Saturday, 16 April 2011

Finished at last

Blanket C3

Yarn: Hayfield Raw Cotton, Patons Paton, both 100% cotton, DK weight, various pastel colours
600 gr

Needles: 3.75 mm
Tension: 24 st per 10 cm
Size: 84 by 96 cm

Pattern: knitted diagonal squares, crochetted together
Knitted 010908 - 060311

I started knitting this blanket (C3) - as a bus knitting - nearly three years ago.  The squares were finished a long time ago.  The first time I got them out to sew them together one square was missing, either by miscounting or because it was mislaid.  It hasn't come to light, so perhaps I miscounted.  I didn't have any more of the cotton, so I waited until I could find more in  a charity shop.

The blanket was knitted from oddments of pastel coloured cottons, all from charity shops.  A lot of it were Hayfield Raw Cotton, a very pleasant yarn.  There were also some lavender coloured Patons Perle, a favourite from the 1980s, a mercerized cotton, which did not feel so nice here.  At the time I knitted a sweater from it, and that was nice.  So the yarn I found for the remaining square was also Patons Perle, this time in a pale turquoise.

I knitted the remaining square.  This time when I laid out the pieces I decided that the blanket could do with being wider, so I put the finished square aside and knitted some more.  Now at least there are enough, and I think it is a nice size, approx 84 by 96 cm.

This time I decided to crochet the squares together using slip stitch, and it worked fine.  The yarn is cream, unlabelled from a charity shop.  I think it is probably acrylic or an acrylic blend.  It is thicker than 4 ply, but thinner than the DK cotton yarns in the blanket, so it makes a nicer seam.  I also used it to crochet an edging, one row double crochet finished with one row crab stitch.

This was nice work.  I think the colours look good together.  It is slightly too thick for my liking, double knitting weight cotton in garter stitch.  At least there is some yarn gone from my yarn store.

When I knit the squares I slip the first stitch, and it makes a nice edge.  Unfortunately the edge stops the squares from lying flat when you sew them together.  For my next blanket I knit the first stitch - I will see if that works better.

Lamb's Pride basket

I didn't add the details for the basket in my last entry:

Lamb's Pride basket

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky, wool 85%, mohair 15%, pale pink, pink, burgundy, blue, green, 500 gr
Needles: 6.5mm
Tension: 12 sts per 10 cm
Size: height 23 cm, diameter 30 cm
Pattern: Own after Mason-Dixon Knitted box pattern

Knitted 090211 - 240311

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The basket is done

I finished the basket several weeks ago, and now it is in full use.  I was surprised that it turned out OK in the end.

I finished the knitting by doing several rows of garterstitch at the top, striped, so that I could use up all the wool.  I decreased a couple of stitches at each side to make it turn inwards slightly.  How do you knit garterstitch in the round?  You purl every other row - simple really.  Then I knitted handles, in different colours because that was what was left, in my first ever i-cord, and not even from a pattern but from what I remembered from reading a pattern.  I did one with four stitches and it is just the right thickness. only slightly unevenly knitted.

Then I took some pictures, with the basket stuffed with towels.

Now I got to the exciting part - I put it in the washing machine.  After reading about felting I decided that there was no need to try a 40 degree wash - I went straight for the 50 degree, but gentle wash.  The instructions said to add a pair of (old) jeans.  My Gap jeans can only take 30 degrees, so I used the next best thing - a couple of old towels.  I added a little bit of washing powder to get rid of any dust etc.  My machine does not like being tampered with, so I let it go through all the rinses although probably not necessary.

And this is how it came out:

The sides are bumpy in places, but it is sturdier than I expected.  The handles came out really well; all the unevenness has disappeared.  I had hoped that the colours in the moss stitch would blend together more, but it is fine as it is.  The garterstitch rows seem to have shrunk more.  The arrangement of the colours could easily be improved on.

All in all I'm very pleased with it.  It is something that I can use, a big basket to keep knitting and wool in.  The handles really make it into a cross between a basket and a bag.

Even so, I can't help wondering what would happen if I put it back in the washing machine, perhaps even for a 60 degree wash?  Perhaps one day...  At least this has got me interested in felting.  The Mason Dixon book goes on to do a rug - I have got plenty of chunky wool that would be suitable.