Working Wednesday #5

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) . It’s been a busy week, so there hasn’t been as much knitting and crochet as usual. There have been only two projects this week. The first I can’t show you because it is a surprise gift that has not arrived at its destination yet, and the second is a turtle… currently very much a work in progress:

Just one flipper to go


Both of this week’s projects used yarn that I already owned, so the collection is very slowly getting smaller. The turtle is worked in Cambrian Mountains Wool and is beautifully soft – I plan to fill it with 100% wool stuffing so that it will be made entirely from natural fibres.

So, that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?




Working Wednesday #4

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) . This is the current state of play with the projects I’ve worked on this week:

  • Golden spikes jumper: completed. But the unseasonably warm weather means it’s too warm to wear it yet! I’m a little unsure about the rather tight sleeves, but until it has been worn for a while, I won’t know whether I need to make some adjustments (i.e. knit new, wider sleeves).
  • The 4-ply Skeleton hat: completed. Pattern needs to be typed up.
  • Honeycomb cables socks: completed (and on my feet). An interesting project, but not one I will be repeating.
  • A snailvaark is underway. This is a gift that I have been intending to make for a few weeks. I’ve done the knitting for the shell, but it needs grafting. The body is not yet started.
  • I’ve been asked to make a turtle, but apart from finding a suitable pattern, I haven’t actually started on it yet.

Next week: a different colour?

So that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?




Working Wednesday #3

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) . This is the current state of play with the projects I’ve worked on this week:

  • Golden spikes jumper: because I was away over the weekend, this is still not quite completed. However, all the knitting is done and I just need to sew in the sleeves and sew the side and sleeve seams. I’ve got rather a lot of the wool left over, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with it.
  • The 4-ply Skeleton hat is finished and is blocking. There’s a tiny bit of sewing required once it’s dry and then I hope to finalise the pattern and get it published.
  • Fingerless mittens completed, but they are very thick and warm, so I’ve started work on a second thinner pair.
  • Stripe socks: I needed a small and simple project to do whilst I was away over the weekend, so I’ve made a start on a pair of basic socks using some more of my collection of lovely yarn from The Knitting Goddess.
  • I have contacted the designer of a crochet pattern that I started work on last year to try to get an explanation of how to finish it – the instructions are somewhat lacking, to say the least!

I haven’t done any work on the complex honeycomb cable socks this week because of going away and the need to concentrate when I’m doing them.

I hadn’t realised until I took the photographs that my recent colour choices have been somewhat ‘samey’. It wasn’t planned, but perhaps any new projects should involve something a bit different!

So that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?




Three Things Thursday: 28 September 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, an evening of indulgence. In my work in progress post yesterday I mentioned my sudden need for fingerless mittens. As the rain fell and the wind howled last night, I settled down with an audiobook, a glass of wine and got busy with my crochet hook. Before the end of the evening I’d finished my mittens. I’m not sure that the yarn is something I would have bought, but it will certainly keep my hands cosy and I do like the colours… and I woke up to sunshine this morning, so I won’t need them at least for today.

Second, baby carnivores. I’m really delighted to have had a some success with producing new carnivorous plants. The seeds of pitcher plants require cold treatment before they will germinate and they don’t grow quickly, but it’s very satisfying once they do. Here is one of my babies:


Sarracenia hybrid

Third, winter food. This year I’m hoping to harvest at least a few things from the limery. There should be some citrus fruits (lemons and limes) and I’ve got some pots of lettuce growing well. Although winter isn’t a time when we crave lots of salad, it will be lovely to have fresh lettuce leaves available as well as the stronger oriental leaves that are often the mainstay of winter salads.

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?


Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Working Wednesday #2

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) . This is the current state of play with the projects I’ve worked on this week:

  • Golden spikes jumper: back and front complete, sleeves nearly done.
  • Skeleton hat: finished, but I’m not sure it’s quite how I envisaged it, so I’ve started making another one in 4-ply yarn rather than double knit.
  • Fingerless mittens: I seem to have lost my everyday pair, so I’ve just started making some new ones. These should be finished very quickly. I’m using a little Cambrian Wool for the edging plus some fluffy stuff that was given to me by Katy the Night Owl.
  • Bird roosts: all six felted and in my etsy shop.

I haven’t done any sock-knitting this week. I had intended to get the second one of the pair I’m working on finished before the end of the month, but I’ve been so busy with other things it probably won’t happen.

I am finding focusing on getting projects done really enjoyable and I’m determined not to put work aside when it comes to the bits I don’t enjoy (sewing together and picking up stitches for necks/button bands, for example). I’m also happy to be flexible and start new small projects that make use of yarn I already have, as long as I don’t loose momentum with the bigger things.


Working Wednesday #1

As I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) I want to keep track of my progress, so I’m planning to post pictures on (some) Wednesdays of my week’s creations/progress. This is the current state of play with the projects I’m working on at the moment:

  • Honeycomb cables socks: one complete, the second getting bigger after some on-train knitting over the weekend.
  • Golden spikes jumper: back complete, front in progress.
  • Skeleton hat: no progress this week.
  • Bird roosts: six crocheted and ready for felting, before being added to my etsy shop.

It has been brought home to me today just one reason why it’s good to use the wool/fabric/craft supplies that we have collected. Poor ItWasJudith has just lost most of her huge collection of beautiful yarn in a fire – how tragic that she never got to turn it into lovely things and how determined I am that mine will be used not lost (to fire, moths, damp or ennui).

About that ‘yarn diet’

As you may have gathered, I am on a ‘yarn diet’. This means that over the next few months (at least until the end of the year) I am not going to buy any more yarn. This may sound like imposing unnecessary suffering on myself, but the intention is to encourage me to enjoy the beautiful yarn I already have rather than leaving it languishing in various drawers and cupboards, unappreciated. Many crafters have the habit of accumulating lots of materials (whatever their preference). I do this and, whilst it’s fun to have stuff available to use when inspired, it feels very wasteful to have loads of untouched yarn, plus it does take up a lot of space.

In general I buy yarn for particular projects, but sometimes I never get round to starting them, and by the time I am ready, I have had a change of heart (or even shape!) and so I need to find an alternative. I’m also a bit over-enthusiastic about sock yarn and have ended up with rather a lot of the stuff… more than I need for sock making. As I don’t want to build up an enormous collection of shawls, I have been wondering what else I might do with the sock yarn and inspiration arrived on Saturday. One of the organisers of the 60MT get-together was wearing a beautiful short-sleeved, asymmetrical top, clearly knitted in 4-ply. I asked her about the pattern and now I’ve bought a copy and will use some of my yarn to make Sugar Maple.

Despite the diet, some new yarn has come my way, but I did not buy it. At the event on Saturday, we had a ‘secret Santa’… everyone brought a ball of yarn wrapped up and they all went in a big box, before each person selected a different package to take away. So, I gave a ball of mottled sock yarn (which I entirely failed to photograph), but came home with two balls (yes, there were two balls in the parcel I picked) of Rowan Lima, an interesting aran yarn that looks like it has been crocheted into a chain already:

The two balls add up to the same weight as the donated ball (and, in fact, contain similar colours), so I have made no net gain, and, indeed, a loss, if I consider length of yarn rather than weight. I really am beginning to think like someone on a diet! Not sure what I’m going to use this yarn for – it’s very soft, so maybe a cowl.

As well as working on various existing projects, I’m also trying to restock my etsy shop a bit, as I’ve sold quite a few of the bird roosts. The train journeys over the weekend were split between sock-knitting and bird roost crochet, and I’ve now got several roosts ready to felt:


three done, one in progress

So, the stash is slowly being used and I’m not feeling deprived because I can’t shop for yarn… it’s a good result so far.

Did we do it?

Yesterday I was in Birmingham, celebrating the end of the 60 Million Trebles Project. Although all the folks involved are likely to carry on clicking and hooking for charity, this project has come to an end.

The aim was to make a world record breaking blanket, with each stitch representing one displaced person in the world. At the time the project started, 13 months ago, the figure was 60 million people; by the end of 2016, this figure had risen to 65 million.

Earlier this year, Ellen Roche, who started the project, realised that if we were going to go for the world record, the blankets would not be out to the charities for many extra months. And so everyone agreed that we’d give up on this idea (sad though we all were, because it would have been great publicity) and just get the blankets done and distributed.

So, the big question yesterday was had we reached the target of sixty million trebles (stitches)? And the answer was…

we completed 7940 blankets,
using the equivalent of 27,083 balls of double knitting yarn,
totalling 271kg of yarn
equivalent to 8125km of yarn (enough to go from London to Beijing)
with an average of 7951 trebles per blanket, making…

67,707,940 trebles

smt complete

So a big thank-you to everyone who donated yarn or squares to the blankets I made, and especially to Sandra, Wild Daffodil for the autumnal squares – the blanket that contained these  received an honourable mention as one of Ellen’s favourite blankets.

Many of the blankets have gone to Hand in Hand for Syria, others to St Mungos, Help for the Homeless and Let’s Feed Brum. I’m very proud to have been involved, plus I’ve made lots of new friends – what a result.

And suddenly it’s autumn

Rain, darkness when I get up and all those “first day at school” pictures (shudder)… whatever happened to summer?

Now that it is September, Knit Night has returned to my favourite local yarn shop. Having come to the end of my charity blanket marathon, my current project is the honeycomb cable socks.

These are not suitable for a night of knitting and chatting as too much concentration is required. With this in mind, I returned to the chunky wool from the crochet jumper I frogged a little while ago. Whilst still at home, I cast on the stitches required and so I was ready to knit and be sociable simultaneously last night.IMGP4040It’s rather nice to have a project that is growing quickly. I very rarely use chunky wool because I’m not keen on knitting with big fat needles (this project uses 8mm needles), but it’s fun sometimes.

In September I also want to publish a knitting pattern, so I am busily testing the chart I have created and making sure that the numbers of stitches work. Watch this space if you want a hat with a Halloween theme… complete with skulls!IMGP4025So, those are three knitting projects on the go and no crochet. Actually, I do have three separate crochet projects to finish, but for one reason or another none of them are currently inspiring me. I do, however, now have all the yarn I require for my Sophie’s Universe blanket, and so I will begin that soon. Hopefully it will grow bigger as the weather cools and I can snuggle underneath whilst I work on it through the winter.

If I am to meet my 17 for 2017 target, there need to be two further pairs of socks before the end of the year, but otherwise  there will be no new projects… well, that’s the plan.

So, I’m interested… with the turning of the seasons, what are your creative plans for northern hemisphere winter/southern hemisphere summer?

Bye-bye blankets

Over the past nine months or so, I’ve been contributing to the Sixty Million Trebles Project – highlighting the plight of the sixty million refugees in the world (in fact, there’s now more than sixty-five million). The idea was to make blankets to send to refugees and for each stitch (a standard UK crochet stitch is called a ‘treble’) to represent one refugee. Three knitting stitches are equivalent to one crochet treble… you can, therefore, perhaps begin to imagine the huge amount of work that has gone into this.

Originally, the plan was to create a world record-breaking blanket. However, it gradually dawned on the group that the blankets were actually desperately needed by displaced people and so it was agreed that we would set aside the world record attempt and get the blankets to where they would keep people warm. Boxes and boxes have already gone to Syria to a hospital caring for premature babies, but the main bulk of the blankets are destined to travel to those in need later this month. So, feeling a little sad at seeing them go, I’ve just completed my last ‘refugee blanket’ and packed up my final three (totalling 97,258 trebles) to go off to one of the big collection points.

Prior to this, I’d made eight smaller blankets (plus a bigger one that went to a different charity – Knit for Peace) and these had already been dropped off in person at one of the collection points. Here they all are (as well as one of those in the current batch):blankets

The grand total for the 60MT project so far is 55 million trebles, so you can see how close we are. After this big dispatch, further blankets are destined for various UK charities as it was agreed that we also wanted to support people in need closer to home.

For now, though, I’m going to concentrate on some personal projects and finishing some neglected WIPs*


* WIP = Work In Progress


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