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.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Nottingham Yarn Expo.........

Hello there, this time last week I was travelling to Nottingham for the very first Nottingham Yarn Expo to meet my friend Dani who I don't get to see often enough so this was a real treat to spend the day with her.

I was lucky enough to win some tickets from Amy of Stranded Dyeworks who was giving away tickets on Instagram. So when we arrived and walked through the entrance gate we were immediately hit by the large, open, extremely light, airy venue which was being held at the Nottingham Conference Centre.

There were 100 plus exhibitors, some new to me indie dyers, some of my favourites including Moel View YarnsNorah George and Walcott Yarns.

In the above photo, you can see the Meerdaal Scarf that I sample knit for Moel View Yarns using their stunning Ethical DK.

There were so many wonderful booths filled with gorgeous yarn so we decided to do a full lap of the show to get a feel and what we might purchase. The idea was that we look first then buy but as expected that didn't happen, there was far too much temptation.

Here's my haul, I didn't go with a shopping list as such but I did want more DK as I don't have much in my stash.

Also, after trying Dani's Addi Crasy Trio's, the new small circumference knitting needles, I had to get some of those too. It's a great alternative from DPN's, you have your stitches on two needles and knit with the third so in theory, it should be much quicker than magic loop or DPN's.

One of my first purchases was this pretty pink yarn from a new to me dyer, Dusty Dimples. The colour is Call Me Baby on her DK Sparkle base, I couldn't capture the sparkle in the photo but it is gorgeous. I'm sure this will become a hat!

Though I said to myself that I wasn't going to buy any single skein sock yarn, I could resist this sock set from another new to me dyer, Beehive Yarns. She was such a lovely lady, so was her mom who was helping out and her booth was full of beautiful yarn and colour.

This is on her Audrey base in Hoggle and the mini is Fox Tales. Hoggle is a reference to the character from the film Labyrinth. I haven't seen this film for years so this set has made me want to watch it again.

I also bought some minis to add to my collection, I got some more tonal shades from River Knit Yarn who have the most amazing wall of rainbow colours, perfect for heel and toes.

The other set of minis were from Ovis Et Cetera, naturally dyed yarn from Holland, though it was milled in England. She had the most amazing yarn and could have bought so much more but I was restrained.

Last but not least, I went back to Moel View Yarn, I had a voucher to spend so bought some stunning DK on the BFL/Silk base, naturally dyed with Logwood. I also bought a double stranded sock blank and a yarn bundle to knit the Leighton House Handwarmers by Ella Austin, a pretty colourwork pattern.

The day went so quick but it was lovely to catch up with Dani, we both said we'd definitely go back next year if they do it again.

Have a great week and I'll be back on Thursday with the third pattern from Knitvent 2017.

Happy Knitting

Thursday 16 November 2017

Tulle Shawl........Knitvent 2017.

 Hello my friends, I hope you've all had a good week. I've updated the look of my blog since last week, it has stayed the same for many years so thought it could do with a change. I really like it and think it suits my style more now that I'm more of a knitting blog, I hope you agree.

I'm back to tell you that the second window from Knitvent 2017 is now open, it is a stunning one skein shawl with the most perfect name, the Tulle Shawl.

I used The Wool Barn in Ballet Slipper, I knew straight away that  I'd be using this for the Tulle Shawl, with the colourway name and The Nutcracker theme, it had to be done. There is also the option of adding beads, just for that extra sparkle over the holiday season.

This shawl was such a pleasure to knit with a simple garter stitch body and then a delicate lace border. A little tip, when knitting on the garter stitch section, use a progress keeper just so you know which is the right side of your work. I used this gorgeous, beaded Christmas tree from Eva Faith Etsy shop. She has so many beautiful handmade stitch markers and progress keepers, each one perfectly handcrafted and the quality is superb.

I did add the beads to my shawl, I used clear so it's very understated but still has that bit of sparkle. I used size 6 beads with a 1mm crochet hook. Helen gives a very clear explanation on how to add beads so don't be intimidated with beadwork.

How pretty is the border? The lace isn't too complicated and is very intuitive, after the first row you will know if you've made a mistake before getting too far as it all lines up. I think this would be a perfect first project for those who want to give lace and bead knitting a go.

I think this will make the prettiest accessory over the Christmas festivities, it would also make a great gift for someone special.

Last week, Helen Stewart released this amazing Nutcracker kit with a bag from Louleigh, a skein of yarn from the The Wool Kitchen and a progress keeper from Eva Faith.

The kit sold out within minutes but there are pre-orders over at The Wool Kitchen for this delightful yarn, also Eva Faith has some of the toy soldier progress keepers and coordinating stitch markers in her shop update on Friday 17th. Both are them are perfect for this shawl project.

Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting.

The Handmade Sock Society 3 by Helen Stewart

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