Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Future is Sock-Shaped

I'm getting very excited now.  Less than a week to my birthday.

I'm having a lovely relaxing week - minimal housework and plenty of treats.

One of my treats arrived yesterday, a lovely package of yarn.

Each year for my birthday, I make a list of fun things I want to do during the year.  The number of items on the list corresponds with my age, so each year the list gets longer.  I'm currently compiling my list of "54 Things to Do When You Are 54".  One of the items I have put on the list is "knit a pair of socks every month".

I've only recently got excited by sock knitting.  Having seen the gorgeous yarns Grace has been buying for her sock knitting, I have been itching to get stuck in with some lovely socks of my own.

So my parcel, that arrived yesterday, was full of scrumptious sock yarns.

So many delicious colours.  I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Day Off From Knitting

Every now and then, it's nice to take a day off from knitting.  Yesterday, I had great fun with the sewing machine.  I'm not up to making any dresses yet, the weather isn't warm enough yet for the cotton dresses my skills are limited to making.  No, instead, I made some patchwork bags to store and carry around my works in progress.

I have plenty of scraps of fabric that were ideal for this project.

I added some lace and a ribbon tag.

They're simple draw-string bags, I couldn't face sewing in zips, I'll leave that for another time.  But I think they look pretty and they'll be very useful as well.

Today I'm doing some crocheting - variety is the spice of life!

Monday, 2 March 2015

It's Finished... and It Fits!

The Que Sera cardigan is finished.  Thank goodness!  It came off the needles looking very short and very slim.  I knew that it would grow with soaking and blocking, but wasn't sure if it would be in the right directions.  I had fears that it would remain slim and end up very very long.

Thankfully, my fears were unfounded and amazingly it fits, in fact it's a very good fit.

It's very comfortable to wear and I enjoyed knitting the lacy pattern.  It took just over two weeks to knit up, ignoring all the previous false starts.

I made a number of modifications to the original pattern.  Full details of this pattern, yarn used and all the modifications I made can be seen on my Ravelry page, here.

I'm so glad that one's out of the way.  I must say, it certainly shook my confidence in cardigan knitting.  I don't know why that should be the case.  I must knit at least five or six cardigans a year, and have been doing so since my teens.  I suspect it was all the false starts with this yarn, rather than the Que Sera pattern.  Anyway, I'm planning some smaller, quicker, less demanding projects for a short while now.  I feel an urge to make more socks!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

I Didn't Make the Same Mistake!

Sitting in the pub, watching the football - but this time I remembered to bring my knitting!

I won't make the same mistake twice.  Enjoy your weekend.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cardigan Work-in-Progress

I feel like I've been knitting this cardigan forever.

It isn't the cardigan's fault.  I've actually only been knitting this cardigan for just over two weeks, it's the wool I've been knitting forever.

You will recall, I started knitting with the Rowan Worsted in the guise of Miette way back in January.  I flirted with knitting Searing.  I abandoned them both and embarked on Que Sera.
I have now completed the body and one sleeve.  Excellent progress.

A lovely lacy pattern, great fun to knit.

I am, however, extremely anxious.  You will notice that the knitting is very textured.

It looks very small when knitted but should flattered out when blocked. I've swatched it over and over again to be certain of how it behaves after soaking but it's difficult to judge the right length, especially for the sleeves.  I have a dread that it's either going to be too big or too small - at this stage I'm still not certain which way it will.go.  Time will tell.

All I can do is get it done and hope for the best.

As an incentive to finish the cardigan, I treated myself to some lovely new yarn from Abakhans in Chester.

I'm in a sock and shawl knitting frame of mind, so can't wait to get started.

I also treated myself to some more dress fabric.  I seem to be accumulating quite a bit now.

When the weather gets a bit warmer, I'm going to make me some lovely summer dresses.

So in the, meantime, it's on with the cardigan and fingers crossed.  Hopefully I'll have something wonderful to show you soon.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A Bobble on Top

I seem to be coming to the end of all the projects I cast on recently.

Apart from the dreaded cardigan, the only other project I have is for a hat.

When we were in Sheffield with Grace, she had made a lovely snug hat, so I decided to copy her.

The pattern is called Bankhead by Susie Gourlay, it's a freebie.

I've knitted it in Aran weight yarn , although the pattern calls for worsted weight.  I used some Aran I had recycled from a frogged project.  It's knitted in the round and it's a very easy pattern.

It's very cosy, just right for the cold wind that's blowing at the moment.

And I added a bobble on top.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Back to the Eighties

Hello to all the new followers who have found this blog.  I hope that you enjoy your visits here.  It's good to have you along.

Yesterday, a cold but sunny day, I made it to Chester for a lovely day full of treats.

I love searching all the charity shops for goodies.  Chester has a good selection of these shops in Frodsham Street and I like to work my way methodically along them.

I didn't manage to find many exciting goodies this time, my haul was rather light but amongst my "treasures" I bought this book.


It's called Rowan's Designer Collection, Summer & Winter Knitting.

It features designs by lots of famous designers.

The book was published in 1987, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of designs that would be laughed at if you wore them now.

Ruched Panel Cardigan by Bodymap

Hunt Sweater by Martin Kidman
You could fit the whole family in this one

Target Jacket by Muir and Osborne

Windows Coat by Kaffe Fassett

However there are a few designs that would be wearable.

Guernsey by Artwork

Arabesque by Angela King
Lovely lace pattern

Venetian Tile Cardigan by Sarah Duckworth

Floral Sweater by Lena Stengard

Bellmanear Sweater by Jean Moss
Just lovely Fair Isle

Lumberjack by Christopher Fischer
Interesting use of colour patterns

Some may need a bit of a pattern rewrite to lose some of the six inches of positive ease!   I particularly like the Fair Isle design of this over-sized sweater.

Fair Isle by Edina Ronay
Love the colours yellow, pink and grey

I think there are quite a lot of patterns with potential for an up-date. Something to think about.

Have a good day.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

One of Those Days

The loss of my camera has put me out of sorts the last few days.  I don't know why it should but I don't seem to be able to get myself organised.

Thankfully, my darling husband has now picked up a lovely new camera for me.  Same make as the last one but a more up-to-date model.  I should be back on form again soon.

On Thursday, I had planned on a day out to Chester, as part of my birthday treat days.  I arrived at the train station, bought my ticket, and then found out that the train had been cancelled and subsequent trains were subject to delay!  Then it started pouring down with rain!

I got a refund on my ticket and went home - I thought I'd have a leisurely day at home instead.

Half an hour after returning home the rain stopped and it started to brighten up!  I then spent the next two hours cursing myself for giving into the weather so easily.

But you can't sit around feeling sorry for yourself and I needed to go to the bank, so I thought a walk would do me good.  It's a mile walk to the bank branch - a nice brisk energetic walk to blow away the cobwebs.  As soon as I arrived at the bank it started to pour with rain again!  I had a miserable walk back that didn't feel in the least bit brisk or energetic, just soggy!

Nothing for it but to grab a crochet hook and some zingy colours of yarn and make something to cheer me up.

So this is what I made, a lovely juicy-coloured liner for a basket that I can use for my works-in-progress.

I used Stylecraft Special DK in Pomegranate, Saffron, Cloud Blue, Turquoise and Shrimp.

I love the colour combination - it really cheered me up.

Now I have a jolly new basket for my WIPs and I still have a trip to Chester to look forward to - I'm going this coming week, whatever the weather!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Death of a Camera

Yesterday my camera ceased to work.  You don't realise how much you use something until it's no longer there.  I feel like I've lost a limb!

I use my camera every day.  It's not a fancy camera, just a very nice compact one.  It's been with me for a long time now (it was actually Grace's camera but I seem to have acquired it some years ago).

I can't function without my camera.  My only alternative is the Kindle I got for Christmas - and the quality on that is a bit iffy, especially as I tend to shake quite a bit.

It'll have to do for now, until I get a replacement.

Farewell dear camera - you were so loved!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Warm and Cosy

Last weekend at Grace's, I knitted a sock.  Grace is a recent convert to sock knitting and I love what she has been making, and especially the lovely sock yarns she has been buying.

I would have made the other sock straight after, but I got distracted with cardigan issues and the cast on party.

However, being a conscientious knitter (!), after the rush of excitement of casting on so many nice new things, I did cast on for the second sock.

And today it's finished.  These will be house socks, for lounging in!

The wool is worsted weight, leftover from the skirt I knitted a few months back.  The lovely thick yarn makes these socks lovely and toasty.

The thick yarn also made them a quick knit which is definitely good in my books.

The pattern is called Traveler Socks and it's by Diana Gates, a freebie download on Ravelry.  The sock is knitted toe-up, which I found quite interesting (I've only ever knitted one sock pattern before and that was quite some time ago).  You can read all about this project on my Ravelry page, here.

I followed the pattern as written, but I found the cast off stitches around the leg were rather tight.  I re-did the cast off using a sewn cast off.  This gave a much more elastic opening, but doesn't look very pretty.  I'll have to research sock knitting techniques.

I've so enjoyed knitting up these socks that I think I'll make some more.  I'd like to use proper sock yarn, there is so much choice available and the hand dyed yarns are so lovely.

I've already started browsing the yarn shops.  But before then, I've got rather a lot of unfinished wips to be getting on with.  Bye for now.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Bob the Bunny

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.  I hope you are having a good day.

Here's a little something I knitted up the other day.

His name is Bob and I think he's really cute.  He's three and a half inches from the top of his ears to his toes.

The pattern is a freebie, called Little Baby Bunny and it's by Justyna Kacprzak.  You can download the pattern,  here.

He didn't take long to make.  I used a small amount of Rowan fine tweed 4 ply for the Bunny, this gives a lovely tweedy fabric.  The jumper isn't part of the pattern but I thought he would nice with something to wear.  I knitted his jumper with a small amount of wool left over from my latest shawl.

I think he would make a lovely little gift for someone, just to say hello.