New Year – Time For Change?

Two days in to 2014 already and my brain has been working overtime on things to do in the coming year.  I’m not a New Year Resolutions kinda girl, so whilst I’ve made a mental note to quit the indulgences of the past couple of weeks, get back on my anti-inflammation diet and try to do more exercise in the coming year I’m not going to be too upset if I fall off the wagon, so to speak.

There are however, things I am going to try to alter in the hope that some little changes will allow me a little more time to do some of the more important things like, dare I say it – Exercise more 😦

Top of my list is to get more organised, already I can hear my family groaning.  I do try really hard to set myself deadlines, but it’s sticking to them that’s the problem.  My head gets so full of ideas for the shop, designs, kids crafts, etc that I easily get distracted.  So I’m going to get better at writing things down, that way hopefully, I won’t be constantly running through my ‘list of possibilities’ in my head.

I’m also extending this writing it down thingy to my ongoing projects too, as I’ve been slack with posting them onto Ravelry and have wasted at least a couple of hours mentally running through what I made in 2013.

From what I can remember I made the following, but I know I’ve missed some things.

1 cardigan for me

1 jumper for Dina

2 waistcoats (1 for the shop, 1 for me)

2 pairs of socks and 2 single socks (need to make a 2nd lace one and I’m now half way through the other 2nd sock, see below)

12 hats

8 scarves/cowls

Moody Blanket (must do icord border)

Poncho

Wrap

3 – tea cosies

6 Crochet bunting triangles

5 knitted/crochet brooches

Christmas Angel

4 Baby Cardigans

sample squares for the shop

Blanket squares for charity

Innocent Smoothie hats

If I’m honest, it doesn’t seem like a lot of knitting, must try harder.  As a little extra note to self “should also knit from my stash a little more”.

Starting as I mean to go on here’s my last/first project of 2013/2014.  I’m just about to start the heel flap so it should be finished by the weekend.

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I’m also going to start another Il Grande Favorito with some beautiful Sirdar Connemara from my stash.

All sounds very good so far, but I have a small confession ……..

Whilst waiting for the photos for this post to upload I decided to clear up my email inbox a little and now I’ve become distracted by this lovely DIY Fair Isle Hat deigned by Meg Myers for Classic Elite Yarns.

Which yarn would work best now?

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Happy Knitting in 2014

xxx

It’s A Little Nippy – Last Minute Knit

OK.  So we’ve all seen the ‘super quick knit’ patterns that seem like a good idea until you realise that they’re actually referring to those amongst us that can break all kinds of speed knitting records.

I’m a steady knitter, neither fast nor slow and if we’re being extremely honest, I’m prone to distraction.  However, this little neck warmer did actually take a little over an hour to knit up – PROMISE!

So what are you going to need?

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I’ve used 10mm needles and 2 balls of Rico Fashion Elegance in shade 3.  They’re 5ometres each so you need approx 100metres of super chunky yarn.

Cast on 20sts and knit every row in plain/garter stitch until work measures 56cms/22″.  Cast off loosely

2013-12-23 12.03.08I slipped the first stitch of every row to keep my edges tidier but it’s not necessary.

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Join by sewing your cast on and cast off edges together.

Ta ddah……..

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Of course now my neck’s warm but I can’t see a blooming thing.

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Much better.

I’m going to make a couple for my youngest to wear as he always forgets to put a scarf on and I’m sure my hubby whose a plumber and constantly working outside on dairy farm installations at the moment, might even fancy a couple.

In case your wondering it’s 20cm/8″ deep.

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

December is Here – Lots to Tell

2013-12-05 14.33.39Tis’ the season to be jolly …….

There’s no time to hang about so, rushing straight into what’s going on here for December.

There’s Harlequin, a new chunky yarn from Stylecraft, great for those quick knits, There’s some lovely pattern support for it including my favourite, this fab cape come poncho thingy.

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There were also 3 new shades to add to our range of Stylecraft’s Kwik Knit which seems to be really popular for cowls and scarves at the moment.

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There’s also another new scarf yarn from Tivoli.  Lace is €12.95 a hank and like most of the scarves it’s a one ball = 1 scarf knit.  It makes quite a full scarf and is selling like hot cakes.

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Lastly (for now anyway) our Special offer this month is on Sirdar Freya which some of you might recall I knitted the hat in last month.

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freya

There are 8 lovely shades and being a chunky it will knit up fast.  A little goes a long way, I made the hat with one ball.  There’s some lovely pattern support for it too including the accessories below.

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I could be off to unpack some yummy hand dyed yarn now, more about that next time.

Happy Knitting!

Some Of The New Stuff (items of the woolly persuasion)

As I mentioned on Facebook last week we’ve had so many deliveries arriving that I’ve found it a little difficult to keep up with everything of late.  Those of you that know me, know I struggle with organization at the best of times 🙂

Like everyone that knits or crochets I still get excited at the prospect of new yarn, it hasn’t stopped just because I own a shop, if anything it’s worse.  When i open the boxes the sense of desperation to get playing with the new goodies is a bit overwhelming.  I tend to select a display garment pattern when choosing the yarn and will often order an extra pack to knit it in.  At this time of year I find myself a bit bogged down with things to knit and my number of WIP’s increases alarmingly.

So in order to get back to some bookwork and knitting here are some of last weeks arrivals and I’ll pop some more on a second post.  Another bag has already arrived this morning to be unpacked too – woolly heaven?  Most of the time, anyway.

Happy Knitting!

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Sirdar Faroe Chunky
The new colours in Sirdar Baby Crofter
The new colours in Sirdar Baby Crofter
A Wee Willie Winky hat shop sample in the new Baby Crofter
A Wee Willie Winky hat shop sample in the new Baby Crofter
Wendy Mode Chunky (love the colours especially the blue)
Wendy Mode Chunky (love the colours especially the blue)
New shades in Wendy Merino DK
New shades in Wendy Merino DK

Look At The Pictures

Loads more yummy yarn has arrived over the last few days and I’m trying to stay ahead and photograph them as they come in for those of you that use the blog to plan your trips in. It’s definitely becoming more difficult because of the sheer volume of supplies and my ever growing list of shop samples to get knitted.

Undeterred here’s some of the latest arrivals.  I think it might be quicker to just do pictures.

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New shade in Rico Essentials Merino Aran
New shades in Sirdar Snuggly Double Knit
New shades in Sirdar Snuggly Double Knit
New Hayfied Aran With Wool 100g
New Hayfied Aran With Wool 100g
New Sirdar Snuggly 4ply
New Sirdar Snuggly 4ply
Gorgeous Katia Merino 100%
Gorgeous Katia Merino 100%

In addition to all the lovely new yarns there have been more books and patterns.  Here are just a few to wet your appetites.

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New books from Sirdar
New Sirdar Snuggly DK patterns
New Sirdar Snuggly DK patterns

They’ll be lots more to come, watch this space.

Happy Knitting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week Ending 7th September

Wow!  We had an amazing amount of squares and blankets handed in last week and at this rate we’ll easily make our new target of 83 blankets.

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Last weeks donations include squares and blankets from the following people-

Noreen handed in 3 blankets, 2 of which Lucy joined to make 1

Linda = 2

Kirstie = 18

Cati = 1

Elizabeth = 1

Betty Holland = 16

Breeda Ryan = 35

Martina = 35

Mary Donnelly = 4

Mary Mac = 12

Lise = 32

Joan = 4

Lucy = 4

Total 164 squares and 2 blankets

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Keep em coming please.

Happy Knitting!

Stash Dash Time

 

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For those of you that have been before you’ll know what it’s all about, the rest of you would probably best to read this previous post here http://knitmidleton.com/2012/07/23/everybody-keeps-asking-me/

 

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.

 

There are things to consider: you have to book your slot, 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.  Have a look at the post linked above if you’re not sure and make sure you book your place quickly before they all go.

 

This is what you should be expecting.

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Happy Knitting!

 

Blocking My Buttonbox

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Blocking your knitwear can really enhance your work by bringing out details and shaping.  It can also make your garment sit better when wearing.  Sometimes after knitting and sewing up I can be quite desperate to wear my work but will always try to block regardless.  Without exception all lace work should always be blocked to open up the stitches

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Most of the time after sewing in my ends I will wash my finished garment.  I tend to use Soak, a delicate washing liquid in which you quite literally ‘soak’ your clothes.  A sink full of cool water only needs a teaspoon of the washing detergent and you leave your garment submerged (soaking) for about 15 minutes.  You should always check whether or not your yarn is colourfast but in most cases I’d only be washing one garment at a time so it’s never really a problem.  The great thing about this washing liquid is that there is no need to rinse (yes, I did say no need).  If your using Woolite or something similar you will have to rinse your garment through at least three times to get rid of any detergent.

After soaking you should squeeze out any excess water remembering not to wring as you could stretch your hard work.  You can always place your work between towels and use pressure to extract more water (stand on it).  If I’m honest however, I tend to tie the garment tightly into a clean pillowcase and put it in my washing machine on the spin cycle.  You can control the intensity of spin on my machine which helps.

Once spun I pin the garment out to size on my childrens play mat using rust proof pins.  You can of course buy expensive blocking mats, they tend to be made of the same material as the mat I use but come complete with the measurements on them.

If you don’t have these mats you can use several old towels or maybe your ironing board for smaller projects.  The mats are easy to locate, I have 2 packs one of which was bought in Tesco whilst the other was bought in Smyths Toy Shop.

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Use the actual measurements if available on your pattern.  My waistcoat is supposed to be blocked to 36″ around the chest, but after being washed the yarn has relaxed a little and it is coming up at 38″.  I’m happy with the extra roominess but would always advise you knit, wash and dry your tension square to ensure you knit the correct size.  Obviously, I didn’t do that here – oops!

I have used the pins to ensure my bands and collar lie properly (I hope so anyway) and have inserted extra pins under each bobble on the pockets to try and make them stand proud when dry.

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You will tend to find drying your work can take some time.  If at all possible try to leave it somewhere warm.  If using towels underneath you might find you will have to change them to prevent them from becoming smelly and in turn making your garment a little musty.

This is the method I tend to use to block my work although there are other methods.  If at all possible avoid using an iron to press your garments as this can make your stitches flatten or worse still if you’ve used acrylic, melt.  The only time I would have used an iron is if my garment had been made in 100% cotton.  Then I held the iron above the work and used the steam from it to help set the garment.  If you’re in a rush you can pin the garment out first, spritz with water from a plant spray and leave to dry.

Please Note:- Be careful when blocking rib, I know one person who stretched her stitches so tightly that when dry the rib was completely flat.  Remember you are trying to enhance your work.

If you haven’t tried it before why not block your next project to see the difference.

Happy knitting!

Moody Blanket Update

I thought it was time to update you all on the progress of my ever increasing blanket which is now 54.5″/138cms.  As you can probably imagine knitting the 2 rows per day is taking much longer now on account of the blankets size.  To be on the safe side I need to make sure I have three quarters to an hour spare when I start to knit.  Unfortunately, our weather is anything but May like which has inadvertently been a godsend as there is some warmth from the blanket.

Sitting under the weight of it whilst knitting in heat is not great.

I think I have a little over a months worth of knitting left before I’ll reach my target length of 6 foot.

In order for you to judge the length and to give you a bit of a giggle you can see me modelling the blanket so far.  I’m 5ft3 on a good day.

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Here’s Another Idea For The Blanket Squares

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Some of you may recall we knitted 14″ blankets for the maternity hospital a couple of years ago now and the pattern many of us used was knit on the diagonal.

20cms/8" or there abouts
20cms/8″ or there about

The beauty of the pattern was that you started with 1 stitch and increased by 1 stitch on every row until you’d reached your desired size.  You then knit one row plain and begin decreasing 1 stitch every row until they’re all gone.

Easy peasy!

8inch/20cm Charity Blanket Square

 Materials

Any weight of yarn

Appropriate size needles for yarn

 Eg: Double knit yarn = 4mm,

      Aran weight = 5mm

      Chunky yarn = 6.5mm

      Super chunky weight = 10mm

     

Abbreviations

K – Knit

KFB – Knit into the front and the back of the next stitch

K2Tog – Knit the next 2 stitches together

Instructions

Cast on 1 stitch

1st Row – Knit into the front and the back of the stitch, (2 stitches).

2nd Row – K1, KFB, (3 Stitches)

3rd Row – K1, KFB, K to end, (4 Stitches).

You can see that by increasing in every second stitch a decorative border is produced.  Repeat row 3 until either of the sides is approximately 8”/20cm (please note you are working on the diagonal). 

Next work one row in knit without any increase.

To decrease K1, K2tog, K to end.

Repeat this decreasing 1 stitch on every row until only 2 stitches remain, K2Tog

Cast off final stitch and sew in ends.

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Needs blocking