Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lace and Cake

The long sleeved shrug is now officially finished and it is even better than I had hoped it would be. The basic shape is really just a long tube with lace edgings but it looks far more complicated. I am pleased with the Rowan 4 ply Cotton which seems just about perfect for this project. It had been in my stash for ages and I had never really found a use for it - one of those yarns that you buy because it is on sale and then wonder what to do with it. I have quite a few packs of yarn in the stash that were bought on impulse and it is nice to see something put to good use. I think is will be quite wearable. I am thinking of making it again in wool as I think that could also work well. I particularly like the lace edging as it is so delicate and pretty.
Last week a lovely lady at worked asked if I would knit her a cake. She loves to have tea parties and had recently purchased a beautiful new cakestand. I knitted up one from a pattern I found on Ravelry and it was so much fun that I carried on...
The result was this fun box of cakes. I made up the Battenburg slice and am quite pleased with it. When I gave these to my friend she was absolutely thrilled with them. I love it when that happens. Knitting brings me so much pleasure and it is just wonderful to share some of that joy.
The lace front cardigan from Feminine Knits has been mostly finished for a few weeks now - as usual I dilly dally with the sewing up. There was only a little sewing to do on this one - just the sleeve seams. Last night I got my needle out and sewed up those seams and wove in the ends. The result is a very pretty cardigan. In all, this used up 8 balls of Patons Misty used double. The Misty was a real bargain from Kemps Wools. Doubled up it makes an acceptable substitute for Kidsilk Aura. Obviously not quite as soft and luxurious but much, much cheaper. I have still have ten balls of Misty in a dark green colourway in stash. This cardigan was a very easy knit and turned out well .
I am on a mission to use up my stash at the moment. Two days ago I dug out the pack of Stylecraft Sirocco, also a bargain from Kemps Wools, that I bought recently. I have decided to try the Sage Remedy Top by Sarah Shepherd. There are lots of lovely examples of this on Ravelry. Sirocco is a boucle cotton linen mix and I was worried that the lace wouldn't show up enough. Having finished the front I feel fairly happy that it will work ok. I am looking forward to wearing this top so it is full speed ahead...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Still shrugging!

I have been wearing my green short sleeve shrug quite a lot over the last month and love it. So I thought I'd give another of Bernadette Ambergen's lovely patterns a go. I had 10 balls of Rowan 4 ply Cotton in my stash that I bought years ago in a sale. I used just over 2 balls on the small short sleeved shrug that I gave to Millie and thought the rest would be perfect for Bernadette's beautiful pattern for a Red Crochet Shrug. Mine will be a pale pink crochet shrug but every bit as lovely. I now have just a little lace edging on the second sleeve and around the front opening to finish. So far it is looking gorgeous and promises to fit perfectly. I have learnt a lot from these shrugs and feel I could design one of my own using the basic shape and my choice of stitch pattern then fitting on a lace edging. That's something I would love to try soon.
I recently bought the charming book Knitted Odd-bod Bunch by Donna Wilson from Amazon. I had seen some of the quirky little toys made up on Ravelry and thought they were adorable. It is also full of great projects for using up those odd balls that seem to accumulate in ones stash. My first knit from this book was the fabulous little character Rita Raccoon. She was easy to make and is a big hit with Millie. I used Rowan Designer dk 100% wool, one ball of cream and about one and a quarter balls of black. I loved embroidering the features and bringing her to life - we had a photo shoot in the back garden.
I so loved making Rita that I let Millie choose another toy from the Odd-bod Bunch and cast on immediately. She chose Peggy Long Legs. I just happened to have 2 balls of the exact same yarn in same colour as that used in the book and so have ended up with an almost identical Peggy. The body was knitted in an evening but the legs were a very long and boring knit that stretched out over a week. I love these unusual toys and will be making lots more - in fact, the Stick Snail is almost half way knitted.
Another pattern that I love is the Eden Scarf. I have made quite a few of these over the last couple of years. This latest is one of my favourite versions. I had 2 balls of Sirdar Escape left over from my Wavey Edged Cardigan and they have turned out to be perfect for this design. The colours are just right. For this one, I used garter stitch for the leaves and they don't curl up so much as the stocking stitch versions. I gave the finished scarf to Nicky, my lovely knitting club friend..
Speaking of knitting club friends, Tina and I have been working on Alan Dart's Chimps Tea Party for some weeks now. We decided to make it together to increase the likelihood of it all getting finished. Thanks mainly to Tina's superb efforts we finished this week. I intend to take a posed picture of the entire picnic later but I just had to share this photo of Millie when she first got her hands on them...
I think she likes them!
Another item that I finished a while ago is this simple and feather and fan scarf/stole that I whipped up from a single ball of Drops Vivaldi. It is a nice yarn, very soft and fluffy and quite reasonably priced. I love that I can wear this as a stole or scrunch it up and wear it as a warm scarf
Lastly, I purchased this cute kit for a crochet baby blanket in the John lewis sale a couple of days ago. What a bargain, it is reduced from £20 to £5. The colours are just lovely and it will be the perfect gift for a friend at work who is having a little boy in November. The squares are quite fiddly on a small hook and the yarn is a little splitty but I think it will be a beautiful little blanket. I need to keep myself motivated with project.