Plague shawls

Although I’ve always been a knitter I’d never been able to master crochet. Something about that lone hook flailing around it didn’t seem ‘tidy’ like knitting.  More recently I attempted ‘granny squares’ but I’ve never been able to follow a pattern.  When lockdown came along I was determined to master some new skills so crochet was one of the first.  Thanks to YouTube for teaching us just about everything. I followed some basic crochet instructions and then tackled this shawl in the video.  I may be obsessed with shawls now. I’m on my fifth.  The first four are pictured above.

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Abandoned projects

Sometime in 2019 I embarked on a sewing project.  I’d bought a top that I really liked and wondered if I could copy it.  My sewing skills are, well let’s just say I know my limitations and I carefully choose what I know I can comfortably achieve.  So this was ambitious for me.  I found pretty fabric at Hinckley market and bought a pack of pattern paper from Amazon.  I didn’t want to take my favourite garment apart so I set about carefully measuring each part of the top and transferring the dimensions to the pattern paper, drawing curves with a French curve and after a few hours I had my pattern.  Then I left it.  I think it was fear of cutting the material and getting it wrong.  Yes, I’ll do that another day.  

Then along came COVID-19, self-isolation and then lockdown.  Suddenly everything readjusted in importance – hell, I was cutting my own hair.   So I pulled out the sewing. 

I’m used to following a pattern when I sew so it was strange to have no instructions but I took it step by step, the most difficult part first.  The small curved opening at the neckline with the rouleaux loop ties looked tricky but I kept comparing it to the techniques used on my purchased top and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  Once I’d got that tricky piece out of the way the rest was relatively plain sailing. 

Behold the finished article!  This is going to be my ‘first trip out after COVID outfit’ – I hope it’s not going to sit on that dummy for years.

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A summer of toys

There are only about 4 weeks until Christmas 2019.  This time last year I had a stash of knitted toys made all ready for to give out as presents.   I had spent the hot summer of 2018 sitting in front of a large fan, knitting.  This year I haven’t knitted at all but I do love going back to a hobby I haven’t bothered with for several years to see how technology has moved along.  Although knitting itself hasn’t changed much, a couple of needles and yarn are still the tools raw and material, other aspects of the craft have changed.  Etsy for patterns, for example.  I’m in awe of the pattern designers who sell their wares on Etsy.  Clever, innovative and imaginative designs and all instantly downloadable.   Great for the impulsive knitter!  Also enjoyed apps on my phone for row counting, such as K&C Counter.  I’m including links to some of the patterns on Etsy. I’m not an affiliate, just a fan.

Peter Rabbit

Gordon the Guinea Pig

Little Yarn Dolls

Ralph the Dog

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