Woolly world

Oh, the frustration of being without a camera for three weeks – especially three weeks spent on my own with a lot of time to indulge in Woolly World activities and no way of recording my little bits of busyness. With new camera in hand, there is quite a bit of catching up to do now: if the truth be told, I went into yarn-obsessed overdrive while Roger was away.

First, the leaf lace socks I am (still) knitting.

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To say these are a labour of love would be a huge understatement, not only because I am not a fan of lace knitting but also it’s all so fiddly on fine, slippery (and – let’s admit it – somewhat inconsistent) homespun yarn and four spindly double-pointed needles. This is definitely an outdoors project, sitting in bright sunlight and working with complete concentration. How happy I was to get down to the heel flap and the light relief of working rows of knit and slip stitch for a little while!

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Once I reached the instep, things became much simpler (down to three needles and the lace pattern worked on only one of them) and suddenly I was flying. Blimey, I could even let my brain wander a bit – listen to the birds, breathe in the scent of flowers, wonder what to have for dinner – you know the kind of thing. Suddenly, a sock was appearing and actually I’m pretty chuffed with it.  I’d hoped for something that sings of summer, the fresh zingy green of leaf and hedgerow with a hint of blue sky and white cloud and this is pretty much doing the job. The Merino wool is soft and vibrant, the tussah silk running through it shimmers like cobwebs in the sunlight. One sock almost down, one to go.

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Crochet, next. Ah yes, that little addiction which shows no sign of disappearing. I am so enjoying working away on my Coast blanket, the colour combinations are beautiful and I just love that ripple stitch so much. I’ve been doing a little bit at each end of the day: a few minutes in the morning with that all-important first big mug of tea and a bit more before bedtime while listening to music – it’s such an easy, soothing pattern to work, it suits those moods and times of day perfectly (plus it’s not exactly comfortable sitting under a woolly blanket in the heat of the day). The blanket is taking shape and growing rapidly: 41 ripples out of 84 done.

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Having dispatched the rainbow baby blankets with Roger, I found myself looking at the leftover yarn and thinking I should really pack it all away carefully in the horreo (everything needs to be tidied away in storage before the builders arrive) . . . but what I did of course was launch into another project. Cue several very happy days spent messing about with bits of yarn to make a Bower Bird Attic 24 Bower Bird for Baby’s nursery. I’ll pop a photo in here but I had so much fun making this that I’ve already written a separate little post about it.

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With plenty of yarn still left over, I decided to have a go at making a Harmony Granny Square (bear with me, the reason will soon become clear). Attic 24 Harmony Granny Square These are a very different design to the Flower Garden squares I used in Baby’s blanket – more rounds and different stitch patterns – slower to make, but truly lovely when done. I enjoyed making the first one so much, I made a second . . . I just can’t get enough of those blue / green / purple combinations. The soft green is exactly the same shade as our bed – an old pine thing we gave a painty facelift to some years ago – and it occurred to me these squares might make pretty coasters for the bedside table once we have overhauled the bedroom and turned it into a cosy guestroom.

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Ping, went my brain. How about some bunting in similar colours to string above the window and brighten it up a bit? Hell, why not?

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As I said, it is an addiction. (Strict instructions to Roger: if he catches me crocheting a toilet roll cover, he is to confiscate all crochet hooks immediately.)

So, there was the kitchen table looking like some kind of mad yarn studio with baskets of wool and squares and triangles and bird bits and a blanket spilling out all over when the tooting of the postman’s car put me in crazily excited mode and saw me flying down the steps to collect my parcel from him. Parcel? Yes, believe it or not, another new crochet project. Now I know that I said this year I was going to try really hard to keep my projects down to one or maybe two on the go at the same time and no more and it seems that I have failed in spectacular fashion . . . BUT my reason for this new basket of gorgeousness is such a wonderful one: another precious little grandchild arriving later this year. We are so blessed and I am hopping, skipping and jumping with sheer joy and excitement. Smile, smile, smile! 🙂 🙂 🙂 It does mean that I need to find a way of distinguishing between these two little bundles of joy-to-be so maybe I will call them September Baby and November Baby or perhaps – as their daddies are Welshmen – Babi Medi and Babi Tachwedd. That has a musical ring for sure!

So what were my plans for Babi T? Well, I wanted to do something along similar lines to the Granny Flower Garden and Rainbow Ripple blankets but not identical: our grandchildren, like our children, are all equally precious and loved but very different, unique and individual beings, so I think it’s important that they all have a gift that is special and unique to them. I can use the same basic ideas but with new twists: a different colour palette for a start will create something fresh and new. Have a peep . . .

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I decided to opt for softer hues this time rather than crazy brights, without going down the pale pastels route – I’m not a pastel fan and have never understood the tradition of wrapping babies up in washed-out shades, then surrounding them with toys and accessories in screaming bright primaries. These are lovely soft summery colours and are a joy to work with. Project 1: a square blanket to use as a floor or lawn throw, using the Harmony Blanket pattern as a starting point – hence the earlier practice at making the squares. Attic 24 Harmony Blanket This has such a different feel to my Flower Garden blanket, far less random and haphazard and a little more sophisticated, I suppose.

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Making the squares was pure pleasure and using the join-as-you-go method worked well and saved me having a pile of squares to join at the end.

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I’ve worked a few rows of border around the edge but I’m not sure whether it’s finished yet or not; I might go back and add a soft green and blue to finish just as soon as I know how much yarn is left after Project 2.

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On which subject . . . can you guess? Well, of course it has to be another ripple event!

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No real plan here, I’ve just been pulling colours out of my wool basket as I go along, combinations that please me so that they shift through gentle shades but with a bit of a pop between the lime green and clematis pink. The edging colours as usual are still hovering somewhere in the future.

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There is a softness and tranquility to these blankets and I see the colours reflected all around me: sweet peas, lavender, roses, cornflowers, pinks, borage and thyme. A baby’s posy. Perfect. 🙂

 

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