Friday, 17 February 2017

a burst of colour





Happy Friday!

It has been an odd sort of week, being off on Wednesday breaks the routines in a way that is not entirely perfect. Not a working pattern I will aim for when I reduce my work hours to 0.8 FTE in ten days. Still, it was nice to be off and have some leisure time with the younger ones. We spent the day with my friend Emily and her girls. There was a fair amount of running wild. We also went for a dog walk and watched a movie. I am really looking forward to the day when I will not have to go and see Lego movies anymore, unless I really really want to. The latest version is a load of pish if you ask me but James and Alistair beg to differ.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you something colourful today. Colour is good for the soul, particularly if you feel a bit worn down by the greyness that is a British winter and the general craziness of the world.

For now particular reason, I have decided that I needed to use up all my DK yarn stash from previous blanket projects (for example this one) or abandoned blanket projects (like this one, which I have turned into a cat bed never even bothering to finish the row of hexagons). I have a whole bag of assorted Drops Karisma and Sandness Garn, both essentially the same. I love these yarns, particularly for blankets. It is maybe a little more pricey than the ubiquitous acrylic Stylecraft Special DK but it is softer and well worth saving up* for.  Of course you have to treat a wooly blanket with more care but most washing machines have a wool cycle nowadays. Sheep put their wool through all kinds of stress and that's good enough for me. I have made two Stylecraft yarn blankets. I don't think they retain their initial softness after a first wash and they have an unpleasant feel to it that I find hard to describe. To me, it is the tactile equivalent of the screechy sound that chalk makes on a blackboard (if you are as old as me you'll know what I mean). Moreover, wool is biodegradable, which is an added bonus for the ecologically conscious mind. I just can't talk myself into liking acrylic yarn. There, I have said it, I am a yarn snob. Please forgive me.

So, with a bag full of remnants I needed to find a pattern that accommodates short lengths of yarn without being a granny square type blanket that needed assembly. On one of my random internet wanderings I came across the Scrappy Happy Blanket written by Annette at My Rose Valley. It is a V-stitch pattern with a boarder that offsets the randomness of the stripes. Perfect. I have now made 22 rows and have yet to repeat a colour. It is a bit boring to be honest but works up quickly, particularly with a good audio book on the go. The weirdest thing is that I already feel anxious about not having enough yarn and maybe needing to buy some more.... I will resist.

On the note of colour, you all liked my colourful candlesticks. To answer the question of their origin, I am not sure. We stopped for lunch in a French town many years ago and I saw them in the window of a small shop. I went in and blew my savings without thinking. I have never regretted the purchase, the candlesticks have the magical ability to brighten up my mood any day. I cannot remember the name of the town, let alone the shop. It was somewhere in Brittany if that helps :-)


*Drops is often on special offer at the Woolwarehouse. I have bought big woman jumper amounts of Drops Alpaca for about £15 twice. 

13 comments:

  1. Love all the colors. I plan, well ahead I might add, that next winter I'm going to make a scappy afghan from all my leftover yarn. I love wool, but cannot tolerate it against my skin or near my face, break out in hives and wheeze. So it's always acrylic for me.

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  2. You don't have to defend snobbery, you should use whatever is best for your tastes and budget. Mine simply can't accommodate anything but acrylic or cotton, with only very rare forays into wool blends and always lower-end brands of those at best. I'm a snob about two things in my life: it must be Bumble Bee solid white albacore tuna fish and it must be Hellman's or Best Food's mayonnaise, depending on which side of the Rockies I happen to be on. When my kids were babies, it had to be name-brand diapers, but even then, it was split because Pampers worked better for my son and Huggies better for my daughter. I'm not snobby about much, but I take a hard line on tuna, mayo and diapers. :) I love this blanket you've started, the v-stitch has always interested me. Your colors are beautiful too. I hope you have a great weekend. :)

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  3. Beautiful array of colours making a delightful blanket. I generally have wool mix or blended which is a little cheaper but works for me. I am a bread snob and will not buy pre-sliced or cheap bread funny how different we all are. Have a great weekend.

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  4. Hoorah! for that kind of stash busting gusto, it is going to be a great project - Keep going. I like wool but it does not irritate me. My big girl hates it and finds even a neckline itchy! But I love your colour range and I love Drops yarn.

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  5. That is certainly a beautiful pop of colour to brighten a dreary day. It looks like a very snuggly blanket xx

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  6. A lovely infusion of colour. Thank you. I'm a bit of a wool snob too, although my last cardigan was stylecraft alpaca tweed dk which feels ok. Haven't washed it yet so we will have to see. Glad my Lego movie days are over although we still all troop to the latest Star Wars or Star Trek films. Love them! B x

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  7. I love this colourful blanket and your candlesticks! (Didn't have time to comment on your previous post.) I don't know enough about yarn to have an opinion but I do have strong opinions about many other things like tea, coffee, pens and paper :-) It wouldn't do to all be the same. I'm glad mine are all past the Lego Movie stage... Hope you have a good weekend. Sam x

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  8. Lovely blanket, there are some really scrumptious colours in there. Drops Lima is nice too, I knitted my littlest boy a blanket in it and he is always very grateful to the alpacas. Hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  9. Very bright and cheerful, Christina. A lovely eye feast for a cloudy, grey day here in BC. :-)

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  10. I like the look of the V stitch pattern, I've been promising myself a scarf in it for ages but still haven't got round to making one, mind you, I think that will be put on hold even longer now that I've seen your ZickZack scarf as I love that so it's been put on my list of things to make, somewhere near the top.

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  11. I think we all need more color in our lives right now, well color we can control. I am all about saving for a good yarn, as they say life is too short for cheap yarn. I am not a huge fan of acrylic, so I rarely use it. Love the pattern my friend.

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  12. And here I just finished a lap blanket in acrylic for my dad ;) I would have knit in pure wool, but the care home would not have been able to deal with that (ie gentle washing!). Still, it's soft and cozy, and most importantly it can be thrown in the washer & drier, so I'm OK with that. Your happy scrappy blanket does indeed look happy! Love the riot of colour there. I'm starting to accumulate some yarn ends myself and wonder what to do with them. Not keen on ends, maybe will drop off at thrift shop instead.

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  13. Sitting here under my pure wool blanket I couldn't agree with you more. Your scrappy blanket looks beautifully cheerful.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx