Knitting, spinning and exercise

That’s the program for the next 4 weeks for me. If you follow my blog you will know that I have a bad back and that I’m currently in hospital for a 4 week program for my back. So I arrived Sunday July 24th and I’ll stay until Saturday August 20th. Today was the first “real” day with lots of workout, more than I have done in years and years. I think I’ll probably fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow this evening. This program is to help us better understand our body and especially our back. To learn how to move and do things to best preserve our spine, to possibly find new drugs that work better than what I’m currently taking, to talk to others in the same situation and just generally to feel understood and not alone. Having a bad back is an invisible decease and while one may feel good and be able to do everything one day, that does not exclude us from having a horrible day the following day and not being able to accomplish half of what we normally do. And its not because we are lazy, its because we suffer even if it does not show on the outside.

It really feels good to be able to talk to people who have similar problems and feel understood and I have high hopes for all the exercise and just basically everything that I will do here for the next 4 weeks. But this is not a “bad back” blog and you may not be interested in the least in my troubles so lets talk some knitting:)

On my drive here, I finished a pair of socks that had been on my needles for quite a while. It was a pair of Cobblestone Socks by Mina Philipp- part of her Beyond Vanilla socks 1 collection. I knit those using yarn from a German indie dyer I found on Etsy some while ago. I really like the colours but the yarn is quite coarse to the touch but that should be ok and probably means sturdier socks. It’s just not quite as enjoyable to knit with. So here are some pictures.

The second picture shows you a close up of the patterning. It’s a simple knit and purl patterning that is only done on the front of the socks. It’s easy to memorise and I like the results so I’ll probably use this pattern in the future for some more socks.

I’m continuing my work on the Pinwheel blanket which is also by Mina Philipp. That is a very simple pattern for a scrap yarn blanket. I rather like this pattern because each square is quite big so I imagine that the blanket will feel like a quicker knit compared to the Cozy Memories blanket where you have to knit a gazillion mitred squares. It will take quite some time to complete of course but I like it. So I’m knitting a little bit on this from time to time. Here is a picture from square 3 which I’m currently working on.

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I’m also knitting my second test knit for a designer and this time it is also for a pair of socks. I’m not at liberty to show you a picture yet but I can tell you that this is a colourful pattern and it has an unusual construction based almost entirely on short rows. At the moment I’m ready to start the heel on sock 1. I’m planning to work a little on this every day. I have until August 19th to finish and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done way ahead of that deadline.

I also cast on and began knitting my Risen cardigan by Melanie Berg. I dyed the yarn for that myself and I was determined to do a swatch and block and everything like any serious knitter does……but…..somehow I never got around to it before leaving for the hospital and yesterday I could have done a swatch and just washed and laid it out flat to dry somewhere but…. again I’m not a serious knitter so rather than do the intelligent thing, I just cast on for the neckband and voila! Last night I finished the first part of the neckband and this evening I’ll get started on the neckline.

I love the look of this cardi. A bit like the Featherweight Cardi I think and I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of this all year round. Here’s a picture of the beginning of the neckband.

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And my last knitting project at the moment is a mini knitting challenge with Françoise of Aroha Knits and it’s the #5shawls5days challenge. Every day for 5 days she sends an email with a pattern for a mini shawl. This is to help us familiarise us with different shawl constructions and maybe one day actually be confident enough to make our very own shawl pattern.  Yesterday was day one and that was a triangular shawl and I knit that using some of my hand dyed SOX yarn and it turned out nicely I think.

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That’s about it I think for my knitting. I did bring some fibre and spindles with me too. I was stressed out about having time on my hands on the evenings and weekend and not enough projects to work on so I took a ton! At the moment I’m spinning a braid from Sweet Georgia Fibres and I’m using my latest spindle purchase which is a type of supported spindle which allows you to use both hands for spinning/drafting where a traditional supported spindle only lets you use one hand. I find using this spindle very enjoyable and easy and so I’m making good progress.

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Thats it for today. Thank you for stopping by and sorry if my health update bothered you. Before I leave I want to include a little slide show to show you the beautiful surroundings where I am now. It’s a town called Granville and apparently Christian Dior lived here part of his life and his house and garden are now a museum that I’ll definitely visit while here. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. I wish you a wonderful week, enjoy your summer and your knitting until next time 🙂

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Baby blankets – I need to make 2!

Hi there, I see in my very near future some change in knitting habits. I will have to change from knitting socks on end and now turn to some baby knitting as 2 precious little ones are soon to show up in my family and friends circle.  And knowing that I NEVER knit just 1 thing I better start in time so that everything is done for the babies births.

Now, one will be a girl (99% certain) the other most likely a boy ( the grandmother dreamt it) so I’m thinking  at least one has to be a “unisex” blanket.

In fact I actually already have a baby blanket on my needles, in my pile of WIP! This is  a blanket I knit using my own yarn and my own design – I decided to knit a fair isle blanket in the round and then steek. I browsed through pattern books and chose a few patterns I liked and off I went. I’m not far from finishing actually so this one should be finished quite soon. Here are some pictures

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the front of my blanket

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the back side and if you look closely you can see the stitches that will later be steeked

www.knittinginfrance.com And here you can see the inside of the blanket which will eventually be the wrong side

So what do you think of the design? This is the first time I do my own baby blanket and I’m rather happy about the outcome. I love working in the round so I absolutely wanted to try doing a blanket this way. My only worry is for the reverse side once finished, will that bother people? But then, when you browse online for blanket patterns not many are fully reversible so I’m guessing this will be just fine. Also the colours are bright and fun so I also feel that this could go both for a girl or  a boy.

But then I also have to find a second pattern, or even a third and a fourth! Yes one of the babies has 2 sisters and I’m thinking they would LOVE to get a blanket of their own just like their little sibling. So I might end up doing 4 total:) If you have a favorite blanket pattern or you have something exquisite on your todo list do share as I’m looking for inspiration at the moment. I’m not fixed on yarn thickness or colours so far so any and all suggestions are welcome 🙂

Here are some ideas I found on Ravelry

yarnspirations pink baby blanketThis is called “A Pink Baby Blanket” and can be found on Ravelry and the Yarnspirations website – free pattern- just click here

There is another pattern from Yarnspirations that I also like a lot and coincidentally it is called Little Boy Blue Blanket

little baby blue blanket – it is also a free download on their website and you can find a link to it on Ravelry or just click here

Then there is the Chevron blanket from Espace Tricot which is also a free pattern on Ravelry

chevron baby blanket from espace tricot You can download this here

 

And on the subject of chevron, I also found this blanket called Lace Chevron Blanket which I find rather nice

lace chevron blanket This pattern can be found here

Then there are two wood inspired blankets, the first is called Babes in The Wood

woods baby blanket and can be found here

And the second one is called Pine Forest Blanket

pine forest blanket and can be found here

And then there is the Owl blanket, when I first saw this on Ravelry I immediately went ahead and bought the pattern. I haven’t knit it yet but maybe now’s the time

owl blanket 1 owl blanket 2 This is a gorgeous pattern and I could do it in 4 colours or more or just in 2, the pattern is here

Then there are 3 a little different blankets, the first one is round and is called a Pinwheel Blanket. I’ve already made a few of those and they are fun and easy to make and you can do so much with such a simple pattern, you can use a solid colour yarn, you can do gradient yarn, you can do stripes etc to give a different outcome. I rather like this version

pinwheel blanket This can be found here

Then there is the Entrelac Baby Blanket – this is an original idea for a baby blanket I think and I believe it could be a great idea. I could use a number of colours and do a rainbow version or I can choose muted, pastel colours or I can do just 2-3 colours and get a striped effect

entrelac baby blanket The pattern is here

And then there is the giant mitred square blanket called Colour Your Own Story, there are lots of baby blankets knit using mitred squares but this is the only one, I found, where the blanket is just one giant mitred square and I find the idea amusing

COLOUR YOUR OWN STORY This pattern is also free on Ravelry and you can click here

If I come clean, I actually have a second blanket on my needles in my WIP pile, but that one is not a baby blanket. It’s a blanket I’m knitting for my older daughter using my hand spun yarn in lots of colours. No actual pattern but mostly moss and seed stitch. Sometimes I forget what I’m doing so it is a rather unconventional blanket but as the yarn is thick it doesn’t show that much. My daughter keeps asking when I’m going to finish it and lately it’s been more “when are you going to work on it again”. I got a little tired of it and then fell into the sock knitting mania but now I really have to get serious and do something about this as she will not be happy seeing me knit all those blankets if hers just stays in the “to continue later” pile. Here are some pictures of that blanket at different stages

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Wow, that’s a lot of blankets! And there’s even more out there so the choice will not be easy but then again if I embark on knitting 4 then it’s just as well I have a lot to choose from as I would not like to make the same all over again and again.

Now which one do you like best? Have you maybe knit one of those and have a picture to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts:)

Thats all for today, take care and happy knitting