Monday, 19 January 2015

Personal Mystery Sock Club 2015......

I'm back today to tell you about the Personal Mystery Sock Club 2015, a great way to start using up some of your stash. I saw this idea over on Instagram, where Aunty's Alice Loves To Knit, decided she was going to use up some of her stash to knit socks.

If you have lots of sock yarn that you want to use up, feel free to join in, if you're on Instagram the hashtag is #personalmysterysockclub2015 where you'll be able to see everyone's progress over the coming months. I'm a big fan of IG, there are so many gorgeous photos to look at and lots of inspiration for different crafts. If you want to find me, I'm Tinkhickman on there, if you're part of the IG community, let me know.

 

Alice picked twelve skeins of sock yarn from her stash and sealed them into brown paper bags so each month she picked a bag without knowing which skein was in there. When people saw this on IG, lots of us wanted to join in and so it grew with many of us taking part.

It's all very informal and you don't have to chose 12 skeins, some people have picked six, not all are going to knit socks, there were some suggestions of mittens and shawls. I decided on putting together nine "mystery" bags using the yarn in the top photo.

There were certain socks I wanted to knit this year so my decision on the yarn was based on that. I wanted a pair of DK weight, my husband wanted another pair, I saw a pattern for some "Fair Isle" style socks and I wanted to knit a pair of baby socks. I then sealed the bags and set them aside, all ready to cast on once I'd finished some WIPs.

I finished my WIPs at the end of last week, so the first bag I picked at random contained the yarn for baby socks, My First Regia. This itty bitty ball of wool is just 25g and is especially sold to knit small baby items, I bought it to knit my grandson a pair of socks.

It took me a while to chose a pattern as I wanted a mini version of the socks that I knit for myself. I wanted one with a heel flap, a lot were using DK and I wanted a 4ply pattern and some looked a very odd shape sock. Eventually, I decided on the Stretch Baby Socks by Patons which is a free pattern with sizes ranging from 3 months to 2 years.

They were super quick to knit, I cast them on late Thursday afternoon and they were finished by the end of the evening. I knit the smallest size and was eager for my daughter to arrive on Friday so I could try them on him. After having a little cuddle, I showed him his new socks which he immediately grabbed for and put in his mouth!!!!! I then went to put them on his feet and they wouldn't go over his little chubby ankles!!!!!!

I wasn't too upset as I've got enough wool left to knit him a bigger size and this tiny pair will go to my friend's grandson who is due in April. It's just another excuse to knit another pair of sweet little baby socks.

Thank you for stopping by and let me know if you're going to take part in The Personal Mystery Sock Club.

Have a great week.

xxxxDebxxxxx

 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup.....

Hello, my friends. I'm back today to share one of my concocted soup recipes, it's Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup. I don't particularly enjoy cooking but I love making homemade soups and mixing different flavours, this is a thick, warming soup with a kick, perfect for those cold, winter days.

 

Ingredients

2 onions, finely chopped

2 large sweet potatoes, cubed

6-8 carrots, sliced

1 fresh chilli (or to your acquired taste)

Garlic

1tsp chopped corriander

2tsp chopped ginger

2tsp turmeric

2 vegetable stock cubes

1 litre boiled water

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil

 

Finely chop the onions and fry in olive oil until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients, I used a whole chilli which gave it a bit of a kick so just add a small amount to taste if you don't want it too spicy. Mix the stock cubes with the boiling water and add to the ingredients. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, leave to cool then blend until smooth, adding more boiling water if needed.

Enjoy with a slice of granary bread!

 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy New Year........

Photo from Pinterest.
Happy New Year, it's been a while but I decided to take a little break over Christmas and the New Year. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate and a good start to the new year. As usual I had a happy, hectic, busy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my large,slightly mad family then I had a very quiet week with lots of time on my hands to knit, we didn't even go to the Sales, this year.
 
 
On Boxing Day, my eldest daughter, her partner and my grandson went back to Stoke to spend time with her partner's family and the youngest went to Cornwall to spend time with her boyfriend and his family so it was just me and the husband. I did enjoy the peace and quiet, though I do miss my family when they're not here, As I just mentioned, it did give me time to knit as much as I wanted and to think of my goals for 2015. I was instantly drawn to this quote that I saw over on Pinterest, I think sometimes you do need to strip things back and just enjoy the simple things, which will be one of my goals for 2015.
 

One thing I'll be doing in 2015 is to start a knitting diary after seeing Dani's aka Little Bobbins over on her podcast. I did have a small notebook which I kept notes and scraps of yarn but Dani's took it to a whole new level. I picked up a large, wire bound notebook with beautiful, high quality, crisp, white pages which I can't wait to fill with lots of knitty goodness and photos.

 


 
The first page of my knitting diary has been given to my Knitting Goals 2015. I think they are all quite do-able and I hope to achieve them all. Here are my goals.......
 
1: To finish all my WIPs before casting on a new project. I had eight projects on the needles, I frogged two, I finished four over the last week and have two to finish.
 
2: Knit an adult size sweater for myself, I'd already cast on Old Romance by Joji Locotelli but didn't get very far with it before I started my Christmas gift knitting.
 
3: Design a cowl with the help of Design A Cowl with Laura Nelkin over on Craftsy. I purchased this class last year and didn't get around to starting it.
 
4: Knit at least 6 pairs of socks, I'm taking part in the Personal Mystery Sock Club 2015 organised by Aunty's Alice Loves To Knit over on Instagram. I'll share more details of this fun idea in a seperate post.
 
5: Knit from stash, I know I say this every year!!!!! I'm part of a yarn club so I will still get new yarn every three months. If I want to knit another sweater I will need to buy the yarn as I don't have a sweater quantiy or if I go to any knitting events, I know I'll end up buying something but as a whole I'll be knitting from stash.
 
 
I just wanted to show you my secret Christmas project that I was knitting for Kerry, a very good friend of mine, these are the O.W.L Mittens by Celeste Young which was published in The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, that was kindly gifted to me by a lovely IG friend.
 
Kerry is Harry Potter mad so needless to say she was absolutely thrilled with her gift. She couldn't believe that I knit all those spells into the mitts. I loved every stitch and I know they will be well loved, I used Drops Baby Alpaca Silk, a gorgeous soft blend of alpaca and silk which will keep the hands nice and toasty.
 
 
 
Another passion of mine is reading and when I saw that Erin from Bringing Up the Burns had organised a reading challenge, I decided to take part with my niece who is also an avid reader. There is a list of 26 prompts that we follow each time we chose a new book.
 

 
The first prompt is A Book You Own But Have Not Read, this one was easy. I've had The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley in my bookcase for a while and is a book I've wanted to read for a while. It hasn't disappointed, from the first couple of pages I was hooked, it is very atmospheric, the characters are interesting and obviously have secrets that haven't been revealed yet which makes this book the sort you just can't put down. It's always just one more chapter!!!!!
 
I'm linking to Nicole's blog, Frontier Dreams and her Keep Calm Craft On, it's such an inspirational blog and I love looking through all the links with some many gorgeous projects.
 

 

I'm also linking to Ginny's Yarn Along where you'll find lots of other posts from people who love knitting and reading and another inspirational blog.

 

Thank you stopping by, I'll be back soon with one of my own recipes for my homemade Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup.

xxxxxDebxxxx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

My Final Christmas Knitting Of The Year...

Hello my friends, it's been a while but it's been very busy here with Christmas preparations. I'm on the home run, finishing my Christmas gift knitting with only two things to complete. This post will be mostly photos but I will put links in, if you want more details on the patterns and the yarn I've used.

First I would like to tell you about the Little Bobbins Knits Christmas Eve Socks, if you haven't already heard about it. Every year, the lovely Dani, casts on a new pair of socks every Christmas Eve, I think everyone in the group loved this idea and lots of us have decided to join in with her.

I've decided to cast on the Evergreen Socks as I wanted something Christmassy. I bought some Christmas fabric with fir trees and deer to make a project bag to keep them in. I'm undecided on the yarn it will either be the blue tweed or should I stick with the theme and go with the Christmas green? I'll let you know what I decide in a few days. There is still plenty time to join the Ravelry group and cast on with us.


This is Tutti Frutti, I've knit him for my grandson, who seems to love giraffes, the pattern is Miss Gelato Giraffe by Kay Jones.
Instead of knitting the cardigan, which you get with the pattern, I chose to knit Mr Bakery Bear's jumper, I just added a couple more cable rows.
This is Mrs Bakery Bear and she's for my niece, I've knit Mr Bakery Bear for her baby brother, so they have brother and sister teddy bears.

I've had my shipment from The Golden Skein, three gorgeous skeins of yumminess. I can't wait to chose the perfect pattern for them.

I also ordered some beautiful tweed sock yarn from Old Town Yarns in Edinburgh, I've wanted to knit myself some tweed socks for a while now.

I've had lots of presents to wrap.........

We've been on days out with this little angel........

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all had a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Knitvent 2014........ Adorn Gift Bags.

Hello my friends, how is everyone? It's week 4 of Knitvent 2014 and behind this week's window were some adorable, knitted Adorn Gift Bags. There are two different styles, Style A has two sizes and Style B has a beaded snowflake which is just beautiful.

The beauty of this pattern is it only uses leftover sock/4ply yarn and are super quick to knit. I've knit my gift bag in Style A in the small size, this size is perfect for little beauty gifts such as nail polishes, handmade soaps and hand cream or maybe some chocolate truffles.

It has an eyelet detail at the top to add some decorative ribbon, you could leave the front plain or add some decoration as I did, I attached a little metal snowflake that I had in my stash. They are knit in the round so there is no seaming, the pattern is written for Magic Loop but I used DPN's as that is my preferred method for working in the round. I put the stitches on three needles but as you need to know where the round starts and the centre of the stitches, I added a couple of stitch markers.

Every Christmas I treat myself to a Christmas Classic book to read, this year I've bought A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. It's a cloth bound edition and is beautifully illustrated by Peter Bailey. I'll enjoy reading this over the festive period.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, I love looking through the links to see what others have on their needles.

I've been knitting so many gifts for people, I decided to cast on something for myself so I've cast on a pair of socks, just because. My husband and I went to a local vineyard where they have lots of little independent shops selling gifts, jewelry and glass. There is also a papercraft shop there and they've started selling a small selection of yarn. I was drawn to this Rico Superba Mexico self patterning sock yarn, I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was too, at only £6 for a 100g ball, more than enough to knit myself a pair of socks.

I'm knitting a plain Vanilla sock which I never normally do but I'm really enjoying it. I love how the pattern is emerging and it's so easy to pick up and down without worrying where you are in the pattern. I can see myself knitting more vanilla socks in the future.

 

Thank for stopping by, have a good week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Knitvent 2014.......Crisp and Even Cowl.

I've just "opened" the third window of the Knitvent 2014 it is a beautiful cable and ribbed cowl called Crisp and Even which comes in three sizes.
I've cast on the small size using some Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran that I had in my stash. I'm using a pretty icy green and lavender. The colours reminded me of Frozen which is rather apt as the cowl is called Crisp and Even. It's knitting up really fast as it's an heavier weight yarn and would make great last minute gifts.
I've also cast on another new project, Miss Gelato Giraffe By Kay Jones. Kay is best known for her Bakery Bears, her patterns are very clear and concise with great photography. I've recently finished Mr Bakery Bear so can highly recommend her patterns as every little detail is so well thought out.
The only other project I've been working in this week are the Vanilla Latte socks, I'm using the very sort after Trailing Clouds self striping in Mind the Gap. I'm still knitting them consecutively, I find this better as I don't get second sock syndrome. I pick them up when I have a lot going on around me as the pattern is very simple and doesn't need any concentration.

I've started reading a new book called The Knitting Bee by De-Ann Black, it's a very sweet story about a local yarn shop owner, set in Edinburgh, perfect bedtime reading. It makes me wish I had a local yarn shop like this one, it sounds perfect.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, check them out, there are always some great projects, my queue gets longer each week after seeing all the wonderful projects.

I just wanted to share these sweet little matinee jackets and bootees, knit for Caiden. They weren't knit by me though but my Aunty Ena who is over 80 years old. I think this is amazing and hope I'll be still knitting at that age. I imagine she used the same pattern for my grandson as she did for me when I was a baby.

Here is the little cutie wearing one of the cardigans, I do love this little man. Have a great week and hopefully will be back on Friday with some FO's.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Friday, 21 November 2014

FO Friday...... Lind Cowl

Hello my friends, how was your week? I've been busy knitting for Christmas, I'm hoping to give all my close family a handmade gift this year, at least those who I know will appreciate them ;-)

I've finished the Lind Cowl, it was super quick to knit up in 4ply, the pattern has the choice of two sizes and I went with the small. I'm wearing it as I write this post, it is sooooo warm on my neck, it's suppose to be for my mom, I don't know whether to keep it for myself or I could knit another one.

I love how it's turned out in the heavier weight yarn (the original was knit in lace weight), it's the perfect size to pop on with a winter coat without been too bulky and feeling as though you can't move your neck. Don't get me wrong I love bulky cowls when you're going for a walk on a cold, frosty morning but if you're going shopping or just jumping into the car, this is perfect.

I used Rowan Cashsoft 4ply in 461 Fushia and 458 Almond which has been discontinued, I think it's still available though in some retailers. I used the recommended needles on the pattern of 4.5mm and 5mm, which gives a nice drape, you could knit it on smaller needles but it would be a more structured cowl. The finished dimensions once I'd blocked it were 24" circumference and 12" long which wasn't far off the pattern. I'm now looking forward to the next Knitvent 2014 pattern which is released on Tuesday.

Next up is the super cute, Mr Bakery Bear by Kay Jones, he is for my little nephew and I know this little teddy is going to be very loved. I knit him in Cascade 220 in the colourway 9499 Sand, his clothes were knit in Rowan Cashsoft DK, you don't need a lot so any leftover DK would work.

Kay has just released her latest pattern today, Miss Gelato Giraffe, I fell in love with her when they showed her on their podcast and got my supplies all ready for the release. If you haven't seen the Bakery Bear Podcast, you should check it out, they are a husband and wife team who both knit, it's a really fun podcast and always makes me smile when I watch them.

She is going to be for my baby grandson, I'm knitting her in Caron Simply Soft, a worsted weight, varigated yarn. It really is soft for acrylic, I never usually use an acrylic yarn but I wanted something that could be washed and I loved the colours, perfect for babies. I'll be casting this on later so I'll show you the progress next week.

Last but not least, I finished the Ardvasar Hat from Issue 6 of the Pompom magazine. It's the third one I've knit as I love how this hat looks on, it has a pretty cabled band and just the right amount of slouch. This one is for my sister, she said how much she liked it when she saw me wearing mine. It's probably not the easiest pattern to knit as the cable is quite fiddly but it's totally worth it.

I'll leave you with a photo of my precious little Superbaby. Have a great weekend, I'll be having lots of cuddles from this little man over the weekend and I'm also meeting up with some crafty friends. I haven't seen some of them for 12 months so I can't wait to catch up with them.

xxxxDebxxxx