Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Half an FO and a Defence of Acrylic
stockings are done!
I have been working on these since March, in a bid to get them done well in time for Christmas, ready to be handed out as gifts. In the end, after only managing a round or two every other week, I decided it was time to get monogamous and finish them up.
There are five of this beauties, in varying colours, but I won't say who they're for or what they're going to be filled with as I don't want to ruin the surprise in case any of the giftees read this blog. Rest assured though, in true fully-prepared style, I have started the big reveal post now so that I can share all the finished goodies that will go into these.
Like last year's stockings for Rich and I, these are crocheted from Sandra Paul's Candy Stripe Stocking pattern in Stylecraft Special DK. I made some minor mods - using a size 5 hook and changing the number of stripes - but otherwise I really love this pattern and can see myself coming back to this year after year.
While the crocheting is finished, I only consider these half an FO as, like last year's stockings, I need to design and stitch the cross-stitched initials that make these so special. I also have the (mad?) idea of designing a whole Christmas alphabet for you guys. Let me know if you'd be interested in that!
While we're here, I thought I'd raise the subject of fibre. When it comes to garments and accessories, I usually work with natural fibres - wool and cotton mostly, but I have also tried bamboo and silk blends, which are lovely. (For all my squishing, I have yet to actually knit anything out of alpaca. Sigh). However, despite my love of natural fibres, I'm not anti-acrylic by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I'm a strong believer in acrylic having its place in the knitting and crochet world.
When it comes to learning to knit or crochet, why wouldn't you use acrylic? There are some really lovely soft ones out there - Stylecraft Special DK is one and I've been really impressed with Love Knitting's latest release, Paintbox Yarns (review to come). Lovely as it would be to learn to knit with some beautiful wool, it is not always within everyone's budget.
And, let's face it, much as we all love knitting and crochet, not everyone will fall in love with it. Acrylic is therefore a great, cheap gateway and won't leave you feeling guilty if it turns out not to be for you.
I'm also a fan of acrylic for hard-wearing items. While I'm knitting a Cosy Memories Blanket out of wool and various other natural blends, I'm very happy to have a couple of crocheted acrylic blankets on our sofa. They can be thrown in the wash without a thought, so I don't feel too precious about them, which is great. They have even gone camping with us and I'm not so sure that's something I'd be willing to risk with my Cosy Memories Blanket!
Finally, I do think they're great for baby clothes. While I am probably likely to make our babies (not pregnant!) garments out of natural fibres, I am a knitter who works with these fibres regularly and knows how to look after them. Making something woolly for a non-knitter seems a bit of a risk. I've made a baby blanket out of acrylic which my friend loves and happily takes outside for impromptu picnics because she knows it's safe to machine wash. Seeing that blanket in use makes me so happy!
I'm going to be cracking on with some baby clothes soon (nope, still not pregnant) out of the new Paintbox Yarn acrylic and I know it's going to be well-received and well-loved, not kept for best out of fear of staining or ruining it.
So yes, I'm a knitter in favour of acrylic. Where do you stand?