In the Pink

There are one or two advantages to not having a long, hot summer (though I’m a bit sensitive about the amount of rain we’ve had Oop North just lately, so do try not to bait me… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), the main one being longer months of wool-wearing.

Which, when you’ve just finished pretty much your favourite jumper yet, is some small consolation to offset the bloody RAIN.

*Harumph*

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It’s outrageously pink, but striped enough not to be candy floss, and I chose a different solid colour for the sleeves and the main body to shake things up a bit.

The neck is wonderfully wide, and is left to furl slightly, as are the sleeves. 2-stitch raglan seams (my favourites) and a K2P2 rib at the hem are the final little details.

I made it with Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight, which I had LOADS of kicking around, given my total obsession with knitting Beauteous Boot Socks ๐Ÿ˜‰ but any Aran weight yarn giving you a gauge of around 16 stitches per 10cm would do nicely.

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If you fancy having a crack at it, you can find the pattern here. And if you do have a go, do please think about tagging me. I totally love seeing the interpretations of others (we all know it’s impossible not to tweak a pattern, right?)

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The pattern is in one size (pictured) and shown here on me – 5’9″ and a UK size 12 – though the bust is a generous 42″ and there are notes in the pattern about making it bigger.

So… happy knitting! โค

Oh Serendipity, you wondrous thing…

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Night falling over our camp

Last half term we took a very welcome break from the electronic world and all its intrusions, and returned for a blissfully happy few days to Abbots House Farm on the North Yorkshire Moors, a campsite with clean, basic amenities (loos and hot showers) along a beautiful drive, right in the place where the television series Heartbeat was filmed.ย  Goathland has retained its latterday charm and a walk into the village from the site sees you navigating wandering sheep, roaming free wherever they choose. It’s about as picturesque as you can get.

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Goathland

Our field was entirely empty apart from us. We set up camp with three hikers’ tents and a tarp, under which we constructed the fire pit barbecue where we cooked our suppers every night. And along the bottom of the field ran the old steam railway with half-hourly trains providing plenty of waving opportunity for the children.

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Getting ready to wave

No screens, no social media, no intrusion… we even had a visiting squirrel allow us to feed and stroke it.

Roddy

The time not spent hiking saw us whittling, reading and – of course – knitting. The picture at the top was taken from the doorway of my tent. Other than a 100-mile stint on the Pennine Way before my youngest was born,ย  I don’t think I’ve felt happier or freer.

Our beloved Teddy was diagnosed with autism back in 2012 and it feels as though we are just emerging as a family from the restrictions such things (happily now mostly in the past as he continues to develop and amaze us) as major meltdowns and flat refusals can put on daily life and especially on outings. Camping and hiking are just perfect for this little whirligig – totally content and always exploring.

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The beautiful drive leading to the campsite
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A walk along the Esk Valley Trail introduced us to this lady, happily grazing totally unflustered by the many walkers passing her.

Other than simply describing our last break, what is the point of this post, you ask? On a knitting blog, you ask?

Well, the most wonderful thing happened this morning.

I received a message through my Facebook page containing this link: http://www.pitchandstitch.co.uk/

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the yarnie persuasion – an entire weekend of camping AND knitting! In the most idyllic setting….

I’m in. Who’s with me??

Ted’s stripes

Having made a gazillion pairs of beauteous boot socks, I had a mega-tonne (well, not quite, but it certainly looked that way in the sitting room cupboard) of Drops Nepal and Drops Big Delight left, and it was as I was knitting the leg of a sock that it struck me… that would make an awesome sleeve. This is the one I was working on:

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So I found the cream and the blues and my measuring tape and set about measuring Ted.

He’s 6 – he’ll be 7 in August – and long and lean.

I decided that this one would be a bottom-up jumper, so: knitting from the bottom up to the underarm, then knitting the sleeves to that point, and joining them all on a circular needle to begin the raglan decreases up to the neck.

I worked out the gauge at 5 stitches and 6 rows per inch and jotted down everything I could think of that I’d need.

Around his tummy: 24″
Around his chest: 26″
From the nape of his neck to his bottom: 17″
From underarm to wrist: 13″
From shoulder to wrist: 18″
From underarm to bottom: 12″ and
Around his upper arm: 9″

I used 4mm circulars (80cm) for the 2×2 rib and switched to 5mm circulars for the rest of the piece.

Taking his widest point (his chest), I cast on 130 stitches (26″ x 5 sts per inch). With hindsight, I might have added another 5 for ease, though it does fit perfectly as you’ll see.

I knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib on 4mm needles in Drops Nepal in cream and then switched to Big Delight and 5mm needles. The stripe pattern is 4 rows of Big Delight and then 2 rows of Nepal which 6-row repeat, most handily, is an inch.

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I repeated this until I got to 14″ (13 x 6-row stripes and the rib) and then put it aside (on stitch holders or waste yarn, or even on the needles if you have enough pairs) to knit the sleeves.

Again, using Nepal and 4mm needles, I cast on 44 stitches (9″ x 5 stitches per inch, then minus 1 to keep the 2×2 rib simple) and knitted 6 rows of 2×2 rib, switching then to 5mm needles and Big Delight. Since sleeves are always longer, I knitted 14 x 6-row stripes per sleeve.

So, to join the sleeves to the body:

First, I *put 10 stitches of the body stitches on waste yarn (this will be the underarm, which you will join to the sleeve with Kitchener stitch at the very end) and put 10 sleeve stitches on waste yarn. Then slip the remaining 34 sleeve stitches onto the main needles,ย  then slipped 55 stitches from the body** and repeated from * to **ย  I then had 178 stitches on the needles and placed a marker for the beginning of the round.

Using Nepal, I knitted two rounds.

Then I knitted around once in Big Delight and on the next round, to divide for the raglan decreases, I placed markers before the last stitch of the last round and after the first stitch of the next, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 53, placed a marker, knitted 2, placed a marker, knitted 32 and arrived back at the first marker.

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For the 3rd row of Big Delight, I began the decreases (you can see them underway above), very simply: knit 2 together before and after the 2-stitch raglan (between the two markers either side of the sleeves)

For the 4th row of Big Delight, knit around making sure to slip the markers.

And I continued the decreases every other row whilst sticking to the 6-row pattern (4 rows of Big Delight, 2 rows of Nepal) until I had only 1 stitch left in the sleeve sections (between the two markers).

Then I switched to 4mm needles and Nepal for 6 rows of 2×2 rib and finished with a super-stretchy bind-off. There’s little worse than putting all that effort in and being unable to get the blasted thing over yer head! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Maddeningly, Teddy was at school when it was finished (soย inconsiderate!) so I had to wait until I was home from work and he home from school to take him back to the studio to get some pictures.

I think you’ll agree a) it’s very fetching and b) I may have overdone the pictures… Well – knitting and Teddy – two of my favourite things โค

Sprouting again – baby sleepsack and hat

Do you remember the Sprout?

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Matching baby cocoon / snugglesack and little hat. In the picture above, it’s knitted in James C Brett Woodlander self-patterning yarn, which you can find here.

Weeeeellll….

Do you also remember the Luscious Long Socks?

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These were knitted in Cascade 220 and, more importantly, Lang Yarns Tosca Light – that gorgeous self-striping stuff… (find it here).

The socks only used 40g of the 100g ball, so I thought I’d make another Sprout with the rest. And look!

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I completely love it.

What do you think?

โค

 

 

“Sprout” – a baby cocoon and matching hat

There is a truly lovely lady I know.

She has been a gentle source of solid support for me and my family for the past almost half-decade. Her compassion and empathy are, amongst us at the very least, legendary.

And in a matter of a few short weeks, she’ll be bringing her first little being into the world. She will make one of the loveliest mummies I think anyone could possibly imagine. What a lucky little sprout โค

With him in mind, and born out of a sense of immense gratitude to her, I give you “Sprout”. A snuggly baby cocoon and matching hat.

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Knitted on 3.5mm and 5mm circular needles, using James C Brett Woodlander DK yarn, you can find the pattern here if you fancy a go at knitting one for a teeny person in your life.

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And happy knitting! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Luscious LongSocks

You might be forgiven for confusing these with the Beauteous Boot Socks for they are, in fact, enormously similar…

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However, the BBS are rather too thick to continue to wear through the Spring – early Summer and the late Summer – early Autumn seasons.

So!

The Luscious LongSocks are born.

Knitted with Cascade 220 for the solid colour and Lang Yarns Tosca Light for the graded colour, they are soft, light and still snuggly for chillier days under boots or with shoes, or chilly weekend mornings with your jammies ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you fancy a go at them, you can find the pattern here.

Tabby Cattercushion (a free tutorial)

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So I made a HUGE cattercushion.

Do you see what I did there? ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can, of course make a gazillion of these (s)cattercushions so they can live up to their name, in a narrower gauge yarn, or chunkier, in all sizes and colours…

For this one, I used Schachenmayr Boston and Rico Creative Melange Chunky, 7mm circular needles and some enormous mother-of-pearl buttons. You’ll also need a cushion pad and some toy stuffing.

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If you fancy having a go at it, there is a free blow by blow tutorial over on the loveknitting blog. Just click here to be taken to it.

Here’s a picture of him with my Wilfy, for scale:

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Enjoy the snuggles โค

Hobbit Hat (free pattern)

I find myself here, on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. Wide, sandy beaches, and sunshine that has taken us by surprise.

But… you know… it’s February.

How in the world did someone who knits hats not bring enough?!

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My new moniker is, apparently, “The Wool Psycho”, so it goes without saying that needles and yarn had found their way into my essential packing list.

Quick – cast on!

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This hat fits us all, from Teddy (aged 6, above) to me. Though it might be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) for beloved husband, since his bonce is quite spectacularly large. Probably the brains ๐Ÿ˜‰

For this hat, you will need a ball of Rico Creative Melange Chunky (in this case in CurryGreen), a 7mm circular needle and depending on your speed, a couple of movies.

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So without further ado:

Cast on 64 stitches and join in the round without twisting.
Knit 1 round, purl 1 round and knit the 3rd round.
Then begin the Knit2 Purl2 rib for 10 rounds. This gives a hat that is super slouchy without folding up the rim, or nice and snug if you do.

Knit for 34 rounds.

Then K2tog all the way around.

Then knit around.

Then K2tog all the way around again.

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail, then sew the tail through the live stitches and pull tight. Tie off securely and weave in the tail. Sew in the ends, and wear to your heart’s content.

Happy knitting! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bring on the boot socks…

Beauteous Boot Socks

I can’t help myself…

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This, of course, is what they are going to look like eventually:

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It’s just that there are a GAZILLION colourways out there, and while there are…. well….

I’ve just got to keep knitting.

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(You can find the pattern here if you fancy whizzing a pair up for yourself or the toes of someone you love – chunky, speedy and super-snuggly)

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