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Archive for February, 2014

2014-02-04_05

One of the presents I received for Yule was Stitch London, a book just bursting with fun London-centric knitting patterns.  There are lots that I want to try, but the first to hit my needles was Toerag the tube mouse…

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I struggled at first as I don’t do very well juggling four DPNs, but once there were a greater number of stitches I found it much easier as the work balanced itself and I wasn’t constantly trying to stop needles from slipping out.  It took a few hours to make Toerag, and here’s how he turned out.

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Loki wasn’t too impressed with him…

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But at least didn’t try to eat him, so that was a win in my book.  I have a plan which involves making more tube mice… I’ll report back in a couple of months once I’ve set my plan in motion!

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Spotted this good guy (he must be, it’s written on his vest) in Acklam Road (W10).

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You know when you have some yarn in your stash that you really want to use up, but never seem to hit on the right project?  That’s how this story starts.  I bought a load of yarn while I was in Amsterdam a few years ago with a particular pattern in mind, but then went off the pattern (hey, it happens).  I then decided I’d use it for weaving, but that didn’t turn out so well.  Then I decided to try out a new knitting stitch, and whilst that was a success it didn’t feel quite right.

Then I came across a pattern by KnotSewCute that sparked my imagination: their night owl decorative throw.  It really appealed to me, mainly because of the owls, so I bought the pattern.  I looked at it again once I’d downloaded it and thought “actually, there’s not enough owl here” … and then started to think a bit harder about the whole thing.

You see, a blanket is a big project.  It’s a hell of a commitment in terms of time and yarn, and thus not something to be undertaken lightly.  So I decided to tweak the pattern a bit.  I crocheted the a shortened version of the first section (a sort of basketweave) and half of the owl section, and here’s how it looked:

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Not bad, eh?  I still had some issues with this though: firstly it was still a lot of that basketweave (which is nice, but I wanted it to be all about the owls), and secondly it wasn’t wide enough.

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That’s 72 centimetres, not inches – nowhere near wide enough for my liking (I do prefer a nice wide blanket).  So I frogged the lot and went back to the drawing board.  I ended up tweaking the width so that there’d be eight owls across rather than just five, and decided to get rid of the basketweave entirely as I now knew that I wanted to make strips of owls and then sew them together at the end to make a blanket.  Over the years I’ve come to the realisation that projects which can be done in small pieces suit me much better than things which have to be made all in one go.  I like the sense of completion from finishing one section of something, and it also makes projects a lot more portable.

So, with the pattern adjusted I set forth with my crochet hook once more and here’s how it turned out…

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I edged the finished strip with one round of double crochet, and it’s now folded up neatly and can wait in my project bag until I’ve made some more strips.  Once I’ve got enough for a blanket I’ll join them together (and possibly add a border around the whole shebang).  I’m chuffed to bits with the modified pattern, and also feeling pleased that I’ve tried (and mastered) crochet cabling.

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Street Art #1

Welcome to the first of a new series.  I see a lot of graffiti while I’m out and about, which is pretty much the norm these days.  Most graffiti is pointless vandalism, but there’s an increasing amount of really eye catching street art.  Some of it is beautiful, some of it makes a statement, and sometimes you see the odd piece that’s just baffling (but in a good way).  I often stop and look at interesting examples, but rarely remember to take a photo.  That’s about to change, and I’ll upload any that catch my eye from now on.  The first offering I have for you is this piece I spotted in Flask Walk (Hampstead, NW3).

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As with the Big Knit 2012, I have received a lovely card from Innocent thanking me for the hats I knitted for the Big Knit 2013

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Which reminds me, I really ought to start making some more hats!

 

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It’s all been a bit manic here as we’ve been preparing for major building work, so I’ve been neglecting my Sunday Sketchblog somewhat of late.  Here are some pages of rough sketches to keep you going.

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My scanner has now gone into storage for a while (due to aforementioned building work) so there might be another hiatus until the next sketchblog entry!

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A New Stitch a Day is where I stumbled upon the Indian cross stitch way back in October.  It’s a beautiful stitch and I just had to try it.  So I did, and I loved it (and it was super easy too, always a bonus).  I had a vague idea of knitting swatches of it in different colours and then piecing them together to make a curtain for my studio door… but that idea fell by the wayside and I ended up frogging it.  The yarn has since been put to better use (more on that next week), but for now you’ll just have to enjoy the beauty of what was a great test swatch.

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