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Friday, 20 November 2015

FO Friday: Baby Jacket

I've definitely had a bad case of start-itis the last couple of weeks which you may have seen a bit of if you follow me on Instagram (come and find me I'm @knit.purl.relax). It's partly because I know that Christmas is coming up and partly that we have some friends/family with babies due and partly because I just can't stop myself! Don't laugh - I know that you know what I'm talking about! Anyway showing you all my WIPs is definitely the subject of another post but it's Friday and now it's time to post a finished object!

I knew that my hubby's cousin's baby was due in November but the baby has arrived now and I did get this finished in time thankfully (although I did make the 3-6 months size just in case!) I have had this on the needles since July, which is ridiculous really because it's really simple and does not take that long to make. I've just been distracted by other things...

Pattern: DK Jacket Without Hood by King Cole, pattern no 3368 in size 3-6 months

Yarn: Blue Acrylic yarn from Knitting Essentials

Needles: 3.75mm & 4mm straight needles

This is a simple garter stitch pattern. I've made it loads of times and I've also made the other two jackets on the pattern leaflet. The pattern gives instructions for both DK and 4ply and I've tried both and they work well. I love adding the contrast buttons - sometimes I use ducks or teddies but for this one I used shells. I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

Have a happy & crafty weekend!

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Obligation Knitting

I was watching the Bakery Bears podcast (episode 34) the other day with my knitting and a cup of tea and Dan from the podcast mentioned that he had advised Kay not to do any obligation knitting, perhaps with the exception of Christmas knitting. I looked down at my knitting in dismay - I knew exactly what he meant! In our last knit and natter meeting which is run in a church hall, they had been asking people to make things for the Christmas fete. Now don't get me wrong, I love knitting for charity or for a good cause and I have knitted for the Christmas fete previously in patterns/yarn I had selected but this time they had some specific projects that they wanted someone to do. They had a large cardigan that had been donated to them and was half finished and just need the bands doing and several projects in Sirdar Firefly.

Offers of help were not particularly forthcoming and so I offered to help out. I wanted to help but I have to say that the project was probably not one I would have chosen myself. However it was a one ball project, in garter stitch with shaping on every alternate row to give an asymmetric scarf. What could go wrong, right?

Anyway I knew the moment I cast on that offering on this project had perhaps been a bit hasty. Have you used Sirdar Firefly before? Dubbed a "fashion yarn" it's more like a ribbon than a yarn but worse than that, it's like a ladder, with small squares of colour as the rungs of the ladder. In short, not the easiest yarn to knit with as you have to take care you are putting the needle through the stitch and not through the yarn and of course I had picked up a black & silver version making visibility not the easiest!

So watching the Bakery Bears podcast really made me think about obligation knitting, even for Christmas. I think for me it's key that I choose the yarn & that the pattern is something that appeals to me. Something I want to knit. Also for gifts I think it's better as a surprise rather than telling someone that you'll do something specific. That way if it doesn't work out as you planned you can change your mind about the yarn or pattern without it being too much of a problem.

I decided the only way to get through it was to power through. Last week I only worked on that. I did finish the scarf and it only took 6 evenings. I wasn't particularly happy with it. It did look like it was supposed to but I don't think that yarn is for me. I'm sure it has it's place but I won't be using it again myself.

So next time there's a request for help I will try to hold back on jumping in too quickly...that's not to say that I won't help but perhaps I will suggest something I do want to make in a different yarn...

Do you have any obligation knitting stories/yarn choice disasters?