Time Flies

It’s months since my last blog but I’m up for it now. I spent 6 weeks with Daughter No1 and Grandson in Ohio in August and September returning the first week of October! And I crammed a lot into those weeks apart from playing with Thomas trains, Duplo blocks and reading stories.

I drove to Hudson OH so my husband could get a Pea Coat – evidently it’s some sort of special coat worn by the Forces and we had to go to a store 2 hours drive away – don’t worry he said its not far it’s in Ohio – Ohio is bigger than the UK and that’s all I’m saying.

We went to a Livestock market in Danville and procured 5 more chickens for Daughter No 1’s flock – 8 eggs a day now.

We trained the rooster (Neville) to eat cracked corn out of our hands. Why Neville you say? Grandson named them all after characters in Peppa Pig! Some of the  new ones have more original names – Brownie, Road Runner and Mrs Rock.

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Knitting what about the knitting – yes there was some-

Another Big Wool Hoodie for Mindy – Daughter No 1’s friend

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The Wide Neck Sweater – Blackberry Ridge 4 ply

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More about this sweater later

Two Sweaters for the Grandson – Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed Aran

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and Jojoland Splatter Dash

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–  not quite finished before I returned but since sent to him. Both patterns sourced on Ravelry.

And part of Iron Maiden Shawl – Ella Rae Lace – on the flight

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Some Phydeaux yarn was waiting for me

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plus a yarn bowl from Blue Room Pottery

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and some stitch markers from Lavender Hill Knits

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But NO I did not visit a single yarn shop in those six weeks I couldn’t find one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carrie’s Roller Coaster Ride!!

I have a penchant for Kim Hargreaves designs and when I was looking for a little cotton jacket I came across Carrie in the Misty book and thought this is the one – then the roller coaster ride began!!

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The jacket was made in Rowan’s Fine Milk Cotton which was of course by that time discontinued!!

Aha I thought, I will look for a substitute yarn but no I could not find a yarn and there wasn’t one on the yarn comparison sites so I used my trusty Google search and found some at English Yarns – www.englishyarns.co.uk/‎. I ordered 11 balls  in this lovely Dark Teal shade and put it in my stash.

During the Xmas break I decided to start it . It was straightforward with enough pattern to keep it interesting, the stitch definition was good and as I worked on it in my knitting groups the comments were all positive.

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The back and fronts progressed well and I used short row shaping for the shoulders and a three needle bind off – 2 less seams to sew up (I hate the sewing up part)

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Of course I got involved in several other projects and this was on the back burner but I did get the sleeves finished.IMG_0604

Until now the ride had been fairly smooth but with the end in sight only the collar and drawstring to go the ride became rough and very hairy!!! Here are the ups and downs –

Down – I cast on the collar and horrors of horrors I realised I was using the last ball!!! And no way was there going to be enough!!!

Up –  I contacted English Yarns and they had one ball in their inventory they would cll me back once they had got it from the stockroom

Down – they rang back and couldn’t find it!

Up – I contacted a lady on Ravelry who agreed to send it (from Billings Montana) I paid for it

Double Dip Down – it didn’t arrive and suddenly I was reimbursed the payment – the friend who was posting it for her lost it!!

Ok, now I was going to have to get serious – so hanging on tight I :

contacted several people on Ravelry who had it in their stash – Up

Down – they didn’t reply

I went on the Rowan site  and rang about 20 stockists – Up

Down – no-one had any

I emailed Webs in the USA – Up

Down –  they had none – try Ravelry they said

By now I was getting worried and beginning to feel sick, but I couldn’t stop I had to source a ball otherwise it would forever be in a project bag!

Up – Janice at John Lewis Bluewater contacted all the stores in the hope that a branch would have some

What to do so at the Sunday Knitting Group we talked about it and Susan said what about some forums and later that day she sent me the links for 3 forums – In search of and Rowan Love both on Ravelry and Phoenix Knitting Forum.

Up – I posted on all three

Down – waiting for a response was terrible – people looked at them but no replies

Up – I had a reply and YES she was willing to let me have a ball and it was the same dye lot!!

Up – buttons were bought

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UP – the yarn arrived!

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Double UP – the collar and drawstring were finished!!!!

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Only the sewing up to go – and the roller coaster ride was over!!! I am really pleased with it and the positive comments make the roller coaster ride worthwhile.

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Transatlantic Sweater

As soon as I arrived in March to visit Daughter no 1 and Grandson she handed me a Webs catalogue ( Webs is one of the largest online yarn stores in the United States and I have bought quite a lot of yarn from them ). Look she said they have this great sweater “I really like it” which is her way of saying “will you make it for me?”

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We looked at the yarn while I was there but didn’t promise to make it, I thought I would do it as a surprise. The colour she chose was Shore which is a dusty pink. So after I got back and was at my monthly knitting club Woolly Women at John Lewis – Bluewater I purchased the yarn using the discount they give us.

At this point I ought to tell you that knitting with yarn that is Aran or thicker is not my favourite pastime but that’s what she wanted.

The pattern is by Marie Wallin and it looked straightforward with a clear chart. Great I thought this will be a doddle!

Rib complete I started on the pattern and Oh Boy was it tricky!! The pattern row was done on the wrong side! And did I struggle!!

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If I had thought about it I would have adapted it but no I knitted the front and the back working the chart from left to right!!

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Then came the sleeves, a completely different pattern but this one was worked on both rows! I have had some conversations about the sleeve pattern on Ravelry with someone struggling to get it right.

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At last it was finished and sewn up – Daughter No 2’s friend modelled it for the pictures.

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I was really pleased with it when it was finished and the stitch definition looked great!

I packed it up in a box, with of course books, one about a pirate and underpants, another about a robot who loses his bottom and a soft toy of the witch from Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson for Grandson.

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Here it is ready for the Post Office.

It winged it’s way across the Atlantic to Ohio.

And this is what came on my phone

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“I love it Mum”

Truly a Transatlantic Sweater!!

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