Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Stash busting

This week I finished the aran cardi I started a few weeks ago, in an attempt to clear out the cream swaledale which has been sitting in my cupboard for years. I chose some patterns from A Shetland Knitter's Notebook by Mary Smith and Chris Bunyan and used a yoke cardigan as the basis for the pattern.
Like all experiments, there were some things I could have done better. For example, one of the patterns I chose didn't have the same pattern repeat as the main star pattern, and I made some mistakes in the pattern too. But overall I'm really happy with it, it's a striking cardi and will be just right for spring, when it's too warm for a sweater but not warm enough to go without something woolly.
Having removed wool from my stash, it was time to add some! Here is a skein of alpaca/devon longwool 2 ply. I'm now thinking about what to do with it...

Monday, 15 February 2010

Curious Hooks

I just noticed a discussion on Ravelry about vintage needles and hooks, and thought I'd share my favourites. I got a job lot of knitting needles and crochet hooks at a car boot sale some years ago. I occasionally add to my collection with finds from antique shops - most recently a set of 2.00 mm long dpns, which are not common.

But it's my set of crochet hooks which is most interesting. A lot of them are incredibly fine, for working something of the thickness of cotton sewing thread - one day I will find out what they are for! The ones pictured above, however, are my favourites. Three of them are made of bone, I think, the one at the bottom has a beautiful turned base and must have been expensive when new. The one second from bottom is odd, looks like something has snapped off the end, but it's a nice hook. The one at the top is really unusual, has a hook at each end of a different size. Economical and practical, after all you don't use one end of the hook, unlike a knitting needle.

The metal one in the middle is an example of the very fine metal hooks I have, but this has been adapted for someone who was clearly find it difficult to use, as she got older perhaps? It has padding around the handle, secured with cotton or linen thread, and most unusually, a metal button soldered onto the middle to provide a firm grip. Every time I look at this I wonder about the woman who used it, it's a little bit of history in my hand.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Honeycomb Bag

This is my latest creation, made from the left over vintage cotton I had after my previous project. Actually, there's still a bit left, hope to be able to get a pair of socks out of the remnants!

I had these handles lying around, and thought I would make something to fit them. The pattern is officially called "hexagon" but I think it looks more like a honeycomb. This was fun to do - the pattern is available on Ravelry ($3.00) or you can contact me - lancashire.knitter@virgin.net for details if you would like to pay in sterling - £1.50.

So it's back to the socks and granny squares for me...