(Not much) progress update

Now, where did I leave things … I had started knitting the first sleeve of the garter stitch baby cardigan I started back in June. Hence the title of this post 😊.

Well, nearly a month on, I now have two sleeves knitted. So, next up is putting it all together. Gulp. Time to procrastinate – my usual approach when I don’t know what to do next. Oh, and I need to weave in the ends too. Another thing I hate doing!  

So, I’ve started work on a secret project. Also of the knitting variety. I don’t think said recipient reads this blog, but just in case, I shall keep schtum. This is as far as I’ve got. The deadline for this is next Fri, and then I’ll have to return to confronting my cardigan-assembling fears.

  
I’ve also been baking again. My son turns two in a couple of weeks and we’re now at the tail-end of five 2nd-birthday parties in the space of three weeks! Today, he had a joint party with 7 of his friends. Ideal, as we split the cost of hiring a brilliant venue near us called Little Street, which they then had the run of for 90 minutes. It is exactly as it’s named: a little street containing a mini supermarket, beauty salon, cafe, doctor’s surgery, building site, etc., in which the children can play. Anyway, I made the birthday cake for the party, utilising another of the number moulds my mother-in-law bought me. I made a chocolate sponge, iced it with chocolate buttercream and began decorating it with chocolate fingers, Smarties and white chocolate buttons. But, disaster struck. Last night, three packets of chocolate fingers later, I was only two-thirds of the way round the cake. And I was home alone with my son and couldn’t persuade anyone to do a chocolate fingers mercy dash for me. 

  

I bought another three packets this morning and finished it off, using a touch of hot water to melt the icing a bit to make them stick. Voila! I had to cut the chocolate fingers down a bit as my sponge wasn’t very well risen and they looked a bit silly at full height.   

 

As an end note, a friend sent me this earlier, she said it reminded her of me!

  

As an editor, the lower-case ‘I’ very much bothers me, but I like the statement. I’m currently 24 weeks pregnant and feeling the time pressures of finishing up a variety of craft projects before baby no.2 arrives I never have free time again.
 

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Knit, knit, slow

It’s slow progress on the knitting front. I started knitting a baby cardigan back in June. I’m undecided yet as to whether it’s for a friend’s baby due in October or another one due in November. Depends how big the October baby is as it’s coming up pretty small …

I got off to a frustrating start when I couldn’t work out how to ‘continue knitting in pattern’. Having put out a cry for help on my local craft group’s Facebook page, I was soon on my way again and finished the back of the cardigan.   

And then knitting got put firmly on the back burner while I was making all things wedding-related for my friend’s wedding.

Now, I’m back on it, I ran into problems again when knitting up the fronts of the cardigan. It was the knitting in pattern again that I struggled with. Even more so the fact that ‘stitches made and lost in the pattern are not included in the stitch count after row 12’. Kept getting my sums wrong and having to unpick and start again. But, I worked it out in the end, and the left front of the cardigan took much less time than the right.   

Today, I’ve started on the sleeves during my weekly Wednesday pubcraft trip with my friend ThePolkaDotGiraffe. We’ve recently changed our choice of pub and the past two weeks people have commented on us knitting in the pub, but not today. Maybe they’re getting used to the sight of two women in their 30s knitting/crocheting over a Coke and some pickled onion Monster Munch 😀

Meanwhile, I’ve also been busy making a birthday card for my little man’s upcoming 2nd birthday. It’s now been sent off to CBeebies (a children’s TV station for non-UK readers) to arrive well within their required deadline (at least a month before the child’s birthday). Only half the cards that get sent in get shown on air, so I don’t rate my chances. Last year, I submitted the card less than a month before his birthday and it didn’t make the cut. That was a much better card too in terms of the efforts that went into it.  😫 This year, I’ve gone down the easy cheat’s route of buying a magazine and cutting out pictures of his characters, rather than creating them myself, as I did last year. Lazy Mummy. However, I did include a door, behind which there is a photo of the man himself. They love a photo hiding behind a flap on CBeebies, so fingers crossed it makes it on TV! I gave Little Man a sneaky peak before it went in the post as the cards don’t get returned. 

  
 
Oh, and I also made some Peppa Pig-themed fairy cakes for a 2nd birthday party last weekend. I’ve saved 12 cake toppers as I have quite a few nieces and nephews who are Peppa Pig fans.   

That’s all from me for now, time to watch The Great British Bake Off and carry on with my knitting …

Confessions of a novice knitter

I’ve knitted a fair few items over the years: baby blankets, baby hats and booties.  

But, I have a confession: Never before have I knitted a tension square. The closest I’ve got is getting started and taking a tape measure to my casting on, thinking ‘that’s OK’ and carrying on. Shame on me.

I’m currently holidaying in South Devon (next week, Cornwall!) with my family and I thought I’d take some knitting with me to do. It’s been a good 18 months since I last knitted something and one of my goals for this year was to get back into knitting. I have a few friends expecting babies in the autumn/winter, and there’s nothing like babies to get me knitting. I chose a couple of patterns from Lullaby Knits and quickly rifled through my Nan’s knitting needles (passed on to me now she can’t knit anymore) to get the right size needles. Her knitting bag is a real treasure trove and it’s lovely to be able to carry on the knitting for her.  

So, back to tension squares. I thought I’d attempt one this time. I duly consulted the pattern: ’18 stitches and 36 rows to 10cm over garter stitch patt using 4mm needles’. So, I cast on 18 stitches and started knitting. Next confession: I didn’t know you should knit more stitches and rows than the tension square requires! Fortunately, I Googled tension squares and soon realised the error of my ways. I added more stitches and knitted more rows, then cast off. 

It didn’t measure up quite right. Last confession: I didn’t know you should block tension squares. Google came up trumps again and saved the day. I’ve duly blocked my square using a steam iron. 

And, I’m pleased to report, having marked out the no of stitches and rows using pins, it measures 10cm/4″ square.   

Now, I’m ready to start knitting!