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.