Tuesday 17 February 2015

Itching To Cast On New Projects........

Hello there, how was your Valentine weekend? We don't make a big thing of it but he did buy me a card, though I feel a bit bad as I didn't send one. This year's card was very pretty with a vintage feel, he always try's to buy one with some handmade elements, this year it has buttons.

I thought while we were talking about Valentine's, I would share these beautiful, embroidered Sweetheart cards that my Grandad sent to my Gran during the Second World War. He was stationed in France hence the British and French Flags, my Grandad had the most beautiful handwriting and I feel very privileged to have these wonderful keepsakes.

It's very unlike me to just have a couple of projects on the needles and I've been itching to cast on a new project using some of my stash. On top of one of my baskets, that is full of mostly Rowan yarn that I purchased in the sale, was some Rowan Alpaca Colour which is unbelievably soft and squishy. I decided I wanted to use this, I thought it would be a really comforting yarn to knit with on these cold winter evenings so I've been perusing Ravelry, books and magazines for inspiration.
It's a DK weight and I had 4 X 50g skeins at 120m per skein so the beauty of Ravelry is when I go to the pattern search and click advanced search I can tick what weight and yardage I want the pattern to be. After ticking the boxes I wanted, up came a list of patterns suitable but the one that caught my eye was the French Cancan by Mademoiselle C which I have knit before in Sublime Merino Silk so very different to what I'm using this time, you can see my first one here.

The reason I love this pattern apart from the way it looks and the beautiful cable border, is you can knit it as small or as large as you want, depending on the amount of yarn you have, leaving 40% of your yarn for the border.

The main body is a simple garter stitch which I know some people find quite boring but I love this stitch. I find it very therapeutic and is perfect to knit on if watching TV or talking if you have company, the yarn I'm using is perfect for garter stitch as its even more squishy. I started it last night and I'm now on my second ball of yarn, I think I'll have this finished by next week!!!!

I've been working on my Old Romance and now have two complete sleeves so now I'm on the main body, this will take a while, as there's miles of stockinette now, I'm a lot slower knitting purl so I'll be knitting on smaller projects inbetween. I'm still loving it and can't wait to wear it, I'm aiming to finish by April, just in time for Spring.

I've also been working on my Latte Baby Coat and have picked up the stitches and completed the front edges, I've washed it and now need to knit the little pockets and add some buttons. I'm hoping to have this finished by the weekend so I can give it to him on Sunday.

I'm just turning the heel on my February Personal Mystery Sock Yarn 2015 socks for my husband. They are just plain vanilla socks, my husband's birthday is in March so I have plenty of time though I do want them off the needles by the end of the month so I can start March's socks.

I've started the fifth book of the year and the prompt from Bringing Up The Burns, 26 Books to Read in 2015, is........

5: A Book Published This Year.

I chose The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q by Sharon Maas, now if I'm honest I chose this book as it was on offer in the Kindle store. I never buy books in hardback unless they are special editions, I always wait until it's in paperback.

On saying this, after reading the blurb and the reviews, it sounded like a story that I would enjoy, a saga spanning over the years set in London and Guyana. I'm on chapter five and it hasn't disappointed, I like the main characters and I'm enjoying the author's descriptive writing.

I'm linking to Nicole's KCCO over at Frontier Dreams and Ginny's Yarn Along where you'll find some beautiful projects and lots of inspiration.

Thank you for stopping by, have a great week.



Wednesday 11 February 2015

Barley Hat by Tincan Knits and more.......

Hello my friends, how are you all doing? This week I've knit a new hat for Caiden, he's outgrown all of his handknit hats that I made him before he was born. I looked through lots of patterns and the one that Jodie and I both liked was the Barley Hat by Tincan Knits, the sizes range from baby through to adult.

It is a free pattern from The Simple Collection which contains eight patterns including accessories and sweaters. As the title says, they are simple and basic knits aimed at beginner knitters or more experienced knitters who want a quick simple knit. The great thing about this collection apart from been beautiful projects, which goes without saying as they are by Tincan Knits and I love all their patterns but the whole collection is FREE.

I would knit every one of them and the are sized from newborn to large adult something for the whole family. The patterns are seamless using worsted weight yarn in stockinette and garter stitch so perfect for beginners. If you've always want to learn to knit in the round or knit a sweater but have always been a little bit imtimitated, these patterns would be perfect for you.

Here's my little hipster grandson wearing his new hat, I didn't have any suitable worsted weight so I used some Drops Lima DK. I would have knit the baby size but as I was using a DK , I knit the toddler size on the same needles as they recommended and it turned out perfectly.

I didn't swatch for the hat, I just took a chance, I thought as it was a small, quick knit ( it took one evening), I had nothing to lose if it was too big, I could just start again with smaller needles. Caiden has quite a large head for his age so I was aiming for 17" head circumference, which I achieved once it had been blocked. I was so pleased how it turned out, it was the perfect size and he looks so cute in it. I will definitely be casting on another one soon.

I've finished my purple "Fairisle" socks which I knit in Rico Design Superba Mexico, these are going to my friend who has a birthday coming up she has been very kind to me over the last few weeks so deserved a special gift. She does a lot of walking and she loves my handknit socks, she says they are so much more comfortable and warmer than shop bought, I've been promising her a new pair for a while now.

Since finishing another pair of socks, I've picked one of my brown paper bags with my Personal Mystery Sock Yarn 2015 inside. February's sock yarn was this, Rico Design Superba Santa Fé, this is very similar to the last sock yarn. I've got to say, I really like this brand for a hardwearing sock yarn, it's not as luxurious like some of the beautiful selfstriping or indie dyed yarns but I think it will stand the test of time like the Regia and Opal.

When I picked this yarn for the bag, I knew I would knit my husband another pair of socks, I love the colours from dark chocolate brown to rust to a taupe with a tweedy look, I wouldn't mind a pair for me.

I wanted to try a new to me cast on for my next pair of socks after listening to Jo's Shiny Bees podcast And her Sock Surgery segment. They were talking about different cast on techniques for socks and the recommended one was the German Twisted Cast-On which the said gave a neat,stretchy cuff. I absolutely love it, it really is the best cast on I've used. I looked on the web for a good tutorial and went for a You Tube video by the Knit Witch, it was easy to follow and I picked it up really quickly.

I've spent a cheeky half hour on them this morning while I enjoyed a cup of Earl Grey. I'm knitting a plain Vanilla sock with 72 stitches.

Now to what I'm reading this week, I've nearly finished Harry Potter and the Philophers Stone so hopefully should be starting a new book by the end of the week. I am enjoying it far more than I thought I would and will definitely read the other books, eventually.

I've also been reading the new Spring PomPom magazine, again it is full of beautiful patterns,mit never disappoints. I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On, check out all the gorgeous projects for lots of inspiration.

Have a good week.


I've just linked up to another link up called Lunamon Design.

Friday 6 February 2015

Canopy Shawl by Melody Hoffman.

Happy Friday!!!!! I just wanted you all to know that the Canopy Shawl By Melody Hoffman has been released. This gorgeous shawl pattern was inspired by the forest surrounding her home in Latvia.


It's a stunning design, knit in a sportweight yarn which gives a larger shawl without been too bulky. I did this as a test knit and throughly enjoyed knitting the design. I like that you are changing sections regularly as you never get bored, there are stockinette and lace sections including twisted stitches then the border, in fact this was the only project I worked on until I finished it. Normally, I'd be working on smaller projects inbetween, just for some variation.

I loved knitting the border, it's an applied lace edge, those triangular points are so pretty. It's been really cold here in the U.K. and since finishing it, I haven't stopped wearing it.

I used 1.5 skeins of Rosy Green Wool in Cheeky Merino Joy, it is such a soft yarn and I will definitely be purchasing more.

Thank you for stopping by, have a great weekend.



Tuesday 3 February 2015

Purple......the colour of the moment.


If you were to ask me what my favourite colours were, I would say, aqua, sage green, grey's and soft pinks, I would never have said purple or lilac but it seems this is my colour of choice, at the moment. I've got two projects on the needles that are lilac and purples and I've just finished sewing buttons on my Aureus Cardigan so I've been able to wear it for the first time, this week.

I cast on the Old Romance By Joji Locotelli back in October but with Christmas knitting I didn't get very far so this week I've picked it back up again.

Once I'd finished the lace panels I started picking up stitches for the sleeves and body, I hadn't read the pattern beforehand and it's a really usual construction with short rows.

At first I was a bit "oh no, short rows" but actually I'm really enjoying it, I enjoy learning and trying new techniques and it's a lot easier than it looks. I'm using Drops Alpaca Silk which is a beautiful, soft yarn and gorgeous to knit with, it's going to be a long term project but I can't wait to have it finished and able to wear it.

Next are my purple "Fairisle" socks' I'm using Rico Design Surperba Mexico, a self patterning yarn. I'm doing a Vanilla sock, just using a basic sock recipe pattern by Louise Tilbrook, Lousie is a great designer and has some gorgeous sock patterns, you can find her blog here.

My last purple project is my Aureus cardigan, after nearly a year I've finally sewn on the buttons so have been able to wear it without it slipping off my shoulders. I used Rowan Felted Tweed DK, I really like this yarn, I thought it maybe a bit scratchy but it isn't and is one of my most comftable and warmest sweaters.

I'm on the fourth prompt of 26 Books with Bringing Up the Brums which is A Book Your Friend Loves........

I knew immediately that it it would have to be Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. My daughter and my friend Kerry have been nagging me for months to start reading the Harry Potter books so they'll be pleased to know I've finally started the first book.

I'm linking to Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On and Ginny's Yarn Along, there are always some great links to beautiful projects.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, 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...