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….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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Red cardigan is finished – Yarn Along

I’ve finished my red cardigan. Final stitch completed last night. Needs to be blocked to stop the hem curling and sort out the shaping, but it is done. If you can hear the hint of weariness in those words, then you are spot on. This cardigan has started to zap my enthusiasm.

Previous two versions of King Cole 4076 (jumper and cardigan) have taken a matter of weeks to do. They were straight forward. No frogging (unravelling) required. With this one, I’ve had to redo the whole of the left side, the collar and the button band. Silly mistakes. I don’t know why. It is the same pattern. I knew what I was doing. Maybe knitting three items in a row was just too much.

With this one, I did want to sort out the problem with my curling hem, that the others both had. They were missing the weight that ribbing gives at the bottom of a jumper or cardigan. In all fairness, blocking and wearing them, has reduced the curl over the months, but I remembered a tip that I received years ago from a blogger in the know.

It was for a different cardigan and she suggested adding crochet stitches at the bottom of each seam to give it weight. At the time, I couldn’t crochet, so I didn’t test out the tip. Roll on several years, to this red cardigan. I can now crochet. Could I add weight by crocheting a few rows of single crochet? Like a retrospective ribbing.

So I gave it a go.

It does seem to work. The back, if anything, curls inwards, which is perfect. I’m sure blocking will give this cardigan the shape I need. Slightly kicking myself that I didn’t go the whole hog and add 2×2 ribbing to start with.

The only other adaption I made, if you can call it that, was adding a piece of ribbon down the button band. I’d noticed that my previous purple version of this cardigan, kept on losing buttons. It also might help with the shaping, in a small way. I love the ribbon. If I had more of the same ribbon, I would have added it to the buttonhole border too.

I have built up a good collection of odd lengths of ribbons and it is rather pleasing to find a good permanent use for one of them.

Today is Ginny’s Yarn Along, so here is my current read. (affiliate link)  Hello World by Hannah Fry. I’ve watched several TV programmes presented by her and have liked her approach. She also happened to present The Royal Institute’s Christmas Science Lectures, this Christmas, which is a must watch for our household.

I bought the book last year. I have a background in Artificial Intelligence and maths, so this book sounded good. The first program I wrote, printed “Hello World” on the screen, just like every other programmer I’ve ever met. I am a geek.

Saying that, this book is not just for geeks. The author writes in a very easy style. Yes, there are techy bits, but it is not a stodgy read. It is fascinating to see her take on the data gathered on us, every time we use a computer, and how it is used. How machine learning is being applied. I was banned from reading out loud anymore bits about data and marketing. It is relevant to everyone and she is challenging some of my ideas.

Nothing on my needles now, as I finished the cardigan last night. I think I’m going to do myself a favour and knit something simple like a pair of socks. I need a gap before I tackle anything jumper related again.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. What are you making at the moment?

Never ask a crafter if they are ready for Christmas

Here it is. My red cardigan. Still not finished. It’s true. Doesn’t it look tantalizingly like it will be ready in two shakes of a reindeer’s snow covered tail? It could almost be worn, you’d imagine. Just the ribbing for the opening to do and a few buttons to sew on. Oh, and that bit at the bottom, with the rather awkward knitting needle sticking out. Shouldn’t take long now.

Sadly, appearances are deceptive.

For the last week, my unfinished cardigan has been sitting in the naughty corner. Sulking, I like to think. We have fallen out.


Sadly, I’m destined to unravel the neckband and the right front. There is a mistake. The pattern calls for a vent/slit at the side seam hem.  The front is shaped, at this point to allow for it. Unfortunately, I put the shaping on the centre front rather than the side seam.

If I was sewing, I could cut off the fabric and resew it in place. Knitting is very sadly, unbelievably unforgiving. Chopping into it with scissors would be a disaster. Stitches would unravel, as if it was a fictional jumper in a child’s story book, with the yarn caught on tree branches, so that the heroes could find their way home through the deep, dark forest.

I was looking more for a cardigan to wear rather than a route finder, to be honest.

Deep breath.

I undid the bottom of the front to see if I could reknit it upside down, but, deep down, I already knew it would show. There was bound to be a tell tale line across it. So only other option is to redo the right front, and the collar ribbing, to prevent it looking an utter mess.

I made the discovery about a week ago. I did the only sensible thing. Threw the unfinished cardigan in the corner, cracked open a box of Christmas chocolates and started a new knitting project.

Do you blame me?

So, yes, never ask a crafter if she is ready for Christmas. Behind the scenes I’m busy sewing and sticking, pinning and tacking other secret projects. I’ll be doing that all the way up to the twelfth hour, because there is always something else I can make. Can’t show you yet. The cardigan I can show you. It is for me. Nothing secret. Should have been finished months ago, but here we are, still looking at it’s unfinished, sorry state.

It’s OK, I’ll get there. I’m calm now. It will be worth the extra effort in the long run.

Yarn Along – November

I very nearly missed my usually Yarn Along post this month. I didn’t forget. No. It was totally down to making little progress with both knitting and book. Thought I’d slide on by to next month. No-one will notice. Instead I’ll hope to add a few more rows, finish a book and join in next month. Then it hit me. It is not remotely honest. I’m only showing the times I make progress. How about the times I just stand still and achieve diddly squat?

So here it is. Same book. Same knitting, which in all fairness has grown but not as much as it should have done in a month.

This is the last sleeve. I’d like to finish it for Christmas. Red cardigan would tick so many boxes as I wish every one good tidings and good cheer, while enjoying a mulled wine and mince pie.

Now admittedly, I’ve not been twiddling my thumbs all month. I’ve made a couple of birthday presents, which have now been given.

First up are the gloves for my sister. This seemed to take a lot longer than usual to knit. I’m still mulling that one over.

I’ve also finished my Middle Teen’s quilt, which is gracing her bed as I write. My reading time was taken up by hand stitching this one. I love stitching just as much as reading. More about this quilt another time.

So maybe not the progress I wanted. I’m pleased with the gifts and loved the recipients’ reactions. It’s good to be back knitting my cable pattern again, with the end in sight.

More progress next time, I hope.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along. What are you knitting at the moment?


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