Knitted blankets (Charity Knitting)

Sunday, 27 August 2017

From the archive - Purple baby hats

I made these two hats after seeing an appeal for purple hats for newborn babies to wear to remind parents that babies cry ~ sometimes for hours ~ known as the Period of Purple Crying. More information can be found on the link  The acronym PURPLE is used to describe specific characteristics of a baby's crying.

The hats were made following a longstanding favourite pattern using Knitting Essentials double knitting yarn, 98% acrylic, 2% metallic yarn, colour purple sparkle. The metallic thread is soft, not scratchy. 

The hats were to be donated to the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario, Canada. 

Other commitments at the time prevented me from making more than two. By the time I remembered to post them I had missed the deadline of 31st October 2015.  I put them away to resurrect in 2016 but by then had forgotten all about them. 

Earlier this year the hats reappeared when I was looking for something else. My online research found this link which gives the 2017 deadline as 30th September. There is also a link to free knitted hat patterns. With the knitting projects I am currently working on I hope that I will have time to make more purple hats and post them all to reach Canada in time. 

The address to send finished hats is London Health Sciences Centre, Victoria Hospital, 800 Commissioners Road East, Room E1-129. London, Ontario, N6A 5W9, Canada. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Joseph Jumpers #1, #2 and #3

Many years ago a longstanding friend gave me some oddments of chunky yarn. I kept them with my stash until I saw a knitting pal's sweater made using chunky yarn. I liked the simple design and decided to make a jumper using the same pattern. I feel the cold terribly and thought a jumper made using chunky yarn would fit the bill. 

There wasn't enough yarn of one colour to make anything overly stylish. I decided against stripes but opted for blocks of colour. Thus was born Joseph Jumper #1, completed in early 2011.

Joseph Jumper #1 front

The design is easy. Any suitable commercial pattern for a jumper can be used. Any alteration to the pattern is just to make sure that there is an even number of stitches on the needle, including the front neck, back neck and sleeve tops.

Then work the first half of the stitch count using one colour and the second half of the stitch count using another colour, joining the different colour yarns where they meet across the row using the intarsia method. Change colours as desired.

For Joseph Jumper #1 I tried to match the colour sequence on the front, back and sleeves as best I could.

Joseph Jumper #1 back

Joseph Jumper #1 left sleeve

Joseph Jumper #1 right sleeve

Unfortunately for me there came a time when I made a mistake when laundering the garment causing it to stretch. One of the yarns was a natural fibre, even though it didn't feel like one, which didn't take kindly to machine washing or tumble drying. This yarn shrank and felted. None of the oddments had ball bands. 

The jumper is now worn by my husband who, I must add, gets good use of it. 

Joseph Jumper #1 February 2017
This style of jumper can make a colourful addition to a child's wardrobe ~ and use up some part-balls of yarn in your stash. Matching the colour sequences for the front, back and sleeves is not compulsory!

My husband wore the jumper to one of the knitting groups I attend and I was asked to make two more, this time using double knitting yarn

Joseph Jumper #2 was to be passed on as a gift. Shades of blue were requested. As before I tried to match the blocks of colour on the front, back and sleeves. It was completed in August 2015. 

Joseph Jumper #2 front

Joseph Jumper #2 front and left sleeve

Joseph Jumper #2 left sleeve

Joseph Jumper #2 right sleeve and front

Joseph Jumper #2 was well received by the person who ordered it and, as far as I know, by the gentleman who received it. Blue being my favourite colour I decided to make one for myself but have not got around to it yet. There is a big bagful of blue double knitting yarns sitting there waiting.

Joseph Jumper #3 was requested in shades of pink. I had made a jumper for this lady previously and had some yellow, burgundy and brown left over. These colours were used as well as the pinks which would otherwise have been overpowering. Again I tried to match the blocks of colour on the front, back and sleeves. This was eventually completed in April 2017. 

A problem with this jumper was trying to find different shades of pink. There were plenty of pink yarns available but all the pinks from one manufacturer were the same ~ or almost the same ~ pinks offered by all the other manufacturers. The recipient was pleased with the result. 

Joseph Jumper #3 front

Joseph Jumper #3 back and right sleeve

Joseph Jumper #3 back

Joseph Jumper #3 right sleeve and front

Joseph Jumper #3 left sleeve

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Poodle scarf

A year or more ago one of my knitting pals was selling balls (or what some people would call skeins) of Stylecraft Poodle scarf knitting yarn (now discontinued) with the money raised going to a Good Cause. Which one I cannot remember but most likely for Shoeboxes (Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child). I bought a ball of shade 1720 Lavender (which I shall describe as light blue and dark blue) and another of 1719 Peony (which I shall describe as red and black).

The yarn content is 74% acrylic, 16% polyester and 10% mohair. The yarn was worked on 5mm needles, the Lavender over 4 stitches and the Peony over 5 stitches.

The Lavender scarf, which I made for myself, is warm, comfortable and cosy to wear. The Lavender scarf is shorter than it should have been because part of the yarn was faulty. 

The recently finished Peony scarf was made to give to a Good Cause, which is the craft stall my knitting pal Sally will be running to raise money for Over Day Centre, Cambridgeshire. 

Monday, 10 July 2017

Jean's crochet blanket and hand knitted gardening gloves

Jean is a longstanding friend who happens to like knitting and crochet. She recently gave me pair of hand knitted gardening gloves to pass on to a Good Cause. With Jean's agreement, there was no hesitation in handing them to my knitting pal Sally for her craft stall which is raising money for Over Day Centre in Cambridgeshire.  

Jean then gave me a sizeable and beautiful crochet blanket to pass on to Over Day Centre. In what I think is a wonderful testament to Jean's work, the blanket is to be auctioned and the money raised going to the Centre. The photograph does not give the blanket justice. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Innocent smoothie hats 2017

Every year Age UK and innocent drinks get together for the Big Knit.

Knitters are requested to knit hats for innocent smoothie bottles. For every bottle sold with a knitted hat 25p goes to Age UK. The money helps older people to stay warm and well during the winter. This year the organisers are hoping to receive two million hats.

The hats can be basic or considerably more advanced. With a backlog of projects to be completed, my meagre contribution was ten simple hats which were delivered to the Age UK charity shop in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, in June 2017.

Double knitting yarn using the Beginner hat pattern on the Big Knit website but worked in the round on 4mm double pointed needles. The eight colourful hats were made using a part-ball of unbranded variegated double knitting yarn bought from a local charity shop ~ Huntingdonshire Society for the Blind ~ for the purpose. The two white hats were made using a painted double knitting yarn from my stash. Pom poms were made from yarn in my stash. 

I had bought another part-used ball of variegated yarn from the same charity shop to make more hats but foolishly left it behind after paying for it. I have the yarn now and will use it for my 2018 contribution to innocent smoothie hats. 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Following the terrorist attack in Manchester on 22nd May 2017, an appeal went out for hand made hearts for distribution to the people of the city. The Facebook Group #AHEART4MCR, inspired by Beth Clarke, was set up and thousands of hearts were sent. My ten hearts were posted on Friday 2nd June.

The pattern is Hearts by Amanda Berry.

Since Manchester there has been a terrorist attack in London ~ London Bridge and Borough Market ~ at the beginning of June. Hearts were requested by the Facebook Group #AHEART4LDN.

And now the #AHEART4ALL Facebook Group, inspired by Anna Pratt, encourages crafters to make hearts for distribution to specific locations in the UK. 

Monday, 26 June 2017

Balaclava #3

Following on from the two balaclavas and face mask completed in April, I thought it would be a nice gesture to make another balaclava to give to someone I know ~ who works tirelessly for her local community ~ who will be trekking across Iceland with two friends. The Mums Trek Iceland journey starts on 28th June 2017.

The intention is to raise money for Huntingdonshire Society for the Blind, East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), Bloodwise and Willow Foundation. So far the three ladies have raised over £10,000. 

This balaclava was worked using the same pattern as before ~ Trav's Balaclava by Jacki Kelly, a free ravelry download ~ using King Cole anti-tickle merino blend DK, 100% wool, colour black. 


Sunday, 16 April 2017

Mask and balaclavas #1 and #2

I was asked to make a balaclava for a friend who rides an invalid trolley and found the cold wind too much for her face. I was able to find a suitable pattern called Trav's Balaclava, a free download on ravelry. The balaclava is worked in the round.

A pale grey acrylic yarn was chosen, Stylecraft Special DK, shade 1099 Grey. 

By pulling the balaclava over the head, with the head passing
through the gap for the eyes, it can be
 transformed into a neckwarmer/cowl. 

Another friend asked if I could make her a mask to protect her face for when she was riding her bike. The instructions for the balaclava were followed up until the start of the eye opening when all the stitches were cast off. The yarn was supplied by my friend. Knitting essentials DK, shade 991-30, Black Sparkle. 

The same friend then requested a black balaclava made in the same yarn as the mask and following the same pattern as for the grey one. 

Both friends said that they were pleased with their winter warmers. 

Easter chick cosies for chocolate creme eggs 2017

Two of my knitting pals decided to organise an Easter Bazaar on 1st April 2017 to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK while BRoW4 (Bike Run or Walk 4), a group I support which raises money for charities that do not receive government or lottery funding, would be running fundraising stalls in the run up to and over the Easter weekend.

My hand knitted contributions were one dozen (12)  chick cosies for chocolate creme eggs for each project. The hand knitted nest was not part of the deal.

Two dozen had knitted cosies for chocolate creme eggs.

The pattern was © Chloe Blunn Designs 2012, a free download from ravelry.

The knitted shape.

Embroider the eyes.

Add the beak.

For the beak I deviated from the pattern by adding a knitted beak instead of a felt beak.

Make two pieces.
Leaving a 10cm (4 inches) tail, using a contrast coloured yarn cast on three stitches.
Cast off these three stitches. There are no rows worked in between the cast on and the cast off.
Cut yarn leaving a 10cm (4 inches) tail.
I found the beak worked best with the cast off edge uppermost for both pieces of the beak.

Gather the stitches at the top of the head.

Join the seam, leaving the cast on edges open.

Ready for the creme egg.

Egg inserted into the cosy.

Two dozen (24) cosies.

One dozen cosies for the Easter Bazaar to raise funds for Alzheimer's Research UK.

One dozen cosies for BRoW4 (Bike Run or Walk 4)

Left cosy without an egg, right cosy with an egg.

This cosy with creme egg especially for my husband.