Friday, 31 July 2015

Weekend WIP Along #10

You wouldn't think it was summer would you? A serious amount of rain has fallen this week and the tempiriture is so low. It more knit wolly jumpers weather than knit summer shawls.

Have you had a busy knitting/crafting week? I haven't managed much crafting this week at all.

I do however seem to have a bit of a WIP pile going on. I've finished one pester sock and cast on the second, I also have the pwani shawl on the needles, a crochet blanket and a sector crochet project which I can't wait to tell you about, but I will have to wait a little while.

 I have cast on the second sock, don't you find it fiddly when you first cast on?

The Pwani shawl is an addictive knit, the rows are getting longer and longer.

My secret project using the scrumptious 100% baby alpaca from Eden Cottage Yarns. 

I am busy planning my holiday knitting currently an trying to resist packing all my WIP's haha. Its quite stressful planning which projects to take away don't you think?

Soo what are your weekend WIP along plans?

So what are you weekend project plans? Spinning? Knitting/crochet? Sewing? Baking? if you have a blog then why not join in below with the link up. post up your link and link back to this post to join in. I love to read what you are all doing.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Weekend WIP Along #9 - A Test Shawl

Another Friday is here and that can only mean its Weekend WIP Along time. I hope you have had a lovely week, mine seems to have totally flown by yet again. I am off work today which is a bonus, I would love my day to be filled with crafting but the reality is it is the school holidays and there is plenty to be done in the house and activities with little lady (which of course will be fun).

Last weekend was filled with birthday party activity and eating out with the family to celebrate both little lady's and my birthday. I would also like to thank you for all your birthday wishes. I did manage a little crafting over the weekend. In fact I cast on a new shawl with my new Hiya Hiya circular needles.

I cast on a new shawl (more to come on that in a post next week), I am also very close to finishing off the first pester sock however both of those projects have been put to one side for a special project. I am currently testing a simple crochet shawl for Rohn Strong, I've never done testing on a pattern before. I cast on the shawl on Wednesday night and it needs to be finished by the end of this weekend which is really achievable as its super easy and super quick but a very effective design. I would say I completed around 70% in one sitting.

This weekend will see me concentrate on completing this pattern and once I finish it I will continue work on the pester socks.

Last week I posted up about the last minute bunting, well I did finish the bunting and it looked great, I will write a separate post about the little lady's birthday party for you.

So what are you weekend project plans? Spinning? Knitting/crochet? Sewing? Baking? if you have a blog then why not join in below with the link up. post up your link and link back to this post to join in. I love to read what you are all doing.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Tin Can Knits - Old Growth

Regular visitors to my blog will know about this cardigan. I only been worked on it a couple weeks but the majority of the knitting happened while I was off work mid June.

I have loved the 'Old Growth' pattern since I bought Tin Can Knits book at Yarndale 2014. The collection is called Road Trip and it is a collection of cosy Knits.They create the most beautiful designs and what I love most about it is that most of their designs are created seamessley. I had to read the pattern a few times to get my head around how it worked but if anything that confused me more so in the end I just got on with it. Yes I made a few mistakes but I got there in the end.

I created the 7th size which is age 8-10 so perfect for Little Lady (Tin Can Knit patterns come from baby size to adult size), Little Lady never asked who it is for and I don't think she realised it was for her. Usually she takes a keen interest in my knitting but I think because I had knitted a lot that week, and mostly while she has been at school, I don't think she has given it any thought.

I cast it off on Thursday finishing with the most complicated piece of knitting, the button band, it blew my mind! then washed and blocked it. The buttons themselves were added once it was dried.

When I presented the cardigan to Little Lady she was so excited! and it will look great with her jeans when we progress through to autumn. So you may consider me crazy that in the hottest week of the year so far I knitted with Aran yarn, but at least the garment is ready for the colder weather when it inevitably arrives. My nana always said that she knitted our cardigans and jumpers in the summer ready for the winter and sewed our summer dresses in the winter so they would be ready. I guess I can see the logic.

I can't wait to knit my next Tin Can Knits pattern.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Weekend WIP Along #8 & A Birthday

Hello again, another week gone and for me another year older!

Cake for breakfast is allowed on your birthday!
Yes I had another birthday this week so its been a busy week, especially since today is the little ladies birthday as well. July is always a busy month for our family. 

For my birthday I got lots of yarny goodness, Mr.M bought me some sock blockers, a lovely crochet book, some hiya hiya circulars, some wys yarn along with lots of other lovely gifts from my friends and family. I am so proud of Mr. M purchasing such lovely yarn goodies for me I do feel very spoilt.

just a few of my gifts

As you will have ready earlier in the week, I have been hooking up some bunting ready for the little ladies birthday part and other than that I have not really worked on anything. Little ladies birthday party is tomorrow so I will be busy all day getting ready for that and on Sunday we are going out for lunch.

With all of that in mind I'm pretty sure that I wont get much knitting done. If I do manage to find some time to knit I will be working on what I have called the Pester socks, so called because Mr. M pestered me until I cast him on a pair of socks. Other than that I have no knitting/crochet plans. 

So what are you weekend project plans? Spinning? Knitting/crochet? Sewing? Baking? if you have a blog then why not join in below with the link up. post up your link and link back to this post to join in. I love to read what you are all doing.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A last minute project

Don't you love it when you have an idea but are limited on time to implement said idea?!

This weekend will mark my daughters 8th birthday (I struggle to comprehend where the time has gone to). This year she is having a little tea party with a few friends so I am going to decorate the dining room up for her.

So the idea, I wanted some crochet bunting to put up for her. I have lots of scraps of yarn that I keep for such projects so the yearn was not an issue, the problem is I only had the idea at the weekend giving me a week to create the bunting. I also have work and all my usual jobs to also fit into that week.

So far I have thirteen triangles which may be enough but if I manage more that would be great. Luckily these little triangles are quick and easy to make at around 10/15 minutes per triangle (without sewing in the ends). I have used Stylecraft DK yarn and a 4mm Hook and not followed any pattern. I hope they create a lovely little display in the dining room for Little Lady's tea party.

I do love crochet, anyone who has read my blog for a while will know that crochet is my first love although I do seem to knit more than crochet these days. Its good to be working on a crochet project again.

I really have lost my reading mojo at the minute so my reading is currently limited to knitting & crochet magazines. I really need to find my reading mojo again!

Today I am lining in with a yarn along. 

Crochet Bowl Pattern

Crochet Bowl

Picture courtesy of Brityarn

Yarn used: Blacker Chunky
Hook size: 5mm
Terms used are UK terms
CH = chain
DC = double crochet
BL = black loop

I created the Base using a standard circular increase which is as follows

Chain 6 and slip stitch into the first CH. To create a circle.
Round 1:   6DC into the circle.
Round 2 -  2DC into each DC (12 DC)
Round 3 - *2DC into 1st DC 1DC I to the next DC* repeat from *-* around (18 DC)
Round 4 - *2DC into first DC 1dc into the next 2 DC's*  repeat from *-* around (24 DC)
Round 5 - *2DC into first DC 1DC into each of the next 3DC* repeat from *-* around (30 DC)
Round 6 -  work even all the way around (1 dc in each dc)  (30 dc)
Round 7-   *2 DC into first DC then 1 DC into each of the next 4 DC* repeat from *-* (36 DC)
Round 8 -  *2DC into first DC then 1 DC into each of the next 5 DC* repeat from *-* (42DC)
Round 9 -  *2 DC into first DC then 1 DC in each of the next 6 DC* repeat from *-*(48 DC)
Round 10 - *2 DC in the first DC and then 1 DC in each of the next 7DC* repeat from *-* (54 DC)
Round 11 -  work even all the way around (1DC in each DC) (54 DC)
Round 12 - *2DC in the first DC and then 1 DC in each of the next 8 DC*  repeat from *-* (60DC)
Round 13 - work even around, however work 1DC into the BL only of each DC around. (60DC)
Round 14 and beyond - 1 dc in each all the way around.  Continue in this manner until the desired height has been reached.

To finish I worked what I call the crocodile stitch. Work double crochet as you normally would however instead of working into the next DC work to the DC behind, work the DC in the reverse. This creates a beautiful edging to finish with.

Enjoy, if you have any questions then please get in touch. I would love to see your crochet bowls if you make one. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Weekend WIP Along #8

How have you all been? What have you been doing?

Last weekend I was working on the Hoodlet and Socks and also I needed to sew the buttons on the Old Growth Cardigan. Well Old Growth Cardigan is now completely finished and in little lady's draw waiting for the cooler weather to arrive.

The Hoodlet has now been put to one side. I managed to knit far more than I though I would and completed the front panel and the back as well. I went to start on the hood but sadly I had bought the wrong circular needles. It is my birthday coming up soon so I am on a purchasing ban and cannot buy any new needles so the Hoodlet will have to wait.

I have progressed well with the socks despite hitting a bit of a road block with my crafting this week. I had three nights where I just could not get into anything and wanted to do nothing! do you get like that?

I am back on it now and determined to get these socks sorted. I really don't have that many WIP's at the minute which is pretty amazing, I have got the urge to cast loads of things on though and need to hold back a little! I do really have the urge to do some crochet I'm thinking a cardigan.

So what are you weekend project plans? Spinning? Knitting/crochet? Sewing? Baking? if you have a blog then why not join in below with the link up. post up your link and link back to this post to join in. I love to read what you are all doing.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Blacker Yarn - Pure Black Welsh Mountain Chunky

A little while ago Isla from BritYarn asked me to crochet a basket to store her stitch markers in (for resale). Isla had chosen the yarn she wanted me to use and has asked me to write up my thoughts on the yarn from a crocheters point of view.

Picture Courtesy of BritYarn

The Yarn:

Colour way is black
50 g balls
yardage - 55 Metres

(I used three Balls)

I didn't use a pattern to make the bowl I just used a basic circular increase, but if you are interested I have written up the pattern and I will be posting it up on my blog in the next week.

The ball band suggests a 6mm needle however I know that I needed this to be a tight fabric so that it is more ridged than it should be, I first attempted the basket with a 5.5mm hook but it still was a little floppy so I pulled it out and went down a size to 5mm. The yarn handled being crocheted up and ripped out really well, I didn't notice any fraying that happens with some yarns when you pull it back. The yarn was lovely to work with and considering I was using a hook 1 mm smaller than the recommended size there was no issues with the yarn splitting at all which, as a crocheter has been an issue in the past with some yarns. The finished bowl only took a few hours to produce, and was very ridged and perfect for the job in hand.

The yarn its self is quite coarse and I'm not sure I would be happy with it made into a scarf or a garment that is too close to the skin, that said it would make an amazingly warm over cardigan/jumper and would knit/crochet up beautifully.

I would certainly make some more of these baskets for myself, perhaps for my dressing table for make up or hair things and they would also be great scattered around the house.

The only negative of this yarn for me is that this is the only colour available, It is the natural colours which you can understand why there are no other colour ways. This however is being totally picky as the yarn was lovely to use.

BritYarn is a online yarn shop that celebrates the British yarn industry. Isla has a range of British produced yarn some of which you will have heard of but also introducing you to others that you may not have. While Isla has been setting up this business in the last few months I have found myself becoming more aware of the yarns I use and where they come from. Pop over to BritYarns and see what you think for yourself.

This post is not a sponsored post and my opinions are my own, I would only recommend yarns/patterns that I truly love and have enjoyed myself. 

Keep an eye out on my blog for the bowl pattern appearing.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Tsunami socks by Judy Sumner

I bought Judy's book, knitted socks east and west, some time ago now, long before I could actually knit socks. I was drawn to the gorgeous photographs throughout the book.

I am now a sock knitter (oh how I love to say that) having knitted a couple of pairs for other people but non for myself. One evening I headed to the craft room and pulled out this lovely book and as I often do with my pattern books, I flicked through trying to decide what to make. After some debate I settled on Tsunami socks, I love that with each pattern Judy provides a description, or perhaps a context for the socks themselves. I knew just the yarn to set free from my stash. So I have the pattern and the yarn, let's cast on! Oh flip I don't have the right size needles, quick order them.

The yarn used was originally intended for the Schools out cardigan and was a supersize skein of deliciousness.  Yarn garden giant burr oak 600 meters (150g) of heavenly yarn. I can't find the label to tell you what the yarn is but I know it contains silk. I bought the yarn from Yarndale in 2014 so it was good to finally release it from the stash. I still have enough left to make another pair of ankle socks too.

Once my needles arrived I cast on, after the rib every round is pretty much a pattern round, so for me a lot of concentration is required. I class myself as a novice sock knitter and taking on such a patterned sock was a big risk. They did take me a while to complete but I have to say that Judy's instructions were so good that it was a very simple pattern to follow, even telling you how many stitches on each needle.

The entire process was very enjoyable and once the socks were blocked, I was eager to wear them, it was like my feet were wrapped up in silky softness all day long.

I would really recommend judy's book, I shall be knitting up some more of the patterns myself.

This sock knitting is totally addictive, I already have another pair of socks on the go. Unfortunately  they are not for me, they are for Mr. M.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Weekend WIP Along #7

Friday again already, and what a beautiful week it has been. It is typical that it should be such a glorious week when I started back at work on Monday. I am still not able to drive for another week or two but I am healing well and I have even managed a couple of short walks this week with my friend.

Due to not being as active as I normal I am managing a little more knitting time than I would usually enjoy in the working week, because it is feet up when I get home. This week I have been working on the Tiny Owl Knits hoodlet and Mr. M's sock. I set my self a small challenge of finishing the front of the hoodlet by Monday next week but with the scorching weather I am not feeling inclined to pick the chunky knit up, we shall see how that goes.

This weekend I need to sew the buttons onto the Old Growth Cardigan (which I still have not done),
try to finish the front panel of the hoodlet and get on with Mr.M's socks (which after having to pull them out are still not back to where they were previously). I also want to sit down with my kindle and make some progress with the Night Circus.

We have a free weekend this weekend, the previous plans have been cancelled now so beyond the usual weekend chores we can just go with the flow. Its the first and last weekend for a while that we dont have plans of some sort so we are just going to see how the weather is and what we feel like doing. Don't you love it when that happens?! (I'm hoping to sit in the garden with some knitting at some point).

So what are you weekend project plans? Spinning? Knitting/crochet? Sewing? Baking? if you have a blog then why not join in below with the link up. post up your link and link back to this post to join in. I love to read what you are all doing.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Tiny Owl Knits - Hoodlet

This picture does not do the beautiful Teal colour  or the cable pattern any justice!

I would say it was around 18 months ago that Mr. M bought me the Tiny Owl Knits pattern book. Tiny Owl Knits is the lady behind the Bee-keeper blanket design. not heard of that? its amazing. I have of course, along with many others started my hexipuffs for this blanket but they are as and when and I am in no hurry, I am in fact building up a stock of ball ends of 4 ply yarn to make a few more hexipuffs.

Any way I totally digressed there, lets get back onto the book. It had been in my wish list for a while and when I opened it up I was thrilled with it, the photography is amazing and the patterns are lush. I was immediately drawn to the Hoodlet but thought it was way beyond my capabilities. The book went onto the shelf!

Recently I have had a change in mindset when it comes to knitting/crochet, I do of course thing some things are beyond my capability but I still take them on one row at a time, learning a new stitches/technique along the way. I find this is really building my confidence. So last week while I was home I eventually cast it on. I bought the yarn some time ago for it knowing I wanted to knit it.

The recommended yarn is Rowan Big Wool, now I like Rowan big wool, but big wool comes at a big price costing around £90-£100 to make this garment so I researched and as mentioned before with the 'off to bed' project I found Wendy Pampas as an alternative. Wendy pampas comes in at around half the cost of Rowan big wool, but I got a notification through from Deremores saying they had a sale on this yarn and I bought the quantity I needed for around £25.00.

I dont mind spending money on quality yarn but I did think £100 was rather excessive and after the initial testing there is very little difference in the quality of the yarn.

The pattern is written so well, line for line and I have set myself little goals to reach, every row is different and requires concentration (for me anyway) there is no watching TV or talking while I am working on this one.

I've only worked on it a couple of times because as you will have read previously I was working on Old Growth cardigan but I have given it my full attention this week so far. I am so pleased that I have taken the plunge to knit this , it may take me a while but I will get there! Every one needs a really chunky knit on the hottest week of the year so far, right? Trust me to knit winter garments in the summer! haha

Don't you find that you tell yourself something is too difficult to make or it looks way beyond your capabilities but when you get round to it, you wonder what all the fuss was about?

I'm linking in with the Yarn Along today.