Thursday, March 31, 2016

Stash Busting

The problem with deciding to shop your stash and use materials already on hand, is that you're apt to run out of yarn! Luckily my stash is 'so deep and so wide and so tall' that I could find a complementary yarn to carry on with the koala. The boucle yarn gives koala a nice fluffy effect, but makes crochet stitches very difficult to count. 

Our electricity has been off for 8 hours so far. I've just found a spot where my tablet works, so I'm writing this on the tablet. Fingers crossed it will publish alright. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Diversion

I started knitting my cardigan at a gallop, aware that the mornings are chilly and Winter approaching. But I need a gift for a baby shower on Saturday, so I'm taking time out from that knitting to crochet a toy for the new baby. It doesn't look like much at the moment!

Monday, March 28, 2016

First Steps

I want to knit myself a black cardigan for Winter. A cardigan that will 'go with everything'. Black is not an easy colour to dye in quantities big enough for a cardigan, so I'm using a commercial yarn rather than spinning my own:

This yarn is made in Turkey and is 25% wool, 75% acrylic. I looked at patterns and settled on two that I liked:
Then it was time to knit swatches. The cardigan on the left is knitted on 4 mm needles. I cast on the number of stitches for the tension square given in the pattern, plus a border of 3 stitches on each side:
It's not absolutely square, but the width is correct, which is the important thing. The cardigan on the right is knitted on 4 1/2 mm needles. I didn't knit much of the square because it soon became clear that while the measurement was correct, the fabric was too thin. I've held it up to the light to show that there are too many spaces:

So the choice has been made: Classic charm from Knit-today magazine, April 2012.

I like the way the figures for different sizes are written in different colours, which makes it easy to follow the directions for a given size. I've cast on for the back and made a start:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Another Mary Konior Book

When my sister-in-law saw this book, she remembered how excited I was about finding Tatting with Visual Patterns, so she bought it for me. It's a very interesting book, written in a light and readable way. I found the section about Irish crochet especially fascinating. For tatters who love Mary Konior's tatting patterns, there's a bonus - some of the crochet pieces look rather familiar:
There are also names familiar to tatters, such as Anne Orr and Mlle Riego. So I come away with a greater appreciation of the links between crochet and tatting. Thanks, Clare Gaylard.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Fresh From The Oven

I like to maintain my tradition of baking hot cross buns on Good Friday, even though there are only two of us and it'll take us days to eat them all. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe which has a couple of twists - finely chopped ginger and a honey glaze.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Travel Tatting Update

I did less tatting on my travels than I expected. I tatted in airports, but tatting on a long haul flight turned out not to be feasible. The blinds were drawn and the lights turned off to darken the cabin, even though the sun was blazing outside. In theory I could switch on a little light above my head; in practice that would disturb other passengers. So be it. I've made a start and will continue Mary Konior's Curds and Whey edging at home.

I had a wonderful holiday, meeting up with family and friends and seeing a different part of the world. My son-in-law took this picture to show that I really was in Australia!