This week is a good week (so far anyway), we’re waiting on test results, but it’s going to be all good I can feel it in my bones. If were being honest, some of my favourite people, no longer inhabit the same world as me, so the least they can do is look after the other important to me, people. It’s not too much to ask now is it?
I thoroughly enjoyed my morning dog walk, it was beautiful out there and has now turned into the most glorious of days. Spring is definitely in the air, which has really helped us as we had our Olann and photo shoot earlier. I’m really excited about this coming issue and I know I’ve said that before, but it really is getting better every time (well I think so) I’m not sure if it’s because we’re more knowledgeable about the process, or whether we’re just more comfortable with what we’re doing? Whatever it is, it feels very much like it’s working.
I’ve become a little smitten with granny square blankets since the summer and have been working on my second one for some time now. I take it with me to work on at knitting group, most of the time now and its what I reach for when I don’t want to have to concentrate to hard.
I’ve a problem though.
I selected my yarn and colours before I closed the shop, making sure I’d worked everything out. So ready with my plan, I pulled out a 5mm hook and set to work. Bigger and bigger my blanket grew as I continued to add the rounds. About the same time as the magazine was due out I realised I’d made a mistake. I’d deviated from my original plan, leaving me with less cream yarn than necessary and had even managed to forget to add 4 rounds of a shade, before adding the border (the navy).
The blanket isn’t as big as I’d like and rather unsurprisingly, I’ve quite a bit of yarn left, which I’d prefer to use up.
You can see in the photos where I’m up to at the moment and so far the blanket is approximately 57″ square. Its for my youngest, Kye, although he doesn’t know and it would be great to know he’ll get some use out of it for years to come. (Its OK, he’s 14 and not interested in much I do, so he’s not going to find out here).
I can’t keep to my original pattern of 4 rounds per colour in sequence because as I mentioned, I haven’t enough cream yarn left and even if i did, it would involve ripping back around 6 hours of work to get back to my original plan.
So using the remaining yarn, I’m going to make the blanket larger, but I’m not sure which order to use the colours in. I’m pretty sure working each colour in single rounds now will probably look better and its definitely the safer option, so as not to run short of a colour.
I’ve weighed my yarn and would love to hear your thoughts about which order you’d choose to go with.
The yarn I’ve left is as follows
There is sure to be some aqua yarn floating around somewhere too, but I’ve no idea where I’ve put it.
My knitting group friends have all taken to joking about how big the blanket is getting and many can’t believe I’m still working on it. I have the last laugh though as its lovely and toasty, sitting with it over my lap at our weekly get together. So despite dying to get on with another one, I’m content just being snug.
In case you’re wondering, I took the photos a fortnight ago, when the sun was high in the sky, but the wind was blowing a mighty chilly breeze.
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’m really excited to announce that we’ll be hosting a book launch for the fantastic book These Islands: Knits from Ireland, Scotland and Britain by Sara Breitenfeldt, Suzanne McEndoo, and Evin Bail O’Keeffe soon.
As you can see from the photo above the date is still to be confirmed, but is likely to be sometime over the coming fortnight.
Summer yarns aren’t as popular for us as you might think? After 10 years in this business I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s several reasons for this.
Many summer garments are fashion rather than classic and this can be off putting to even the most dedicated knitter amongst us.
Lots of knitters are also gardeners, so they switch loyalty when the sun begins to make an appearance.
Summer yarns usually means double knit or 4ply traditionally = a lot more knitting.
Our summer isn’t too long, so the garment you’ve lovingly created doesn’t get worn much. Fine if it’s a classic piece but refering back to the first point I made….
At last it would appear the big yarn companies have started to listen and this year we’re seeing a good few summer yarns in aran weight 🙂
I’ve had a play with some of the main releases and have decided to go with Malabar from Stylecraft so far.
As I’ve said, it’s an aran weight yarn, a blend of 22% silk/78% cotton, fantastic for €6.75 per ball. There’s approximately 180yds/165m in each 100g ball and the suggested tension is 18 stitches x 24 rows to a4″/10cm square on 5mm needles. Did I mention there’s 12 colours too?
The good folks at Stylecraft Yarns have released lots of accompanying patterns, including the crochet shawl at the top of this post, which is likely to be a favourite of everybody’s because it’s just so pretty. I’m quite smitten by the summer shrug/cardigan on the accessories pattern leaflet here in cream ♥
Truthfully though, I’m thinking of knitting Mimic by Veronika Jobe for myself in Malabar when I’ve finished a couple of my ongoing projects. In the mean time I’ve run up a little Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig aka Knitbot as a mini display garment for the shop in the fabulous summery, turquoise shade.
Interesting fact for you all, turquoise is meant to be the one colour that we all look good in regardless of our skin tone, eye colour or age, it’s universal.
My effort to knit or crochet as much as possible in 2015 is going well so far, six weeks have passed since the bells chimed in the New Year and I’ve managed to get a ✌️ second ✌️ pair of socks for my (always cold) tootsies knitted.
The yarn I’ve knitted is one I fell in love with on Instagram from Yesterdaydream; it’s their 4ply Superwash Merino wool in County Fair you can find their Etsy Shop here. As the yarn is so pretty, I stuck with the plainest of sock patterns which meant they were great for working on at knitting group and the cinema 👍
I’ve actually made another pair of socks too, but they don’t count towards my ‘pair every 2 months’ challenge to myself as they were a gift for the lovely Léann, my sons girlfriend. They’re chunky socks because she’s currently in Poland on her Erasmus and it’s mighty chilly there . I adapted them from the Basic Chunky Sock Pattern from Patons that I was singing the praises of recently on the Facebook Page. I used the Serenity Chunky yarn from Wendy because the alpaca fibre should help with added warmth and I love the colour range too 🌈 I would probably have managed to get the pair (size 5/6) out of the one ball at a push, but had already decided to go for the coloured heel and toe. If you decided to knit them yourself I’d err on the side of caution and have an extra ball to hand just in case. The pattern calls for 6mm (I think) and I’ve used a 5mm to make the socks more dense, they’re still soft and cosy and are great as boot socks or for padding around the house in as slippers.
I love my tags, which have washing instructions for you to mark on the reverse. I’d taken this photo with the intention of saying where I bought them, but I’ve completely forgotten :-0 A search on Etsy turned up some lovely ones though.
I also finished the Cobblestone for Du as promised, but the word disappointed doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel about it. I even knew before I’d finished it, but you still live in hope don’t you?
So what am I unhappy with?
1) It’s too big – I made the medium and should have made the small.
2) It’s too boxy – probably a combination of the pattern and point 1 above.
3) The garter stitch yoke is clumsy looking – I think if I could bring myself to knit it again I’d switch to a smaller needle for the yoke.
4) The wrapped stitches are a little too obvious for my liking.
5) The yarn I used is rather unforgiving for this pattern, Sirdar Bonus Aran is a good basic yarn, I’ve used it several times before and have always been happy with the finished project. However the wool content is minimal and had I used the yarn I purchased originally for my son (a beautiful 100% Blue Faced Leicester), the jumper would have probably turned out much nicer because wool is springy and more forgiving.
I’ve also finished crocheting another shawl for myself, but as you can see there’s the small matter of ends to sew in yet.
Having finished (or nearly finished) a few of my projects it seems only right to cast on again, doesn’t it 😉
My next pair of socks are going to be a pink stripey affair, plain again to facilitate easy knitting whilst talking.
I’ve another chunky pair on my needles too, as I’m teaching a friend how to knit socks. I’m quite smitten with the pair I made above so thought they might be the best way to go in this instance.
I’ve also cast on a Flax in the medium/large size using Rico Country Aran for one of four of us Kye won’t wear anything resembling a woolly jumper. Fingers crossed maybe, just maybe it’ll work out right for Du to make up for the enormous Cobblestone. Sixteen hundred and eighty projects on Ravelry, including one from Dina is a great indication of how popular this pattern really is and if that wasn’t enough to convince you, it’s a Tin Can Knits design too.
🌻 Happily 🌻 though, I can report that he is actually wearing it, mostly in the office/sewing/gaming room that we all share and which can be a little chilly even when we’re all in there.
If you look closely, what looks like bobbles are actually threads that he gets covered in from working on his latest sewing project, more about that in a few weeks 🙂
The Winter edition of Knitty was published in December and I’ve only just managed to spend some time reading through it now? I say reading through it but that doesn’t seem the right turn of phrase, maybe it should be ‘clicking’ through it? Anyway, as I settle down in front of my computer enrobed in as many woolly layers as possible – there’s a window in front of my desk, a big drafty one, but the view (above) is beautiful.
I love the individuality of Knitty, which isn’t as reliant on the ‘big boys’ within the industry purchasing advertising and promoting their own agenda because it’s online, rather than in print. Not that I’m against knitting magazines, far from it, a quick glance into my office would confirm that, it’s just that Knitty appeals to the more creative, experimental side of me I guess.
As usual it all makes for a good read and being the 50th issue it’s jammed packed with articles, reviews and patterns.
Cracking on then
In Cool Stuffs there are reviews for several of the most recently published knitting books and the good people of Knitty also have a look at the Double Pointed Knitting Needle Sorter and Gauge and the Eszee Twist Tool for Spinners.
Donna Druchunas Ethnic Knitting Adventures article on Fighting Prejudice in Knitting and in Life makes for an interesting read. I shan’t go into more detail here in order to encourage you to take 5 minutes to have a read yourselves. The piece works as a great introduction to The Slouchy Saami Hat designed by Donna’s friend Susan Santos which she created after a visit to the Nordiska museet — the Nordic Museum in Stockholm.
Susan took her inspiration from the exhibitions of Swedish folk art and fashion from the Saami (or Sami), the Arctic indigenous people of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. The traditional folk costumes of the Saami are often adorned with bright bands of weaving in geometric and floral designs, if you’re interested in knowing more, pop over to Roman K’s fantastic blog dedicated to folk costumes.
Franklin Habit’s Stitches in Time column has a pair of vintage gloves for us in the 50th issue. Franklin has adapted the pattern from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, oh how I’d love even one of them. Knitted in 4ply yarn the gloves are sized to fit a man, however Franklin explains that simply shortening the fingers should make them a better fit for women as the ‘hand’ part of the glove is quite elastic.
Amongst my favourites in the pattern section are
Alice by Juliett Turjoman – a very unusual hat, knitted in aran weight yarn the hat is made in 3 seperate pieces. Juliett was took inspiration from Parisian designer Alice Bernard who was a successful couturière and hat designer during the Roaring Twenties
Lean On Me by Anna Maltz – a dazzling, slim fit tank top which I adore. It’s worked in double knit and has steeks, but could prove so tempting that it has to be knitted :-0
Smithfield Pullover by Amy Christoffes – a cosy, oversized, top down, aran weight jumper. No endorsment is needed as it obviously sells itself. My only problem would be making sure it didn’t wander off with ♥ Dina ♥
I also love Minetta by Kirsten Kapur but as beautiful as it is, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s knitted in 4ply (sob), one day…..
Last but not least in Knittyspin there are a couple of interesting articles well worth a look at including one on jar dyeing by Laurie Osbourne.
Why not pop over to Knitty if you haven’t already and have a look for yourself 🙂
There have barely been two weeks pass in January and I feel like I’m flying with the knitting and crochet 😎
I’m currently working on the sleeves of the jumper Cobblestone for my son Du. The pattern is worked bottom up in the round and I’ve reached the part where the sleeves are joined. I had promised to concentrate solely on the jumper, but I just can’t do it. I need the satisfaction little projects bring 😉 So I’ve set my deadline to the end of January instead.
So… I’ve also managed to get a quick hat for Kye, my youngest knitted up in the specified burgundy colour as requested.
Using my latest hat pattern Toasty & Textured, I whipped up another hat, this time in Twilley’s Freedom Wool.
Feeling inspired by the yarn I put in the sale I quickly (and it was, even for me) crocheted a half granny square shawl in Rico Creative Galaxy Chunky yarn using a 7mm hook and 3 balls and I l♥ve it!
Drum roll please…
I’m also happy to announce that I’ve completed my first pair of socks for 2015. To be fair, I’d all but knitted one of them before the end of 2014 but it still counts towards my goal of 6 pairs for the year 😉
I’ve also started working on my next pair too, that’s what the pretty piece of knitting is at the beginning of this post ♥