Tuesday 12 February 2019

The Month of Woolly Hats.....

Hello there,

     January seemed to be the month of the hat! I ended up knitting three and casting on another, it wasn't planned but once I'd finished one, I was hooked.

The first hat was the Barley Hat by Hilary Grant from a book in my knitting library called Knitting From the North. This is a great book full of colourwork projects from accessories to garments, I plan on using more patterns that I already own either from my Ravelry library or books/magazines this year.

I used some Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumper Weight in three colours that I have in my stash. If I'm honest, I should have chosen more contrasting colours, I really like the soft muted tones but if I knit it again I will go for brighter colour yarns.

As soon as the Barley Hat was off the needles, I cast on the Sparkling Cider Hat by Voolenvine, a design knit with a 4ply/fingering weight yarn, held double with mohair silk and beads.

I used Hill View Farm Dabbler in charcoal held together with Shubui Silk Cloud in Ash. I love the look and feel of mohair held together with another yarn, it makes the project really soft and squishy with a beautiful halo.

I love how the beads look on this hat, I used a size 6 miyuki bead from The Bead Merchant. I enjoyed the process of adding the beads, I know people are put off with beading, thinking it's complicated but it's actually very simple. I use a 0.5mm crochet hook which I find the easiest way to add beads.

This is my most favourite hat that I've knit and would love to knit another one, maybe in burgundy. I like the fit on me and how it looks.

The third hat that I cast on in January is the Heart End Hat, a test knit for Ainsworth & Prin, also known as The Knitting Shed, who sell the most gorgeous yarn in a wonderful array of colours.

I used The Fibre Company Lore, in the Gentle colourway, it's a beautiful, 100% lambswool from the English Romney. It's a proper woolly yarn but softens up beautifully once blocked.

The Hearts End is a cabled design which is simple to knit and easy to follow from the well-written pattern but looks very intricate. I used the smaller needles, suggested in the pattern to make it slightly smaller. I thought it looked quite big as I was knitting it but it fits perfectly and is a very warm, cosy hat for these chilly, winter days. I still haven't attached the pompom yet, as I can't decide if I want one on this hat.

I have just cast on another hat which uses two strands of DK called the Skyhill Hat by Emily Foden. This is from the fabulous Knits about Winter book which I might do a separate blog post about this book. It has so many stunning designs, I want to knit everything in this book.

I used John Arbon Knit by Numbers in 79KBN held with two strands of Rowan Mohair Haze which is a 4ply yarn. I'm using yarn, leftover from other projects, I'm so pleased with how this is turning out. You might think it could be a pain holding three strands together but actually, I'm not finding it difficult at all. The only tip that I would give is making sure that you are knitting all three yarns, sometimes you might have a stray loop so you just need to be mindful of this.

Do you have a certain thing that you like to knit? I use to be a big sock knitter and I still always have a sock or two on the needles but don't get as many finished as I did. I love the instant gratification of hats.

The last thing before I sign off is the winner of The Handmade Sock Society 2 by Curious Handmade is..........

Kate P

If you could let me know your Ravelry name, I will get Helen to send you the pattern collection.

Happy Knitting

Thursday 7 February 2019

The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 Giveaway....

Hi there, how are you all doing? I hope you've all had a good start to the year? What are your knitting plans for the year? Are you finishing WIP's before you cast on new projects or just casting on all the new ones?

I tried to clear as many WIP's off my needles as I could before the end of last year but as I do every new year I like to cast on new projects. I will share them in my next post though.

I'm here today to let you know that Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade is releasing The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 which last year was an amazing success which many of you enjoyed. Pre-sales are now up at an early-bird price of £9.95 + any vat that has to be added, no code needed, it will revert to the regular price of £15 on the 14th February.

Here's everything you need to know about this seasons subscription.....

Run away to a quiet cottage in Cornwall, a remote hideaway overlooking the sea. Outside, the waves crash against the rocks, but you are snug and warm, wrapped in blankets and toasting by a little wood-fired stove. There’s peace to be found in the wildness of the ocean and comfort to be gleaned from the humble pleasures of life on a windswept beach. No matter how fierce the weather may be, the sound of the sea can soothe a ruffled heart. When you’re feeling brave, you can climb the cliffs and take in the exhilaration of the view, or strike out in a sailboat and test your skills and courage against the wind. There is nothing else to do and nowhere else to be but right here, and every moment in this place is full of inspiration.
The second season of The Handmade Sock Society takes us on a voyage away from the complexity and clutter of our modern schedules to a seaside retreat where we can steal a little time for ourselves, our thoughts, and our handmade projects. There will be moments of rest and of excitement, the joy of the unknown and the ease of the familiar, and most of all, the indulgence of as much sock knitting as our hearts desire.
The Handmade Sock Society Season 2 is a pattern subscription club inspired by the beautiful Cornish coastline. The six secret sock knitting patterns in the collection are ideal for any knitter who is obsessed with hand-knitted socks, loves a bit of suspense, and enjoys creating along with other enthusiastic makers. The first pattern of the series will be released in early later this month, and then there will be another pattern release every other month until December 2019. There’s never any pressure to “keep up” with the crowd, and our leisurely release schedule should allow knitters of all skill levels and knitting speeds a nurturing and relaxed experience.

I wanted to choose a colour palette for all six socks to reflect the Cornish coast and the seaside in general. I'm drawn to the beach and sea,  it has a calming effect on me much like knitting, I can feel the stresses of life just melt away listening to the waves crash against the shoreline. Sadly, I don't live by the sea so when I do travel to the beach, I have to savour the moment.

I found these wonderful colour inspiration photos from the Beautiful Simplicity blog which expresses perfectly the colours and mood I wanted to interpret to my socks. I will have fun looking through my stash to find just the right yarn for all the designs.

This is the yarn that I've chosen for the first design which will be released Thursday 14th February, it's Fine Fish Yarns in the Claude colourway.

Helen has very kindly given me a subscription to give away to one lucky reader so if you fancy been in with a chance of winning, just let me know in the comments if you knit any of last years designs and which was your favourite or what is your Curious Handmade sock design. I will pick a winner on Monday.

Also, Helen has a giveaway on her Ravelry group to win one of her patterns of your choice, for more details check out the giveaway thread.

Happy knitting

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...