The softest sheep

Currently on the second row of sheep on the baby blanket. They’re fairly irritating to knit – seven intarsia sheep per row means seven balls of white yarn (I’ve lost the ball band so can’t currently remember what it’s called) per row plus the yellow. I spend a not insignificant amount of time each row faffing with the various strands as they tangle or unravel. They’re so so soft though! And it’s going to be so cute.

Shaping weaving with knitting

In order to extend the width of the fabric from my rigid heddle loom (my loom is only 16″ wide and, after draw in on the loom and shrinkage in the wash, the fabric is approximately 12″ wide) and add some shaping, I’m knitting onto the sides and top of the garment. On the side, I’ve picked up one stitch to every two weft picks. I picked up the stitches in the loop made by the turning of the weft, inserting the needle through the fabric inside the selvedge thread as shown below:
This has worked out really nicely and lies very flat. I am using short rows to add a-line shaping. Not yet sure how I will achieve an equally nice flat join at the bound off edge. 
Wanting to support my LYS rather than order more of the yarn I used for the woven fabric (which I talked about in this post), I’ve substituted King Cole Giza Cotton 4ply in grey. The shade is slightly lighter than the Drops I used for the woven portion, but very smooth and I think it will contribute a bit more drape to the garment.

The tiny blanket becomes a little less tiny

The first few squares, joined as I go along. Looks quite uneven and crumpled, but I have faith that it’ll look better after a wash. What I’m less sure about is whether I’ll have enough of the neutral colour to finish the blanket – the yarn is Life DK by Stylecraft, in the ‘Stone Nepp’ colourway, but I’m loath to buy more since this is supposed to be a bit of a stash buster project.

Bigger Than Your Head

This glorious yarn will shortly become a baby blanket for my niece who is expected to arrive in a couple of months – I’ve knit the border so far, which you can just about see squeezed into the picture. I love this yarn:

  • It’s so YELLOW
  • It’s ridiculously BIG – bigger, in fact, than my head
  • It’s basically the yarn equivalent of the sun

Suns are available for purchase at Knit Nottingham, colourway is Mustard, because obviously you want the yellow! Other reasons I chose this yarn, aside from its sun-like qualities:

  • 20% wool for cosiness
  • 80% acrylic for easy care
  • Aran weight, so it won’t take three lifetimes to knit up

I’m using 5mm knitpro symphony circular needles, with a cast on of 135. Hopefully this will give a vaguely square blanket 75cm wide.

Flowers for a Blanket

Caught between knitting projects, I decided to start a crochet scrap blanket. Having learnt from the last time I crocheted a blanket that small squares are not the way forward if I ever want a finished product (and especially not if the ends are ever to get woven in), I’ve opted for larger squares of just one colour plus the neutral for now. Later I might have to do two-colour centres depending on yardage. 
I have made a couple of squares based (at least in part) on designs in the book A Square a Day, and have now branched out into ad hoc designs like the one below:

The pattern below uses UK crochet abbreviations.

MB = Make bobble with 2 trebles as follows: Yo, insert hook into work, yo, pull loop through (3 loops on hook). Yo, pull  through two loops on hook (2 loops remain on hook). Yo, insert hook into work, yo, pull loop through (4 loops on hook). Yo, pull through two loops on hook (3 loops remain on hook). Yo, pull through all three loops (1 loop remains on hook).

Foundation ring: Ch4, sl st in first chain to form ring.

Round 1: Ch2, 1tr, ch1, *MB, ch1; repeat from* 6 more times, sl st in top of first tr to join.

Round 2: [Ch2, 1tr, ch1, MB, ch1] in first ch1 space, *[MB, ch1, MB, ch1] in next ch1 sp; repeat from * 6 more times, sl st in top of first tr to join.

Round 3: [ch3, 2tr, ch1, 3tr, ch1] in same ch1 sp, *[3tr, ch1, 3tr, ch1] in next ch1 sp; repeat from * 6 more times (8 shells formed in total), sl st in top of ch3 to join.

Round 4: Ch3, *[2tr, ch1, 2tr] in point of next shell, ch2, 1dc in space between shells, ch2; repeat from * 7 more times (8 shells formed in total), sl st in first ch to join.

Round 5: Ch4, *[1tr, ch1, 1tr] in point of next shell, Ch3, 1dc in space between shells, ch3; repeat from * 7 more times (8 shells formed in total), sl st in first ch to join.

Weaving a Camisole

This is the woven fabric from my rigid heddle loom which will (hopefully, soonish) become a camisole. I made two rectangular panels and am planning to augment them with a little knitting (and possibly macrame?) to complete the vest top.

When I started this project I only had a single 8dpi heddle. Since this yarn (Drops Loves You 6 in charcoal and mustard, chosen as it is recycled and cotton production is generally neither efficient not sustainable due to the high volume of water required) is more or less a sport weight, the sett given by an 8dpi heddle would be too open. As I wasn’t aiming for a risque look, I compromised by putting two warp threads through each slot. This gives 12 threads per inch instead of 8, making a less sheer fabric and, I think, helping the yellow to visually stand out more in the centre panel. I threaded the heddle as follows, using a direct warping method:

I then took one pair from each slot with 4 strands, and threaded each through one of the next two holes:

Spinning


Ten minutes spinning a little ball of fluff – seemed to be sticking together and it was harder than it should have been! I didn’t have this problem the other  a day though so I’m convinced it’s user error and not the wool. Such a lovely colour – merino from Wingham Wool Work.