Squeezing in the Yarn Time

It doesn’t feel like a Tuesday because we’re now in school holidays, so we have no routine, only chaos πŸ™‚ The German (my husband) has the first week off so we’re enjoying some good family time, which is great. They’ve all gone down to the river in the village this morning though, while I get through the laundry backlog. So I’ve quickly bunged in a load, and here I am, pretending there is no ironing to do πŸ™‚ I have to catch my yarny moments while I can in school hols; I’m sure all crochet mums (and dads?) relate.

So, first up! An update on my longest running wip ever: a thirty block crochet blanket (pictured above) using patterns from the Look At What I Made 2014 Block A Week CAL, that I’ve been working on for three and a half years! I’ve finally joined all the squares and completed the base round. Now I’m choosing the border. I absolutely LOVE ‘Around the Corner Crochet Borders’ by Edie Eckman. It’s a book I return to over and over, not just when I need border inspo, but well, just to flip through and now then – so much pretty! Incredibly inspiring, too; I’m starting to feel the urge to design my own border one day, something which Edie absolutely encourages. The book not only contains 150 different border designs – including charts for each one as well as written instructions – it also contains lots of technical notes such as explaining stitch count maths – finally, I get it!! – and even tips on design concepts and troubleshooting problems. Five star review from me.

In learning to knit news, well…I can say I have persevered. I managed to finish a dishcloth, after a great deal of ripping and re-catching of stitches. I have since been assured that ripping and re-catching of stitches are very necessary knitting skills, so I suppose I am making progress? I bought ‘More Than A Dozen Dishcloths’ by Lisa Carnahan with the idea of learning new techniques and stitches in small, manageable projects. I have started and abandoned a few already truth be told, and I feel that this is not a book for beginners. Or at least not this beginner! While the patterns are pretty, and I will keep at them for sure, if you require any illumination at all regarding stitches or techniques, it is not to be found within these pages, you must go elsewhere.

So, in knit conclusion for this week, I remind myself that it took me many frustrating attempts to learn to crochet, and the key is to remain calm and persevere. So I shall continue to intersperse my obsessive crocheting with a little knitting, and we shall see!

Finally, as we all know, you can never have too much yarn, and I have been on a self-imposed ban since my pilgrimage in February all the way from here on the Mid North Coast, New South Wales, to Bendigo in Victoria, for the express purpose of visiting Bendigo Woollen Mills (1,376km by road; thankfully we flew!). It is therefore high time I added to my stash, no? πŸ˜€ I have been hearing great things about Paintbox Yarns, so I’ve now got some on order. Yah! I decided to give the dk cotton a try, cotton being my fave fibre here in the subtropics. I will report back. Have you used any Paintbox yarns?

I also couldn’t resist a wee browse on the Knitpicks site. They always have great yarn-related bits and bobs that The German for some reason deems absolutely unnecessary, but which add an extra ray of sunshine to my life, such as amusing tote bags and mugs. I also ordered a storage case for my new Knitpro Zing circular needles, as I don’t like the case they come in, and this one has extra pockets too. But I will share more about that when my happy mail arrives and I get a proper look at it all. I cannot wait!!

Final news for this week is that I have at long last designed a new 8 inch (20cm) afghan square. I loved putting it together and I’m super excited to say that it is being tested right now as I type, in several different countries, and in both UK and US terms. I hope to publish it via Ravelry very soon. Meantime you can download my other square pattern for free here. It is lonely there, I feel, my one little square to date. But, there will be more!

I think this has got quite long, so I shall stop now. I’ll be back next Tuesday with more happy hooking vibes. Remember you can subscribe via email (there’s a button at the top of the sidebar) should you so wish. Only one email per week, on a Tuesday, containing that week’s blog post.

What’s your longest running ever wip?

Do you knit as well as crochet? Which do you prefer?

Bye for now, and I wish you happy hooking! ❀

P.S. I have created a Facebook page for Hooks and Hills, if you are of the Facebook persuasion and would like to pop over and say hi. I am very active on Instagram too. Much more so than Facebook, but perhaps it’s easier to get a multiway convo going on a Facebook page? I don’t know. We’ll see πŸ™‚

~This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commision if you choose to purchase a linked product~


6 thoughts on “Squeezing in the Yarn Time

  1. tonymarkp says:

    Good for you on the knitting front! I recall learning a lot from having to rip out my knitting when I first started. So, hopefully, although you’ve had to undo some, you learned something from it. I distinctly remember understanding how the fabric came together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam @hooksandhills says:

      Ripping and catching is indeed teaching me about stitch anatomy Tony! It seems much more complicated than crochet in the way the fabric comes together, though! Especially as if you lose one stitch you can easily lose the one below as well, and I haven’t quite had the patience to catch stitches from the row below as well – I tend to just rip the whole thing if that happens! Hence becoming attached to dishcloth making lol. I have got to where I don’t give up after one mistake though, and I will rip a whole row or two if need be and painstakingly recatch them all (trying hard not to twist them). So I will take that as progress πŸ˜€ Thanks for your encouragement ❀ I have visions of knit clothes. I must just keep them in mind and remain patient and determined πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonymarkp says:

        One advantage knitting has over crochet is that you can fix knitting mistakes without having to rip out entire rows. Now that you have ripped and see how the stitches come together, I think you might benefit from Googling about how to fix knitting mistakes. There are lots of videos and explanations. You can even fix mistakes with cables without ripping out an entire row, and that sounds really weird since cables look so hard to make, but it’s knitting’s advantage. Crochet, of course, has the advantage over knitting of not having live stitches constantly hanging from the needle, which makes ripping out a lot simpler. Another thing you might like to look up is: “knitting life line.” You can thread stitches in rows below the ones you’re ripping out so that you don’t lose them when you actually rip out. Happy learning!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Pam @hooksandhills says:

          Thanks so much Tony ❀ I find the 'live stitches' thing so intimidating! Crochet seems so much simpler…but I remind myself again that it was not simple at all 4 years ago πŸ™‚ I am excited and intrigued by what you say about not having to rip whole rows in knitting to correct mistakes. One tiny mistake in Sophie's Universe cost me HOURS – a group of dc instead of sc meant 2 huge rounds frogged. I was so distressed I couldn't go back to her for 2 weeks afterward πŸ˜‚ I will Google these things of which you speak. Thanks again!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Textiles on the move says:

    Hi Pam – I found you via my WordPress Reader. Was very happy to read your longest WIP is still coming along, which makes me feel my scarf WIP (free machine sewing) which is up to it’s 8th yr WIP, but am hopeful it will be done by 2020 – is not totally shameful. Then again, procrastination is probably my strongest trait (sadly!). I also have a German husband who is trying hard to get rid of his accent (very doubtful!), and I bought some fabulous yarn at the Bendigo Mills 2 years ago. I’m currently crocheting a few hundred ring pulls together and hope to have a nice clutch bag at the end of it. And hope to have it done by the end of next month. Unfortunately my track record is not too impressive time line wise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam @hooksandhills says:

      Hi Cath, thanks for saying hello πŸ™‚ Longest wip now complete haha! Started another block blanket almost straight away – hopefully it will not take quite as many years! It’s about process though, right? πŸ™‚ ❀
      My German learned English from me in Scotland and over here in Australia so he doesn't have that 'comedy' accent (I say that with love πŸ™‚ )
      Your travels sound so interesting and I am now following your blog.
      Happy hooking and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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