Monday, 28 January 2013

Rippling...over hill and dale!

I vowed not to start another project until one of my current WIPs was finished - but I cheated! True, the grey waistcoat was off the needles (but not seamed!) so, I couldn't wait any longer and had to start a 'ripple' blanket! (actually I blame all those fellow Twitter-ers who were talking about their progress with rippling ;-p)

Anyway, I started off, armed with a bag of leftovers from my stash pile, following the excellent (idiot-proof!) instructions given by Lucy at 'Attic 24' . I must admit, getting the first row was tricky - it took me three attempts before I was moderately happy with it, and I'm hopping that the remaining slight tightness on that first row will improve with blocking. However, as a 'go-to-as-and-when' project to use up scraps I'm rather pleased with it already. Instead of planning the colours beforehand, I'm letting the blanket surprise me - all my wool is in a black bag, so when I need to start a new colour I just blindly reach in and use whatever I pull out

What do you think so far?'

I love the way the increases and decreases create the ripples, like running over 'hill and dale'!

The grey waiscoat has not been pushed to one side and forgotten, though; I've seamed it, sewn the pockets in place and attached the button band (the worst part - I hate doing that!) - just needs a finally steam and a set of buttons:

The BIG blanket is nearing completion:

Just so you can see what's left to do, here's the 'plan' I drew out; (the tip of the needle shows progress to date):

Of course, there will be loads of ends to sort out, but I've been weaving them in as I go, so they'll just need snipping off. I'm undecided whether to crochet all around the outer edges to finish off....? I can generally knit about 3 blocks an hour (usually when I'm watching TV, so it rather depends on how intricate the plot...!) so I still have a way to go yet - but I'm getting there!

BTW - thank you to all the lovely people who've stopped by on the ''Grow Your Blog' blog-hop and left comments :-) - so many lovely blogs to go and investigate.....I'm getting there!

Saturday, 19 January 2013


Today marks the 'Grow Your Blog' party, organised by Vicki at  '2 Bags Full' so, as per her suggestion - 

'Welcome to my blog!'

 (and if any of you are new here then I hope you find plenty to interest or amuse you!)

Perhaps I'd better explain my blog's title (no, I do not go around stabbing people with my knitting needles or garrotting them with yarn!). One of my other blogs 'I Refuse To Go Quietly!' is where I tend to put my fiction works, amongst other items. The name 'The Knitting Assassin!' was bestowed upon me by a writing buddy there because I have, on occasion, written crime flash-fiction with knitting as part of the story. (try 'Stitch'n'bitch' for example)

Anyway, aside from writing I DO love to knit. (keeping my hands busy gives me time to mind-plot stories, too!) I've been knitting since I was a small child but in the last few years I've really been doing what I term 'chain-knitting' - constantly having projects on the go! Since I recently took early retirement from my job in the local town library, I now have more time to indulge my passions, both literary and yarnwise.

Sadly, although I live in a medium-sized town  in the heart of the UK, we have very few outlets for yarn! Most of it is very basic - to purchase more 'interesting' stuff requires a trip to village nearby (and even then there's only a limited range) so I usually trek over to the nearest city where I can at least have more choice!

We are also close to Toft Alpaca farm  - fun to drive along the country roads and spot the Alpacas grazing away, converting grass into woolly yarn!

I like to think I'm a fairly frugal knitter - I really can't afford expensive yarns, so I will usually substitute yarn if I can. Like for this 'Tilt' jacket:
The original pattern required Noro, but would have cost me about £120 to knit - so I substituted a similar but cheaper yarn and it came in at about £35! (and it's a really lovely soft and snuggly jacket!)

Over the years I've knitted all manner of things (including adapting a pattern for baby bootees to resemble a pair of 'baby' Doc Marten boots, for a 'goth' friend's new baby!) - if you trawl through my blog you'll find some of my later projects (and a few pictures, below).

I've recently started investigating how to design my own patterns and I'm always on the look-out for new ideas. I discovered it is possible to 'hybridise' quilting and knitting and found a blog/website with turtorials on how to achieve a knitted 'log cabin' quilt - so of course I had to have a go at that! (see the pink and green 'block' in the pictures below)

Continuing with 'hybridising', I would like to try achieving this lattice smocking:

 - but using yarn.......! I expect it's already been done (there is nothing new under the sun!) but I think it could make an interesting knitted fabric, all the same!

Of course, I also love spending time looking at what other knitters and 'yarn engineers' get up to and some of my favourites are on the blog-roll on the left of this page - try them out for size if you have time!

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by - please leave a comment (and a link back to your blog!) so I can return the compliment. Remember - we're all in this together! ;-)


(pics from some of my previous projects.....details are scattered though my blog!)

                      (.....and when I'm not knitting....!)

Friday, 4 January 2013

A New Year - a new project (or three.....!)

I decided to rummage through some of my old knitting patterns over the Christmas holidays and found one that bears a dual pricing note, (both £sd and 'new' decimal currency), thus dating it to the early 1970's!

I fancied a simple long waistcoat so this morning, when DD and I went to our nearest wool shop, in the quaint village of Dunchurch, with it's lovely thatched cottages, I bought some simple grey DK yarn.

This is Dunchurch - gorgeous, isn't it!

A visit to the library, a little later, meant I came home with a pile of knitting books and a new list of projects to attempt!

I particularly like a number of designs from this one:

......and have already earmarked this for a future project:

Meanwhile, I'm still adding to the patchwork bedspread (although I need to order a few more balls of yarn to complete it) and I'm battling with a navy blue 4ply sweater for my husband (just basic stocking stitch, boringly simple but great for doing while I'm watching TV!) 

I also dug out another project that was on 'hold' - a cream lace shawl - and added a few inches to the outside border:

I've just passed the midway point on this edging, so it will be a while until I get to the end, let alone pick up the stitches and knit the main part of the shawl! (I could be in my dotage before it's finished!)