Tuesday, January 27, 2015


It became apparent to me over the weekend the reason I am not a quilter; I am hating sewing this sodding blanket together*. I had a good plan, I thought, but it ended - as many plans do - in swearing and crawling around on the floor all over again .

 Remember how I laid it all out so carefully:

Well, then I loosely tacked each strip together, and the intention was to sew the squares into strips, and then sew each strip together. This didn't work at all. A horrendous three strip long mess of puckering and mis-matched corners (so awful in fact that I didn't even take a picture) was enough to convince me to begin again.

I laid everything out for a second time, this time with all the squares in it, so that was novel at least!:

And then I did a really hi-tech** chart of each set of bigger squares (where they existed, as it's 9x7 they aren't all squares, obviously) and smaller rectangles, and poor little square 20 which is all on its own.:

Then I loosely joined all the squares (or rectangles) together, while taking regular breaks to find the next episode of Amanda Vickery's 'History of Private Life' on the iPlayer, and as I did this I thought of all the other women through the ages who had cursed their abysmal quilting skills.

I gave each square a new label to say which direction 'bottom left' is, so hopefully avoiding further confusion when I sew it together:

Now I'm sewing each of the sets of squares together (a bit more loosely, for puckering avoidance). Once that's done I'll sew and sew until I have bigger squares, and eventually a blanket. So far it's going a lot more smoothly, though I'm pretty sure it's impossible to avoid a bit of ripply-ness, I suspect it's to do with how I did the m1 in the squares to start with, and ripping it back that far ain't going to happen. I'm also considering that an i-cord border might not work on this, I think it needs something a bit less rigid. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

*there was much worse swearing than this...
**back of a piece of old calendar, reuse recycle etc...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Big Blanket or 'Kaffghan', as this appears to be what we're calling it, is all over apart from the sewing up and border knitting, and good lord is that a large amount of sewing up and border knitting....

Here is a pile of squares (63 in all). They are at least all blocked and most (why didn't I do this as I went along, why?) of the ends are woven-in:

I am following Kaffe's layout, basically because I am too tired to do anything else. This is when large areas of floor space some in super handy:

The gaps are the final 5 squares which were not yet quite dry in time for the laying out. I wouldn't like this for a carpet, but for a blanket that's likely to serve useful time in the camper-van it's pretty amazing! Not amazing enough to sew itself magically together though.

There is also the border to consider, and here is my remaining yarn. There is a lot of it, so I am loathe to buy any more to knit the border with:

At present I am leaning towards a knit on stripey i-cord border which will in some way match the squares as I go along. It's worth a try. I am also leaning towards a large glass of something red and grape based in one of my new gigantic Dartington wine glasses, to get me through all this sewing...

Pattern: Rowan Kaffe Fassett Mystery Knit Along
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Worsted

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Well, Christmas has been and gone, and we're into a dull, grey January. It's so grey I can't bear to take down all the fairy lights so I expect they'll remain where they are for the full twelve months, or until we need to take them to a festival (we start those in May, so it's not that long to wait).

I made hats for my Mum for Christmas, she only asked for one but the boredom of knitting 'something to match her navy blue coat' was so difficult to cope with that I ended up making three, two of the same pattern - and it really does show how you yarn choice can make an item a very different item to the other one (if you follow) and another which was SO BEAUTIFUL I almost kept it for myself. They are all patterns from Woolly Wormhead, 'hat architect' extraordinaire.

Hat 1 - Propello in  Patons UK Merino Extrafine Aran (Navy):

Now, this is a lovely design, simple and effective (as you will see, and can see from the purple hat in the published pattern) and an easy knit for in front of the TV on a wintery afternoon. But this dark blue flat looking yarn turned it into what I can only describe as a 'school hat', which does match the coat so, brief fulfilled! 


Hat 2 - Propello in Noro Kama (not sure which colourway):

Same design, completely different hat experience!. I had a few doubts about the colourway on this as I knitted it (pink/green/very dark red may not be to most people's taste after all) but the finished item shows it off really nicely (unlike these slightly shoddy photos).

Hat 3 - Limpetiole in Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic 6-fach (Quail colourway):

What a wonderful thing this is. I really avoid knitting anything lacy as a rule, I don't enjoy it, it makes me incredibly tense and the chiropracter is not cheap so if I do it's generally a small item such as hat or gloves. But I found this one endlessley entertaining - watching the 'candle flames' appear (I was in a fairly seasonal mood by this stage) was really quite engaging. The stripes actually work quite well and the yarn is beautiful. the only thing I had to drink through was the 1 x 1 twisted rib, but it does look fantastic, so was worth it.

Happy New Year!