I’m not overly keen on acrylic, I prefer cotton, but this one was actually quite nice. It didn’t strand and there wasn’t any of that horrible squeaking noise they sometimes make. The stitches are clearer than on some acrylics, but nowhere near as good as the likes of cotton.

It was sadly made in Turkey, realistically I can’t afford Yarns made in the UK such as WYSpinners or the lovely country bird range Andi found me. I’d rather have something made in the UK, or even Europe.

The yarn is meant to be machine washable, at 40° and low tumble dry. I won’t be risking that last one and 30° is good enough, better yet, COOL WASH. I’m always scared of damaging something I’ve knitted. This will be the real test of the yarn since it’s not yet been washed.

Lying in pieces, with the back still in progress.

This Sirdar pattern 1273 is very nice with a great fair isle pattern, but I omitted that to just make a normal cardigan. It says it’s for girls but I’ve made some for Sandy and Neil. The pattern is written for their beautiful Baby Bamboo yarn, and that’s a favourite but that’s more Andi’s thing and that’s for another blog post.

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I even knitted on bamboo needles!

Bamboo needs have long been Andi’s obsession, she either can’t or won’t knit on metal single pointed, although she hates bamboo double-pointed. I wanted to see what the fuss was about and there is definitely something lighter about them. Their easier on the wrists. So I’ll be doing that again fo sure!

Stitch definition

As I said about the stitch definition, it’s great! For an acrylic. I do like Patons, as did my mum, but back then it was a UK brand working only in the UK, now it’s all foreign labour I’m a bit put off.

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And what next?

A chunky black and purple cardigan for my daughter. It’s acrylic, but it’ll keep her warm until she earns a woolen one!

Work in Progress – Fair Isle Vest

I’ve been knitting again, well, I’ve not stopped. Since finding Deramores getting wool has been easier.  I found an amazing fair isle vest pattern by King Cole and I knew instantly that Andi would love one for her son. It was vintage, retro, granddad vests and cardigans! But I didn’t like the colours. You can buy the pattern here if you like it too. It’s sized 0-6 months to 4 years.

A real Granddad vest!

So I decided I was definately going to make this one but I needed to choose the colours. I like clashing things, originally I was going to do grey or black, but when I saw the colours in King Cole Big Value DK I knew I wanted Gold. The other colour is a Navy from King Cole Comfort Baby DK. When my parcel came this was the first thing I started out of all the yarns I’d bought.

Knitting up the front, with a fairly simple fair isle pattern

The back was easy and only took two or three days, but it was plain, the front took me much longer because of the fair isle pattern. The effect is well worth it though.

Pinned out to dry flat

When both pieces were finished, yesterday, I carefully hand washed them and pinned them out onto a towel to dry. I always do this because the pieces dry flat and are easier to sew up. So for now I’m just waiting for the pieces to dry and I’ll be picking up the neck and arm holes and it will be finished! I’m really excited to see this one done.

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Here is a close up of the fair isle pattern.

 

This was my first time using Big Value DK and over all it’s just another acrylic, better than Robin or other cheap ones, but okay. The texture is pleasing enough, I can’t say I’d use this again because I prefer cotton yarns, but for an acrylic it’s okay.

Comfort is a lovely soft blend of Acrylic and Nylon, it fluffs a lot so the stitch definition is lost, but for this I think it works. I like it for baby things, but it wears out fairly quickly so I’d not make much out of it.

Both yarns are good enough for the price though.

Crochet waist coat

I have been really busy and have now finished my granny square waistcoat! I have worn on several occasions already. It is really useful on cold days, although I am beginning to wish I had used a better quality wool and not just cheap acrylic. The more I knit and crochet the more I hate it. The colours are nice and bright though, but these days wool is bright too, as is cotton.

So what’s the story of my original chrochet waist coat? It’s surprisingly uninteresting, I bought it. It is handmade though! I got it back in the 1970’s, back when music was good and knitting was normal. Back in the days of local woolshops that were within walking distance there was a store near me selling handmade clothing too. They were selling that waistcoat and I really liked it, at the time nobody could crochet in my family so it was buy it or go without. My mum bought it, well she bought the wool because I wanted to choose the colours and the lady made it the same as the others.
Recently though I’ve been thinking it’s a little pale next to all the bright yarn colours in existance now, so I wanted to remake it, the acrylic was more of an experiement; and since it worked I might make another in cotton.

I used a bit of odd stash wool for this, a lot of pink left over from Andi’s clothing in the 1990’s, but I bought the new purple to trim it, although I can’t remember the brand. It came from my favourite online store, Deramores.

Sadly I don’t have a photo of me wearing the waistcoat, my son wouldn’t help me out and I’m too old for selfies, but soon I’m hoping to get one.

A wool haul

I’m sorry I’ve not written anything on here for a while. I’m a little unsure about what to write, and then I’ve been busy with crafting. I’ve been meaning to post my recent makes on here for a while, but it becomes a case of “let me finish this one last thing” and then I never update before I start something new.

One of the privileges (or responsibilities, or tasks, or whatever you want to describe it is) of being a grandmother is that you get to, and are expected to, knit for your grandkids. When you’re a mum it’s always the kids begging you to stop, now you’re a grandma your kid is asking for things for her child. Or at least this is my take on things.

Currently I’m working on a blackberry stitch cardigan, it’s plain colours but the stitches look like blackberries, hence the name. However, I keep messing it up, I get tired and I miscount the stitches or something goes wrong and I have to undo it again. Gah!

I’ve also finished a crochet minion hat for Sandy, because I thought they’d like that one. And I’ve done a lot of work around the house too, things are progressing.

Andi got a notebook for christmas, and in this notebook she has (at least) a page of demands. It’s even titled “List of Demands” it’s a mixture of knitting, sewing and crochet for herself, Sandy and sometimes George. Apparently she has a list on her tablet too, but that’s things she’s planning to make.

At last read the list had

  • Chunky slouchy hat for Andi, with matching scarf. Knitted or crochet.
  • Sewn dungarees for Sandy.
  • Sewn shirts for Sandy.
  • Knitted octopus. (normally she follows this with several exclamation marks!!!)
  • Crochet minion hat for Sandy.
  • Crochet Spike hat. (My Little Pony’s cute baby dragon)
  • Crochet Rainbow Dash hat. (My Little Pony again)
  • Elf hats for Andi, Sandy, George and myself for winter 2014.
  • Chunky Cardigan for Andi for autumn 2014.
  • Beard hats for George and Sandy.
  • Plush sewn My Little Pony characters.

This list is growing and my list of things I’d like to make is almost non-existent, so I’ve bought some wool to do her things. We did it together over Skype, but it wasn’t the same as going to the wool shop together, and talking with the old woman behind the desk, and faffing about and poking the wool, some things about the internet will never compare.

The haul

I spent around £60 at Deramores. I got free postage meaning it actually works out as cheaper to buy online than to travel to my wool shop, sadly. Before we even looked at anything we worked out what we were actually making up first, we settled on Andi’s hat and scarf with Sandy’s Rainbow Dash set. And a bonus Rainbow Dash hat for Andi.

Wendy Festival Secret Garden

The first wool we picked out was Andi’s, for a chunky scarf and a hat this was probably going to be the most expensive thing. We started off looking at Katia Azteca because we couldn’t find a 100% wool yarn to use. In the end we decided on Wendy Festival wool, in the shade Secret Garden. It’s a lovely, stunning, bright blue, with hints of other colours. I got three balls, and it worked out as roughly £13. Not bad, even if the yarn is 100% acrylic.

Katia Darling shade 201

Andi and I found Katia yarns by accident, but they are amazing with the colours. We found them in Paris, and she made me a hat for Christmas using their Azteca wool. She found this Darling, but it was 4ply. So we decided it could be another hat for Sandy. This was £5, it’s a wool mixture, I’m excited to see this one.

I also bought four balls of King Cole Big Value, a DK acrylic yarn. I choose the shade surf, a lovely bright blue. I’m making a Rainbow Dash hat with it and some odds and sods from my scraps box. This was £2.60 a ball, so around £10.

I bought four patterns, but they’re not that interesting. I’ll share those when my order arrives. And some dinosaur buttons because they stood out to me, and a little book of 20 crochet granny squares.

Granny squares are one of these amazing things because they can make almost anything, blankets, scarfs, jackets, I’ve even seen them used in hats and bags before.

So I’ll be writing again once my £70 wool order arrives, showing off what I’ve made, and opinions about the wool and objects.