Tuesday, 24 May 2011

About this blog and blanket #140

It is many weeks since I last wrote.  First I bought a new computer - because the old one was old - and it took a while before I could get the new one to handle pictures the way I wanted.  At the same time I was unwell.  It need not have stopped me from sitting down to write a blog entry; it did not stop me from knitting, but I was annoyed at having my routine interrupted.  Then I went away for a brief holiday, and that did me a lot of good, but it took me away from my computer and the internet as well.  Now I'm back and I have decided to put mind over matter, ignore any pains and continue as I used to.  It doesn't help that I think it more important to keep up with other people's blogs than to write my own.

About my own blog - so often I wonder if I should stop writing, as it is so difficult to get down to it.  When I started I imagined I would get some followers, and I thought I had several when I wrote in Swedish.  Now it seems there are only one or two left, so is it worth it?  I do very little exciting knitting any more.  I feel stressed by the extent of my yarn store, and that I can't stop adding to it, so I have decided to knit what I like knitting, rather than knit to use up the yarn I should.  I want to continue to write this blog, for my own sake because it is useful to have an account of what I have knitted, and what I thought about it at the time.  It seems so laborious to update my Ravelry page.

I have had time to start and finish blanket #140.  I unravelled this tunic type sweater.  I bought it several years ago, and I wore it for a while, despite the garish burnt orange colour, because it fitted me so well.  Even the sleeves were the right length, ie shorter than normal.  The yarn is light, and it has the same silk smell as Rowan Summer Tweed, but it is much lighter, so I think it is Jaeger Trinity - a cotton silk nylon blend according to Ravelry.  I don't like using bright yarns like this in my blankets because they stand out too much, so I thought I would knit a different type of blanket using just three yarns.  But when I unpicked it I found that the yarn was thinner than DK, so I had to reconsider.  I decided to knit a thicker blanket instead, and adding a 4 ply to this and to other DK yarns, using size 4.5 mm needles.  Usually I go for size 4 mm and DK weight yarn, so using two 4 plys together.  It has occurred to me earlier that my blankets could be thicker, so it would be a useful experiment.

So that is what I did.  This is what it looks like.  At a distance it does not look very different from the other blankets.  It feels better.  I saw other advantages as well.  Thicker yarn and thicker needles would mean fewer stitches and therefore quicker knitting.  It would also take more yarn, so my yarn store would get depleted sooner (in theory).  The one disadvantage that I have found is that I prefer the look of two 4 plys together, ie equal weight yarns, rather than one thin and one thick.  Although it would help if I took more care to match colours.  I still like to use my method of using yarn randomly.  And there are always yarns that are difficult to incorporate in any colour scheme, and finally I get exasperated and add it even if I know that it will add a note of discord.

I will show three charity shop bought yarns used in this blanket.  The white mohair, in a 1oz ball so pre 1971, is made in Scotland, and is the usual blend 67% mohair, 28% wool and 5% nylon.  It is lovely and it gives such a nice feeling to the blanket that I must make an effort to add mohair to all my blankets.  The Wendy in a nice apricot shade is also in a 1oz ball but probably slightly later because it has 28.35gr in brackets.  The third one is unlabelled.  It is a thin boucle of three threads spun together, possibly two cotton with one nylon.  These are the kind of yarns I must not buy any more.

The other garment that I unpicked for this blanket is another Kaffe Fassett Persian Poppies pattern, this time a waistcoat, I think from a kit, because it seems to have all the right Rowan yarns.  There was quite a lot of cotton chenille and other cotton yarns in it.  It is loosely knitted and large.  I thought it would be easy unravelling, but I found that the side edges have been zigzagged by machine and the sides sewn together by the same machine zigzag stitch.  I found it difficult to see why.  The edges were quite neat and did not flare in the least so it seems unnecessary.  There was a lot of lovely yarn in there though.  It is knitted in fair isle, except for the centre of the flower.  It is done as intarsia so it produces short lengths of yarn, too short to be reused, and it annoys me.

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