I’ve decided a hundred times that I would crochet more. I want to learn to crochet better and to be more comfortable and relaxed about it. And still I don’t crochet that often. I guess knitting just takes priority every time. But I do make the odd, simple crochet project once I put my mind to it.
I crocheted these cool, simple hats with some leftover yarn from a cardigan project. The blue is for my hubby and it has one more increase round than the white one, which is mine. The yarn is Novita Samos, which is 50% cotton and 50% acrylic. It’s a very spongy yarn and it feels nice and it’s lovely to knit and crochet.
There’s me wearing my cool hat just before snow came. I love this hat for hikes because it’s non-itchy and it stays well in place. It’s warm but not hot, even when it’s not cold.
This place is close to where we live. We usually cycle there because it’s so much faster and then we might continue by foot on top of the fell. The climb up here is a bit of a struggle as the path turns almost vertical at one point. You need good brakes on the way back down. The view out over the fells is especially nice in the autumn and is typical Lappish landscape.
The last few days have flown past! The best thing about holidays is having time to just sit and knit.
I discovered audio books some years ago. Here in the north we have long winters and lots of snow and we spend a lot of time ploughing. Audio books make that job enjoyable! You can completely forget that you are actually ploughing while listening to a book. All last winter I ploughed with Jack Vance’s Cadwal Chronicles. Fantastic! Little while ago I realised that audio books would work equally well with knitting. Even though knitting is enjoyable even in total silence, audio books are a nice distraction (as are films and tv series). Past couple of weeks I’ve been knitting to Sylvain Neuvel’s The Themes Files.
I hate wasting anything and one of the things I do with knitting and yarn is to collect short bits of yarn in a box and once I have collected some, I knot them all randomly and wind them into a ball. I use anything longer than about 30cm/12″. Bags are a good thing to use the surprise yarn ball for because all the knots are hidden underneath the lining.
For the project bag I used mostly specialty yarn. Some 15 years ago there was a bit of a thing with card making using specialty yarn, and because my mum loved specialty yarn and had lots of it, I asked her some for my card making. She gave me loads but I never made more than maybe one card. I decided to knot mostly these specialty yarns but also some ordinary yarn. The result is a project bag so hideous that it’s almost cute! I added a satin lining and a drawstring. It’s big enough to take a sock or mitten knitting for a car ride with you.
Waste not, want not!
Over the years I’ve been given lots of yarn by my mother and grandmother. Lots of the yarn is the kind that I would not necessarily buy myself but I have no problems using it. I’ve often made these little garter stitch triangle scarves.
Cast on 3 st.
1st row: Knit 3 st.
2nd row: Knit 2 st. and knit the last stitch from front and back. (4 st.)
3rd row: Knit 3 st. and knit the last stitch from front and back. (5 st.)
Continue like this, increasing 1 st. at the end of every row until the scarf is the desired size or you run out of yarn.
Alternatively you can use any other increasing method you prefer, at the start of the row, or that the end of the row.
Gauge and needle size are not important. The beige yarn I used is by Lammy Yarns and it’s called Pluche. It probably hasn’t been in production for donkey’s years. The gauge mentioned for this yarn is 20 st. and 22 rows = 10 x 10 cm. Needle size 4. I used 4 1/2. 50g is 125m and that amount, little over 100m, makes a scarf that’s just big enough to tie around your neck but not too big to fit under a coat. I find that they fit nicely under a thinner autumn jacket. This scarf measures 66 cm on top (widest part) and 36 cm high (highest part). Obviously, if you have more yarn and/or want a bigger scarf, keep knitting until it’s big enough.
Shame the colour of this scarf is a bit anemic but teamed with a darker coat it should be ok.
Here is a star mitten I started to knit…
And ta-daa! I’m done!
I can hear you thinking that a) she’s a really fast knitter or b) there’s a bottleneck here somewhere. No prizes for guessing that it’s the latter. Actually, the WIP picture is quite rare for me – I almost never remember to take one. I’ve always finished the project until I remember and then it’s too late. Also, the WIP picture in my mind should be a quick snap of a picture but as we are heading towards the darkest time of the year, a quick snap is not really an option. This is why: today November 26th, sunrise 10:07, sunset 13:54, length of the day 3 h 47 min. Just as you think it’s getting lighter, it starts to get darker. Ha! Of course there are ways around that, but I digress…
Back to the mittens. The pattern is by Drops Design and the yarn is probably not much younger than me. It’s my grandmother’s old stash and it’s by Finnish Novita, called Brunners Polka. I’ve not managed to find out anything at all about this yarn but my guess is that it’s from the early 80’s, possibly older. Weird thing is that the yarn label is in blue and yellow (Swedish colours) and it has on it, in my opinion, a very Swedish looking image of a couple in national dress. Also, all text is in Swedish only. And yet, Novita is a Finnish company. Perhaps those days they had a range just for the Swedish market, who knows.
So, the yarn has a possible Swedish link, the pattern is Norwegian and the knitter is Finnish. Hurrah for Scandinavian co-operation!
Anyway, I digress again. The pattern is very nice to knit and it makes a rather long pair of mittens, which is good on these latitudes, as I don’t like cold wrists. Two shades of brown is actually quite nice, even though I almost never make or buy or wear anything brown. These mittens look like dark and milk chocolate to me. Yummy.
Hubby asked for gloves. Hubby got gloves!
I used a discontinued Finnish Novita’s Florica yarn. Colours were chosen by hubby. He wanted bright colours so that the gloves are easy to find in the glove drawer even if it’s dark in the hall. He also wanted them snug so that they could easily fit inside a pair of mittens. This is what you have to do up here. The colder it gets, the more layers of clothing you have to pile on, until you look like a Michelin Man. Two pairs of mittens are great but finger gloves and mittens are even better.
Another hat. I knitted the scarf years ago – just a simple garter stitch scarf, knitted sideways, every row in a different colour and the yarn ends just knotted for tassels. I’ve used the scarf quite a lot and as I just found small balls of this yarn, I thought that maybe I should have a matching hat, too.
The hat is just a simple beanie with no bells and whistles. The yarn is Sirdar Wash ‘n’ Wear Double Crepe DK. I bought the yarn decades ago and for the life of me can’t remember what for. The scarf was knitted with what I had left from whatever it was that I knitted with it in the first place. This hat was now knitted with what was left after the scarf. Just random stripes. No pre-planning.
Wash ‘n’ Wear Double Crepe DK is apparently the UK’s favourite crepe yarn. I don’t blame them – it’s a very nice yarn to knit. It’s 55% acrylic and 45% nylon and is therefore not a winter hat. Not up in the Arctic anyway, where I am. It does make a good hat for any other time of the year. It’s not itchy (obviously) and it can be machine washed when/if it gets a bit sweaty on your hikes.
I started off with 96 st, which turned out to be a little bit too big but I was lazy and didn’t start again. Something like 92 st might have been better. Oh well. I started decreasing when the hat was about 15 cm high. I decreased 8 st. per row until 8 st remained.
I do like to use up odd balls of yarn.
Lately I’ve become interested in weaving. I have some small looms now but my very first attempts were made on DIY looms – cardboard and twigs.
This was my very first branch weave attempt. I found the branch while walking in the woods. It’s a perfect Y-shape and it’s thick but small. Training wheels of the weaving kind, if you like.
Also, I thought that weaving could be a great stash busting activity. Can’t say that this particular weave busted much of my stash but it got rid of very small amounts of yarn; short lengths of just a meter or two, which are too short for almost anything else. But the main thing is, I enjoyed doing this!