Monday, 2 March 2015

Another (slightly less wintery) hat

I am excited about March. I love the winter with woolly tights and boots, candles, sitting by the log burner, snug under a blanket knitting or crocheting... yet somehow by the first of march I am ready for spring. To open all the windows, put fresh pretty bed linen on the beds. But today there has been sleet and it is blowing a gale out there, so the weather isn't quite as advanced as my feelings. So I am sitting snug with blanket and candle.

And I don't feel too bad talking about woolly hats
 I enjoyed making this hat for my Mum... It is the floral beret from Nicki Trench's Crochet Living made with the recommended and delicious Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, in dusky mauve. The little added posy is almost springlike
 Happily I did spend some of  my weekend with my weekend-along blanket though looking at it now there doesn't seem much difference between Friday's photograph and the one taken today
There is no thought when selecting which colour ball of wool to use next, other than the same colour doesn't touch. I think I have quite a few weekends before I have to start thinking about what size I want this blanket to be and therefore placing the hexies more carefully. Thank you for the encouragement Cherry heart!

Friday, 27 February 2015

Knitted baby bootees

 These are the cuff bootees from Debbie Bliss' simply baby. First of all in the larger size (3-6 months) made for little Baby Leo. No idea why I made the larger size, sorry Leo, I do hope they fit you sometime this winter. Or next.
And then another pair, this time in the smaller 0-3 months for Patch's lovely teacher at Christmastime, who was just starting her maternity leave. Hopefully these are keeping Matilda's feet toasty.

I used some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino from the basket for both, so not sure of colours as the ball bands have wandered.  I do so like using wool from the basket... though I do also like buying new wool, too.

Have you heard about the weekend blanket-along being organised by the lovely Cherry Heart? Rather excited to revisit a crochet hexie blanket which has been abandoned for a while. I love working on this blanket, but there always seems to be other things more pressing. Well, no longer at the weekends! I have signed up, I have mentioned it here so surely that means progress will be made! 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Some more Purl Bee Christmas hats

Purl Bee is such a fantastic and generous place to spend some time... all those knitting, crochet and sewing projects - for free. I think I got most of the patterns used for Christmas hats from there - and you have seen most of them now! I shall stop showing Christmas makes soon...
 So first, possibly my favourite hat pattern used this year, the classic cuffed hat. The kids and adults sizes have been a good fit for the children and adults presented with these hats. I have yet to make the baby size, but can you imagine how sweet? This was made for Mr R's Dad who likes navy blue so his hat was knitted in Rico essentials soft merino aran in navy
 This is one of the thank you hats - the simple rib hat. According to Purl Bee, this hat is sized to fit most women and some men. Now I know Mum has commented on the size of my Dad's head before, and believing it to be on the smaller size I decided this would be the perfect fit for Dad. It is a simple, quick knit and it does fit Dad... rather snugly. Turns out my Dad has a larger than some sized head.  I used yet more Rico essentials soft merino aran, in the lovely named mouse grey with a cinnamon trim.
And the last of the Purl Bee knits was for Ems. This may look a little like a tea cosy but is actually the boyfriend hat. Not quite the shape hat shown on the pattern. There are possibly a few reasons - as with Linda's tea-cosy hat I also cast on and did a large portion of this hat when out without a tape measure so no tension checking. And also my choice of wool - the pattern calls for line weight wool knitted on 3.25mm needles, so I choose a ball of  Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in teal, and Jarol heritage 4 ply in silver. I really should have paid more attention to that little tension square on the ball band as, while they both recommend using 3.25mm needles, the debbie bliss knits up a little larger than the heritage. And that is to blame for the shape. This is perhaps the snuggest hat ever knitted though... it actually fits like a tea-cosy in that all that ribbing has no need to stretch to fit, it just sits on the head like a fabric made hat. I did try on before gifting, and again liked the look and so gave it to Ems, again with the understanding that it could always be re-knitted. I have since seen it on Ems' head and it looks rather lovely. Not as fine as the original, but a nice looking hat still. One day I shall return to the boyfriend hat and use a finer wool...

And I shall now go and give a poorly Patch lots more cuddles, who is just waking up from a snooze on the sofa. Poor thing, no going back to school for him today...

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Chunky winter knits

Maybe the best type of winter knit - snug, and they knit so quickly. Not that I am ready to give up those smaller needles... I love returning to a finer knit after wielding these chunky needles
It has been an age since I made one of these cowls. I oh so much want to make myself another to save the grey one I made a few years ago from being worn every single day in winter, and have you seen the yum colours of Rowan big wool? I shall add it to the list, but really I should just do it because these cowls take only an eve in front of the television. I had a small ball of the lighter blue - steel blue - already in the basket so decided to find a nice colour to go with and make my first colourblock version. I love it! And hope you do too, Bea...The darker blue is blue velvet. Oh yes, and the pattern - the chunky cowl from Jenny Lord's Purls of Wisdom.

And the next chunky knit
Purl Bee's super soft merino hats for everyone. Well, for Linda. And this one really is super. Super sized. This is not because Linda has a large head but rather that this was knitted while watching P at athletics club. I gaily cast on and knitted without a thought to gauge. Actually I did think oh, I should take some measurements but this thought was quickly forgotten as I realised that the tape measure was still at home. And so I continued to knit. The blues are more Rowan big wool from the basket, with Rico Creative Twist Super Chunky in light grey for the main part. 

Once complete and home I did remember the tape measure... and discovered how very much bigger than intended this hat was. I tried it on and Mr R said he liked it and thought that I had purposefully knitted Linda a rather on trend slouchy type hat. I was flattered by the notion that I had knitted something on trend, and so gifted it to Linda with the understanding that I would happily re-knit if she preferred a snugger fit. This offer has not been taken up, so obviously I have a trendy friend. With a warm head.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Some more Christmas knitting

A coffee cosy seemed just the present for friends whose baby was a few months old at christmas, as they undoubtedly have the time to prettify their coffee jug. I had nice thoughts of encouraging some time during the day to curl up with a treaty drink...
Please do excuse the festive mug in February! The pattern is Jenny Lord's cafetiere coffee cosy from Purls of Wisdom. This is the second time I've used this pattern, and the second time I thought ooo, must make one of those for me. The wool is Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in crimson, which is just the perfect shade of Christmasy red, knitted double to get the required thickness.

Hope you are enjoying lots of warm coffee Lou and Rachael. With cake, of course!

Valentine's Day for us is a rather quiet day as we have a poorly P. The planned seaside walk with the best chips for lunch, was revised to going to the cinema to see Big Hero 6, which in turn has been changed again. Poor P, he was adamant he wanted to got to his swimming lesson this morning, and did seem bright enough, but as we were heading for the cinema afterwards we had a very quiet request to please go home. A refused trip to the cinema certainly means all is not well. So we now have a tired, cold-filled and sleepy P snug under a duvet. The fire has been lit, I'm about to do some knitting, so I'm happy with this new plan for the day. Though of course I do wish P wasn't feeling so horrible...

Last night I made Mr R a heart balloon. Made with wool from the basket which has resulted in a larger heart than the pattern - found here by Simply Crochet mag
I really should have attended to my little crochet heart more, and paid less attention to watching The Musketeers as some of the crochet is reversed. Not that Mr R has noticed. And some heart shape biscuits for the school cake and bakes sale yesterday
Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Back to the knitted hats

This time Purl Bee's thank you hat, or in this case Christmas hat. This pattern is the big rib hat
Gosh, it does look big here. I had no head to measure it against as the head was residing in Holland with the rest of Frits, but it was true to the measurements given in the pattern. There is just the one size, which should fit most men it says. Actually I have seen a photograph of Frits wearing this, and it does appear to fit and actually looks rather nicer on than sitting here all wrinkly. That wavy edge on the ribbing! Smoothed out when worn I assure you.

I used Cascade Yarns 220 superwash in the unimaginatively named grey. A nice squishy wool, so we shall forgive it its name. So, a nice hat -I really do like the look of the deep rib. More hats to follow!

Friday, 6 February 2015

A pause with the hats to mention a rat

As I was looking through photographs of the many hats made so far this winter, I realised I had yet to show the costume Patch wore for the Christmas Play this year. Last year? Anyway, he was a rat. So festive!

I had some thoughts as to how I may be making this rat costume when a Mum at school approached me in the playground and mentioned that she had a rat costume if we would like to borrow it. I had no idea you could actually buy a rat costume as it doesn't seem the most popular choice for dressing up. Mr R was with me and in the pause that followed her meaning-to-be-helpful offer he obviously sensed my thoughts and quickly jumped in with a yes please. Of course I was thinking very kind offer, but maybe you should ask if there are any other rats-to-be as I do like to make a costume. So we were presented with a head and paws, and together with a (shop bought) t and leggings I think Mr R assumed the costume was complete. But I was certain that there was still the opportunity for a Mummy make because every rat needs a long tail.

And so this was my contribution to Patch's Christmas play costume. I had concerns that my vision for a rat's tail may actually look a little rude in reality, but all worry disappeared when one of Patch's friends informed his mummy that Patch looked like he had a string of sausages dangling behind him. So if you ever need to make a rat's tail/string of sausages for a costume, here is what I did
Two lengths of pink felt, tapered at one end, sewn along the long edges. I really did not want to struggle with turning this length of felt inside out, so the seams were just left on the outside. Stuffed and then sewn along the top edges to enclose the tail and attach it to a black belt, made from a wide strip of black felt with Velcro closure. And then maybe the bit that resembles a string of sausages, I wrapped bits of chunky grey wool along the length.
Mr R refrained from too many I-told-you-so's when halfway through the play Patch appeared in another costume, this time as a cat. Turns out, the cat was poorly and Patch was asked to stand in. So yes, I am glad that I spent only a few minutes on this costume. Also glad that Patch forgot that he had the rat's tail attached and performed the rest of the play as a cat with a rat's tail. We actually shouldn't be surprised as the year before last the lovingly made angel costume was whipped off (it didn't even make it on to stage) and Patch was upgraded to one of the three kings. He said his one word beautifully but was overcome with emotion when at the end of the play the head asked everyone present to give him a round of applause. Thankfully, he coped much better this year!

And as I have made so very many hats, I can't leave without mentioning one. Another Purl Bee classic cuffed hat, made just the same as the one shown last week here, but this time using Jarol heritage DK in teal.
Happy birthday, Joshua!