Yarn Along

UdxEm7yyR2qLxsepiL8Msg

It has been a long time since I joined the Yarn Along but I intend to blog a lot more this year than I did last and having a monthly prompt and link up  to join seems like a great way to make that happen!

On my needles today is my first sock of 2019 which is also my first colourwork sock ever.  It’s a pattern called Rainbow Zig Zag by Winwick Mum and is from her lovely book More Super Socks which I bought and had signed by Christine Perry at Yarndale last year.  I am very excited to watch the ball of self striping yarn reveal itself as the sock progresses.  It was dyed by Fab Funky Fibres and is called The Big One, a massive rainbow containing 28 colours, I can’t wait to see them all.

The book is a part of my efforts to read every book featuring in Tournament of Books 2019.  It is well worth clicking the link to check out the tournament but to simply describe it is an event, run in March each year, giving an opportunity for book fans to have big discussion about books, sounds ideal!  It has been on the periphery of my vision for a few years now but this is the first year I have committed to wanting to join in.  There are 18 books on the shortlist and I have already finished 8 with another one on my audible current listen, one on my kindle and this one, The Overstory, my current physical book.  I’m really hopeful I’m on track to follow and contribute to the discussion when the tournament begins.

As for the Overstory, I am loving the writing and the way that there are multiple stories all held together by a love of trees.  I try not read reviews before I read a book but I did see something about the structure of this novel being unconventional and I’m  looking forward to see how that works as I get further through.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Providence Hall

There is a brand-new-to-the-world person in my life and so obviously I had to knit something for her.  This was actually my first completed project of 2019 but it’s ended up being written up behind my chunky scarf.

I decided that I wanted a bold, bright colour for a cardigan and so chose a pinky purple from Fyberspates.  I wanted a fairly dense fabric and so went for a 4ply yarn.  This is Vivacious 4 ply in Plum Imps and I loved the high twist on this merino.

fullsizeoutput_1643

The pattern I picked is called Providence Hall by Gabrielle Danskknit, didn’t involve sewing up (yay!) and has a lovely lace panel to add a bit of interest.

4LRRLK+JSreWBWCcKkfPZg

I find raglan shaping so satisfying.  It is such a thrill to watch a cardigan shape appear on the needles as if by magic.

gz5t3IwbRYClkyyYodtI6A

The lace really pops in this yarn.

fullsizeoutput_1677

I made the 0-3 month size, a bit shorter than the pattern specified and had enough yarn left over from my first skein to make a hat.  And so I made a hat!

Lq3K6ZklTGK%gM39PGbEIw

I found it quite difficult to find a 4 ply baby hat pattern that I liked.  I was looking for something with a bit of a pattern but not too fussy.  In the end I plumped for Petals and Plumes Hat by Celia Ng and decided to omit the ‘plumes’ at the brim of the hat and only knit the ‘petals’ shaping on the crown.

Bk9itMQcTCq4aT8Tf%iP8w

I just knit a simple, rolled edge, stockinette base for ease of putting on and wear on a teeny new head.

And here’s the set together. I’m really pleased with them.

b1R9bBBuSvqiUXN63mYc6g

Ice Leaves Shawl

It has been very cold here over the last few weeks.  Frozen puddle, thick frost, crunchy mud, sprinklings of snow and cold noses temperatures.  I have been quite enjoying it, but when the weather is like this it makes me want chunky knitwear to hide inside!

2pmB8+r3Q0eL4pzlnxjrdQ

I have been eying up Countess Ablaze’s super chunky yarn since I made my Decemberist shawl this time last year and so knew exactly where to head for this project.

IMG_4939

Look at the size of those skeins! Each of these 200g beauties contains 130 metres of super soft, squishy, merino wool in a colour way named Zombified Soon!

All I really knew when I bought it was that I wanted a chunky and very long scarf that I could wrap around and around my neck to keep the cold at bay.

Off to Ravelry I went and after a quick search of the projects other Ravelers had made with this yarn I came across the Ice Leaves Shawl Pattern by Nancy Wilson.  As soon as I saw it I loved the leaf motif and thought it would work brilliantly with this beautiful green.

The pattern specifies knitting on 15mm needles and using around 80 metres of yarn to make a short shawl to be fastened with a pin.  I don’t have any 15mm needles and wanted my leaves to be a bit tighter anyway so I cast on using 12mm and was very pleased as my leaves began to emerge.

IMG_4955

Then I just kept on knitting! Given the size of the needles and yarn my scarf grew very quickly.  Beyond the 4 repeats in the pattern and on and on.  I had initially planned to use all of the yarn but by the time I reached 17 pattern repeats the scarf was long enough for the multiple neck wraps I wanted and I decided to stop with a reasonable amount of yarn (about three quarters of a skein) leftover, enough for a new project!

ZrMKlipYQRCkvzGinh4lFQ

I love these chunky leaves.

atZIMm4GRX6lie8cYirBeAXwDcubNhRFyQcQoqCa+IvQnaMIlmxgT2aijTECn2sWaQ

I am very happy with my finished scarf.  I would definitely recommend this free pattern to anyone, its well written, easy to knit and produces a very satisfying finished object.  Now to work out what to make from my left over yarn..!

2018 Temperature Blanket

2018 was not my year!  Due to some big stuff happening in my personal life I found myself drifting away from blogging and this space was, sadly, left neglected.

Through the tough times I did continue my crafting, including my big, year long, project of making a temperature blanket.  You can see all of the information about the start of the project here – Temperature Blanket January.  There are also monthly updates for the beginning of the year if you wanted to explore the archives.

But to recap –  I chose to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I had an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I checked the app and either recorded the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it was more convenient.  Then I crocheted one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.  These are all colours of Stylecraft Special DK yarn.

img_1549

It turns out that the extremes of my scale were a bit optimistic! I didn’t end up using either the hottest two, nor the coldest two in the end and my blanket represents temperatures from -2 up to 26 degrees celsius.  It was both quite a bit colder and quite a lot hotter than that at points through the year but not at midday.  By choosing the middle of the day to record the temperature I gave it chance to warm up from the coldest bit of the day but not yet reach the dizzying highs of the summer time.  This is definitely something I would change the next time I do a blanket, for surely there will be a next time!

So do you want to see it all finished and read the final stats?!

frryj%p+qeuqmu1axho4mq

The finished blanket measures 180cm x 132cm and has used just over 13.5 balls of yarn or 2.5 miles! The perfect size for sofa snuggles, in fact it has a child wrapped up in it most of the time that we are home.  I didn’t keep track of how many balls of each colour I used, obviously some are more prevalent than others, this count is based on the weight of the blanket.

ngzakq0xrrw%mhiu3wi3ew

I added a simple border of trebles (UK terminology) in cream and although the edges are still pretty wonky from where I haven’t kept a proper stitch count or turned with much care it does serve to tidy things up a bit.

romio5vwsjwdhoj9kc9nsq

I know each row took roughly around 15 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to fit other creative pursuits in to the year.  I didn’t work on it every day, preferring instead to do a couple of chunks a week but all of those 15 minutes add up!  Factoring in extra time for sewing in ends I think it comes in at around 95 hours or almost 4 days of work!

And all stretched out as a record of the year…. drumroll please…. it looks like……

this!

nskmmcrwtu+gbpbf++qbhq

I will not be making a temperature blanket in 2019. I have a sketch and plans and even a gauge swatch for how I would like to do it but even at my most optimistic calculations it will take at least twice as much time as this one has and I am choosing to prioritise that crafting time into other endeavours. But I will be keeping the plans safe for the future…

Temperature Blanket 2018 – July 2018

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

img_1549

You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

Are you ready to see July?  It is very exciting…

yBWiqymuQOWAIXXfsGhiOQ

Look at all that lovely, sunshiney, yellow!  And what’s that I see?  It’s orange! I got a new colour!

The heatwave which began in June bringing above average temperatures to much of the UK, continued on throughout most of July meaning the midday temperature didn’t drop below 16 degrees celsius and we hit a high of 26.

As I seem to write every month, the temperatures did get up much higher later on in the day, right up into the red yarn colours, but midday was a fair bit cooler than the daily high and that is reflected in the colours of my blanket.

eEYB36w6She40W6iE3+drg

I love the way the whole blanket is looking so much.  From the dark blues back at the start of the year, past the purples of the cold snap which brought us the snow, waiting for what felt like the longest winter ever to end and spring to finally bring the greens and from there into the yellows of summer.  Will August bring me a row of red?  How will the  rest of the summer look?  I am so excited to find out!

dWdHK4egSUOBBQDoExNQ%A

Temperature Blanket 2018 – June Update

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

img_1549

You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

Here’s June!

fullsizeoutput_117f

Mainly green and rounding off with a change to lots of lovely sunshiney yellows as the UK entered a heatwave with temperatures well above what is average for this time of year. For the third month in a row I have to mention that we were hitting the higher temperatures and warmer colours towards the top of my scale but not at midday.  The midday temperature remained resolutely below 25 degrees denying me the use of a new colour. It is getting quite frustrating!

fullsizeoutput_1188

Halfway through the year here is a photo of half a blanket!  I’m really pleased with the size at the halfway point, it is going to be perfect for sofa snuggles once it is finished. To the end of June the blanket contains 9 different colours of yarn representing temperatures between -2 and 24 degrees celsius.

fullsizeoutput_1187

And all stretched out so you can really see the story the colours are telling.

Watch this space to find out how the blanket grows and the story develops as the year progresses.

Temperature Blanket 2018 – May Update

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

img_1549

You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

I’m a bit late with this update, things have been crazy busy at home but look how lovely May is, it was totally worth waiting for!

fullsizeoutput_10c6

Just one day of blue, back on the 2nd day of the month, the rest all in those wonderful, much longed for, greens and yellows.  I am so happy to have these different shades to play with.

As happened in April we are still seeing the daily high temperature being reached in the late afternoon, long after I have recorded the midday temperature for the blanket and we have had a few days hitting those oranges and reds later on.

Do you want to see it all together?

fullsizeoutput_10c5

I love the way it is coming together and the way the colours are changing.  I am still just as excited for the blanket now, 5 and a bit months in, as I was back in the last few days of last year when I decided I simply must make this project.

CvLxMFHORq26UZG0rWo5rA

Handily, the blanket is now big enough to sit under while working on, I could have done with that back when it was sub zero, not now when it is nice and warm! Never mind! It is still small enough to not to have to be covered by it and it does give me a good idea of what the finished size will be as we approach the halfway point of the year.  I wonder if I will get to use a new colour in this first half?  I’ll let you know in the next update!