Friday, 15 February 2013

Feeling Crafty

During the last couple of weeks my knitting has slowed down somewhat. This is partly due to the fact that I virtually ran out of stuffing, so I carried on knitting away and have two and a half things that are just awaiting the motivation to get them sewn up. I do actually have a big bag of stuffing now so all that’s stopping me is the fact that I’ve started knitting something else and I’m wanting to get to a good place to stop with that before I go back to sew up the other stuff.

I’ve also been working really hard to get ahead and stay ahead with my OU stuff as well. I slipped behind a little bit just after Christmas and spent a while playing catch-up whilst preparing for TMA 03, which isn’t really the ideal way to study because it’s so easy to miss things. On past courses there have been times when you could skip stuff because it wasn’t covered by an assignment, but this one has an exam at the end (June 13th, looking scarily close now!) and I don’t want to miss anything. Unfortunately this means that sometimes you have to study instead of knitting, depressing as that is. And now I’ve gotten caught up, I feel like I’ve hit my stride and I don’t mind spending the evening poring over a course book rather than clicking my needles.

From left to right: Polly, Roly, Rosie, Paulie & Posey.
I’ve got all seven of the Roley Poley kids knitted up, I’m just needing to stuff and sew the last two (who I’ve christened Rory and Ruby). Originally I was planning on going straight on to do their parents (basically larger versions of the little Roley Poleys) but I decided that as I’ve got a stack of new Jean Greenhowe knitting books waiting for some attention I’d move onto one of those and come back to Mr and Mrs Roley Poley. The kids are fine, they’re hanging out on the back of my chair with Scrat from Ice Age!

I did learn an important lesson when knitting last week. You should always read all of the instructions, and follow them right through to the end. My current knitting project is Puss in Boots. His legs, body and head are all knit in one piece with various little embellishments knitted and sewn on afterwards. One of these add-on bits is the top of his boots which have a sort of a scalloped edge in the picture with the pattern.

Now when I knit, I copy the pattern out by hand onto a separate sheet of paper so I can tick off each row as I do it (so as not to lose my place) and also so I can make any amendments that I need to make. As I copied out this pattern I thought I knew better than the person writing it, so made a slight modification here or there. Imagine my disappointment when I completed this little ten or so rows of knitting to discover that I’d made a little rectangle with a row of holes across its middle, nothing like what I could see in the picture. I tossed the scrap into my knitting bag determined to tackle it again the next day and get it right this time. I put a big cross through the pattern I’d copied out into my notebook; I wasn’t going to make that mistake again!

The next day I read through the pattern again and started copying it out once more, only this time I actually read to the bottom where it says ‘to make up’. First you sew the ends together, then you fold the thing in half and sew the cast on and cast off rows together. I dug out the little scrap from the day before and experimented with folding it in two. Suddenly I had the scalloped edge I was seeing in the picture!

So that’s my lesson learned. I’m just glad I didn’t unravel the whole thing when I first thought it wasn’t going to work.


  1. Your Roley Poley kids are so cute.
    My mom was a knitter. I could never get the hang of it.

    1. Thanks. :-) They're nice and quick to knit, I don't even mind sewing them up afterwards which normally I hate doing when I knit.

      I'm the same with crochet, just can't seem to figure it out.

  2. I love those Roley Poley kids. I don't write out the patterns I'm working on but I write down row numbers and cross them off. Prior to figuring that out I ruined several crochet patterns highlighting and marking all over them.

    1. Thank you. I've got a couple of apps on my phone, but none of seem to work for me quite as well as copying things down.

      I've realised too late why you shouldn't mark patterns as you go along, luckily none of them in books, but plenty I've printed off from the internet which has meant I've had to print them out again!


Let me know what you think. :-)