Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Yarn Along....Garter Ear Flap Hats.

Hello my friends, how is everyone doing, having a good week, I hope? I had said to myself I wasn't going to knit anymore baby things for a while and just finish off some projects that have been languishing in the bottom of my basket. Until I saw the Garter Ear Flap Hat, a free pattern from Purl Soho, I then knit two of them!!!!!

The first one I cast on was the baby size for my grandson to be, it is so quick and simple, I started it on Sunday afternoon and finished by the evening. Don't be put off by the short rows, as its garters stitch there are no picking up stitches, it's just wrap & turns.

This was knit in Drops Nepal, a worsted/Aran weight yarn, another reason it knits up so quick. The original pattern has a tassel rather than a pompom but I thought a pompom would look cute. The baby size only uses one 50g ball and at £2.00 a ball from Wool Warehouse, that makes it very economical and great as a baby gift.

My sister had been looking for winter hats for my nephew so I cast on the toddler size for him, whilst enjoying a nice cup of fruit tea ;-)

This size uses about 75g so you will need a couple of balls, again I used Drops Nepal. When you knit garter stitch in the round, you have to knit a row, purl a row to get the garter ridges. I had heard about knitting backwards by wrapping and turning and knitting back on the wrong side, which meant no purling. I'm afraid this wasn't for me, I didn't like the ridge it left, so I frogged it and just knit and purl. I would rather just knit in the round but I preferred the smooth join at the start of the row.

I'm going to knit a couple more, Jodie wanted one in the light green grey colour and I'll also knit my niece one. She is so tiny though she will only need the toddler size. I really enjoyed knitting these and are great for travel knitting or watching tv as you don't have to concentrate too much.

The only other thing I've been actively knitting on this week, apart from a test knit, are the Hermione's Everyday Socks. I'm only a couple of inches away from starting the toe so hopefully will be finished by the weekend.

I'm still reading The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans and I'm really enjoying it, saying that I love any book set in Paris. I would like to share with you a book I picked up at The Works, the recommended price is £20 but I bought it for £4.99. I love it, it's mostly sweaters inspired by the 1930's, 40's and 50's but there are some accessories and want to knit a few of the patterns. It also gives you some history and background with some original photos. I love this era and the fashion and I highly recommend this book, everything is very wearable and all the yarn used is readily available.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along, Tami's WIP Wednesday and Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On.

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it and all your lovely comments.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Broccoli and Stilton Soup.....

The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees, turning beautiful shades of orange and yellow, crunching underfoot, there's a nip in the air and I've been craving homemade soup. Yep Autumn is officially here and it's time for me to start making tasty homemade soups again.

I had all the ingredients for Broccoli and Stilton so this was to be my first soup of the season. I don't usually follow a recipe, I see what I have in the fridge/cupboard and concoct it from there. The family very much enjoyed this one so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

This would serve six people as a starter or four as a main in a large bowl with fresh crusty bread, just use half the ingredients if you want a smaller batch.

Ingredients

2 medium sized onions, finely chopped.

2 broccoli heads, chopped into bite size pieces.

1 medium sized potato, cubed.

Oil for frying onions.

Knob of butter (optional)

2 stock cubes.

1000ml water.

200g Stilton, crumbled.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Croutons (optional)

In a large saucepan, fry the onions until translucent, add the brocolli, potato and butter. Make up the stock with the two stock cubes and a 1000ml of boiling water, add to the pan.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, covering with lid until the vegetables are soft. Leave to cool slightly then blend until smooth, I use a hand blender so I can blend directly in the saucepan. At this point, if it's to thick, add more water, a small amount at a time as you don't want it too runny, this is meant to be a thick, creamy soup.

Return to the heat and add the Stilton, leaving a small amount behind for decoration. Stir until the cheese has melted, add salt and pepper if required. I didn't add salt as the Stilton and stock cubes contain it but I did use copious amounts of black pepper.

Serve immediately with a big chunk of crusty bread and enjoy.........as an optional extra, I added croutons and crumbled Stilton on the top.

Enjoy your week and Bon Appetit.

xxxxDebxxxx

Friday, 19 September 2014

FO Friday.......the perfect newborn baby cardigan.

Hello my friends, I hope you all had a good week. I'm back to show you the two Newborn Vertebraes I've knit over the last week.

I love this sweet pattern and think it's the perfect cardigan for a newborn, it only takes one 50g ball of 4ply so is quick, economical and great for a baby shower gift. It's perfect to wear over the all in one sleepsuits that they mostly wear when they are so tiny. It is open at the front but is long at the back, covering their little bum, keeping them warm and cosy.

I have lots of odd balls of Rowan Cashsoft 4ply and picked navy for the first one, I had a small amount left over from another project so with some left over cream, I knit a stripy Easy Peasy Newborn Hat to match, isn't it cute? I used DPNs instead of circular as I really struggle with Magic Loop, I always end up with a ladder whatever I try. Does anyone else have this problem with Magic Loop?

Again, I used Rowan Cashsoft 4ply in sky blue for this one, it was what I knit the Pom Pom Bootees in. I'm going to knit the next one in a DK to make it larger for when he's a bit bigger, these newborn ones are tiny.

Have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Yarn Along.......not much to share.

Hello my friends, did you all have a good weekend? I've been trying to get projects off my needles this week so I haven't got many WIPs to show. I've been knitting two Newborn Vertebraes by Kelly Brooker. I've really enjoyed making these sweet little cardigans, this is the latest one I've been working on, in this sky blue colour. I'll show you the finished objects on Friday.

My main project this week is a test knit so this is all I can share, but I'm loving the pattern and this stunning yarn, which is a pearl fibre, more about that soon.

I've also made good progress on the Hermione's Everyday Socks, as I said in my last post, I'm knitting them simultaneously and have finished one and just have the foot left on the other one.

I've just started reading the The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans, I'm only on chapter 2 so can't say too much about it. I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along, Tami's WIP Wednesday and Nicole's KCCO.

Have a good week and will be back on Friday.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

What's On My Needles......Baby Vertebrae.

Hello my friends, how is your week going? I'm back today to share what's on my needles this week. I have cast on a couple of new things but I'm going to try and finish some of my WIPs, languishing at the bottom of my knitting basket. Saying that, I do want to cast on a newborn baby vest but apart from test knits I will start getting things off my needles!!!!

My latest project is the Newborn Vertebrae, this has been on my to-do list for ages now. It is a free pattern on Ravelry by Kelly Brooker it is knit top down and there is no seaming!!! This design is perfect for a newborn, it's very open at the front but covers all down the back.

I'm using Rowan Cashsoft 4ply which I've had in my stash for ages, it only takes just over a 50g ball so I'll knit a little hat with the leftovers. I think this is the perfect cardigan for when they spend most of their time in sleepsuits.

I've cast on a pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks, I think this is my favourite go to sock pattern, it's a simple pattern that works great with solid, stripy or varigated yarn. This is the second time I've used this pattern, it's written for cuff down but the first pair I made, I knit toe-up so it's very easy to change to your favourite way of knitting socks.

When I first started knitting socks, I chose to do toe-up on two circulars as I thought this looked the easiest way but over the last few months I've been knitting cuff down with a heel flap on DPNs. I now find this much easier, it fits my foot better, it looks neater and there are no wraps to pick up. I've tried using Magic Loop for socks and I really can't get on with it, I always have ladders and have tried all the tricks in the book.

I'm knitting them both at the same time so I'll finish a cuff and cast on the second one and knit the cuff, then go back to the first and knit the leg etc. I think this seems much quicker to me, it probably makes no difference at all but you don't get second sock syndrome.

I'm using Lang Yarns Mille Colori Socks and Lace Deluxe, I absolutely love the colours and how it changes into the next colour but it does has it's problems which I've never encountered before with sock yarn. It is a 100g ball but actually only weighed 94g, it is suppose to be a 4ply but can go from a 4ply to an Aran weight to a lace weight where I actually thought the yarn would break. After saying that it is very soft, I love the colours and the sparkle so I wouldn't not buy it again if I loved the colours.

I'm now up to seventeen leaves on my Leftie and I'm still really enjoying it, this is one of the projects I want to get off my needles before starting another shawl that I have my eye on which is the Whispering Pines by A Homespun House. I did quite a lot of car knitting on this when I was travelling to and from Somerset over the weekend.

This week I'm reading Knitting by Anne Bartlett, I'm a sucker for any novel that contains knitting and this is a perfect, easy-to-read-before-bed book. It's about two women who become unlikely friends and have both gone through losses, I'm about half way through and enjoying the book very much. I'm linking this post to Yarn Along and WIP Wednesday.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Curious Collective 2014 Shawl.

Do you remember this photo from last month, this is all that I could show you at the time as I was test knitting for Helen Stewart, the pattern was released yesterday so here's what I was working on.

It's the Curious Collective 2014 Shawl as I explained on yesterday's post, this design is a little bit different, as part of the Curious Handmade Group on Ravelry we had some input into the design of the shawl, we got to chose the colour, the shape, and stitch patterns.

It's a fairly large crescent shape shawl using two colours, starting off with a simple garter stitch body with some lace and cable stitches.

I used 70g of Artesano 100% Alpaca 4ply for the main colour and 40g Juno Fibre Arts Alice in Second Sight, the Juno was actually leftover from a previous project so is a great way to use up a part skein. Again this pattern was really well written and simple to follow as are all of Helen's designs.

It's only a two stich cable so there's not really any need to use a cable needle which makes it much quicker, you can find a good tutorial here, for knitting cables without a cable needle.

I also mentioned there's a fun Knit Along going on over on the group called Curious Collective 2014 DKAL, it's a little bit different from your usual KAL, as all the colour choices were very popular and it was very close on the voting, Helen thought it would be fun to pick your colour combo and chose a tribe which best suits your colours.

The choice of tribes are Space Chic, French Vintage, English Rose, Enchanted Forest, and Art Deco, you can find out more about the colours and which tribe to join, here and here. Once you've picked your colours, which don't have to be the colours suggested, you can use any brand or colour yarn that takes your fancy, for instance the colours I've chosen would go well as part of the French Vintage tribe so I could request that team and get started chatting and interacting with my fellow team mates. There are some great prizes to be won including a Social Media Maven prize so whenever you show photos/talk about your project on social media use the hashtag #CCDKAL to be in with a chance of winning. The pattern is available to purchase here.

I also wanted to show you how I blocked mine to get the beautiful scalloped picot edge, after soaking for 30 minutes, lay your shawl out onto your bed or foam squares pinning the top to get the crescent shape, then pin every picot bind off point, it is time consuming but worth the effort to get the nice sharp points.

I'm linking to KCCO over on Nicole's blog Frontier Dreams.

Happy Knitting

xxxxDebxxxx

Monday, 8 September 2014

My Weekend....at the seaside.

Hello, how was your weekend? I'm back to share a little bit of my weekend away. This was a very last minute booking, we both felt we could do with getting away and I didn't want to leave it much later than this weekend as Jodie is due in less four weeks. Thursday evening I rang up the regular caravan site that we usually stop at in Brean and they had some vacancies for Friday and Satutrday night.

We set off on Friday lunchtime and arrived in Clevedon by 2.30pm, we love this little town and the Victorian pier has got to be one of my favourite constructions. The sea was very still, hardly a ripple to be seen, we went to Tiffin's Tea House, overlooking the beach and pretty pier, where we had a savoury cream tea which I enjoyed very much. We then headed to the pretty little shops on Hill Streeet, I love the yarn shop there called the Spinning Weal and had to pop in but I was very good and didn't make a purchase.

We finished off with a glass of Procecco at The Cellars, overlooking this beautiful cottage garden, well I did anyway, the husband was driving!!!!!

Saturday morning we drove to Burnham on Sea to buy some supplies and stopped off for a Costa Coffee, we were very lucky with the weather and the sun shone all weekend. We bought some burgers and a throw away BBQ so we could sit and have our dinner on the beach in the meantime we spent a pleasant couple of hours walking along the beach, stopping at a couple of bars before heading back to the caravan ready for dinner.

Our caravan was a stones throw away from the beach, we only had to walk through the sand dunes and found the perfect spot for a BBQ. We arrived just as the sun was about to set, Mick was in charge of the food, why I sat listening to music and knitting, perfect!!!!

My Menehune by Mel came in handy for the beach as it went cooler in the evening, it's perfect just to wrap over your shoulders to keep the chill off.

When we got back to the caravan, we had a great view of the fireworks display over at Brean Pleasure Park, a perfect end to a perfect day.

Sunday morning, we packed up our things and headed to Weston Super Mare, we walked further up the promenade than usual. I'm so glad we did, we found this beautiful little beach, where the sea doesn't go out at low tide due to the sea wall so it's safe to paddle/swim and no mud.

This is the sea wall that you can walk across and get to the old part of the town, it was a pleasant walk along the coast.

We stopped for a Diet Coke break and Mick came back with this bottle for me, I'm convinced he asked the waitress especially for this one but he denies it!!!!! After wandering around the town we headed back home, it was a fab weekend.

The Curious Collective Shawl 2014 has been released today, this is one of Helen Stewart designs but with a difference. We, as part of the Curious Handmade Group over on Ravelry had some input to this design, over a few weeks, we got to vote for what we'd like to see in the design from the colours, to the shape, to the stitch pattern. Helen took all this information and designed the shawl to the specifications of the group. Helen is hosting a fun Curious Collective 2014 DKAL with a chance of winning some great prizes, more about that tomorrow or pop over to the group now and check it out.

xxxxDebxxxx