Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Snowmelt MKAL 2017........coming soon.

Hello there.......
               
              Where has this week gone, it's flown by but as promised I'm back and have a renewed love for my blog. I would like to thank you for the welcome back comments and to Stefanie for the advice on different blog platforms.

Today I want to talk about a test knit which I've been working on.......

"It’s that moment between the last slow weeks of winter and the first sweet days of spring. There’s a gentle tension in the air as the thaw begins: the cosy joys of hibernation give way to a pleasant restlessness. Your heart stirs and the sap starts to run. This is a season of growth and change, but it begins quietly, deep in the frozen ground, before the last of the ice has even disappeared.
 
This time of year feels nearly miraculous. It offers a chance to renew the dreams that have slept for so long beneath a blanket of snow. The earth is preparing to surprise itself again with a wild swell of springtime creativity. It’s a call to adventure and an invitation to stretch our own creative powers. It’s time to uncover what this fresh new season has in store." 

Helen of Curious Handmade is hosting another MKAL (mystery knit along) and after the success of last year's, the Summertime Shawl, Helen is back with another stunning shawl design, the Snowmelt MKAL 2017. After reading those beautiful, descriptive words who wouldn't want to join in.  

I can't give too much away as what would be the fun in that, been a mystery and all but what I can tell you, it is a three colour shawl! Helen used some gorgeous La Bien Aimee, single ply fingering weight yarn but any 4ply/sock yarn can be used. This pattern is a great stash buster for all those one off skeins that your not sure what to do with, speckled and varigated yarn also work really well with this pattern.

 

I did stashbust and used three pretty skeins that I bought from the Yarningham yarn festival, it's Whimzy Sokkusu O, a Superwash Merino in colours Ethereal, Dusky Rose and Chocolate. I absolutely love single ply yarn and after looking through my stash for this project, it made me realize how little single ply I have. I will remedy that and this year I will buy more soft, cosy single ply yarns from the yarn festivals I attend. Some of my favourite singles are La Bien Aimee, Mad Tosh Light and The Wool Barn Silky Singles so they are on my list to purchase.

There is already lots of chatter on the Snowmelt MKAL Ravelry Chat Thread, so if you want to join in the fun, it goes on sale on Ravelry this Monday, 23rd Januray at an early bird price, so look out for that. The MKAL runs for 5 weeks with one clue each week........

Thursday Feb 2nd: First clue is released
Thursday Feb 9th: Second clue released
Thursday Feb 16th: Third clue released
Thursday Feb 23rd: Fourth clue released
Thursday March 2nd: Fifth clue released


Thank you so much for stopping by and happy knitting.
xxxxDebxxxx

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Pomeranssi Socks....... Box O' Sox KAL 2017

Happy New Year, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a good new year, as promised I'm going to make a conscious effort to blog more regularly. I'm still thinking about how I want the blog to go forward, whether I carry on with my original blog, change the name or even start from scratch, any advice will be greatly received. One of the reasons I stopped blogging is because I don't own a PC or laptop and the app I was using on my iPad became obsolete. I have just found a new app though and I'm hoping this one will work well, so far so good. 

 
 

Last year, I took part in Kristen of the Yarngasm Podcastm Podcast Box O' Sox KAL which was knitting at least 12 pairs of socks during 2016 and  storing them in a pretty box. I love knitting socks, using the wonderful array of sock yarns, from the pretty variegated, soft  pastels, the brights and luxurious yarns such as alpaca and cashmere. It was even more fun joining in with the KAL and my goal was to get one pair of socks finished each month. 


It was so popular that Kirsten is running it again this year which makes me very happy and I've already finished one pair this year. I cast on the Pomeranssi Sock by Marianne Heikkinen, a delicate and pretty lace pattern. Kristen has a Ravelry group where you can join in the chat or if you're on Instagram check out the #boxosoxkal2017 or #boxosoxkal. Instagram is my favourite social media platform and you can find me there as Tinkhickman.


 

I started them on New Years Day and was my first project of the year, it's actually all I wanted to knit on, the yarn and pattern were pure joy to work with. I used The Wool Barn Alpaca Sock a blend of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere. Yes, it really is as soft and luxurious as it sounds, they feel like cosy hugs on my feet.  


 

The pattern is written for a sport weight yarn on 2.75mm needles on 56 stitches but as its a 8 stitch pattern repeat, I knit them with 4ply on my regular 64 stitches on 2.25mm needles. I finished them within the week and I've got to say, these are one of my favourite socks that I've knit.

Do you have a favourite sock yarn or pattern? I'd love to hear, I'm always on the lookout for new yarns amd patterns.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon.
xxxxDebxxxx

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

We Are Knitters.....Eucalypt Cardigan

Hello, I hope you all had a good weekend. A few weeks ago I was contacted by We Are Knitters to see if they could send me one of their kits to try so I hopped on over to the website to see what they were all about.

Wow, they have so many gorgeous kits from adult garments, baby items and accessories, all come with the pattern, needles, fun knitting themed stickers, a label to sew on your project, a tapestry needle and the yarn, everything you need in one package, I was spoilt for choice. Another special thing I liked about We Are Knitters, are they're a sustainable company who use 100% Peruvian Wool, wooden needles which all come packaged in a recycled brown paper bag.

My daughter and I looked through the kits and decided on the Eucalypt Cardigan in Pearl Grey, an oversized chunky cardigan knit on large needles. The kit didn't take long to arrive and inside the brown paper bag were 6 X 200g balls of chunky Peruvian wool,15mm wooden needles and all the little extras.

Needless to say this cardigan didn't take long to knit with the size of these needles and I soon had a nice pile of soft, squishy cardigan pieces.

Now, it was time to seam together, my least favourite part of knitting, it took me a while as I wasn't used to seaming such a chunky cardigan like this but I soon got into the rhythm of it and before too long had one finished Eucalypt Cardigan.

My daughter really liked this cardigan and after trying it on, it looked better on her than me, it's one size and though it fit my size 14 frame, I didn't think it was loose enough. It was a quick, fun knit which I enjoyed knitting very much and would definitely knit one of their kits again.

We Are Knitters are offering my readers 15% off their kits with the discount code TINKHICKMAN, so why not pop over and have a look, there is something for every type of crochet/knitter.

Linked to Keep Calm, Craft On and Yarn Along.

Thank you for stopping by, enjoy the rest of your week.

xxxxDebxxxx

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Excuses, Excuses......and some knitting.

Hello to everyone, I'm sorry it's been so long AGAIN, I really have had a very busy few months. We moved house, I was working many hours, I got a new job and this little bundle of joy came into our lives so something had to give. Unfortunately, it had to be the blog, knitting, watching podcasts and reading other blogs.

Now things have settled down, I'm back and I've missed you all so want to get back to a regular timetable again. I'm enjoying my new job as a receptionist, in a busy beauty salon, I'm sort of going back to my roots, selling and working with beauty products as that's what I used to do before I finished work to look after my girls. I've never worked on reception though so that's all new to me but I'm slowly finding my feet and loving my new job which has more regular hours so more knitting and blogging time.

The most exciting thing that's happened though is the birth of my beautiful granddaughter, Darcie. She is so precious, I've been spending a lot of time with her and my 15 month old grandson, who is still a baby himself but has took to Darcie so well and is very loving towards her.

She is wearing A Bonnet for Every Little Princess by Linda Castles, a pattern based on the bonnet Princess Charlotte wore when she left the hospital. I knit it in Drops Alpaca so is very soft and delicate, perfect for a baby.

Most of my knitting time was spent on test knitting and baby garments, this was both. I test knit the Chuck Sweater by Lisa Chemery, it is a unisex pattern and ranges from size 3 months to 8 years. I did the 3 month size using Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran, it's a beautiful, soft yarn perfect against a baby's skin, though it has been discontinued now. I used two 50g balls, it is knit seamlessly, top down which is my favourite construction with now seaming together.

I've cast on a pair of socks, my friend Dani from Little Bobbins podcast, had her second annual Christmas Eve Sock KAL. After the hustle and bustle with the lead up to Christmas, I really look forward to sitting down on the evening with my knitting and a cuppa with all my cyber friends, where we were all sharing our progress on Instagram.

I like to chose a pattern that has a winter theme so this time I went for Winter Frost by Brenda Lyndsay, a simple lace pattern using The Wool Barn Smooth Sock, a hand dyed speckled yarn. I can't recommend Maya's yarn enough, I've bought a few skeins now and they are always so beautiful that I have to keep them out on display for a while so I can just look at them.

I got so much to show you and talk about but I'm going to leave it here for now and pop back soon, now my everyday life has slowed down a bit. Have a great week and will speak to you all soon.

xxxxDebxxxxx

 

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.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

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.

xxxxDebxxx

 

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.

xxxxDebxxxx