Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It's All About the Socks..... Box o' Sox KAL

This year has been all about the socks, it's my favourite project to knit on at the moment, I have finished three pairs so far this year and have another three pairs on the needles. I cast the first pair of the year on the 1st January, they were the Pomeranssi Socks by Marianne Heikkinen using  The Wool Barn Alpaca Sock. Oh my gosh, this yarn is soft and makes the most cosy, luxurious socks, perfect for keeping your feet extra warm during these long winter months. I absolutely love Marianne's designs, they have such a pretty aesthetic 




The second pair of the year were the Mercury Socks by Kim Drotar, these are very popular socks which I first saw on Instagram, it's one of my favourite places to find new patterns.


These were knit in Fine Fish Yarns Core Sock in The Nicest Faun I Ever Met, isn't this the most perfect colourway? It's a simple, five row lace pattern which is easy to memorize after a few rows. I added contrast heels and toes in some leftover sock yarn that I had in my stash.


I always like to have a plain pair of vanilla socks on the needle, just so I can pick them up without having to think about where I'd got to in the pattern, perfect to relax and knit with a cuppa.


I used Beregere de France Goomy 50 in Imprim Rose, a self patterning yarn in many different colours and patterns, it's one of my favourite commercial sock yarns.

These are my finished socks so far, which will go in my Box o' Sox, this is a KAL run by Kristin, the idea is to knit at least 12 pairs of socks over the coming year and store them in a preetty box so you'll have a whole box of socks to ready to wear. I completed 12 pairs last year, it was so much fun to see everybody else's socks on the thread so decided to take part again.

I think I'll wrap up for today and I'll share my other socks in a seperate post. I'm linking to Nicole's Keep Calm Craft On and Ginny's Yarn Along. This week I have been reading through The Language of Flowers, a book I picked up at the charity shop that gives you meanings of different flowers and wonderful illustrations. I've used the illustration of the roses in the photo of my finished Imprim Rose socks, I love the vintage feel of this book.

Happy knitting until next time.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Quick Baby Knit.......Rocket Pop Baby Mitts.

How are you all? I've been busy knitting lots of things including test knitting the Snowmelt MKAL Shawl by Helen Stewart which has now been released. Today, I wanted to share a super quick baby knit that only uses small amounts of  worsted weight yarn, so great for using up leftover yarn.


These were small 20g cakes of  leftover Drops Nepal from another project, I still have most of it left and could probably knit at least another two pairs. I really like Drops Nepal and use it a lot for worsted weight projects, it's very affordable, knits up beautifully and once soaked and blocked is very soft.


The pattern is Rocket Pop Baby Knits by Andrea Mowry and is a free pattern on Ravelry, they are perfect if you need a quick baby gift, it took me just over an hour to finish one mitt. It's a very simple colourwork pattern and would be a great project for your first colourwork. 


There are two sizes, 0-6 months and 6-12 months, I love how they turned out and little Darcie was very proud of her new mitts, showing everyone. I think I might add an I-cord to make mitts on a string so she's less likely to lose them. I'm linking this project to this week's Keep Calm Craft On.


I'm also linking to Yarn Along, I've finished The Muse by Jessie Burton which I highly recommend, I couldn't put it down, it had an excellent storyline and an ending I wasn't expecting. I'm now reading I'm Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork, it's a gripping thriller but quite dark so maybe not everyone's cup of tea, I really enjoy Scandinavian authors from when I first read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Have a great week crafting.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Down The Crochet Rabbit Hole.....Granny Stripe Blanket.


I resisted for a while but I eventually fell down the crochet hole and cast on a scrappy blanket! I have so many leftover sock yarns and mini skeins and wanted to use them. I'd never been tempted by the knitted scrap yarn blankets before and was waiting for the right project, I found it when I met up with Dani at the Curious Handmade Christmas Party. We met at the Patenoster pub in London, which was so much fun  meeting up with everyone, it is very near to the First Dates restaurant, we both love this t.v. show so we took a walk to have a look. Anyway, I digress, Dani had just started a scrappy granny stripe blanket and had bought it with her to work on whilst we had a natter. Oh my, it was stunning and that was the moment I knew what I was going to use all my minis on.


I'm calling mine the Cosy Nana Stripe Blanket, as my two gorgeous grandkids are picking the yarn for each stripe and the blanket will be for us to snuggle under. I'm not following the instructions for a traditional granny stripe as I use one colour for each row rather than two rows so each row is a different colour. I made a chain of 300+2, you can make it as big or as small as you want with multiples of 3 chains plus the 2 stitches, this is Attic 24's Granny Stripe tutorial. 


I've got all my minis in a basket and I get Caiden and Darcie to pick 5 or 6 balls and put them in my project bag to used for the next few rows. So far I've loved how all the colours have worked together, though the yarn i buy are all very soft colours which tend to work together.


This is how far I've got with the blanket and I've got to say this is one of my all time favourite projects. It's such a therapeutic project and not easy to put down as I want to get to the next colour. One thing I am doing is magic knotting the yarn together so I don't have lots of ends to sew in which was another reason I love this project, here's a good tutorial by Jane Richmomd for Magic Knot. 


I thought I'd share what I'm reading today for Ginny's Yarn Along, it's The Muse by Jessie Burton. I've been reading a lot of thrillers lately so this is a nice change of pace, it flits from Spain 1930's to London 1960's and is a compelling read. I'm also linking to Nicole's Keep Calm and Craft On.

Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting/crocheting

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Snowmelt MKAL 2017........coming soon.

Hello there.......
              Where has this week gone, it's flown by but as promised I'm back and have a renewed love for my blog. I would like to thank you for the welcome back comments and to Stefanie for the advice on different blog platforms.

Today I want to talk about a test knit which I've been working on.......

"It’s that moment between the last slow weeks of winter and the first sweet days of spring. There’s a gentle tension in the air as the thaw begins: the cosy joys of hibernation give way to a pleasant restlessness. Your heart stirs and the sap starts to run. This is a season of growth and change, but it begins quietly, deep in the frozen ground, before the last of the ice has even disappeared.
This time of year feels nearly miraculous. It offers a chance to renew the dreams that have slept for so long beneath a blanket of snow. The earth is preparing to surprise itself again with a wild swell of springtime creativity. It’s a call to adventure and an invitation to stretch our own creative powers. It’s time to uncover what this fresh new season has in store." 

Helen of Curious Handmade is hosting another MKAL (mystery knit along) and after the success of last year's, the Summertime Shawl, Helen is back with another stunning shawl design, the Snowmelt MKAL 2017. After reading those beautiful, descriptive words who wouldn't want to join in.  

I can't give too much away as what would be the fun in that, been a mystery and all but what I can tell you, it is a three colour shawl! Helen used some gorgeous La Bien Aimee, single ply fingering weight yarn but any 4ply/sock yarn can be used. This pattern is a great stash buster for all those one off skeins that your not sure what to do with, speckled and varigated yarn also work really well with this pattern.


I did stashbust and used three pretty skeins that I bought from the Yarningham yarn festival, it's Whimzy Sokkusu O, a Superwash Merino in colours Ethereal, Dusky Rose and Chocolate. I absolutely love single ply yarn and after looking through my stash for this project, it made me realize how little single ply I have. I will remedy that and this year I will buy more soft, cosy single ply yarns from the yarn festivals I attend. Some of my favourite singles are La Bien Aimee, Mad Tosh Light and The Wool Barn Silky Singles so they are on my list to purchase.

There is already lots of chatter on the Snowmelt MKAL Ravelry Chat Thread, so if you want to join in the fun, it goes on sale on Ravelry this Monday, 23rd Januray at an early bird price, so look out for that. The MKAL runs for 5 weeks with one clue each week........

Thursday Feb 2nd: First clue is released
Thursday Feb 9th: Second clue released
Thursday Feb 16th: Third clue released
Thursday Feb 23rd: Fourth clue released
Thursday March 2nd: Fifth clue released

Thank you so much for stopping by and happy knitting.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Pomeranssi Socks....... Box O' Sox KAL 2017

Happy New Year, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a good new year, as promised I'm going to make a conscious effort to blog more regularly. I'm still thinking about how I want the blog to go forward, whether I carry on with my original blog, change the name or even start from scratch, any advice will be greatly received. One of the reasons I stopped blogging is because I don't own a PC or laptop and the app I was using on my iPad became obsolete. I have just found a new app though and I'm hoping this one will work well, so far so good. 


Last year, I took part in Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcastm Podcast Box O' Sox KAL which was knitting at least 12 pairs of socks during 2016 and  storing them in a pretty box. I love knitting socks, using the wonderful array of sock yarns, from the pretty variegated, soft  pastels, the brights and luxurious yarns such as alpaca and cashmere. It was even more fun joining in with the KAL and my goal was to get one pair of socks finished each month. 

It was so popular that Kirsten is running it again this year which makes me very happy and I've already finished one pair this year. I cast on the Pomeranssi Sock by Marianne Heikkinen, a delicate and pretty lace pattern. Kristen has a Ravelry group where you can join in the chat or if you're on Instagram check out the #boxosoxkal2017 or #boxosoxkal. Instagram is my favourite social media platform and you can find me there as Tinkhickman.


I started them on New Years Day and was my first project of the year, it's actually all I wanted to knit on, the yarn and pattern were pure joy to work with. I used The Wool Barn Alpaca Sock a blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere. Yes, it really is as soft and luxurious as it sounds, they feel like cosy hugs on my feet.  


The pattern is written for a sport weight yarn on 2.75mm needles on 56 stitches but as its a 8 stitch pattern repeat, I knit them with 4ply on my regular 64 stitches on 2.25mm needles. I finished them within the week and I've got to say, these are one of my favourite socks that I've knit.

Do you have a favourite sock yarn or pattern? I'd love to hear, I'm always on the lookout for new yarns amd patterns.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

We Are Knitters.....Eucalypt Cardigan

Hello, I hope you all had a good weekend. A few weeks ago I was contacted by We Are Knitters to see if they could send me one of their kits to try so I hopped on over to the website to see what they were all about.

Wow, they have so many gorgeous kits from adult garments, baby items and accessories, all come with the pattern, needles, fun knitting themed stickers, a label to sew on your project, a tapestry needle and the yarn, everything you need in one package, I was spoilt for choice. Another special thing I liked about We Are Knitters, are they're a sustainable company who use 100% Peruvian Wool, wooden needles which all come packaged in a recycled brown paper bag.

My daughter and I looked through the kits and decided on the Eucalypt Cardigan in Pearl Grey, an oversized chunky cardigan knit on large needles. The kit didn't take long to arrive and inside the brown paper bag were 6 X 200g balls of chunky Peruvian wool,15mm wooden needles and all the little extras.

Needless to say this cardigan didn't take long to knit with the size of these needles and I soon had a nice pile of soft, squishy cardigan pieces.

Now, it was time to seam together, my least favourite part of knitting, it took me a while as I wasn't used to seaming such a chunky cardigan like this but I soon got into the rhythm of it and before too long had one finished Eucalypt Cardigan.

My daughter really liked this cardigan and after trying it on, it looked better on her than me, it's one size and though it fit my size 14 frame, I didn't think it was loose enough. It was a quick, fun knit which I enjoyed knitting very much and would definitely knit one of their kits again.

We Are Knitters are offering my readers 15% off their kits with the discount code TINKHICKMAN, so why not pop over and have a look, there is something for every type of crochet/knitter.

Linked to Keep Calm, Craft On and Yarn Along.

Thank you for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your week.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Excuses, Excuses......and some knitting.

Hello to everyone, I'm sorry it's been so long AGAIN, I really have had a very busy few months. We moved house, I was working many hours, I got a new job and this little bundle of joy came into our lives so something had to give. Unfortunately, it had to be the blog, knitting, watching podcasts and reading other blogs.

Now things have settled down, I'm back and I've missed you all so want to get back to a regular timetable again. I'm enjoying my new job as a receptionist, in a busy beauty salon, I'm sort of going back to my roots, selling and working with beauty products as that's what I used to do before I finished work to look after my girls. I've never worked on reception though so that's all new to me but I'm slowly finding my feet and loving my new job which has more regular hours so more knitting and blogging time.

The most exciting thing that's happened though is the birth of my beautiful granddaughter, Darcie. She is so precious, I've been spending a lot of time with her and my 15 month old grandson, who is still a baby himself but has took to Darcie so well and is very loving towards her.

She is wearing A Bonnet for Every Little Princess by Linda Castles, a pattern based on the bonnet Princess Charlotte wore when she left the hospital. I knit it in Drops Alpaca so is very soft and delicate, perfect for a baby.

Most of my knitting time was spent on test knitting and baby garments, this was both. I test knit the Chuck Sweater by Lisa Chemery, it is a unisex pattern and ranges from size 3 months to 8 years. I did the 3 month size using Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran, it's a beautiful, soft yarn perfect against a baby's skin, though it has been discontinued now. I used two 50g balls, it is knit seamlessly, top down which is my favourite construction with now seaming together.

I've cast on a pair of socks, my friend Dani from Little Bobbins podcast, had her second annual Christmas Eve Sock KAL. After the hustle and bustle with the lead up to Christmas, I really look forward to sitting down on the evening with my knitting and a cuppa with all my cyber friends, where we were all sharing our progress on Instagram.

I like to chose a pattern that has a winter theme so this time I went for Winter Frost by Brenda Lyndsay, a simple lace pattern using The Wool Barn Smooth Sock, a hand dyed speckled yarn. I can't recommend Maya's yarn enough, I've bought a few skeins now and they are always so beautiful that I have to keep them out on display for a while so I can just look at them.

I got so much to show you and talk about but I'm going to leave it here for now and pop back soon, now my everyday life has slowed down a bit. Have a great week and will speak to you all soon.