Wednesday, 28 January 2015

To Knit or Not to Knit, That is the Question...

It's not whether to knit or not - that is never a question.  The question is, WHAT to knit.  I am doing my best Hamlet impression and dithering around.

I have my lovely Rowan Worsted Yarn, (makes me smile just thinking of the bargain I got!) and now I'm ready to knit with it.


Such a gorgeous colour - it's called crimson.  I have had on my wish list for quite some time, a cute little cropped cardigan called Miette.  A free pattern.  Here's the pattern photograph.


The pattern is by Andi Satterlund, and it's very popular on Ravelry.  There's some really lovely interpretations of this pattern, which have all inspired me.

So, now in possession of the appropriate yarn, I'm already to cast on.

This is a top-down, knitted in one piece cardigan.  And that's where the problem lies.  I am extremely sceptical that I will like the fit of the finished cardigan.

I have tried only one top-down pattern before and I gave up at the armholes because I didn't like the shoulder shaping.

I'm an old-fashioned girl, brought up on bottom-up knitting, all done in pieces and seamed together at the end.  Whilst I am more than happy to embrace new ideas and give them a try, the internet has made available so many tutorials, I find that the fashion for one piece knitting and no seaming compromises on shape.  What's wrong with a bit of seaming anyway?

I prefer my sleeves set in at the shoulder, shaped to my armhole.  I prefer the shoulders of my cardigan to actually sit on my own shoulders rather than form a funnel shape as some of the yoked cardigans do.

So I've cast on for Miette, but I'm not convinced.


That shoulder looks very narrow!

As I started knitting, I made a back-up plan for what to knit if (and more probably, when) I rip out the Miette.  This Kim Hargreaves cardigan, called Searing, is a possibility.


As is this cropped cardigan, called Cropped Cardigan!


Neither of them get me excited in the way that Miette did.  And Miette is such a nice sounding name for  a cardigan, don't you think?  I won't know until I try it whether top-down will be my new favourite way to knit (I can't see it myself).

Then, on my walk this morning (I do my best thinking early in the morning pounding the pavement listening to the sound of the dawn chorus), I had an idea.  What if I knit Miette bottom-up with set-in sleeves?  I could reconfigure the pattern, keeping the essence of the original cardigan but making sure that I'm happy with the fit.

I like the eyelet detail around the neckline.

So I'm not going to rip out what I've done so far of Miette, I'll put it to one side, I may continue for a bit more, say up to the armholes (or should I say "down" to the armholes!), just to see how the shoulders sit, but then I'll think about whether Miette is "To be or not to be".

In the meantime, I think I need a lie down, all this dithering has fair worn me out.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Little Longer Than a Weekend

The knitting needles have been clicking away again.  We may complain about the cold weather but all those hours spent sitting on the sofa, huddled up in the warm, mean plenty of crafting time.  And so, my shawlette is finished.


The pattern is called Le Weekend (because the designer, Jan Henley, made it in one weekend - mine took a little bit longer, but not much!).  It's a free Ravelry download pattern.



I love the colours in the yarn.  It's hand dyed 100% British Falkland merino 4 ply and the colour is "Roses in the Snow".  Not sure that I would link the name with the colours.  I think that Joanne came up with a better description when she said it looks like "a sweet shop's worth of colours".


You can see details of this project on my Ravelry page, here.


I'm now wearing this shawlette all the time - so soft, so warm, so jolly, so perfect.

Time to move on to something new - a cardigan I think!  See you soon.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Daisy Chain Bunting - Free Pattern

Writing up patterns never gets any quicker or more enjoyable, but I stuck at it (I'm conscious that I have two other patterns still waiting to be written up - but they'll wait for another day!).  So here it is, the Daisy Chain Bunting pattern.


The pattern can be downloaded as a free PDF, here.

Alternatively, you can visit the Ravelry pattern page where it is available as a free Ravelry Download to store in your library.

I hope you like the pattern.  It's quite simple and quick to make.



See you soon.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

BAM CAL 2015!

The shawlette is coming along nicely, it should be finished this evening.  The Daisy Chain Bunting pattern is now written up.  I shall be starting to knit a new cardigan shortly, - but I couldn't resist joining in with a crochet-along on Ravelry that I saw mentioned on Laurel's blog here.

It's called the Block a Month crochet along (BAM CAL 2015), although there are actually three blocks each month. Every block will be different.  There are two 12 inch blocks and one 6 inch block every month.

Here are the three blocks I have made for January.


The first one is called Pizzazz by Melinda Miller.



I really like that one.

The second is called Prince Protea Square and it's by Virginia Burrow and Dedri Uys.  


Not so sure about this one, it may grow on me.  

The 6 inch square is called Granny #4.  


I originally thought I would make four of the smaller squares each month to equate to the larger squares.  I can't decide whether to do them all the same colour or, in the spirit of the whole project, do each one a different colour combination.  I think I'll wait until we're a few months in and see how it's going before I commit.  

By the end of December I should have 24 large squares plus however many of the small ones I decide to make (48?).  Putting them all together into a blanket will be fun.  

Here are the nine colours I will be using throughout the year.  



Obviously yellow and pink are my feature colours, with a bit of green thrown in for good measure.  These are taken from my recent Stylecraft Special DK purchase.  The colours are Meadow, Spring Green, Raspberry, Cream, Candyfloss, Lipstick, Citron. Lemon and Fondant.  

This should be a nice stress-free project, worked at a leisurely pace.  I'm looking forward to finding out what the blocks for February will be.  In the meantime I can put this project to one side without feeling guilty about it - wonderful.  

Saturday, 24 January 2015

As an Aside!

Because I never stick to my "one project at a time" rule (rules are made to be broken and I fancy myself as a rebel!), I like to have a little something as an aside.

The past few days I've been crocheting daisies.


And then I made them into a Daisy Chain.


I thought they looked pretty and cheerful hanging around the place.


I hadn't been able to find a pattern that fitted in with what I had in mind, so I made up my own.

I'm in the process of writing it out - but this always takes longer than the making of the actual project!

I'll post the pattern in the next few days once I'm happy that the pattern has been properly edited.  Be back soon!

Friday, 23 January 2015

Shawlette

I've been itching to cast on with the gorgeous wool Grace bought me for Christmas.


I'm going to knit a shawlette.  The pattern I'm using is called Le Weekend (apparently the designer made it in one weekend!).

I've cast on the 355 stitches!  And I'm making excellent progress on the lace pattern.



From now on it's plain stocking stitch, worked in short rows to create the crescent shape - so hopefully I'll get a bit of speed up.

Look at the jolly colours in the wool.  The rapid colour changes make it great fun to knit with.



It will be a lovely splash of colour to wear on the grey Wintery days before the Spring arrives.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Stocking Up!

First of all, a big thank you for all your lovely comments on my Tide cardigan and new cushion cover.  It's always wonderful to hear from you.

I'm managing an amazing turnover of projects at the moment.  I'm not sure I can keep up the pace but I'm making the most of the opportunities to just sit and craft, whether it's knitting, crocheting or sewing.  

It doesn't take much for me to be inspired, especially with all the creative blogs I read and the wonderful pictures on Pinterest.  So I've got a few new projects on the go that I'll tell you about over the next few days.

To keep my supplies of yarn up to full capacity to cope with all this industry, I thought I would make use of the 20% discount on double knitting yarns offered by Deramores  (the offer ends at midnight 24th January 2015, if you're interested).  I put an order in for some Stylecraft Special DK and here's what I got.


All those lovely colours, 22 balls in total, and very reasonably priced.



Imagine all the jolly things I can make with them.


So many plans, so little time!  I hope you manage to find plenty of time for your own inspiring projects.  See you soon.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Finished Cushion Cover

I'm loving the new crochet cover for the floor cushion.  The colours have worked out just perfect.


In the end I made 49 squares and then worked one round of border in red.


The pattern for the squares is called Grandma's Knickknacks and it's by Laurel Runnels.


You can see details of the free pattern over on Ravelry, here.  It's a lovely pattern and works up really quickly.




I enjoyed that little bit of crochet - I'm in the mood for some more.  It's funny how sometimes all you want to do is knit and then at other times it has to be crochet.  Although, doing neither is never an option!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Baby It's Cold Outside

But inside it's lovely and snug.  I must say one thing about this cold, wet and windy weather, it does mean a lot of time indoors being crafty.

Look how much progress I've made with my squares!


I've re-measured the cushion and recalculated the number of squares needed.  Rather than 9 x 9, I think I only need to do a 7 x 7 square.  49 squares, much more manageable than the 81 I originally thought I have to make.



I love all the colour combinations, but this one in particular is my favourite.


It reminds me of spring-time blossom.  It's so pretty.

Yesterday morning, the winds seemed to have abated although the temperature has dropped considerably.  I took the opportunity to stroll along the beach.  I was fortunate enough to be out at the one time during the day that the sun was shining and there were some glorious views.  Amazingly I had remembered to put my camera in my pocket.

So close, you could almost reach out and touch it!

Looking towards Liverpool - can you spot the Liver Building?

Snow on the Welsh mountains

After my walk the rains returned - so back in the house, snuggle up and crochet away!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Warm and Cosy

So, here they are the photos of the latest cardigan off the needles.


It's lovely and warm, just perfect for this cold and windy weather we're having at the moment.

The pattern is called Tide and it's by Kim Hargreaves from an old book called Tweed Knits.

The cardigan is knitted in aran weight yarn, and because I knit with 4 ply these days, it seemed to knit up very quickly.  [I have to confess that the yarn, a rather nice wool / acrylic mix, was bought cheaply in Aldi - but it's lovely and soft and hopefully will wash successfully]


The cardigan has a textured squares pattern.  It is very tailored, there's not just side shaping but also front and back darts.  This is great for me because it actually makes me look like I've got some shape!





The collar is nice and snug - no fear of a cold chest here.


The original pattern instructions were for separate knitted pieces for the back, fronts and button bands, but I knitted the body and button bands all in one piece.  It took some jiggling with the numbers but once I'd worked it all out, it knitted up a treat.


So, this will keep me nice and snug and warm and cosy, especially now the weather is set to turn even colder.