Tweed

These Saturday photo’s should be of big bonfires, raked leaves, snowdrops and crocuses. That’s much more reflective of the day I’ve had so far. There’s no hard and fast rule about lighting bonfires after a certain time of day. I checked to see if anyone had washing out or windows open and didn’t see either so much to M’s horror I lit the biggest bonfire we’ve ever had! It licked the tallest trees at one point but that would only improve the light for what little grass we have so it’s all good! Parts of the old wardrobes got burnt, a lot of fallen branches from the trees, leaves, left over split wood from our various recycled wood projects. It’s still burning steadily now and less smokey thank goodness. This year we seem to have more snowdrops and crocuses than ever, at least the ones that haven’t been trampled to death by the dogs.

We have an old neighbour who has a collection of ‘shanty sheds’ and burns wood all day every day in one of them and quite often stuff that gives off a rather toxic smell. We’ve often joked that he’s burning body parts but of course that joke isn’t very funny. We are relieved when we see his wife gardening. They were both ‘gardening’ today (patching up their shanty sheds) and I do believe I may have seen out of the corner of my eye a beckoning arm. I confess to playing the deaf card and pretending I didn’t see or hear them. Believe me, whole afternoons have been spent trying desperately to end a chat with ‘well I must get on but it was lovely to chat’. If it was summer and I was pottering I wouldn’t mind so much, but it’s winter and I need to keep moving out there, get things done and get back inside for hot coffee.

I recently had a FaceTime chat with someone very special. In the course of conversation I was asked if I crocheted mittens. Yes I certainly do, would you like a pair Grandad? It’s great when there is a genuine need for a woolly project. I googled, browsed my books, looked on ravelry and then decided to rely on my trusty sideways constructed rib stitch; the method I often use for hats. For this particular requirement I didn’t want to make the cuff too long because they’d be worn with a shirt and jumper. We agreed on open fingerless gloves, so no finger holes as such. I decided to use a five stitch taper at the finger end and a ten stitch narrower rib for the cuff with fifteen stitches in between. Thirty stitches altogether using chunky yarn and a 5mm hook for a nice thick fabric.

So the pattern, in loose terms requires a 31 st starting chain using one stitch to turn and working tbl at all times, working 10 stitches of dc, 15 stitches of htr and 5 stitches of dc. Chain one to turn and the next row will involve dc’s into all previous dc’s and htr’s into all previous htr’s. If you have the hand it needs to fit, to hand, haha, you can check for sizing. I used my own hand as a guide even though the recipient is a man, because I have quite big hands and I just added a bit extra and took note of how much ‘give’ the fabric had. Here’s hoping I can take them down to the South Coast in person! It’s been far too long since I was on home turf.

There’s something about tweedy yarns that really make me tick. It reminds me of an Aran jumper my Nan knitted when I was a child. I used to spend most of my time climbing trees and literally doing what I was always accused of, ‘you look like you’ve been through a hedge backwards’. I was always careful not to catch my hand knitted masterpiece on thorns but I did eventually go home with moss, bits of twig, grass, straw, all interwoven in my jumper. That’s what tweedy yarns remind me of, little bits of caught plant material.

The yarn I used for the fingerless mitts is Harrap Tweed by Sirdar. It’s a chunky yarn and I’ve just noticed that the label suggests a 6.5mm hook size which is surprising because it doesn’t seem to be a very bulky chunky yarn. It worked up fine with a 5mm hook using tbl rib. I absolutely love the deep orange and mustard flecks and I’ve got enough of it left over to make myself a slightly longer, slightly smaller pair since all the fingerless mitts in the entire house have vanished into thin air. I suspect there are a few pairs in a certain little car. E has a habit of leaving hats, gloves and scarves in her car when she’s become warm enough to shed them and then gathers a new set on her way to the car the next morning. It’s nice to know that when she takes her class on a nature walk and they don’t have hats or mittens she will often retrieve one of my crocheted items from her car to make sure they are warm. I’d love to be a fly on the wall so to speak. I can only imagine a walking line of little six year olds all with assorted hats I’ve crocheted!

As for the finishing line with the baby knits… the end is finally in sight! I’ll be glad to get it in the post at last. Four leg warmers is rather repetitive, and knitting is never going to be as much fun since I got so addicted to crochet! Riley has quite spindly legs for a Springer and I know that these leg warmers would fit him quite nicely but obviously I can’t try them on him just for a laugh because they need to stay hygienic for little babies. As a rule I don’t go in for dressing up dogs but this would have been extremely funny, just for a minute or two, and that precisely how long it would take him to chew them up too!

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