Blog Archive

'Mystical Lanterns' blanket using leftovers!


There are times, in any knitting, crochet or sewing adventure when you just want to PLAY!  I am in one of those moments now.

Just before we went on holiday last week, I took out the pattern I had bought at Yarndale for Janie Crow's beautiful Mystical Lanterns blanket.  I had been sooo tempted to purchase the kit, but I knew I had a lot of 'odd balls' of yarn, left over from years' worth of projects, that I really should use up, so I just bought the pattern.  It would also help clear some space in my sewing room, so a double win!

I pulled out everything that was wool or wool blend, DK and in reasonably toning colours.  There was quite a bit of it!  

The motifs are called 'ogee' in shape (don't you just love that word??) and are very easy to memorise for relaxed crochet hours.

I am making the motifs fairly randomly, but not putting too many dark colours next to each other, or the red next to the purple (oh, no, no no, as that looked awful!)  

Here's what I have made so far!

I am doing the motifs in a production line way, by making a whole pile of centres, followed by a batch of second rounds, then the third round.  Once I have six motifs completed I darn the ends in. My friend, Lucy, Attic24, will be very proud of me for keeping up with darning the ends in as I go!

As I'm using leftovers from my stash, I am going to work the final round of each motif in cream, to help tie the colours all together better, and use Janie's 'join as you go' method in her pattern.  Again, because it's all oddments so far, I don't have equal amounts of each yarn, and seem to have used up a large proportion of the brighter and pastel colours already, leaving the colours below, which do seem a bit, well, brown.  Despite trying to make the blanket without purchasing any wool other than that for the edging, I am going to buy three or four balls in more cheerful colours to keep some colourful variety going!

I am absolutely loving this project, pulling out a new colour, the soothing rhythm of every round, and the joy of finishing each motif, and then deciding which is my 'new favourite'. Plus, it's a brilliant 'pick up' project for odd moments of time.  Thank you to Janie Crow for such a great pattern!

Now, is there time to do a couple of centres before I make dinner???  Hmmmm...  

Donna x 

Cod Beck Reservoir, Osmotherley.

Hello!  Well, here we are on honeymoon number 2.  Not too far away from home this time, in beautiful North Yorkshire.  We are staying at a fabulous little holiday cottage and are so comfortable and peaceful here.  My son joined us for a few days before returning to work, and DH and I stayed on for the rest of the week.

The weather has been glorious!  Perfect autumn days, and very warm too. We've been out and about with Daisy Dog, making the most of the sunshine.  

Today we went to Cod Beck Reservoir, near the pretty village of Osmotherley, on the edge of the North Yorkshire.  What a fabulous place for a picnic, a walk and to take in the views, along with lungfuls of fresh air.

We started with our picnic, sitting on (dry!) dog towels, as I had left the picnic blanket at home.  Just look at this view...

Full of cheese and cucumber sandwiches (us) and gravy bones (Daisy) we set off around the reservoir...

Dotted along the far side of the reservoir are some very attractive, modern bench seats, each with an engraved plaque to a loved one lost.  We sat for a while on the bench dedicated to Hope Elizabeth Farrow.  The dedication reads 'Our Songbird. For you the sun will be shining.'  This is the song I walked down the aisle to at our recent wedding.  I don't know who Hope is, but we sat awhile on her bench and thought of her, and how much someone must have loved her to have arranged such a poignant memorial in such a peaceful spot, full of natural beauty.  

We left Hope's bench in a reflective mood and continued our walk together...

We arrived back at the little car park and said to each other what a wonderful spot we had found to walk Daisy.  We chatted with a local lady and her friendly dog for a while and then headed back to our cottage for a cup each of Betty's hot chocolate.  A perfect day on our lovely 'second honeymoon'.

Donna x 

Knee High Socks part 2!

Hello and welcome to a short post on part 2 of my creative, experimental adventure into knee high socks!

Well, I have finished pair number 2, and here they are!

Rather an odd photo, but I am currently home alone on this overcast day, with not much natural light, so I had to try and photograph them with my feet on the windowsill.  Not easy, I can tell you!

Despite looking very long, they don't quite come up to my knees, which is probably a combination of a different yarn, and the fact these are narrower (a final working number of 56 stitches) so don't have as much 'give' in them.  For pair number 3 (the ones I am experimenting with the knitting in elastic) I am going to do extra leg rounds, as the yarn is the same King Cole Zig Zag.  The pair above have 145 leg rounds so I am going to up it to 160.  As a lovely lady said to me at Yarndale, at Winwick Mum's stand: "That's an awful lot of round and round".  Oh yes!  It certainly is!  I really do like knee high socks though, and the 'round and round' is good television/car/train journey knitting and goes quite quickly.  I wore pair number 1 all weekend at Yarndale and they kept my feet lovely and toasty!

I only just got this pair out of one ball of yarn, with just a tiny amount left over, so if I add even more rounds I am going to need 2 balls, one sock per ball, but the leftover from each ball will make a pair of 'normal' socks for DD.  She will be pleased!

Here are some stats for the above pair: (NOTE: Please see edit beneath stats!)

Original pattern:  Adapted from Winwick Mum's excellent Sockalong pattern 

Yarn:  King Cole Zig Zag - 'Summer'

Cast on: 64 stitches

Rib: 40 rounds

Decreasing:  Decrease one stitch each side of leg on rounds 50, 60, 70, 80 (including the rib) ending up with 56 stitches

Heel flap:  33 rows

Foot:  54 rounds (I have UK size 7.5 feet)

I have run shirring elastic loosely around the cuff as explained here, but I have high hopes of the knitting in elastic I am currently experimenting with, so will let you know how that works when I have finished pair number 3!

As I said above, I am going to increase the leg rounds to a total of 160, (including the rib), and I'm also going to add 2 more rounds to the foot, so a total of 56 rounds.  Again, I think the narrower leg and foot, giving a more snug fit, has less 'wiggle room'.  The upside is I can wear these ones with my favourite brogues as they aren't nearly as bulky.

EDIT:  I wore my new socks all weekend and I am going to make some more modifications!  The foot was really good and fitted well in my brogue shoes.  I am going to add 2 rows to the heel flap though as it is felt a little too snug over my high instep (I have difficulty finding comfortable boots due to my high instep). This is what Christine Winwick Mum, recommends here

HOWEVER, the main change I am going to make is to the top of the leg as it is feeling a bit too snug after several hours wear.  To do this I am going to go back to 68 stitches for the cast on, rib and top of the main leg part (as I did for pair number one) and then continue to decrease in the same way, i.e., every 10 rounds, to end up with 56 stitches.  That means I will decrease on rounds (including the rib) 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100.  

I am going to frog pair number three that I am part way through, (taking a deep breath and whipping out the circular needle!) and start again, still with the knitting in elastic.  I'm determined to get this right!

As always, I will keep you updated!

This was meant to be a short post!!!!

Donna x