Friday 31 January 2014

FO Friday......Mrs Jekyll and Little Hyde.

Hello there, I hope you've all had a great week, it keeps trying to snow here in the Midlands but just little flurries, not much to write home about but it's so cold. It looks like I've finished my Mrs Jekyll and Little Hyde beanie, just in time.
I'm very happy with how it's turned out, I love the lace pattern, it looks so pretty. It's definitely worth taking the time to block it, as it's opened out the lace pattern beautifully. I used a serving dish this time to block as my Lacy Beret ended up too big using the dinner plate.

Essentially, it's two hats in one, so with the double layer, it keeps my head extra warm and cosy, just right for this weather. I used two 50g balls of Rowan Pure wool 4ply in cream for the main colour and one ball of Rowan Cashsoft 4ply in purple for the contrast . I normally give the beanies I knit to my daughter, who loves hats but I'm keeping this one, sorry Jodie!!!!! I'll definitely be knitting another one though and I have an idea for something different for the stripy side.
Check out Tami's blog for more Finished Objects, this week, whenever I look my list gets longer with projects I want to make.
Thanks for stoping by, have a great weekend.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Yarn Along.............. and Week 6 of the Halele'a KAL

Hello my friends, how was your weekend, my husband and I had a great weekend at Clevedon, very relaxing not doing much. We had a look around the shops in Hill Street, there are some wonderful little gift shops, then at the top of the street we found a gorgeous Bistro called The Cellar which served  Tapas and Champagne, two of my favourite things!!!!!!!!!!! After having a bite to eat, we dropped the bags off at the hotel and walked down to the seafront, it was sunny but cold so my Spate Mitts came in very handy. I love watching and listening to the waves crashing against the rocks, I could have stopped there all afternoon but Hubby was getting a bit restless so we made a move.

Week 5 of the Must Stash Halele'a KAL ended on Sunday and I have finished the Copy Cat stitch, picked up and knit the button band.

Week 6 is all about the sleeves, I've cast on the second sleeve, the stockinette section doesn't take long as it's only a small portion of the sleeve then you pick up and do more of the Copy Cat stitch, I think I'm going to do the 3/4 length but I might change my mind, I'll try it on first and see what it feels like.

I finished The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty, it was definitely a page turner, I'm not going to give too much away but it's quite sad and I didn't expect the ending. I keep thinking, I wonder what I would do if I found out this life changing secret but saying that I wouldn't have opened the letter so the story would have been totally different.

I started a new book, last night called The Railway Man by Eric Lomax, its a true story about Eric Lomax who was forced to work on the Burma-Siam Railway by the Japanese and tortured for making a crude radio. It's been made into a film staring Colin Firth, one of my favourite actors, I always like to read the book before seeing the film, what do you prefer to do? I always find that I enjoy the book more than the film. Check out Ginny's Yarn Along, this week.

I've finished the first sock of the Gansey Diamond By Wendy D. Johnson, it's a nice simple pattern, easy to knit whilst watching TV.

I'll cast on the second sock soon but this morning, I had my three year old niece and she asked if I'd knit her a blue cardigan, how could I say no!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I gave her the book Labour of Love by Vibe Ulrik Sondergaard, full of gorgeous little girl knits and she picked this one, the Zoe Fan Stitch Jacket. She's picked the yarn she wants so I'll cast that on tonight, because every time I see her, she'll ask if it's finished.

 Check out Tami's blog for more WIP's this week.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week.

Friday 24 January 2014

Spate Fingerless Mitts..........a super quick knit.

I'm back today with a project that was so quick to knit that you didn't get to see it on Wednesday with all my other Work in Progresses. On Wednesday evening, we decided we fancied spending a couple of days by the coast at the weekend, so I booked the hotel and was thinking about what to pack as it's going to be cold. As I was deciding which of my cosy hand knits to take, it dawned on me that I didn't have a pair of warm, woollen mitts!!!!! How did that happen!!!!!

As you know, one of my goals this year is to use my stash and because I wanted something quick, I looked through my Aran and found some Drops Nepal. This a a blend of 65% wool and 35% alpaca and is very soft and snuggly. I then went through all my patterns to find a suitable pair of either mitts or gloves, ideally I wanted some fingerless.

It didn't take long to find the perfect pair, in fact it was from the first pattern book I looked through. They pattern is called Spate, it's from a book called Journey by Jane Richmond and Shannon Cook and after seeing quite a few podcasters reviewing it, I bought the e-book back in November. It has six patterns and I loved every one of them, I liked the simple designs but each one has some small detail that makes them unique, as well as the patterns, it has amazing photography. If you want to see how this book came about you can find a podcast episode, here, where these talented ladies joined Mel from Single Handed Knits and talked about their inspiration for the book, it is worth a watch.

It took two evenings to knit, as soon as I cast them off, I wet block them and they dried overnight, all ready to show you this morning. They only needed a light blocking, I gave them a slight pull to open up the pattern, whilst still damp.The pattern was very easy, it looks like cables but you didn't have to use a cable needle. They only used two 50g balls of Drops Nepal, so very economical, they would make great gifts, as you can see in this photo the pattern really opens up once you are wearing them. I would highly recommend this pattern, it was quick and fun to knit, I love that they are long and will keep my forearms warm too, also if you wanted to cover your fingers you can turn the cuff back which covers most of my fingers, perfect. I can't wait to wear them now, I love wrapping up throughout the winter months, it makes me happy.

Check out Tami's blog for more FO's this week.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Yarn Along........a new pair of socks on the needles.

Good morning, I'm back to show you this week's progress an all my WIP's. I haven't worked on my Aureus this week so no progress there. I have finished the exterior of my Mrs Jekyll and Little Hyde beanie and have started the inside.

This is a simple stockinette pattern so I knit on this when I'm doing something else and don't need to concentrate too much, I was on Face Time the other day while working on it.

It's going to be super warm for these cold days we're having, the big decision is which side to wear first!!!!!!!!!!!

It's week 5 of the Must Stash Yarn Halele'a KAL and this week we are working on the bottom of the cardigan. I've seamed the sides and shoulders and have picked up the stitches and I'm now working on the Copy Cat stitch. I'm not going to give too much away as it's a paid for pattern but I would highly recommend you casting on this pattern.
The pattern is called Halele'a by Mel Ski, it is knit in a 4 ply yarn so great for layering or for a light weight Spring cardigan. It is quick to knit, I'm sticking to the KAL schedule as I'm knitting other projects in between, but if I was just knitting on this, I think I would have had it finished by now. It is keeping me interested with all the little details and I always look forward to picking it up again.

As you all probably know by now, I love knitting socks and always have a pair on my needles, this week I've cast on another pair.The sock pattern is the Diamond Gansey Socks from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson. Ganseys are fishermen's jumpers that were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuary, each fishing village would have their own pattern. These socks are inspired by the textured patterns of these jumpers, it is a very easy pattern to follow as it's only knit and purl stitches so they are knitting up very quickly.

I'm half way through The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty, she opened the letter and oh my gosh, it was a life changing secret!!!!!!!!!!! I'm also reading through a bookazine called Fabulous Knits, that I bought from the newsagents yesterday. I have cut down on buying magazines but when I picked this up and looked through, I loved all the patterns and would knit at least 50% of them. I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along, check out all the other knits and reads, this week.

This is just a small selection of the patterns I want to cast on, there are 40 patterns all together, from babies to men, home to accessories, so there's something for everyone.

See what other WIP's are going on this week over on Tami's blog. Enjoy the rest of your week, hopefully I will be back on Friday with a FO.

Happy Knitting

Friday 17 January 2014

FO Friday............Rosebud Socks.

Hello, just a quick post, today, I want to show you my first knitted Finished Object of 2014. I've finally finished my Rosebud Socks, I started these socks at the beginning of December, they seem to have taken me quite a while to finish but I have been working on lots of other projects through December. I used Rowan Fine Art in colour 302 Tawny, I love sock yarn from Indie dyers but for a branded sock yarn, I love this, it knits up beautifully and is very soft.

This pattern is from the book Toe-Up Socks for Every Body by Wendy D. Johnson, it's a great book and I will eventually knit most of the socks in there. I can also recommend Socks from the Toe-Up, also by Wendy D. Johnson which I've knit a few of the patterns from. If you've never knit toe-up before or even if it's your first time knitting any type of socks, I highly recommend these books.

There are different options for casting on the toes and creating the heels, with excellent tutorials. I urge you to try all the different options and eventually you will find your preferred method. I use Judy's Magic Cast-On for the toes and make a gusset heel. There is also a section on different Bind-Offs, which is the next thing I'm going to try. I do regular cast off, the patterns always say bind off loosely but no matter how loose I do it, I always struggle to get them on my feet. I've started using a bigger needle to bind off which is slightly better but I'm going to give Tubular Bind Off a go, on my next pair of socks, which give a stretchy edge.

 Check out Tami's blog, for more FO's, this week. Have a great weekend, whatever you are up to, I'm meeting friends tomorrow for Afternoon Tea, which I'm looking forward to.

Thanks for popping by.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

WIP Wednesday..........Week 4 of the Halele'a KAL

Hello there, I'm back to show you my WIP's on the needles, this week, I'm still working on my two big projects and I've cast on a new one. My Rosebud Socks are off the needles, and a new project on, I've cast on the Mrs Jekyll and Little Hyde beanie.

As soon as I saw this beanie pattern, I knew I wanted to knit it, it's no ordinary hat, it's reversible!!!!!! The construction is very clever, you knit the lace pattern first in your main colour, then knit the stripy interior using your two colours, giving you a reversible hat.

I've made good progress on my Aureus cardigan and have got to the armhole shaping, I love the Rowan Felted Tweed, that I'm using and like how the cable and lace pattern that runs up the middle of the back, it keeps it a bit more interesting rather just plain Stockinette.

I've just started a new book called The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty. I've heard really good things about this book, I downloaded it onto my Kindle as it's only £2.00, nearly half the price of the paperback. I'm not very far into it but I've been drawn in very quickly, after Cecilia accidentally comes across an envelope, that says "only to be opened in the event of my death", written in her husbands handwriting. I'm only read a few chapters, but I really want to know what this secret is and finding it hard to put down, would you open the letter?

I'm linking this to Ginny's, Yarn Along, check out this fabulous blog full of knitting, reading and family life.

Last but not least, it's week four of the Must Stash Podcast Halele'a KAL and this week we are working on the left front. I cast on, Monday and I seem to have whizzed through it, I finished it last night. I just need to seam the sides and pick up the stitches for the patterned bottom half, which I love.

I'm also linking this post to Tami's, WIP Wednesday.

One last thing before I go, I had a lovely surprise yesterday morning. I heard my husband open the front door which is very unusual, he doesn't normally get home from work until 7pm. He shouted upstairs and said, I've left you some flowers in the kitchen and promptly left!!!!! They are beautiful and  I feel very loved.

Have a great week.

Monday 13 January 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner..............another SLYMI winner.

Hello, did you all have a good weekend? I'm popping in today to let you know, we have another winner for the Swatch Like You Mean It Class. After I let Mel know that I had picked the winner last week, I unexpectedly got an email back telling me to pick one more place. I still had all the names in my teacup, so over the weekend I pulled out another lucky person, who was Denise. I want to say a big thank you to the very generous, kind hearted Mel for donating these prizes to my blog. There are just a few places left, so if you are interested in learning how to make swatching more fun plus two get exclusive patterns, you can find the details, here.

On Saturday, the weather was kind to us and we went to Stratford Upon Avon for the day, the beautiful, historical town, where William Shakespeare was born and laid to rest. It's a 40 minute drive from where we live so I took some knitting to pass the time, I don't like to miss a chance to knit, whenever I can!!!!!

When we arrived, we parked near the river and the first thing I saw was this enormous tree, that had been Yarn Bombed. My jaw dropped when I saw it, I've seen lots of yarn bombing over the last couple of years but not on this scale, it was amazing and look at the gorgeous blue skies, it was a beautiful winter's day.

It's called The Remembering Tree, a place to remember, reflect and celebrate all the colours of life, each square was made by women in South Africa to supplement their income. When it's taken down, it's going to be washed and recycled for blankets for homeless charities in the local area and also Sierra Leone. It was awe inspiring to see and I'm so glad I got the chance.

My friend Gilly, recommended I visit Sew Me Something, next time I was in Stratford, it's a gorgeous little fabric shop but they also sell a small selection of yarn.They have MillaMia in stock, which I have wanted to try for ages, I had some Christmas money left so I bought a couple of balls to use for the SLYMI class.

I also spotted this book in Waterstones, which is a selection of stories written by writers who knit and how knitting has inspired them. I spent the last of my money on this book and I can't wait to start reading it, it also has 5 original patterns by Helen Bingham.

After a lovely day spent wandering around the town and a spot of lunch, we headed back to the car, just as the sun was setting over the river.

One last thing, I would like to share with you. My sister bought me this book for Christmas, it's Topsy-Turvy, Inside-Out by Susan B. Anderson, do you remember the fabric dolls that you turn inside out and it turned into something else. I had Little Red Riding Hood that turned into the Big Bad Wolf, well this book is to knit these toys. There are some really cute projects, one of my favourites, is the dinosaur that pops out of an egg, if anyone is interested, it is only £2.16 for the Kindle Edition, I've also bought this, as I've always have my phone with me which has the Kindle App so if I forget my book, I've always got it on my phone. It's also on offer in the U.S. when I looked this afternoon, it does change day to day though so just check.

Thanks for stopping by and congratulations to the two winners of the SLYMI class.


Friday 10 January 2014

First FO's of 2014..........and I have a winner.

Good morning, at last, I've opened the curtains and it's not raining!!!!!! It's a beautiful, frosty, sunny morning, my favourite kind of winter weather. I've got three FO's to show you this week, the first of 2014.

My first one is my second Fair Isle Style Crochet Cardigan, this was for a little girl's birthday so I needed it to finish by the 4th January. It is quite a quick project, compared to knitting, anyway. I used a 6mm hook with Drops Nepal yarn which is probably why it works up so quickly. I didn't start it until the 17th December but finished in plenty time. I love this pattern, it is by Ball, Hank and Skein and I'm sure I will end up making another one.

Technically, this is off my hook, not on but I was making this as part of Chrissie and Marrianne's,  Bloomin' Crochet Along, so I thought I would share it with them.

My second FO is my Henslowe Shawl and I love it!!!!! I think this is my favourite shawl to date, I'm not sure whether it is the yarn I've used or the beautiful lace pattern. I used Skein Queen Tickled Mink and it is as light as a feather and so very soft but is actually really warm on these cold winter days.

One last project that I forgot to show you, I finished my Lace Beret, back in the middle of December, using Malibrigo Sock in Ravelry Red, I love this colour. Sorry about the cheesy photo, hehe, it was a "selfie".

I blocked it, using a dinner plate but it is a little bit too big on me now, so I will try and re-block it using a smaller plate.

Check out more FO's over on Tami's blog, my Ravelry queue always gets longer when I've seen everybody's gorgeous projects.

Now to announce the winner of the Swatch Like You Mean It giveway, generously donated by Mel of Single Handed Knits. I did it a very technical way by writing everybody's name on a piece of paper, who wanted to enter and picked one out of a teacup.

Drum roll...............................the winner is Linda Tytko. Congratulations Linda, can you get in touch with me, please, so I can pass your details onto Mel.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend. I'm hoping the weather will stay dry and we'll have a trip over to the beautiful town of Stratford Upon Avon.


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...