The Madness Has Been & Gone

By the madness I mean the build up to Christmas Day, which I convince myself every year that I’m not going to buy into, only to find on Christmas Day that I have 😞 Maybe though, that’s part of the fun?

Unlike previous years I really didn’t manage to get as many presents knitted or even generally handmade as I would have liked to.  The year seemed to rush by faster than a speeding car and before I realised it it was the end of November and I’d only knitted the one gift, a Hitchhiker for a friend of mine.  Of course I’d forgotten to take a proper picture of it before I’d mailed it, so this is one I’d posted on Instagram whilst I was knitting it.

hitchhikerI used a ball of Rico Poem Superba in green and a ball of King Cole Merino 4ply.  The Poems Superba is variegated, so the greens change as the scarf grows.  I found it a really lovely pattern to follow, with only 8 rows and by using 2 colours, the stripe effect meant I really didn’t have to concentrate on which of the rows I was on.  A lovely happy accident.

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Nearly everyone that would wear one received a knitted hat of some kind, mostly these ones though.  The pattern is very basic and I should be able to get it up on here over the next couple of days.

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Nostrils shouldn’t be that big should they? It’s obscene 😬

 

I liked them so much that I’ve even made one for me.

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Tate looks rather fetching in Leann’s one too, bless him.

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Some friends including my Secret Santa recipient received my crochet baubles, which I loved making once I’d figured out what to do.  I used several resources to help me, but the circles kept getting bigger because of the trebles.  After trying a few different things I decided double crochet was the way to go.  A couple of you have asked for a pattern already, but I’m not sure if I can write it up as a ‘proper’ crochet pattern, so it might end up being more of an instruction sheet?

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Last but not least was the jumper I’d been making for my hubby Con in secret.  Many of you will have seen me trying to get a few rows done in the shop; especially if you popped in the few days before Christmas when I was frantically trying to get the sleeves finished.  I’ll write up a separate post to tell you all about it and I might even be able to get a photo of the man himself wearing it 👨

Cobblestone

Since finishing the jumper I’ve cast on and started knitting Cobblestone by Jared Flood for Durahn my son.  I’ve also been sticking to my morning walk everyday, regardless of how cold it is and both Kye and myself have been going a bit photography mad with our phones.  This morning’s walk produced some beautiful snaps, all with no filter too 📷

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He pinched my hat.

 

 

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2 of my dogs trying to drink from one of the frozen troughs. The black one usually dunks her head in, but even she’s not daft enough to do it when it’s this cold, right?

 

 

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No wait…. She really is that daft.

 

I’ve also been watching far too many cheesy movies including the must see Guardians of the Galaxy which inspired me to make my own mix tape on Spotify.  If you fancy having a look at what tracks I’ve included my profile is lmillar72.  More mix tapes to come me thinks 🖭

Happy Knitting!

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Kye Made This

Just a really quick post to show you what Kye made for his favourite resource hours teacher, Mrs McCarthy.

This week is his last at  National School (primary) and he will be starting secondary school in September.  There have been a lot of changes at the school since he began in 2006 but Mrs McCarthy has always been there and he’s grown very fond of her.

We’d be looking for something nice to give her as a gift and had found loads of ideas on Pinterest (who doesn’t?), so we narrowed down the list and finally decided on this.  He did everything himself including putting it together.

 

Mrs McCarthy

Brief Instructions (very brief)

We bought a frame in Tesco for €10.50, it’s slightly bigger than A4.

I got Kye to check in his thesaurus for words that have the same meaning as teach and favourite and make a list of words he preferred.

Using word he then selected fonts, sizes and colours for each word and he printed off a test sheet so he could tweak the design a little and then when he was happy he did it again on ‘posh’ paper.

It looks lovely and I’m really proud of him for writing exactly how he feels about her on it too.  Especially as he’s at that age where it’s important to be cool.

Happy Crafting!

 

 

Shopping

You’d think as I own my own yarn shop that the last thing I’d want to do on holiday is go to another wool shop wouldn’t you?

Of course not, rather disappointingly I only managed to visit 3, maybe 4 if you count the market stall too.  If time had allowed there was at least 2 more I could have got to – next time I will.

Ramshambles
Ramshambles

My first port of call was a lovely little shop called Ramshambles in York.  Located at 46 Shambles, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 7LX.  The shop reminds me of our old premises in Midleton with it’s ‘Old Curiosity’ windows, whose display of brightly coloured yarn enticed me in.  Katey the owner is lovely and delighted to help, like our shop the place is packed to the ceiling with yarn, patterns, needles and notions.  There were lots of lovely yarns from King Cole, Debbie Bliss, Noro and Highland Textiles.  My naughty purchase was a hank of Ramshambles own hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester Sock Yarn in a riot of pink yummynous called Vaudeville.

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There were other lovelies just calling to me from the shelves but I had to be strong and resist because as I’ve other new birthday yarn to use too and I have yet to master knitting in the bath or shower without getting your yarn wet.

The second shop I managed to call to was Babes in the Wool in Hull.  They can be found at 113 Newland Avenue, Hull HU5 2ES and the owner (whose name I’ve forgotten, sorry) is lovely.  The shop is nestled in a busy street and draws you in with it’s large window.  There is a good stock of yarn including ranges from King Cole, Woolcraft, Katia and Debbie Bliss.  I was rather smitten by the Blue Faced Leicester Aran from Debbie Bliss of which I purchased 3 balls (possibly with a future grandchild knit in mind).

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My third shop was Knit & Stitch in Doncaster at 26 Market Place, Doncaster DN1 1NE.

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I have to confess to having been here before and had to return because it’s just so lovely.  This time the windows were happily full of huge balls of aran and garments in pretty colours.

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The new purchase is the one on the right

I was on a mission though to purchase another ball of Jarol Pure British Wool Aran to go with one I’d bought on my previous visit.  As I discovered a this pattern in The Knitter shortly after my last visit and think the yarn will be ideal for it.  However, I’ve just realised I need another ball, usually a perfect excuse to return to the shop but it’s not exactly what you call local is it?  I shall have to persuade my friend (real strong arm tactics needed, not) to pop in for me.

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Whernside Cushion by Alice Underwood

My best friend recently moved back to Doncaster (hence my visit) and she was tempted by a lovely soft angora by Rowan and a 50/50 blend aran by Katia for her mum.  The shop is jam packed with yarns from King Cole, Sirdar, Katia, Debbie Bliss and Noro.  Again there was yarn calling me and if that wasn’t bad enough Knit & Stitch also sell patchwork fabric.  Upstairs there’s the fabric come classroom with a whole wall full of edible ‘sew me’ cottons.  Knit & Stitch have two other shops one in York and one in Maltby and I’d really recommend a visit if you’re ever near one of them.

Lastly, I managed a quick visit to the wool stall on Doncaster Market which sells James C. Brett yarns and lots of buttons.  Some of which I purchased for my daughter Dina’s latest cardigan.

Based on the woolly joy I discovered on my trip I’d definitely say a trip to the area would be worth it if your ever there.

Happy Knitting!

Buttonbox is Finished & Blocking.

buttonboxBEAUTY

Some of you might be aware that this lovely little waistcoat (Buttonbox from knitty.com) has been my latest wip and I’m happy to report, it’s finally finished.  As is usual for me, I really enjoyed knitting the actual garment but grew weary trying to get the pocket tops, button bands and collar done.  In reality there really wasn’t much work in knitting any of it though, I’m just moaning.

The construction is 1 piece knitted from the from the bottom up, adding a little shaping at the waist and splitting when you reach the armholes to work on the back and fronts separately.  The shoulders are joined together using a 3 needle cast off adding to the ‘clean lines’ of the garment.

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The added texture of the bobbles on the pockets and at the top of the back of the vest add a little bit of extra detail, whilst the waist shaping ensures the garment accentuates in the right places and gives a little shape to the overall silhouette.

I used Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran yarn in Graphite and it took a little under 4 hanks to knit up the medium size.

It’s a great pattern, I’d have no problem recommending it and I might even knit again.

Happy Knitting!

Knitting, What’s New?

Ravi

It’s a disaster again. I just haven’t found as much time to knit as I would have liked this week. Perhaps that’s not strictly true……I’ve signed up to Carol Feller’s KAL Ravi and had been merrily knitting away, when I had some sort of brainwave that resulted in me frogging my work.  I’d managed to convince myself that I could hide my wrapped stitches better and set about casting on again. Because if you’re going to do something you should do it right, right?

WRONG. I discovered I had already been working my stitches the right way and after much playing realised it was indeed the best way (for me anyway). My epiphany was anything but and I had ripped three completed wedges out for no reason……..

Undeterred, I have set to work again.

Ravi Yoke So Far

This is Carol’s 100th pattern. The yoke is knit using short rows to shape from the neck down, with the lace band falling at the top of the bust. Stitches are then going to be picked up around the bottom of the lace and worked to form the body and sleeves.  The pattern is being released bit by bit. So far we’ve had three parts. The initial download contained information on the suggested yarn and tension, etc.  Clue 1 is where I’m at, I have another four wedges at least to do before I have to pick up my stitches.  The joy is to come; if I remember correctly it’s some 200 stitches, hence the stitch markers, I’m hoping they help?

Clue 2 has just been released which has the instructions for knitting the body of the cardigan.  It looks like there’s a couple of helpful sections on possible modifications, but I might stick to the original as I think it’s lovely.  If you’d like more information on the KAL pop over to Carol’s site Stolen Stitches http://www.stolenstitches.com/pattern-shop/cardigans/100th-pattern-kal-ravi/

There’s also a forum for the KAL on Ravelry –  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/carol-feller-100th-pattern-kal

My main reason for knitting the cardi is the yarn, I’m trying it out for the for the shop.  It’s Cadenza by Colinette and although I’ve knitted with it before, it was some time ago now and it was only a wee little cardi for a baby, so Ravi has given me the perfect excuse.  As you can see the colours are beautiful, too beautiful in fact as I’m going to have a nightmare trying to decide which ones to stock.  It handles well and has great stitch definition when knitted up (see the pic below of the lace band).  It frogs well, as we’ve already established, and it’s 100% Merino. And if that wasn’t enough, the 50g hanks contain a generous 120m.  I think it could be a winner.

Ravi Lace Border

In addition to Ravi I’ve also knitted a couple more hats for Chernobyl. I’ll post up the pattern I use over the next couple of days. I’ve also been working on a new scarf design for the shop.  It’s in Rico Merino Aran, which would probably have to be one of my favourite yarns, and as you can see it’s a reversible cable.  Rather spookily, I was sent a similar one last week by Meike for the Chernobyl Children’s Trust collection, which just goes to show nothing is original.

I think you’ll agree it’s looking lovely.

Reversible Cable Scarf

Having said that it’ll look so much better when it’s finished. Knitting anyone?

Help! Where Has My Creativity Gone?

Where has it gone?

Have you ever had one of those weeks when you just have sooooooo much going on that you just can’t seem to find the time to be creative?

Yes, I have had an extremely busy week; first there was the two assignments that had to be in for Tuesday and two assessments that also took place on Tuesday. A friend was also in hospital so I went to see her – she’s out now thankfully.  Apparently it’s OK for a hospital to discharge you and send you home even when they have no idea what’s wrong with you?

Then of course there was the Stash Dash. It worked, I think. Yippee!  All the feedback we’ve had has been really positive and I think those that were a little unsure of what it was all about will be better prepared next time.  I intend on trying to do two Stash Dashes a year so they’ll usually  be a little more seasonal.  I had to try very hard not to add to my stash – I’m not sure I have anymore room – I don’t think the odd pack counts.  At least one pack of Twilley’s Spirit Chunky may have worked it’s way into my stash.  I don’t have to feel guilty though as my friend knits for me (as I can never seem to find the time) and the yarn is earmarked for this rather nice waistcoat/short sleeve cardi.

One for Jill to knit – hopefully.

I’d also become quite stressed over the robe I’d made for the Naming Day ceremony of one of my good friend’s baby.  I was pretty sure her and her hubby would like it but you never know.  I’d designed it before the baby was born and we were unsure what kind it was going to be.  Boy, girl, possibly martian (only because their massive geeks, pretty sure they also won’t have a problem with me saying so either).  I’d put off giving it to the proud parents as the truly beautiful Emily was a little dinky when she was born – 6lb 12oz – and the naming ceremony is happening a month earlier than I first thought.  They love it though, they really do, and I am over the moon that I got it right and that I could do this for them. It’s so great when a plan comes together (A-Team fans anyone, I mean the real one circa 1980s. Yes, I am actually that old).

A sneaky pic of part of the robe

The rest of my week has thus far been spent cleaning, tidying, washing, cooking (two hours today – madness) and generally being very non-creative.  I have managed to make a delightful little pair of preemie booties, but they’re so small I’m not sure they count.  I’ve also knitted the hat in the first picture, to add sizes to the hat design I’ve been using for the Chernobyl Collection.

It’s meant to fit an average woman’s head – proof if ever it was needed that I’m not your average woman!