I have been knitting this blanket it feels like for for 100 years. Ever since we started trying for a baby I knew that when we were pregnant I wanted to make an heirloom item in the form of a blanket for the baby. Something personal that I can bring the baby home in from the hospital and the baby can keep. So when we discovered this baby was going to stay I hunted down a pattern.
I saw this on Love Knitting and it was perfect for this project. I wanted to do something with rabbits as my husbands family are slightly obsessed with rabbits due to their Grandfather, who is a big influence on my husband, being a very successful rabbit farmer. The family collect rabbit items like ornaments and things and I’ve started doing it too. Its like our spirit animal so I wanted to link that in.
The pattern was designed by Suzanne Strachan and is called The Four Bunnies. It is a blanket knitted in knit and purl with embossed rabbits in 4 different positions. For the pattern she used Rowan Baby Merino Silk in a grey. I chose a beautiful pale green colour callef ‘Little Duck Egg’ by Sublime in Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. I know it’s different to the pattern but I found this in my local shop and I just loved it. According to the Sublime website the yarns in this type are designed for babies as they are ‘reassuringly delicate, soft and smooth yarn’ in the ‘gentlest natural blend next to baby’s skin’. I loved the gorgeous green colour and the feel of the yarn.
The pattern itself is pretty simple it is a garter stitch edge with the embossed rabbits made by purling on the knit side following a guide. The instructions however were not clear to me. I couldn’t figure out how to emboss the bunnies at first and it took my knitting extraordinaire Mother-in-law to take a look at the pattern and discover the key on the very last page. It just shows you what an extra pair of eyes can do to help a project. She also gave me some 4mm circle kneedles on a loop which made it a lot easier as it is a lot of stitches! It can be a difficult pattern if you are not concentrating as you must follow the guide at all times to get the bunny shape but once I was in a rhythm it became a lot easier. I have been knitting this bunny Blanket all over the place taking it with me. To my Mums house, out to the garden and in the car on longer journeys I’ve been trying to squeeze rows in here and there. I finally finished the main blanket whilst we were on our Babymoon in Wales.
This is the final finished main blanket. You can see the four bunnies; successfully embossed and I’m really happy with it. It’s just what I wanted.
To finish the blanket the pattern has images on how to overstitch the bunny tails to make them stand out so I tried this and failed at it. I can’t follow diagrams I need written instructions or to be actually shown. So I watched some YouTube on Duplicate stitch and did this over the tails instead. As it’s a different stitch it made them stand out more so I am happy with it. My final touch was to use duplicate stitch further in the corner of one of the bunnies and put in our baby’s initials. We have already chosen his name and had it ready for so long before he was even conceived. This really made the blanket special for me. I’m 24 and a half weeks when writing this and I’m really pleased I could knit something like this for him to keep we will use this blanket to bring him home from the hospital and its just really special.
One thing I love at this time of year is hats. bobble hats in particular. I feel like every year I am on the hunt for the perfect bobble hat knitting pattern. As a knitted I am loathed to spend any money on pre made hats and scarfs as I can make similar versions to the ones in the shops.
Using a new book in my collection ‘Big Needle Knits’ by Melanie Porter I mastered a linen stitch hat. Linen stitch is when you weave two colours together by knitting alternate stitches over the rows. it’s very hypnotic as the colours weave together and with it being a big needle knit (I knitted it on 10mm) it knitted up in no time. I used a wintery wine colour and a grey marl to mix the colours but you could use anything.
My husband was very jealous so I knitted him one as well in blue and grey so we are now one of those couples with matching hats. I wish I’d done a few more rounds on his hat as although the pattern says one size for all….it’s not. With linen stitch because it’s two yarns weaved together it makes a really warm weave which is a perfect bobble hat.
I loved the wine red colour so much I also made a hugh chunky rib scarf as well to match so we look pretty swish at the moment.
I have had a but of a knitting slump recently. It’s sad because knitting is my favourite thing to do but there has been so much going on and I’ve been planning so many other exciting things knitting has got pushed to one side and I had no inspiration at all. So I decided to instead of staring at the knitting chest I lovingly organised two months ago to pick up the needles and just go for it and see what happens.
On a whim I bought myself a rainbow marble yarn from a local shop in colours that would suit my house. Then using my favourite 4mm metal needles I started casting on moss stitch because it’s one of my fave stitches and just because I can.
Eventually I took it a bit more seriously and I have made a rather large and rather colourful draft excluder for the living room. I know it’s warming up now and it won’t be drafty anymore but the old excluder was a toy cat and it had had its day.
To make the excluder I just knitted in moss in rainbow wool till it was slightly longer than the door. I ripped open the old excluder to reuse the stuffing and the grit it had to make it heavy and the decorate it I made tassels for the corners. It’s a bit square and a bit long and very squashy but it does the job and looks very lovely.
Yes it’s a bit of a boring knit but starting to knit this suddenly filled my head with inspiration again and I was able to plan my next project and get excited about crafting and get out of my knitting slump. So thanks rainbow excluder as boring and squashy as you are you brought me back and my next project is already cast on!
I have been having a really tough time the last couple of weeks. It’s been hard to sleep and hard to not dwell on aspects of it. So I turned to knitting as a way to bring myself out of it. It’s worked in the past as I first learned to knit when I was at a low point in my life and was unemployed so I gave it a go. I think that knitting gives you some control over what you are making, it distracts your mind for a few hours and gives you pleasure to see the final object come to life and let’s you be creative.
I was struggling to find a pattern to follow that I could concentrate on so I went to the shop and bought ‘Simply Knitting Magazine’. If you have read my past posts you would see that I read this a lot as it has some great patterns and articles in it. This time it had an Alan Dart pattern for Monsieur Bernard which was perfect to get my mind off everything. I love Alan Dart patterns as although they are fiddly sometimes you always learn something new and he designs brilliant toys with lots of character.
The magazine had a free kit with it with all the yarn you needed and the pattern was easy to follow and I completed it under a week even with everything going on around me.
I have to admit I did run out of yarn at the end and had to fashion ears out of the head with pleats but I am really pleased with the finished bear. I also sewed some buttons onto his chest to add a bit of colour. My husband loves the bear and wants to take it with him to work to sit on his desk. So Monsieur Bernard is on his travels as a mascot. Hopefully he will bring luck as he has brought peace of mind and purpose to me.
This pattern Inspired me to get down to my local wonderland ‘Wooly Knits’ and I have finally bought myself one of their patterns and the wool to go with it and I hopefully will learn to knit on circular needles and cable for the first time. So thankyou knitting for getting me back to where I was and putting me back on the right path.
I love Easter. Not just the automatic four days off but the whole shebang. Its tge start of Spring for me and you can see the weather changing and the flowers coming out again. I also love the chocolate, the hot cross buns and the big family meal we have on Easter Sunday. My other favourite is the decorations. I think it has just started becoming a popular thing to do and I love the egg, rabbits and chicks that suddenly flood the shops.
Last year I knitted bunny egg cosies for all my friends and I really liked it but due to us moving house my decorations were left in the boxes. This year although I am moving again I’ve got my Easter Tree out and I came across a really cute pattern for knitted Easter Eggs.
I raided my drawer of yarn and got all the pastel and spring colours out and knitted some eggs. The pattern had striped eggs and also gingham. I knitted two of each of the patterned, two plain and then used some self patterning yarn for two more to make it interesting. I then bought some ribbon and sewed loops onto them and hung them on my lovely Easter Tree.
My Easter Tree
They were so easy to do I did most of them in one day. If you didn’t want to hang them you could put them all in a bowl as a decoration or dot them around the house.
Whilst I was out yesterday I added to my Easter decorations with this beautiful little cut out bunny by Gisela Graham. Couldn’t resist it and can’t resist showing you on here.
Gisela Graham Easter Bunny
Happy Knitted Easter!
My In-Laws live in a small town in Shropshire called Bishops Castle. It’s really lovely because its very remote and in the countryside so we love going to visit as it feels like a holiday. It is also a crafters paradise. My Mother-in-Law retired recently and does quilting, knitting, jam making and even more recently samba drumming (not as quaint). So we went up this weekend for a visit as the Art Festival has been on. Five days of literature, crafts, art and music. This morning I tried my hand at lino block printing which I wasn’t amazing at but was very fun and messy and you can get some amazing colour concoctions. Even my husband enjoyed it.
This afternoon I went to a Knit Bomb Group. I have always been a bit of a loner when it comes to knitting and do a lot of it in the evenings. So I wasn’t too sure about going to a group of other knitters but it was really lovely to be surrounded by women of all ages who all share a love of knitting.
I have seen the yarn bombing around Bishops Castle and as well an allotment and garden scene in the book shop window, they are adding to it with pom poms, tiny bobble hats and knitted hangings.So I knitted some strips to add to it and learnt how to make pom poms on a pom pom maker which is amazingly easy and addictive. I really enjoyed it and it inspired me to think about maybe starting a group of my own in my local town. The only issue is I work such long hours it would have to be an evening but if it did work it would be a great thing and a way to meet like minded knitters and share tips, stories and biscuits! I was quite jealous that my Mother-in-Law can go along to this group on a Thursday evening in one of the many lovely pubs in town so I need to get going with this idea!
See here a link to Bishops Castles yarn bombing: http:// http://www.jollypages.co.uk/castlenews/yarn-bombing-gallery/
well it has been a long time since we last spoke. I have been very busily knitting away, but unfortunately I can’t show you anything as it is for the dreaded Christmas List! I love Christmas I do, I really do, I also really love knitting for Christmas but this year I am finding it hard to get the time to get everything I wanted to do ready in time. I always start out with the best intentions and go through books and magazines to find the patterns I really need to knit in time for Christmas. But somehow this year’s list has got longer and longer that in a moment of stress I had to start a journal to keep everything together and also the perfectionist organiser in me did like the feel of a tick list. I have however managed to get something done recently which has been annoying me for months!
I bought this beautiful scarlet Scarf yarn ages and ages and ages ago, I tried to knit with it and try as I might it kept defeating me, falling off the needles and generally making a mess so I put it away and forgot about it for a while. Then all of a sudden when I was ‘organising’ the wool stash it came to light again. I don’t know what it was about it that I did find so difficult?
It is a scarf yarn and they are very popular at the moment and every Wool and craft shop seem to have a few skeins of it in stock. It is wool that is weaved, some very clever way, into a honeycomb from tiny threads and is dyed in a rainbow of colours with different textures and accessories such as pom-poms and sequins even. The type I bought the many moons ago was a variant red, going from pink, red, orange and brown and I bought a 100 grams of it. Once you have figured it out it is a bit of a no brainer as there isn’t much technical skill involved and it makes a lovely quick project with a great end result. I turned to my source of You Tube and found some lovely videos on Scarf Yarn, and basically what you do is you spread out the wool in your hand to spread out the honeycomb and then the with the top of the yarn, which I took to be the ribboned edge, you weave your needles through the honeycomb until you get 4-5 loops on your needle. Then to knit with it, the rest of the skein sits on your right, and you use your other needle to move the loop on your needle through the rest of the skein folding it round and it somehow miraculously connects. I’m sure I have made it sound more complicated then it needs to be and there are so many videos on You Tube that will show you how to do it, with knitting I am such a visual learner and it always takes me a few goes.
The finished effect is a frilly scarf with lots of layers, I have made mine quite thin and long so you can get a lot of loops around your neck on it. After the fuss I had made when I first bought it and sulkily ignored it when I couldn’t do it, I enjoyed making it as a simple thing and would buy more in the future as they would easily make quick Christmas presents and even decorations for friends and family.
Me in my scarlet Red Scarf in Brussels
I hope you like the finished scarf as I really do, and it did cross my mind for a second to give it away as a present but I have decided to keep it as my scarlet winter staple this year. Moral of the story don’t give up on your yarn every project is better finished!