Monday, 16 May 2011

In which I remember I do achieve stuff...

It's been a funny old day. One of those days where I have been on my feet non stop, rushing from one child to another in order to try to reach their demands needs, in doing so I felt I was merely going round in frantic circles achieving nothing. I even did that annoying thing where I went to the corner shop specifically for eggs, I had the three Cuckoos with me, and I was finally feeling like I was back on track, and I forgot the bloody eggs. I'd decided to make the trip worth my while you see, so I added to my shopping list on the journey and in doing so I forgot those flipping eggs. BOTTOMS!!!!!

So lets rewind to last Thursday where I managed to bake, decorate and box up 12 cupcakes to fulfil the "Promise" I entered for the Christmas auction at Big Cuckoo's school. I did all of this after school pick up and before bedtime. Yay! Go me! Amazing what can be accomplished when the feral beasts are playing nicely and the baby naps.

I had a question from Nicki that I thought I'd ask you lovely lot. The question was in one of the comments that blogger lost when it did it's maintenance thing last week but it's still in my email so I've pasted it in:

I wanted to ask you something about crochet... When I buy a ball of yarn am I meant to unravel it and then wind it back up again. If so, why? It sounds like bonkersness but I have a vague recollection of having read about this somewhere. Also, if I'm planning on making a super-expensive granny blanket in a few different colours do I really have to buy 32 balls of £5 yarn in one go? Lady in shop was going on about 'lot' numbers - do the colours really vary that much? I think I've seen on a previous post (your stripy blanket?) that half way through you've had to go buy more yarn... what do you do?

I really don't know the rules so I'll just say what my experience is and see what others say in agreement/disagreement. I think lot numbers are important when it's an item in one colour or when it's a hand dyed yarn. I think most bulk dyed stuff is usually ok. At least that's what I found when I did the Bobble Blanket, the Patons Gold yarn I used had totally different lot numbers but the new balls matched the old ones perfectly. I wouldn't risk it with a yarn like Noro.

I did the "Buy as I Go" thing with my Granny blanket and halfway through I couldn't get the exact purple Rowan DK so I bought a similar purple 4 ply by Rowan. Even though they were slightly different colours and slightly different thicknesses it didn't matter. I'd never mix different types of wool though. No acrylic in with wool in with they all wash up differently and could cause the item to go all wonky.

As for re rolling a ball I have done this in the past for two reasons. Firstly because a round ball will sit nicely in a dish and unroll smoothly and not skitter about when I pull the yarn and they don't tangle up when you near the end of the ball. Secondly, and most importantly they look pretty as balls ;oD!!!! But I think that rolling the bitchy splitty Rico Creative Cotton into a ball made it bitchy splitty, it was just splitty when I left it as it was (which I found out on the edge of The Nemisis blanket. Silly me).

Anyone out there know the proper answers for Nicki?


  1. I agree with you about lot numbers, and about the mixing different fibres. I get the heeby jeebies just mixing a ball of Debbie Bliss into a Rowan blanket, let alone different fibres!

    I only roll up my yarn when I'm getting to the end of the ball and it's a mess, generally I just pull the label off, chuck it on the floor, and start hooking.

  2. Wow your cupcakes look amazing!!! I suddenly have a craving for sweet food ... Thank you so much for your lovely comments. The cupcake cases on my post were from a local store here in Wellington. They don't do mail order but I would be happy to find out the manufacturers details for you. I'm happy to post some to you if you want. Have a lovely week.

  3. Wish you'd come and share your know how on how to make cakes look really pretty here. Endless fresh and warm egg supply here so no problems forgetting them (sorry) just lack the pzazzz thing.

    Lot no's are really important like you say when working only in one or two shades as it's the dye lot that the number refers to. So if you get one from another it shows up a lot even if the shade is slightly different. I don't think it matters in crochet as much because it's so open weave not tight like knitting. That's why I love crochet as you can buy the yarn as you go and use what's in your stash too. Much more stuff done in loads of colours. Knitting you need to fork out about £40 and up straightaway to get going. Mind you I've out yarn away to collect on a rainy pay day today so I have the same lot no's stored. That's the only rule really. I never seem to use the yarn or needle size reccomended and always seem to change the pattern - bit of mind wandering does that too.

    Have a lovely week.


  4. Oooh lovely cakes! Right well in my experience if it is for a big blanket then I would suggest you buy all in one go if you poss can as I had a major with the aforesaid Rowan discontinuing several of my colours - ack!! I had to hunt all over the internet for them. Nightmare. I won't do that again in a hurry. xx

  5. Ooh thank you for putting my question out into the blogsphere!! It's so interesting to hear what real-life crocheters do - it doesn't tell you this stuff in the books. I feel more confident about starting another blanket, knowing this stuff about lot numbers. Thanks for this... fab that you did a little link to me too *blush* :-)

    Those balls of wool look very pretty. I might try rolling some, they do get tangled. I've really got to get my head around the 4 ply/DK/Aran differences too but I guess that will come. If ONLY I lived near you. We could have a little cake and crochet club. I need a cake and crochet club in my life.

    Delish looking cupcakes. Are they meringue ones at the top there? I gotta get me some of those cute little flags...

    Nicki xx

  6. Where do I start, I'm playing catch up here as blogger's been very naughty and I couldn't use it for over a week, I love your tea party post, so sweet, pretty and very moving esp the bit about boys.. happy belated birthday...I'm off to catch up on your other posts now x x x x x x

  7. No proper answers here, but I do have to say your cupcakes look delicious!!! I have never re-rolled a ball of yarn because it just seems like it would take so long.

  8. Ooooh am loving those cakes! Blimey, your baking is awesome! I'm glad I don't live near you.....i'd be round all the time eating your cake and i'd be the size of a house!!!!!

    Yeap, as with everyone else, with you on the yarn lot, but don't think it matters so much on bitty crochet projects.

    I started making my yarn into balls, because as you say it looks prettier, but I found it annoying having to wind so many balls up so got fed up, and also, it annoyed me how they ran across the room when I worked with it (sure there is a solution to that but i'm lazy!!!!).

    I wonder if homebird is planning the Nicki Trench springtime blanket? 32 balls is a lot! I gasped at the number and the price of the finished blanket!!! Beautiful though!

    God I want cake now....thanks Cuckoo!!!!!


  9. OOH! I d love to join a cake and crochet club:)The cakes look lush and Im going to start putting my wool in balls like yours it looks soo pretty,have a great day.xx

  10. Woah - cake-tastic! Those beasties look beautiful. I'd love to join a cake and crochet club, wouldn't that be brilliant?
    Re rolling the balls before you go, this requires a level of patience I just don't possess - I'm definitely of the 'fling it on the floor and get going' school of thought (though they do look prettier in balls!) I do re-roll when I get near the end as I think they get a bit straggly and annoying then.
    Well done for your uber-impressive level of achievement there, Cuckoo! (I've got my book club on Thursday and have yet to start the bloomin' book...)
    Emily x
    PS - is it a springtime throw you're making, Homebird? I have constant pangs of guilt about how little time I spend on mine - it sure is taking a long time!

  11. Awwww, I wanna come live over there and join the cake and crochet club, sob.....
    I don't re-roll my wool, if I can get the 'other end' of the wool from the middle of the ball it makes for much easier knitting/crocheting, no ball rolling around.
    Loving your cupcakes, can you share a non disaster recipe, mine come out heavy and dry every time, have almost resigned myself to not being a good cupcake cooker....but not quite.
    x Sandi

  12. Those cupcakes look delicious! I especially like the icing :) My favourite part.

  13. I may just be repeating other people here, but there's strength in numbers! I wouldn't worry about lot numbers for a blanket. Especially if the balls are far apart, noone will notice.

    I would NEVER consider unravelling and rolling up a ball of yarn, life is far too short for that! I only roll it up when it gets out of control tangled, but that's never happened to me with cotton or DK, it tends to be fancy yarns or mohair that does that.

  14. Scrummy and very beautiful cakes!!! Re question...mmm....I care not one jot about lot numbers for a blanket ...or mixing yarns providing they are the same fibre and weight. I would never mix pure wool with acrylic yarn or cotton for instance xxx

  15. Beautiful cakes, any chance of a sample?! I don't re-roll my yarn, I have enough trouble winding from a hank into a ball (I have tendonitis in both wrists and winding means pain for several days afterwards, maybe I could train the dog to do it for me?). I wouldn't mix different dye lots in the same row/stripe but if they are going to be separated by other colours I don't worry. I've yet to make a big blanket but I think that if I had to buy all the yarn at the start my credit card would go into shock - buying yarn for a baby blanket is bad enough! I put my ball in an IKEA storage box, one of the fabric ones they sell in the children's section, as I have a dog and hate getting hair on the yarn (I'd use the phrase 'hairy balls' but...). Have a lovely week x
    P.S. I can recommend the Primrose Bakery book - yum!

  16. Oooo, those cakes look good!
    I think lot no. important if making a garment. For a crochet blanket, I wouldn't be bothered. I never wind my balls of yarn - think that is just personal preference. My preference is to find the end in the centre of the ball and work from that (it can be a bit fiddly though) - it means the ball of yarn doesn't roll/bounce around as you work. Winding is necessary with skeins of yarn though.

  17. PS - thanks for the link on your 'blogs I follow' thingie - I'm v excited about being on someone else's blog!!
    Emily x

  18. Wow! Your cakes look stunning! You really are very talented..
    This post was a really lovely read..
    I would never have the patience to un-wind and re-wind every ball of yarn I use.. I also just chuck it on the floor and get hooking.. or knitting!

  19. Aw, thanks so much for throwing my questions 'out there' and putting a link to my little page. I've made a new blog friend (Emily ^^) who is already half-way through making the blanket I'm planning so I can badger Emily for crochet and yarn tips now too!

    I'm thrilled to be on your blog list - thank you, my lovely new bloddie. (...that's right isn't it? Have I got the lingo?) :-)

    Nicki x

  20. Hello - I've seen you around and have never got around to visiting your blog - so glad i did!
    However - I was off to bed an hour ago - and instead find myself having a little cry (well, not a real cry, just a short weep!) at your tea party post.
    I feel very similar re having a daughter - having been blessed with 3 wonderful boys, and found your honesty refreshing.
    My little sister (10 years younger) has recently had her first baby Mabel and is not remotely girly, - I have to stop myself saying outloud 'what a waste of a girl'! (just wait til I get my hands on her!!!)

    Anyway, going to come back later with a cup of tea, and have a good read.
    Glad I found you
    fee x


I L♡VE your comments. Thank you ever so for taking the time. I do try to get back to everyone but I am rather scatty and I have these 3 big distractions....(and I'm just generally a bit rubbish lately, so please don't feel obliged to leave a note) Sorry about the word verification too, too much spam.