Sunday 25 April 2021

Weekend FO

 Presto Chango!

This is my attempt at the Spurs logo, which I charted myself. It is hard to be precise in aran weight over 16 stitches but I don't think I did a terrible job. 

Pattern: Presto Chango, a freebie pattern
Yarn: Rico Essentials Aran, a soft, superwash 100% merino
Needle: a satisfyingly chunky 5mm
Mods: I finished the sleeves with a 3NBO by picking up the cast on stitches to bind off with the live stitches, once the sleeve was finished. I think I did the seam on the wrong row on the second sleeve because the seam looked different, but still very neat, so, meh.

I took the opportunity to try out the bunny cable pattern I've wanted to try for a while now and I am thrilled with how it turned out. I probably prefer it without the colour change as the stitches have a slightly strained look around the edges, but the bunny tail was a particular win. 

The baby's name is Indiana.

This was the original lace panel that came with the pattern. I knitted this one first, to give me a feel for buttonhole placement and number of rows. 

Lovely and quick! 400m out, too. 

Sunday 18 April 2021

Hexagons update

I just realised that I hadn't posted about the hexagons in a while, so here are some updates.

This year I have so far knitted up two skeins of Devon:

This one is all blues but in a strange twist, they're not quite as bright and vibrant as my phone has made them appear here. The variegation is also not quite as subtle as pictured.

Before that, I put to bed two skeins of Beverly:

Lots of green in this one that gave me a real Caribbean feel. I started knitting this yarn up in August whilst on holiday in the Lake District, where I think I managed a paltry half a pinwheel. 

Also last year, I knitted up two skeins of A River Runs Through It:

This looks pretty washed out in the pictures, but is a nice blues-and-beiges mix, like a sunny day in an arid land. 

So, that's 27 pinwheels in the past year, 6 skeins of yarn out, 67 pinwheels in total. I didn't realise my pinwheel hiatus had been so long - these are the first I had knitted since 2017. I am determined to add at least 18 more to the pile by the end of the year, which would mean I'd doubled my pinwheel stash in the space of two years. 

Some baby knits

Nephew Z's girlfriend gave birth to what I guess is Great-nephew Z (I'm so old) a while back now, 4 weeks early. She apparently went into hospital with terribly itchy skin and came out with a baby. He was a big'un, as is the way of the Zs (all boys, all huge - I think Mr Z was a 10 pounder and Mother Z gave birth to him at home 😲 ) and weighed 7lb 10oz on birth, a month early, so I knitted my favourite garter stitch jumper pattern in age 3-6 months so that he will get some good wear out of it. 

It's knitted in Rowan All Seasons Cotton, a nice variegated blue that I picked up from someone in a swap years and years ago - whoever I swapped with left me this behind the counter at Get Knitted. I've got two balls left and keep stalking other people's stashes of the lemon yellow colourway, thinking they would look good striped together, but equally I have some red Smoothie that would work not quite as well and I should probably use that up instead. 

This is my fifth whirl with this pattern by Debbie Bliss but I do note that it has been a long time (9 years) since I last wheeled it out. I was musing on the fact that this must mean that all my friends are done with the baby-making and I'm now on to knitting for the next generation....

...BUT THEN (it's hard to be dramatic in print)

My very old (as in, we've been friends for nearly 30 years, not that he has massively old) friend Richard popped up on Facebook last week, tagged in a post that announced the birth of his daughter. Richard doesn't really do social media and we haven't seen each other in about 2 years so this was a complete surprise to me. I immediately jumped at the chance to get knitting a Presto Chango, an insanely cute little baby cardigan with a buttoned-on bib front that is interchangeable. 

I knitted this in about 3 days, it was so easy. I've gone with the lace front for my first try and have, since this picture was taken this afternoon, finished the second panel with a navy capital I on it for her name. I'm adding a panel with a bunny cable on it, which I am going to attempt to knit in navy with a white tail (no projects on Ravelry have done this as a colourwork cable so wish me luck) and then finally one with the Spurs logo picked out in navy. Richard is a gigantic Spurs fan so that's really why I picked this pattern, so I can do a Spurs logo attempt and if it is awful then I still have a jumper to show for it. 

It's all worked in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran which is lovely to knit with. I had a bit of it stashed for a knit for Lara that I haven't done yet but naturally not enough, and no navy, so had to order more. I think it will be a handy thing to have in stash though, and I think I might still have a ball of red leftover from a previous project: a red, white and navy striped jumper might be just the thing for my next little knit. 

I do also have a 4 ply jumper on the needles but when a good friend has a baby, what can you do?

Sunday 11 April 2021

March round up

And yet here we are, almost halfway through April! I was so exhausted by the end of term that I spent much of last week sleeping - many hours in bed at night, long naps during the day. I don't know how people with children manage. Even when I wasn't asleep, I was basically in a daze. 

March was quite a successful month though, goals wise.

Books read: I finished Caught in the Light by Robert Goddard, which was a real page turner. Then I picked up and finished very quickly Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This was not at all what I expected: I find I now assume all novels set in mid-20th century southern USA are going to be about race, whereas this was more about class. I stayed up much too late reading it, just to get to the end. What a yarn!

Then the Head of English leant me The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and, although I read a couple of pages, I put it down again almost immediately because it is quite long (I read Bulgakov's Heart of a Dog during lockdown 1 which was very brief) and also because the Head of English is not a spine cracker and I am, and I was afraid to read it sleepy. So I picked up some non-fiction, Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera, which has been going down a treat. I was wary of going back to non-fiction as I notoriously never finish any of them, but I am nearly done with it. 

A good reading year, so far.

Metres knitted: I finished Garnered though it still isn't blocked and I counted that yarn last month anyway. I knitted a baby jumper for my new great-nephew, born a month early, out of some All Seasons Cotton I've had hanging around for about a decade. 360m. I knitted up two skeins of Lion and Lamb into blanket hexagons - 375m but the second skein was in April, so only 187m for March, really. Let's call it 550m, not so good but oh well. 

I soberingly went through my whole stash in March, too, and came across approximately 2800m of yarn that was not listed in my Ravelry stash. And then I went online to browse for yarn I can use to sew up my hexagons, and ended up buying two skeins in a blues colourway I didn't already have. So with the yarn in from Flock last month, that it about 7200m in, 2100m out. Egads. 

Luckily I have already made a start on a nice 4-ply jumper with some of the new stuff from last month, and I have a plan for a huge, crocheted blanket in some of the chunky I found in my clear out, so perhaps I will manage to come out at a net reduction for the year. 

Pounds lost: I think, 3? I am 4lbs off getting back to my pre-40 weight. Happy with that. I managed the whole of Lent off sugar but had to put up with a few snide comments when I started eating it again the day after Palm Sunday. 

The day of Palm Sunday itself was probably the most testing time of all: I made chocolate nests with shredded wheat, and Simnel cakes. The chocolate nest mixture was not combining so I got in there by hand and ended up with chocolate almost up to my elbows. Hardest thing I have ever done, not licking my hands. 

Sleep: Clearly still variable. I think I'm getting into better timing habits but probably spending too long reading. 

Blogging: A pathetic failure. Being back in school meant that more things were happening but I was too tired and busy to write about them. Still. Onwards and upwards.