In which things are looking rather square (except for the triangle)

In which things are looking rather square (except for the triangle)

I’ve been making squares for a while, Esther Dijkstra published a ‘crochet along’ last year on her blog for a blanket called Nuts About Squares which I fancied making. I started it in the autumn  spring (oops, I don’t know what time of year it is anymore) and then got side tracked with Christmas stockings before I got round to writing anything about it.

Esme’s Winter Cottage by Dedri Uys

It’s a great pattern – she has collected a load of 12″ square patterns from different designers who agreed to be part of it and put them together to make a big blanket, she has made all the squares up to the same number of stitches so you can join them easily and published yardage for different weights of yarn and for a border and it’s lovely.

Spiro Star by Helen Shrimpton

All of the squares are a little bit unusual or interesting to make so it’s has been really fun working through them, some of them are slightly fiddly and some just use common stitches in a particular combination to make shapes that look a bit different.

Denna by Polly Plum

There are three of most of the squares in different colour combinations so you can get the hang of a pattern without getting bored of having to make thirty five of them (it is five squares by seven) although I am considering making thirty six because why would you call a blanket Nuts About Squares and then have an almost square number of squares? Also if it is six by six and the whole blanket is square then it will fit better on the bed.

Le Vesinet by Sigrun Hugoey

The instructions use six colours, I didn’t use the ones she suggested because I didn’t really like the brown so I picked a main colour that was closer to grey. I’m not too sure about it but by the time there is a whole blanket of it, it will look like it is meant to be there.

Rachel by Melissa Green

I tried explaining to Man in the Shed about how lovely all the squares are and how clever the designs are and what is special about them all but he just said something along the lines of “Yes, Dear” and wants to know why am making another blanket but he has been hiding in the garage (he doesn’t have a shed at the moment but the Man in the Garage doesn’t sound so good and you might think I had swapped him for a different one!) to make a Scalextric lap counter thingy with a big seven segment LED display that he can control with a Raspberry Pi even though he already has a perfectly good lap counter where you can set the number of laps and it beeps at you when you have finished and tells you your best time and everything so I think we are quits now.

Bavarian Beauty by Heather Gibbs

I haven’t quite finished all the squares yet, I’ve got a couple more to do before I show you the rest but here is another thing. I have always had a bit of trouble with startitis but I am generally a lot better at finishing things off than I used to be. This is going to be a blanket for Tiny to go on her bed, it is a Stylecraft pattern. I’m am struggling with it a little bit because when I bought it I thought that the order of the stripes repeated and it doesn’t, there is a sequence in that the middle colours of each stripe repeat but the outer ones change each time and the instructions for the motifs in the centre of the squares tell you to use random colours but my brain won’t let me do that so I am using the three colours from each stripe to make a motif that matches it which also means it makes it less monotonous to alternate the stripes with the squares. Tiny doesn’t have an issue with the colours being random, I have instilled a good appreciation of pretty rainbow order colours in her but most of the time she just throws anything she likes together so she is very pleased with it and keeps telling me to get on with the her big square instead of my little ones. Yes, Miss! I’m going back to work now!


In which a wall is (almost) finished

Well, here you go, it’s even got a free kitty in it if you know where to look:IMG_1385

That’s as much as I’m going to get done for a while judging by the weather forecast and it is more or less finished. I was looking at this bit though and it gave me an idea for a couple of details which I might add later on.


I need to find some photos to copy first or have a practice at drawing them because I’m a lot better at colouring in than I am at painting things that actually look like things. I’ll show you later on if I do decide to add them and you’ll just have to guess what they might be until then but I’ll give you a clue – the one that I thought of first might have too many legs and I might do some others with some wings or even more legs.


Here’s an updated gallery thing with the last photo added if you like that sort of thing:

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In which there is weird non-Euclidean knitting

Right. Here is the one about the bed jacket. The pattern is here, it is from 1946 and is really called a breakfast coat which I have never heard of but I think it sounds fantastic. It seems like I have been making it forever, mostly because it was going on at the same time as the crazy cardigan but being 2×2 rib all over in one colour it was a lot more portable than carting about a load of different wool for the Fair Isle.  The other reason is that at one point you have 278 stitches and have to knit rib on them for twelve inches which was so boring, I did take it to the cinema one time and manage to knit a couple of inches in the dark…

 I have been having a bit of trouble with it – in the picture on the pattern it is supposed to end up something like this:


except when I read the pattern and tried to visualise what I was supposed to be doing then the shape I was coming up with in my head was nothing like it. The whole thing is knitted in one piece:

  1. you do the back, fine,
  2. you cast on some extra stitches either side for the sleeves, ok,
  3. you cast off the extra stitches and divide it for the front, ok ish but the bottom of most people’s sleeves isn’t in line with the back of their neck (I’m starting to worry a little now),
  4. decrease the fronts a bit, pick up some stitches and do the frilly bits, sew up the side and sleeve seams, ok sounds vaguely feasible but not really like the shape in the picture.

I carried on in blind faith that it would turn out ok in the end and really hoping that I was not going to have to unravel the twelve inches across the sleeves.

The finished knitting looked like this which is about what I had expected from reading the pattern:


And now comes the problem, when you fold it in half to join the seams you get this which is also what I was expecting and why I didn’t really understand the pattern:


That doesn’t look like it would fit anyone does it? I don’t normally have a problem with stuff like this – in year 5 when we were making nets for 3D shapes I think I made a cube and a triangular prism in the first five minutes and then the teacher tried to get rid of me by telling me to go and draw my own net for a cube rather than just making up her printed ones. Once she realised that would only take me another five minutes and she needed something to keep me busy for the rest of the four lessons she had set aside for this she gave me a dodecahedron, an icosahedron and a small stellated dodecahedron (which is very pretty, made from twelve intersecting five pointed stars or by plonking pyramids all over a dodecahedron and not to be confused with a great stellated dodecahedron which is very pretty, made from twelve intersecting five pointed stars or by plonking pyramids all over an icosahedron and spikier than the other one) which I duly made and which did shut me up for a while. There, did you learn something? Here is what they look like flat and made up:

The images are pinched from which is a site run by a Dutch guy who likes shapes and there are loads of nets which you can print out to make pretty shapes, go and have look if you like making things or learning about shapes or both. Also if you put ‘small stellated dodecahedron’ into a google image search there is a nice crocheted one quite near the top with a free pattern if you are better with yarn than glue.

Anyway the point of that diversion was I’m normally not bad at working out how shapes fit together so I was a bit thrown by the bed jacket pattern but I hadn’t taken into account the stretchiness of the ribbing – it can stretch out in some places and bunch together in others which means that when you put a coat hanger or a person into it then the fronts start to curve around, the sleeve seams twist a bit towards the front of the arms and the side seams come diagonally across the front and it goes from looking very square and peculiar to looking the right shape in about one second.

Here is obligatory mug shot with mug chopped off of the camera shy recipient:


I hope she doesn’t spill her breakfast down it…(Hmm, might get in trouble for that!)