Friday, 14 September 2012

And a cushion cover

I had a request for a cushion cover to the pattern of the blocks in the Modern Throw and I was happy to do it.  This time I bought brand new wool.  I liked the Icelandic Alafoss Lopi chunky yarn that went into the throw, so I bought some more.  It is surprisingly inexpensive in comparison to other chunky yarns, and it is so lovely and soft.  It comes in something like 17 shades, but the shop only had a few.  The request was for a blue cushion so I chose two 100 gr balls in grey and one each in a pale and a darker blue.  I wasn't too happy about the lighter shade because I thought there was too little contrast between it and the grey.

I aimed for a cover with a 40 cm side so I cast on a few more stitches than for the throw.  Again I selected the number of rows randomly, and did one side with darker blue and the other with paler blue stripes.  Then I picked up stitches around the edge and did a three needle bind off on three sides.  The fourth side I crocheted together in slip stitch using a thin blue yarn which disappeared so you can hardly see it.

The finished cover was about 41.5 cm square and it was too loose for a 40 cm cushion pad.  The 45 cm pad fitted much better.  A cushion does look better if the cover is slightly stretched.  The finished cushion is squashy and comfortable and pleases both the recipient and myself.

Modern Cushion

Yarn:  Alafoss Lopi chunky, 245 gr used
Needles:  6mm
Knitted:  15 July to 20 August 2012

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The next blanket - #150

Blanket #150 turned out to be red and yellow, mixed with beige, brown and rust.  I like the little bit of green added.  There is still quite a lot of these bright colours in the yarn store, however much I try to get rid of them.  At least I like red.  Some of the yellow is too light for this blanket, but then it seemed too dark for blanket #149, and I have to include it somewhere.  It is dispiriting, too, that there are so many yarns that don't really blend but need to be used up.

#150 is such an even number, but it does not really mean anything.  The numbers go by the rows in the spreadsheet that I started in 1994.  I must have knitted some 20 blankets before then.  Occasionally I ask myself why do I do these - are they really any use.  Now I could afford to buy new wool, so there is no need to confine myself to the knitted garments in the yarn store.  But I still enjoy the unravelling, and using purely new wool would give a different character to the blankets.  I like the economical and ecological benefits of using unravelled wool.  The plain answer is that I knit these blankets because knitting them gives me so much joy.

For this blanket I unravelled a Bolivian knit cotton sweater from a charity shop.  It is knitted in a combination of fair isle and intarsia, quite well except for the part where the third shade has been swiss darned.  It was so difficult to unravel.  The yarn is a nice smooth mercerized cotton and I thought it was 4 ply weight doubled.  It turns out to be a thinner yarn trebled.  I don't mind dividing two strands but three is too much and the individual strands are too thin to use as 4 ply.  I went for removing the third strand and this gives a yarn of suitable weight.  The colours are lovely pink and blue pastel shades.

The second knit was a shawl knit in a brown shetland yarn.  It was very nicely knitted, but the yarn, a thick 4 ply, was too thick to produce a nice shawl.  This is probably why it ended up in a charity shop.  I bought it because I like the brown shade - very useful and will blend well.

I bought this Drops Vivaldi yarn in the flea market behind Frederiksberg city hall on my spring break.  There was about 200 gr, some of it knitted into the back or front of a sweater.  It was easily unravelled.  The colour is a nice lime green.  It is very thin, reminiscent of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, but it is only 58% mohair, the rest wool and polyamide.  It adds a lovely sheen to the blanket, and you can only just about see the colour.  In the biting wind in the outdoor market I did not notice the smell, but as soon as I got inside it was evident that it reeked of tobacco smoke.  The smell disappreared after washing.