Sunday, February 19, 2012

Japanese Flower Motif Wrap

I had long admired the many beautiful versions of the Japanese Flower Motif wrap that have been appearing on Ravelry.  The pattern is from a Japanese craft book that I ordered from a seller on Ebay. The ones made from Noro yarn are particularly beautiful.  Alas, Noro is very expensive so I settled for a very much more reasonable alternative.  Drops Delight is a beautiful yarn that comes in some amazing colourways. This orange/red/grey combination is particularly eyecatching in my opinion.  The motifs are really easy to crochet and you join as you go which makes it easy to finish. It took 3 evenings to finish the wrap and I love it.

Also finished is the Nordic Cardigan.  I have worn this almost every day since I finished it and find it one of the most wearable garments that I have ever made.  It was quick, easy and fun to knit.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Warm things

There has been plenty of kitting and crochet going on lately but no updates for a while.  This is because my laptop died a week before Christmas and it is taking ages to get to grips with the ipad that I bought to replace it.  Today I decided to take photos and update on the desktop before I lose track of everything.
I finally finished the Endless Cardi Shawl which got neglected for about a year due to the boring nature of the very long rows of stocking stitch.  It is the clever binding off that gives this garment it's shape.  The pattern is from Stitch diva and the yarn is some Rowan Wool Cotton that was purchased in a sale a few years ago. So glad that this one is actually finished because I really love it.  It's one of those versatile pieces that can be worn many different ways. These are my favourite two...


I swapped some yarn with Mrs W. from Tuesday Knitting Group recently and was lucky enough to gain possession of some Debbie Bliss Angel.  This yarn is similar to Kidsilk Haze, which is one of my very favourite yarns ever.  This scarf took just 2 balls.  The pattern was from a recent issue of Inside Crochet but I doubled the width to make it even warmer and snugglier.
With some of the leftover Angel, I whipped up this lovely little rose.  I love it.

The rose goes beautifully with the simple mesh snood that I crocheted from 2 balls of Drops Kid Silk.  These were purchased on my last visit to Handmade Nest - I could rave about this wonderful knitting shop for hours!  Nest is such a friendly, cosy shop and even serves tea, coffee and homemade cake.  The staff are knowledgeable and helpful.  The yarn is mostly what I would call "special" yarn.  Wonderful hand dyed and handspun yarns in fantastic colours.  They also stock Drops yarns, which are now my favourites.  They are great value and terrific quality.  Anyways, I doubled up the kid silk for my snood and just kept going until I ran out.
As I am enjoying making and wearing snoods at the moment, I tried out another Drops yarn to make a simple double crochet one.  The Drops Symphony is the softest yarn ever - the base is pure wool and the eyelash part is soft , silky polyamide. It is a wonderful yarn and I plan to make a garment with it soon.
The Drops yarn website has thousands of amazing free patterns to support their yarns.  It is hard to choose as they are all so beautiful.  However, I had been admiring the Alpaca Boucle Poncho for a while and purchased the yarn for it at Nest when I saw that it was on offer. This was another mindless knitting project - acres of stocking stitch.  I had to force myself to keep going and not to put it down and start something more challenging.  Again, I am so glad to have finished this garment as I think that I will wear it a lot when the weather is more appropriate.  The yarn is incredibly soft and light yet very, very warm.  I have ordered some more Alpaca Boucle to make a jumper for the husband.

Kidsilk Aura is another of my favourite yarns and this lot was also scored in the swap with the fabulously well stashed Mrs W. I have made the Cloud shawl by Kim Hargreaves several times before and it is a breeze to whip up. Just two evenings and I produced this wonderful warm wrap which can be used as a scarf or shawl. The pattern is easy to memorize and works up quickly on a big hook.

Rather than get stuck into my stash and make one of the many items I have my queue of projects I obviously felt the need to start something totally new that I spotted in a magazine.  The Sirdar Nordic Cardigan really appeals and is somewhat on trend at the moment. I am using the exact yarn suggested in the pattern.  Sirdar Country Style dk in  an olive green and ecru contrast. The cardigan is almost finished and will hopefully feature in my next post.  So far I am very pleased with the way it is progressing. Hopefully , there will be enough yarn left for a matching hat.
Speaking of hats, these two versions of the Piksi Hat have been keeping my ears warm lately during the freezing weather. It is a free pattern available on Ravelry and is quick and easy.  The mustard one is knitted from Manos del Uruaguy Wool Classica and the cream one is from Sirdar Tweedie Chunky.

 Also just off the needles and requiring finishing with a stiffened peak is a cute cap in a gorgeous colourway of Malabrigo Worsted. Really nice yarn.  Enough left from a 100g skein to make some matching fingerless mittens.
I have started crocheting the Bohemian Rhapsody Wrap as an ongoing project which may take some time.  The yarn is very fine and it is hard to work in the evenings when the light is not so good.  It is going to be fabulous when it is eventually finished.  There are 100 different tiny skeins of hand dyed laceweight wool in the kit and each square is a different colour combintion.  Concentration is required for this project.
Last night I needed a small project to take to knitting group as the cardigan is at sewing up stage and too big to carry in my handbag. So I dug out an old ball of Rowan Cotton Glace and the mouse pattern that I purchased 3 years ago at the IKnit show from the Sandra Polley. Sandra was demonstrating how she makes her wonderful little knitted bears and giving tips on sewing up little toys. This reminds me that somewhere in my UFO pile is a small bear who has been waiting to get stitched up for a very long time! In one evening I managed to knit the body , head, legs and ears.  Just the arms and tail to go.
Hopefully I have remembered to include everything that I have been working on in this post. Off to knit now...