Thursday, 26 March 2015

Casting Off, Casting On

A bit late to post my Yarn Along, but at least I am posting this week! Teething Bob is taking up most of my time these days. Also, he's very adventurous, so when I'm not cuddling him I'm probably rescuing him from some impossible predicament, like shutting himself in a cupboard, or climbing onto the mantelpiece! I have managed a little crafty time this week though. I wound the saffron-dyed yarn into centre pull balls ready for Christmas gift knitting. I know. It's aspirational, ok?

It looks pretty lush, if I do say so myself. I also stayed up late into the night to finish my Old Shale shawl. It's currently taking up most of my sitting room while blocking, so I hope it's nice and dry before we have visitors at the weekend! I'm really pleased with this. The pattern was free and easy, just the simple knitting I needed for my stressed-out brain. It looks great, and is nice and big. I had 400g of yarn and used most of it, adding about 4 extra rows to the garter border. I'm pleased with the yarn, given that it was one of those giant balls of 80% acrylic/20% wool bought for £6 from a discount shop a couple of years ago. I loved the colour and had been saving it for something for myself, and it looks and feels like a more expensive yarn. I'm hoping it comes out of blocking well, although it looked fine before blocking anyway.

Bob has been wearing and wearing a little hoodie that I knitted for Sausages long before I had discovered Ravelry. It's in serious need of attention where the buttons and button holes are showing wear. I love it, and he doesn't seem to have any other jumpers, so I cast on another one for him.

The pattern is from this book, which is printed in Spanish, followed by English translation. The translation is not great, but I think it should be ok. I have my notes from last time, but they are not detailed. I haven't written down my needle size, and I don't usually swatch for something so small, but I will measure as I go.

I really enjoyed knitting this the first time around. The hoodie is knitted from one sleeve cuff to the other, up the arm, across the body, and down the other arm, with the hood knitted separately and sewn on. I will use the same modifications I used last time, replacing the zip with toggles and crochet loops. I don't like sewing zips into knits.

The yarn I'm using is the same as the Old Shale yarn, a 400g ball of 80% acrylic/20% wool. I like this yarn for sweaters, especially for children. It's affordable, not precious, and washes and wears well. This ball was gifted by a friend who had cast on with it twice and couldn't get on with it. We used to be neighbours and see each other often, and I miss her company, so it's nice to feel close to her in using the yarn. It is made up of pink, prussian blue, and very light blue strands plied together, and I knew it wanted to be a toddler hoodie as soon as I saw it.

As for reading, I am about to finish Breast Intentions, so look out for my review shortly. At the library this week I picked up a pile of crafty books to peruse. Some of them are already on my wish list, so I've saved some pennies there. I often see US bloggers getting all sorts of things at the library, but here in the UK the provision seems to be a bit more random, so I count myself lucky to have scored these. I hope I can find the time to read them!

I'm quite excited about the Stitch Library and Natural Dyeing, since I really want to get some of my ideas for designs and dye projects done. What are you crafting and reading this week? Do pop over to Ginny's and Nicole's to see what everyone is up to in the link-ups.


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