Sunday, 30 December 2012

A load of balls...

Right back at the beginning when I was just experimenting with blogging to see if I could, I posted about the ball cushion I made for Tiny Boy and the one I had started for myself. Then I got distracted with sewing, and emigrating, and all manner of stuff, but when I was hunting about for a little project for the journey here, I rediscovered the flowery ball cushion and decided it was high time it went from a UFO (un-finished object) to a thing of competedness. Well, I finished the crochet part on the ship and then got distracted again with our new lives, and Christmas, and yet more stuff. But yesterday I spotted the poor thing languishing on a shelf just waiting to be stuffed. I hauled out the pattern for the inner that I had made before, tweaked the size a bit, and set to with the sewing machine. I raided my stash and discovered that my supply of stuffing was woefully inadequate but supplemented it with the insides out of a cushion filler that I didn't like because it too lacked a plump fullness that I think is required for a good cushion, and well... Ta Da!

The construction is just like that of a football - 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons cunningly arranged. When I made Tiny Boy's cushion I made the shapes different colours so they were really obvious, but this time I wanted the flowers to stand out and the hexagons and pentagons to fade into the background.

I love the crazily bright colours. They lift the mood and fit with the concept of a spherical cushion very well I think (and after all, it is my opinion that counts!). Tiny Boy immediately tried to steal it having decided that red white and blue was sooo last year, but I stood my ground - this one's for me.

Finishing a project is always a mixed blessing I find. While it is fab to admire and enjoy the latest creation, it does leave the hands a little idle. And idle hands don't seem to suit me too well. I started flicking through knitting and crochet books, looking for something to entertain and occupy me until the crochet books that Santa promised finally arrive, hopefully on the next ship.

The Mason-Dixon books were a Christmas present several years ago and I have used them a lot. For anyone who doesn't know, they are written by a pair of obsessive knitters in the states who also have a fun blog. They are very chatty in style, don't take themselves too seriously and have great, interesting patterns that are fun to knit and fun to own.

There is a whole chapter devoted to log-cabin knitting - a concept inspired by log-cabin quilting. One look and I knew I had to have a go. I had a couple of hand-wound, dense and solid balls of yarn that I picked up at a yarn sale from a lady who was clearing out her stash. They have no labels but I am guessing that they are at least part silk by the feel, and are about 'chunky' in weight. I have no idea how much yarn is on them but they weigh a ton. The beauty of log cabin knitting is that you can just stop knitting when your cushion cover/blanket/throw is as big as you like, or you have had enough of knitting it, or you run out of yarn.

The yarn is one of those that changes colour as you knit so begs for a very simple pattern. It is too thick to make anything I would actually wear. Lovely as they are on the shelf, chunky hand knits make you gain 10 pounds in one fell swoop, something I don't need help with! But it is perfect for a blanket. A blanket! Who has the patience to knit a blanket (other than the speedy knitters who are the Mason-Dixon ladies)? Well, despite my reservations, I appear to have started a blanket. What with that and my crochet plans, 2013 could be the year of the blanket.

I have to say, an obsession seems to have gripped me. I knitted late into the night and again this morning whilst still in my pjs.

Here's progress so far...

The idea is that you start with a rectangle then add a strip on each side in turn. The strips get longer and longer until you change to a circular needle and take an evening to do one row!

The balls were the same size when I started so I don't know how big a blanket I'll end up with, but a blanket it will be.

Good job my blanket obsession has coincided with moving to a warmer climate... Hopefully they'll be finished in time to move back to chilly Northumberland!



  1. Oh I LOVE your ball cushion - what a fab idea! and the colours are perfect too. Blankets are fun to knit, and so cosy & warm to snuggle under once they're done. Look forward to seeing your log cabin as it progresses - sounds like a fun project.
    Happy new year

  2. You could have tricked us all, pretended it was a really, really big ball! I'm interested to see how the knitting turns out! :) x