Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sibol Afghan completed

So the blanket is all finished and I am quite pleased with it and will be posting it off later this week.

The patch is a pocket with a butterfly on it so the person who gets it will have place to put a tissue or something similar in it.

The butterfly is facing the person who will use the blanket so I took the photo to show it as the person will see it.

I added a simple crochet shell edging to the blanket to finish it off,  it has created a sort of ruffle edge that I hope will make it look a little different.

This is the pattern for the butterfly
Easy Butterfly

I used 4ply yarn on 3.75mm needles I can change the size easily by changing needle size and can play around with the stitch count as well but this one filled the pocket nicely so I was pleased with it.

I will see how much it costs to post before I commit to making a lot of afghans. I will make a shawl for Sibol and see what that costs to post as well. I can always make butterflies to send to them and may do that and make one or two larger items as cost will be a big factor. I am not being mean saying that I have to watch what I spend.  Like most people these days I am on a tight budget and being on Pension Credits means I am careful what I spend on postage. I will try this site Parcel 2 go
Most of the things I make are small so postage is not that much, a lot of things are sent Free post and some things are given to local charities so I can take them there.

My next project is making ducks a nice small project that will be knitted up quickly.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lapghan started

I have started the lapghan for SIBOL and using a simple pattern it is a baby blanket pattern

Garter Rib Baby Blanket

I modified it by knitting 5 rows then following the pattern for six rows then adding 2 knit rows
So it is

Knit 5 rows

Row 1 Knit across row
Row 2 K3 P3 across row

*Then Knit two rows

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have 6 rows
(The six rows of the pattern makes nice blocks of colour)

Repeat from *

I am changing colour on the Knit 2 rows

I want a nice colourful Lapghan and the Knit 2 rows gives a nice garter ridge between colour changes. It is also a great way to use up that stash.
The six rows of the pattern makes nice blocks of colour that look like this so far
It's a bit bunched up on the needle but I think you will get the idea of what it will look like. I have tried using cable needles and knitting back and forth but always get in a mess. My biggest problem is the cable never straightens enough it always kinks or twists and I have tried all sorts of ways to get the cable reasonably straight. I have bought 40cm long straight needles for bigger projects even if it does get a bit heavy it stops the problem I get with the cable needles.

My little frogs were posted off to Siblings Together yesterday 8th August so I hope they will like them.

I am now looking for a shawl pattern that would be suitable for SIBOL I want something easy but will sit on the shoulders without falling off all the time and maybe something unisex. I will have to see what I can find.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

'SIBOL' - Sunshine International Blankets of Love

I love making afghans and blankets or anything that is going to prove useful for others so always on the look out for a charity that may need a little help, after all you never know when you may some help yourself.

I subscribed to a newsletter a while back Knitting for Charity and have found lots of useful tips and information from this source.
This month ( August) I got the newsletter as usual and found out about a charity I had not heard of 'SIBOL' - Sunshine International Blankets of Love. It is a charity that knits afghans and blankets for the elderly and the newsletter contained tips for doing this and links to the charity.
Tips for knitting for the elderly

There are so many charities out there for children and babies but I have not found many for the elderly especially those based in England.
So I took a look at their blog and their group on Ravelry.

Sibol blog

 Sibol on Ravelry

You will find links for both on my blog under Blogs and Charities I knit for.

Reading the newsletter and the blog I got to thinking about how we can easily overlook people who may need something a little more personal than the shop bought blankets.
Sadly many of the elderly are no longer in contact with family and many do not have any children so they do not have anyone except for those who care for them in a Nursing Home. This can mean they are alone and can feel forgotten about, this is something that can be remedied by the simple act of knitting them something.
What could be nicer than getting a hand knitted afghan just for you that is bright and cheerful and keeps you warm as well.

The beauty of this charity is they are happy with any pattern toy want to do do so long as it is not lacy. bright colours are accepted so I can use up my stash easily. You can knot or crochet perfect for me as I cannot crochet but can knit. The other thing is the size of the afghans is roughly 36 X 45 inches so not too big they are for using on the lap so big enough to keep the person warm without being cumbersome.
They add a knitted or croched butterfly to each blanket this shows it is Sibol Blanket. Again they are happy with whatever pattern you want to use for the butterfly I found this one you have to scroll down a bit to find it.
Butterfly knitting pattern 

Blankets, afghans, shawls and fingerless gloves can all be sent to them but not and I stress this point not knitted squares.

So my next project will be to make an Afghan and some Fingerless gloves. So I will sort out the yarn I have and bag it up ready for my SIBOL Afghan.

Frogs and Bags

I finished knitting my Frogs and made them bags as well. Fred and Freda frog along with their bags will be posted off to Siblings Together this week.

Meet Fred and Freda Frog
Fred with his own little bag

Freda with her little bag

I decided to knit bags for each frog so they can be stored away and carried with ease. I created the pattern for the bags myself they were easy to make and I think look rather nice as well.

Bag Pattern
I used two strands of DK yarn held together mixing the yarns creates a nice effect as you knit.

Needles: 5mm

Co on 40 stitches

Garter stitch for 6 rows

Stocking stitch for 6 rows but K2 at start and end of the Purl row this stops it from curling and gives a nice edge when it sewing the sides up.

Continue with these rows alternating the Garter and Stocking stitch rows until it is long enough to cover the frog easily for Fred it was 15 inches long ending with 6 rows of Garter stitch

To create the flap this is done in Stocking stitch throughout you do not K2 this time on the purl rows.
Stocking stitch 6 rows 
Next row Decrease 2 at start of every row only.
You will K2 together on the Knit rows and Purl 2 together on the Purl rows but only at the start of each row.
Do this until you have 22 stitches and Bind Off

With right sides together sew up the side seams. Turn right sides out.
For the fastening make a plait and sew this onto the flap at the bottom to form a loop. I made three and added three buttons.

Making the handle
For this you will make I-cord
This was made by holding two strands of yarn together and use Double Pointed needles I used cable stitch needles as they were thicker and easier to use.
CO the 2 stitches
Slip the stitches to end of the needle and Knit the stitches then slide them to the end of the needle and knit you keep doing this until you the length you need.

I attached the I-cord at the corner of flap at the fold over bit and poked it through the knitting this is a little hard to do. Then I tied it in place and knotted it doing the same on the other side.

For Freda's bag I decided to make the pattern a little different. Still holding 2 strands together.
Garter stitch 2 rows
Stocking stitch 4 rows 
This time I made it 13 inches long and repeated the pattern for the flap.
It was 13 inches long this time as I was slowly running out of yarn and wanted enough for the I-cord it still covered the frog so was not a problem. I made the flap a little longer by decreasing until I had 18 stitches and added two buttons this time.

Fred's Bag

Freda's Bag

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Blue Cardigan

 On Sparkpeople we do various Challenges and I joined in the July Stash Buster Challenge, I wanted to knit a cardigan that was made in one piece as I dislike picking up lots of stitches for the front bands.
So I hunted around and found this pattern on Ravelry


Now for me this was a real challenge as I have never knitted a garment in one piece before and not used markers or short rows. Then there was the grafting of the sleeve seams to master as well so a challenge all round.
This was the end result

I am quite pleased with it, I need to get the buttons for it so closed it with a shawl pin for the moment to take a picture of it. It is not blocked yet but still does not look too bad.
It is knitted sideways so I had no idea what I was doing I just followed the instructions in the pattern an after a while I could see what I was doing.

I read the instructions in the pattern link of how to graft the stitches for the seam on the sleeves and it made no sense to me so off I went to YouTube and found this
Grafting Garter Stitch

That made sense and as I worked on the technique I soon found it was not as difficult as I had thought.

So now I have learnt to use markers something I had not done before and it has opened up a lot more patterns that I could try as well.
Knitting short rows is easy and again it means I will be able to do more patterns that call for short rows and not be put off by it.
Grafting garter stitch was the one thing I was dreading but again after seeing it done I was able to do it myself.

It is not the usual style of cardigan that I go for as I tend to go for longer ones and knitted in the traditional way that means a lot of sewing. This pattern was easy to use and the instructions nice and clear. As it is knitted entirely in Garter stitch it was a nice easy project to do whilst watching TV, no fiddly reversing rows for the right or left side or sleeves, that always get me in a muddle and I have to be extra careful or I make a mess of things.

Now that I have tried this pattern I will have a look at other cardigan patterns that are also knitted in one piece. I may end up with a couple of cardigans that will serve me well for early Spring and Autumn and even in the Winter months that I will have made myself.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fred the Frog

I have been busy knitting a cardigan but wanted a break and made this little chap.

I am on Loving Hands  forum and we knit things for various charities and this little character will be part of a family of frogs that will go to Siblings Together.

On Loving Hands they have seasonal challenges and this Summer we have various things going on one of which is the Critter Challenge and this time it is Frogs. Anything frog related so wash cloths, dish cloths, hats toys you name it if has a frog on it you can make it. All items go to various charities that can use them to either raise funds or give to people.

I have a Jean Greenhowe patter booklet that has the Frog family in it.  Jean Greenhowe's Knitted Animals

This is the Frog Family in the booklet I added a scarf that is sewn on at the back so it will not get lost. You use two strands of DK yarn held together and knitted on 4mm needles for the Mother and Father Frogs and single DK yarn on 3mm needles for  the frog children. That way you use the same pattern and amount of stitches to create two different sized frogs.

Why I chose Siblings Together.
Many years ago when I was 11 years old my Mother had Cancer and it was not looking good. If things had not gone well then myself and my brother would have ended up in care and back then the chances of us being together was slim. I knew this and worked hard to make sure everything was as easy as possible for my Father so I took over the running of the home and made sure my brother who was 5 years old at the time was clean as I insisted he bathed every night and had his hair washed as well. I was determined that we would stay at home no matter what as the thought of being separated from my brother was unbearable.
Thankfully my Mother survived and we did not go into care but it was a close run thing.
So I know how I felt at the thought of being separated from my brother and realise how how hard it would have been if we had been taken into care.
Children need time to be together with their siblings if they are separated due to circumstances beyond their control. So Siblings Together provide something that is needed and they like things such as these as quoted from a message on Loving Hands

The children love poncho's, hats, blankets, bags for carrying their small items at camp and whatever you could possibly think of, toys, definitely teddies, dolls all sorts, all the more special because they have been made especially for them !!.

So I will make the frogs and send them off I am sure some of the children will like them as they are different.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Red Shawl/Lapghan

Okay so there was a change of plan the Old Shale stole is on hold, in fact unravelled . I got a message that someone needed a shawl that would not bee too big and could if possible be used as a lapghan as well. Something light but warm, tall order but not impossible.
Their favourite is Red, so I stopped knitting the Old Shale Stole ( good job I had not got that far with it) and unravelled what I had done.
I chose to go with the Prayer Shawl pattern of K3 P3 using 7mm needles so it would be soft and drape nicely.
I went with 114 stitches this meant every row started with a K3, much easier to keep track of.
By using 144 stitches on 7mm Needles and using DK yarn it meant the width is just over 36 inches so I knitted until I had a square then bound off.
I added a Shawl pin so that it can be easily fastened and stays put  the pin is made of wood so a nice natural touch to the shawl.
This is the result 
Shoulder  Prayer Shawl

Close up of the Shawl Pin

The shawl can be opened out and used as a lapghan or folded into a triangle to be worn as a shawl. Nice and simple but effective.
As for my Old Shale stole that can be made at a later date, I may even make myself a Shoulder Prayer Shawl/Lapghan from the yarn I have left over I rather like the look of it.
Next project a Cardigan.