Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer knitting

I have been knitting a lot lately and also crocheting, which I am enjoying a great deal. It seems that there are a lot more fashionable and wearable crochet patterns around these days. I found Doris Chan's free pattern for the "All Shawl" on Ravelry and really liked the way it can be made up in various sizes and gauges for different effects. I had a large ball of wool that I purchased in a charity shop for 50p and made up the scarf size first...
I love this little shoulder shawl/ scarf so much that I made another using the same yarn in a slightly looser gauge. This obviously finished up slightly larger than the first one and I was pleased with the looser fabric. There is enough yarn left for at least one more of these - what a bargain !
I had four balls of Rowan Cashcotton DK that I bought at half price in the fabulous John Lewis sale this year. It took about three and a half balls to make up the larger version of the All Shawl. The pattern is easy to memorise and works up quickly. I can see myself making many more versions of this.
I also made a couple of large, dramatic looking wraps from novelty eyelash yarn that I had in my stash. I made up the pattern - very simple wrap with big fun fringes. These worked up really quickly and look amazing on.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How could I have forgotten...

It had been so long since I last blogged that I totally forgot to include some items in my last post. I made this great sweater from the Crochet Me book. It's from Debbie Bliss Merino Aran and I love it. I stuck to the same colourway as the book, so not very adventurous, but it is just a great sweater. The arms turned out really long but I stayed with that as it gives it a really snuggly feel. It was easy and fun to make and has lots of possibilities for customisation should you wish.
I had wanted to make the Meathead Hat for a while but didn't want to fork out for a book that had no other patterns I liked in it. So, when I discovered the pattern could be downloaded for free from the publishers website I was thrilled. I cast on immediately with some Debbie Bliss Soho from my stash, used double. An hour later, the hat was finished. Really simple but quite fun.
I knitted up most of the Central Park Hoodie in about a week but haven't got around to sewing up and knitting the hood yet. I need to do it, this is a lovely cardi - far too good to end up in the UFO pile. I've used Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed. It's a lovely yarn, soft and bouncy.
Meanwhile , the Summer issue of Interweave Crochet arrived and I have had to cast on the Midsummer's Dream Camisole designed by Amie Hirtes - it looks beautiful. I'm using Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton 4 ply, which feels nice but splits a bit when you are working with it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Too much Ravelry , not enough blogging...

Despite spending about an hour a day on the awesome Ravelry site, I have not managed to update my blog in ages. I could browse the pattern database forever and my queue of projects is so long that it would take a lifetime to knit everything on it. So, I intend to make more of an effort to keep the blog up to date in future. I have knitted and crocheted plenty over the last month or so. I often don't wear the garments I make much, so I'm really pleased to report that my last three knits are being worn a lot. First up, the Coquette Top from Fitted Knits...
I used Rowan Cotton Jeans for this. Love the yarn. The colours are good and the yarn is nice to work with. I made i cord straps for a bit of added security. If I made this again I would go down a size for a snugger fit.
I had wanted to make the lace and rib top from Interweave Knits for ages, so I ordered some Cotton Ease from Banyan Tree Yarns and whipped it up in a few days. I really , really like this top. It feels great to wear and I have had many compliments on it. I have some white cotton in my stash and am considering making another - I have to love a pattern to knit it more than once. This was an interesting knit, with different lace panels and bust shaping.
I had 6 balls of Rowan Cotton Braid in my stash that I had been wanting to make into a top but couldn't find a pattern for so few balls. Then I was looking at the Cherry Twist pattern from Knitty and thought, why not? I particularly love the neckline of this top but made the bottom rib much longer as it was rather short. I want to make it again with a longer body and less rib.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quick update...

This is my second Chica wrap / belt from Afya Ibomu's Fly Tops and Funky Flavas. I would really recommend this book as there are some simple but very wearable items in it. I used Elle Escapade which is acrylic and comes in some great colourways.

I finally got the extra ball of Noro Silk Mountain that was needed to finish the boucle cap. I love the finished cap and there is enough yarn left to make some mitts or a neck warmer to go with it. I had a couple of balls of a cheaper boucle yarn that I'd found in a thrift shop and made up another cap - slightly less baggy. This one was pretty good too - Clare the Bear has laid claim to it already. It's a nice pattern, from the Noro Designer Mini Knits book, and quick and easy to knit. I also really like boucle yarn.

I recently purchased Louisa Harding's Knitting Little Luxuries which is a lovely book full of great patterns . First up was two attempts at the Cecily beanie. It was really fun to decorate the beanies with buttons from my collection.

A couple of bags from the same book. These used up some stash yarn. Firstly, the single skein of Prism Kid Slique that I bought in New York last September at String. I like the way this turned out. The yarn is wonderful.
Secondly, I made up the lace bag from some Debbie Bliss Denim Aran. The knitting is finished but I haven't got around to lining it yet.
These Turkish Slippers were crochet as a birthday present for my friend Jenny. They took a day to make - I know this pattern really well and have made many pairs.

The Betty Wrap made up in no time and I am very pleased with it. I wasn't sure about my choices of colour at first but when it was finished I loved the overall effect.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A post at last !

Not much blogging lately - but lots of knitting, crochet and browsing on Ravelry. I made a hat for the DH but it turned out enormous. My fault for not checking gauge. I'm thinking of putting elastic around it and wearing it myself as a slouchy beret. I used 2 balls of RYC Alpaca Soft that I picked up in a sale. It's lovely yarn - knits up into a really soft thick fabric.
Finishing touches were completed on the striped beret from Louisa Harding's Gathering of Roses and the Half Pipe Hat from the Stitch n' Bitch for men book...

I like both of these hats very much. Also very cute is the First Hat that I made from a single ball of Noro Silk Garden. I liked the one Manos del Uruguay a lot and this one works very well in the striped yarn.

Two shrugs ! Yes two ! Each one took just an evening to knit in Rowan Biggy Print. The pattern is Bless from the new Kim Hargreaves book, Heartfelt. It is so easy to make and I think I will wear the shrug. Clare the Bear has already claimed the green/brown one.

I am loving Afya Ibomu's new book in the Get Your Crochet On series - The belt looked great in the Noro Daria from my stash. I got the buckle off a belt that I picked up for 50p at Primark. I've worn this several times. I used a ball of Elle Escapade to make the Chica belt type thing and love how it turned out. I've almost finished another one of these. The yarn is really nice for an acrylic and comes in beautiful colours.

Chanson en Crochet has turned out beautifully. I wasn't sure that this would be something I'd wear - I just fancied crocheting it. Now that it is finished, I love it and can see myself wearing it a lot.
I'm in a real crochet mood at the moment. I started the lovely sweater from the Crochet Me book at the last knitting club meeting. With just one and a half sleeves left to finish it is looking quite good.
The Cross Stitch Scarf is also complete - knitted at work over three days. I like the stitch pattern a lot and it shows up the colours of the gorgeous Manos del Uruguay really well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ravelry and hats

I have been spending far too much time browsing on Ravelry and not enough blogging. I am totally addicted to it. It is so great to see what different knitters have made from the same pattern. There are so many talented knitters and crocheters around.
Clare the Bear visited on Sunday so i got her to model for me - she looks so cute in knitted hats. My favourite finished knit of the last few weeks has to be The Lady Detective Hat from Knit2Together. I made it from my last skein of Noro Iro . I noticed on Ravelry that some knitters had made it from just one skein rather than the two which are stated in the yarn requirements of the pattern and thought I'd give it a go. I was a couple of yards short but managed to find just enough to finish it in my scrap basket left over from the One Skein Wonders Sassy shawl. There wasn't enough for the hat band but it looks great without it. I like the shape and fit of this hat so much that I cast on another one in some Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury tweed. I doubled up the yarn to get a chunky thickness and it knitted up beautifully. The Luxury Tweed is a really nice yarn to knit with and I shall definitely use it again. This hat took just one evening to knit. I made the band this time but have yet to find a suitable buckle for it. I checked out the haberdshery department in John Lewis today in my lunch break but couldn't find one. Tomorrow , I may try Sewfine.
Another successful knit from Knit2Together was the First Hat. For this I used the lovely skein of green Manos del Uruguay that I purchased at Loop in Islington. The hat is very cute. It was fun to knit and I love the yarn. Knit2Together is one of my favourite knitting books - so many good patterns in it.
After a year in hibernation I finally finished off the Grown Up Bonnet, also from Knit2Together. I made one last Christmas as a gift and loved it so much that I started one for myself. I got distracted by other projects and put it aside. It took 2 balls of Cygnet Wool Rich Aran.
On the crochet front, I am about half way through the Chanson En Crochet from the Interweave Crochet website. I'm using Rowan Silk Cotton which is a very nice yarn.There are tons of errata for this pattern, which is a bit annoying. Why can't they just correct the actual pattern for downloading instead of adding and extra page of corrections to refer to ?
I've also finished an In Bloom clutch bag and a Half Pipe Hat - they still need sewing up so pictures next post.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Little things

Lots of knitting and crochet going on over the last week or so. A few bits and pieces for my Blythe doll turned out quite well. I started out with some easy little beanie hats...
Then I progressed to the knitted coat - free pattern from Knitty. I was pleased with how this turned out but just can't find a small enough button to suit it. The search goes on.
I tried a simple top down raglan cardigan for Blythe next. I used size 2.5mm needles and Cygnet Wool Rich 4Ply from my sock yarn stash. I really like the finished cardi and will be making more of these for my girl. The top down method works really well for this sort of project. It minimises seaming and you can check the fit as you go along. I'd seen some lovely knitted doll dresses on Etsy and decided to have a go at making my own. It's almost done and looking quite cute.
The Gorgeous Corsage from Crocheted Accessories is one of my favourite flower brooch patterns. I have made up several of these and they all look really pretty. They are very simple to make but look quite special.
These Pocketbook Slippers knitted up in no time. I used some of my own handspun and am quite pleased with the results. The slippers probably look better in a more even textured yarn but they are still cute and cosy. A great way to use up an odd ball of wool.
I took a trip to Hobbycraft last week and picked up a scarf kit in the sale. I liked the colours and the wild fringing. This knitted up in about 2 hours on 8mm needles.
I am a big fan of Afya Ibomu and her books. I recently purchased Fly Tops and Funky Flavas, her latest offering, from Amazon. She is a crochet goddess ! The patterns are simple to follow but turn out so stylish and trendy. Her instructions are very clear and she encourages you to experiment with colours and adapt patterns to suit you. Since buying Afya's first book, Hip Hats and Cool Caps, I have become a fan of acrylic yarn. Yes, really ! I picked up a ball of cheap acrylic in this great colourway from Watford Market last week and have nearly finished a stunning pair of Nuff Gluvs. They are great.

I haven't done any more work on Zara from Rowan's Bigger Picture yet. The back is done and it won't take long once I get back into it. I'm liking the look of it so far.
Next week will probably be about more hats. Just can't get enough of hat knitting these days. I ordered Woolly Wormhead's new book "Going Straight" and it should be arriving any day. It has a terrific selection of hats knitted on straight needles. Can't wait.