Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Knitvent 2015.......Winter Wander Shawl.

Hello, I hope you've all had a good week. I want to let you all know that Knitvent 2015 by Helen Stewart has now been released. The first pattern was released last Thursday and is called the Winter Wander Shawl, it's a stunning crescent shaped beaded shawl.

It's a deceptively quick knit, focusing on texture, starting with a squishy garter stitch using a 4ply, then an eye catching lace panel with a sprinkling of twinkling beads, finishing off with a pretty, beaded picot edge.

I used Shibui Staccato 4ply, a merino/silk blend in Ash and Shibui Silk Cloud in Velvet, a super soft mohair/silk blend. If you don't want to add the beads it would look just as pretty without or you could knit it in just 4ply, deciding on a one colour shawl or two.

Don't forget the special discount code, that Helen has kindly offered with the code "imagine15".

Window #2 will be released on Thursday, it's another cracking pattern and a super quick knit as it's using a bulky weight yarn. It only took me two evenings to finish, I'll be sharing it with you next week.


I've been test knitting another pattern for the collection, here is the yarn I used, The Fibre Company, Canopy, another beautiful soft blend of alpaca, merino and bamboo.

Here's a little sneak peek, my basket, full of cosy, winter knitting. I'm linking to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along.

The latest issue of PomPom mag, arrived this week which hasn't been far from my side so I've been reading and savouring every page.

Have a great week and I'll be back next week, to show my next project from Knitvent 2015.



Thursday, 5 November 2015

Summertide Shawl and.....Knitvent 2015.

Hello my friends, just to let you know that I haven't been around for a while as we finally moved house a couple of weeks ago. It was stressful and hard work but worth it!!!!! I love my new home and immediately felt settled something I'd never felt at my last house in thirteen years.

One of the first rooms that I unpacked was my craft room, I still need to do some sorting out but all the boxes have been emptied and I can get to my yarn.

My daughter has also moved back "home" to be near her family and is living just a few doors away so I'm enjoying having us all sat around my new table, eating and enjoying each other's company.

It's very leafy where we have moved to with lots of trees that have been planted around the houses, this is the view from my bedroom window when I wake up each morning.

Now to the knitting, the Summertide Shawl MKAL has come to a close and I have knit this beautiful shawl pattern, twice. Once as a test knit and once for myself and to join in with the knitalong.

The first version was knit using Madeline Tosh Light in Manor and Astrid Grey, the yarn was a pleasure to knit with. It's a beautiful, soft single ply yarn and they have such a gorgeous colour selection.

My second shawl was knit from stash, I modified this shawl slightly by knitting the first three clues in the main colour. I used The Natural Dye Company Angel Sock for the MC, again this yarn was so soft, unfortunately this company is no longer in business so I can't buy anymore. I knit the last clue in some Gregoria Fibers Sock in the colour Logwood. Anna hand dyes her yarns using natural dyes, the range of colours that she dyes are so pretty, you have to be quick when she has an update though as they sell very quickly.

I'm thrilled with how this shawl has turned out and it's a good size that I can wrap around my shoulders all year round.

I was sad to see the Summertide MKAL coming to an end as there was so much chatter and camaraderie on the Curious Handmade Chatter Threads but the fun continues because today the first pattern of the Knitvent 2015 is released!!!!

This is such a fun idea that Helen Stewart has done for the last three years, it contains six patterns perfect for gift knitting or just to knit for yourself. Helen sends you one pattern through, each week, for six weeks so you get to open a "window" every Thursday. Obviously, depending on how much time knitting time you have, the patterns can be knit in a week or less, perfect for your Christmas/Holiday knitting.

This year's theme is Light and Bright and here's a sneak peek of my test knit for the first pattern which will be released later today. Can you see a touch of sparkle created from adding beads? The first pattern is very elegant, perfect for the party season.

Helen has kindly offered my readers a 15% discount on the collection using the discount code, imagine15.

Thank you for stopping by, I'll be back next week to show you a little sneak peek of Window #2's pattern, it's a completely different look to the first but just as gorgeous.

I'm taking part and linking this post to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along, the book I'm reading this week is called 24 Hours by Claire Seeber. It's a suspense, thriller and I'm hooked!!!!

Have a great week.



Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Baby Knits and Shawls......

Hello my friends, I hope you all all keeping well. We are still in the middle of moving so I haven't had much knitting time though i still try to get some knitting in each day as it's a great stress reliever. I have got one FO which I forgot to post about......

It is the Verdure Shawlette by Fluffy Fibers, it was such an enjoyable knit with an applied border, which I loved knitting. I used my last skein of Juno Fiber Arts Alice which is a beautiful blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere, it's such a shame you can no longer get this gorgeous yarn.

The Summertide MKAL is still running and we are on the last clue, I can't believe how quick these last few weeks went. This has been one of the best mystery KAL's that I've taken part in, it has been such a great group of people and there has always been someone there to help and advise when people have needed. This is why I love knitting, Ravelry and Instagram, it is such a wonderful community.

I am making good progress on my Bunty Cardigan which is one of many gorgeous patterns from the book, Loop's 10. I should have this finished next time I see you.

I've cast on a new project using this Drops Baby Merino which is a sport weight yarn, comparable to Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I really like the yarn, it's knitting up really nice, I just need to see how it washes as the Cashmerino is a great wearing yarn.

I've cast on the Broderie Dress by Lisa Chemery, a sweet little baby dress though you do have the option of knitting it as a top. I'm also, trying out the new Knit Pro Zings, they are colour coded by the size so they look pretty. They aren't a bad needle, they aren't as sharp as some needles but I haven't had any issues with them.

I'm linking this to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along.

That's all for today, it's short post but I just wanted to pop in and say hello, now back to the packing. I'll be back as soon as I can but our move is imminent so will see how it goes.

Take care.



Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Ponderosa by Manderines and a new knitting book.

Hello my friends, I'm back today to let you know about another test knit that I've finished and has just been released. It's called Ponderosa by Manderines and is a gorgeous slouchy beanie hat, knit in DK so perfect for those cooler Autumn days when the tempreture is dropping and the leaves are changing colour. It's a fun knit with lots of texture and Melody cleverly replicates the shape of the pine trees from her beloved woods in Latvia.

Melody has a video podcast called Manderines which is one of my favourite podcasts to watch, she has such a beautiful, gentle way about her. As well as her fabulous knitting she brings a touch of Latvia and nature to us, if you've never watched, I highly recommend you take a look.

I always use 16" circulars for knitting hats and then DPNs for the decreases when the hat gets too small for the circular needles. The pattern calls for a 3.75mm but I only had 4mm so used them, the hat came out slightly bigger but I like slouchy hats so it wasn't a problem. There are two sizes so if you don't like too much slouch you can knit the smaller size though as you can probably guess, I went with the large size. I also went up a needle size for the rib, I used 3.5mm instead of 3.25mm.

I used Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK which is an undyed natural wool, the breed I bought was BFL so is very soft with a lovely drape. I really liked using this yarn and got it at a bargain price of £1.50 per 50g ball, I bought enough for a sweater so need to find the perfect pattern for it now.

I also wanted to share this new book that I've just received, I pre-ordered at the beginning of August and have been patiently waiting for its release in September. It's called Loop's 10 and celebrates Loop's 10th Anniversary.

It was definitely worth the wait with 12 stunning patterns including shawls, accessories, garments and even a little girls cardigan. It's a beautiful, well laid out book with amazing photography and written descriptions of the projects and yarn used which they've had especially dyed for the occasion. I think these two yarns from The Wool Barn will become an Islington Shawl by Kirsten Kapur, a gorgeous two colour project.

The first project that I'm going to cast on though, is the Bunty Cardigan by Donna Higgins, a classic top down cardigan with a crochet picot edge. I'm going to knit the 0-3 months size but does go up to age 4 years.

My yarn is caked and I'm ready to cast on, I'm using Hartlams Alldays 100 Sock in Fields of Gold, which was an exclusive colour for The Golden Skein, Power of Three Club. It's 100% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester 4ply.

I'm linking this post to Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along, thank you for stopping by, have a great week.



Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Succulent Shawl by Maria Montzka.

Hello my friends, I hope you've all had a good week. I wanted to pop in and tell you that the Succulent Shawl by Maria Montzka that I test knit last month, has now been released. It's a top down triangular shawl with lace and stockinette sections at the top, finished with a beautiful lace section and picot bind off.

I used Eden Cottage Titus 4ply, hand-dyed especially for The Golden Skein, Power of Three Yarn Club, it was beautiful to knit with and has a lovely sheen with the 50% silk content.

The actual pattern calls for two x 100g skeins and makes a beautiful, large, lace shawl, very cosy for the autumn and winter months. I didn't have two skeins of the same colour so I did a smaller, one skein version, which is perfect for how I wear my shawls, just draped around my neck, like a scarf. Maria advises you on the pattern on how to change the size, I just did three repeats of Section A and used 70g of my skein. I probably could have made it a little bit bigger but was worried I wouldn't have enough yarn for the picot bind off.

Here's my finished Succulent Shawlette after blocking, it has such a gorgeous drape, the lace looks so fine and delicate, almost like cobweb lace. The weather is dropping here in the UK and definitely has that Autumnal feel so I've been wearing this first thing in the morning, on the way to work. It's perfect as it feels so light and airy but keeps the chill off.

Maria announced on her latest episode that she is having a Shawl Season KAL which this pattern will be perfect to take part in. If you've never seen Maria's podcast which is called Stitched in Sweden, I urge you to take a look. She is such a talented knitter and makes some beautiful projects as well as giving great tips for knitters.

I'm taking part on Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along, where you can pick up so much inspiration, I love browsing everyone else's projects.



Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Summertide Shawl MKAL........and a baby knit.

Hello my friends, well I haven't left it as long as before and I'm really going to try and pop in each week, if I can. I just wanted to let you all know that the Summertide Shawl MKAL by Helen Stewart has gone on sale as a pre-release. The summer is coming to an end and the kids are back to school so now is the time to cast on something just for you. The first clue will be released on the 10th September so you can have fun picking out the perfect yarn for your shawl in the meantime.

Helen has kindly offered my readers a 25% discount code until the 10th September and you will get four clues, one each week. I really love this shawl and can see myself casting another one on so I can join in the MKAL, so many things to knit so little time!!!! The DISCOUNT CODE is.... imagine25

I'm having to work on one project at a time at the moment, not having much free time and when I saw that Maria from Stitched in Sweden had released a very sweet baby knit, I had to cast one on. It's called the Ria Vest and is a top down seamless sleeveless top with a pretty little eyelet design, the sizes are from Newborn to 18 months. I had some MillaMia Naturally Soft Merino in my stash so cast on straight away. I knit the Newborn size which only took the one 50g ball and was super quick to knit, this one is going to my friend's granddaughter who is due very soon.

Maria used Quince and Co Chickadee in the pattern which is a yarn I've been wanting to try for such a long time that I decided to treat myself. It's an American yarn and there aren't too many places that stock it. In the UK, I bought mine from Loop based in London. I chose Petal (peach) and Dogwood (pink) and the reason I decided to knit another one and my colour choice was because..........

I'm going to be a Nana again and I'm having a little granddaughter, there are so many things I want to knit for her and the list just keeps growing.

I've just cast on in the Petal colourway as I thought it went perfectly with the little sleepsuit that I bought for her. My next project for her will be a colourwork ballerina style cardigan which I had my eye on when she first found out she was pregnant with Caiden. I'll let you know when I buy the yarn and cast on, there's even a matching teddy bear which I really need to make too.

It's been a while but I'm participating in Nicole's KCCO and Ginny's Yarn Along.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you all next week.


Friday, 28 August 2015

Summertide Shawl MKAL by Helen Stewart.

Hello my friends, first I'd like to apologize for not been around lately but things have been very busy here. In the matter of a few weeks, we have sold our house, it is moving very quickly and I'm busily packing all our belongings into boxes, so haven't had much free time.

What I have been doing which I couldn't talk about, is an extra special test knit for Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade, it is the Summertide Shawl MKAL and is Helen's very first Mystery Knit-Along.

If you know Helen's designs, you will know she usually does the Curious Collective Shawl through the summer which is a Design Knit-Along where we got to vote on some of the design elements, which was always interesting to see what the final outcome would be. This was my shawl from last year which I loved with the cable and lace details.

This year, she has decided to do a Mystery Knit-Along which I think are so much fun and was very excited when Helen asked if I would test knit it. I knit it as a MKAL, so I didn't see any photos, I was just sent the clues as everyone else will be sent, I love the mystery part and having the anticipation of knitting the next section, not knowing how the shawl will look, though I knew it would be stunning as all of Helen's designs are. I really do enjoy MKAL's and the not knowing but if you do like to know, Helen will put a spoiler thread up which will be clearly marked, for those who want to have a sneaky peek at people's progress.

The design is inspired by those precious summer memories and as the summer comes to an end we can hold on to those feelings for just a little bit longer. The knitting is only part of the fun for me, the other is choosing the yarn, it is a two colour design, though it would work just as well with one colour.

When I have to chose more than one colour for a project, I go onto the web and type in colour combinations, you can get so much inspiration on there. I knew I didn't want to use the lighter summer shades but something a bit more dramatic, I found this photo and loved the dark green of the ocean against the grey clouds.

I decided to use Tosh Merino Light as I'd never used this yarn before and was one of the recommended yarns for the pattern. I bought mine from Meadow Yarn who I highly recommend for their choice of yarn and the super customer service. The colours I chose were Manor and Astrid Grey, I love both of these colours but the green is stunning and has so much depth with the different shades of green. The yarn is a handpainted, single ply merino, it is very soft and squishy, just how I like my yarn to be

The pattern will be available to purchase from the 1st September where you will receive a download with an introduction to the pattern, the first clue will then be released on Thursday 10th September, so the kids will be back at school, we're all back from our holidays and should have a little bit more time to ourselves.The clues will be released once a week, the last clue on the 1st October but you'll have plenty time to finish as the KAL will run until the end of October.

Helen is having a little giveaway over on the Ravelry Group where she is giving away 10 copies of the pattern, all you have to do is create a project page on Ravelry and post in the thread to say you're joining in, you can find all the Infomation on the pattern here.

I hope to see you all over on the Curious Handmade Group, the Chatter Thread is already very active, everyone is very excited about Helen's first MKAL and there are some beautiful yarn choices on there already.

Have a wonderful weekend