It would turn out that I have a lot more knitting projects to talk about that I previously imagined. Jeez, I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit much toward the end of the year, no?
I can’t tell you why that happened. Just life. Work. Time, or lack thereof to do anything except sleep eat and work. I have also been crafting, mind, it’s just the writing up about them afterwards. I’ll start writing here, but I may split the blog into two in case it’s huge!
To be fair, I think one of the reasons that led to my neglect of the blog is the first project that I’m going to talk about, which was also the first project in 5 years that I ended up frogging completely and reusing the yarn elsewhere, and requires a small amount of background information I guess.
I’ve been wanting to make a ‘Find Your Fade’ style shawl for a long time, but didn’t want to commit the four or five skeins of yarn dedicated to it – at least – not until I could get some relevant and similar colour ways from the same dyer or maker, which is quite an expensive overture for this one shawl. I know it’ll be massive, but still… you know where I’m coming here. So I found this pattern on Ravelry which seemed to fill the hole, and I had some Stylecraft Candy Swirl so thought that that would work out well.
It didn’t. I think I spent about 4 weeks on it, and got to over the halfway point and even onto the second cake of yarn, but I wasn’t enjoying how it was coming out so decided to frog and forget about it. If I want to have a Fade, I really should just commit to a proper Fade, right? Or perhaps, use a different type of yarn. I don’t know. I’m not running back to make this one again.
To be fair, the next two projects also have reasons why they didn’t have blog entries: they were birthday presents for my mum, so I couldn’t write about them before I’d actually given them to her, especially considering she does read these blogs.
The first was the Mermaid Shawl, the pattern I first discovered in the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine that I’d had specially shipped over from the USA because we couldn’t get it over here. [It’s since been renamed and repackaged to remove all references to Harry Potter for the UK edition, and this pattern is also in there too]. For this project I used the remainder of the lace weight yarn I scored from Countess Ablaze a few years ago, but honestly can’t remember the name of it. I know it was a left over from one of her yarn clubs [not the recent Classics Society]. I thought the colours and the name of the pattern meant that these two were made for each other. I think it turned out well. Perhaps I could have pushed it a bit and made it a little on the longer side, but it works as a shawlette.
This was also my very first beading project, and technique that I really enjoyed and would love to experiment with further in other projects. I thought I would hate having to stop and apply the beads but surprisingly I didn’t!
The second that I made for my mum was an African Flower Elephant. My friend gifted me a bunch of the African Flower patterns a little while ago and the elephant, being that these are my mothers spirit animal, had to be made for her. I chose just to have two colours for this one, a decent pink and a complementary grey. I did this for two reasons: my sanity when making the individual hexi’s and because I didn’t want anything to really detract from the creation of the elephant itself.
What do you think? I was super happy with how this turned out. She was quite big, and used a decent amount of ceramic cookery balls to weigh down her behind. Mum liked her too!
Hot off the creation of the elephant I felt the need to make an African Flower blanket for the home. It sort of worked out how I wished, considering I wasn’t using a pattern for it, and the hook I was using was a bit small – basically it’s a small, slightly stiffly made lap blanket but could also pass for a rug on the floor really. I still have yet to wash it, nor have I trimmed the tails from the centres of the flowers because my synch circles have a habit of coming undone and I don’t really fancy sewing them all in. I think considering this was a huge experiment on my part – especially in terms of not having a pattern – I did okay. I would definitely change how I would approach the project again if I made it again. For this I used Hobbycraft’s Women’s Institute’s ‘Soft and Chunky’ and pretty much only wanted to use it for the hot coral looking colourway. The actual project is sitting on the back of the chair ready for use when needed.
I also decided in this time that I would make a new Helipath vest as the one that I made before is a good couple of years old now and I love wearing it. I thought it was time to have a new one in a new colour. I loved making this again, partly because it looks so complex to make but it’s super simple if you can do the YO stitch in your work, and the frequent crossing of the cables. I chose the read colour again as it’s something that stood out for me, and something that I wouldn’t typically go for.
The only thing that annoys me about this one, and it’s entirely my fault, is that I put the button bands on the wrong way around. I’m not going back and undoing them now – to be fair – I din’t even realise it until my second or third time wearing it out. So can’t be that bad… no? The buttons on this one are channelling my inner [extremely inner!!] Gryffindor as they are gold. Red and Gold, no? I’m sure that I have enough Ravenclaw things that I can let this little Gryff related thing through?? Yeah, course I can!
The last thing I have to show is my most recent FO. This is a replacement of my most favourite shawl/scarf that I wear almost every day and have lost somewhere. The original was made in Countess Ablaze’s ‘Nerds Prefer Their Rainbow’s Darker’, and was also the first item I’d made since moving into the flat with Alex. But I must have left it behind somewhere, a restaurant or shop or something because it’s gone missing. I was quite heartbroken about it, but then I saw this yarn from Cuddlebums and knew I could make another one in slightly bolder colours. The colour way name was ‘Electric Rainbow’, and the pattern is the ‘Elder Tree Shawl’.
The new one is bigger too. I assume that that would be the years worth of difference in tension and the different needles I used too. [I used my Chiagoo’s red lace for this one, and before would have no doubt used my Knitpro’s Symphony].
Of course, now that I’ve made this one, finished and blocked it, there was a heatwave. So no doubt I’ll have to wait around until the colder weather to wear it. At least it’s ready, and with any luck I won’t loose this one!
So I think I’ve caught up the projects that I haven’t written about since last year. I’m currently working on a star blanket for my dad for fathers day, and then after that, I’m not sure what I’m going to make. Probably a shawl because I love making them. I have challenged myself to make 20 projects this year. The last couple of years I’ve topped out at 19, so I would really like to hit that 20 mark – and I’m using the challenge feature on Ravelry to help me keep track of things too.
Hopefully I can do it. I compared my total yardage/meterage used by this time last year to the same time this year, and in terms of yardage I’m definitely behind. But last year I made some baby blankets early on in the year, which is where most of it would have gone. I think that’ll be all for now, I hope that this wasn’t too spammy for you all.
What projects are you working on at the moment? What works best for you when the warmer weather comes into play?