Book #27 One False Move by Robert Goddard

My son lent me this book (he had got it for Fathers Day from his sons) – I do like Robert Goddard’s cooks, and this was no exception. The story was engaging from the opening paragraph, the plot was up to date and moved very quickly. The ending was satisfactory, and I was left wondering what happened next to some of the characters.

I hope that this author is busy working on his next book.

Book #26 Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama

A friend lent me this book and I really enjoyed it.

It was different to most crime fiction, it is set around a historic case (based in then64th year of the previous emperor), possible corruption in the precinct and a troubled (but smart) detective. I was grateful my basic knowledge of Japanese alphabets as lots of the characters had similar names, particularly when written in English. I was impressed by the way the plot played out.

I will certainly look for more by this author.

Book #25 Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

I have got behind with recording books I have read. I read this book back in August – it is the fourth in the Cormoran Strike series. Like the other books in the series it sets a quick pace with a limited set of characters, so as the reader I know that there is a limited list of possible suspects and victims. Nevertheless the author provides plenty of twists to keep the reader guessing.

Socks

I have only made socks once before and they were not very successful – far too big. But sometime ago someone told me about Winwick Mum and showed me socks they were making. I had some sock yarn I had bought some three years ago in New Zealand. Eventually last month I got the right size circular knitting needle and started the socks.

I found the instructions in the book extremely clear and the socks I have produced actually fit me.

I have learnt a number of lessons:

  1. The yarn I bought did not have tension (gauge) on the band but did recommend 2.5mm needles (and an Internet search didn’t reveal any details). I followed Winwick mum’s advice and made a swatch. I got 30 stitches in 13cms i.e. about 23 stitches in 10cm or 4″, or about 6 stitches per inch. I also measured my foot and the calculations suggested allowing for negative ease I needed about 50 stitches, but since the pattern needs multiples of 4 stitches I settled of 52 stitches. The finished sock fits well so I will round up next time.
  2. I had bought an Addi 30cm 2.5mm circular knitting needle. I love the way I was able to just go round and round. BUT with 52 stitches it was a bit of a stretch especially with the rib. Next time I am going to get a longer needle and try something called a Magic Loop, I might also try getting shorter circular needle – there are 23cms one.
  3. The pattern called for double pointed needles (DPNs) for casting on (3mm) and for the heel flap and toes (2.5mm) – as I had neither I used the 2.75mm I owned. In retrospect I could have used normal 3mm for the cast on.
  4. I did 16 rows of rib – I might try more. I did 48 rounds of knit and the sock measured about 5.75″ before I started the heel flap – I definitely will do more next time.
  5. Working the heel flap and gusset went well – although I did manage to lose a stitch and had to fudge round it.
  6. The toe decrease was a bit tricky as I had to move to the DPNs and I do find them fiddly.
  7. The socks are finished off using a grafting technique called the Kitchener stitch. Essentially sewing the yarn end through the stitches on alternate sides of the toe so they appear to be knitted together. I would have appreciated a diagram in the book here. But it made sense. I must have gone wrong on the first sock because it looked a bit gappy but the second worked well. I used some yarn and my darning needle to go over the join on sock one to ensure it didn’t come undone.
  8. The colour change in the yarn is quite short and I am not sure it would be possible to colour match socks, but it might be fun to try with a different yarn. There is a knitting technique Two at a a Time (TaaT) that people use to make two socks simultaneously on longer circular needles, but I will postpone trying that for a while.

Continuum 2

Back in August I finished my first Continuum blanket following Helen Shrimpton’s Continuum pattern. I decided I would like to make it again in multiple colours. After gazing at a lot of colour boards and with plenty of advice from my daughter and daughter-in-law we came up with this colour scheme:

Which is made with Stylecraft DK in these colours:

  1. Citron
  2. Sunshine
  3. Lemon
  4. Cream
  5. Copper
  6. Spice
  7. Jaffa

I used Helen’s colour placement sheet numbering for her Coral Reef Yarn pack (which has seven colours). I started a second ball of colour 1 (Citron) but less than 100g of all other colours. The Cream was Stylecraft Wondersoft (left over from my Call the Midwife blanket). All the others where Stylecraft Special DK.

I followed the pattern up to Round 53, and then did the last two rounds (89 and 90 patterns) in Sunshine.

The blanket weighs about 515g and measures ~94cm square.

The Midwife Blanket

I had heard people talking of the pattern the Midwife Blanket and wanted to try it. The pattern was inspired by the programme “Call the Midwife” and a blanket one of the babies is wrapped in.

I used Stylecraft Wonder Soft DK in Double cream, with a 4mm hook. I chose to make the blanket 7 pattern repeats wide by 12 long. With an edging this gave me a blanket 65 x 85 cms a good size for a crib, or a car seat. The blanket weighed 250g.

Granny Square Blanket

Having finished the Star Blanket I had some Stylecraft Candy Swirl Very Berry left so I decided to make a simple blanket based on the Granny Square. I took two decisions when I started:

  • To turn the work at the end of the round – this is supposed to stop the work curling;
  • To only change colours at the start of a round, even if that meant joining mid round to match the colour.

The final blanket measured some 1 metre square and weighed 415g, and used up most of my yarn.