Thursday, 3 November 2016
Surprise! I know, it's been far too long, this year has been so hectic including lots of test knitting and planning my daughter's wedding. She gets married this Saturday which is very exciting and hopefully life will calm down a little bit.
My plan for the blog was to start afresh in the New Year but Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade has just launched this year's Knitvent 2016. Helen has very kindly given me some copies to give away on my blog and Instagram feed.
Here's some information that Helen gives about this year's fun, annual event......
“Knitvent 2016 is all about the lush beauty of an Alpine forest. As I designed this year’s collection, I drew on all of the wonderful associations of a holiday hidden away in a peaceful mountain reach. The hush of snow settling on pine boughs, the blaze of a glowing sunset disappearing behind the peaks, and the luxurious warmth of basking by a crackling fire in your cosy ski lodge, all wrapped up and relaxed after an exhilarating day on the slopes.”
• The collection includes six beautiful accessory patterns, including two designs from guest designer Renee Callahan of East London Knit!
• Once you’ve purchased the collection, you’ll receive one pattern each week for six weeks, starting Thursday November 10th.
• Knitvent is available for 20% OFF early bird price of £7.85 (+ any applicable VAT) until the first pattern is released on Thursday 10 Nov then it will be the regular price of £9.80 going forward.
• It is available for pre-purchase now.
• Knitvent Window 1. will open on Thursday November 10th 2016
• The patterns will be delivered automatically to your Ravelry inbox, so opening your message is like peeking behind the window of an advent calendar to see what’s inside!
• Go ahead and create your first project page ready for when the pattern comes out!
• Level of difficulty - adventurous beginner to intermediate.
• Knitters are already chatting in the Knitvent 2016 thread here!
Check out the amazing patterns from last year's Knitvent 2015. If you leave me a comment and let me know your favourite design from last year's collection. I will pick one winner from my blog on Tuesday 8th November 9pm GMT and two from my Instagram on Sunday 6th November 9pm GMT. Please feel free to enter both for a better chance of winning and good luck!
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
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.
Thank you for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your week.
Thursday, 28 January 2016
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.
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Hello, I hope you've all had a good week. I want to let you all know that Knitvent 2015 by Helen Stewart has now been released. The first pattern was released last Thursday and is called the Winter Wander Shawl, it's a stunning crescent shaped beaded shawl.
It's a deceptively quick knit, focusing on texture, starting with a squishy garter stitch using a 4ply, then an eye catching lace panel with a sprinkling of twinkling beads, finishing off with a pretty, beaded picot edge.
I used Shibui Staccato 4ply, a merino/silk blend in Ash and Shibui Silk Cloud in Velvet, a super soft mohair/silk blend. If you don't want to add the beads it would look just as pretty without or you could knit it in just 4ply, deciding on a one colour shawl or two.
Don't forget the special discount code, that Helen has kindly offered with the code "imagine15".
Window #2 will be released on Thursday, it's another cracking pattern and a super quick knit as it's using a bulky weight yarn. It only took me two evenings to finish, I'll be sharing it with you next week.
I've been test knitting another pattern for the collection, here is the yarn I used, The Fibre Company, Canopy, another beautiful soft blend of alpaca, merino and bamboo.
The latest issue of PomPom mag, arrived this week which hasn't been far from my side so I've been reading and savouring every page.
Have a great week and I'll be back next week, to show my next project from Knitvent 2015.
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Hello my friends, just to let you know that I haven't been around for a while as we finally moved house a couple of weeks ago. It was stressful and hard work but worth it!!!!! I love my new home and immediately felt settled something I'd never felt at my last house in thirteen years.
One of the first rooms that I unpacked was my craft room, I still need to do some sorting out but all the boxes have been emptied and I can get to my yarn.
My daughter has also moved back "home" to be near her family and is living just a few doors away so I'm enjoying having us all sat around my new table, eating and enjoying each other's company.
It's very leafy where we have moved to with lots of trees that have been planted around the houses, this is the view from my bedroom window when I wake up each morning.
Now to the knitting, the Summertide Shawl MKAL has come to a close and I have knit this beautiful shawl pattern, twice. Once as a test knit and once for myself and to join in with the knitalong.
The first version was knit using Madeline Tosh Light in Manor and Astrid Grey, the yarn was a pleasure to knit with. It's a beautiful, soft single ply yarn and they have such a gorgeous colour selection.
My second shawl was knit from stash, I modified this shawl slightly by knitting the first three clues in the main colour. I used The Natural Dye Company Angel Sock for the MC, again this yarn was so soft, unfortunately this company is no longer in business so I can't buy anymore. I knit the last clue in some Gregoria Fibers Sock in the colour Logwood. Anna hand dyes her yarns using natural dyes, the range of colours that she dyes are so pretty, you have to be quick when she has an update though as they sell very quickly.
I'm thrilled with how this shawl has turned out and it's a good size that I can wrap around my shoulders all year round.
I was sad to see the Summertide MKAL coming to an end as there was so much chatter and camaraderie on the Curious Handmade Chatter Threads but the fun continues because today the first pattern of the Knitvent 2015 is released!!!!
This is such a fun idea that Helen Stewart has done for the last three years, it contains six patterns perfect for gift knitting or just to knit for yourself. Helen sends you one pattern through, each week, for six weeks so you get to open a "window" every Thursday. Obviously, depending on how much time knitting time you have, the patterns can be knit in a week or less, perfect for your Christmas/Holiday knitting.
This year's theme is Light and Bright and here's a sneak peek of my test knit for the first pattern which will be released later today. Can you see a touch of sparkle created from adding beads? The first pattern is very elegant, perfect for the party season.
Helen has kindly offered my readers a 15% discount on the collection using the discount code, imagine15.
Thank you for stopping by, I'll be back next week to show you a little sneak peek of Window #2's pattern, it's a completely different look to the first but just as gorgeous.
Have a great week.
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
The Summertide MKAL is still running and we are on the last clue, I can't believe how quick these last few weeks went. This has been one of the best mystery KAL's that I've taken part in, it has been such a great group of people and there has always been someone there to help and advise when people have needed. This is why I love knitting, Ravelry and Instagram, it is such a wonderful community.
I've cast on a new project using this Drops Baby Merino which is a sport weight yarn, comparable to Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I really like the yarn, it's knitting up really nice, I just need to see how it washes as the Cashmerino is a great wearing yarn.
I've cast on the Broderie Dress by Lisa Chemery, a sweet little baby dress though you do have the option of knitting it as a top. I'm also, trying out the new Knit Pro Zings, they are colour coded by the size so they look pretty. They aren't a bad needle, they aren't as sharp as some needles but I haven't had any issues with them.
That's all for today, it's short post but I just wanted to pop in and say hello, now back to the packing. I'll be back as soon as I can but our move is imminent so will see how it goes.
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Hello my friends, I'm back today to let you know about another test knit that I've finished and has just been released. It's called Ponderosa by Manderines and is a gorgeous slouchy beanie hat, knit in DK so perfect for those cooler Autumn days when the tempreture is dropping and the leaves are changing colour. It's a fun knit with lots of texture and Melody cleverly replicates the shape of the pine trees from her beloved woods in Latvia.
Melody has a video podcast called Manderines which is one of my favourite podcasts to watch, she has such a beautiful, gentle way about her. As well as her fabulous knitting she brings a touch of Latvia and nature to us, if you've never watched, I highly recommend you take a look.
I always use 16" circulars for knitting hats and then DPNs for the decreases when the hat gets too small for the circular needles. The pattern calls for a 3.75mm but I only had 4mm so used them, the hat came out slightly bigger but I like slouchy hats so it wasn't a problem. There are two sizes so if you don't like too much slouch you can knit the smaller size though as you can probably guess, I went with the large size. I also went up a needle size for the rib, I used 3.5mm instead of 3.25mm.
I used Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK which is an undyed natural wool, the breed I bought was BFL so is very soft with a lovely drape. I really liked using this yarn and got it at a bargain price of £1.50 per 50g ball, I bought enough for a sweater so need to find the perfect pattern for it now.
I also wanted to share this new book that I've just received, I pre-ordered at the beginning of August and have been patiently waiting for its release in September. It's called Loop's 10 and celebrates Loop's 10th Anniversary.
It was definitely worth the wait with 12 stunning patterns including shawls, accessories, garments and even a little girls cardigan. It's a beautiful, well laid out book with amazing photography and written descriptions of the projects and yarn used which they've had especially dyed for the occasion. I think these two yarns from The Wool Barn will become an Islington Shawl by Kirsten Kapur, a gorgeous two colour project.
The first project that I'm going to cast on though, is the Bunty Cardigan by Donna Higgins, a classic top down cardigan with a crochet picot edge. I'm going to knit the 0-3 months size but does go up to age 4 years.
My yarn is caked and I'm ready to cast on, I'm using Hartlams Alldays 100 Sock in Fields of Gold, which was an exclusive colour for The Golden Skein, Power of Three Club. It's 100% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester 4ply.