Vintage pattern haul

Excitement! A friend dropped off a huge bag of knitting patterns the other day, which she’d seen at a church sale and scooped up at speed for me. Of course, many are the vague 1980s patterns that no one really wants – but some are ACE! I need, need, need to see my toddler in one of these!

I particularly love the one with birds on in the top photo, so I think I’ll buy the yarn for that, then drop some heavy hints to mum about knitting it… But the 60s style cardigans with those lovely colours are also lovely. What a good haul!

 

What have I been doing with my time?!

I *have* been knitting, in amongst the working, driving and toddler-wrangling! I’m writing this in a precious, free moment while Small is at nursery. This is my latest project:

I usually avoid any yarn that is variegated or flecked, but this is just gorgeous-it’s a tight cotton and the colours go so well together. I had worried that this kind of mercerised cotton would be too shiny for knitting a garment, but the shop where I bought it had a top knitted up in the 4-ply version and it was beautiful and not too shiny at all. This is going to be a tunic dress for Small, the “Rosina” tunic dress from Ravelry by Libby Summers. I’ve already put some notes on Ravelry in case anyone is thinking of knitting this.

I also managed a quick Easter basket which I finished on, er, Easter Saturday!

This is from a free pattern from the Let’s Knit website and it was a quick crochet project in double crochet and DK yarn.

It’s been so hard to find time for blogging, though I’ve kept up with reading other people’s blogs! Still, I’m hoping that now I’ve got a bit more time to myself, I’ll feel like it’s a ‘current’ blog. So, thank you for reading, and more very soon!

 

Knitting, coffee, knitting …

Yes, I do get some peace and quiet sometimes! I was lucky enough to be given a subscription to the delicious Pom Pom Quarterly this year and I loved it. The patterns are trendy without being alienating and they’re so well styled – on people of all sizes, with tattoos, hair dye – real people who look like you’d like to be friends with them. Although I must admit I haven’t made any of the patterns yet (but when does that stop us buying pattern books?!), I really, really would make lots of them. I see on Ravelry people have already made several which look great, so that makes me more likely to try! I do find women’s patterns so frumpy, so this magazine gives me hope!

 

Moany Post about yarn

Hmph. Although my last post featured a lovely shawl very near completion, I *still* don’t have a triumphant FO picture. I just didn’t have enough wool left to complete the shawl. The pattern definitely states that it needs only two balls, and I checked I’d used the right needle and done the pattern correctly. A quick check on Ravelry showed that the pattern was fine BUT that someone else had found a ball of this yarn (Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal) to be too light and too short!!! This had never occurred to me as a possibility. So I followed this knitter’s example and emailed Designer Yarns, who distribute Debbie Bliss in the UK. No reply to my email, so I then rang them. Things got a bit better at this point and they immediately sent me a replacement – same dye lot etc. In vain I waited… and waited …. and Royal Mail admitted they’ve lost my parcel! They’ve been pretty hopeless – although my local post lady has been helpful, the office have been dire. I have had to chase them twice, only to be told that 10 days might elapse before they even ring me back! How hard can it be to keep track of a parcel?! Not impressed with this at all. They’ve advised me to ring the company back and the company are to make a claim against them for a replacement.

So I rang DY again and they’re sending me another one – only now, they don’t have the same dye lot. I am SO hoping that this turns up….

I must say that this saga has put me off Debbie Bliss a bit. The balls of wool are about £12 each and I think there’s a huge difference between making a shawl for £24 and for £36; I’m glad I didn’t just go and buy another ball.

So, all my Bank Holiday knitting plans were thwarted. I’ve had to start a quick baby cardigan instead, but hopefully the shawl will eventually be done. It’s autumn, now, after all, and I want to wear it!

Shaaaawwl!

Well, nearly. I have got this far:

Phew! I am really enjoying knitting it, although I have to concentrate quite hard on the lace rows (each RS row; WSs are all purl) and I can’t take it to my knitting group. Oh, or even really watch TV… I am also rather worried that I’ll need a third ball of wool – which, at £11something, is a bit of an expense. It’s Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal Tweed and a pattern from the accompanying book – gorgeous, but not cheap. The pattern does specify two balls, but I have a way to go to 21 stitches remaining… Anyway, we shall see. I am so looking forward to wearing this in the Autumn – and, dare I say, that looks like a realistic goal?!

In other news, I have been listening to The Archers. Now, I appreciate this isn’t news for the majority of the Radio 4-listening population, but I’ve never got into it. However, now, it falls at just the right moment when I come downstairs after the hustle and bustle of a busy/lovely/tiring/long day parenting. So I am catching up on all the characters and drama of it all. And the omnibus seems to be just nicely soporific if I’m woken up in the night. Yes, I’m turning into my mother.

 

Nothing like blogging about someone else’s knitting

One of the many struggles of motherhood is avoiding all the pink, ruffly, cutesy girls’ clothes. I have nothing against a bit of pink, but there are some really ghastly clothes for girls out there. I have been trying to find some little knickers to go under dresses but they are all pink and covered over the back with ruffles … Then I looked in an old knitting book (Knitting for Children by Louise Daniels) I was given by my aunt, and – hey presto! Lovely knitted baby knickers. My mum is knitting them up, and here they are, so far!

 

 

Knitting a Shawl, continued …

Well, I have done about fifteen rows of the shawl! I dread to think how long this has already taken me; the first two rows of the pattern took me an hour and a half. Still, it is looking as though the pattern is working and I love the colour, so I am cautiously optimistic about it.

I have a feeling it’ll be the first item I actually block, as it will probably need it. The wool is a glorious colour and a nice texture to work with, but it does scrunch up a bit.
I have also be rootling through this superb stash of old patterns, bought for me as a job lot from a church sale by a friend.

Anyone else recognise the ‘bazaar’ toys on the left? I have been reminiscing about my lovely Grandma’s excellent knitting; she made us lots of these things and we loved them. I’ve also turned up this knitting classic:

So, back to the shawl. It seems a good summery knit – what do other people knit in the summer?

In which I finally complete some knitting …

Hurrah! The seldom-felt joy of completing a knitting project. This is a cardigan for my daughter. This is the 1-2 year size which will hopefully be a good fit. The yarn is much nicer than it looks here – it’s Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a lovely pale green. The cable effect pattern is a trick achieved with slipped stitches, so it was much easier than it looks – perfect.

Green is a colour she wears a lot, as I try to avoid too much pink, or ghastly clothes with lots of slogans on them.

Next project: a shawl for me! I haven’t ever made a shawl, so this will be interesting …

 

Finally, I get time to knit!

Well, it’s been a while I’ve had time to knit. A friend had a new baby recently (by recently, I mean in November!) and I wanted to make her something. I’d recently made these little bootees for my own daughter and they’re so useful – she has them as slippers and wears them in the car, in her sleep suit and at home. They’re not at all fiddly to put on, and not too girly. Lovely. The yarn is Rico Baby which I hadn’t used before but it’s really nice. Soft, but not floppy, and the fleck is beautiful because there’s plenty of the greenish shade. Can you tell I’m really pleased with them?! I wish I’d bought some more yarn though as I’d like to make something else in it.

Other than that, life is rather hectic with a Little One! We are having fun, though – swinging on swings, swimming and playing. It just doesn’t leave a lot of knitting time 🙂