Tag Archives: granny square

First FO of the year

First of all, Happy New Year to all of us! May this year bring us lots of happy crafting time!
I’m starting to get back to normal and I realized that there’s not much to show. What was I doing all those days? There was absolutely no knitting going on during the holidays, which is strange to me. I did managed to finish the crochet blanket, making it the first FO of the year:

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It measures 165 x 165 cm, and even thought most blankets are approximately this size or bigger, the first reaction of people around me was “It’s HUGE!”. Well it has to be big, otherwise it wouldn’t be very useful, right? Here’s one more pic with me on it:

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It’s made of cotton, so it’s heavier than one would guess. I haven’t measured it yet, but it surely weights more than 2 kg. This doesn’t bothers me, I don’t mind my blankets being heavy. What’s nice and cozy for me, others would describe as suffocating. Other benefit of using cotton is that it’s machine washable. Now I can’t wait the summer, to start using my new blanket.
As you can see, basically it’s an over sized granny square. So there’s very few skills required to make it, but you will need a lot of patience. One one hand, technically it can’t get any easier than this, and once you are done, you are done. On the other hand, this is not a project that will entertain you, that’s for sure, and managing it as it grows can be challenging. In my experience, the biggest challenge is not loosing the motivation. Handling a huge and heavy wip was easy for me; I either used it to cover my legs while sitting on a sofa or put it on a small coffee table while sitting on a chair, depending on my mood. I can’t tell you whether it’s better to crochet a blanket in pieces and sew them together or in one piece, probably it’s up to one’s preferences. I tend to avoid seams if it’s possible.
This project was a great stash buster. Speaking of that, I should reorganize my stash to see what I’m dealing with. This year I’m planning on using it up as much as possible and I’m proud of myself for leaving 2012 behind with less yarn than I entered in it. It’s not just about the stash, I’m trying to downsize the amount of stuff I own. For a person who lives in a small apartment and moves on a yearly basis it’s better to own less.

Cheers,
Mimi

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A few FOs, an unlikely new hobby & a surprise gift to show you

A friend of mine is due with a baby boy later this month, so I browsed Ravelry for patterns to get some inspiration (is it just me, or it’s really much harder to shower a baby boy?). I was looking for something practical that can be made in no time and most importantly that can be made from yarn already in my stash. There are some crazy cute baby stuffs, but either require more time to be made or are meant for girls. Still it was quite easy to find two free patterns (both gender neutral) that met all my requirements: Chaussons Mignons by Pruline and Shower’s in an hour baby hat (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/showers-in-an-hour-baby-hat)


I did everything as the pattern indicated. Used circa half skein of Phildar Rapido (100% acrylic, bulky), a yarn that is a good example for acrylic awesomeness.
The little shoes turned out cute, I’m just not sure it will fit the baby’s feet (on the other hand, I haven’t seen a lots of newborns yet…). However, since it’s such a fast knit and excellent for stash busting, decided to knit a bigger pair too.


Changes made to Chaussons Mignons:
Started with 8 sts and knit 24 rows, cast on 12 sts on both side, and knit 13 rows. The base is 5 cm x 8 cm, but can stretch out a lot, especially in length. Bind off needs to be stretchy.

Changes made to Shower’s in an hour baby hat:
I had somewhat wider gauge and added 4 sts, so the circumference is 34 cm. The first 4 rows are in garter stitch to be more stretchy. The hat measured 10 cm / 4 in in height before started the decreases:
R1: k5, k2tog, k6, k2tog x 3, k1 =40sts. Decreased on same place as previously every second row until I had only 10 sts left. K2tog five times. Pulled together those 5 sts.

The booty and the hat are made from a single skein of 100% acrylic bulky yarn (Alpina, Teteks, 1 skein = 100g/100m). I estimate it’s a 2 / 3 month old size, the baby will be able to wear them late October/November, so the bulky yarn should be a good choice.

Recently a fellow knitter/blogger wrote about learning to crochet: http://fridica.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/guess/ and made me think. I wasn’t interested in crochet because I find knitted garments prettier and way more practical. But after reading her post I made a mental pro/con list: I should learn to crochet because 1. it’s easy, 2. it’s faster than knitting, 3. I have tons of yarn I don’t know what to do with in my stash, mostly cotton, 4. I could use a cotton blanket with big holes during the summer, 5. knitting an entire blanket from cotton would be an endless nightmare; I shouldn’t learn to crochet because 1. I don’t like the thick fabric it creates, 2. I don’t plan to use it more projects. Finally I decided to give it a try, and made this little granny square following the instructions from a youtube video:

Conclusions:
1. I still don’t like the fabric but I can live with it,
2. it’s OK for a blanket / potholder / similar items,
3. it grows FAST

Unlike Fridica, who chose to make a complex and colorful blanket, I chose to continue my granny square (and avoid seaming) using only 3 colors. My goals are to have a blanket and to use up / reuse some yarn from my stash. The blue and the white yarns are 100 % cotton DK, the blue / white / black is 45% wool, 35% acrylic, 15% polyester, 5% rayon Worsted weight. Initially the blue was meant to be a blouse, but since it sat around sleeveless for years, the best thing I could do was to frog and reuse it. The white… It was meant to become a cabled poncho I was looking forward to wear so much. But after not touching that wip for more than a year I had to admit that it wont be finished. Still, it hurts to have to frog 😦

Here’s my progress on the blanket:

A friend of mine surprised me last week with this HUGE skein of handspun wool from Zlatibor:

My jaw dropped when I saw what a huge skein she bought me, just like that, to make me happy! I measured it since, it weights 360g and is bulky (7 wpi). I sure can make a vest of it. Do you have some advice for me, how to handle a handspun?

Cheers,
Mimi

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