Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bears and Squares

Well technically it's Bear and Squares in my case

The Tunisian crochet blanket that I started in July and a knitted bear to go with it is ready to take up to Ally Pally, in a couple of weeks, for the Bears and Squares campaign for Refuge.

I had the idea of alternating different Tunisian crochet stitches with squares of Tunisian simple Stitch.

But it wasn't until I had almost finished that it dawned on me - wouldn't it have been better to have used the plainer yarn for the fancy stitches, and the fancy yarn for the plainer squares?! Oh well, must have been someone elses turn for the brain cell when I first thought about it! Still, I'm rather pleased with the end result nevertheless.

The bear is from Val Pierce's 20 to make - Knitted Tiny Bears and reminds me of a little girl wearing her big sisters dress, (I suppose I could pretend it was deliberate so that the bear can be undressed more easily - no? oh well, just a thought) but hopefully someone will still love her anyway.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Birds and other random reminiscences.

Look out Mr Hitchcock, I think we are about to remake your film in our back garden!
I've tried to count them several times and I get an average of 142! No need to aerate our lawn this year then!
I remember watching the original film, I was only about 10 or 11 and it was on in the TV lounge of the guesthouse I was staying in with my grandparents in Margate - I was terrified, but Nan wouldn't let me go up to our room because she said it would be rude to leave the lounge when the other guests were still watching, so I spent most of the film behind a cushion! (Though I loved her dearly she had some very strange ideas of etiquette.)

Birds and flying leads me to .....

It was such a lovely day yesterday I couldn't resist a picture of what we get up to on a sunny Saturday afternoon - having spent quite a while taking photos of 14" wingspan planes whizzing passed me at about 20mph I deserved a rest and a knit while DH tried out one of his bigger models.I still had the camera to hand and the clouds looked so nice.
I must say I always thank heavens for digital cameras when I'm shooting these little planes, you have to take a very large number of pictures and only a small percentage are sharp enough for the exacting standards of the magazine - I just don't know how they managed in 35mm days, bet the chemist was happy when the saw one of our lot approaching!
This flying site is only a couple of miles away and it is so peaceful there, on a warm sunny day the only other sounds are the occasional train chugging passed in the distance and a few dogs barking in the Kennels several fields over.

And after yesterdays sunniness (is there such a word?) today is more like winter, dull rainy and cold - you can tell winter is approaching because I have started making soup again.
Believe it or not this used to be a favourite of DD and her friends when she was younger - offer them Leek and Potato soup and you'd get a "No Thanks!" but
add a toast man and call them 'Snot Surfers' and the plate was clean!
I think some of it may have been to do with the fact that I was probably the last person they would expect to say something like that. Being a slightly older mother I was always assumed by DD's friends to be boring and staid and then I'd go and do something unexpected - Like the time her friend came back for tea between school and the school concert and they took so long to clear up having had a really good time that I could see we were likely to be late - DD's little friend thought I would be cross (like her mum would have been) but they had been tidying I just said "Oh well, we'll just have to skip to school then" and we did, literally, the 3 of us holding hands and skipping the 1/2 mile through the estate and down the main road to school!!
After her initial shock DD's friend started giggling along with DD and so 2 very happy little girls and one (slightly panting) mother arrived just in the nick of time - so much easier, more fun (and quicker) than scolding and chivying

I think I'd better stop now before I get all nostalgic and bore anyone reading this but I did just text DD to let her know I'd made soup and she could have some for lunch at work tomorrow.... and guess what she asked for to go with it :0)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little Boy Blue Preemie Hat

Every so often I look at a stitch pattern and wonder what else I could do with it. This time it was purls in a vertical row on the knit side, and as I am still making lots of things for The Little Love Project naturally my thoughts turned to baby items. I had recently acquired a small amount of nice denim-y blue 4ply, so a hat suggested itself, and a couple of scrappy bits of paper and a few lunch breaks later I had 'designed' a pattern.

(Haha, designed indeed! I really don't think of myself as a pattern designer - far too grand a label, but how else to put it.)

So anyway, in case someone else out there might like to try it - here is my

Little Boy Blue Preemie Hat
Available in two sizes, preemie and small newborn, knit flat and seamed

A small amount of 4ply
3.25mm knitting needles

Cast on 56sts (72sts)
Work 2x2 rib for 1 1/2”

Row 1: Knit
Row 2: P3, K1 across the row

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until work measures 4 1/2” (5”)

Decrease as follows:
*Start decreasing at Row 1 for larger size, and Row 5 for smaller size*.
Row 1: (K7, K2tog) across row (64sts)
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: (K6, K2tog) across row (56sts)
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: (K5, K2tog) across row (48sts)
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: (K4, K2tog) across row (40sts)
Row 8: (P3, P2tog) across row (32sts)
Row 9: (K2, K2tog) across row (24sts)
Row 10: (P1, P2tog) across row (16sts)
Row 11: K2tog across row (8sts)

Cut yarn leaving a end long enough to sew seam – thread through remaining 8sts, draw up, sew back seam keeping it as flat and smooth as possible. Turn up brim.

Of course there is no reason why this hat shouldn't be knitted in pink or any other suitable colour. Feel free to knit these for your favourite SCBU/NICU, local charity or any preemies you know, but please use the pattern in the spirit in which is was intended and do not profit from them.
Please note: I am not a pattern writer, just someone who enjoys knitting and making up patterns for charity, so I hope this is clear and without mistakes, but if you do find any please let me know so that I can correct them.
Thanks and enjoy.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Keeping it in the family

August bank holiday weekend means only one thing in the Modelwidow household - The National Model Flying Championships. For more years than I care to remember, assorted and varied members of the extended family make the pilgrimage to Barkston Heath airfield in Grantham Lincolnshire to attend the event.

Now, as BIL is the editor of a well known (buyable in WHSmiths type) model magazine, and DH is the deputy editor and web editor, there is quite a connection with this field and for the last couple of years we have had a stand in the trade area promoting the magazine to which DD and I are dragged invited along to help.

So this it where my lovely DD and I spent our bank holiday. To be honest, we love it, it is great to be part of DH's world, to see how respected and known he is. DD may be 19 now, but as she put it "I see how people talk to him and think, that's my dad!"
We spent an enjoyable weekend, working harder than we do 9-5, but meeting lots of nice people and some others!
Because our 'shop' is only made of canvas, sturdy though it may be, we can't leave the stock over night so it's a case of unloading and loading the van daily - done rather hastily on the Saturday evening as a rather spectacular storm could be seen heading our way - shame I was too busy rushing in and out with boxes to take photos of the sky.

The 'shop' may be canvas, but I do draw the line as far as that goes with sleeping facilities - been there, done that and had the tent smack me round the face every 5 minutes all night because it has been so windy - and with the excuse that working girls need a good shower and a comfy bed we stay in the nearby Premier Inn - it's fun watching the receptionists face when up to 5 people all with the same surname but split across 3 or more different rooms book in (though sadly FIL now 80 decided not to join us this year).

Last year I was so tired at the end of each day that I didn't knit a stitch. This year we were much better organised, less stressed and it all went so smoothly that I finished the Well Travelled Hitchiker
.....and didn't have anything else to knit!!!
However, much to my family's amusement, I found the only stall at the event selling a few balls of baby wool and quickly checking Ravelry (well as quickly as my phone would allow) I found the Simple Lines Baby Blanket pattern and cast on, keeping me happy for the rest of the weekend.