Knitted blankets (Charity Knitting)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Meanwhile, back on the needles

Since the half-term activities my needles have been busy, as has the spinning wheel.

A second "special" scarf has been completed and posted. Blocking took some time as the scarf is too long to block in one piece (simply because we do not have a long enough suitable flat surface), and the knitted fabric has to dry completely after being blocked by the cold water spray method before moving on to the next section.

Some six or seven years ago I did some work for a company that produced knitting kits and was asked to make some samples using a different yarn and to check the pattern to incorporate amendments. I was thrilled to be asked after all that time. Done and posted.

The embroidery for Dave's JC sweater is now completed and blocked although I am not happy with it. In retrospect I should have used a thinner yarn for the sweater, with more stitches and rows to 10cm, and therefore achieving  better defined shapes and providing the need for smaller embroidery stitches. The Swiss darning (aka cover stitch or duplicate stitch) looks more or less OK but thickens the knitted fabric, altering the drape. It's the back stitch details that are of greatest concern. I tried embroidering across one stitch and then over only half a stitch and didn't like either. Splitting the yarn of the knitted stitches I liked even less. Perhaps I need more practice. The sweater just needs seaming and the neckband..

I finished the blocking the Purl Alpaca Designs Duchess cardigan (started in 2009/2010) and just need to seam it. Similarly for the cardigan made using the Icelandic Alafoss flos (started 2011/2012). This yarn has knitted up really well. I also knitted a pair of Purl Alpaca Designs Alexis gloves. These are surprisingly warm and easier to use when knitting than conventional fingerless mitts/gloves. I weighed the completed gloves and should have just enough yarn to make a second pair from the ball.

So on to knitting for other people. A feather and fan scarf made using a purple brushed mohair and acrylic mix yarn. Very soft and warm.

I am in the process of making another f&f scarf, this time using a grey-green thinner viscose, cotton and acrylic mix yarn. This one is purposely made on thicker than recommended needles to give a good drape.

On to the stash busting - aka knitted blankets - textured yarns are being made into stocking stitch triangles, which - in my opinion anyway - will better show the texture of the yarns than garter stitch. The same two 10-stitch blankets are still on the go. I really must find the chunky yarn buried in my stash to finish one. The other progresses at knitting clubs because I can chat and be a nuisance to everyone else at the same time as I knit.

The Fusion knitting sessions over part of the Easter school holidays will go ahead. As well as offering the same as last time - for young people to do what they didn't have time to do last time or for newcomers - new ideas are being tried and tested, including a needle knitted rose (which can be used as a brooch or hair decoration), bunting and a birthday or Easter card. Also a knitted chick which will hold a chocolate egg, and pom-pom animals.

The idea of flat knitting the lengths of tubular finger knitting needs refinement, one of the 'cons' being that it takes a long time to make a length of tubular finger knitting, even over only two or three fingers, suitable for it to be itself knitted into something else. Flat knitting over four fingers the four finger tubular knitting produced a thick and stiff fabric which also curled at the sides. Garter stitch finger knitting is possible, producing a flat fabric, but could be too fiddly for some people to persevere.

A project at the spinning Guild requires 6-inch squares made from natural fleece. I have made one square using  commercially spun Teeswater yarn from the fleeces of the Wragby Farm flock. Now spinning raw alpaca fleece from the Abravo Alpaca herd.

Meanwhile I assist Abravo Alpacas with Frances's ideas, and work with someone else on an exciting idea of ours. And I am working on two talks to be given in May, one on finishing (blocking, seaming, &c) and the other on reading a pattern. In addition there are the knitting and craft clubs to attend (which I love) plus attending committee meetings and assisting with publicity through three Facebook Pages and a website. Sometimes I get to work on my own Paulineknit website and Facebook Page as well. However, I do make an effort to spend the evenings with Dave, my husband of almost 25 years.


  1. how can you bear to have so may WIP's Pauline, it would do my head in. Love the gloves, do they just attach round the middle finger? Your purple scarf is pretty too.

  2. Well, Sue, this is the year of my UFOs, so I started (in between making items for other people). Dave's JC sweater, the Flos jacket and the Purl Alpacas Duchess are all seamed and ready to wear. Small items, like the Alexis gloves fit into my time schedule somewhere and are one more thing to cross off the list. My head is so full of ideas of what I want to design that when I come across the yarn I need to get started I do. 'Finished' is another matter, especially when making things for other people and their work comes first, or I need to dig into the stash pile and find the remainder of the yarn. A lot of what I make is not seen in public as I need to maintain client confidentiality. And making samples (tension, stitch pattern, teaching aid, &c) is time consuming. I also keep more than one thing on the go so I can still knit depending on my concentration and tiredness levels. No point in attending a knitting group and not joining in the natter as a complex stitch pattern takes up all concentration. Hope this helps to explain.


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