Monthly Archives: December 2010

A blanket for my niece

You may recall that I started a baby blanket for my niece a little while ago, and knitted quite a bit of the centre of it on my holidays. I finally finished it and my parents kindly stuffed it in their suitcase when they flew over to meet Jennifer at the end of October.

The pattern is a fairly traditional Shetland hap pattern from Chris Williams’s Lace Class. The inside square is garter stitch knitted on the bias. There is then a border of feather and fan pattern, and then a sideways knitted simple garter stitch lace edging.

It was very enjoyable to knit, and although Jenny is a little young to be expressing an opinion on these things her parents seem to like it 🙂

I used 6 x 50g of Sirdar Snuggly 4ply, 55% nylon, 45% acrylic, and 4mm needles.

The blocking was slightly scary. Being nylon and acrylic you have to be a bit careful with blocking if you use steam. However if you pin out your blanket and steam it very gently it will actually set the stitches so that it wont need blocking after subsequent washing. The careful part is key here since you have to be very careful not to totally melt your yarn! As you hover with the steam you can actually see the stitches relaxing (permanently!). A lie down in a darkened room is recommended after you do this.

It all went ok though, and hopefully this will save the blanket from needing to be reblocked while still being easily washable.

Ally Pally

As you have probably guessed it has been a busy couple of months here. One good thing about being snowed in for nearly a week is that I have had a bit of time to start to catch up on things. I am going to try and be fairly chronological otherwise I shall be even more confused than usual, so it might take me a few posts to get up to speed.

Anyway, back in the middle of October I made the annual pilgrimage to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching Show. Unfortunately Mummy couldn’t come with me this time as the dates just didn’t work out (this being retired lark seems to make one very busy), so as it was just me I only went for one day (the last few years we had been going for two). I had a lovely time looking around at all of the stands and chatting to everyone.I even had a bit of a look at the exhibition too. There were some very interesting sculptures made from paper in the exhibition, very delicate, intricate and beautiful.

Unsurprisingly some of the lovely goodies came home with me. I had a nice chat to the lovely people on the Buffalo Gold stand, and bought this gorgeous fibre from them:

1 oz of 50% buffalo, 50% silk. I think I need to improve my longdraw before I have a go with this. Just sticking your hand in it is pretty good though. Better than a stress ball 🙂

Also from Buffalo Gold I bought one skein of Lux, and a scarf pattern to go with it:

40g, 330 yards,  45% bison, 20% silk, 20% cashmere, 15% tencel in Malachite (how could I resist such a lovely colour).

Then I went to the Koigu stand. This was their first year at the show, and despite being in a rather dark corner they seemed to be doing very good business. It was wonderful to see such a large collection of their colours all in one place. Stash in Putney used to stock their yarn, but could understandably only stock a fraction of the possible colours.

I bought two skeins of their Koigu Premium Merino in a semi-solid blue, it is a bit darker than I have managed to capture:

2 x 50g, 160m, 100% merino wool, colour 1020. I think they are going to be some socks with twisted stitch patterns on, but I haven’t decided on a pattern yet.

Next I moved to the JC Rennie stand, and found this lovely ball in their oddments bin:

50g Supersoft Lambswool (4ply) in Pagan. It was in the sale bin because it was the only one in that colour and had lost its label. I was really drawn towards the interesting combination of colours this is made up of. It is a colour with a lot of depth, and although it looks like a Shetland type wool it is much softer than you would expect. I am hoping to make some fingerless mittens although I might have to find a contrast colour to eek it out. I was impressed by the range of colours JC Rennie has and look forward to trying some more of their yarns soon.

Following on the theme of unusal yarns, I found this lovely one-off skein at Artisan Yarns:

100g, 400m, 50% merino, 50% silk. I had to buy it because the colours are fabulous, though I am not sure at the moment what it is going to become. Initially when I spotted it I thought socks, but that was before I realised it was 50% silk. I am a bit concerned that with that much silk it will knit up to a fairly inelastic fabric and that socks would loose their shape and fall down. Although the yarn would make good lace, I think the colour is a bit noisy for lace. I shall continue to think on it. If anyone has any suggestions I would be most grateful.

As is often the case one of the most enjoyable aspects of the show was the chance to catch up with people and to share knitting and fibre chat with so many lovely like-minded people. I had a very enjoyable, though rather tiring day.

On an entirely different note, a couple of days before Ally Pally I happened to be in Lidl in Leatherhead, and found they were selling sock yarn!

4 x 50g, 210m, 75% wool, 25% polyamide, colour 3305. It is a lovely forrest green though that is a little hard to tell from my rubbish photography. I recall it being a very reasonable price, but in typical fashion I have now forgotten what that price was. I think I see a couple of pairs of textured socks in my future.