Joined up

Remember these? My pile of granny squares at last has a purpose – it’s becoming a blanket for a friend’s soon-to-arrive little one. I’ve joined them using Lucy at Attic24’s fabulously easy to follow tutorial, then worked a row of dc all around the edge.

The finished result is smaller than I’d hoped (how on earth do people make enough squares for a king-size bed?), but perfect for a pram or cot.

Blanket

Choosing an edging was tricky – more dc, picot, or something fancier? In the end I went with the Shell Edging from Craftsy, which is beautifully easy to work but gives a pretty finishing touch. If you ignore all the ends to weave in (which I’m doing my best to), it’s nearly done!

Fly the flag

I’ve taken a bit of a break from knitting recently to try and use up some of my other stash – fabric. What to make with scraps of quilting cotton left over from last year’s Christmas stitching, when you already have enough project bags to last a lifetime? Bunting, of course!

Bunting1

I found a tutorial at Glorious Treats and set to work with a simple triangle template cut out of an old cereal box. When I ran out of fabric for full triangles I went for patchwork ones instead, cutting out small squares and sewing them together.

Patchwork always seems intimidating, with its requirement of super-precise cutting, super-even seams and super-tidy stitching, but it turns out that if you ignore all that and just wing it, things can turn out looking ok in the end! After all, as I keep telling myself, no-one’s going to take a tape measure to your FO.

Bunting3

One happy day at the sewing machine, four metres of bunting and a bit more space in the stash. Perfect. All I need now is somewhere to hang it…

Bunting2

In stasis

It’s a knitter’s nightmare. I’m many miles from home, sitting on a friend’s sofa enjoying a natter and a cup of tea with my latest WIP beside me, when something rolls out from my knitting.

A needle. Or, to be more precise, most of a needle – I’ve sat on it and snapped it in two. I start coming up with MacGyver-esque solutions (Super glue and duct tape? Whittle down the nearest pencil to 3.25mm?), then resign myself to the fact that I’ve done all the knitting I’ll be doing this weekend.

Up until then, I’d been making good progress on my Stasis jumper – I’ve finally made it past the acres of stocking stitch and on to the Fair Isle design on the yoke. The sleeves are attached now too, so I can get an idea of the final fit: a little tight, but it’ll hopefully loosen up a bit with blocking.

Stasis

As for my knitting-free journey home, thank goodness for smartphones. My Neko Atsume digital kittens (the only thing keeping me from achieving full crazy-cat-lady status in the real world) have really been spoiled this weekend.

A Little Lace

My favourite thing about knitting lace is seeing the pattern finally reveal itself when the finished article is blocked into shape. So it probably follows that my least favourite thing is the hours of staring at a crumpled mass of string that comes before.

Ravelry_vernal equinox 1

There’s some pretty lace in here, I promise.

Ravelry_vernal equinox 2

I may not be enjoying the full effect of Vernal Equinox’s glorious design, but I’m definitely enjoying the yarn. Malabrigo Silkpaca is, as the name suggests, a blend of silk and alpaca – super soft and lovely to work with.

I can’t wait to get this shawl off the needles and onto the blocking board.

 

Starting over

Not long ago I unravelled the first garment I ever knitted. And, much to my surprise, I wasn’t at all sad about it.

The poor ill-fitting cardigan had hung in my wardrobe, unworn and unloved, for the best part of three years. Every now and then I’d feel guilty for not wearing it and try it on again, in the hope that it would have magically changed shape and I’d be thrilled at how great it looked. It never had, and I never was.

So I came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do was give the yarn a second chance. I unpicked a loose end and started pulling, and a few hours later I had a large pile of yarn and a strange sense of relief.

Goodbye Peggy Sue… hello Lime Soda. Still a summer cardi with short sleeves and simple patterning, but this time I’ll get it right. And if not? Well, third time’s the charm.

Sarah Lou Knits Lime Soda cardigan

Square eyes

Well, that escalated quickly.

One minute I’m making my first bobble stitch and getting into the swing of treble clusters, the next there are granny squares turning up all over the place – in my purse, on the coffee table, in project bags that were supposed to contain other things entirely…

I’m up to 32 and counting, and given that I was aiming for a baby blanket and not a king-size afghan, it may be time to stop.

Just one more? Oh, go on then.

SarahLouKnits Summer Garden

 

Pretty in pink

It’s so easy, when choosing yarn, to go for the qualities you want in the finished item, and not the ones you want in a knitting project. This might explain why I have countless abandoned skeins of Kidsilk Haze in my stash, and also how I came to acquire this ball of Andes by Debbie Bliss.

It’s beautiful yarn, it really is – luscious baby alpaca with the gorgeous sheen of silk. But to work with? Oh boy. It’s splitty, slippery and feels ready to felt with the slightest agitation. I’m struggling through a pair of Paula McKeever’s Cafe au Lait Mitts (lace was the wrong choice for this yarn) and counting down the rows until I can knit with something else.

Try on the gorgeously, ridiculously soft half-finished mitts, though, and all is forgiven.

SarahLouKnits Cafe Au Lait

Pattern: Full of Beans

Full of beans 4

It’s coffee time! This cable cosy is designed for those giant drink-your-bodyweight-in-caffeine mugs that you find in coffee shops, but it can easily be resized for smaller ones too.

Grab some leftover chunky yarn, a couple of buttons from your stash and a pair of 5mm needles, and you can whip one up in an evening. It’s a perfect quick knit.

Download the PDF at Full of Beans, or follow the instructions below. Happy knitting!

MATERIALS
1 x 100g / 105m ball of chunky / bulky weight yarn (the cosy pictured uses Artesano British Wool) A pair of 5mm / US 8 needles
A cable needle
2 x 2cm diameter buttons
A tapestry needle

TENSION
15 sts x 20 rows measures 10x10cm in stocking stitch

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS
33cm wide x 9cm high

ABBREVIATIONS
C6F slip next 3 sts onto cable needle and hold at front of work. Knit next 3 sts from left-hand needle, then 3 sts from cable needle
C6B slip next 3 sts onto cable needle and hold at back of work. Knit next 3 sts from left-hand needle, then 3 sts from cable needle
K knit
k2tog knit two stitches together
P purl
sts stitches
yo yarn over

PATTERN
Cast on 20 sts using 5mm needles.
Row 1 K2, P2, K12, P2, K2.
Row 2 and all even rows K4, P12, K4.
Row 3 K2, P2, C6F twice, P2, K2.
Row 5 K2, P2, K12, P2, K2.
Row 7 K2, P2, K3, C6B, K3, P2, K2.
Row 8 As row 2.

Repeat rows 1–8 until work measures 27cm or long enough to fit around mug, leaving a gap of about 1cm for the handle and ending on row 8 of pattern.

Row 1 Cast off 4 sts, K12, P2, K2.
Row 2 Cast off 4 sts, P12.
Row 3 C6F twice.
Row 4 P12.
Row 5 K12.
Row 6 P12.
Row 7 K3, C6B, K3.
Row 8 P12.
Buttonhole row K2tog, yo, K8, yo, k2tog.
Next row P12.
Cast off.

Attach two buttons to match buttonholes. Weave in all ends and block to measurements given.

Full of Beans mug cosy