An Experiment in Knitting

A while ago I joined Carmarthen Library. I have been using the Cardigan one for several years and have found that I have read a lot of the non-fiction books that interest me. Carmarthen has a much bigger non-fiction section and, of course, almost all of them are new to me. I also discovered that there is a mobile library van which comes to my nearest village. It is the type of service which is under threat when economies are to be made and I wanted to support it. As it is quite easy for me to combine a walk to the library van with exercising the dogs it works well. The downside is that often I choose books online and request them without having been able to look inside. One of those was a knitting book which seemed to offer a different way of creating texture.

It is an interesting technique. You mark certain stitches by working them in the reverse of normal – so a knit where one would normally do purl and vice versa. A few rows on you pick up the ‘legs’ of the marked stitch and knit them together with a stitch on the current row making a fold. If the marked stitch is not directly below the one it gets attached to the fold is a dagonal and, as in cabling this may be to right or left. It is hard to describe but easy to do apart from having to knit one stitch through 3 loops (the 2 ‘legs’ and the stitch).

Using small amounts of leftover yarn I did some swatches to try out different arrangements of folds. The result is less ‘crisp’ than cabling and the first one I did had very wavy edges which would make it difficult to stitch pieces of a garment together. The next 2 I did with a garter stitch border which helped a bit.

So it was interesting to try but I don’t think I will be using it again. If you read my previous post you will realise that my crafting has been educational but not very rewarding lately!

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Scrap Happy December 2022

This is the day when Kate, Gun and the rest of us share something we have made from scrap. My offering this month is a bag I have made for my Granddaughter for Christmas. She is doing Art at College so I thought a bag for all her equipment would be a good thing to make for her. My plan was to do a Multi-Tasking Tote from Lisa Lam’s book. I made one years ago for myself and it was very useful.

But I know G can be very particular so I checked with my daughter. Yes, a tote bag would be great but only one pocket and on the inside and plain calico would be best. Oh dear! I like colour and pattern! But ho hum it is for her so….

To my amazement I had virtually run out of calico but I found a small piece of heavy-ish weight which I used for the outside base. I think it may have been left from a loose cover I made for a sofa 30 odd years ago. The rest of the outside is a linen mix left over from a shirt I made for my husband who died 11 tyears ago and the inside is some medium weight white cotton left from who knows what! The base is stiffened with plastic mesh, there is one pocket inside and I added a ribbon lanyard with a small carabina on the end for keys (every bag I make has one of those).

Weather permitting my daughter is visiting me this weekend and will take it back with her. I can show it to you now, even though it is a Christmas present, because I know G doesn’t read this blog!

You can find loads more ideas for using scrap of all kinds by following the links

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, JanMoira, ChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

Scrap Happy September 2022

It is the 15th of the month so time to join Kate, Gun and the others to showcase making things from scrap. Click on the links below to be inspired.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, DebbieroseNóilin and Viv

My offering this month is a pair of jeans bought from a charity shop (thrift store) which were comfy and a good make but very plain. So I patched them with small pieces of scrap fabric and some crochet thread I was given.

Scrap Happy August 2022

It is time to join Kate and the others to show what we have made from scrap and hopefully inspire you to have a go too.

First off I would like to ask you for feedback. Now that all 6 chairs for Mrs Snail’s shop (follow the link to Jan in the list at the end of this post to meet the Snail of Happiness) I wonder which is your favourite?

Jan very kindly put them all out in the shop and took photos from different angles. I have started on the curtains for the upstairs store room / teaching room but those will take a while before being ready to show you.

I didn’t just take stuff to her – I bought as well. Her table of fabric offcuts was just too tempting to ignore! Apart from small pieces my stash is now down to the tatty and the sludgy colours. I wanted to make a new bag to replace one which had disintegrated and there was nothing suitable in any of my boxes so I indulged. The royal blue cord is for the outside but I couldn’t choose between the others for the lining, pockets and trim so I bought them all! Some of the pieces are quite big so there was plenty for other things as well.

The last few days have been hot so I have stayed indoors in the cool and decided to use the time to play with my new purchases. I didn’t have the interfacing I need for the bag so I chose to start with a Japanese crossover apron using a pattern from the book ‘Sashiko’ by Jill Clary which I had borowed from the library. Once I started I discovered how rusty my dressmaking skills are – then realised it is about 40 years since I sewed any clothes! It is wearable and I will just have to practice but probably on things like more aprons which don’t have to be perfect!

For more ideas for scrap follow the links below. Not everyone posts every month but all the blogs are worth looking at for inspiration, education and amusement.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

Scrap Happy July 2022

It is the 15th of the month and time to join Kate, Gun and the rest of the group for posts about things made from scrap.

My contribution is the last of the chairs for Mrs Snail’s shop. This one is the third made with fabric and is a small proddy rag rug. I worked it on a piece of hessian left over from making a rug to go beside the spare bed and the tufts are from some old duvet covers and sheets my neighbour gave me a few years ago. They had been on her children’s beds so were rather pilled and marked but used like this none of that matters.

Do go and see what the others have done – there will be plenty of inspiration for using our own scrap pile.

KateGun, EvaSue(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

Scrap Happy June 2022

It’s the 15th of the month so time to join Kate, Gun and the crew for Scrap Happy, a collection of posts where we show things we have made from scrap, any kind of scrap but, at the moment, mainly textiles.

My makes this month are chair covers for 3, 4, and 5 for Mrs Snail’s shop (see the link to Jan below).

Number 3 used the squares I wove on the pin loom and showed you last month. I wish I had had brighter colours but these were the scrap I had.

Number 4 is crazy patch – the quickest of all of them to do.

Looking at the photo I can see I misjudged the size (or placed it wrongly on the chair) and there are a couple of raw edges showing. Maybe I will retrieve it next time I visit and correct that. They are made oversize and stapled to the underside so taking them off is not a huge job.

And finally for this post Number 5 is Paper Pieced Hexies.

I’m not sure how well this one will wear as the hexies are light weight cotton. If it falls apart or become holey I will replace it. Now that I only have Roo I took her with me and she enjoyed meeting up with Daisy again and exploring the shop. She was, however, determined to supervise me as I fixed the covers on in the stockroom upstairs!

One more cover to go! Actually I have come up with so many more ideas I may have to persuade Jan she will need more chairs!

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

Scrap Happy May 2022

Not a chair cover this time – as you may have realised I have been rather busy lately! But I have not stopped working on the chairs. I have been exploring the possibilities of the peg loom I bought for the third yarn based cover.

Following the instructions that came with it I used Aran weight yarn and diagonal weaving but thought the fabric was not dense enough to make seat cover which would last.

So then I used the yarn doubled which gave a better result but was quite tough on the fingers. I will probably use these.

Now I am experimenting with what my book calls ‘flat weaving’ which is much more fun because I can play around with stripes, checks, different weaves, even possibly ‘tapestry’ type stuff. Again the weave is quite loose so maybe I still need to use heavier yarn (not much left in my scrap box now!) or double it. More experimenting to be done.

Scrap Happy is a collection of posts curated by Kate and Gun (see their links below) to celebrate making things entirely from scrap. Not everyone posts every month but all are inspiring.

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

Adventures

It has been a busy couple of weeks packed with adventures of various kinds.

My son came down to look at a cottage (read about it here https://goingbattyinwales.wordpress.com/2022/04/21/a-day-out/ ) and stayed on to work on his campervan. He wanted to build some big drawrers on heavy duty runners to slide under the bed and make the storage there more accessible. I helped and his Savannah cat supervised,

Next up was the culmination of a process which began last Autumn. In a newsletter, my bank, Triodos, asked if any customers were willing to share why they had chosen that bank for their savings. It would involve an interview and having some photos taken. They would reward me with vouchers to spend or a donation to charity. Since I was very clear why I had chosen to bank with them it sounded easy and something that would be fun to do. Because of my hearing the ‘interview’ consisted of a series of questions in an email to which I sent in answers. Their PR chap, Joe, then edited them into a piece which was emailed back to me for approval. I mentioned in the answers that I was treasurer at Dyfed Permnaculture Farm and Joe looked up their instagram feed (I had no idea we had one!) and asked if the photos could be taken there. The management committee were happy with that, he chose a photographer and we found a date that suited everybody. So I spent a day being photographed; digging out weeds, tickling sheep, carrying hay and then logs, admiring Phil’s garlic and just generally standing around. Tess, the photographer, also took some shots of the roundhouse and barn as a gift to the Trust for our own publicity. She was such a lovely young woman and I really enjoyed meeting her. A few days ago the photos came through – an awful lot of them and sent via a file sharing site I had never heard of. Another new experience! So for those of you who like to know what other bloggers look like here are 2 of the ones she took. I have no idea which ones Triodos will pick for their use.

Barley saturday ia an annual event in Cardigan, a show involving competitions for horses and vintage vehicles in the morning and they are then all paraded along the High Street in the afternoon, which involves closing the roads in the middle of the town. I have been to it a few times – it is quite a spectacle when the stallions are run to show off their paces! When I discovered that my friend Lindy had never even heard of it I decided to take her to this year’s event. You can read more about it here (https://www.cardigan-bay.com/whats-on/events/barley-saturday/ ). Because I knew that town would be very busy and all the car parks full I chose to start our outing in Cilgerran, a village 2 or 3 miles from Cardigan and walk to town through the Teifi Marshes Wildlife Reserve which includes part of the track of the now defunct Cardi Bach railway making a good, level, tarmaced path. Find out more including pictures here (https://www.welshwildlife.org/nature-reserves/teifi-marshes ). Just as the horses started to pass where we were waiting at the end of the old bridge into town a wedding car came over the bridge on its way to a reception in the Castle and had to wait quite a while until a pause between the horses and tractors allowed them through- the happy couple and their guests got a huge cheer from the assembled crowds!

Then I went to visit my daughter who lives in Basingstoke and since it was a Bank Holiday weekend and there is very little parking available near her I decided to go by train. I bought my ticket online and discovered it was an e-ticket to use on my phone! I was chicken and printed it out onto paper just in case! However it all worked fine and was much easier on my brain than driving. On the Monday she, her new partner and I went to London for the day, again by train. We had coffee in Covent Garden, explored China Town and had a delicious lunch there, then walked to Tower Bridge, over the river and back along the other bank to Waterloo for the train home. Both of them had pedometers on their phones – one said we walked 9.5 miles, the other that it was 10 miles! With stops for coffe, lunch and a glass of wine on the way back we all managed it with no ill effects. On the Wednesday evening my son was supposed to join us and take us out for a meal but the M3 was completely closed by an accident. He realised that if he came he would arrive just as we were all going to bed! So I took us out instead and my daughter suggested a restaurant recommended by some friends of hers – The Olive House (picture below right) and it was excellent – Turkish food, family run and packed out on a weekday night. A lovely end to my stay.

Because my daughter was working from home during the day I got a lot of knitting done and finished a pair of socks from Kate Davies’s book ‘Bluestockings’. I learned how to cast on at the toe, turn the heel in a new way and do stretchy cast off! It was also the first time I had done pattern stitches on a sock.

I have enjoyed it all immensly but I think I could do with a few days (weeks?) of being quiet now! However today the installation of my new woodstove is beginning, Ted has been to see his bees and Openreach are trying to fix the fault on Laura’s internet!

Scrap Happy April 2022

My Scrap offering this month is the second cover for a chair seat for Mrs Snail (see the link to Jan below) for her new shop. This one was knitted using a base colour of oatmeal with flashes of green, lilac and brown, stripes of a novelty purple yarn – think tinsel in red green and blue with lots of soft purple strands mixed in – and several small balls of other plummy colours.

Newly knitted
Attached to it’s backing (part of an ols curtain) and stapled to one of the chairs in the shop. On its left is the first one I did in crochet.

Scrap Happy is curated by Kate and Gun (links below) on the 15th of each month – a glorious collection of posts about making things from all kinds of scrap. Do have a look – inspiration may strike!

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose and Viv

Scrap Happy March 2022

It’s 15th of the month, time to link up with

KateGun, EvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera,
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Bear, Carol,
Preeti, EdithDebbierose

and show what we have made from scraps. 

When I visited Mrs Snail (Use the link for Jan to find her blog) in her new shop she showed me a set of 6 dining chairs which had been left by the previous occupants. They are perfectly good chairs and she will need some in the shop especially when she starts to run courses, but the seat covers are very boring and rather stained.

So I offered to make new covers for them. And as the shop will be all about mending and using scrap I have set myself the challenge of doing all the covers entirely from scrap but each using a different technique. You may be rather tired of these chairs by the time I have finished!

I have finished the top for the first one using granny squares made entirely from bits of yarn from my stash. The piece needs to be attached to a backing of furnishing fabric big enough to go over the edges and be stapled to the underside. I have some old curtains given me by a neighbour which should do the trick.

The next one is begun but you will have to wait until April to see that!