Friday, 30 May 2014

Velvet Rose Shawl......

Good morning, I hope you've had a good week. I'm back to show you the test knit I did for Helen Stewart of the Curious Handmade Podcast.

The pattern is called Velvet Rose Shawl, and is a stunning semi circular lace shawl using sock/4ply yarn.

It looks a very intricate lace design but is deceptively easier than it seems and after a few rows of lace was easy to memorise and very intuitive.

The pattern calls for 150g of yarn but I actually only used just over 90g of Artesano Definition Sock Yarn, just under 400m but this all depends on the yarn you're using and tension.

The finished dimensions of my shawl were 48" across the top straight edge and 19" from the centre neck to bottom edge. I love the picot edge, along the bottom, it's so pretty and delicate.

It blocked out beautifully, I usually block my FO's on the spare bed but I bought myself some children's foam blocks. I never seem to get a straight edge using just pins but I found a great tutorial over on the Yarn Harlot's blog without the use of blocking wires. Instead of the blocking wires, she uses yarn, threaded through the top of the shawl and pulled straight and pinned. It worked a treat and I absolutely loved how it blocked, showing off the gorgeous lace.

Camp Aloha Friends is coming around really quickly and in less than a month the fun will begin!!!!! Mel from Single Handed Knits has been interviewing the Camp Counselors this week. So far you can check out interviews with Deborah Moebes and Melody, if you can find some time, please check it out, they are two very crafty, interesting people.

Here's a couple of photos from our camping trip, we managed to spend a couple of hours on the beach. I love this photo of myself, my daughter, niece and brother in law, the bookworms.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

No Purl Monkey Socks......month of socks.

Hello, how is everyone? I hope you all had a great weekend as it was a holiday weekend, both here in the UK and the US.

We didn't do too much, Jodie was down for the weekend and last week they found out they were having a boy, so on Saturday, we went to the local shopping centre and bought a few baby boy clothes.

As we didn't have any plans, this weekend, I spent my time knitting!!! I've been test knitting a pattern for Helen Stewart, which is due for release this week. It's gorgeous and I'll show you more once it's released. If you love Helen's designs, check out the Pebble Beach Shawlette, she's designed it for Unwind Brighton Design Competition, if you love it as much as I do, you can vote for it here

As you know it's the Must Stash Girls are running the Month of Socks, after seeing a few of these No Purl Monkey Socks in the group, I could resist casting them on using some self striping.

I'm using Twisted Limone in Sherbert Dip, it's a great pattern for self striping yarn and shows the pattern and stripes off beautifully. I'm not sure whether they will be finished by the end of the month to enter but I'll give it a good try!!!!

I've started a new book this week, The Perfume Garden by Kate Lord Brown, another saga that goes from the 1930's to the 2000's. I've not long started it but so far, I'm enjoying it very much.

I'm joining in with Ginny's Yan Along and Tami's WIP Wednesday

One last thing, have you listened to Mel's latest Podast? It is so much fun, Mel is all for making the world a smaller place and connecting with people from all over the world and she does a great job in doing it. She has so many fresh ideas, she amazes me sometimes.

This week she has us knitting along with her, whilst we listen, I thought this was so much fun and such a great idea!!!!!! It was just a small sampler piece using the Cornish Lattice Stitch, which is a new to me stitch, I think it's looks really pretty. It would make a great stitch pattern for socks.

I really enjoyed knitting along with Mel, I think she should do this each podcast, or even have a Podcast KAL, where we all knit on the same pattern together, whilst listening to Mel. Do you think she'd go for it?????

Have a great week, I'm going on my first ever camping trip, tomorrow!!!!!!! I've never stopped in a tent before, so don't know what to expect!!! I'll let you know how I get on.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Month of Socks....FO





Hello there, I hope everyone has had a great week!!!!! I'm back to show you my finished Jesse Socks, completed for the Month of Socks hosted by the Must Stash girls, through May. Molly from the A Homespun House is also hosting a sock knit a long. Both of these have great video podcasts, I would recommend you check them out, I've linked to the websites or find them on iTunes, Must Stash Podcast and A Homespun House



I really like how they've turned out, the pattern is the Jesse Socks by Rachel Coopey which can be found in A Knitted Sock Soiciety, if you love to knit socks, you will love this book. The photography is gorgeous, the focus is on the socks and shows very clear pictures of the sock and stitch pattern. The book has ten sock patterns using Rowan Fine Art which is one of my favorite sock yarns, it is so soft and washes really well. It's a hand-painted sock yarn with a mix of merino, kid mohair (no fuzzy halo, though), mulberry silk and polyamide for strength, to say it has such luxurious yarn content, it's a really hard wearing yarn. I knit my Lacy Rib Socks in the Fine Art, back in June, last year and they are still going strong with no wear and tear at all!



These were my first cuff down socks using DPNs and also my first stranded colourwork socks, I was worried about the tightness of my colourwork so I used a 2.5mm for the top of the sock and changed to my regular 2.25mm needle for the foot. This worked really well and fit perfectly, I really like the way the heel fits on me too, I think I might be converted to cuff down socks now, just for the heel flap.
I used the same colours that she used in the pattern, I usually like to chose something different to the pattern but I loved the Waxwing and Serin together. Serin, the orange one, is also my favourite colour in the range. Fine Art comes in 100g skeins so I have enough yarn left over to knit another pair of these in the opposite colourway or I might knit the Magnus Socks from the book which also uses two different colours.
The book is worth every penny as I would knit all the patterns in there, they work out at £1 per pattern, bargain!!!!! Don't be put off that they are cuff down, I've only ever knit toe up socks and found the cuff down just as easy, maybe a little bit easier and quicker. The hardest part, which isn't really that hard, is the Kitchener stitch to join the toes but there are some great tutorials on the web. This is one of my favourites from Purl Bee. I would practice first an a couple of swatches, once you've done it a few times, it's easy to remember. If you really don't want to try cuff down, I'm sure you could convert them to toe up, I've done that with other patterns before.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate it and to those who leave me such lovely comments. Have a great weekend.
xxxxDebxxxx

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Month of Socks......it's all about the socks, this week.

Hello, I hope you all had a good weekend, we spent the weekend in beautiful West Wales in the glorious sunshine, we couldn't have picked a better weekend.

The Month of Socks is still running over on the Must Stash Podcast Ravelry Group and also Molly from A Homespun House Podcast, is also running a sock KAL. May really is the month for socks, so this week I've just been knitting on socks. I've been working on my Jesse Socks and on Saturday, I spent the day knitting on them at the beach. They are nearly finished and will have a FO to show you on Friday.

The other socks I've been knitting on are my stripy socks using Twisted Limone Tangy Sock yarn, a fab self striping yarn. I spent a lot of time in the car this weekend, so I knit quite a bit on these, I had finished the first one but wasn't happy with the cuff. I've undone it and have knit a twisted 1x1 rib instead, I think it looks neater than a regular 1x1 rib. I've just put the waste yarn in for the heel on the second sock, so hope to have these finished by the end of May.

Though I've spent a lot of time reading this week, I'm still on The Butterfly Box by Santa Montefiore, it's a long book but I love saga's that run over the years. All the characters are very interesting, though I feel like shaking a couple of them, they are very likeable. My Kindle broke this week, so I'm now reading on my phone.

Check out Ginny's Yarn Along, Nicloe's Keep Calm, Craft On and Tami's WIP Wednesday for more Work in Progress, this week.

Here are a few photos of my weekend, you always know you're in Wales when the sheep just wander along the road, without a care in the world.

On the way to the hotel, we stopped off at Aberaeron, a gorgeous Regency seaside town. It is such a pretty town, with lots of lovely gift shops and coffee bars, it even has a little wool shop where I couldn't resist a couple of skeins of 100% llama yarn.

After looking around the town we had a stroll to the sea front and had a spot of lunch, doesn't food taste so much better when you are sat outdoors with views like this ?

Next, we drove down to New Quay, a harbour town made famous by Dylan Thomas, who moved there in 1944. It's also famous for dolphin watching and I was lucky enough to see some, very close to shore, I can't tell you how excited I was!!!!

Here I am wearing my Global Nomad Cowl, sat on the sea wall watching the dolphins.

We arrived at the Gellifawr Hotel, late afternoon, where we were staying in one of their self catering cottages, it was beautiful and very comfortable. Behind the white gate, is a water wheel so while we were sat outside, we could here the gentle, relaxing, flow of water. The hotel is very isolated, high in the Welsh Hills of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, perfect for a relaxing break.

I made the most of the mornings, sat in this rocker with the sunlight beaming through and knitting, bliss!!!

We had breakfast Al Fresco, enjoying croissants, fresh orange juice and coffee, with nothing but the baaing of sheep and running water. Sadly, the weekend went too fast, I could of easily stopped another few days.

Thanks for stopping by, have a good week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Friday, 16 May 2014

FO Friday......Global Nomad Cowl.

 

Hello my friends, how has your week been? As promised I'm back to show you my finished Global Nomad Cowl by Helen Stewart. There are two sizes to chose from, small which only uses 60g of yarn so great to use up leftovers or the large which is the size I went for.

I absolutely love how it's turned out, it's so soft and drapey, I know it's going to become a firm favourite. The yarn I used is gorgeous and I will be definitely be buying more, it's Juno Fibre Arts Alice 4ply, which is a blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere, it feels very luxurious.

I like that you can wear it as a traditional cowl style but also as it's fairly large you can drape it over your shoulders and wear it a bit like a small poncho.

I've still got quite a bit of the yarn left over, I need to weigh it but I'm pretty sure there's enough to knit a shawlette or a couple of the small GN Cowls.

I also wanted to show you my first skein of yarn, that I've spun myself, it's nowhere near perfect but I'm very proud of it. I spun 25g of merino/silk fleece and have another 25g left. I should have enough to knit a pair of fingerless mitts, I left it as a single ply as it would of turned out quite bulky if I had. I'm sure the more I practice it will become more consistent, then I'll think about plying.

 

I just wanted to share a few photos with you of our day at Telford Park, Paige and I took Olivia on Wednesday. She absolutely loved it and looking at these photos, I think Paige had just as much fun, playing on the rides. It is a fantastic park, it's in the Shropshire area and is well worth a visit, you can spend the whole day there.

Have a wonderful weekend, I'm off to Wales today, it looks like the sun may shine, here's hoping!!!

xxxxDeb xxxx

 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Yarn along.......Global Nomad Cowl.

 

Hello my friends, how are you all doing? I would normally show you a few projects that I've been working on but this week, I've been monogamously knitting on the Global Nomad Cowl, a brand new pattern by Helen Stewart.

As soon as the pattern was released, I knew I wanted to cast on and have it finished for this weekend as I'm off to Wales, it's perfect for the spring or those cooler summer evenings. This pretty cowl, fits over the shoulders, like a wrap or can be worn as a traditional cowl. I had the perfect yarn for it too, in my stash, it's Juno Alice which is an alpaca, silk and cashmere blend, I'm only a couple of rows off finishing it so I'll definitely have to blocked and ready to wear by Friday.

I'm still reading The Butterfly Box, which I'm really enjoying, I've also been reading the summer edition of Pom Pom Quarterly, ogling all the beautiful patterns, this is the only magazine that I buy and always love all the patterns, many magazines are very hit and miss.

I've also been doing my first bit of spinning, my husband bought me this spindle and some fibre, months ago but I never knew where to start. On Saturday morning, I went to a local craft shop called Elenor Crafts, who have walk in sessions, where they'll help with any craft projects.

When I arrived they showed me, step by step, from the beginning, they even got me carding some of their fleece. I started practicing with some cheap, undyed fleece, it's thick and thin and. Rey uneven but I left knowing the basics, all I needed now was to practice.

Over the last few days, I've been practicing with some beautiful merino with silk, it's far from perfect but it is looking better, I've been told you need to practice 15-20 minutes a day. I don't think this will ever take over my knitting but I have enjoyed learning something new.

Check out Ginny's and Tami's blogs, for more works in progress, this week.

Enjoy the rest of your week and I'll be back on Friday with my finished, Global Nomad Cowl.

xxxxDebxxxx