Monday, 23 February 2015

The next blanket

The next blanket, #166, would be red, and this time I combined it with dark murky colours, grey, brown with some green and blue for depth.  At a distance it has a tinge of purple.  It is darker than shown in the picture.  It is a pleasure knitting this, with a mix of different types of woollen yarns and a bit of mohair.

To get some more red I unravelled this sleeveless pullover.  It has the mark of a Debbie Bliss design, but I have no evidence that it is.  It was knitted competently enough, but there were some ugly knots on the reverse side.  The yarn must be one of the ones with microfibre.  It is pleasant, but it does not have the feel of wool, naturally, and the kinks don't come out in washing.  It is a brighter red than the others used, so it adds a lift.

The second garment is a cotton cardigan knitted in a multiple colours, in Rowan Cable Mercerized Cotton and Sea Breeze Cotton 4 ply; I didn't notice any Cotton Chenille.  The pattern is Harlequin by Susan Duckworth from her book Knitting.  I was worried that the ends would be too short for reuse, but they are not.  It was easy to unravel as the ends were just woven in, not knotted, but it did take time.

And here is my version of Shaun the Sheep, very nicely knitted in handspun wool.  He has character - I love his expression and the hat.  Found in a charity shop.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Account for 2014

I was horrified to see how much yarn I bought in 2014, when I added it all up.  I went back to look at my account for the previous year, and I had completely forgotten what I said then.  I had roughly had the guidelines I set then at the back of my mind, but they had allowed me to buy more yarn rather than restrict me.

Even February and March, when my rules should have been fresh in my mind, were among the heaviest months along with the autumn months.  Part of my temptation, something that I didn't realise in my account, was knitted items that could be turned into non-standard blankets.  There are so many patterns that I would like to knit and that would be suitable for blankets and I buy yarn, or knits, for them.  And then there are the ones I buy because of the quality of the yarn.  I dread to think how many blankets I have yarn for.

The second group of yarns are those that are so nice that I want to use them for garments for myself to wear.  The trouble with them is the difficulty of getting around to deciding on a pattern, to cast on and then to knit.  I have timetables for the blankets and time spent on other knitting means delays.  It is stressful ...

I had a day or two considering, again, that this year will be one when I don't buy yarn, but I realised very soon how unrealistic it is.  So I will continue, along the lines set down last year, and no doubt I will be in the same situation next year.

My output in 2014 looks extremely good - 18.5kg, the most I have ever achieved.  But that is on paper only.  It is because of the four five blankets unfinished in 2013 that I finished earlier in the year, and when I take the average of 2014 and 2013 it comes to 13.9kg which is in line with the average of previous years.  So it is pleasing that I am maintaining output.