Friday, 26 June 2015

Weekend WIP Along.......many WIPs on the needles.

Happy Friday, my friends!!!!! How have you all been doing the last week? I'm posting a bit later in the week as I've been extremely busy. The last few days I've been getting the house ready to put up for sale, sorting, cleaning and de-cluttering. I've also been working full-time due to staff shortages and annual holidays but one good thing about going to work, there is a fantastic coffee shop next door where they sell the most amazing coffee with their own homemade caramel syrup using Maple syrup. It is delicious!!!!!!

This morning whilst looking through Instagram, I came across a post from Little House in the Corner, who said she was hosting a Weekend WIP Along over on her blog, also called, Little House in the Corner. I don't know how I've missed this lovely blog for so long, she always has some gorgeous projects on and off the needles.

I have many WIPs on my needles at the moment, I don't seem to be able to stop casting on new projects, after seeing Shelley's WIP Along, I thought I'd share a few that I'm going to be working on over the weekend.

As you can see in the above photo, I have cast off my Farmhouse Shawl and just need to add the fringe so hopefully that will be finished over the weekend. It's all blocked ready and is a very large shawl, perfect to wrapping around yourself on cooler, summer evenings on the beach.

I have ordered some more Drops Nepal to knit another Farmhouse for my youngest daughter, who really loved mine and wanted one for her holiday too.

Paige wanted a two colour shawl in neutral colours, I've changed the increases for this one down the centre , instead of YO's, I'm M1R and M1L. I really like the look of this so I'll be doing this on my next Farmhouse Shawl.

Next up is another new project, this shawl is for a swap I've joined, organized by Elisabeth. I've never done a swap like this before and I'm quite nervous, hoping my swap partner will love her shawl as much as I'm enjoying knitting on it.

This is the only time I'm going to show you this until it's finished now and I'm not saying what the pattern is either, hehe, I'll keep you in suspense a while as it's a surprise swap. The yarn I'm using is wonderful to knit with and is very soft, it's Yarn Pony's Show Pony 4ply and is 50% merino and 50% silk.

These are my WIPs I'll be concentrating over the weekend, though I have many more on the needles. I thought I would also share this photo of the books I've been buying over the last few weeks with the intention of reading them over the coming summer months.

I'm also going to link to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along, have a great weekend and hopefully I'll be back next week with some more WIPs and maybe some FO's :-)

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Whispering Island Giveaway Winner.

Hello my friends, I'm back today to announce the winner of the Whispering Island pattern winner. I was thrilled with how many of you entered, it's such a gorgeous shawl and I'm sure the winner will enjoy knitting it as much as I did.

I put all 36 names in my pretty little teacup..........Drum Roll......

The winner is Harkness Angels, if you could get in touch with me please with your Ravelry name, I will get Helen to send you the pattern.

Harkness Angels says that she hasn't knit one of Helen Stewart's patterns before but loves Pebble Beach and has a few in her favoutrites on Ravelry. Congratulations and Happy Knitting!!!!!!

I'll be back next week, have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Summer Knits.......Canyon.

 

Hello my friends, today is another gorgeous day in my part of the world and I'm still thinking of all the summer knits I want make over the long summer days, if we're lucky that is, I do live in the UK  ;-)

Today I want to tell you about a new summer collection called 6 Bit: Wanderer, The Kokee Collection by my good friend Mel Schoenwether, it consists of six summer patterns, released every two weeks during June and July using linen, the perfect yarn for those warm summer days.

The collection was inspired by her beloved homeland and you can read all about it on the Quinnce and Co blog where she wrote a special guest post.

The first pattern has been released, Canyon, a beautiful, lacey, floaty top. I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw the photo.

All the patterns are knit in linen but I wanted to use stash, I knew I had some Rowan Savannah which is an Aran weight cotton/silk blend, another fabulous summer yarn. I knit a large swatch to see how the fabric knit up and I loved how it looked and felt. A good start, now I needed gauge, I took out my tape measure and with my fingers crossed I hoped for the correct gauge. I couldn't believe it, it was exactly as the pattern required.

I had plenty of the main colour Pampas 936 but I needed a contrast colour. This yarn is now discontinued but I had no trouble finding some, I ordered 3 balls of Drifter 939 from Laughing Hens at a really good price.

I cast on yesterday and I'm thrilled with how it's looking, it's also very quick to knit using the Aran weight yarn. The collection can be purchased as an e-book with all six patterns plus a Look Book and how to substitute yarns. I think the collection is worth every penny but they can purchased separately as they are released.

I'm reading Return to Mandalay by Rosanna Ley, a great summer read to go with my beautiful summer knit. My favourite kind of book, a saga spanning over the decades, a perfect holiday book.

I'm linking to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along. Don't forget my Giveaway, you still have time to enter and win a copy of the Whispering Island pattern, you can find the post here

Have a great week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Friday, 12 June 2015

Whispering Island Shawl Pattern Giveaway.

Happy Friday, my friends!!!!!! I hope everyone has had a good week. I'm back today as I wanted to let you know about the new shawl pattern by Helen Stewart.
It's called the Whispering Island Shawl, a beautiful DK weight, textured shawl with a small amount of eyelet lace detail. I love this larger size shawl, knit in a heavier weight yarn, it's perfect for those cooler summer evenings to wrap around your shoulders to keep the chill off.
I test knit it in Araucania Puelo, a 100% Llama on 5mm needles. I used just under the two skeins, each one with 220m and I had 18g left of the second skein.
I did find with this yarn that a lot of dye came off onto my hands when I was knitting with it but it was a pleasure to knit with, very soft and luxurious.
I really like the variegated denim blue but I think it would look amazing in a solid colour to show off the gorgeous texture. I don't have very much DK weight in my stash but I will definitely be buying some to knit another one in a solid colour.
We've had a few nice days here in the UK, recently but the temperature drops on an evening so I've been making use of it in my favourite spot in the garden with my knitting and a glass of wine :-)
As you can see here, it's a substantial size shawl, I know this will be much loved and worn through all the seasons. BTW, it is a very quick knit and whizzes off the needles before you know it, I can see that this pattern will never lose its appeal as its a fun, quick knit.
Helen has very kindly offered me a Whispering Island Shawl pattern to giveaway to one of you, all I want you to do is leave me a comment and tell me if you've ever knit one of Helen Stewart's patterns before and if you have which one was your favourite. I will close the giveaway on Thursday morning, the 19th June 9.00am BST.
Have a great weekend.
xxxxDebxxxx

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Sock Frenzy.....lots of socks on and off the needles.

Hello my friends, where did May go!!!!!!!! I can't believe that we are already into June, this year is flying by and summer is upon us.

I don't know whether it's because of the warmer days but I seem to be having a bit of a sock frenzy going on with lots of socks on and off the needles. I tend to knit more socks through the summer months probably because I'm out and about more during the warmer weather and they are a nice, portable project to take with me. What do you enjoy knitting over the summer months?

I've knit Caiden a couple of pair of socks but neither of them have fit him properly so when the Little Squirrel socks were released from the Max and Bodhi's Wardrobe in a heavier weight yarn, I decided to cast them on for him.

I used Rowan Cashsoft DK in the toddler size on 3mm needles rather than the suggested worsted weight, using the finer yarn, I got the baby size which fit him perfectly.

Here he is wearing them on his perfect, chubby little feet, I will definitely be knitting him another couple of pairs, they are so quick and easy to knit. This pattern would be perfect for someone who wants to have a go at knitting their first pair of socks. They are cuff down with a simple heel flap and what I forgot to mention they come in seven different sizes from newborn up to a large adult.

The next pair of socks are the Renesmee socks by Rachel Coopey, a pretty pair of socks with a beautiful frilled cuff. There are a LOT of stitches to start with but it is so worth it to get these gorgeous frilly socks. I'm using a very luxurious yarn for them so I'll only be wearing these in the house to keep my feet warm on the cooler evenings rather than in a pair of boots.

The yarn is Hazel Knits Entice MCN in Frost which is a gorgeous merino/cashmere/nylon blend, they feel so soft, it's a stunning yarn and fabulous to knit with.

Every year Rachel does the Summer of Socks from June to August, it's a fun KAL where you can knit any of her sock patterns and enter them for the chance to win prizes. She also releases a Mystery Sock pattern which is due out on the 1st July.

Last year she released the Pavillion Socks as the mystery pattern which was inspired by Brighton where Unwind Brighton was been held. I will be definitely joining in with this year's MKAL and can't wait to see what design she comes up with this year.

The next pair of socks on my needles are a bit of an experiment, I'm not a big fan of highly variegated yarn as you never know how they will knit up. I love the look of it in the skein but I don't like pooling and you never know how they will pool until you start knitting with it.

The gorgeous variegated yarn in the above photo is by Batat Hand Dyed Yarns in Hullabaloo and was part of the December's The Golden Skein, Power of Three Club.

The colours are so pretty and I wanted to use it for socks but didn't want to risk the pooling. I saw a pattern by Wendy D Johnson in her Toe-Up Socks for Everybody called Fair Isle Socks. It's a faux Fair Isle pattern using a variegated and solid yarn, the variegated yarn she uses for this pattern only has a couple of colours so looks more like the traditional Fair Isle.

I knew using this highly variegated yarn wouldn't give me the same look but I knew it would break up the colours using the cream.

I really like how it's turning out, it reminds me of confetti. The Fair Isle pattern is charted and as you can see I'm knitting my usual cuff down socks and not toe-up as the pattern is written. All I do when I'm knitting a toe-up pattern is turn the chart upside down and work it from the top to bottom rather the other way round.

I've also started and finished my Stripes Alive socks which I don't think I've even mentioned before. This is a great pattern for self striping yarn rather than just knitting a plain Vanilla sock. I used Sirdar Heart and Soul and for the heel I used some My First Regia, just so I didn't break the stripe pattern up. I love how they turned out and will definitely use this pattern again.

I just wanted to mention some new yarn that I've purchased from a brand new British online shop called BritYarn. Isla seeks out the Best of British yarn from a few select indie dyers and puts all of its origins from where the yarn came from to where it was dyed. I think this is such a great philosophy and I purchased these gorgeous gradient mini skeins by The Knitting Goddess which was spun in West Yorkshire and dyed in Harrogate. Also the service was second to none, I ordered my yarn on the afternoon the store opened and I received it the following day!!!!! It was beautifully wrapped with a matching stitch marker which I thought was such a personal touch. Thank you so much Isla, I can't wait to get something on my needles using this lovely yarn.

Lastly, I just wanted to show you what I'm reading at the moment, it's Inferno by Dan Brown another fast paced thriller with the great Robert Langdon. I've also started another new project which I will talk about in another post as I will be casting another one on straight away once this is finished.

I'm linking to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along, have a great week and thank you for stopping by

xxxxDebxxxx

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Pebble Beach Relaunch......

Hello my friends, get me two posts in one week ;-) I'm back today to let you know the Pebble Beach Shawl has been relaunched and includes an extra two sizes. If you'd already purchased it, you will get an automatic update on Ravelry but if you haven't yet bought a copy, it's definitely worth buying with the three different sizes, it's such a great pattern. If you've never knit a lace shawl before this would be a good one to start with as it's a simple lace pattern.

I test knit the original pattern last year and fell in love with this beautiful lace shawl pattern with simple eyelet lace. Helen originally designed this pattern to enter into the Unwind Brighton 2014 design contest which won by miles even though there was some other great designs that entered and it's been very popular ever since.

Helen has relaunched the pattern in collaboration with The Uncommon Thread, an indie dyer based in Brighton, UK and has used some of their lace weight yarn but it will still work just as well with 4ply if you don't fancy working with lace weight.

I knew straight away which yarn I wanted to knit the latest one in, for my birthday, last year, my friend who is a non-knitter and wouldn't have a clue about buying yarn, went to a yarn shop whilst she was on holiday and picked out some yarn for me!!!!!

This was the yarn she bought me, it is Coastal Yarn Alpaca Lace and is from their own flock of Alpacas based in Cornwall which they have spun at a local mill into this stunning, natural undyed yarn which is so soft to the touch. Didn't my friend chose well for me?

This was the very first Pebble Beach that Helen asked me test knit, the yarn I used was a gradient from Eaden Yarns who is based in Brighton. Can you see that Brighton is the common thread running with through this awesome pattern? The Pebble Beach pattern holds such a lot of wonderful memories for me after spending a fabulous few days down in Brighton, attending my first yarn show, meeting some wonderful people and enjoying this lovely seaside town.

This is my second Pebble Beach Shawl which holds the most memories, I bought the yarn from Unwind Brighton. It was Five Moons Luna 4ply, gradient kit

I sat in the Brighton Pavillion Gardens and cast it on with some wonderful knitters including Helen, Zena, Pj and Jannika.

I sat on Brighton's pebble beach in the glorious sunshine and knit some more on it. I added beads to this version and also made it larger by adding a few extra pattern repeats which is why I was so happy to see that Helen has decided to add some more sizes to the pattern.

My yarn had 600m in the skein so I started knitting the medium size as the large requires 800m, the medium doesn't use all of the 600m so whilst I was knitting away, I thought that I really want to use as much of my beautiful yarn as possible.

I spoke to Helen and she suggested knitting the large size, weighing the yarn and knitting as far as I can, ending with a full pattern repeat, leaving enough yarn for the picot bind off. Helen makes this very easy for you as she uses percentages on how far you are in the pattern so all I had to do was keep weighing my yarn to check I was on track. I finished on row 152 which was the end of a pattern repeat and I used most of my yarn which I was really pleased with. I was two repeats short of the pattern but still ended up with a fairly large shawl, it really grew and bloomed once I'd soaked and blocked it.

Here are my three Pebble Beach shawls, not one of them are the same, I've added beads on one, knit all the sizes and used different yarn weights. This is why I love the pattern so much, it is very versatile and easily adaptable to what you want from a shawl.

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it and thank you for all your kind comments that I've received recently, you are all so lovely.

Have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Giant Granny Square Summer Blanket.....

Hello my friends, I'm so sorry it's been so long again but I think while I'm working so many hours, I'll have to pop in when I can.

I have a few projects to share with you including a new crochet project, I was tidying up my craft room and going through my yarn collection where I found lots of cotton in an array of colours.

I wanted it to become a crochet blanket and thought about doing lots of little square or hexagons then I decided to just to do a large granny square as I wanted it to be a quick project without all the seaming. This will become my summer blanket for Caiden when we go to the park or picnic, it won't hurt if it gets grubby or thrown about, I can just throw it in the washing machine.

My travel/inbetween knitting are the Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman, these are going slowly as I'm only picking them up occasionally when I'm not knitting on my larger projects.

I picked up this sock yarn, Heart and Sole by Sirdar, from a little yarn shop near my daughter's house, an inexpensive sock yarn which I think will be a hardwearing yarn like Regia. I'm hoping to finish the socks on my needles so I can cast on a new pair using one of these yarns. I was looking for some patterns especially for self- striping yarn and found some great patterns which I'll go through on another post.

I've been furiously knitting on two test knits, the top one is the Pebble Beach by Helen Stewart, Helen is updating her very popular design to include an extra two sizes. Those who have already bought the pattern will get an automatic update in the next few days.

The other test knit I'm working on is a new shawl pattern by Melody Hoffman, another beautiful pattern which is been released very soon. Both are blocking as we speak so my next post I'll tell you more about them.

Spring has sprung, here in the UK and last Sunday we took Caiden for a little walk around Bantock Park, one of my favorite walks, locally. Here's some photos of our Sunday morning walk.

This little man is growing up so quickly........

Apart from working and knitting, I'm totally engrossed in a book called Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott, it's a real page turner. I had to set an alarm on my break so I wasn't late back!!!!!!!

I'm linking this post to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along.

Thank you for stopping by and I'll try not to leave it as long next time :-)

xxxxDebxxxx