Monday, 28 February 2011

Ponchos, Wraps, Capes and Shrugs

This is the last of the bargain books that I have ordered. This book is a mix of knit and crochet. The front cover cape is crocheted.
This scarf/stole is knitted

Knitted stripy poncho that reminds me of my teens

Striped knitted legwarmers also with a set of wrist warmers. Not sure what they are doing in a book of ponchos and wraps but they are in there.

A crocheted cape

Sorry about spoiling this knitted cape with the large white flash

Knitted shawlette in fancy wool. I once tried to knit with this wool and gave up. Too many wrong places to put my needle into and split the stitches.

A bit too openwork for me.

Despite the retro look to this crochet poncho I quite like it

This scarf is knitted flat and then shirred with elastic thread to make the ruffles.

Sorry but this is not for me. It reminds me of something that Pocahontas would wear in the movies.

Cabled knitted poncho

Short shrug knitted sideways with a silky furry trim around the edges.

An aran style poncho

Start of a crochet 'aran' style jacket for Sylvia's friend. I am using my green jacket as a guide line for the length of the different shoulder pattern and neck shaping as I am sizing the pattern up a size. The next photo is a close up of the twisted crocheted cable and the yoke pattern.

I had a bad start to the day. My lighter weight Hoover, that I keep upstairs, was already broken. Well not so much broken as in need of a new belt. My very old trusty 42 yrs old Hoover that never lets me down decided to ping a part off it this morning rendering it useless. Luckily I have the number of a very good repair man who came this afternoon and repaired the both of them. No excuses now. I will have to hoover ;-(. An expense that I hadn't planned for but never the less a necessary one. I am mostly carpeted in my house so a hoover is essential especially when the dog, or cat, is about.
I still haven't finished off the charcoal knitting as yesterday I was very tired all day and kept nodding off in the chair. I think that I did more sleeping on the chair than anything else. I would knit a row and then nod off. I do get annoyed with myself when I do that as most of the day gets wasted and then I find myself awake in the small hours when I should be sleeping.
I washed the machine knitted baby cardigan today and thankfully the dirty lines, from the unravelled re knitted wool, and the oil mark came out. I would love to practise more on the machine but I am being mean with myself and trying to finish off the hand knit and crochet first before I make anything else on the machine. I want to try the lace carriage and will need to concentrate on that and spend a whole day getting to know it again.
I am not going to the Knit Club tonight. I don't have a lift so it would be a taxi both ways and as I have just spent money today on the hoover repair I will give it a miss tonight as I can't afford to do both things.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Crochet Scarves

By special request from Debbi here are some of the scarves from the Vogue Crocheted Scarves On the Go book. As you can see from the contents this book was well worth the bargain reduced price that I paid for it. Sorry for the lousy photography the flash kept coming on as I was taking the photos. I think that there is enough of each scarf showing for you to get a good general view. There are roughly another 6 patterns that I didn't photograph as I didn't have enough room and they were more mundane than these.
I did a bit of knitting last night and am almost up to the neck shaping on the last front of the charcoal cardigan. Apart from that I have nothing to report.
The five storage boxes arrived yesterday and whilst they have made my stash room a lot tidier I could do with ordering at least 5 more. I still have 5 plastic tubs with handles still to arrive but they won't hold as much as the storage boxes.
Today started off quite rainy and Oscar the little cat from next door was like a drowned rat when he came in this morning. I dried him off, fed him and he slept until just after lunch. By then then sun was trying to shine so he wanted to go outside again.
I have done hardly anything today as I am very tired for some reason. I didn't think that I had a bad night's sleep but maybe my breathing mask slipped and was leaking during the night. If that happens then I don't get the pressure seal right and it can result in my unknowingly stopping breathing during the night which causes me to be sleepy all day. I need to press on with the charcoal knitting as I had promised myself to get it finished by this weekend. I don't think that will happen somehow as the stitching up and collar and band knitting takes a long time.
I will make a strong black coffee and look for some matchsticks to keep my eyes open whilst I knit. I just yawned and almost swallowed the PC screen so I had better try to wake myself up.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Two More Bargain Crochet Books

Another couple of books arrived yesterday. If you don't have any clearance book shops or any second hand book shops who sell knitting and crochet books then, like me, you will have to rely on online book sales. I have been lucky recently to pick up crochet books at bargain prices on various UK book clearance sites.
The Fun and Funky by Sophie Britten is not really very inspiring to me. It might appeal to the younger ones but to be honest I don't think that there is anything in it that I will make so I am glad that it didn't cost me full price.
Crochet Style by Sally Harding is an old book so I was not expecting any fantastic styles in it. Whilst I doubt that I will ever make anything exactly as it is in the book there are so many pattern stitch swatches in the book. I am sure that these will come in very handy to be incorporated into other patterns.
I do like close crochet and some of the 'fair isle' type crochet swatches are beautiful and would look nice in blankets or clothing. I have shown you a couple of actual patterns and I love the stitch of the cream sleeved jacket with the multi coloured fronts. I like the way that they swatch to show you how it looks in shades of blue. The plaid swatches and garments are a bit busy for me but I can imagine those stitches made into blankets. The motif squares would also look very pretty in an afghan or pram blanket.
As that book was really cheap I think that I got a bargain if only for the design ideas. The styles are very old fashioned but with a bit of tweaking here and there could be brought more up to date.
Hand knit news in that I have started the second front of the charcoal cardigan but I will still have the button bands and large ribbed collar to make so still a way to go there.
Machine knitting news is that I think that I have finally mastered my ribber demons. I unravelled the 2 fronts and re knitted them. The cardigan does need a wash as it has dirty marks from the wool being unravelled and a stripe of oil from the machine. Otherwise everything went off smoothly and I am ready to make other things once I get my hand knit and crochet finished off by the end of March. After that I can dedicate more time to the machine and perhaps try out the lace carriage which I haven't used for about 15 yrs. I want to make sure that I have time and patience before I try that out.
Yesterday was a beautiful Spring morning and when I went out shopping it was so warm that it was the first time for months that I haven't had to wear a hat and gloves. Today the weather started off wet but it has brightened up after lunch. No sun today though. I would like more days like yesterday and then I would believe that the weather was finally changing for the better.
My next door neighbour came to see if I had seen Oscar the cat as they had not seen him since they came back from Ireland. I said if you shout him he will come downstairs as he has been sleeping here since the weekend. They shouted him but in the end had to go upstairs and get him. He was fast asleep on the bed. He went home with them very reluctantly and no doubt will be back at the patio door anytime soon.
Time for a coffee and then back to the charcoal knitting. I would really like to get it finished over the weekend and then that is one birthday present less to worry about.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I Lost Another Morning

I was woken up this morning by the postman delivering parcels. I don't know what he must think about me as he has seen me in my night attire more often
than anyone else has for many years! I have a strange sleeping pattern of late. I can have 3 or 4 nights where my sleep pattern is erratic. Restless sleep and getting up many times in the night because I can't nod off. Then I will get so tired and will have to go to bed early one night and sleep the clock around. Last night was such a night and I eventually awoke when the postman knocked around 11am. I get a bit angry with myself when I do this as I feel that I have lost so much of the day. I must need the sleep though otherwise I wouldn't sleep so long.
My parcel today contained more bargains from Kemps online store. I bought another pack of the cream and brown flecked Sirdar Snuggly DK as it is such a good colour for boys and if it is discontinued then I won't get this colour again. I also ordered a pack of Smudge Brown in the Snuggly 4ply as that was a give away price and I am hopeful of mastering the knitting machine when I have more time to devote to it. I ordered the two more machine cones in blue and cream for the same reason. Once I start knitting on the machine properly I will be prepared to knit baby cardigans in a variety of colours. The only colour that I haven't bought is pink as that isn't unisex. Even blue can be for a girl if I make a lacy pattern.
Last night I knitted some more on the charcoal cardigan and finished off the crochet baby jacket that I started at Knit Club on Monday. Crocheting is like a holiday for me from the dark knitting. I used a Rindy Carpenter basic pattern but modified it by adding the skirt and sleeves in a simple shell pattern. The DK wool was left over from when I made jackets for my great grand daughters for Christmas that didn't get worn. But that's another story. Needless to say I won't be making them any more knit or crochet items. I prefer to make things for people who appreciate them.
The crochet books are ones that I ordered from some of those clearance book sites. The books have been around for ages but I never bought them when they were the full price. I would recommend you to take a look on these kind of sites as there are many craft books at bargain prices. Not the most up to date pattern books I admit but if you are like me and just love crochet books then these are a fraction of the price they were when first published. There are also many second hand book sites that are good value.
I will show you pages from the books when I have had the chance to browse them properly but there are quite a few things in the Easy crochet book that I like although I think that it is wrongly named as a lot of the patterns in the book need plenty of experience of crochet to make them. There is a beautiful shawl pattern in a pineapple stitch which is definitely not for a novice crocheter. The scarf book has some interesting stitches used on some scarves as well as patterns for a few stoles and shawls.
I have ordered some more storage boxes with lids today. It's at times like these when I miss having a car as I know that I could buy them a lot cheaper if I could visit one of the Pound shops or cheap hardware stores. I have ceased worrying about the extra cost of things that I know I have no chance of buying locally. I cannot keep asking relatives to pick things up for me all of the time. If I need things then I just buy them and pay the delivery charges. I am trying to tidy my wool, patterns and oddments and I can't do that without some method of storage. My full packs of wool are stacked neatly but my odd balls are in bags and pushed into cupboards and hard to see. The storage boxes I have ordered are see through and stackable so hopefully order will reign in my small stash room soon. I am ever the optimist.
I had better start some more knitting as I have wasted half the day sleeping. I was going to do a bit of shopping today but as it has been raining all day I will wait and hope that tomorrow is dry. I have enough food in for my dinner tonight so I won't starve.