Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Itching To Cast On New Projects........

Hello there, how was your Valentine weekend? We don't make a big thing of it but he did buy me a card, though I feel a bit bad as I didn't send one. This year's card was very pretty with a vintage feel, he always try's to buy one with some handmade elements, this year it has buttons.

I thought while we were talking about Valentine's, I would share these beautiful, embroidered Sweetheart cards that my Grandad sent to my Gran during the Second World War. He was stationed in France hence the British and French Flags, my Grandad had the most beautiful handwriting and I feel very privileged to have these wonderful keepsakes.

It's very unlike me to just have a couple of projects on the needles and I've been itching to cast on a new project using some of my stash. On top of one of my baskets, that is full of mostly Rowan yarn that I purchased in the sale, was some Rowan Alpaca Colour which is unbelievably soft and squishy. I decided I wanted to use this, I thought it would be a really comforting yarn to knit with on these cold winter evenings so I've been perusing Ravelry, books and magazines for inspiration.
It's a DK weight and I had 4 X 50g skeins at 120m per skein so the beauty of Ravelry is when I go to the pattern search and click advanced search I can tick what weight and yardage I want the pattern to be. After ticking the boxes I wanted, up came a list of patterns suitable but the one that caught my eye was the French Cancan by Mademoiselle C which I have knit before in Sublime Merino Silk so very different to what I'm using this time, you can see my first one here.

The reason I love this pattern apart from the way it looks and the beautiful cable border, is you can knit it as small or as large as you want, depending on the amount of yarn you have, leaving 40% of your yarn for the border.

The main body is a simple garter stitch which I know some people find quite boring but I love this stitch. I find it very therapeutic and is perfect to knit on if watching TV or talking if you have company, the yarn I'm using is perfect for garter stitch as its even more squishy. I started it last night and I'm now on my second ball of yarn, I think I'll have this finished by next week!!!!

I've been working on my Old Romance and now have two complete sleeves so now I'm on the main body, this will take a while, as there's miles of stockinette now, I'm a lot slower knitting purl so I'll be knitting on smaller projects inbetween. I'm still loving it and can't wait to wear it, I'm aiming to finish by April, just in time for Spring.

I've also been working on my Latte Baby Coat and have picked up the stitches and completed the front edges, I've washed it and now need to knit the little pockets and add some buttons. I'm hoping to have this finished by the weekend so I can give it to him on Sunday.

I'm just turning the heel on my February Personal Mystery Sock Yarn 2015 socks for my husband. They are just plain vanilla socks, my husband's birthday is in March so I have plenty of time though I do want them off the needles by the end of the month so I can start March's socks.

I've started the fifth book of the year and the prompt from Bringing Up The Burns, 26 Books to Read in 2015, is........

5: A Book Published This Year.

I chose The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q by Sharon Maas, now if I'm honest I chose this book as it was on offer in the Kindle store. I never buy books in hardback unless they are special editions, I always wait until it's in paperback.

On saying this, after reading the blurb and the reviews, it sounded like a story that I would enjoy, a saga spanning over the years set in London and Guyana. I'm on chapter five and it hasn't disappointed, I like the main characters and I'm enjoying the author's descriptive writing.

I'm linking to Nicole's KCCO over at Frontier Dreams and Ginny's Yarn Along where you'll find some beautiful projects and lots of inspiration.

Thank you for stopping by, have a great week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Barley Hat by Tincan Knits and more.......

Hello my friends, how are you all doing? This week I've knit a new hat for Caiden, he's outgrown all of his handknit hats that I made him before he was born. I looked through lots of patterns and the one that Jodie and I both liked was the Barley Hat by Tincan Knits, the sizes range from baby through to adult.

It is a free pattern from The Simple Collection which contains eight patterns including accessories and sweaters. As the title says, they are simple and basic knits aimed at beginner knitters or more experienced knitters who want a quick simple knit. The great thing about this collection apart from been beautiful projects, which goes without saying as they are by Tincan Knits and I love all their patterns but the whole collection is FREE.

I would knit every one of them and the are sized from newborn to large adult something for the whole family. The patterns are seamless using worsted weight yarn in stockinette and garter stitch so perfect for beginners. If you've always want to learn to knit in the round or knit a sweater but have always been a little bit imtimitated, these patterns would be perfect for you.

Here's my little hipster grandson wearing his new hat, I didn't have any suitable worsted weight so I used some Drops Lima DK. I would have knit the baby size but as I was using a DK , I knit the toddler size on the same needles as they recommended and it turned out perfectly.

I didn't swatch for the hat, I just took a chance, I thought as it was a small, quick knit ( it took one evening), I had nothing to lose if it was too big, I could just start again with smaller needles. Caiden has quite a large head for his age so I was aiming for 17" head circumference, which I achieved once it had been blocked. I was so pleased how it turned out, it was the perfect size and he looks so cute in it. I will definitely be casting on another one soon.

I've finished my purple "Fairisle" socks which I knit in Rico Design Superba Mexico, these are going to my friend who has a birthday coming up she has been very kind to me over the last few weeks so deserved a special gift. She does a lot of walking and she loves my handknit socks, she says they are so much more comfortable and warmer than shop bought, I've been promising her a new pair for a while now.

Since finishing another pair of socks, I've picked one of my brown paper bags with my Personal Mystery Sock Yarn 2015 inside. February's sock yarn was this, Rico Design Superba Santa Fé, this is very similar to the last sock yarn. I've got to say, I really like this brand for a hardwearing sock yarn, it's not as luxurious like some of the beautiful selfstriping or indie dyed yarns but I think it will stand the test of time like the Regia and Opal.

When I picked this yarn for the bag, I knew I would knit my husband another pair of socks, I love the colours from dark chocolate brown to rust to a taupe with a tweedy look, I wouldn't mind a pair for me.

I wanted to try a new to me cast on for my next pair of socks after listening to Jo's Shiny Bees podcast And her Sock Surgery segment. They were talking about different cast on techniques for socks and the recommended one was the German Twisted Cast-On which the said gave a neat,stretchy cuff. I absolutely love it, it really is the best cast on I've used. I looked on the web for a good tutorial and went for a You Tube video by the Knit Witch, it was easy to follow and I picked it up really quickly.

I've spent a cheeky half hour on them this morning while I enjoyed a cup of Earl Grey. I'm knitting a plain Vanilla sock with 72 stitches.

Now to what I'm reading this week, I've nearly finished Harry Potter and the Philophers Stone so hopefully should be starting a new book by the end of the week. I am enjoying it far more than I thought I would and will definitely read the other books, eventually.

I've also been reading the new Spring PomPom magazine, again it is full of beautiful patterns,mit never disappoints. I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On, check out all the gorgeous projects for lots of inspiration.

Have a good week.

xxxxDebxxxx

I've just linked up to another link up called Lunamon Design.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Canopy Shawl by Melody Hoffman.

Happy Friday!!!!! I just wanted you all to know that the Canopy Shawl By Melody Hoffman has been released. This gorgeous shawl pattern was inspired by the forest surrounding her home in Latvia.

 

It's a stunning design, knit in a sportweight yarn which gives a larger shawl without been too bulky. I did this as a test knit and throughly enjoyed knitting the design. I like that you are changing sections regularly as you never get bored, there are stockinette and lace sections including twisted stitches then the border, in fact this was the only project I worked on until I finished it. Normally, I'd be working on smaller projects inbetween, just for some variation.


I loved knitting the border, it's an applied lace edge, those triangular points are so pretty. It's been really cold here in the U.K. and since finishing it, I haven't stopped wearing it.

I used 1.5 skeins of Rosy Green Wool in Cheeky Merino Joy, it is such a soft yarn and I will definitely be purchasing more.

Thank you for stopping by, have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Purple......the colour of the moment.

 

If you were to ask me what my favourite colours were, I would say, aqua, sage green, grey's and soft pinks, I would never have said purple or lilac but it seems this is my colour of choice, at the moment. I've got two projects on the needles that are lilac and purples and I've just finished sewing buttons on my Aureus Cardigan so I've been able to wear it for the first time, this week.

I cast on the Old Romance By Joji Locotelli back in October but with Christmas knitting I didn't get very far so this week I've picked it back up again.

Once I'd finished the lace panels I started picking up stitches for the sleeves and body, I hadn't read the pattern beforehand and it's a really usual construction with short rows.

At first I was a bit "oh no, short rows" but actually I'm really enjoying it, I enjoy learning and trying new techniques and it's a lot easier than it looks. I'm using Drops Alpaca Silk which is a beautiful, soft yarn and gorgeous to knit with, it's going to be a long term project but I can't wait to have it finished and able to wear it.

Next are my purple "Fairisle" socks' I'm using Rico Design Surperba Mexico, a self patterning yarn. I'm doing a Vanilla sock, just using a basic sock recipe pattern by Louise Tilbrook, Lousie is a great designer and has some gorgeous sock patterns, you can find her blog here.

My last purple project is my Aureus cardigan, after nearly a year I've finally sewn on the buttons so have been able to wear it without it slipping off my shoulders. I used Rowan Felted Tweed DK, I really like this yarn, I thought it maybe a bit scratchy but it isn't and is one of my most comftable and warmest sweaters.

I'm on the fourth prompt of 26 Books with Bringing Up the Brums which is A Book Your Friend Loves........

I knew immediately that it it would have to be Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. My daughter and my friend Kerry have been nagging me for months to start reading the Harry Potter books so they'll be pleased to know I've finally started the first book.

I'm linking to Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On and Ginny's Yarn Along, there are always some great links to beautiful projects.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by, have a great week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

 

Friday, 30 January 2015

My Leftie.......finished at last.

Hello my friends, how are you all? I'm so happy to tell you all, that I've finished my Leftie, at last!!!! I cast this shawl on by Martina Behm back in August, last year. I bought the Five Moons Sweetie box of mini skeins from Unwind Brighton with this pattern in mind.

Zena and I had decided to knit it at the same time, we even met up in Birmingham for a coffee and to knit on them together. It didn't take Zena long to finish hers but I admit I got bored with mine and started working on other projects.

I picked it back up this month as I wanted to finish all my WIPs before I cast on anything new, this was the last WIP that I worked as it was the largest. After picking it back up and knitting on it monogamously, I actually began to enjoy it. I knit on it whenever I could including car knitting, I loved seeing the bright pop of colours running across the shawl.

 

Here is my finished Leftie, I love how it turned out, the colours are so vibrant, this is going to be for a friend's birthday, I hope she likes it. I'm just happy it's finished so I could start some new projects.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxxx

 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Test Knitting and Baby Knits.

I'm back today to share with you what I've been working on since I've finished all my WIP's, the first project is a test knit, the first one of the year.

It's a gorgeous shawl design by Melody of Manderine's which is knit in a sportweight yarn, I've never knit a shawl in this weight yarn before so was looking forward to seeing it finished and been able to wrap it around my shoulders with this cold weather we're having.

I wasn't sure I had any sportweight yarn in my stash but when I looked through the yarn that I'd received for Christmas, I saw that I'd got some Rosy Green Wool, Cheeky Merino Joy Sportweight. I'd like to just tell you a little about this fabulous yarn company.

Rosy Green Wool is a company that only sells ethically sourced, organic merino wool, which is extremely soft. All their yarn is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), an organisation that ensures the workers are treated fairly, the sheep are not harmed in any way and the yarn is strictly checked for harmful substances, you can read more about it here.

I was looking forward to taking part in the test knit after seeing some sneak peeks of the shawl on Melody's Instagram feed, it looked stunning!!!! I'd also test knit for Melody before and love her style, I test knit her very first pattern, Pinecone and Mulberry, a beautiful, textured hat that I gave to my daughter, she stills says this is her favourite hat, ever!!!!!

It didn't take long to finish and is all ready to be blocked, the pattern will be released on the 5th February and is when I'll show you the full finished design.

Now from gorgeous organic wool to some cheap yarn from a supermarket, I never buy acrylic yarn but when I went food shopping at Lidl, I saw a pack of 4x50g balls of chunky acrylic/wool blend for £2.99. It was enough to knit the Latte Baby Coat that I've been wanting to knit for ages, I hadn't got the wool in my stash though.

I loved the colour and the tweed look, it felt soft and didn't feel cheap but it was acrylic!!!! I couldn't make up my mind, I walked around the store, finishing up my shopping, thinking about what to do. In the end my husband just said get it and give it a go.

So I did and when I got home, I downloaded the pattern ready to cast on.

Friday evening, I cast on the hooded version of the Latte Baby Coat using my new Knit Pro Marblz Interchangable needles. I'm really pleased with them, they needle and join is very smooth and the added bonus is they are pretty to look at, just a pleasure to knit with.

Now back to the wool, I've knit the body of the cardigan and have just got to pick up and knit the borders, the jury is still out. I can't make my mind up, it's knit up lovely, it's soft and doesn't look cheap but on the other hand it doesn't feel like a 100% natural fibre that I'm used too. The test will be, how well it washes, I'm not saying I'll never buy an acrylic blend again but my first choice will be a more natural blend of wool.

I'm on the third promt of 26 Books with Bringing Up the Burns and the prompt is 3: A Book You Pick Solely because Of The Cover.

I've chosen The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield, I think you can see was I was drawn to the cover, designed by Cath Kidston.

The book itself is a very enjoyable read, set in the 1930's, written in diary form, a humorous account of her family and everyday life.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, where you can find more links to some beautiful projects.

Have a good week.

xxxxDeb xxxx

 

 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Personal Mystery Sock Club 2015......

I'm back today to tell you about the Personal Mystery Sock Club 2015, a great way to start using up some of your stash. I saw this idea over on Instagram, where Aunty's Alice Loves To Knit, decided she was going to use up some of her stash to knit socks.

If you have lots of sock yarn that you want to use up, feel free to join in, if you're on Instagram the hashtag is #personalmysterysockclub2015 where you'll be able to see everyone's progress over the coming months. I'm a big fan of IG, there are so many gorgeous photos to look at and lots of inspiration for different crafts. If you want to find me, I'm Tinkhickman on there, if you're part of the IG community, let me know.

 

Alice picked twelve skeins of sock yarn from her stash and sealed them into brown paper bags so each month she picked a bag without knowing which skein was in there. When people saw this on IG, lots of us wanted to join in and so it grew with many of us taking part.

It's all very informal and you don't have to chose 12 skeins, some people have picked six, not all are going to knit socks, there were some suggestions of mittens and shawls. I decided on putting together nine "mystery" bags using the yarn in the top photo.

There were certain socks I wanted to knit this year so my decision on the yarn was based on that. I wanted a pair of DK weight, my husband wanted another pair, I saw a pattern for some "Fair Isle" style socks and I wanted to knit a pair of baby socks. I then sealed the bags and set them aside, all ready to cast on once I'd finished some WIPs.

I finished my WIPs at the end of last week, so the first bag I picked at random contained the yarn for baby socks, My First Regia. This itty bitty ball of wool is just 25g and is especially sold to knit small baby items, I bought it to knit my grandson a pair of socks.

It took me a while to chose a pattern as I wanted a mini version of the socks that I knit for myself. I wanted one with a heel flap, a lot were using DK and I wanted a 4ply pattern and some looked a very odd shape sock. Eventually, I decided on the Stretch Baby Socks by Patons which is a free pattern with sizes ranging from 3 months to 2 years.

They were super quick to knit, I cast them on late Thursday afternoon and they were finished by the end of the evening. I knit the smallest size and was eager for my daughter to arrive on Friday so I could try them on him. After having a little cuddle, I showed him his new socks which he immediately grabbed for and put in his mouth!!!!! I then went to put them on his feet and they wouldn't go over his little chubby ankles!!!!!!

I wasn't too upset as I've got enough wool left to knit him a bigger size and this tiny pair will go to my friend's grandson who is due in April. It's just another excuse to knit another pair of sweet little baby socks.

Thank you for stopping by and let me know if you're going to take part in The Personal Mystery Sock Club.

Have a great week.

xxxxDebxxxxx