Sitting by the rooftop pool, gentle trickle from the ornate fountain behind her and the quiet hum of traffic below, she looks out across the bay of Naples taking inspiration from the colours around. The patchwork of blue in the the shimmering water of the Mediterranean Sea, where the depth plunges far and the currents turn, interspersed by the wake of the shining white hulls of boats as they pass would blend seamlessly into an ombre blue sky. That is if not for the slither of land that is Napoli to the locals and the cloud topped peak of the inspiring Mount Vesuvius.
Okay, okay, I’ve gone all poetic on you and I’m talking about myself in the third person again. Blame that on my book choice…not the usual crime, fantasy or the long haul that is the Game of Thrones books but The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies. Nothing as good as a change. I’m only up to the start of chapter 3 but I’m enjoying the descriptive phrase.
So anyhow, I’m sat here in the shade of a large umbrella because this stupid sausage missed part of the factor 50 of her leg on Saturday and needs to keep out of the sun. I’ve spent some time perusing Pinterest, Ravelry and Loveknitting for some inspiration since I arrived in Sorrento. At 23 weeks pregnant and counting, with one whole Elijah and two ears left to knit for others my attention is turning to some winter woollies for my little boy. On the whole I’m disappointed by the options. I’m looking for modern shapes and they seem to be in short supply for wee boys. I guess this could be that they are difficult to create, or that they’re impractical for the tiny ones but I guess I’ll soon find out. I have a mind to create some patterns when I’ve practiced at knitting some real garments (my first attempt was hibernated and is soon to be frogged because of an appalling yarn choice).
I’m also turning my hand to crochet again for a pram blanket so this is where all the inspiration some in. I have growing in my mind a patchwork style navy to the palest blue ombre blanket with an ombre edging starting at it’s inner round the palest blue to the darkest navy at its outer. I’ve started putting yarn into my Loveknitting basket as our local yarn stores don’t stock the colour range I’m looking for in a single yarn and can’t quite wait to get home to get the Elijahs out of the way.
So I’ve been dreaming of crocheted blankets for the beds in our house. I thought it best to make a baby blanket first so I would know what I’m letting myself in for. There are so many options out there with over 13000 patterns in Ravelry for ‘baby blanket’ it’s almost an impossible task to choose so I have gone with the option with most projects … Attic24’s Neat Ripple Pattern.
Colour wise the options are endless. There are endless colour combinations; just look at some of the combinations I’ve pinned. The recommended Stylecraft Special yarn makes anything possible thanks to it’s 60 something colour options.
When I bought the yarn, I didn’t know Baby S was a boy so I opted for a rainbow combination and literally chose the best colour combination my local yarn store had in stock and this is what I came up with.
While browsing online for equipment (I’m thinking a set of interchangable needles) I stumbled across these stitch markers from Charmed Knitting and can’t get over how cute they are. Compared to my cheap plastic rings that I’ve never really liked, these are amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on some. The only question is, which ones to choose? This is just a small selection!
So on a very frosty morning here in middle England, I am thinking about the cast on method used in the Elijah pattern I posted about recently. Looks like it would be a perfect day to get out into the garden (my other big love) but decorating the Christmas tree and finishing off the table stockings are going to take priority today.
Elijah is knit in the round, starting at his head and his body is joined to his head by picking up stiches, and arms, legs, and ears are then joined in the same way in turn. The cast on for his head is a circular, disappearing middle cast on. Ysolda’s pattern directs the knitter to a techknitting blog page which explains how to cast on.
Trying this cast on for the first time is not for the faint hearted. I cannot repeat the language that I was using trying to cast on my first Elijah head; fortunately I was sat in hotel room in Manchester all alone on a work trip so no one else had to hear me. Following the diagrams is not easy, and once you’ve worked out what you’re actually meant to be doing, and you’ve tried five or six times and got the stitches cast on to one needle, you then have to distribute them over three needles and knit them. Well you’ll almost certainly have to cast on again because a needle is bound to slip out at least once. I know this from experience being on Elijah number nine.
What I have learned from repeating this cast on a number of times…
- Use bamboo needles if you’ve got them and not metal
- Use a crochet hook to do the initial cast on rather than a knitting needle
- Keep everything as tight as possible
- Keep the yarn taught by clamping in between your knees (or any thing else that will serve that purpose) and wrap the yarn around your had twice so you’ve got two parallel pieces of yarn across your hand. (Picture to follow)
- Be patient
- Then have a go at belly buttons or umbilical waste cord method
So I’m yet to try the belly buttons or umbilical cord methods simply because I’ve only just found out about them when I was linking the disappearing loop page to this post. I will reserve judgement on this method until I’ve tried it but will let you know which I prefer when I get round to it.
It’s funny how a pin sometimes takes off. I don’t really have Pinterest followers so any re-pins really surprise me because it means someone has just stumbled across it … six re-pins and two likes in a week is amazes me. I know it’s only small numbers but I thought I should share my delight. I thought that after the stockings, I could use this pattern to practice a little crochet and use up some of the left over yarn but there isn’t a source for it. If anyone knows where it comes from can you share please?