What do you make when you only have one word to inspire you?
So, you see, everybody in Berlin has a perfectly marvelous roommate. Some people have two people.
As far as my blog goes, I think it might be best if I write September off. For some reason I just haven’t been able to get my $#&% together enough to sit down and type, even though I’ve had tonnes of things I want to talk about.
It’s the first day of a new month, so I’m hoping that’s enough of an incentive for me to pull my finger out (here’s hoping) and get back into my usual blogging rhythm.
Oh my god I spelt rhythm correctly without spell check. It’s the little things.
It’s so blooming cold in my office today. I’ve the heater on, the sun is shining though the windows (the same windows are letting a draft in), I’m wearing the beautiful wrap Dina bought me from Berlin and my Ombrè Aran Mitts too but, nope. Still cold ✳
I was looking for knitting needles the other day, only to realise that I broke my last set of 3.5mm interchangeable Knit Pro’s a while back and forgot to replace them, before closing the shop. So I did something I haven’t had to do for years (holiday yarn shop excursions don’t count), I went to a wool shop and bought a set. The trip provided a great opportunity to peruse the shelves of yarny goodness as a customer, tempted by all the woolly goodness and to look for yarn for Dina’s next project too. Unfortunately, the one she’d fallen in love with wasn’t in stock, so now she’s going to use something I have left after closing the shop.
A much better idea, before the above really does end up happening 😱
Happily, I have also found some time to play with woolly goodness over the past few days, in fact I’m on a bit of a role with my knitting and crochet – Long may it last.
I’ve finally managed to finish the pair of sparkly socks I cast on back in August. As you can see from the photo, I’ve taken to just casting on the second sock straight after finishing the first. Previously, I’ve been trying to match them a little more, but this method is appealing to my way of thinking a little more at the moment and let’s be honest it’s quicker 😉 I’m not sure how many pairs I’m up to now in my New Year’s quest to make a pair every two months, must check.
Being in need of a bit of instant knitting gratification, I’ve also knitted up a quick cowl for Dina. The yarn is Elektra from Conway and Bliss that I bought whilst attending the Debbie Bliss event in Kinsale recently.
Elektra has a recommended tension of 12 stitches by 18 rows on 8mm needles and the blend of 70% wool and 30% alpaca makes for a very light yarn, but to ensure it’s super softness next to my daughter’s neck, I chose to use 9mm needles.
The cowl, as you can see is very basic. I cast on 21 stitches and then knitted in garter stitch, alternating the colours after working two rows. I stopped knitting when the work reached approximately 130cm and after casting off, sewed the two ends together.
I was a little unsure if I liked the way the colours were knitting up together and even thought about ripping it back, but after a little more knitting, the colours won me over. More importantly, Dina loves it and she seems to be able to wear almost any colour. She tells me it’s extremely warm too, even better – as she’s always cold.
Of course she should have known what was coming next……
My kind of photography drives her crazy though. I ‘persuaded’ her to strike a pose whilst we were out on our yarn shop trip and just kept pressing the button.
Can you guess that she’s telling me she’s not ready as she moves her hair out of her eyes?
There are a good few more, but I think she might kill me if I post them 💀
There have been so many yummy yarnny deliveries of late that the stock rooms are fit to burst and there’s a danger that I’ll go in one day and never return
There were 2 deliveries last week, 2 the week before and there have been 3 so far this week, with at least one more due. Sadly, this does mean that I’m a little behind when it comes to telling you all what’s in and even more behind with knitting my samples for the shop 😳
Cracking on then –
Last week was a good week for those sock knitters among us with several different items arriving in to help keep your toes toasty. The Knitpro Karbonz in 2.5mm are back and I’ve also stocked up on the 2.5mm Knitpro circulars too.
Now for some yarn porn
The almost complete range of Opal Solids
Something we haven’t had for a while now – 6ply sock yarn. It’s the Daydreaming range from Opal. Can’t wait to give 6ply (double knit to you and me) socks a go 💡
Another new addition and one completely at the other side of the woolly spectrum is Flame from Rico Yarns.
Flame from Rico, is a lightweight super chunky yarn, note I said lightweight. Each 50g ball contains a whopping 90 metres and knits to a tension of 10 stitches to 14 rows on 10mm needles. it’s a wool blend, 40% wool/60% acrylic and I’ve opted for 6 of the available 7 variegated shades (2 of them were very similar). Reasonably priced too at €4.99 per ball – Bargain!
We have patterns too and I’ve promised Dina a cardi but I have to cast on a jumper I’ve been promising Durahn first. In the meantime I think I might get a hat knitted up for the shop and possibly the odd Christmas gift too.
Swift Knit Stripes is the latest super chunky yarn to be released from Stylecraft Yarns.
As with all super chunky yarns think quick knits, great for last minute gifts there are 5 shades to tempt you with several lovely designs created especially by the Stylecraft design team to show off the stripey effect.
Swift Knit Stripes is a blend of 80% Premium Acrylic and 20% Wool, easy-care, machine washable and only €5.60 for a 100g ball so it represents value for money. Recommended needle size is 10mm’s with a tension of 9 stitches to 12 rows.To further tempt you Stylecraft have produced a free pattern leaflet which you will receive with each Swift Knit Stripes purchase (while stocks last). The leaflet contains 4 patterns, each of which takes 1, 2 or 3 balls of the yarn and can be knitted in next to no time.
If you’d like to have a look at the rest of the designs pop over to the Stylecraft Pinterest Board here
I ran the hat up really quickly for the shop, but have realised it’s rather difficult to model hats now since I’ve had all my hair cut off :-0
It only too the 1 ball and it’s lovely and cosy.
Having managed to persuade my usual model to pose for a picture, you can no doubt see how she feels about it.
Mistake rib is a great stitch pattern to use for scarves/cowls as it gives you a double sided fabric rather than one with a definite front and back (like stocking stitch). The easiest way to remember the pattern is to cast on an odd number of stitches, in this instance I used 17. With an odd number of stitches every row of your scarf will be the same.
We managed to wrap the cowl around Dina 3 times, but the friend it was made for is very tall and tends to wear it wrapped round her neck twice. if you want to make it wider and a little shorter cast on 2 extra stitches (the pattern remains the same).
5 Balls Sirdar Big Bamboo
k – knit
p – purl
st(s) – stitch(es)
Using thumb method cast on 17 stitches.
Work every row as follows – knit 2 stitches, purl 2 stitches repeat these 4 stitches to last st, K1
Work until almost all of your yarn has gone ensuring you save enough to cast off loosely (approximately 3 times the width of your knitting).
Sew cast on edge to cast off edge in order to make a large ring and sew in ends.
Tip – When joining in a new ball of yarn try to do this somewhere along the row rather than at the beginning of a row as usual. This will help to keep the edges of the cowl tidy and means your ends can be better hidden.
Yes my crochet is basic, very basic actually. Still, that hasn’t deterred me from picking up the first edition of the new Simply Crochet Magazine to have a nosey at.
The first thing you’ll notice about the magazine is the paper. It’s not your usual glossy paper, nor is it the heavier, recycled kind of paper that you get in Mollie Makes. It has a vintage feel about it, with more of a matt look and it’s absolutely packed with editorials, information, yarn reviews and most importantly patterns.
There are 30 items to make including motifs, home furnishings, a baby girl’s cardigan, a woman’s cardigan and a beautiful blanket too.
This is a little snippet of the home furnishing patterns –
The instructions for this super chunky cowl are also included, it’s made in Rowan Big Wool but you could substitute any other super chunky yarn instead.
Some of my particular favourite patterns in the magazine are these little hearts. I can think of several friends that would adore a few of the little decorations dotted around their homes.
All of the patterns have a little pictorial information panel at the beginning indicating the stitches used in the project, the weight of yarn it’s made in and the size of hook required, which is extremely helpful when selecting what to crochet. As a ‘novice’ I can spot the projects I’m capable of straight away by which stitches are used. For example the Cosy Baby Blanket uses shell stitch, which I’m yet to learn.
The magazine will be published on a monthly basis around the 10th of each month and costs £4.99/€7ish, although there are the usual subscription offers enticing you with cheaper issue prices if you take out one. There is also a digital version of the magazine available too on Apple Newstand, it’s www.simplycrochetmag.com/digital and for Android/PC customers go to www.zinio.com
A 13 month digital subscription costs £44.99 about €57 which is quite a bit cheaper than if you bought 13 printed issues.
It’s difficult to tell if an experienced crocheter would enjoy the magazine as much as I have as the projects all seem to be aimed at people with beginner and intermediate levels of skill. I can guarantee you’ll enjoy the magazine if you like funky granny squares, quirky hearts and looking at what other people have created (Pinterest anyone?).
The Simply Crochet Magazine blog http://www.simplycrochetmag.co.uk/ complements the magazine beautifully, there are even links to the odd free patterns, plus readers news and competitions.
I hope future issues of the magazine are as interesting and appealing and that it continues to be chockablock with patterns of all kinds. If you’d like to have a little look at it, I shall have my copy at the shop for a while.