Saturday, 22 March 2014

A busy few weeks and a bit of extreme knitting

Wow - it's been a bit of a whirlwind here at the Wool Nest. I've had so many commissions over the last few weeks that I've barely had time to breathe. I've enjoyed every single one of them and even though a couple were a little bit tricky, they've all turned out well (I just hope the editors think so too). 

I've made flamingos, a fairisle cushion, a pair of short socks (to match a longer pair I made last year), crochet cars, poppies, coat hanger covers, a princess, a lighthouse, crochet letters, crochet mittens, a crochet bed jacket and a super super chunky throw. I'll share photos of each and every one as soon as they're published.

I felt delighted (and priviledged) when the editor of Homemaker magazine asked if I'd like to take on the commission for the throw - delighted and excited as I've always wanted to try some extreme knitting. The yarn arrived and it was absolutely gorgeous, squishy and luxurious. It's 100% merino yarn called Fat & Sassy, spun in Finland by TJOCKT and the colours were just up my street -bright yellow, grey and a gorgeous creamy white. Tjockt's website is here if you want to read more about them and their beautiful yarns and products:

I ordered my super-sized needles and waited patiently for them to arrive and couldn't wait to work up a swatch. I wound the giants skeins into giant balls of yarn - much to my son's delight, who thought they'd make great footballs!!!!

After swatching I worked out how many stitches I could knit with each colour and designed my throw accordingly. I wanted to keep it simple, as the yarn is so gorgeous it needed to speak for itself. You'll be able to see my finished design in Homemaker magazine issue 18 which is due out in April. I was really pleased with the outcome and worked out that I'd knitted up well over £200 of yarn - what a scary thought.

I thought that extreme knitting would be really easy and quick, but I was mistaken. It takes longer to knit each stitch as it's very difficult to get any sort of rhythm going and the needles are huge so it's quite difficult to hold them. I had to rip out my first few attempts as I'd decided (for some unknown reason) to introduce a pattern at the last minute, but forgot that my swatch was in stocking stitch, hence I used up much more yarn that I'd calculated for, so my square blanket would have ended up as a half-square instead - oops. But after a couple of false starts I was well on my way, and finished the blanket in time for the deadline, which is always a relief. I wondered how I'd weave in the ends of yarns as I've never seen an extreme darning needle - but I just used my fingers and I managed to hide them all perfectly.

I fell in love with this yarn - the quality, the softness, the colours and the knit were all amazing. It was so snuggly and cosy too and kept me toasty warm as I knitted it up. I could have willingly kept this luxury throw as it looked fantastic in my conservatory. I even have a couple of cute cushions that matched perfectly. So it was with great sadness that I said goodbye to the throw and will look forward to seeing it beautifully styled in Homemaker Magazine in April. Homemaker has a great website with lots of free downloads and great articles here:

Needless to say - I love my job :) and I'm grateful to all of the lovely Editors that I work with for offering me such fun and enjoyable projects.

I'd love to hear if you've been doing any extreme knitting or crochet?

Happy crafting to you all, Lynne x