Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Chunky slip stitch blanket C23

 This blanket started from one 2 oz hank of yarn, a chunky yarn from the 1950s judging from the label, Argyll Wools Bulkee, in dark green.  A few months later I found a second hank of the same yarn, in the same shade in a different shop some miles away.  So I started collecting chunky woollen yarns in matching shades, and came up with two hanks of Jaeger Naturgarn in a pale rust and two hanks of brown Icelandic yarn from a French company, Laine d'Islande from Laines Berger du Nord.

I planned to find the rest from the yarn store, but just before I started knitting I found 16 more hanks of the Jaeger Naturgarn, this time in a mustard yellow.  The shade went well with the other yarns.  So now I had plenty for a full sized blanket for a single bed.

My plan was to knit the blanket in the same way as gungstolsmattan, with fringing at each end so there would be no need to fasten ends.  But with so much of one single yarn that was no longer necessary, so I looked around for another pattern.  A slip stitch pattern still seemed a good idea, but I would rather try something else than do linen stitch again.  I looked in my copy of the Harmony Guide volume III.  There were a number of suitable patterns, and it was difficult to choose, so I went for the first one II.1 on page 24.

My pattern looks different, because I used three strands instead of two, but I rather prefer the lozenge shapes of this one with the slipped stitches forming crosses.  Knitting was easy, as long as you kept track of the stitches, and I enjoyed it, partly for the pleasure of knitting with nice chunky wool.  I had to add some Annabel Fox chunky brown wool in the middle, from my Geo Modern Throw.

All in all I am very happy with it.  There are two things.  The pattern was supposed to symmetrical from the centre, but I kept knitting without measuring, so it doesn't, and I really didn't want to undo it when I realised.  The other thing is that I wished I had tried larger needles, as it might be even nicer knitted more loosely.

Chunky slip stitch blanket C23
Jaeger Naturgarn, Laine d'Islande from Laines Berger du Nord, Argyll Wools Bulkee, Annabel Fox Donegal Tweed, all 100% wool
size 6.5 mm needles
125 cm by 175 cm, 1900 gr
Knitted 14 May to 31 August 2015

Monday, 7 September 2015

The next blanket

The next blanket was due to be one of the dark ones, with dark red and purple this time.  I enjoy knitting it, the same as with all the rest.  There are no awkward yarns this time, no colours that stand out, and hardly any synthetics.  The colour in the picture is much too light.

I unravelled this nice dark red hand knitted sweater in a standard pattern in reverse stocking stitch with two narrow lace panels.  It is very well knitted with no signs of wear.  The yarn is obviously wool with a slight halo, and it is a pleasure to knit.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

The next blanket

I love the colours and the texture of the next blanket, #170, murky with browns, greys, mauves and muted blues.  The only brighter irregular yarn is the shawl yarn from #167 that I felt inclined to add.  There is some angora yarn to add a hazy soft feel.  The texture looks good too and I think it is because all the yarn are of a similar weight, with few thicker or thinner.  I would like all my blankets to end up in these colours - there is a long way to go (ie a lot of brighter yarns to be knitted) before I get there.

I unravelled this lovely cardigan.  It is nicely knitted with front and sleeve cables and shiny gold buttons.  I can't work out what fibre it is.  It is heavy and slinky and nice.  I thought silk or silk blend or perhaps bamboo.  It was very easy to unravel.  In the end I decided the colour was wrong for this blanket, so it will end up in one with more brighter greens.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sari silk throw C22

I have looked with interest at sari silk yarn, and even found two hanks in charity shops.  So I could not resist buying this wrap when I saw it.  The changes in colour make it obvious that it is knitted from several hanks.  It is knitted in garter stitch with regular rows of dropped stitches.  I thought that the loose ends of yarn were due to inadequate fastening, but when I unravelled it the yarn fell apart by itself, so it was not sufficiently tightly plied.  I liked working with it - it has a very nice feel.  So I unravelled it and washed the yarn.  The washing made it cleaner but had no other effect.

I didn't think that there was enough yarn for a throw even, so I looked round for something else to add.  I had already bought this top, a navy Vera Moda top in a chunky cotton ramie blend.  I bought it because of the interesting construction, six hexagons with ribbed neckline and hemlines.  It didn't fit well, because of the way the sleeve hexagons had been joined there was a lot of bulk around the upper arms.  I approved of the way the hexagons had been joined using knitting, but I had not noticed that they had been knitted flat and that there was a seam. 
Still, the yarn was OK, the right thickness for the sari silk, and I liked the contrast of navy with red.

The pattern was just garter stitch on 7mm needles with regular rows of navy.  I miscalculated the amount of yarn, so I ran out of sari silk before the throw was longer than the width.  I could have used more of the navy yarn if I had realised, to make a bigger throw.  I am happy with it anyway.  It is lovely and slinky, so nice to the touch and the colours are a pleasure.  I decided against adding the two new hanks in case the difference in texture would be noticeable.

Sari silk throw C22
Sari silk and Chunky cotton ramie
size 7mm needles
105 cm by 82 cm, 828 gr
Knitted 13 April to 29 May 2015

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The next blanket

The colours in the next blanket are ones that I have knitted numerous times - pink, blue, lavender, lilac.  I like them, but I do wish I would run out of the bright pink yarns.  Nowadays I remind myself to pay attention to the colour as well when I buy yarn, not just the quality.

The next garment to be unravelled was this brick coloured wrap.  The colour is unsuitable for this blanket, but I like the discipline of unravelling things in order of purchase.  That way everything gets transformed into yarn, sooner or later.  I still leave the ones that are clearly unsuitable for standard blankets.  This stole was presumably knitted by a novice.  It is a very easy lace pattern, but one row went completely wrong.  The stole was bordered by a row of double crochet, to neaten the edges, partially in a different yarn.  It has a fringe border too short for any use.  Unravelling it was so easy, and the yarn is a lovely double knitting weight alpaca.

The second garment was this Marks and Spencer cashmere polo neck sweater in stripes of red, pink and grey.  I bought this at an incredibly low price in a sale - it is such a shame that M&S no longer sell cashmere at such prices.  I have worn it quite a lot, but the colours are wrong for me.  It looks smart.  The narrow stripes were a nuisance in unravelling. The ends had been tied together in knots that were impossible to undo.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sock yarn blanket2

A few years ago I started buying sock yarn, not just from charity shops but from those little wool shop selling budget ranges of yarn.  Some salesman must have persuaded them that sock yarns were going to be big sellers, but, as it turned out, not in those kind of shops so the yarn had been marked down to half price.  And I bought.  This is the 100 gr balls of 4 ply self striping yarn, 75% wool 25% nylon.

In a charity shop I found 9 50 gr balls of Patons Diploma Gold 4 ply yarn, 55% wool 25% acrylic 20% nylon in a nice olive green that I thought would go well with the sock yarns.  It was the fact that it was machine washable that made me buy it.  I liked the idea of knitting 2 rows sock yarn 2 rows plain  with the plain yarn forming a calming background to the more colourful sock yarns, in the style of Blanket C13.

I used my standard pattern of diagonally knitted bias blocks.  Because I was so tired of the joining together I decided to go for larger blocks - with a 21 cm edge.  I had intended to do an adult size single blanket, but when I got to the end of the Patons yarn it seemed a shame to introduce other main colours so I decided to leave it as a child's blanket.

This time I crocheted the blocks together, using the method from Blanket C17.  It was quick, possibly because of the size of the blocks.  I did a garter stitch edging, in log cabin fashion.

I am quite pleased with the blanket.  The knitting - on buses and train - was enjoyable.  I am not convinced with large blocks.  I do prefer smaller ones, despite the extra work.  I am not sure either of my method of placing the blocks so that four blocks meet at one point.  With blocks this size it looks odd.  It would look more harmonious if all stripes went in the same direction.  I like the colours.

Sock yarn 2 blanket C18
Patons Diploma Gold 4 ply, various sock yarns, 4 ply
size 3mm needles
110 cm by 110 cm, 800 gr
Knitted 22 June 2014 to 13 May 2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The next blanket

The next blanket, #168, was due to include white, and I managed to use quite a few, so it has ended up lighter than many others with white.  There is some green and yellow with the white, and beige and grey and blue, but I didn't have very much of the other colours.  I am pleased to have got rid of so much white.

The garment next in turn to be unravelled was the first of my Susan Duckworth Basketweave sweaters.  The pattern is published in Hugh Ehrman's Designer knitting, 1986, and it was sold as a kit.  This one is knitted exactly as the pattern in the book, down to the three buttons on the left shoulder.  There is no sign of use.  The yarn is Rowan Double Knitting Wool in a total of twelve different shades.  The crosses were annoying, both to unravel and because they are a bit too short to reuse.  Otherwise it was a pleasure to unravel entre lac, called 'a strongly geometric arrangement of multi-coloured diamonds.

It was interesting that it took some 25 years for me to find the first one in a charity shop, and that I would then find three more in a short space of time afterwards, none of them identical.