Friday, October 04, 2013

Oh My Bear!

Haven't posted for a while, but I have certainly been knitting and crocheting. Today I finished sewing up the "Oh My Bear" hoodie  by Tiny Owl Knits. It is currently being blocked and I think it may take a while as it soaked up a lot of water.

I have been wanting to make this for ages.  When I found the exact yarn needed at half price on Black Sheep Wools website, it seemed like the ideal time to start the project. The pattern is really easy and took about a week to knit up.  I haven't done any intarsia for ages and really enjoyed the challenge.  The hoodie took seven skeins of Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Chunky and scraps from my stash for the bear design. I can't wait to wear it - modelled shots next post! This jumper is really on trend and was great fun to make. Don't be put off by the bear design, it was much easier to do than it looks.

The Maraschino Shawl is another lovely pattern found on Ravelry.  I used  3 balls of Drops Cotton Viscose for this and am very pleased with the end result.  The yarn drapes well and has a nice shiny appearance. The border is a picot and leaf design that I found in a Japanese craft book.  I think it finishes the shawl off perfectly. I will make this design again using a finer yarn at some point.

Next up is this beautiful crochet shawl made from a German pattern that was again spotted on Ravelry. There were many fabulous examples of the shawl using Crazy Zauberball yarn and it just had to be my choice. I love the colours and the way that they show off the stitch design so well. It was a quick and easy project but so very effective.  I've already worn this one quite a few times.
Also worn a lot...

A lovely, snuggly, soft cardi with a shawl collar.  I got the Sirdar Babouska supercheap from Kemps Wools and knitted this up in a few days. It is really comfortable and cosy.  I have some more of this  yarn in my stash and look forward to some more very wearable garments for the Winter.

Earlier in the Summer I made this cute hat for my gorgeous great niece, little Lolli, to keep the sun off her precious head. She wears hats well and looks like a little star. Love her to bits!
There are several works in progress at the moment.  Nearly finished are the fingerless mitts that I am knitting from a single ball of Crofter. They are basically 2 rectangles sewn together with thumb holes at the top. I like the way Crofter looks when it is knitted up -  quite fancy for such a simple knit.

The Cimarron Shawl is working up quickly as it is such a pleasure to see the design growing. I hope to finish it over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Adventure Time!

 This little guy was made by special request of Millie to take on her school trip.  You may recognise him as Finn the human from the cartoon "Adventure Time." He is knitted in Stylecraft Special Aran and is a very splendid fellow.  There is loads of yarn left over from this project which needs to be made into something.  it was important to use exactly these colours so I couldn't raid my stash and had to buy some more. Here he is having an adventure in our garden...

 My socks  on two needles have at last got finished and sewn up - just in time for the heatwave! I am quite pleased with them. The seams are hardly noticeable and the knitting is much quicker on two needles. I used about a ball and a quarter of very cheap sock yarn purchased at "Tiger".  Considering it was only £1 a ball it is pretty nice.

 I love this pretty top in Rowan Savannah.  It was very simple to knit and only took two evenings on size 8mm needles. The crochet trim round the neck is the perfect finishing touch.  I plan to make another of these  and will add a few inches to the length - it is really a bit short for me.

I have mostly been working on my crochet blanket this week - it's looking beautiful and I can't wait to finish it.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Scarves and Sunhats

Still no sign of Summer arriving, although we are promised hotter, sunnier weather in the next few days.  I am ready with a crochet sunhat...

The Ewa hat is one of my favourite hat patterns of all time.  It is simple but turns out a beautifully shaped hat every time. The simple design is also crying out to be embellished with some sort of amazing crochet flower. For the hat, I used RYC Cotton Silk and for the flower Katia Degrade. I have made this design many times now and it never fails me.

I recently took part in the Summer Song Shawl Knitalong hosted by Tinyknitter on Ravelry.  I chose Rico Creative Designs Reflection for my shawl and used 4mm needles.  For the smallest size shawl, I used about one and a quarter balls. I do love the finished shawlette but if I made another would use larger needles for greater drape and stronger coloured beads for greater contrasted. The beads were added as I went along using a very tiny crochet hook. It only took a few days knitting to finish this one and it is lovely to see the other versions that are now appearing on Ravelry.
I had to block the shawl well to open out the lace and get the lovely pointed edges.  The blocking also increased the size of the shawl quite a bit - I was worried it was going to be too small when I was knitting it. Turned out really pretty.

Here's a scarf that I started ages ago.

It is the "Just A Whisper" scarf  that I previously made in a bright green sequined mohair from Ice Yarn. At last, the lovely ball of Kidsilk Haze Stripe has been knitted up into something very wearable. Using extra large needles makes one 50g ball go a very long way and still produces a soft , fluffy, warm fabric. I had quite a bit left over - maybe as much as a third of the ball.
Happy knitting!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Snuggly Socks For A Cold Summer!

It has been ages since my last post, but I can assure you that there has been plenty of knitting going on. I had never really taken to knitting socks in the past, but I have recently discovered how fun it is. The yarns are just amazing and it is a chance to try out new techniques and stitch patterns in a small project. This lovely red pair were knitted from the toe up out of some Regia sock yarn that I picked up in a sale recently for £1 a ball. Bargain! I was so encouraged by the way they turned out that I cast on another pair immediately they were finished. More bargain yarn, two at a time toe up socks.

There are more socks on my needles at the moment  but I am trying a pair on straight needles.  These will need to be carefully seamed up the side when finished.  I prefer knitting on straight needles and find it much quicker and more comfortable on my hands. Hopefully there will be more about these in my nex post.
Shawls continue to be a favourite knit of mine, and  I have two on the go at the moment.  Firstly, I have started Knitty's "Citron" in some gorgeous soft Malabrigo lace yarn.  The colour and the feel and wonderful.

I also started a lace pattern shawl  in some Rico Reflections - loving the sparkliness of this yarn!

I finished my entrelac headband a while ago.  Another great pattern from Knitty called Gray Gardens. I am super proud of this  as it is the first time I have done entrelac. The colours of the Noro yarn work really well for this project . It was great fun to knit and I am planning a larger project in Noro Silk Garden soon.
I have also been enjoying crochet very much lately.  Previous attempts at making blankets have usually been abandoned when i have about enough squares to make a small bag or cushion.  This time, I am determined to finish this amazing crochet blanket that I have been admiring on the Drops website for years. I have seen many lovely versions of this blanket on Ravelry and hope to be adding a photo of mine soon.  I have decided to make it bigger than the pattern states as that seems to give a smallish throw. I want mine to be magnificent!  I already have almost enough squares and will start joining them over the next few days. I am using various colours of Drops Delight.  This is a wonderful yarn with beautiful colours.  It was also on sale when I purchased it, which makes this an incredibly affordable project.

Also crocheted recently, but not yet worn, is this lovely ripple scarf.  I used 2 balls of Noro Silk Garden sock yarn. Noro has always been my favourite yarn producer.  It doesn't matter what you make as it always looks beautiful in these amazing colourways.  This was another sale yarn - Noro is normally far too expensive!

 This little knitted scarf with crochet edging was finished a while ago but I forgot to blog about it. The pattern and yarn were a kit from Mrs Moon, which is a lovely yarn store in London.  I really like the simple, elegant design and will probably make this scarf again for presents.

Bye for now! Well it is Wimbledon week...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Warm Woolies


The Alpaca Cotton jumper finally got finished. I had stalled a while back and got wrapped up in other projects.  The return of freezing cold weather recently prompted me to finish off the sleeves and sew up this warm, cosy sweater.  The pattern is "Nellie" by Kim Hargreaves and is a simple stocking stitch sweater with wide raglan sleeves and a deep v neck. I've worn it a few times already and love it.


The baby clothes are still on the needles and really need to be finished before they are outgrown. The little purple coat just needs the sleeves finishing and buttons sewn on. It was fun to knit and should look really cute.
 The Spanish Dress from an old issue of the Debbie Bliss knitting magazine is very sweet in moss stitch with tiny cables.  I am using Rowan Cotton Glace to knit the little bodice and will be making the skirt from some Liberty Tana Lawn in my stash. No hurry here as it far too cold to wear this yet and I have gone for the 6 months size so it will be just right for Summer.
I went to the Stitch and Knit Show at Olympia last Sunday  - it was great!  I was determined to use up some of the yarn that I bought at Ally Pally last year before I got tempted by a whole load more.  So, with that in mind, I whipped up this lovely Triangle Cowl from the Natural Dye Studio Dazzle dk that I had purchased there.  I wore it to the show and am quite pleased with it. Of course I was tempted by many beautiful yarns at Olympia and gave in to temptation to some extent.  One of my favourite buys was this ball of lace weight yarn from a German company called Schoppel.

I love the colours and am thinking that it will probably be good for a shawl. There are 800m of lace yarn on this little beauty so there will be plenty of suitable patterns to choose from.
The "Lunatic Fringe Shawl" from the new edition of "Knitty" really caught my eye recently.  I wanted to make it in a drapey yarn that would be suitable for Summer wear. Katia Hydra seemed to offer just the properties I was looking for and comes in some lovely pale Summery colours. It is a simple pattern but I am not as fast at knitting on circular needles and it seems to be taking me longer than usual to get this project going. I am going to persevere and not give in to the temptation of casting on with some of my lovely new yarn.
Here is Alfie watching me knit...

I would like to think he is fascinated by the process, but suspect that he actually just wants to eat my wool!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Knitting Bag

I finished sewing up this lovely knitting bag this morning and am really pleased with it.  The pattern is the "Knitting Needle Knitting Bag" by Pam Allen. It's a free pattern which I found through the amazing Ravelry site - where else! The Rowan Colourscape is a lovely yarn which I enjoyed knitting up.  The finished bag looks great and is going to be a present for a knitting friend. I like it so much that I may have to make another for myself - plenty of Colourscape left in my stash. I got the wonderful old wooden needles for 20p in my local charity shop.

My alpaca legwarmers were finished and worn yesterday.  The Katia alpaca yarn is possibly the nicest alpaca I have ever used.  It is really soft and warm.  The pattern was easy to follow and I will probably make another pair in a cheaper yarn.  As far as I am concerned, legwarmers will never be out of fashion!

The Belmondo Shawl has been one of my favourite patterns for ages now and this version is just beautiful.  It is hard to go wrong with a yarn like Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend.  The blend of silk and merino wool is lovely and soft to handle and to wear.  The colours are also amazing.

This evening I started a new crochet project.  It's a simple bag made from Rowan denim.  I'm hoping it will be strong and practical.  It is a little boring so far - just endless double crochet. The simplicity of the bag is part of it's charm so I'm trying to finish it quickly before I get fed up with it.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Baby Hat Supermodel

Last week I got to see my beautiful new Great Niece for the first time - obviously I had been knitting baby hats for her for weeks.  She is just beautiful and already knows how to rock a hand knitted hat. This is her in the cute Cross Stitch Hat by Tara Murray, which is a free pattern that I found through Ravelry.  I love that you can customise this simple design with any cross stitch pattern that you like.  The possibilities are endless.
Next on that sweet little velvety soft head is the Candy Cane Hat from Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B Anderson.  I have made this one many times before and find it looks adorable in just about any combination of colours.  There are lots of great patterns in Itty-Bitty Hats. I found another little beauty on Ravelry and knitted in just a few hours from a single ball of Sirdar Big Softie. Can't wait to see this one modelled!  It is the LeLe Baby Hat by Vania Jenny. The enormous bobble is such fun.

I don't think I posted pictures of my chunky alpaca cowl when I finished it , so here it is.  It was a kit purchased from Toft Alpaca before Christmas.  I am loving alpaca at the moment and Toft sells amazing quality yarn from their own herd of animals. It is scrummy. The cowl is a simple circular knit in trinity stitch which is quite simple and gives a lovely textured look.

I found some more excellent quality alpaca in my LYS, Mavis of Bushey, last week and was unable to resist. The shop is the only one I know of around this area that stocks a good range of Katia Yarns. This pure alpaca in a range of natural shades is incredibly soft and not a bad price either. I decided to use it for a pair of crochet legwarmers and it is working up very nicely.  I hope to be wearing these soon - with more bad weather on the way they are just the thing for keeping the legs extra warm.  There are those who feel legwarmers should have been left back in the 80's but I love them and will continue to wear them however unfashionable they may be considered. Here's what I've done so far...

This second version of Kim Hargreaves beautiful pattern, Clarity, from her book "Cherished" is every bit as lovely as the first.  I used Rowan Alpaca Cotton again for it's softness and warmth but this time in the cream colourway known as "Rice." 
After these cosy warm projects I felt the need to start something from the latest Spring/Summer Rowan book.  "Kos" immediately appealed to me as an interesting project due to the variety of stitches used to create the lace patterned fabric. It is a simple shaped short sleeved top and should look stunning in this bright pink Paton's 4ply 100% Cotton.

I will probably take a while to finish this as there are still plenty of Winter jumpers to be worked on.  It can be a cheery distraction between other projects.  I recently knitted this gorgeous Klaralund jumper in less than a week from some Noro Silk garden that I was lucky enough to get half price in a sale. I have wanted to knit this for ages but was put off by the high price of Noro yarns. It is ok for small items like hats , scarves or shawls but usually very expensive to buy enough for a whole garment. The Klaralund is a very simple design constructed from 4 large rectangles sewn together - no shaping at all. Surprisingly it looks really stylish when completed.

I've already worn it several times and would consider it to be one of my all time favourite jumpers.
Still working on this Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend Belmondo Shawl ...

It's for a colleague at work. Must finish it this week!
What's coming up next? Well, I think I could finish my big Alpaca Cotton raglan sleeved jumper, finish a knitted bag that will be a present for a friend, maybe some gloves and of course more delightfully cute baby hats.