archive for January 30th, 2006
i’ve been dithering for months over an Important Purchase, and have at last bitten the bullet and made up my mind. it’s yarn for a baby blanket which will be crochet blocks from this book. wanted something easy care, preferably cottony, subtle rich colours, less than Â£2/50g.
have been debating the toss between subjecting myself to weeks of work with eyeball-searing luminous plastic (let alone subjecting poor mother and babe to same) vs second mortage for something rowany or blissish.
my decision was to compromise on the colour front. it’s the modern use of colour that appeals to me most about the book, and i loved the idea of using non-babyish colours for a blanket that would hopefully last through to childhood. but the colours i like simply aren’t available in my price bracket for the project. so i’ve had to go slightly softer, more pastelly, more conventional/traditional, which isn’t the end of the world given that i at least got a composition i’m happy with: 50%cotton 50%acrylic, machine wash, see here. they say it’s lighter than 100% cotton which is true judging by the yardage per 50g, perfect for a summer baby. even better i got it for 99p a ball + cheap postage from dianne’s yarns.
next comes the fun bit, choosing the squares…
ooooh new blog. i’m really looking forward to seeing how whip up shapes up.
i’m not a huge reader of blogs, i track a few in bloglines, but in general i don’t do the whole blog thing. this site was conceived as a stand-alone craft journal before i really knew what blogs were, and i just don’t have the time or inclination to follow the whole social side of blogging.
but as a fan of everything on topic i have to say whip up looks unmissable. i’ve had a very pleasant afternoon meandering between the contributors’ various sites and i’ve taken some form of inspiration from every one. i particularly love the fact that it’s international, hopefully that should give an interesting interaction of perspectives.
so far the pick of the bunch for me is yarnstorm: great pictures (and easily navigated galleries), relevant chat, uk based and – something i see on so few blogs – she has categories. i can’t emphasise enough how important that is to me, it makes the site a permanent resource rather than something ephemeral. i challenge anyone to explore a blog just by trolling through the archives month by month – it’s tedious and you give up after a page or two of tatting or whatever else it is that blogger does that goes straight over your head. give me some categories and i can happily scamper back and forth for hours, and then come back and look again when suddenly i see the light and realise that tatting is what i’ve been waiting for all along.
and on that subject we now have a blogs category. i’m hoping that when i eventually go back and recategorise all the past posts it doesn’t haul them all back to the top in bloglines.
not enough yarn to make it a partner
the yardage on the pattern said 80, but i guess that must be per mitten. there was 177 yards of this bfl when it came off the wheel (before washing and dyeing) but the one mitt took 5-and-a-little-bit colour repeats and i only have 3 left. i didn’t swatch since it was easy enough to try as i went along and it’s bang on size-wise.
i’m in a quandry what to do next: spin some extra and try to approximate one of the colours then use that for the cuffs? spin some extra and dye to a co-ordinating colour then intersperse that as another stripe? spin some extra don’t even bother to frog the first and just have them unmatch? just do something different with the yarn? i do love the mitten though, fits perfectly (apart from over-tight cast-off, obviously) and is super cosy and soft.
the pattern was great, really easy to follow, and i learned how to make 2 stitches together. wasn’t sure what “reverse loop” was so did “knit left loop then knit right loop” as per knitting help. also learned how to pick up stitches around the thumb which worked out really well with no gaps (once again yay for kh).
the yarn is the very first thing i spun on the wheel and i’m super pleased with how it turned out. i had to keep hauling it off the bobbin and running it through again to add extra twist when i was plying, i much prefer a nice tight ply, and it came out absolutely totally balanced
the self striping was a cinch too. i just wrapped the yarn around 2 chair backs the length of our front room apart to make a really long skein. then i marked it into 3 with yarn and each third went into it’s own bowl of dye in the massive pot. the only tricky thing was handling a skein that length, especially for rinsing, but in the end i just hauled it of all the bowls and dumped into the sink (handily enough our front room isn’t exactly huge, so the skein was just about manageable).
the colours were supposed to be greyish-purple, greyish-green and grey, but came out damson pink, khaki and greyish-pink respectively. i lost my nerve with the purple and addded extra red after the skein went in, hence the pinkness. i wanted to add a little warmth to the grey so mixed in a spoon or 2 of the “purple” bath, but that red sure is insistent, a little goes a long way. again to help the colours blend i added a little “purple” to the green and again the red has dragged it too far towards brown. all that said i love the accidental result (accurate colours here).
the thing i liked best about all this is that it didn’t take much longer to do than it did to write up. it was fluff at lunchtime and knitted before bed.