Saturday, 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas - time for hunkering down!

I realised it's been a few weeks since I posted here - mainly due to the demands of life in general and also the fact that I have been too busy knitting to have time for blogging! (Indeed - I actually have callouses forming where I hold my needles!)

The weather here in middle England is dreary, drab, damp and cold - we shall most probably be having a wet Christmas, not a white one. So, all the more reason to grab the needles and keep at it!

The mitred-square blanket is still in progress (see pic above) and is coming along nicely - I will have to order some more of the Crofter random-dyed wool to finish it though. I think it is going to look splendid when it's finished, here it is so far:

I've also been fascinated by trying out a patchwork 'log cabin' pattern, as shown over at where there is a very easy-to-follow tutorial. I hunted around in my scrap stash and came up with this:

I have sufficient yarn to make several patches which might make an interesting cushion cover; this gives an idea of how it might look:

I think I might edge them in black to make them stand out more. I certainly plan to do a full sized blanket with this method at some point in the future.

The 'Blue Wave Wrap' has been finished  (or rather, the two balls of yarn I purchased have been completely used up!) with just enough left to cast off!

It is very light but warm, ideal for staying snug when the weather is not quite cold enough to justify having the heating on.

Finally, for this post, some UK readers of a certain age may get all dewey-eyed and nostalgic - but look what I rediscovered when I looked in one of my blanket boxes the other day:

I found my complete 6-volume set of Golden Hands crafting magazines - circa late 1970's! The fashions are a sight to behold, but I think I'm going to enjoy looking through some of the old patterns (and maybe trying out a few!)

If all else fails, I suppose I could always try to flog them on E-bay - you never know, they might be worth something! ;-p

This is probably my last post here before the festivities start - so thank you to all who
have dropped in and left comment here at the Knitting Assassin; may I wish you all a 
Merry Christmas and a hope-filled New Year!

(I look forward to seeing what other bloggers received from Santa and the new projects planned for 2013!)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

For that smart dog-about-town...!

The dog-sweaters are done! 

In my previous posting I said I was trying to get some dog-sweaters done to help with the 'Hope' project - working with people living on the streets with their canine companions (see here ) - well, last night I finished the sixth one! I would have liked to have done more, but the deadline is in a few days and I had to allow time for them to be delivered. Still, there's always next year!

Although this 'Argyll'-patterned one is my favourite, it took a bit longer than I would have liked - and doing the front shaping whilst keeping the pattern correct is not something I should like to repeat in the near future!

Anyway - they'll be wrapped up tonight and in the post tomorrow - I hope the canine buddies they go to will appreciate the gesture! (and more importantly - I hope their human 'companions' will soon be able to find permanent accommodation and shelter out of the cold, wind and rain!)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Quick update - and new project!

The multicoloured jacket (now nicknamed 'Joseph' - as in 'technicolour dreamcoat) is finally finished. That's the front view, above.

From the back, the diagonals really show up on the yoke:

I just need to put some buttons on - then it will have it's first outing tomorrow! :-)

Since I last posted here, I have been furiously knitting dog sweaters for the Dogs Trust 'Hope' project - I've done three and am now onto my fourth - would like to do at least 6 before the deadline of 23rd November (well, a few days before that, to allow for postage!)
Here's one of the finished ones:

The current sweater is going to be particularly seasonal - 
- but it doesn't knit up as quick as using random-dyed wool! ;-p

So, everything else is on 'hold', temporarily, while I get these doggy-warmers done!

(Knit 1, purl 1, woof 1.....)

Monday, 15 October 2012

This 'n' that

What is it with us knitters - we HAVE to start new projects even though there are others already on the go!

Well, in my last post I mentioned that I'd fallen in love with the pattern for a jacket using random-dyed wool and knit on the diagonal; well, as soon as the yarn arrived I was hunting out the needles.....

And here it is....not quite finished, just the front bands, collar and sleeve seams to do!

I had to do a bit of 'engineering' to get the stripes to match:

Meanwhile, I'm adding to the blanket, nearly a third of the way through now!
(good job I have a fair bit of catch-up TV, as this is my go-to project when watching...!)

Of course, visiting yarn shops, one can't leave empty-handed and a recent trip to my LYS in Coventry forced me to purchase this 4ply cotton - the colours in the picture don't do justice to it, as it's a lovely green/gold and a lighter matching shade.
I have absolutely no idea what I shall use them for, but one must always keep up the stash! (my excuse, anyway!)

Then a surprise package arrived:
Compliments of  Let's Knit! magazine, because I'd tweeted on their Twitter feed a few weeks ago, on National Poetry Day:
Alas, alack, my yarn's run out,
I'm nearly in a fit;
My other project's at an end -
I've nothing left to knit!

Now I'm pondering a project to use this lovely, squishy, chunky yarn.......I'll report back, later with the results! :-)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

It's Autumn! Time to wrap up in wool!

It's been a while since I posted updates here, but I have been knitting quite a lot - really!

Now it's suddenly turned colder, I'm really feeling the benefit of knitting this bed-cover - even as it's being created! ;-p (yes, those are my toes poking out - have rediscovered all my snuggly hand-knitted socks after going barefooted through the summer!)

The cover is about a third of the way through,

 but although the idea was to use up some Sirdar Crofter yarn that was formerly a jacket that looked lovely (but not on me!) once I started this project I realised I'd have to buy more. I've started the last 50g I had and now I'm rationing my knitting as I wait for more to arrive (any day now, I hope!)

Another yarn 'adventure' still on the needles is the blue wave lace wrap:

I wonder when I will ever finish it..... it is much-travelled, having accompanied me up to Scotland on holiday a few months ago.

Plenty to keep me busy, then, but I've already decided on my next project:

I saw this  TILT jacket on Ravelry and fell in love at first sight! However, the original yarn, (Noro 'Silk Garden') makes it prohibitively expensive so I am substituting James C Brett's 'Monsoon', in shade 3:

Pays to shop around, sort of - my LYS stocks Monsoon at £4.99/100g but their online shop offers the same at £3.89! For the amount needed I qualified for free postage (it will have to travel all of about 6 miles!) Still, it keeps the postman in work, I suppose! Given the weather, I will no doubt be ripping open the package and knitting as soon as it arrives! Brrrr!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Progress Report

(some of you might recognise my @Librarymaid  'Twitter' icon!)

I know I've been neglecting things here - holidays and a family bereavement are my excuse.

Anyway - progress report on the blankets - both of the large 'charity' blankets have been completed.

Alas, probably too late in the season for them to be sold at this summer's music festivals (even assuming that what passes for summer improves!) - but I can maybe sell them on eBay and donate whatever they fetch.

The remaindered yarn from these two projects was going to be used on a crocheted 'ripple' blanket - but instead I've decided I wanted something smaller to carry around so they're being made up up into 'granny' squares.

Our holiday in Ayr afforded us a trip to the New Lanark Heritage Centre - an 18th Century cotton mill that has been preserved and tours explain the process of spinning and how the whole enterprise created employment and accommodation for the surrounding populace (click the link to learn more).
They now also produce their own yarn so I splurged and bought some cotton/silk mix - not sure yet what I will create with it!

Another purchase, from a different source, was this 'bobbly' wool! I've often toyed with the idea of making something with this, so I bought a multicoloured ball with the idea of making a cushion cover.
This test swatch shows the effect - but the technique of knitting between the bobbles will take some getting used to!

Having helped a (fairly) novice knitter by un-picking several rows of cable on a cardigan she was knitting for her daughter, earlier in the week, I've realised how long it's been since I knitted an actual 'garment'! I have an unfinished lace jacket in a bag somewhere that's crying out for attention, but I need some 'mindless' knitting for in front of the TV. After all, the (dreaded) Olympics will be upon us soon and I need a project to keep my hands busy whilst occupied with 'alternative' viewing - my daughter has declared her house an 'Olympic-free' zone, so we are planning to work our way through 'Band of Brothers' (an almost annual event), possibly followed by Downton Abbey (both series!).

I suppose it'll be another blanket, then.......!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

All things bright and beautiful....go well with coffee!

Being somewhat disenchanted with one of my other hobbies/blogs (writing....don't get me started!) I thought I'd invest more time in this blog instead! I've a few updates with the on-going projects - more on that later - but first, a bit of indulgence! Well, it is Saturday! ;-)

This morning, daughter and I took a wee ride across the county border (all of about a mile from home!) and visited The Garden Barn for coffee, cake and inspiration.

I've driven past this on many occasions but today was my first visit - and what a treat it was!

So many lovely things to look at - both inside and out!

I think this part was a former milking parlour!

And who wouldn't want to enjoy their morning coffee sitting here.....

.....looking out on this!

Project update:

The red blanket is nearing completion:

 - although I won't get it done before we go on holiday next week, which is a bit of a bummer because I wanted to use the remaindered wool from that and the green blanket to do some crochet granny-squares and that would have been small and easily transported!

Instead, I've picked up something I started a while ago that really needs some attention:

The blue wave wrap is at the half-way stage, and as it's a simple 6-row repeat (4 of which are just plain garter stitch!) it'll be easy enough to take about with me!

The cream lace shawl is still in it's infancy -
 - not even halfway along the border yet! Far too intense and fiddly to cope with distractions, this will have to wait for times of uninterrupted calm and quietness, as I count the rows!

In the meantime, I've also been experimenting:

These coasters were crafted from some soft string! I'm thinking of trying them out in dishcloth-cotton - they'd be easy to wash!

So - plenty to keep me going, as you can see! ;-)

Thursday, 7 June 2012


I'm ploughing my way through the pink charity blanket - mindless knitting for in front of the TV but I needed another challenge. I spotted the crocheted 'ripple' on Roo Knits blog - and she kindly pointed me in the direction of Lucy at Attic24 - wherein she descibes( in very easy instructions!) how to achieve this ripple effect!

Needless to say, I couldn't wait to have a go - here my test 'sampler :

This was using the leftovers from the green charity blanket - I might use up the remnants from the pink one when that's finished......!

........and onto further distractions! I happened to rest my gaze upon one of my stash boxes this morning and noticed some cream 3ply I bought ages ago with a vague idea of knitting something fine.

On Ravelry I found this - called 'My Heaven', by Patusha.

So, I've started the outer lace edge.......followed the instructions to the letter and after pinning it out to see, I think it matches the original (although that was in blue and seems a much finer yarn, even though the pattern says 3ply......!)

No doubt there will be many more 'distractions' along the way.......!

Friday, 11 May 2012

WIP Progress - all nicely wrapped up!

I finally (FINALLY!) finished the green chequered charity/festival blanket!

I have to say, these mitred squares are great for having something to knit while watching TV and because you pick up stitches for each new square there are no seams to sew up; plus I wove in the ends as I went so it wasn't too annoying to neaten up when finished!

I've already started another, in shades of pink:

You can see I was knitting in the car as we drove home from holiday last week!

The plan is to offer them to OXFAM - they sell them at music/arts festivals to raise money for their relief projects worldwide.

At the moment, life is hectic enough without going back to the lace knitting I was doing - the Summer cardigan WILL be finished (but not necessarily for THIS summer! )

Meanwhile - back to the blanket...... ;-)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

In your dreams.....

If I won the lottery, I'd.......      How many day-dreams begin like that?

Well, my personal day-dream involves sheep - no, not counting them!

I'm fascinated by the whole cycle of 'growing' yarn (fleeces), 'harvesting' it (shearing), 'processing' it, (spinning) and finally 'utilising' it (knitting)! My daughter and I have this dream that would involve a small-holding and some rare-breeds sheep and producing some quality yarn.

Sounds fine in theory, but in practice I'm sure it wouldn't be that easy. After all, you need capital, first, to purchase land/stock. Then there will inevitably be vet's bills and shearing costs. On top of that, it would be necessary to learn the skills of spinning and all the other processes to turn dirty raw fleece into a usable product. Then comes marketing and advertising.....

Still, it would be nice to have a go - if we had the money!

Then again, we'd like to have a bookshop. Alas, with the mighty online stores threatening the income of established booksellers what chance would we have? Quaint little bookstores are disappearing fast enough as it is!


We often look at empty shops and imagine a combined venture of wool AND books. We even have the name ready - 'RIPPING YARNS'!

Oh well, when the oil runs out and society is plunged into the dark ages of no electricity and the internet dies, people will be seeking out those with the simple skills to create things from scratch - maybe a spinning course would come in useful then after all!
Testin, testing - playing with the new blogger interface and trying to work out how to do everything!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

WIP catch-up!

Finally completed the 'squares' blanket! Well, it's sort of finished - may add a border later.....

Loving the ease of construction with this mitred-square technique, so I'm well under way with a charity blanket in shades of green:

Also, on the second attempt with the lace jacket in 4ply - I aborted the first one in favour of a simpler plain long waistcoat. However, that turned out way too big - after I realised I'd been following the wrong size instructions! So, it's back to plan 'A' and it seems to be working out much better, although I have to concentrate too much to allow watching TV or other distractions.

....and while I'm here, this is how my 'New England' blanket turned out! (not sure if I ever got around to showing it off....!)