Square by square

To knit a square, I knit in a circle. 

 

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At the beginning of a month known for its showers, I thought it was appropriate to share my current, more long term project. Another pattern from Kate's excellent book Inspired by Islay. A rainbow of colours to knit for the Birlinn blanket which is the last pattern in the book. How could I resist when I saw the photographs of the blanket and the beautiful beach on Islay. I doubt I will ever be visiting the beach but I can share the joy of this modular design which I started wondering if I could even cast on as I was required to work a pinhole technique. After the help of YouTube videos I soon developed a way which suite me to create the pinhole with a  crochet hook. I had several attempts to knit the rest of the square with short and long DPNs (double pointed needles) which I mastered but wasn't as comfortable with all those points and joins in my work. Eventually I went back to the small circular needles 23cm/9" shown in the photo above. One DPN to bind off my circular squares and the little stitch marker to mark my rounds. I have filled my Fringe association field bag with my wool and tools to keep this project together over the months it will take me to knit.

Birlinn blanket squares before blocking  

Birlinn blanket squares before blocking  

The photo above shows my 'squares' when they come off the circular needle. The 3D design popping as I bind off each stitch. There are corners which I need to block out after my squares come out of the spa. The process is addictive and now I have started I keep wanting to add 'just one more' There are six colours of Buachaille (Kate's wool) and I will knit six squares of each of the colours. Furze, Moonlight Nicht, Highland Coo. Islay and Yaffle. I knit in sets of six, then spa and block, dad helps with blocking and is keen to see the blanket develop. I guess he wants to keep me knitting and watches my progress so I don't bypass his part in the fun!

Birlinn blanket squares after blocking  

Birlinn blanket squares after blocking  

There is a year long KAL in Kate's Ravelry group which is proving interesting as each knitter finds a technique to suit their style of knitting. I made several attempts before deciding on the one that I use. Pinhole its crochet hook. Rows 1-6 with two small circular needles transferring to one small circular for the rest of the square to end up with one DPN to bind off. I have marked out squares on my blocking mats to pin each one to the required size. The squares spring back a little and are waiting for me to pick up stitches and join each one by using a three needle bind off! if anyone thought blankets just happened, they are welcome to join in this process to see how Kate designed this modular blanket.

I thought I would share this project in the early stages and then reveal my version of the blanket after a lot more knitting and blocking. Hopefully I will have a happy blanket to brighten up my room.

I will also remind myself when I see and feel those April showers that there is an abundance of joy when I see a rainbow.

Whenever I see a rainbow, I remember God is love.

 

Under the hood

Back against the wall  

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Blue sky and sunshine on the weekend we put the clocks forward and entered into British summertime we made a last minute decision to put on our boots and take the camera for another knitwear photo shoot.

This outing wasn't pre-planned as I had an exhausting week with one thing and another to zap me plus there's a room in our home undergoing some organisation to sort out my needles and wool. Hopefully when I eventually get this done I will find my missing skein of Brooklyn Tweed. 

The hoodies I had knit over the past few months was sitting waiting for the finished project photos. The weather, my energy and time weren't on our side. The hoodie is a pattern from one of my favourite designers Véronik Avery who writes for Brooklyn Tweed. It was a boy's pattern but I wanted to learn the techniques used and still have something to wear at the end of the project. My task was also to add a bit of a feminine touch to make it possible for me to wear it as the size was perfect for me.

It looks simple and I thought it would be quick to knit but I entered into a knitting adventure playground. I ventured to use a few techniques which would have terrified me on a larger garment. Steeks were added to eventually create armholes for my sleeves and a neckband. Before I could soak and block I had to cut the steeks to fit in the sleeves. I was nervous sewing in the drop sleeves as they needed to be accurate. I was a few days back and forward trying to convince myself they fitted correctly. I had crocheted the steeks to reinforce them but felt this made them bulky at the arms so I took leave of my senses and decided to trust the sticky wool, trimmed the steek stitches back, hand stitched the excess just to make sure and felt much better that the sleeves would lie flat on my arms.  The hood picked up and a few short rows later, another trip to the wool spa and Magnus was ready to wear.

A few photos of my knitting to share today

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I had to get dressed quicker than I have ever done before! There was no time to change my mind as dad was packing the car ready to go as we really needed to make use of the natural  for the photographs. We passed the white blossom bringing branches to life, I paused for a moment longing to have my macro lens to capture the beauty of the tiny flowers. We had a taste of the good times we had last year when we walked along with our cameras looking for butterflies, a lovely prospect if the weather warms up and I can store up some energy to go back to our happy places. We need photos for our blog and galleries and 'time to forget time' as routine can be detrimental to letting go and remembering we love to be where the grass and trees are budding and all of nature is in tune.

We came home tired but inspired and Sunday was a complete day of rest. Exhaustion hit me full force, the afternoon out, loosing an hour and the energy used to pose for the photographs, I would much rather have be in the other side of the lens!

 

I was going to type more but as Dr Seuss exclaimed 'How did it get so late so soon?'

 

Thank you for reading this blog at whatever time it is in your part of the world.

Beverley