Hello folks,

When I graduated from university, my wise old dad said to me "keep writing". In the world of work you write emails, endless emails, reports and the odd line of marketing speak but no prose, no long essays with argument, structure and creative flourishes. Well, I did History of Art and Architectural History so flourishes were de rigour. I often felt that the pressure of the exam hall lead to my most creative (although not most factually accurate) work. Needless to say I didn't follow his advise, until now really.

I write this blog sporadically, I send a newsletter sporadically, I write a digest to friends and family of the happenings of my wee family. Inspired by friends, on a daily basis we write in our "Reasons to be Cheerful" book, noting down the lucky chances, first moments, good judgements and serendipitous coincidences that we experience each day. So I am writing a lot. I have always mulled over a children's story book or two or three. Next month the Festival comes to town and I feel the need to take the wee man to expand the library of books we read daily, I might even taken in a workshop myself, perhaps 2015 is the year I put pen to paper for the opening lines.

Hannah x

baby boom!

Whether is it because of the Olympic fever in the summer of 2012, the Recession or Game of Thrones season 3, there is no doubting that 2013 is a baby boom year. So much so that between stock pilling for the August fair I have been knitting like mad.

In particular, I have fallen in love with two patterns from the Purl Bee .

The first is a Chevron Baby Blanket which can either be knitted using single stranded Chunky yarn or double stranded Aran and 8mm pins. I used circular as when the blanket starts getting big it is easier to hold.

I have knitted this twice already! The first time I used 5 balls of Sirdar Super Soft Aran and used one strand from the outside and one from the inside of the ball. Each 100g ball made about 20-22 ridges. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the blanket as it is already with Baby Sadie but the colours were 2 tones of grey, sage green, cream & coral.

The pattern is a simple 2 row repeat, 1st row decreasing, 2nd row increasing. It means that once you have got the hang of it, it is easy to sit back and knit away without constantly pattern checking, nor does it become tedious! It is great fun seeing the zig-zag start to emerge, I guarantee you will get hooked.

Tip: It is a good idea to double check the weight of each ball first that way you can work out the minimum number of rows you can get out of each ball (and not run short and have uneven stripes as I did)

Lesson learned I progressed on to the next blanket. This time I used Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran. Picking the brightest colours I made a rainbow using 2 balls of each of 6 colours. (I had planned to do a 7th but I thought it was getting a bit big by that stage.)

As I had 2 balls of each colour I could strand using one from each ball and made 12 ridges (24 rows) per colour.

I had a good amount of the Simply Recycled Aran in each colour left over so I turned my attention to the Super Easy Crib Blanket. With the left overs I cast on (single stranded) 100 stitches using 5mm needles and made a stripe of 4 rows of knitting (Garter Stitch) then changed to the next colour. Once I knitted all 6 colours I chose 3 neutral tones in the Simply Recycled Aran and knitted 24 rows of each colour, getting lighter as I went.

 (In hindsight if I had knitted only 10 I would not have had to purchase extra yarn but it did mean that the stripes of neutral where the same width as the Rainbow edge.)
I then reversed the Stripes for the remainder of the blanket (so only 1 stripe of the lightest neutral) giving a lovely Rainbow border to each end of the Blanket.

Hopefully both babies and mummies will love the blankets, being cotton they should be easy to care for too!

If you would like to know more just leave a comment below.

Hannah x