Friday, 18 April 2014

Happy Easter......No FO's but a new test knit.


Hello my friends, I've got no Finished Objects as is usual for my Friday post but I wanted stop by and wish you all a Happy Easter. This sweet little bunny is one of Mary Jane's Tearoom's patterns, her name is Daisy, you have seen her before but thought I'd share her again as she's perfect for Easter.

Over the long weekend, I will be doing a test knit for Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch's new pattern, due to be released at the beginning of May. It's called Seafoam Shawlette to Shrug, you can see Sarah's finished one here and here. I'm using the same colour yarn, A Fine Fish Yarns "Roller Disco", as my Crocus Socks but in a pure merino base, it's beautiful to knit with and perfect for a shawlette.

It's a one 100g skein project using a 4ply yarn, it's such a clever pattern, you can use it as a scarf, a traditional shawl or a beautiful shrug with buttons, for over dresses and little tops. I cast on last night and have done quite a few rows of the stocking stitch, it grows very quick. I already know this is going to be a favourite and I'm sure you will love it too, one size fits all from 5 years to adult by how you block it.

I hope you are having some of the sunshine we're having in the Midlands, I love relaxing in my conservatory with the sun shining through the windows, no tv just listening to the birds sing, drinking tea, reading magazines and knitting. I think this will be where I'll spend most of the weekend!!!!

The sun was shining on Wednesday so I packed the picnic bag and headed to Bridgnorth with my family, it was glorious, sat by the river watching the kids play.

This is my lovely family, Mom, Dad, my sister and her kids, including my youngest daughter and her boyfriend.

Olivia insisted that the "big kids" played football and play frisbee which she called flying disc, she has us in stitches with what comes out of her mouth.

Adam missed the picnic as he fell asleep but started on the bread sticks once he woke up.

I managed to read my Mollie Makes and knit on my stripy socks.....then it was time for ice cream.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your long weekend.



Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Yarn Along......Magic Loop or DPN's

Do you remember these socks I cast on, back in February, my first self striping socks, I was very excited about knitting them but I kept looking at them and just wasn't happy with how they were looking. I usually used two circulars to knit socks but I decided to try Magic Loop for the first time.

As you can see with this close up, the start of each row, looks really untidy, I never had this problem using two circulars. I had a look on the web to see if there was a reason this was happening and by the looks of it a few people had the same problem. The common problem seemed to be pulling the yarn to tight and recommended holding the yarn a bit looser. I tried this but I still had the same problem.

While reading up on this problem a lot of knitters said that they preferred to knit with DPNs so I thought I'd give them a go. I had tried them before but always felt very awkward holding them. I prefer toe up socks so I used a circular needle to cast on using Judy's Magic Cast On and then changed to DPNs, once I finished the toe increases.

It took me a few rounds to get use to using DPNs but I soon got the hang of them and I'm much happier with how my self striping socks are looking. Look at the difference between the two socks side by side, once I've finished my sock on the DPNs, I will frog the other sock and knit that one on them too.

I'm knitting the collar of my Hana Hou and just have a few more rows before I can start seaming together, I absolutely love this pattern and can't wait to finish it.

I'm enjoying my stripy vanilla socks as they are easy to knit whilst out and about or watching TV but I do prefer something with more of a pattern, so this week, I cast on the Crocus Socks by Wendy D. Johnson. I'm using A Fine Fish 4ply sock yarn in Roller Disco, again I'm using Knit Pro Symfonie DPNs. I have just bought some Knit Pro Karbonz to try, I've heard quite good things about them, I'd be interested in what you think, if you've used them.

I haven't worked much on my Miss Winkle and have only knit a couple more loops, I'm over half way through the book I started last week and really enjoying it, it's a great chick lit to read before going to bed.

I've also cast on another new project, I asked Jodie to choice a few Rico Essential Cotton from The Homemakery to knit a striped garter stitch baby blanket, these are what she chose.

I couldn't decide which colour to cast on first, so I asked my Instagram friends to chose for me, the first person to comment chose the Lime Green, so that s what I went with. I'm going to go through the other comments and knitting the colours in order of what they chose, I'll show you my progress, next Wednesday. I know I'm going to enjoy knitting with these pretty Spring colours.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Tami's WIP Wednesday, check out what other knitters have on their needles.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your week.



Monday, 14 April 2014

A Day in Stratford Upon Avon.


Hello my friends, I hope you've had a great weekend, today I have spent a fab day with my friend Pinda at Stratford Upon Avon. She had never been here before so I was tour guide for the day showing her all the sights.

Our first stop was to Sew Me Something to see my lovely friend Gilly, it was so nice to see her again and of course I had to make a little purchase of some gorgeous MillaMia yarn and the latest Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino pattern book.

We walked through the old town, past Shakespeare's Birthplace, browsing the many shops.

I always like to have a look around The Nutcracker Christmas shop, who doesn't like Christmas all year round?

We went to a great little cafe called Fourtea's, a traditional 40's style tearoom, with lots of little vintage touches, like an old radiogram playing 40's music in the background and waitresses dressed in 40's uniform.

Look at the menu!!!!!! It's the style of an old ration book, the sandwiches were so nice and their homemade pickle was gorgeous.

Don't you love the old fashion counter? I bought a replica Make Do and Mend booklet issued by The Ministry of Information in 1943, there are some very interesting tips in there!

We then spent an hour relaxing by the river, watching the world go by, I even managed to get a bit of knitting done.

We then took a short walk to Bancroft Cruisers, where we took a 45 minute cruise down the river and enjoyed an afternoon tea.

I look rather pleased with myself on this photo but I was looking forward to tucking into those scones and cream!!!!

The scenery wasn't too bad either, I highly recommend this river cruise company, I've been on a couple of different ones but this one has been the best, by far.

It has been a wonderful day, the weather was kind to us, it's what we both needed and look forward to visiting again. Have a good week and I'll be back soon.



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Yarn Along.......and a winner.


Hello, my friends, I hope you are all well. I've managed to do quite a lot of knitting this week, as I've had a bad back, so haven't been able to do much else.

I've mostly been knitting on my Hana Hou by Mel Ski, I love, love, love this pattern and can't wait to wear this beautiful, squishy, warm, comfy cardigan. I've finished knitting the main body and the sleeves and now picking up stitches for the Copy Cat stitch along the front sides.

I really like this stitch, it is using two balls of yarn at the same time and working two right sides then two wrong sides. Mel has made a video tutorial on the Copy Cat technique and also the Piping Pick Up tutorial, I first used these stitches on my Halele'a. I'm not going to have much knitting time this week but hopefully will have it finished by the end of next week.

I've knit a few more rows on the Twinkle Twinkle baby blanket, it's a simple pattern to remember but with each row getting longer, it takes longer to knit with each new row.

Do you remember these Tuuli Mitts, that I started on back in February. I cast them on after winning the Spincycle Yarn from Pompom Quarterly magazine which was what they used for the pattern in Issue 7. I'm trying to clear my needles of all my projects so I can start some new ones.

I've now up to 28 loops on my Miss Winkle, looking on the Crafts from the Cwtch Ravelry Group most people are getting 38-45 loops, before finishing so more then half way there. Check out Sarah's blog for more Miss Winkle projects, this week.

I've just started the latest book by Debbie Macomber in the Blossom Street series, I really enjoy this series of books, especially the ones set in The Good Yarn store. I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Tami's WIP Wednesday.

Now to pick a winner for the Dream Big Collection by Helen Stewart, I have a cup full of names so drum roll, please..............

and the winner is MamaGiff, she left a comment via Ravelry and said she loves the Fireflies Rising but if she had to pick a favourite it would be the Red Robin. So congratulations, Lee, I will let Helen know and she will get the Dream Big pattern sent to you.

Mel has just posted another video about Camp Alhoa Friends, it is a five minute video, telling you all about camp in a nut shell, you can find it, here.

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



Friday, 4 April 2014

Fireflies Rising Shawlette.......and pattern giveaway.

“Now, from the thick grass, the firefliesbegin to rise:up, then down, then up again:lit on the ascending flight,drifting simultaneously to the same height,–exactly like the bubbles in champagne.”
- A Cold Spring by Elizabeth Bishop

I'm back today, as promised, with a FO and a pattern giveaway!!!!!! Last week, I did a test knit for designer, Helen Stewart, it was for a beautiful crescent shape shawl called Fireflies Rising
Helen designs the most beautiful shawls and accessories, I first discovered her designs back in October, when I came across her knitting podcast called Curious Handmade. I'm knitting the Twinkle Twinkle baby blanket at the moment, which is one of her designs.
This shawlette only uses a 100g skein of 4ply yarn, so most sock yarns would work well. I used Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Curiousity, which is a gorgeous sock yarn but soft enough to use for a shawl as it's 100% superwash merino. I wear my shawls wrapped around my neck as a scarf in the winter, like in the above photo but though this is called a shawlette, it is plenty big enough to drape around your shoulders on those spring days when you no longer need those big winter coats but want something to keep the chill off.
The pattern calls for 437 yards of yarn, the yarn I was using only had 395 yards, this wasn't a problem though. I ran out of yarn about 10 stitches from the end of casting off but all I did was tink back and cast off the last row, instead. This worked out absolutely fine, so if you have less yarn than the pattern calls for, you can just make the ribbed border, slightly smaller.
It is a quick, easy one skein project, it has enough interest in the pattern for advanced knitters but would make a great project for those who've never knit a shawl before as it is a simple lace pattern and no short rows. I really enjoyed knitting this for Helen and as usual, like all of Helen's patterns, it was very well written and easy to follow.
It was written in the same way as the Frangipani Shawl that I knit back in February. Helen gives you percentages though the pattern so you can see how far you've got but also if you weigh your yarn, you can check how much yarn you're using and that you're on track with your yardage.
Now for the best bit, Helen, has kindly offered not just this pattern but the whole Dream Big collection, that includes this pattern and the Frangipani Shawl but each month you will receive a new pattern until October. This e-book will include ten patterns altogether, once all the patterns have been released, it retails at £12 but one lucky person will receive it free of charge, you've got to be in it to win it!!!!!
All I want you to do to be in with a chance of winning it, is to take a look at Helen's other patterns, that you can find, here, and tell me what your favourite pattern is, it's as easy as that!!!!! If you are a no-reply blogger, you may want to include your email address so I can get in touch with you, otherwise check back here on Wednesday morning. I will put all the names in a teacup and chose one at random, I will close the comments on Tuesday 8th April 11:59pm (GMT).
Helen will send the Dream Big collection to your Ravelry account, if you haven't got one, it's easy to sign up, free of charge and definitely worth doing as there are thousands of knitting and crochet patterns on there, including many free patterns. Good luck everyone!!!!!!
Check out Tami's blog for more Finished Objects, this week.
Have a great weekend, whatever you're up to, I'm attending a Patchwork Workshop tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward too.