As you know I recently finished the last granny square blanket I’d been working on for Kye, so it’s time to start another. Rather surprisingly, I have quite a bit of yarn to try and work my way through, so I’ve been thinking of ways to use more of it and quicker.
It’s Dina’s turn next to get a blanket, so it can be bright and colourful. Bearing this in mind I rifled through my stash – well that’s not strictly true. When your stash is as large as mine, it’s more like looked ‘I looked at the yarn on the shelves in the old stock room’.
I settled on these colours and considered using each held doubled, but a brainwave hit and….
Having looked at what I’d picked, I drew this rough sketch, very rough I know 😦
I’m still using two colours held together, which means I get to use my 6mm crochet hook so the blanket will grow much quicker and it’s going to be so warm and cosy when it’s finished.
The colours will run as follows
Red & Pink
Pink & Orange
Orange & Yellow
Yellow & Green
Green & Turquoise
Turquoise & Blue
Blue & Purple
Purple & Red
8 colour changes in total
I’m pretty pleased with how it’s looking so far. As it’s my knitting group project I’m not really expecting to fly through it, they just make a lovely, easy project to work on whilst chatting and laughing.
There’s test knitting happening for the next issue already, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you too much. I can let you know that it’s going to be the beginning of something exciting for Olann and ♥ ♥ ♥ if all goes to plan.
Last but not least, our friends are expecting their first grandchild in about 5 weeks, so I get to knit baby things.
Having cast on a Kelly Brooker Beyond Puerperium last night I just want to keep knitting. The yarn I’m using is Stylecraft Alpaca DK, which I absolutely love. I know I’ve said it before, but it really is surprising how lovely and natural looking this yarn is, given it’s high acrylic content.
It knits up beautifully 🙂
Back to my knitting now as I think we’ve been separated from each other for far too long.
Tempestuous, tumultuous, impassioned and at the same time harmonious, equable and calm, all the things you want from a great romance. Don’t be mistaken though, I shan’t be running away any time soon and shifting my allegiance, it’s just a 💕 dalliance💕 I’m sure
My husband? No we’re fine, never better actually.
Thanks for asking.
So what am I referring to?
Why, knitting of course 😊
I’ve been neglecting it a little you see, becoming slightly enamoured with my sewing again, as myself and my sewing machine become reacquainted.
I’d spotted this top/dress on Instagram from someone who was posting daily photos for #MadeinMay. (The idea being that for every day of May, you’d try to wear something you’ve made yourself.)
So…. I went off in search of the pattern – as you do 😉
The top is called the Wiksten Tank designed by Jenny Gordy and is available as a downloadable pdf via the Wiksten website here It costs $10 so it was a bit of a gamble, but as I had the material already, it wasn’t going to be too bad. Mind you, I did use to make clothes for Dina and Durahn when they were smaller and I was forever ‘upcycling’ jumble sale and charity shop finds. It wasn’t really upcycling, just what you do when your disposable income doesn’t stretch as far as you’d like it too, or your short with big boobs.
The sewing machine and I aren’t firm friends yet, it wouldn’t behave as well as I would have liked, but I did manage to make my Wiksten Tank and I’m so very ♥happy♥ with it, that I’ve already bought some material to make another one. I’ve gone for somewhere between top and dress length, so I can wear it more like a tunic over a tee-shirt and jeans. The fit is good and whilst I could tweak it with the odd dart here and there and maybe nip it in a bit under the arms, but why bother when it’s fully serviceable as it is 🙂
In the meantime I guess I should get on with some of my many ongoing projects.
Whilst unpacking all my project bags from my lager knitting bag, I discovered that I’ve left the crochet blanket I’ve been working on too, at home in the living room. I realised we have loads of duvets at home, but very few blankets. Something I can at least, start to work on rectifying. This is proving to be a little addictive though, my mantra has become ‘just one more round’, fine when it was smaller, but now i could loose an hour or so.
Whilst typing this post, it occurs to me that it presents an ideal opportunity to also tell you about Zebrino, the latest offering from Adriafil.
Zebrino is a self patterning yarn with 125 metres/136.70 yards approximately to each 50 gram ball. It’s made from a blend of 53% wool 47% acrylic and is a worsted/aran weight.
For now I’ve only gone with 4 of the above shades just to see what the yarn is like. The colours in stock are shades 61, 62, 64 and 67 and I’m itching to have a go at knitting with it, but as the pile of projects in the photo above shows, I should probably control the urge for a while longer. I’m thinking a big, oversized jumper though and maybe a scarf or two as Christmas presents.
In my last post I alluded to the fact that I haven’t been getting that much knitting done of late and that despite having completed my summer cotton Kimera Granny Shawl I was feeling like I had achieved very little, 🎨 creatively wise 🎨
Since posting, the last few days have been almost the polar opposite, as I feel reluctant to do anything other than sit and knit or crochet. I’ve managed to complete my first Clue 2 block from the Stylecraft Yarns and Jane Crowfoot Lilly Pond Crochet Along, but I’ve mislaid it 😳 Hopefully, I’ve just left it at the shop. Either way, I should probably give clue 3 a go and I’ll pop up both blocks over the next couple of days, so we can all have a laugh at my poor attempts.
I’m also really happy to report that I have finished the Flax jumper from Tin Can Knits, I’d been knitting on the off chance that my son Durahn, would like it. Not only does he like it, he seems to be really rather fond of it 👍 Although I may have inadvertently set myself up for a bit of a fall as the yarn I used was Rico Fashion Aran and he loves how warm it is whilst being so light weight. Most woolly aran weight yarn isn’t so light, but we’ll deal with that issue as and when it arises.
Lots of people overlooked this yarn when we had it on sale in the shop and yet I get loads of compliments when I wear the jumper I have made in it on. I’m not sure why it didn’t attract the attention it deserves. Maybe people thought it might be a little on the itchy side because of the alpaca fibres. Maybe it looked a little thin for an aran weight? I do have a hard time explaining to some people that yarn is designed to be knit at a certain tension in order to achieve the over all desired fabric. Maybe it was the colour palette, most of which were earthy, Autumnal hues?
Regardless of the reasons why, the Rico Fashion Aran yarn just wasn’t a great seller for us and so I cleared it for as little as €1 a ball in the end 🙈
I made Du the M/L size which measures 39″ around the chest, because as you can see in the photos, he’s quite a slim chap. I didn’t block the jumper as he seemed eager to wear it, even going so far as to say that Carlsberg don’t knit jumpers, but if they did…. High praise indeed.
If you haven’t knitted it, I’d wholeheartedly recommend Flax as one of those great patterns, that you’ll end up knitting time and time again. Unisex and with sizes from newborn to 4XL it will do for everyone of the family and if that wasn’t enough – IT’S FREE!!!
The photograph at the top of this post is a dead give away I know, but my newly finished socks are just so pretty, don’t you think?
They look even better with my green shoes too 💕
That’s my 4th pair so far this year and I’ve wasted no time in casting on another pair in the new Cotton Premium yarn from Opal that I mentioned in one of my previous posts.
The new pair of socks are flying up and I’m loving how the more muted colours are coming together. The socks are my more portable project, so I’ve also had to cast on another ‘larger’ knit too.
You might have noticed that the latest Green Bin clearance items are Adriafil Saetta and Stella Jacq? I’ve been lusting after one of the shades in the Stella Jacq for some time now, but in truth, they’re probably not my colours. Deciding to clear the yarn meant I had to decide whether to knit with it or not. Fortunately, I’ve also been looking for an excuse to knit the Oslo-Anorak pattern from Pickles for a good while too. Of all the Oslo-Anorak projects on Ravelry, I prefer the ones where a multicoloured yarn has been used together with a solid, so I’ve opted to use a dusty pink for the bands and hood of the design.
As with all patterns from Pickles, one size is available for free and with this design it’s the 6-12 months version, but the price of the complete pattern with sizes from 6/12 months to 7/8 years will set you back $6.40, which to be fair with the current exchange rate is a little pricey.
Inexplicably organised for once, this little jumper is actually going to be a Christmas present too 🎅
Have to go now, having just been for a walk on the farm in the beautiful sunshine, I need to try and get a few rows of knitting done 🙂
I’ve neglected the blog a little over the past couple of weeks, come to think of it, I’ve actually neglected Instagram and Facebook too (bad girl).
I wish I could tell you it’s because I’ve spent my time creating things of beauty or exploring the countryside, but it’s simply as a result of trying to catch up.
In short I’ve been busy, busy with the every day stuff we all have to get done.
I have managed to squeeze a little knitting and crochet in by way of keeping sane, but it doesn’t feel like I’ve actually achieved that much. The photograph at the top of the post is a close up of the latest shawl I’ve made for the shop using Kimera from Adriafil.
Temptation is a terrible thing sometimes and the happy, summery colours of the Kimera yarn are exactly what persuaded me to take a closer look at this mercerised Egyptian cotton. I really wanted all 8 shades for the shop, but only had room enough for 6 😦
Each 50g ball costs €4.45 and contains 135 metres/149 yards, the recommended needle size is a 3.5/4mm. I find it a little thinner than a true double knit, but it’s not as fine as a 4ply either. Looking through some of the projects made using Adriafil Kimera on Ravelry, most people have opted for sport weight patterns.
The shawl is just my usual half granny square, but I do l♥ve them and I find they’re great to just throw over whatever I’m wearing. I made this one using a 5.5mm hook and three and a half balls of yarn. Tempted as I was, to crochet another row of trebles because I had enough yarn left to do so, I decided that for me and my ever shrinking 5.3″ frame the shawl is plenty big enough.
Looking at the uneven point it’s easy to spot that I didn’t get round to blocking the shawl before popping it on the mannequin, but being cotton I’m sure it’ll settle nicely before too long.
I’m completely smitten with the colourway and can’t wait to get the chance to wear it over something more summery (unlike today, which as you can tell from the photo, is a little overcast, with rain threatening to fall).
Still on a crochet theme, the 3rd clue for The Lilly Pond Crochet Along was released on the Tuesday the 5th.
This time it’s the Lilly Bud Block and on first look it doesn’t look too complicated, but truthfully, I could end up eating my own words.
The chart above shows the colours needed if you’re making the block using Stylecraft Life on the left and the alternative shades for the Special DK.
The next clue, for block 4, is due to be released Tuesday the 19th of May.
My target customer in the shop is me, which probably means I tend to put a little too much thought into what we stock at times. However, I think and hope, that it’s what’s brings people from all over the country through our door?
For me as a knitter, there is always room for improvement and there been a couple of yarn qualities missing from our shelves that I would like to see including, a high percentage, wool blend aran weight. So I’ve spent a lot of time researching suitable yarns initially, by looking at the fibre content versus the recommended retail price and the range of colours available. When I’d narrowed it down to 4 yarns I bought samples to knit up, in order to access the finished fabric by comparing the stitch definition, drape and weight.
I know it probably seems like a lot of trouble to go to for one yarn, but this is going to be a staple in the shop, so it has to be right as there’s not enough room in the shop to have several yarns that do the same thing.
Of the four I knitted up, New Zealand from Adriafil came out top. The 75% wool, 25% acrylic blend is a pleasure to knit with, it creates great stitch definition and produces a smooth fabric that’s not too heavy. With some blends the acrylic can make the yarn look ‘shinny’, but there’s isn’t a hint of it with the New Zealand.
Each 100g ball contains a whopping 200 metres/219 yards which means very few are needed to to complete an average woman’s jumper. I find it knits to the usual aran weight tension of 18sts by 24 rows on 5mm needles without creating a very dense fabric. The colours are fantastic too, making it a great choice for babies and children’s knits too, not bad for €7.25 a ball hey?
I’ve currently chosen 12 of the 38 available colours and intend to add more over the coming months and if there’s any you think we could particularly do with, please say.
As I said I’ve had a play and have knitted up one of my favourite little patterns the In Threes sleeveless cardigan by Kelly Herdrich which is available on Ravelry for $6. If you don’t have Ravelry we now have in store access too, so you can purchase your pattern in the shop, we’ll print out a black and white copy and send the pdf directly to your email address too.
Back to the In Threes cardi, it’s a great, speedy little knit. Knitted top down, with minimal finishing this little garment is hugely popular with the knitters of Ravelry with nearly 4500 projects to date. I’ve made six so far and count it amongst my ‘go to’ patterns. This little one is for the smallest size 0 to 6 months and it’s very generously sized. Having made this size before, I can confidently say that in most cases it’s a little more like 3 months to a year, so the baba will certainly get the wear out of it.
It took one ball of New Zealand yarn in the lovely soft turquoise and the multicoloured buttons from Rico add a little something extra and are a move away from my traditional choice of wooden ones.
The little cardigan is on display in the shop so you can have a squidge and see how lovely the New Zealand yarn is.
More crochet I’m afraid, but I love how this has turned out so much I’m actually going to make at least one more for myself and another for a friend for Ch…. (nearly said it) ‘you know when’ .
I used Knitcol from Adriafil in one of the beautiful new colourways and I rather cheekily sat in on one of our workshops to learn how to make it but (I’m told), it’s a basic half granny shawl and there are several similar patterns available on Ravelry. Of course you can always put your name down for one of the workshops here too.
Can you see me now, sitting, knitting on one of these lovely summer evenings with it wrapped around my shoulders sipping, rather elegantly I might add …… MY MUG OF BLACK TEA.
Basically, we cover up all the shelves and lay out as many tables as we can fit into the shop; on top of these we put all the yarn we’re discontinuing. There could be whole ranges of yarn, shades of yarn and some you might not have seen before. There will be odd balls, several balls and packs of balls, no matter what, all balls are €3 each. (All sales are final, no returns)
There are things to consider: you have to book your slot if you’re coming in before 1pm. You only have 20 minutes (you’re timed), you have to prepare, dig out the patterns, check your favourites on Ravelry, make sure you know how much double knit/aran/chunky you need. There is nothing else available to purchase on the day and there isn’t usually the time to help you calculate yarn amounts, suitability, etc. You get the most out of the day if you’ve already worked out what you’re looking for.
Have a look at the post linked above if you’re not sure and make sure you book your place for the morning if you want one, quickly before they all go.