Monday, 12 November 2018

Curious Handmade Knitvent 2018

Hello my friends, long time no see, I haven't been able to sign into my blog for months, I don't know what the problem was but I thought I'd give it one more go before completely giving up and result, I'm back in!

I've had an extremely busy summer with family and work, I've been doing a lot of sample knitting including some for Knitvent 2018. Knitvent is a wonderful holiday tradition for knitters, after purchasing the collection you will receive six beautiful accessories over five weeks. They are perfect for gift knitting as they are fairly quick except the one which is a stunning wrap, designed to use with your mini skein Advent calendars. 

The theme this year is PEACE.

The first two designs have been released so if you haven't signed up yet, you will receive the first two patterns straight into your Ravelry library. 

The first pattern is the Dust of Snow Wrap, and it's a stunner! 

The way a crow 
Shook down on me 
The dust of snow 
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart 
A change of mood 
And saved some part 
Of a day I had rued.

“A Dust of Snow” by Robert Frost

I knit this sample for Helen using the Herbsblatt Regina Mini Skein Advent Calendar held with Shibui Silk Cloud, it is sheer luxury. The mohair/silk is the "dust of snow, though you could knit it without the mohair. I've ordered some undyed mohair/silk from Bluefaced Undyed Yarn, a more budget-friendly alternative.

Quite a few people have already cast theirs on but I'm going to hold out and wait until the 1st December. December is always a busy month and I look forward to opening my Advent calendar, sitting down for an hour each day with a coffee and knitting each mini skein over 24 days. We all have stress in our lives especially over the festive period so make some time for yourself each day whether it's knitting, reading or anything that makes you happy, don't forget the theme is peace!

The second design is the Peace of Wild Things Shawl, a beautiful, one skein project so if you've been saving that precious skein for something special, here's the pattern you've been waiting for. There is a sprinkling of beads that are optional and a delicate lace border, it's so pretty and quick to knit.

“I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought 
of grief. I come into the presence of still water. 
And I feel above me the day-blind stars 
waiting with their light. For a time 
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

From “The Peace of Wild Things” by Wendell Berry

Thank you so much for stopping by, I'll be back soon to share the next design from Knitvent 2018

Happy Knitting

Monday, 16 April 2018

Woollinn...... Dublin's Festival of Yarn.

Location: ALSAA Sports and Social Centre, Old Airport Road, Dublin Airport.
Marketplace: 10am to 5.30pm, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th May 2018.
Workshops: Friday 25th – Sunday 27th May 2018.

Hello, my friends, I'm popping in to tell you about Dublin's Festival of Yarn, Woollin. A spectacular marketplace with some of the best vendors and their gorgeous wares. You can find the directory of vendors here.

Also, they have some fabulous workshops with world-renowned designers including Nancy Marchant, Isabell Kraemer, Karie Westermann and more. Check out the full list here.

To celebrate, I'm having a giveaway over on my Instagram, you can find me as Tinkhickman. Woollin has given me some beautiful The Fibre Co Luma, some stunning Irish wool from Studio Donegal and a Woollin wooden gauge.

Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to U.K. residents due to shipping costs so if you'd like to leave a comment on my Instagram on the giveaway thread, tag friends too if you think they will be interested.

Have a great week.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Impressionist MKAL by Curious Handmade Giveaway.

Hello, my friends, I really don't know where the first part of the year has gone. It's been a very busy time over the last couple of months with work and everyday life, unfortunately, it was my blog had to take a back seat. Hopefully, things are settling down a bit and I will get back on track.

After much anticipation over the last few weeks, the first clue of the Impressionists MKAL shawl by Helen Stewart has just been released.

The inspiration behind this mystery knitalong is from impressionist artists and their works using your beautiful skeins of yarn. The pattern uses three skeins of yarn a light, medium and dark and lends itself very well to the popular speckle yarns.

I had the pleasure of test knitting the design and my colours were inspired by this stunning painting by the talented contemporary artist, Dmitry Spiros.

These colours really aren't my usual colour palette but after seeing this wonderful piece of art, I knew which of my yarns I'd be using. The one in the middle is La Bien Aimee Merino Singles in Romance and the other two are a Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 set in Elated. I absolutely love how it turned out and how the yarns worked together.

Helen has done it again with this design, I had so much fun knitting this shawl, I obviously can't give anything away as it's a mystery but I would definitely knit another one. I enjoyed choosing the yarns, looking at the impressionist art and the knitting. There are pages of inspiration over on the Ravelry Forum if you want to take a look.

Helen used a set especially dyed for the design by Kristen of Voolenvine Yarns, she is having another update today 31st March at 10am ET. They do sell out very quickly so if you don't manage to nab one, Circus Tonic Handmade was dying some sets inspired by the Belle Èpoque.

Helen has kindly given me a pattern to giveaway to one lucky knitter. I will pick a winner after the Easter weekend if you can just leave a comment and your Ravelry name.


Have a great Easter Weekend

Monday, 15 January 2018

The Year of Socks.

Hello there, I hope 2018 has been good to you so far. Well, last year was the year of socks for me, I added up how many pairs that I knit in 2017. I knit 18 pairs of socks!!!!! I can't quite believe it myself but they were my go-to project and found plain vanilla socks very meditative and therapeutic for me. If you want to see all the different designs that I knit, you can check out my Ravelry project page.

These are one of the last pairs I finished, they are one of my favourite socks that I've knit. I used Grundl Hot Socks Pearl Colour, it has cashmere in the merino/nylon blend and is exceptionally soft. I knit the leg fairly long, I wanted a nice, cosy pair for the winter. I used Hot Socks Pearl for the cuff, heels and toes the solid colour version of this beautiful yarn.

The last pair of the year was my Christmas Stripe Socks, knit with Knit Picks Felici in Spring Blooms so not officially a Christmas colour but it reminded me of the bright vintage colours.

I have cast on a pair of socks this year but I definitely won't be knitting 18 as I want to knit more garments. Again, I'm knitting with Knit Picks Felici in Chesire Grin, rather than doing a plain sock though, I'm using Vanilla Bean Striped Sock by Emily O'Grady, which is more of a recipe than a pattern. It relies on that you know how to knit a basic sock but I love the simple slip stitches that break up the stripes.

What are your favourite things to knit? Is there a pattern that you go back to again and again?

Have a great week and happy knitting.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Happy New Year........

Happy New Year, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, it goes too quick for me, I love Christmas and always have a hectic couple of days and lots of fun. I also enjoy the week between Christmas and New Year where you don't remember what day it is, you can eat Christmas pud for breakfast if you want to plus lots of knitting time.

I don't celebrate NYE but I do embrace the new year and love the feel of new beginnings. I don't make resolutions but I do like to have some sort of plan.

Do you have any knitting plans for the coming year? I want to get some WIP's finished, knit at least three garments and knit more colourwork.

I'm a big fan of advent calendars and had a few to open including yarn, tea, chocolate and beauty. I want to talk about the yarny calendars though. They were so much fun, I did a swap with my friend Dani, we'd spoke about it over a year ago and decided to make each other one with a full skein of yarn for the 25th.

We added little extra gifts in some of the days, including stitch markers, tea and I even had a gorgeous fluffy pompom. It was so much fun to put together and also open, we've both said we will definitely do it again next year.

I was also lucky enough to swap one with another friend, Sara of  Cauldron of Colours, these were all alpaca blend mini's and very soft.

Christmas Eve, I cast on my Twas the Night Before Christmas by Danielle Jorge. This is her very first pattern, I was lucky enough to test knit them and take the photos for the pattern.

It's such a fun pattern with a simple tree pattern running down the side of the leg then some potato chippy plain stockinette. It took me three days to finish them and I love them.

I used West Green Loft Yarns in Christmas Candy which was their December yarn club colourway.

Have a good week and happy knitting.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Twas the Night Before Christmas Socks.....Christmas Eve Cast On.

I'm so excited to let you all know, my friend Dani from Little Bobbins Knits has just released her very first sock pattern, just in time for the Christmas Eve cast on. The pattern is aptly named Twas the Night Before Christmas.

If you haven't heard of the LBK Christmas Eve cast on, it's an annual event that takes place on Christmas Eve where thousands of knitters from around the world cast on a pair of socks.

It all started in 2014 when Dani told us about her special tradition of casting on a new pair of socks every Christmas Eve. Knitters embraced this wonderful festive tradition and so many of us look forward to casting on with Dani.

I was lucky enough to test knit them and they were a dream to knit, each Tiny Tree you finish you want to finish the next one so this is a fairly quick knit as you don't want to put them down.

I used The Wool Barn Sparkle Sock Gold in Single Batch 37.

If you want to take part in the Christmas Eve cast on, you can find all the details over on the Little Bobbins Knits Ravelry Group. I would love to see everyone's socks on Instagram, there is a hashtag #lbkchristmasevesocks2017 so it's easy to find all of your wonderful socks.

Thank you for stopping by and happy knitting.


Thursday, 14 December 2017

Do You Want To Build a Snowman..... wearing handknit accessories.

Hello there, this week the U.K. has seen a lot of snow, it hasn't snowed like this for many years. Caiden and Darcie have never seen snow like this before and couldn't wait to get out in it.

We were supposed to be going to see Santa last Sunday but everything was cancelled and we were basically snowed in.

Here's Little Miss Darcie wearing her Tchaikovsky Hat by Curious Handmade from this year's Knitvent 2017, knitwear has been an essential this week.

Of course, you have to build a snowman when you have this much snow and the kids were so excited.

I think he is one of the best dressed snowman wearing my Velvet Rose Shawl and Ice River Hat both by Helen Stewart.

I hope your week has been a good one and happy knitting.


Friday, 8 December 2017

Knitvent 2017....... Clara's Cape

 Hello, I hope you've all had a good week. We are at the end of this year's Knitvent 2017 by Curious Handmade and what a great collection. I have loved all of this year's patterns with the most adorable Nutcracker theme.

The final pattern is Clara's Cape, a gorgeous bulky weight cape, perfect to fit over your shoulders to keep the chill away.
It's a great piece for wearing underneath a coat for that extra layer or over if you prefer, though most evening I sit at home wearing it whilst knitting. It keeps the chill off and is very cosy.

I used Drops Andes, a soft blend of alpaca and Peruvian Highland Wool as this is what I had in my stash, I would like to knit one in a more luxurious yarn maybe held with a strand of mohair silk to make it extra soft. In saying that the Drops Andes is very soft and squishy plus very economical. I used 2 balls which cost me less than £6!

I hope you all have a good weekend, it's been snowing here in the Midlands and is forecast for the next few days so I don't think I'll be moving far from the house.

Happy Knitting

Sunday, 3 December 2017

A Trip to London......

Hello there, I hope you're having a great weekend. Last Sunday, I travelled down to London for the annual Curious Handmade Christmas Party. After much confusion about the trains not running and where they'll be stopping because of a strike, my husband said he'd drive me to my friend's Dani's and we caught the Tube from her local station.

Of course, I needed some travel knitting so I cast on some Knit Picks Felici, a self-striping yarn which reminded me of Christmas. It even matches my Little Bobbins Christmas project bag.

Once we arrived in the city we headed straight to Islington for a drink, as we walking down Camden Passage we spotted the Bluebird Tea Co. I love tea and looking at all the different blends, we were offered a drink to sample when we entered and got to smell many different blends which was fun.

They had a small cafe at the back of the store so settled down with our knitting for half an hour and enjoyed a Jack Frost latte. They also do Mixology classes once a week which I'd love to do.

Next up was a visit to Loop, you can't go into London without stopping by, can you?

This is one of my favourite shops to visit, it's like an Aladdin's cave, full to the brim of stunning yarns. It's very well curated with some commercial yarn plus yarn that's hard to find in the U.K.

The staff are so friendly and helpful and always happy to take a photo of you with you holding your purchases.

Our friend Paula arrived who we were meeting there, it was so much fun to shop together and ooh and aah over the yarn.

These were my purchases from Loop, after seeing the Pinwheel Mitts by Ella Austin and the Isager Highland Wool on their blog, I knew what I was going to buy before I entered the shop.

After our little shopping spree, we headed over to the Paternoster in St Pauls where we were meeting for the Christmas party. I didn't get any photos as I was too busy chatting and knitting, sadly not many people could make it because of the trains. We still had a great time and it was lovely to catch up with friends who I don't see very often.

Dani and I headed back and went to dinner at Wagamama's which was amazing, I don't get to go very often as my husband isn't a fan so this was a treat for me.

I can't believe this was a week ago now, time flies when you're having fun! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Happy Knitting,

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Knitvent 2017......Marzipan Leg Warmers.

Hello, I hope you've had a good week. I can't believe this week is the penultimate pattern of this year's Knitvent 2017, it's gone so quickly. Have you been knitting any of this year's patterns?

This week are the Marzipan Legwarmers, a perfect accessory which comes in three different sizes. I used Dusty Dimples Sparkle DK in Call Me Baby.

The pattern suggests a sport weight but again Helen Stewart's patterns are always so versatile and DK worked perfectly. I knit the pattern as written, the length was slightly longer using DK but that was ok, as they are supposed to have some slouch.

I knit these pretty cabled legwarmers in the toddler size, Darcie loves her ballet class and these pretty cable designs are perfect for those budding ballerinas.

These aren't just for your little dancers though, they are perfect for adults too, find your inner ballerina. They would be great for wearing with boots or just relaxing at home to keep you warm and cosy. I can't wait to cast a pair on for myself.

Happy Knitting

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Knitvent 2017.........Tchaikovsky Hat and Mitts.

Hello, my friends and Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S. Today is the third week of Knitvent 2017 and behind the third window are two patterns!!!

First up is the Tchaikovsky Hat, a beautiful, textured hat in four sizes, perfect for chilly, winter days. 
I knit matching, mommy and daughter hats and added some big, fluffy pompoms, you could knit one for the whole family.

They are knit with DK weight, a great stash busting project, I used John Arbon Knit by Numbers in colour KBN79. The adult size used 46g of the 100g skein and so had plenty left to knit the baby size which used 38g.

The next pattern is a pair of matching mitts, a simple, textured wristwarmer. I used Norah George MCN DK in Orchard, I can't tell you how soft this yarn is!!! It is so cosy, I can imagine myself walking around the Christmas markets with my matching hat and mitts, sipping mulled wine.

They come in two sizes, child and adult, I used 50g in total for the adult mitts so I have enough leftover for the matching hat, both of these patterns are really quick knits so perfect for gift knitting. I did go down a needle size to a 4mm to get a better fit for my hands, they are easily adaptable to get the perfect width or length.

 While I had my camera out, taking photos of my mitts, these two little monkeys wanted to get in on the act. They are my world and are growing up so quickly, both are such little characters and bring lots of laughter into our lives.

Have a great weekend and happy knitting.

Curious Handmade Knitvent 2018

Hello my friends, long time no see, I haven't been able to sign into my blog for months, I don't know what the problem was but...