25 Feb 2014

Planning Ahead

I like having at least one large project on hand at all times. Of course, it's good to have several smaller items on the go too, but there's always one large basket in the corner of my sitting room where I can pick up my needles and add a touch more. 

And I'm not sure why exactly, but it always seems to be about this time of year when I start these. Perhaps it has to do with the end of winter being in sight and, funnily enough, planning for the next one! 

If you had to ask yourself what was the one item you most missed this season, what would it be? A large shawl to wrap around while you sit by the fire? A muffler and hat so you can keep cosy while shovelling snow? Perhaps that gorgeous Norwegian sweater you've been promising yourself for years...

Well for me, it was the idea of a large colourful blanket to throw over the bed for some valuable extra degrees of warmth overnight. I wanted a King-size blanket but I also wanted to make sure it wasn't too weighty. This pointed to a lace pattern, or rather a series of lace patterns for interest both during construction and in the final product.

I had some hand-spun yarns left over after knitting the Ocean Currents Rug, so those became my starting point. However, I quickly realized that I could actually use up all kinds of remnant yarns in my collection and incorporate them. The more I added, the more interesting the blanket became. Slight variations in shade between batches just lent a "country" air, and completely different yarns just melded together to give a lovely result. I even incorporated some thinner yarns used double.

It became, in short, the knitterly equivalent of an American quilt, where many different fabrics are patched together to give a wonderful finished article.

The pattern for the Ocean Currents Blanket includes not only the King-size version pictured here, but also a Single/Twin size and one for a Double/Queen size bed. 

Have a look in your stash of yarns and think which could be used in a good-sized project such as this. And of course, a new blanket would be a great gift project too. Perhaps you have a teenager going off to college in the Fall. I'm sure they would really appreciate a bedcover for their new freezing dorm room. Or a wedding gift for the newly-weds maybe. Just perfect for the next Winter!

Happy Knitting,


14 Feb 2014

Never-ending Winter

There are very definite reasons why Florida seems a good place to be in February. I love New England – well I love "Old" England too come to mention it — but memories of shovelling huge quantities of snow on a very regular basis serve as a powerful reminder of what a true winter can be. 

My DH is currently in the Washington area and is digging himself out of a 40cm / 15" snow accumulation with an added ice layer too, just to make life interesting. Fingers crossed he can get home from there later today. And yes, that rounded 'blob' in the front of the photo is the car!

MInd you, it can get cold here too. Not the -20ยบ C wind-chill kind of cold, but chilly enough that a large knitting project is a definite bonus. In the photo above, I am sitting on the life-guard steps at Nokomis beach just to the north of Venice, FL. It might actually look reasonably warm, but there was quite a cutting breeze and a rapidly-growing blanket was perfect to keep my knees warm.

That's what I love about knitting. In the summer you can sit under a beach umbrella and finesse your latest sock, and in the winter you can create instant warmth just with the infusion of a number of skeins of wool. There's not many crafts quite as flexible and rewarding as that!

BTW, that's the Ocean Currents Blanket keeping me cozy and I'll be saying more about that next time.

Until then, keep warm - and keep knitting!


Our book: Reversible Knitting Stitches

Many thanks to Tim for his photos! If you would like to see more of his photos, then please visit his Flickr site.

. 26/7/18 W

7 Feb 2014

One week to Valentine's Day

It's February already! How did that happen... It's hard to believe that a whole month has gone by in 2014 so far. And still no sign of an end to the Winter weather everywhere. I am working on a blanket pattern at the moment and tI have to say that does help a little to the chills at bay.

But here we are: it's February 7th and only one week away from Valentine's Day! Time to think of something quick and easy to knit as a gift I reckon. So here are two suggestions for scarves that would be great for your loved one this year.

The pattern above is the Lamberhurst Scarf. It is an easily memorised pattern so is fairly fast to knit and would be perfect for your boyfriend or significant other. And there's no "Boyfriend Curse" for scarves the way that there is for sweaters! A double bonus.

And here's a great scarf for ladies: the Elizabeth Scarf. This pattern is written for several different yarns weights and lengths of scarf, so it should be easy to find something in your stash that would be just right for this project so you can get started straight away.

When we lived in Japan there were actually 2 events around Valentine's. On the day itself, the ladies gave dark chocolates to the men. Then a month later there was "White Day" when the guys gave white chocolate or other gifts to the ladies and also their co-workers. It made for a lovely month-long celebration — and lots of wonderful chocolate everywhere. We definitely should institute that tradition over here!

So perhaps give a gift of a scarf to your loved one on February 14th, and then maybe some chocolates will come your way in March!

Happy Knitting!


. 26/7/18 W


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