Friday 30 August 2013

FO Friday.............French Cancan Shawl.

Hello there, my friends, I'm back today to show you my French Cancan Shawl all finished and blocked.

I'm extremely pleased with how it's turned out, I love the pattern, the cable border and the feel of the shawl around my shoulders.

I've recently purchased these clips for all these shawls I've been knitting, lately, they are from an Etsy shop called Tix Trinkets, and they just clip either side of the shawl edge and keeps the shawl in place.

I used 5 balls of Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran which is so soft and feels very luxurious, it is handwash but that's ok, for how often you need to wash your shawl, it's not a problem. I use "Soak" which is a no rinse wash, so very easy to wash then dry flat.

I did end up blocking it twice, the yarn is very stretchy, when wet and I just felt as though the garter stitch was too open so it went back in the sink and soaked again. The second time I just laid it out flat and gently opened up the cable stitch by hand, rather than pinning it. I much prefer how it's turned out after the second soak, I could of used it the first time as a blanket!!!

Check out some other FO over at Tami's blog.

I will be starting another shawl on the 1st September but I will tell you more about that on Wednesday. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

A New WIP and not a Shawl in Sight.........

Hello there, I hope you all had a great weekend, I went to a wedding and is was absolutely beautiful. The bride was stunning and the whole day was just perfect. I would love to share the day with you in a separate post. 

I'm back today to share this week's WIP's, I haven't done so much this week as I have a sore shoulder. I'm on the second Mock Cable Sock by Wendy Johnson, which I have called Coffee and Cream. I was hoping to finish them before the end of the month but that's not going to happen, now.

As I'm linking this to the Yarn Along over at the Small Things blog, I've included what I'm reading on my Kindle. I am still reading Inferno by Dan Brown, which I tend to read before I go to sleep but if I'm out and about, my Kindle is in my bag and I've just started to read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

I'm not too far into yet but an old fisherman named Santiago, who still goes fishing each day and keeps coming back empty handed, has a friend, a young boy named Manolin.  He helps the old man, each time he comes back from his boat, carrying his gear, giving him food and chatting about baseball. It is one of Hemingway's major works which won him the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953, it was also made into a film, which I will watch after I've read the book. Do you prefer to read the book first or watch the film first?

I've also started the Sideways Knitted Cardigan by Debbie Bliss, it is the pattern on the front of this book. It has some beautiful patterns inside too, the Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace yarn has some really pretty colours to choose from, I went with colour 17, Sky. This will be a long term project, it is not TV knitting or a project to take to my craft group, it is a pattern that I need to concentrate on but I am loving the pattern.

I'll be starting a new project soon using some Rowan Cashsoft DK, that I have in my stash, I'm just deciding which two colour combo's to go with. I will tell you more about it, next week, when I have cast on.

Something else that I would like to make, is a drawstring project bag using this gorgeous Riley Blake "Little Red Riding Hood" fabric, designed by Tasha Noel. I'm not accomplished at sewing but I've found this free online class from Craftsy called Bag Making Basics, so I'm going to give it a  a go.

I've finished my French Cancan, which as I'm writing this, is soaking in the sink ready to block. I use a product called "Soak" in Aquae, it is a gentle no-rinse soak that softens and relaxes the fibre's of your delicate yarn, leaving a beautiful, fresh scent. I will show you the FO on Friday.

That's all from me, if you want to see other WIP's, pop over to Tami's blog and Ginny's blog and check out what everyone else has been up to this week.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Friday 23 August 2013

A Wedding Gift.............Personalised Heart Shadow Box.

Happy Friday, Everyone!!!!! I'm off to a wedding tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward too. One of my best friend's sons is getting married and I was asked if I would make the wedding invitations and favour boxes. It's soon rolled round since I made them back in March.

Here's the invitation..........

They are a lovely couple and I wanted to make them something special as a wedding keepsake. I'd bought a shadow box from Ikea, months ago, with no idea what I was going to use it for.

When I went to Shrewsbury, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Maria pointed out some shadow boxes with punched out hearts and butterflies, she said that she was going to have a go at making one. I then remembered, I'd got a shadow box hidden away in the cupboard, which gave me the idea for this wedding gift.

I used a selection of papers from Prima Tea-Thyme, I punched  out three hearts from each different paper design and stitched down the centre. I printed their name and date of the wedding for the centre heart.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and could be made for any special occasion or even just a piece of wall art for yourself.

I've also made this very simple wedding card using a Stampin'Up embossing folder and stamping "Happily Ever After" using a Verve stamp set. I added some diamanté gems to the centre of the flowers

My outfit is all ready.........

I'll have my hair done in the morning and I'll be all ready for this very special day!!!!

Have a great weekend and to all my UK friends have a great Bank Holiday.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

A Penchant for Shawls..............A New WIP.

Hello there, my friends. How is your week going? I think I have a bit of a penchant for shawls at the moment, I've finished two in the last 7 weeks. After finishing my Makai Shawl, on Sunday, which I blogged about here, I immediately cast on another shawl.

I've had the French Cancan by Mademoiselle C pattern, in my Ravelry queue for some time, the pattern calls for a Merino/Silk DK yarn. I wanted to use my stash and I had some Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran in a beautiful grey/sage green colour called Bay. Even though I used Aran weight, I still followed the pattern as it was wrote, I did extend the length until I'd used up my third ball of yarn and ended up with 213 stitches.

I started it on Sunday evening and because it's Aran weight, it knit up very quickly, I had the Garter stitch portion finished by Monday evening and started the edge. I've got to say, I don't go to bed very early so I did knit for quite a few hours through the evening, while watching TV. Talking about TV, on Monday night, I watched a new Sci Fi drama on Channel 5 called Under the Dome, it was so good. Did anybody else watch it? What did you think?  Also, the new series of The Great British Bake Off started, last night, which I love!!!!! 

I got this much of the border finished, last night, I really do love this pattern, it's turning out even better than I thought, using Aran weight. They would make gorgeous Christmas gifts as they are fairly quick to knit.

Here's a close up shot of the beautiful cabled edge, it's so pretty.

I haven't worked much on my Mock Cable socks but I have managed to finish the one and have just finished the toe on the second.

In all the years I've been knitting, I've never knit myself a garment, so that is something I'm going to remedy, very soon. I ordered this pattern book Misty by Kim Hargreaves, I highly recommend it, there are some beautiful patterns, in fact I don't think there's one, I don't like.

I've recently discovered a wonderful blog called Small Things, Ginny shares her family life and takes amazing photo's. Each Wednesday she has a Yarn Along, where you can link up what you are working on and which book you are currently reading.

When I went to see my daughter's new house, the other week, I spotted the new Dan Brown novel, Inferno, on her bookshelf. It was her friend's but Chrissy was kind enough to let me borrow it. I'm only a few chapters in but like all Dan Brown's other books, I'm hooked.

I'm also linking to Tami's blog.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Monday 19 August 2013

A Finished Object..........Makai Shawl.

Happy Monday !!!!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, my friends. Another busy one for me with meeting up with friends, and a Hen Party, which was so much fun !!!!!

I did, however, find some time to fit some knitting in and on Thursday, it was the last segment for the Makai Shawl by MSKnits, I posted about it in detail, here. I only had a couple of rows to finish off  Part 2, Mel gave us three options to chose from, for the border, so I had to decide which one to go for. I had 22g of yarn left to finish the shawl.

Do you ever have that feeling when you don't want a project to end because you are enjoying it so much? That's how I felt about this shawl, I loved the group of people who were part of this Knit Together, everybody was so helpful and friendly, encouraging people along. Mel is so much fun and very talented, you must watch her video Podcast's, you can find the latest episode here or on ITunes. Why not join Mel's Ravelry Group, Single Handed Knits, it's a great group to be part of, with plenty interaction between members.

Whenever I sat down for half hour to have a cuppa, out came the Makai, I did start to knit Option 2 border but after knitting a couple of rows and weighing what I'd used, I knew I wouldn't have enough yarn.

So I opted for Option 1, which still gave a lovely wavy effect but I didn't need so much yarn. Here's me doing the Shaka, that Mel gives us on each Podcast.

I knit a 1" border but I did have to use my swatch that I knit up before I started, to cast off, to join the two ends I used a new technique to me. I think it's called the Magic Knot, that's what I Googled and this You Tube video by Jane Richmond, was at the top of the list. It's a way of tying an invisible knot, half way through a row, so you don't have leave a long tail at the beginning of the row. It works a treat and I'll be using this technique, all the time.

I cast off on Sunday morning, soaked the shawl then blocked it overnight. When I got up this morning, it was ready to wear. I love the size of it, it's quite small which I like as I can wear it over my shoulders (perfect for summer evenings) but I can also wear around my neck in the Winter with a nice, warm coat, without it been too bulky.

This is the back, I love the stitch pattern and the colour just makes me happy...............and here's the front again.

I love the gently fluted edge and how the "wings" at the side fall over my arms, I used a vintage pin to keep the edges together. I am so pleased with the finished result and will be a firm favourite. The full pattern will be released for sale on the 21st August.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this post and a big thank you to everyone who leaves me comments, I really do appreciate it.

Back Soon

Wednesday 14 August 2013

WIP Wednesday...........Mock Cable Socks.

Hello there, my friends, I hope you all had a good weekend. I can't believe it's Wednesday already !!! I've had a busy week so not much time for knitting. On Monday, I spent the day cleaning and de-cluttering my conservatory. 

Our daughter had the T.V for her new house, so I decided to move the furniture around and have this room as a quiet, relaxing room, though I do still have the radio in there. Yesterday, after spending the day with my mom, dad, sister, nieces and nephew, I had half an hour in my conservatory working on my Mock Cable Socks by Wendy D Johnson, before I started the dinner. It's so nice to look out into the garden and hear nothing but the birds singing.

I bought this beautiful chocolate brown yarn in the sale at the Natural Dye Studio, it is the Stardust Sock base in the colour Paracombe. I decided to knit the toe in a cream 4ply, just to make it a bit different. I have called these my Coffee & Cream socks.

These are the socks on, you can see the cable better here, this is why I love to knit socks, toe up, you can try them on as you knit them, to get the perfect fit. I've nearly finished the first sock, I'm deciding whether to do the rib in cream to match the toe. They seem to be taking me a lot longer to knit than other pairs, I don't know if it's the pattern, knitting on two circulars ( I normally use DPN's) or the type of heel as you have to create the gusset, then turn the heel and then do the heel flap.

I'm hoping to finish them before the end of the month as my goal is to knit a pair of socks a month. The other project I've been working on the last two weeks is my Makai Shawl by Mel Ski. This as been great travel knitting, the pattern is very intuitive so I don't need to look at the pattern, now. The last couple of weekends we've been travelling about so I've been able to work on this quite a bit.

My daughter has just moved into her new house, so we travelled up to see it and spend the day with her. It's a lovely house, she use to house share with five people at Uni which was just chaotic but Jodie and her best friend have moved out and got this house. They seem so much happier and says it feels like home, rather than just somewhere to sleep.

So with all the time spent in the car, I'm half way through the second part of the pattern called Waves Frolicking. I love how it's turning out, it's my first mystery pattern though it's strange not knowing how it's going to turn out, I do like the anticipation and second guessing what the next part will be. My guess for the third and final part is a frilly edge which would look like the waves washing up on the shoreline. I am probably completely wrong, you'll have to tune in next week to find out!!!!! What a cliffhanger, lol.

I love the stitch definition on this shawl pattern, if you want to check out what everyone else is working on this week, head over to Tami's blog.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Monday 5 August 2013

Makai Shawl.........A Shawl Focused on the Sea.

Hello my friends, I hope you all had a great weekend, Mick and I decided to go to Somerset for the weekend for a mini break, so this was a good time to start my new shawl, Makai. The inspiration is from the ocean and the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

This a shawl pattern designed by Mel Ski Knits, who I greatly admire, she is such a positive person and believes everything is possible if you set your mind to it, you can find her latest podcast, here. It's not a KAL, as such but a Knit Together as there is no time limit, it's just a relaxing, take your time sort of project.

It is a mystery pattern and is split into three sections, she started off by asking us to choose some yarn that reminds us of the beach or the ocean, about 420 yard of 4ply.

These were my choices, I love them all especially the pink and orange "Somerset Dawn" which is so pretty but I went with the turquoise. The reason for this choice is it reminded me of the "Blue Lagoon" in Gozo/Comino, the islands of Malta. It is one of our favourite holiday destinations and holds lots of happy memories. The water is crystal clear and you can see the pure white sand at the bottom of this part of the Mediterranean Sea, it's like swimming in a pool.

The next segment was to swatch, to see if you were happy with your yarn choice. The yarn is Easy Knits Cherish in the colourway, Zora, it is 80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/ 10% Nylon and it feels so soft and luxurious. The above photo is Paige in the Blue Lagoon, swimming back to the boat, as you can see the colour of this yarn is just perfect and matches the clear blue colour of the sea.

Segment 1 was released on the 1st August, the first segment starts with the "Horizon", which I started in the car on our way to the Somerset.

I finished the Garter stitch tab and was ready to start the next section when we got there, I do get travel sick so can't look at a pattern whilst moving.

I loved that I could knit some of this shawl by the sea, it just makes it that bit more special as I love to spend time at the coast and ultimately, would love to live near the sea.

This was my view, whilst knitting some of "The Horizon" section, isn't it beautiful? It was so peaceful, with just the sound of the waves rolling in and the occasional laughter of children playing further up the beach.

I love how these stitches look, just like the waves you see on the horizon, gently rolling in towards the shoreline.

The next section is released on the 8th August and I can't wait to see what Mel has up her sleeve for us, it's my first mystery pattern and I'm really enjoying not knowing what to expect. I love surprises and knew I wouldn't be disappointed, as I love all of Mel's patterns. If you don't like not knowing, the full pattern will be released on the 20th August.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, I will hopefully post next week with the second section of the shawl. Have a great week.

The Handmade Sock Society 3 by Helen Stewart

Hello there, I just wanted to let you all know that Season 3 of  The Handmade Sock Society  is available for pre-sale  here  with an Ea...