Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – March Update

There is a saying that “If March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb”, and vice versa. March certainly arrived tamely with three days of dense fog, not unusual where I live on the side of a hill; we often find ourselves up in the clouds, and the accompanying lack of wind means it can last quite a while.

The blanket is getting big! I am already using two 150cm circular needles to comfortably accommodate the 576 stitches. The first half of the month was cold, but by the 16th temperatures were beginning to rise, and the month ended in the low 20s and very sunny. In fact the temperatures on the last two days of March were a UK 50-year record for the month.

The warmth at the end of the month – reaching just over 23 C on one day – is certainly helping to dry out the soil and open the buds on the trees and bushes. The daffodils are colouring the border of our driveway and the leaves are unfurling on the apple trees. Suddenly, it is all looking very green and yellow!

The colours of the blanket have changed from shades of blue to shades of green, too, even veering to yellow on the last two days of the month, and there have been a lot of sunny days, even if they have not been particularly warm. I have used nearly an entire ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eve Green (denoting sun) just for the first three months of the year! In fact, there have been 30 days in the first 90 days of the year when the weather was predominantly sunny. That seems like a lot, given our latitude, and my experience of more than 20 years living in the same place!

I am now up to day 90, and have 576 stitches on the needle; the blanket is approximately 72 cm in diameter (unstretched), and I am very happy with my progress.

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from https://granaryknits.co.uk/product/temperature-pi-blanket-free-digital-download/

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – February Update

Good progress has been made this month, and it has been interesting to see the temperature variability. We had a week of really cold days, when the temperature rarely rose above zero, followed by almost balmy days of 10 – 13 degrees Celsius to close out the month.

The old name for February, in some parts of England, was Filldyke, and we can certainly get a lot of rain. This year, we had snow and ice instead, which of course fills dykes and ditches when it thaws! The soil is waterlogged, although a good few days of wind and sun have dried out the surface.

The left photo above shows the blanket so far, both January and February. The right photo shows an interesting section of February, 15th to 19th; the temperature stayed within the same band, dark blue 6 – 10 degrees, but the Kidsilk Haze modulates each day – overcast, overcast, sun, rain, wind – in a pleasing way so that no two days look alike.

I am now up to day 59, and have 288 stitches on the needle, and the blanket is approximately 48 cm in diameter. I really like how the colours move and fluctuate, and the Kidsilk Haze gives a lovely halo of warmth and comfort.

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from https://granaryknits.co.uk/product/temperature-pi-blanket-free-digital-download/

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – January Update

I started my 2021 Temperature Pi Blanket project a little late, because I was waiting on delivery of several of the yarns, but I made sure I had recorded temperature and weather each day on my spreadsheet so that, once I had them, I could steam ahead. January represents relatively short rounds and several rounds could be knit in a day, so there was no problem in keeping up with events.

The weather here in January can be very variable; we can be buried in snow or deluged with rain. 2021 started quite mild, and although the overnight temperature dipped below zero Celsius once or twice, the maximum temperature hovered mostly around 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. We had some snow, and the first storm of the year, Storm Christoph, but also several days when it was sunny but cold. As the month drew to its close, it became milder but also wetter with odd flurries of snow, and then the last two days were very frosty and cold.

January

I have completed 31 rounds, beginning with 9 stitches per round, and have now reached 144 stitches per round. It will be interesting to see what February will throw at us!

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from https://granaryknits.co.uk/product/temperature-pi-blanket-free-digital-download/

Posted on Leave a comment

January Store Update

We have some lovely stitch markers available at the moment, whether your taste runs to charms, gemstones, or a mixture of both. I am always on the look out for new beads and gemstones; if you don’t see exactly what you want in the Granary Knits store, there is a good chance I can find it for you, just email me. Here are a few of my new markers, available in both crochet and knitting .

Gemstone beads are my favourite markers; they come in a bewildering variety of stones, some shiny some frosted, in every colour and size you could want. I concentrate on 8mm and 10mm beads for stitch markers; the 8mm beads make a perfect small marker, and the 10mm beads workbeautifully as special end of round markers.

Frosted Snowflake Obsidian is my new favourite gemstone bead. Every stone is different, and the matte frosted finish means that each “snowflake” on the surface of the bead stands out in perfect detail. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available singly in store now.

Jade is one of the most beautiful gemstones; it has been used in jewellery and carved ornaments for nearly ten thousand years. Jadeite is the most expensive with delicate colouring and semi-translucent appeal, but Nephrite is also rather lovely. Nephrite is found principally in Western Canada, with lesser deposits in China, South-east Asia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. The colours found in Nephrite range from creamy yellows to dark greens. The beads I use are in the pale to mid green range. They are 10mm in diameter, and make perfect special end-of-round markers. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available singly in store now.

Rainbow Fluorite is another gemstone that comes in a variety of colours. My favourite combination is the most delicate of pale greens and the loveliest of purples. These colours always remind me of Spring. In the Rainbow Fluorite markers I offer in the shop, I have used 8mm round beads topped with 6mm bicone beads; I try to ensure that one stone is purple and the other green. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available in store now.

Another beautiful matte gemstone is the Veined Jasper, a new find for me. Again every stone is different, featuring black on white, white on black, and wonderful shades of grey. Both Crochet and Knitting markers are available in store now.

Posted on 2 Comments

The Wind That Shakes the Barley Pattern

Another new pattern from me, a lovely semicircular shawl called The Wind That Shakes The Barley. It was inspired by the Irish folk song, and features ears of barley blown hither and thither. It has an interesting construction, being knit from the bottom edge of deep picot-tipped scallops to top, but despite the complicated-looking cast on it is a quick knit in DK weight yarn.

The pattern was first published in Knit Now magazine in March 2020.

Available now in the Granary Knits store, https://granaryknits.co.uk/product/the-wind-that-shakes-the-barley-shawl-digital-download/ .

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Blanket for 2021

I’m always looking for a new project for the New Year, and this year’s project will truly span the whole 365 days. I am going to knit a temperature blanket to reflect the weather where I live. But this won’t be the usual square or rectangle; it is a Temperature Pi circular blanket, based upon the principles laid down by Elizabeth Zimmerman, and I should be delighted if you would like to join me in this enterprise.

To begin at the beginning, you need good data for your locality. I am enormously lucky in that I have an electronics geek for a husband; he created a garden weather station for me some years ago, and since the station outputs its data to a website, I have everything I need to begin. Alternatively, you could use the BBC Weather website or other weather app to gather data. I have prepared an Excel spreadsheet for you to use in gathering data. It is certainly not too late to start.

As well as temperature, I have been recording the predominate weather condition each day. The blanket I have designed can be knit in two ways; you can use just the temperature for each day’s round, or you can add in an indicator of the weather condition to the temperature. I have done this by holding both the temperature yarn together with a strand of fine yarn such as Rowan Kidsilk Haze, to knit each round. This gives a lovely haloed warm texture, as well as a subtle colour modulation.

The second requirement is a good selection of colours for your temperature range and your weather indicator. I selected a palette of 9 temperature colours to range from -5°C to 40°C, in 5 degree increments; you may need to adjust your range based upon where you live; if you generally have temperatures lower than -5°C but never get above 30°C, then alter your range accordingly. I selected seven weather indicators – sun, overcast, rain, wind, fog, snow, and storm (which could be a combination of wind and rain, or wind and sun where I live) – and chose colours to reflect these from the Kidsilk Haze range.

Lastly, you need a pattern to help keep you on track. The Excel spreadsheet helps in keeping track of the day numbers and dates, the pattern gives colour and yarn suggestions, as well as details of increase rounds. There is a pretty lacy edge, charted and written, for the month of December to look forward to. The free pattern has been tech edited, and is available together with the spreadsheet by clicking here.

My progress so far on the blanket looks like this; you can see the marled effect of using the weather indicator thread together with the temperature: Small beginnings, but it will grow!

If you would like to be part of a community of knitters working on the blanket, then please follow @sb97979 (Granary Knits) or @veg_grower on Twitter, or @GranaryKnits on Instagram; post pictures of your progress using the hashtag #TempPi2021.

Posted on 2 Comments

New in store – Knitting Patterns

If you are a knitter or crocheter, you will no doubt have heard about the controversial new design of the Ravelry website. For many dedicated and enthusiastic users of Ravelry, the site has become unusable, and so in solidarity with the crafters who are unable to buy patterns from Ravelry any longer, I am making my patterns available here in the Granary Knits Shop. These patterns are downloadable pdf files, and can be bought either singly or added to a basket of goodies. I am gradually adding the patterns to store; just go to Shop and select the Knitting Patterns category to see my pattern catalogue.

Posted on Leave a comment

New in store this week

We have been busy this week discovering new and exciting charms and gemstones to turn into lovely stitch markers. We hope you like the new additions to the store, all of which are available as both knitting and crochet markers.

If you liked our Sheep markers then you will adore the Tiny Sheep we have found for you.

Our Forest Theme continues with the addition of an Owlet to complement the Owl marker and Deep in the Forest marker set.

The Frosted Veined Jasper markers are stunning; every bead is unique, a lovely veined pattern in shades of grey, and the matte surface makes these markers a sophisticated addition to your crafting toolset.

In addition to our cat-shaped charms and hearts and paws charms, we have added this sweet outline paw marker. A great gift for a pet lover.

Finally, for this week, we have added to our range of marker holders/project bag charms with this lovely silver plated outline cat.

Don’t forget, for individual markers the 20% off voucher still applies until the end of February. Just enter coupon code FJG87WW5 when checking out.

Posted on Leave a comment

February Shop News

Spring is almost here, even in West Yorkshire! I have already spotted Iris and Primulas flowering in the garden, and the birds are starting to build nests.

Spring is Sprung is my celebration of the season; a set of mixed bead, charm, and gemstone markers, available as either a knitting or crochet set.

The Flower Bud and Purple Banded Agate markers in this set are also available as individual markers.

February is also a time to celebrate Love on St Valentine’s Day. I like heart shaped motifs and charms, and use them a lot, so you will find plenty of examples of hearts and love charm markers in the shop. Here are just a few:

Posted on Leave a comment

New Granary Knits Shop is Live!

The Granary Knits Stitch Marker Shop has moved from Etsy to a new home, and is now open for business! This move gives us flexibility, visibility, and a chance to bring you lots more lovely stitch markers, as well as old favourites. New markers like this Carnelian bead marker:

Or a holder to keep your stitch markers safe when not in use:

Or old favourites, such as the Sheep marker:

Visit Shop at Granary Knits to see our full range, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with new products.

You will receive the same great service: dispatch within 3 working days of placing your order, a secure large-letter posting box to ensure your markers reach you in a perfect state, and the markers presented in a pretty cotton drawstring bag handmade by me and wrapped in tissue paper.

Little cotton storage/gift bags, made from quilting fabric