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.



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Knitvent 2014........ Lind Cowl.

It's week 2 of Knitvent 2014 and yesterday I got to "open" the second window to reveal a stunning colour block cowl called the Lind Cowl, a delicate, lightweight cowl, knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Kidsilk Eclipse with some added sparkle. This photo is one from the original pattern and is of Helen modeling the large size cowl.

The patterns in this year's collection have different sized options so they can be quick knits or if you've got more time you can go for the larger size. My aim this year is to knit each pattern as its released, so this morning I cast on the small Lind Cowl.

I hadn’t got any Kidsilk in my stash so I’m experimenting with a different weight yarn and knitting the small size in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply yarn. I’m still using the recommended needle size which is giving a nice fabric but I'm using short 40cm circulars so I don't have to do magic loop, so far so good. It's not as airy and loose as it would be in knit in lace weight but I like how it’s turning out.

I love these two contrasting colours together, it will certainly brighten a grey winters morning. I think this will be really quick to knit, I only did a couple of hours on it this morning and have finished the lace section.

I'm still knitting on my Candlelit Shawl in-between knitting Christmas gifts and I'm up to the 45% mark on the pattern. This is such a pretty shawl and hope to have it finished to wear over the festive period. I'm loving the Knitvent calender, it's such a treat each week without any calories!!!!!

This week I treated myself to this cloth bound edition of A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and beautifully illustrated by Peter Bailey. I'm not familiar with this book so looking forward to reading it through the month of December.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO. Have a great week and I'll be back on Friday with some FO's.



Saturday, 15 November 2014

Two FO's and the winner is..........

First up I would like to announce the winner of the Knitvent 2014 collection, the winner is............. Amanda Hurrell. Congratulations Amanda, if you could get in touch with me please, with your Ravelry name and I'll get Helen to send it to you.

I've been busily knitting away on some Christmas gifts, my first FO are the Global Nomad Handwarmers by Helen Stewart, that I've knit for one of my niece's. I only ever see her wear black so I've gone with black with some grey thrown in, just to add a bit of colour ;-)

I used Drops Lima which is a wool/alpaca blend, it's an economical brand which you can find on offer at the moment, that makes it even better value. I buy mine from Wool Warehouse which is based in the UK, they give a great service with quick delivery and as an added bonus they pack their yarn in a gorgeous organza bag which is great to use as a project bag. Even though this was an economical yarn, it's fab quality, very warm and squishy.

The Global Nomad Mitts are a fairly quick knit which is ideal for gift knitting, I didn't time myself but I'm guessing at about 8-9 hours. It's mostly rib with with a small lace section, just to give it a bit of interest, I'm pretty sure my niece will be really pleased with them, they are very much her style.

My next FO are the Checkerboard Mitts another pattern by Helen Stewart, this pattern is from her Knitvent 2013 collection which you can purchase as an e-book or as a separate pattern. The pattern is given for a mans average size hand but it tells say how to knit them larger or smaller to suit you. I cast on 36 stitches and they fit my hand fine, I would say I have an average size hand.

This pair are for my other niece and are knit in Aran weight, I used Rowan Pure Wool Aran in Cloud, a pretty shade of blue. I did time myself whist knitting these and they took me six and half hours so can easily be knit in two to three evenings, comfortably.

I love the texture on these mitts which make them even more warm and snugly, they are also very squishy. That's all for today, I'm off to do some more Christmas knitting and hope to finish another project today.

Here's a little sneak peek of what I working on today, it's Mr Bakery Bear by Kay Jones, he's "legless" at the moment so he's stopping in my favourite Bakery Bear bag also made by Kay.

Also my favourite knitting magazine arrived yesterday, it's the Winter 2014 issue of the Pompom magazine so at some point today I'll be reading this. It's always full of patterns I want to knit and also great articles including a seasonal recipe. I hope you all enjoy your weekend and congratulations to Amanda on wining the giveaway.



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Christmas Knitting......and a Knitvent 2014 Giveaway.

Hello my friends, yes, I'm trying to be organised and I have started my Christmas gift knitting with the help of Helen from Curious Handmade and her free Holiday Knitting Planner. I have lots to show you as I have quite a few things on my needles, all fairly quick projects, ideal for Christmas gifts.

Helen has also just released Knitvent 2014, a collection of patterns that are ideal to knit for yourself or to give as gifts. The first Knitvent was released last year and was a great success, it came from the idea of an Advent calender where you get to open a window each day but instead you receive a new pattern each week for five weeks. They will be accessories that are quick to knit and will include different sizes so you decide how much time you want to spend on each project.

The first pattern is the Candlelit Shawl, perfectly named, it's a gorgeous shawl with beautiful twinkling beads, it comes in two different sizes and the option of with or without beads.

I've cast on the small, one skein version with beads, last night as I had the ideal beads in my stash that matches perfectly with this gorgeous Juno Alice in Ethereal. It's a match made in heaven, this is a gift for me as I really don't think I could give it away!!!!!

As well as the release of this year's Knitvent Collection, there will be a Knitvent KAL over on the Curious Handmade Ravelry board with weekly prizes and a grand prize at the end.

To celebrate the release of Knitvent 2014, Helen is giving the Knitvent 2013 collection FREE when you purchase Knitvent 2014 until Sunday 16th November, just add both to your basket, no code is needed.

Also, Helen has very kindly offered me the 2014 collection to give away to one lucky reader, if you want to be in with a chance of winning just leave me a comment by Saturday 12am GMT, telling me what you like to knit for Christmas gifts. My favourite things are mittens and hats as they are quick and easy especially in a heavier weight yarn.

I cast on the Checkerboard Mitts yesterday afternoon whilst watching Christmas films, as you can tell I'm getting into the Christmas spirit!!!!! These are really quick to knit and would make a great last minute gift, they are from the Knitvent 2013 collection. I've only got the rib to finish at the bottom of the mitt and the thumb and it took me less than two hours to get this far.

I'm knitting the Ardvasar Hat for my sister, it's from Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 6 and is one of my favourite hat patterns, it's the third one I've knit.

I've cast on the Vanilla Latte socks, a free download on Ravelry, these are for my husband, he's been driving me mad asking me to knit him a pair of socks. I'm using Trailing Clouds Mind the Gap, he probably won't like the pink but the other colours will make it less noticeable.

I've also bought this yarn for more Christmas projects, watch this space!!!!! I haven't had much time to read this week. I've started reading In the Woods by Harlan Coben, I can't say I'm enjoying it that much and was tempted to start a new book. I'll carry on for now to see it gets any better.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, don't forget to leave me a comment if you want to be entered into the draw to win the Knitvent 2014 collection. I will pick a winner from the teacup on Saturday, don't forget you've got to be in it to win it!!!!!!

Have a good week.


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Yarn Along......Eden Fells Hat and Scarf.

Hello, how are you all doing? I've been doing some more test knitting for Helen from the Curious Handmade Podcast. This is the Eden Fells Hat and the matching Eden Fells Scarf, the last two patterns from the Dream Big collection.

It's a great unisex pattern, Helen knit hers in grey and looks great on her male model, it can be knit as a more fitted hat or add a few extra rows of the chevron pattern for more slouch. It's knit with a squishy worsted weight yarn, it would be a great Christmas gift as it didn't take too long to knit. I used Drops Nepal in a vibrant red, perfect to add a little colour to the winter months.

This really is my perfect hat, I knit the medium size with the extra slouch, it's just the right amount of slouch for me. I can see myself wearing this a lot over the winter months as it's very cosy even my youngest daughter has asked me to knit her a set, it's the first time she's requested anything knitted!!!!

I knit the scarf to the exact pattern but you could make it shorter or longer, if preferred. After soaking for 20 minutes and removing excess water by rolling in a towel, I let it dry naturally by hanging over an airer. Once dry it measured 75", a good length for me. Helen does recommend steam blocking but the yarn I used needed a good soak to soften it up, it did block well but probably grew more than what steaming would.

The patterns have now been released and as these are the last two Dream Big 2014 patterns, Helen is offering a discount code for a limited time. If you buy any two single patterns from the Dream Big collection, you can add ANY of Helen's other patterns to your cart for free, just add the code DBPARTY at the checkout.

Also on the knitting front, I've finished one of my Leaf Collector Mitts. I'm using Skein Queen Blush in Dipped Rosewater, this yarn is so soft and luxurious.

I've also cast on another pair of mitts for a Christmas gift, they are the Global Nomad Handwarmers by Curious Handmade. I'm also making the most of the free Curious Handmade Knitvent Gift Knitting Planner, this is a great idea to keep track of what you want to knit for Christmas gifts and keep yourself organised. I'm taking part in Little Bobbins Mitt-Along which is keeping me focused and stopping me from casting anything else on.

I've been reading the back issues of my Pom Pom Quarterly magazines for Christmas gift ideas, I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO.

Thank you for stopping by, enjoy your week.



Friday, 31 October 2014

FO Friday.......Shwook Fair Isle Hat.

BOO!!!!!! Happy Halloween, everyone!!!!!! Caiden is getting into the spirit of his first Halloween and I'm back today to show you my Shwook Hat, finished just in time for the cooler weather we're having.

This is a free pattern designed by Hazel Tindell, who designed it for Shetland Wool Week. I did a Fair Isle workshop at the beginning of the year which I found invaluable but this is my first Fair Isle project and I really enjoyed it. It's not as complicated as it looks and urge any intermediate knitter to give it a go. I think going to a class is a great way to learn but there are also books, my favourite is The Very Easy Guide To Fair Isle by Lynne Watterson or You Tube, my favourite knitting tutorials are by Very Pink.

I used Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper weight, if you're interested in the exact colours I used you can find the list here. There are five colours and I'm pretty sure I have enough left over to knit another one, I did use more of the brown but I'll weigh them and work out what I need.

I've also finished the Hermione's Everyday Socks for my friend's birthday, they are perfect for her, Kerry is Harry Potter mad, loves rainbow colours and sparkles. She absolutely loves them and squealed with joy when she opened them.

I used Lang Yarns Mille Colori Socks and Lace Lux, I think the colours and the sparkles are gorgeous but I don't think I'll knit with it again. The yarn was very irregular going from 4ply to chunky to lace where I thought it may even break. It was worth it though as Kerry thought they were wonderful!!!

Have a great Halloween weekend.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Yarn Along.....Old Romance.


Hello my friends, I hope you all had a great weekend and having a good week. I haven't got much to share this week but thought I'd pop in and show you a couple of things I've been up to.

I'm not a massive garment knitter, preferring smaller accessories, I think because I'm impatient. I do love the whole process of knitting but do like the instant gratification of a shawl, a pair of mitts or a hat. I've had my eye on a couple of sweaters though for myself by Joji Locatelli, Old Romance and Japan Sleeves, after much consideration I decided on Old Romance, a loose fitting, boxy cardigan.

It's knit in 4ply yarn and I was looking on different websites for the perfect yarn, the pattern is knit in a wool/silk blend. While I was deciding on the yarn, I had an email from Wool Warehouse about the Drops Alpaca Party where there is 25% off all alpaca blends.

I'd used Drops Alpaca before and liked the quality but saw they did an alpaca and silk blend which was what I was looking for and it was down to £2.50 per 50g ball. Bargain!!!! I decided on the Grey Purple for the main colour and Off White for the lace panels. All I will say about it is WOW!!!!!! I can't believe that it's a budget brand, it is gorgeous to knit with and very high quality, it's nicer than some more expensive yarns I've used.

I'm only on the first lace panel, it's a very unusual construction where you knit the panels then pick up stitches. It will be a long term project but I think the finished cardigan will be worth it.

I've made some progress on my Leaf Collector Mitts by Sarah Knight, it seems this week I haven't had much knitting time. Jodie was down for the weekend with baby Caiden and we had non-stop visitors popping in to see him.

I had to share these photos from the weekend, Aunty's Paige turns into a witch after dark, Caiden didn't bat an eyelid!!!!


I'm still reading Anne of Green Gables but again I haven't had much time for reading either. I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week.