Today I’m making… a snood and a scarf

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It’s been far too long since I’ve updated this blog. I really want to make more of an effort with this rather than just spending time on Instagram, don’t get me wrong, I do love a bit of Insta but I feel like the time is right to move back to blogging.

I’ve been on holiday since my last update, 9 nights in Crete which was really lovely but I think I’ve fallen out of love with flying. I used to really enjoy the whole airport experience but this year I just found the whole thing really stressful and just not worth it.  So we’re thinking of staying in the UK next year and maybe driving up to Yorkshire. I’m all for it.

Right so lets get on to what I’m actually making today.  Usually on a Sunday I have about six projects on the go at once and I flit between them all during the day but today I’ve only picked two things to work on and hopefully I’ll make some decent progress for a change.

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First up is a lipstick bright red snood.  I finished a large one in this colour this morning and have updated my Etsy shop with it, so if you want a large red snood I have one ready to post to you.  This one is going to be a medium, and then I’ll make a small.  Not sure I’ll get both done today, I have some housework to do too and I have this delicious Portuguese tart to eat (only 50p in Asda!).  I’m in love with this shade of red, it’s a blue red so very easy to wear, I’m a redhead and I can wear this shade.  You’ll also see in this picture my perfect and much loved solid silver crochet hook from Lynn Roberts Design and I’m sure I mention it all the time but it’s just the most joyous thing to work with. It feels really special and is a joy to work with.  When I’m at home its the only hook I use, I don’t tend to take it outside because I’d be really upset if I lost it.

Anyway, I’m making a bit of an effort to put some snoods back in my Etsy shop, I’ve had to put them on the back burner for most of this year because I’m doing a City & Guilds in hand embroidery and I need to concentrate on that really so I’m only adding stock I have in hand rather than listing everything and making snoods to order, which I what I normally do but means I’m constantly making them and I fell way behind with my coursework.  I think I’m back on track now but my snoods are thin on the ground to say the least.

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Next up is my fisherman’s rib scarf.  This will eventually go in my Etsy shop but it will be a long time in the making.  I can’t quite remember where I got this yarn, I’m pretty sure it was passed to me, it might have been my mum’s but I don’t think she ever bought grey.  It doesn’t really matter does it?  It’s an acrylic 4ply so that means it is pretty practical for a scarf because its easy to wash and won’t felt from rubbing against your clothes.  Its SO squishy and soft and the shade of grey itself is such a nice pearly grey, with almost a pink tone to it.  I just realised this Sunday is all acrylic.  Now I’m not much of a yarn snob, I just use what I like and I do like hand dyed natural fibres but if I see acrylic and like it I’m having it.  A lot of my acrylic yarn has been gifted to me when another knitter has died or has a destash and it’s better to knit with it then send it to landfill.  However you feel about yarn content, this is a lovely yarn and I have two huge balls of it.  Let’s just take a moment to have a little smirk at my two huge balls.

As I said, this is fisherman’s rib which has the look of brioche but none of the faff.  I have seen several people online assert that brioche and fisherman’s rib are the same thing, they’re not. They’re really not, fisherman’s rib just looks like brioche and has the same squish factor. It feels amazing.  I have actually pulled back about three inches this afternoon because there was a row where I slipped a stitch with the yarn in the wrong place and I had been thinking it didn’t really matter because it was in a pretty good place for me to sew on a label to cover it up anyway, but then thinking about it that mistake draws my eye so much that I’ve been putting off working on the scarf so I thought, sod it, just rip it back and reknit. Of course I could have just dropped that stitch and picked it up correctly all the way up but I like knitting, so more knitting is good, right? I’m going to put a stitch marker in to see how much progress I make on this today.  How many inches do you think I’ll recover? Its 4ply knitted on 4mm needles.

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Today I’m Making… Gold herringbone stitch scarf

This weekend I’ve mainly been stitching my embroidery coursework, but in the evenings and when my neck gets sore (I have terrible stitching posture) I’ve been working on this happy sparkly scarf.

I cast this on just to try herringbone stitch originally, I love the woven look it makes (in also in love with linen stitch) and I’ve wanted to try it for ages but I’m usually up to my eyeballs in snoods so it’s hard to find time to make anything for me.

In fact, this yarn has been in my Etsy shop as a snoods and I’ve sold a few of them but it’s a bit thicker than my usual yarn and it’s quite hard on the hands to get a tension in happy with. I’ve made a few for individual customers but I’ve also made 4 for the National Theatre’s breathtaking production of Follies which was a huge delight for me. But unless the wardrobe artists for Follies get in touch I’m not planning on making any more snoods out of this yarn.

I have a lot of it though. Herringbone days a lot of yarn though so that’s good and it’s a totally different experience knitting with it on 6mm needles to crocheting to a fairly firm guage. It’s coming out as a fluid but not floppy fabric which is good news.

I’ve put quite a few inches on this knitting while watching Eurovision, the red marker is where I picked it up this weekend.

I’m still a bit gutted Australia didn’t win. I’m a bit in love with that staging.

My camera hasn’t picked up the sparkle at all well, this yarn is about 30% metallic gold. It’s lovely in real life.

Half fisherman’s rib scarf

Yep it’s toasty June and I’ve finished knitting a scarf. I know.

But this is the nicest, squishiest scarf you ever did feel and there’s a lot to be said for knitting a scarf and for once this is something I’ve made for me, not for my Etsy shop so that makes it quite a big deal.

I think scarf knitting has rather unfairly fallen out of favour with knitters in recent years in preference of the shawl. I’m pretty sure that’s because a scarf iss often the very boring first project we’re given when we learn to knit, usually with a not very nice yarn and in a colour that we don’t particularly like, but look at this one, it was a DREAM to make.

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I bought the yarn from the lovely Sharp Works in Herne Hill, London on last year’s Great London Yarn Crawl.  At the time Sharp Works were giving the pattern for this scarf away free when you bought a ball of Louisa Harding’s Amitola Grande. The pattern is written by Sharp Works and as far as I know isn’t available on Ravelry.  If you haven’t already, you need to squish a ball of this yarn in your hand at your first opportunity, its so soft and smooth with a gorgeous halo.  Trust me, you’ll be sold the minute you touch it.  It isn’t cheap at around £10 – £16 a ball, depending where you source it, but I am so into treating myself to the good stuff because I so rarely make anything for me.  You’d pay about the same for a factory made scarf in the shops anyway and lose out on the simple meditative joy of knitting it.

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This is why I’m championing scarf knitting, yes it can be repetitive if you knit something like this which is a simple fisherman’s rib (feels and looks a lot like brioche but is much faster).  Is repetitive a negative thing really? I don’t think so.  You don’t have to worry about remembering very much of a pattern so you’re free from checking back at the pattern all the time which makes it a great travelling pattern and you can concentrate on the feel of the yarn, the appearance of the knitted fabric as it grows from your needles, or go off into your own world of thoughts, or watch film or something.

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Now, I’m going to say something shocking… tension variations are no great disaster in a scarf like this.  So even if you choose to watch A Handmaid’s Tale the really disturbing bits that make you knit much tighter are not a huge problem because scarves get wound all round your neck  or dangle about and somehow it all just works itself out.  Of course that’s not going to work so well if you’re attempting a lace pattern but a lovely chunky ribby sort of thing can take it.

This picture is the ‘wrong’ side.

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The faux-fur pom-poms were bought later at Sew Busy, a haberdashers and fabric shop in my local town. I don’t think they have any in stock right now it being June and all that…

Take another look around the knitterati and you’ll see scarf knitting is having a bit of a resurgence, spend a bit of time on Ravelry and you’ll see lots of the designers are bringing out long rectangular shawl/wraps.  Please, that’s a wide scarf surely? I’m not complaining, I love a scarf or wrap, I think they’re much easier to wear and there is a lot of scope to have fun with them. Look how popular Joji Locatelli’s gorgeous Starting Point  is. I’d love to make one of those, she has a few wrap patterns on Ravelry and I want all of them.

I’m going to make another one.  Maybe in July.

Today I’m Making – The 80’s were a disaster scarf. An update.

I have made a bit of progress with my The 80’s were a disaster scarf.  Not a lot of progress granted, I have so many projects on the go it’s frankly a miracle if anything other than a snood ever gets finished. If you read my earlier post about this scarf you’ll already know that the black coconut yarn has been waiting for reuse for 30 years.  So to put it in that context, another year won’t make much difference.

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I really enjoy knitting this simple chevron pattern, I have a blanket that I crocheted from scraps in multi coloured chevron bands that is just the most cheerful thing you ever did see.  I might make a knitted blanket when I’ve finished this scarf, because that’s exactly what I need, another project to add to the queue.

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Not that I could tell you when this will be finished, I’m just going to carry on until I run out of yarn, then I’ll probably join the ends to make it into a cowl.

Since starting this scarf I’ve had to add a fair amount of The Cure to my iPod.  Amusingly my iPod is quite elderly now and mixes up the artwork so while it’s playing the Cure it might well be showing the artwork for The Archers, so though I am tempted to replace my iPod, while it’s funny it can stay.

Today I’m Making… Another shortie scarf

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What would you call a short scarf? A shortie scarf of a stock? I’m erring towards stock but I wonder if many people would know what I was talking about?

The one I’m making now is for a friend, its based on the green one I wear and spoke about a bit in my post earlier this year:  https://ginpoodle.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/today-im-making-the-80s-were-a-disaster-scarf/

I’ve moved on a bit with the design since then, I’ve added a picot edge and I’m going to make it a bit longer to avoid cleavage chill and I’m toying with the idea of a button fastening but I’ll need to check with the person its intended for before I steam in with that.  To be honest I’m not sure it needs any sort of fastening, it doesn’t move around much under your coat but now I’ve thought of a button I’ve become a bit stuck on it.  I use a brooch to hold mine in place mainly as an excuse to use a brooch.  A button might be more practical but isn’t practicality the enemy of style?  I’ll take my military cape over an anorak any day.

The green one I made in a strip but because I’m using a picot edge on this one I’m going to make it in two parts and join it using Kitchener Stitch – which I have only mastered thanks to the Knit & Caboodle sock kit I took on holiday to Greece this year.

One other thing I’ve learned this year is that I really don’t like variegated yarn, they look fantastic as a ball of yarn but I’m not a fan of the finished result because it hides any patterning.  I do like self-patterning sock yarn. A lot. Self patterning sock yarn is a magical delight but variegated yarn is not going to enter my home again after I’ve used up the half dozen or so balls I have here already.  I’d expect that to take several years…

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I bought this yarn at this year’s Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally, the ball band claims this is a baby yarn but I’d expect a baby yarn to be very soft and this isn’t. Its fine for accessories but its not really a baby yarn though the colours make a nice change from the usual sweetie brights and pastels.