Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Deja deja decisions

After all my decision making in my post yesterday, and my eagerness to cast on, my brain interfered again and I spent most of the evening playing with colour combos in Excel.

It looked like this:



I stared at it for ages, showed it to my other half, stared at it again, showed it to my other half*
*repeat until bedtime.

I decided to get stuck in having whittled it down to two possible layouts. I'm still not one hundred percent sure but I'm hoping I'll have a better idea by the time I'm at the next colour change.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Deja decisions

Almost two years to the day that I cast on for what has so far been my biggest FO, I'm casting on another.

When I found out my first nephew was on the way I um'd and ah'd over what to knit for him; i.e. I spent hours browsing Ravelry looking at ALL THE BABY THINGS.

I wanted to make him a blanket, something he'd hopefully use and keep for several years, maybe into adulthood. While I like knitting modular patterns, crocheting motifs and generally being a clever clogs, my brain kept on returning to a simple yet effective pattern.

A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on


I've worked with MillaMia in the past and their oh so cheerful Teddy Blanket had always attracted a lot of attention at yarn shows. It's a very easy knit though it is an exercise in stamina.

After doing more browsing (thanks again Ravelry) I decided on it but using Rico Essential Cotton, not MillaMia yarn, as although I love their yarn and highly recommend you try it if you haven't already done so, my brother-in-law tends to tumble dry everything and I worried that a wool blanket would end up much smaller than intended.

I switched the pink for orange in blanket one but otherwise stuck to the pattern as the colours worked so well together.

A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on


So, this time around I went through exactly the same process. Browsed Rav, browsed Rav again, favourited various patterns and nearly settled on Munchkin, dithered over making the same blanket for Kid 2 as I wanted to make something the same (ie same size to avoid sibling rivalry).

I finally decided and the yarn arrived today! Hallelujah!

Blanket One with a wee friend I made.


I'm making another Teddy Blanket - again with Rico Essential Cotton yarn as there's even less chance of my BIL air drying a blanket -  but with slightly different colours.

Just need to finish writing this and cast on. Nephew Two is due at the start of July... The sweep stake is on: when the blanket will be finished???



By the way, Blanket One went down a treat. My nephew takes it to day care each day which is lovely to hear, and still looks in good nick almost two years down the line.




Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Slow burning, overthinking.

I have so many WIPs on the go that WIP Wednesday should be WIP-every-day for me. I'm pondering getting them all in one place so I work through them and actually finish them however that can feel a little overwhelming and in a way less fun.

Who knows, maybe I'll get round to it.

Having said that, not all my WIPs are lost causes, though some are slow burners.



I started this blanket during last year's Tour de France. I'd made a garter stitch blanket for my nephew and had enjoyed the mindless knitting, perfect for watching men in lycra cycling up hills.

While having a stash sort out I realised I had accumulated a fair amount of aran weight tweed yarn. I did a fair bit of pattern browsing on Ravelry and decided on making another garter stitch blanket, this time for me.

The stripes are Paul Smith inspired. I considered planning the blanket out but instead decided to go with the flow regarding stripe thickness and colour changes.

I’ve got about 1200g of yarn to play with and am currently about 26cm in. I'm thinking about making a random stripe generator as I spend too much time dithering over which colour to use next and how many rows to knit.

Ah, the joys of overthinking.

And to prove I can finish things, here's my Creative Bug Draw a Day FO from yesterday!




Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I want candy

Here's another one of my learn to draw sketches. One of the aspects I'm really enjoying about the online course is it mixes up simple and complex shapes. This encourages concentration for some challenges and giddy fun for others.

Yesterday's challenge was candy/sweeties. I decided not to watch the full tutorial before drawing as I wanted to see what I would produce without influence.



This isn't the most skillful of drawings but I had fun doing it and noticed it broke down some of my hang-ups (as I had with birds) around drawing well.

Better to get stuck in and try rather than do nothing. 

The birds


There is knitting action going on at the moment, I just haven't got round to blogging about it yet. I've also been doing more #CBDrawADay challenge. Here's birds from Sunday's lesson.

I wrote about how I was approaching Sunday's #CBDrawADay subject with anticipation over on my blog. I love #birds. I #bird watch. I have binoculars next to my garden facing windows at home so I look like a freaky Rear Window type when I'm just looking at who visits my garden. I go on holiday to places where I can do some serious birdwatching. I watch wildlife stuff all the time. Love it! This is something I'd like to be able to draw well, ie field guide illustration well. As Pam the tutor says at the end of today's video " Just go with it and have fun" which is something I found tricky, unlike yesterday's challenge. I started off drawing cartoon-like birds but started getting irritated when I couldn't get the lines right, especially the back between the head and the tail. I gave up on this approach and looked at pictures of birds and used this as my reference point. I did make myself draw without doing a preliminary pencil sketch which is something I'm trying to improve - hand-eye coordination and accuracy. I've also realised I need to slow down sometimes. I get impatient and when I rush my lines are wonky. I'll probably come back to this subject and try different species, maybe with #colour.

A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Loving cups?

"What! You don't post for months then you write two in a day?!?!?!?"

Yes, I hear you, my sly subconcious, and yeah, what of it?

So what if I blog like buses!

Anyway brain, get to it, your readers (hello dear reader, thanks for stopping by) are getting impatient.

I had a little moment of self realisation today. I was being a good student taking part in today's #CBdrawaday challenge. The subject is Loving Cups. Loving what? Indeed. To save retyping here's my Instagram post with my homework and thoughts on the actual topic.


A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on

Ramblings about 'Loving Cups' aside, when I was making myself a post-drawing cup of tea I was thinking how I'd really got into the challenge today. I don't care for trophies, I'm not in the least bit sporty, I don't think I've ever won a trophy as they're generally not awarded for the things I enjoy doing and I find them rather brash, and yet here I was getting stuck into the World Cup, the Ashes and a Wimbledon monstrosity. BTW, ever noticed the Wimbledon men's trophy has something like a small pineapple on top?

I think because I was drawing something I'd never wanted to draw before and don't care about I let go of trying to get it 'right' and concentrated on the drawing process itself. Hmm, interesting.

Tomorrow's topic is birds, something I'd love to be able to draw well as natural history is a big passion of mine and I spend much of my free time bird watching. Let's see if I can let go of perfection and get stuck in to the drawing tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've got a strong urge to draw the FA cup!