Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Knit and Natter Friday.

Which could also be called this week, spot the difference or what a Wally!

It took quite a long time to come down from the excitement of last weekend. I decided however that the time was right to begin to crochet my Eastern Jewels blanket and off I went . It was a busy week so all I managed was an hour or so over a couple of afternoons.  I was thrilled to check my tension.

Pretty much the six inches. Very proudly I took a picture yesterday morning for this post.

Anyone immediately spot the What a Wally in this?It wasn’t until I started the next round of fans that I thought that’s strange, there is supposed to be 8 fans and I have nine. What have I done. And if you look at this

Which has now got the correct 8 fans and you play Spot the Difference ,carefully count Round One… what a Wally. I did nine trebles in the first version not eight. I can not believe that I did not count a single subsequent round, I am normally obsessive about counting the rounds. So yesterday afternoon my planned gentle session of crochet , became a muttering and mumbling and grumbling and name calling session of which Wally was the mildest. What a Nit Wit. Anyway amazing what you can do in an evening , everything done properly and the right number of fans.

Which turns me to the subject of blocking. I have never blocked a thing in my life, and I want to block this to make sure it all fits together nicely. Now I wondered is it worth buying blocking mats, or is a towel perfectly adequate? Any hints and tips for someone who has not seen the necessity to block before?

I have made no progress on knitting this week, so no picture of the knitting. In case you were wondering about the heart project, you weren’t I know, but I have found some fabric to use to cover it, progress of sorts.

The next Repair Cafe is tomorrow. Mr E is very poorly now and is having another operation after Easter, so we won’t be helping  this month, but I said I would pop in with the blanket I made for the raffle. Two towns in our area have now started to plan a Repair Cafe having heard of ours. Isn’t that the best news?

The news on Mr E is not good, so he is teaching me useful skills such as lawn mowing and ash can emptying, and I am pretending  not to know how to do them… he forgets the months he spent working away from home when I managed perfectly well by myself, with three sons, a dog, a cat and two guinea pigs… don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Easter is on the way and my son Mr T and Mrs T and Master T and Little Miss F are coming for the week. It will be wonderful to see them and I am so glad they are coming.

Meantime of course we put the clocks on this weekend for Summertime. Hah! I hear we may have more snow….NO!

So what are your plans for the weekend? Have you made any mistakes as basic as the one I made with my crochet this week? Please tell me I am not the only nitwit, oh I am? I shall just have to take that. Any hints on blocking will be gratefully received.

Take care and Be Happy! My chin is up.


Comments on: "Knit and Natter Friday." (59)

  1. Cathy,
    So sorry to hear Mr E isn’t doing so well, it’s hard on everyone when someone’s poorly…sending you hugs and best wishes.
    As for the crochet I did the very same thing…but with my own flippin pattern! So that makes me the biggest nit wit for sure. I will watch your progress with this blanket with interest and admiration. I have been following some on Instagram and they are just magnificent.
    I do block occasionally but usually only small component pieces like you are wanting to block. I will confess I am impatient and lazy when it comes to blocking and I just pun the pieces to my ironing board and hover the iron above my work and blast it with steam. Let it go cold, unpin and store carefully.
    All the best 😊

  2. Big hugs from us both, enjoy your family Easter weekend. X

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about Mr E. Sending (((HUGS))) and prayers over the ocean.
    Your work is breath taking- with and without mistakes. :o)

  4. So sorry to hear that Mr. E is doing well. I will keep you both in my prayers. I did some cricketing (or tried) on the Spicier Life blanket. My crochet skills are really bad and I just couldn’t figure a part out. After having a fit and do some name calling myself, I put it away for the night and was able to finish the row the next morning. I have put it away again until I feel I can tackle some new crochet stitches again. I have never blocked anything either, so I am no help there. I do think your circles are lovely.

  5. Sorry to hear the mister isn’t well! If course you can manage but it will be a big adjustment. Hope his surgery goes well.

    As for miscounting, I do it fairly often! Good you caught it before you did them all that way!

    I do block, and use the interlocking floor mats. I love them! I can make a custom shape for each thing I knit. Before I had them, i used a towel on the spare bed😜

  6. I’m sorry to hear about Mr E. It will be lovely to have your family with you for Easter, but hopefully minus the snow! I think we all make silly mistakes, it happens to the best of us! Good on you for getting other repair cafes set up in neighbouring towns, what a great achievement for your group!

  7. Hey there. Sorry to hear about Mr e, but glad you have fun of preparing to see family. Hope you’re feeling less of a nit wit/wally after seeing everyone else’s comments. I too make silly mistakes, and call myself horrible names. I’m trying to learn not to. Apparently ‘fail’ should stand for ‘first attempts in learning’ (and therefore sound not be considered a fail at all!). We’re off to the museum of failure in Sweden during our summer holiday, which I hope will help me to lighten up on myself and the little mistakes I make. Both your attempts looked lovely, but I’m glad you remedied the first one as otherwise it would have looked odd alongside all the future 8 fanned ones. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress on this. 😊

    • Thank you for all your kind words. I think what erked me about the crochet was that it was such a very basic mistake. I really should know better.
      Thank you for the kind comment about my husband.
      It is nice to have Easter to plan for, and is something to really look forward to.

  8. Take care Cathy I am sorry to hear about Mr E.

  9. Will keep those prayers coming for Mr. E’s health and spirits and for your wisdom and strength as you manage it all. Wish I could visit in person to bring some treats and hugs for you both!
    My nitwit moment is quite recent…I sent my first piano audition in, and failed. When trying to figure out what I did to elicit one particular comment, I discovered that I had played all 15 trills starting on the lower note instead of the higher one.😳 it took me 5 minutes to fix, because they are soooo much easier to play this way. 🙄Boy do I feel dumb!
    As for blocking, I use a towel on top of the dryer with sewing pins, very specialized and high tech!

  10. I am sorry to hear about the health of your hubby. It’s hard to be strong through it but we generally find it best. I’m sure it makes it better for him to be useful by giving you directions for later. I’ll keep good thoughts for you both. I don’t knit but I avoided making a shirt for a friend for almost a year because I had cut the sleeve slash on the wrong side of the last shirt I made. I couldn’t make another sleeve so it’s a work shirt now with the slash facing up. We all do those things. Most aren’t important and just add character. It’s lovely what you have completed though.

    • Thank you so much for good thoughts. They really are needed this time. I just couldn’t believe I had made such a silly mistake and failed to spot it for so many rounds. It had to be put right, there was no hoping it wouldn’t matter. Glad I got it done so quickly.

  11. So sorry to hear about the health of your dear hubby. I hope, like everyone else the news will take a turn for the better. Love how you are letting him believe he has been in control of some things all these years 🙂 I rarely block, but on the two occasions I have, I used some cheap garage floor mats that come looking like jigsaw puzzle pieces so you can join ’em however you need to. However, like Sheila, I am going with the ironing board for smaller squares and doing it her way. I am about to start on the Persian Squares blanket. I’ve nearly caught up with Coastal Crochet’s CAL, thanks for recommending me there, it is perfect for me and my bluey-green leftovers. Lovely that your family is coming to join with you for a while – best wishes for hubby’s improving health.

    • Thank you for the kind comment and best wishes.
      So glad you found the Coastal Crochet Cal. I shall try blocking the persian tiles one by one. I want to do this one the best I can.
      Today I was given a lesson on meter reading for the gas and electricty! Again a task I have done many times in his absence! It’s quite sweet actually!

  12. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Sorry to hear Mr. E is poorly. Hoping the operation goes well for him.

  13. Well done for spotting the error in good time. If you hadn’t put it right your eye would always have gone straight to it in the finished piece. Good luck to Mr. E! Make the most of the company this weekend. Lots of hugs from up north 🙂

    • I am glad I re did it, and have now done the next two rounds. It had to be done or it wouldn’t have worked in the blanket.

  14. They still look beautiful!

  15. claire93 said:

    well done on spotting your mistake AND going back to correct it, because I would probably have said “what the hell” and made it a 9 fan thingie, since it looked pretty good as it was lol.
    Excellent news that you’ll have family for Easter – yep Little Miss F and Master F will be a big help in keeping chins up!
    I do hope the op goes smoothly and am sending big hugs to both you and Mr E.

    I’ll be having a foot op in April . . . I might or might not tell more about that on my blog . . . dépends how much it’s going to affect my crafting really.

    • Best of luck with your foot op. I was aware I had precious little to write about this week craft wise, and I like to write each week. This is my happy place but it is getting harder to sound up beat now, and one week I may just grind to a halt.
      Can’t wait for the children to come.Master T has some 3D printing requests for Mr E which should help on the chin front. Thank you.
      I was very tempted to see how I could get round the problem I had made, but there was no way it wouldn’t have spoilt the whole thing!

  16. Shirley said:

    I’m back knitting that cable cardigan you also did for a grandchild. As fast as I knit andcheck I have to undo bits as cables are going the wrong way. I guess it’s an age thing. I get there in the end. Sending healing prayers for Mr E and best wishes for all your family 🙂

  17. Sorry Mr T is not so well. You did a great job figuring out the problem with your crochet.

  18. I’m sorry to hear about Mr. E. It will be wonderful to have your family visit ❤
    Obviously I haven’t made this particular blanket because no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find anything amiss 😆 I make mistakes all the time. Some o can live with, others I can’t.
    I don’t usually block things either but on the occasion when a shall has needed it I’ve used my ironing board or a yoga mat. I’d use something over the carpet but I worry about little paws 🐾

    • The centre is wrong, nine trebles to begin with instead of eight which lead to nine of everything else. There really was no way round the problem, as I am a great one for not undoing something if no-one but me will notice it.
      Can’t wait for my son and the family to come. So good to be planning for something nice as well as this operation.

  19. Dear me. You sound very upbeat, given everything happening with Mr. E–I hope the doctors have a good plan and get things sorted out as soon as possible. I do think that, in times of trouble, it’s awfully good to have a sort of complicated project going, to keep your mind focused on that, rather than worry. And, good heavens, don’t give yourself grief about making a mistake!

    • I try to be upbeat about what is happening, especially in Knit and Natter, it is my happy place for a while. I try to think every day of three things which have made me happy that day- usually it’s five minutes of sunshine, or a phone call , or a chance meeting with friends. I have to believe everything will be ok in the end.
      There is such a lot to sort out before the op, but I think we have got there.
      The doctors have been brilliant. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

  20. Healing thoughts to Mr E… and brownie points to you for allowing him to teach you how to empty the ash can!
    I have struggled with blocking on and off. I have a cork board that my dad made for me 40 years ago that I use in combination with a towel for smaller things, but when it came to Sophie I just bit the bullet and bought interlocking play mats (as Kate mentioned above). I dithered over this purchase because (as Sandra says) they are plastic, but I decided that if I was careful with them they would last a long time and I simply could not find a viable alternative that allowed me to put the work under enough tension. The special T-pins for blocking make life much easier too. I got my mats very cheaply from ebay.
    It is all too easy to make mistakes like your mis-count. Don’t beat yourself up over it… anyway, you won’t do it again. I haven’t done any crochet this week because my Nordic socks are taking a lot of concentration and seem to be rather sucking the creativity out of me! Progress on them is SO slow, but I am persisting and I have restrained myself from starting on the lovely new wool from Little Grey Sheep.
    Next week is going to be busy – my monthly permaculture guild meeting, a hospital appointment (boo – they have to redo my mammogram for ‘technical reasons’ and the mobile unit has moved on so I have to traipse all the way down to Swansea) and a day running the wool shop in Lampeter. There won’t be much time for work, but I’m hoping that my creativity will return.

    • Blimey Swansea from you? That is ridiculous. Mammograms are so uncomfortable aren’t they, especially for one of matronly upper regions like me. Just wait till the bowel checks! They are gross. Enough.
      You are in for a busy week but the guild meeting will be enjoyable. I look forward to seeing the socks. I really should knot myself some socks, I should not be a scardey cat.
      Thanks for the blocking tips. I want to have this blanket looking good.
      Thanks also for the healing thoughts- he is going to need these by the bucket load. So hard to think of anything else at the moment.

      • I think the mammogram was disrupted in the first place by me deciding I was going to faint and having to lie down on the floor! Anyway, Mr Snail is going to do the driving and take me out to lunch afterwards, so at least there will be some compensation for the trip (oh the joys of living in rural mid-Wales).

      • It can not have been nice having to lie down on the floor of the portocabin. I hope you both have a tasty meal and hurrah for Mr Snail a hero.

  21. Don’t feel bad – I ‘m three quarters of the way through mine and I still make the odd mistake and have to take it back a few rounds. I have even made two octagons the same colour because I’d forgotten I had already started one and it was buried under all the balls of wool in the basket so I didn’t spot it :/ Anyway, I use a cheapo yoga mat with blocking pins (but when I run out I use ordinary pins – they won’t rust because it doesn’t take long to dry) – then I spritz them with water and leave. That way it’s easier to join together. I’m joining the rows as I go as well as weaving in those countless ends – I heard if you leave them, there will be over 600 to weave in at the end and I can well believe it – actually, I’m surprised it’s not more.
    Lots of positive thoughts coming your way for Mr. E and enjoy your weekend with your family. xx

    • I shall do the ends of each one when I have finished I think. I was grateful I had not weaved the ends in as I go as per the pattern, that would have made the task of frogging much harder. Thanks for the postive thoughts. Can’t wait for Good Friday and our son coming.

      • Yes, I weave them all in at the end of each octagon/square/triangle now – a lesson learnt! Still, it was gratifying to know how well I must have woven those ends in when I couldn’t find them 🙂

      • wow well done, I can usally see my ends. I have trouble convincing myself to cut them where I can’t see them.

  22. My blocking method for this blanket was to pin each octagon out to its finished measurements with ordinary pins onto the ironing board and steam each one, leaving a few seconds to go cold before removing the pins, so it retains its blocked measurements. Much quicker and easier than wet blocking with specialist pins and mats, not to mention cheaper….!

  23. Sorry to hear Mr E is not so well, Sending good wishes his way! I have often had the experience of ending up with the wrong number for a circular design and if I am lucky just having to undo a few rows when I finally think to check. With all those colours it must be an extra pain. They are very pretty though. I have no advice on blocking though. With the CAL blanket I made from different squares I just relied on the squares pulling each other into shape when they had been joined. I have used pins into the blocks of polystyrene you get round household purchases for a cheap option for my snowflakes.

    • Now I am sure I can lay my hand on some polystyrene packaging what a very good diea. Thanks for the good wishes for Mr E. I am going back to counting everything!

  24. I have to rip things out all the time because I make mistakes – loads … masses….. hundreds … they are so frequent I just rip and whizz on by without giving it much thought – so you, to me, are NOT a Nit-Wit or any more of the horrible names you called yourself!!!!
    Blocking: I would love some blocking mats but they are so expensive (and plastic!!) so I use an old blanket on the carpet for large things and pins into my ironing board for small things.
    I have recently treated myself to some blocking pins – I like them very much!

    Great big Warm squeezy Hugs to you and Mr E – so glad the family is able to visit – nothing like little ones to keep chins up. Much love Cathy. ❤

    • A blanket what a very good idea, I wonder if a nice coastal one would do the trick. I had wondered about blocking pins too, thank you. Thanks for the hugs, yes children are the best for the chin ups!

      • Haha! I’d better warn my lanky nephew he’ll have to keep an eye on his blanket when it’s done…. It could mysteriously go missing!

        Yes, I like the old blanket on the carpet as I can pin into the carpet beneath with the long strong blocking pins.

      • My you must have some strength for that right into the crapet too.
        What lanky nephew’s blanket- I heard he fancied a woodland one now with owls….

      • I have obviously confused you Cathy with my blankety natter. The Squirrel Nutkin Woodland Blanket is for my 5 year old grandson. The Jurassic Coastal blanket is for my 23 year old, 6’4″ nephew. Now I’ve finished the Woodland one, it will be full steam ahead on the Coastal one. xx

      • Not confused at all- lanky nephew is coveting the woodland blanket. leaving the Jurassic one…

      • Aaaah! Now I see which way the wind is blowing …….!!!

  25. A white easter will be a strange thing if it happens. My poor garden just doesn’t know what’s happening to it!
    I look forward to seeing your progress on the eastern jewels, I’ve loved seeing a few other ones made so far. 🙂 My sister tends to use a yoga mat to block knitting on.

  26. I’m sorry Mr E is not doing so well, and I admire your tactful approach to the skills handover! I’ve heard that the interlocking foam mats people use for children’s play areas are perfect for blocking, and of course you can increase them in size as much as you want because they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Not that I ever block anything, but I’ve seen it done.

    • Thank you Kate, what I could really do with is a crash course on fixing computers, but there is not enough hours in the day to teach me that.
      I shall look into the childrens play mats idea. Thank you.

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