This is my latest fixation; the first of 99 knitted squares to make an afghan as copied from Debbie Abraham's splendid 'Blankets and Throws to Knit'. Each square has a beach theme, this one is 'Pebbles', and it took me ages to get it right, but I ended up with this.
After many false starts I figured out why I was kept adding 5 extra stitches after each bobble row... such a feeling of achievement to work through a problem like that and not just give up. However, now I've finished it, I'm starting to think maybe I really do need to take the advice she gives in the book to use the right needle size for the yarn... I think the whole blanket will turn into a misshapen tent otherwise.
As you can see in the pic, my stitches are quite loose and floppy whereas in the book the knitting is firm and will hold it's shape better. Also it should be knitted in a Rowan DK cotton, but there's no hope of me justifying buying 55 balls so, as is the way with all my projects, the components have gathered themselves in a random fashion: the yarn I'm using is an acrylic/wool blend received a week or so ago from a kind local Freecycler who had originally bought it but not got round to making a second blanket for her daughter (which is what inspired me to start this project) and the knitting needles I acquired a while back in a bundle of stuff either from a charity shop or car boot. Although I have managed to gather quite a collection of knitting needles, the majority of them are nasty placky-clacky ones and these are lovely old wooden needles that are just the right length to be able to knit without disembowelling the baby on my lap. I don't know why I expected them to be right for each other but I couldn't wait to get going! So I guess I'll have to have a look on Ebay for some smaller needles.
The Jacob's Ladder is slowly coming along, but I'm taking a little break from it until I find some decent batting. The last square I pieced was starting to become a little shoddy with corners not matching up, so I figure I need a break from that and take a new approach to it, so I'd like to start the actual quilting. As I'm doing it a la 'Quilt-as-you-go' style, ie a lap-quilt, which is realistically the only way I'm going to manage to finish this project, I can quilt each block as it's finished.
Ideally I'd like to use a lovely bamboo batting which I've used before, but sadly the shop that stocks it has since closed down and the only stockist in Liskeard sells a cotton/polyester mix which it seems a bit illogical to use as everything else is (as far as I can judge) is cotton.
For some reason I'd convinced myself that I'd got the block wrong so I rather pleased to see that the pattern actually does work! I've also found a junk shop in town is selling cheap rolls of brushed cotton in a check pattern that would work well as a backing for the quilt so I'm buying as much as I can afford. I figure I could always make pj's for the girls with what's left.
The girls have been busy too, so I've finally got round to displaying all of their artwork, which is added to every day (and adjusted by Milly who likes to pick the sequins off the lower pictures!). It's so fantastic to have had a couple of days of sunshine at last so they've been able to run around outside a lot more, which means everyone's happier. Jude's done lots of work in the allotment, which is looking more cared-for at last plus I've finally got some veg into the ground at last! Broad beans, peas and courgettes so far, but hopefully some more veg and also flowers. Last year's Poached Eggs have self-seeded beautifully but little else, though I'm thrilled with a rather stunning Aquilegia which has flowered this year. Pics to follow!
Enjoy the sunshine! :-)