Blanket · Knitting Projects · Uncategorized

The Blanket Wot I Knit

So here it is, the blanket wot i knit. 

I started off, when at a loose end, with some purple wool and slightly bent knitting needles given to me by my Gran.  After scoffing at me for being left handed, for the umpteenth time in my life, she eventually agreed to showing me how to cast on properly.  Apparently you don’t just wrap the wool around one needle and then tie a knot.  Effort has to go into it, although admittedly, not that much.  Anyway, I managed to cast on about 25 stitches without too much problem and then, I started to knit. 

Now, at this point, I had never been introduced to the concept of there being named methods of knitting.  I knew that you could do twiddly bits and there was the twisty bits Gran did in the Arran Sweaters of Yesteryears.  But otherwise, whenever I had taken up the needles in the past, I just knitted.  same stitch, both sides, ad infinitum.  This being my past experience, the first few squares are just (what I call) plain old knitting.  Some were more succesful than others, but it passed the time and it gave me something to do before I started my new job.

Time passed, and I cracked open the internet and found inspiration and started trying other stitches.  I was a whirl of knit-one-purl-one (a.k.a. moss stitch), twisty bits (cable), plain-and-fancy (knit one side, purl the other.  still no idea what that should be called) and seed stitch (is that the knit-one-purl-one? is moss stitch different?).  I loved it. I loved it so much that at some points, episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition permitting, I would knit one or even two squares a day. 

 I started getting better just in time to start at my new job. I was still on the road to addiction though.  Every time I went into town to the shops, I ended up buying something to feed the knitting monster.  A ball of wool here, a special bag to put the rapidly growing number of squares there.  I even invested in two, yes two, different cable needles.  I wasn’t knitting quite so much these days, but look! I had all the gear, so I was a knitter now.  Well done me.

Eventually, about six months after I started, I had finished knitting squares.  I had somewhere in the region of 70 squares of a very similar size.  I went for a purple theme – the same bright purple wool from my gran that managed to turn into a suprisingly large number of squares, a darker purple that didn’t quite match but was lovely anyway, then a cream wool, an arran type wool that had darker flecks in it (see picture above. ooh, lovely cabling) and then wool the same colour as those flecks. It was lovely.  I loved pulling all the squares out, with the different patterns and colours and laying them out and forcing my husband or parents to look at them.  And that’s where I stopped.

For a while anyway.  After a short break, I took all the squares out of the special knitting bag and laid them out on the spare bed.  Cor blimey, I thought, look at all that knitting.  Well done me.

Eventually, I got my act together and pulled the needle and thread out and stitched all the squares together and created my lovely, warm, colourful blanket.  It took me a couple of weeks of glaring at the pile of squares and sooking my sore stabbed fingers as I tried to stitched together squares as I watched something on TV.  But it was all worth it.  Because not only do I have a blanket that doubles as something to keep warm and something I can boast about, but it was what finally got me hooked on knitting.  Hooray.  Well done me.
So here’s a picture of the blanket, in pieces, ready to be stitched together.  Because I can’t figure out how to insert it further up, and I don’t have a finished photo.  But look – the Blanket Wot I Knit.  Hooray.  Well done me.
in progress
Blanket in pieces
Beginnings · Uncategorized

Mission Statement

So here’s the grand plan: make use of the sewing machine and knitting needles.  Create lovely crafty Nice Things.  And then put them on the wall or use them.

I inherited a sewing machine from my Great Aunt about ten years ago.  It’s a Singer machine of indeterminate age and is attached to a giant wooden cupboard.  The sewing machine folds in/out of the cupboard, leaving enough storage space for thread, bobbins, the instructions and two very, very large pairs of incredibly sharp scissors.  It was slightly daunting to be given the machine, I’d only expressed a slight inclination to sew after I had rather cack-handedly made my own 6th year “ball gown”. I hadn’t expected anyone to take me seriously so to be given a this beast of a piece of furniture was very unexpected.  I left it at my parents’ house and ignored it for a few years until just before Christmas when my Mother’s desire to get rid of it and my desire to create collided and the machine now lurks underneath my stairs, like a great brooding monster waiting for fabric to eat.

I kept saying to myself that when I get hold of the machine, I’ll make use of it.  So, here we go!  The plan is to make:

  • an endless number of cushion covers
  • bunting for a baby’s room
  • clothes for baby (and me)
  • more cushion covers

I will update as I go.

And the other part of the blog?  Knitting!  I caught the bug again nearly three years ago when I was inbetween jobs and needed to entertain myself inbetween episodes of Extreme Makeover:Home Edition.  The mania resulted in me committing myself to a patchwork blanket.  All in, it took me 9 months to knit and sew together and it now lives on the back of a chair, all lovely and snuggly and ready to be whipped out at a moment’s notice as I say “what, this? do you like it? I KNITTED IT!”  I knitted squares of moss stitch, cable stitch, purl, and all the other stuff too.  I would like to think it’s a work of art, but it’s more of a labour of love to be honest.  But it was mine, all mine!

detail cable stitch

Since then, I’ve knitted two small blankets – one for my niece and one for my nephew – and two cardigans for my daughter.  The first cardigan didn’t go very smoothly, the instructions were slightly confusing and the arms resemble cardboard tubes… The second cardigan is much more wearable and she will be squeezed into it until the stitches burst.

The plan is to keep knitting, but try slightly easier and quicker patterns.  The plan is to knit:

  • bigger cardigans to keep up with the growing child
  • knit a cushion cover, with cable stitches
  • knit something for me to wear

So that is the plan. I will add photographs as I go.