Thief!

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It’s always upsetting when something gets nicked but it’s particularly horrible when it’s something you’ve made yourself. On Friday I was in the pub and another customer apparently decided that they were a bit cold and would like to warm themselves up by wearing my beloved Autumn Leaves scarf home! I should add that it’s quite a nice pub where the beer is fairly expensive and the customers can afford to buy their own accessories. It’s a bit silly to get overly attached to an inanimate object but I loved that scarf! 😦 I get very cold and pretty much hate winter but it’s so reassuringly big and cozy and colourful that it brought me much needed cheer. It took me a little while to make but I’ve worn it pretty constantly through this winter and last winter.

Now, I like a drink now and again (ahem…) and if I’d had one too many and forgotten it I would only have myself to be cross with. But I really can’t fathom what sort of person steals something that is so obviously handmade and irreplaceable and really of no value to anyone but me. I’ve had wallets stolen before of course (I lived in London for seven years) but I understand that as it’s skint people who are after money. It’s crappy and upsetting but it makes sense. This is something totally different……It’s not like there’s any chance that whoever took it thought it was theirs either! I’m really very confident that no-one else has made themselves the exact same pattern of scarf in the same wool….

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So, should you happen to be walking about in Cambridge and spot someone snugged up in my beautiful (and frankly rather distinctive) toasty scarf you will know they are a thief! I haven’t got the heart to make myself a new one at the moment so for the moment I will be looking very grumpy and a bit cold…….

Autumn leaves stole – just in time for the weather getting colder!

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Ideally I would have used some lovely pictures taken in the park with lots of lovely autumn leaves around but it’s mainly been raining so you’ll have to make do with a self-timer picture and a messy bedroom….

Autumn knitting can often be a race against time to get your toasty new garments ready for the weather to turn. I’m sure that there are organised people out there who start at the end of summer to make sure they have their stuff ready on time but I am not one of them! Luckily for me the autumn has been pretty mild in the UK so far and I have cast off my Autumn Leaves Stole just in time for the winter chill to start creeping in!

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I used Garnstudio DROPS Alaska in 58 Senf. It felt like a bold choice when I ordered it as I often stick to greys and browns but I love it!  I’m really into oranges and yellows at the moment, it must be the change of seasons! The wool was a total bargain £1.60 a ball from The Wool Warehouse. I was slightly concerned that the wool wouldn’t be soft enough when I first started knitting with it but now it’s been washed it’s lovely and soft!

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This is the first project I’ve made on my cubic needles. I’m really pleased with them and I’m sure that they have helped my hands. Luckily you can’t spot where I switched from round needles to the cubics!

The pattern is really simple to follow and the repeats are easy to remember. It looks like it’s going to be quite small until you block it and then it grows massively!  I was really good and did a proper kitchener stitch to joint the two pieces together. I’m glad I made the effort as it looks really good and you can’t see the join at all!

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I wanted to make sure that I didn’t lose the points at the end of the leaves and the width of the stole in blocking so I made more effort that usual. I stretched it right out and fiddled about until I could find an angle that I could fit it across the bed (it’s massive so that was a bit difficult!) and then pinned it down to the duvet. I wasn’t quite sure if it  would work or if the pins would rust but in the end it turned out just fine!

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Here it is blocking out the (slightly messy) spare bed. I’m not sure what I thought that towel would achieve!

I’m super pleased with how it’s turned out. I’ve worn it a couple of times now and it’s really warm and snuggly plus the colour is so cheerful on a dark rainy day.

Cubic needles – easier for arthritic hands?

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Here are my cubic needles in my Autumn Leaves stole. If you look closely you can see that they are square!

A little while ago my friend Maya mentioned that she’d heard  really good things about cubic needles being useful for knitters with arthritis in their hands. I’m always on the hunt for anything that will help me to be able to knit more and for longer so I was super keen to give them a go. Apparently the shape is more ergonomic and according to the makers reduces “hand fatigue”.

As my birthday was coming up I decided to see if any of my family members might treat me to a set of cubic needles. I guess I could have tried out a fixed needle first to see how I go on  but I’ve been wanting an interchangeable set for quite a few years now and it seemed like a good opportunity.  Luckily my Mum and Dad were happy to help me out.

I got the interchangeable Knit Pro Symfonie Rose set from Knit with attitude. They are a lovely dark wood and the packing is lovely. It all fits neatly into one little case with all of the needles and cables tucked away – a far cry from my tangle of individual circular needles! I sometimes feel like my knitting and knitting paraphernalia takes over much of the front room so it’s nice to have at least one thing that packs away nicely!

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It’s not quite as yellow as this in real life

I’ve started using them on my Autumn Leaves Stole. I’ve been a bit naughty and switched over needles part way through the project. It might give me some gauge based issues later on but I didn’t care as I was really excited to use them.

It was a bit weird knitting with square needles to start with. It took a few rows to get into the rhythm (and get used to the risk of being jabbed by a corner). Now that I’m used to them I’m really enjoying working with them. The wood is lovely to the use and the stole is looking great. Wood is so much nicer than metal!

It’s hard to tell at this early stage if they are helping my hands or not. I’m inclined to feel that they are but that could be wishful thinking on my part! I’ve certainly been able to have several evenings in a row knitting with them and not gone to bed with painful joints so it’s looking very promising!

My only problem with them is the sizes; for some reason they only start at a 4mm. Given that the needles I use most often are 2.75mm and 3.25mm that is a bit annoying. The 2.75mm in particular causes me problems with my hands so I would have been super keen to see if a cubic version would have helped. I tried to order them but they don’t actually make them….. I guess that I am fairly unusual in having a preference for 4ply over DK and aran and they just don’t have the demand for the smaller needles so they don’t make them. My problem with the heavier weigh wools is that they are much bulkier and less flattering plus they tend to lack drape. I really want to use my new needles though so I will be searching out decent DK and aran patterns to find something I actually like!

Autumn Leaves- finished!

 

My Autumn Leaves Stole- I think it looks very pretty.

My Autumn Leaves Stole by Jared Flood is now finished and I’m very pleased!

I started it as a way to use up some aran that I’ve had lying around  and to pass the time while I was off work.  I wasn’t sure how the stripes would look but it’s come out really well and I really like way the colours work together. The lace pattern was easy to follow and because of the big wool and needles it was a really quick knit.

My hand looks very large in this picture but you can see how snuggly the scarf is. Another picture where I have wet hair though....

The pattern is knitted in two parts and then grafted together. This meant that I finally had to get around to working out how to do kitchener stitch. I thought it was going to be tricky but with the Knitty tutorial it was quite easy.

The scarf comes out lovely and long and its also quite wide so it’s really nice and warm. The winter is sneaking in and it’s getting colder so it’s a perfect time so have a lovely warm scarf. Also because I made it from wool I had lying around it was practically free!  Now I just need to knit myself a new hat and I am ready for the proper cold weather.