Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Yarn Along........Shwook Fair Isle Hat

Hello, my friends, normal service has resumed, I'm back home after spending nearly four weeks with my daughter and grandson. I'm missing them like crazy but thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime.

This week I've cast on the Shwook Hat by Hazel Tindall in honour of Shetland Wool Week and is a free pattern which you can find here. Melody has created a Ravelry group for a Shwook Hat KAL which started on the 1st October so I'm a little bit late starting but better late than never.

I did a Fair Isle workshop a few months ago and really enjoyed this traditional form of knitting and couldn't wait to cast on this project. It's not as complicated as it looks, it maybe a bit off putting when you see all the different colours that make up the pattern but traditionally only two colours are used in a row. I also find it a lot easier to knit Fair Isle in the round, I was taught to purl but I was very caggy handed and prefer to just knit if I can.

I'm using Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper weight in Light Aqua (75), Dark Brown (5), Mustard (121), Dark Aqua (FC34) and Off White (202).

I think the hardest part of Fair Isle is choosing the colours, this pattern calls for three dark and two light or three light and two dark. They can't be too close in colour tone as the pattern won't show up, I knew I wanted aqua, brown and mustard in my colour scheme. I looked at the colour range and looked to see what would work with these colours and decided on off white and a dark aqua, which seemed to work well together.

I picked up a great tip to make sure the colours would work for Fair Isle knitting over on Jared Flood's blog, you take a photo of your yarn and change it to mono with photo editing, as I did in the above photo. If you can see that they are all different shades on the black and white photo, the pattern will show up nicely, if the colours are too similar the pattern will fade into one.

Coincidently, I listened to Curious Handmade's latest podcast episode, yesterday and it was all about colour theory. If you want to learn more about choosing colours that work well together and a more in depth lesson about colour, check it out, it's very informative, I learnt a lot so definitely worth a listen.

This is the inside of my hat, you don't want the floats between the colours too tight as it will pucker but you don't want them too loose either. Practice makes perfect and I think the tension and how tight you hold the yarn becomes second nature after a few rows, if its your first time doing Fair Isle try knitting a swatch first just to get the feel for the tension.

I've been reading The Very Easy Guide To Fair Isle Knitting by Lynne Watterson, it's full of great techniques and photo tutorials broken into bite size lessons. There are Fair Isle designs starting from very simple to the more complicated that you can practice before starting a full size pattern, though there are some gorgeous projects too. I would highly recommend it if you wanted to try your hand at Fair Isle knitting.

I've also cast on the Leaf Collectors Mitts by Sarah Knight, a pretty, delicate fingerless mitt pattern. I'm using Skein Queen Blush in Dipped Rosewater, a beautifully soft merino and cashmere blend. They are knit flat and then seamed rather than the traditional knitting in the round.

I'm taking part in Little Bobbins first KAL which is a Mitt Along, Dani has just started video podcasting, she is such a sweet person and I love all her projects, she has very similar tastes to me. I really recommend you check out her podcast, she's on episode 7 but she keeps them quite short so can quickly be caught up with.

I'm also going to cast on another pair of the Global Nomad Handwarmers as part of the Mitt Along, this time in two tone colours. I've decided to knit them in black and grey as part of my niece's Christmas present, she's going through the teenage faze of wearing everything black so I'm sure she'll like them.

In the knitting world, Anne of Green Gables seems very popular at the moment with lots of references and patterns relating to this story. I never read it as a child so decided to buy the collection for my Kindle, the ten books cost 77p, it also has links to the audio version so I've been switching between the two. I'm only a few chapters in but really enjoying the simplicity of the story, it's comfort reading and the vivid descriptions of Avonlea transports me to a place of times gone by, just beautiful.

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

Here's my little man wearing the Small Cable Cardigan by Vibe Ulrik Somdergaard, that I knit for him, isn't he a cutie?

Thank you for stopping by, have a great week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Yarn Along.........Global Nomad Handwarmers.

Hello my friends, I hope you're all having a good week. I'm still staying with my daughter, spending as much time as I can with them, though I think by next week I will be back home. I'm still doing lots of knitting but it's test and sample knitting so can't share until the patterns are released.

This is one of them that I've knit, they are the Global Nomad Handwarmers by Helen Stewart and the pattern has been released as part of the Dream Big Collection.

The pattern is now available to purchase separately and to celebrate the launch, Helen is giving 50% off the pattern until midnight tonight, so you need to be quick, the discount will automatically be taken off at the checkout.

The pattern is written for a colour block pair but as I have limited supplies up here, I did mine in just the one colour which is Rowan Cashsoft DK which is beautifully soft and warm. After seeing Helen's though, I will be definitely doing some colour block ones for myself and Christmas presents. I had to share Helen's photo, isnt the mustard and grey a great colour combo?

They will make perfect gifts, they are very quick and easy to knit, it took me two evenings to finish mine, Jodie has claimed this pair, the colour matches the pram, perfectly.

This week I'm reading To Kill For by A.J. Carella, I haven't read too much of it yet but the reviews are very good. It's a series of books, this one been the first, at the time of me writing this post, it is free on the Kindle at, here in the UK, I'm not sure about else where in the world.

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

Have a great week and thank you for stopping by.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Whispering Pines Shawl.......

Hello my friends, I hope you are all well. I'm still in Stoke with my daughter and beautiful grandson but I have been able to do some knitting, this week.

I've cast on Whispering Pines by Molly from A Homespun House, I fell in love with the design as soon as the pattern was released but wanted to finish some WIPs before I cast on another project.

The main part of the body has a subtle texture and the border has a beautiful lace panel, it's so pretty. I'm using Sparkleduck Galaxy in hot pink which has little subtle colour but it's a bigger shawl and takes more than 100g. I had the Sparkleduck which is 150g in my stash so decided to use that, the more I knit though the more I like it in this colour.

I'm still reading The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans, it's a very enjoyable read and I'm 70% through it.

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

Here's a photo of little Caiden, rockin' his Nana's hand knits. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

xxxxDebxxxxx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Baby News........

Hello my friends, if you are wondering why I haven't been around in the last week, well my little grandson arrived 9 days early, last Thursday evening by emergency c-section, weighing in at 7lb 2oz. He hadn't been moving much in the last week, so they made the decision to induce but his little heartbeat kept dropping so they decided to do a c-section and get him out. Jodie and baby are doing really well and here he is at just an hour old.

There was a lovely midwife on duty and I was lucky enough to be able to go into recovery and see my daughter, son-in-law and their beautiful baby boy. Here I am, a very proud nana.

He's wearing his Easy Peasy Newborn Hat That his Nana knit him, I just have to keep going awwwww, everytime I look at him.

They returned home on Saturday after two nights in hospital, he was very happy to be home and was wide awake, taking everything in.

We've had a couple of little walks up to the village shop.

He had his first bath that he really want happy about.

He got to meet his Great Gran, Great Granddad, Great Aunty Jo and cousins.

I'm not sure when I'll be blogging next, I'm not doing any knitting or crafting at the moment. Have a great weekend.

Deb x

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Yarn Along....Garter Ear Flap Hats.

Hello my friends, how is everyone doing, having a good week, I hope? I had said to myself I wasn't going to knit anymore baby things for a while and just finish off some projects that have been languishing in the bottom of my basket. Until I saw the Garter Ear Flap Hat, a free pattern from Purl Soho, I then knit two of them!!!!!

The first one I cast on was the baby size for my grandson to be, it is so quick and simple, I started it on Sunday afternoon and finished by the evening. Don't be put off by the short rows, as its garters stitch there are no picking up stitches, it's just wrap & turns.

This was knit in Drops Nepal, a worsted/Aran weight yarn, another reason it knits up so quick. The original pattern has a tassel rather than a pompom but I thought a pompom would look cute. The baby size only uses one 50g ball and at £2.00 a ball from Wool Warehouse, that makes it very economical and great as a baby gift.

My sister had been looking for winter hats for my nephew so I cast on the toddler size for him, whilst enjoying a nice cup of fruit tea ;-)

This size uses about 75g so you will need a couple of balls, again I used Drops Nepal. When you knit garter stitch in the round, you have to knit a row, purl a row to get the garter ridges. I had heard about knitting backwards by wrapping and turning and knitting back on the wrong side, which meant no purling. I'm afraid this wasn't for me, I didn't like the ridge it left, so I frogged it and just knit and purl. I would rather just knit in the round but I preferred the smooth join at the start of the row.

I'm going to knit a couple more, Jodie wanted one in the light green grey colour and I'll also knit my niece one. She is so tiny though she will only need the toddler size. I really enjoyed knitting these and are great for travel knitting or watching tv as you don't have to concentrate too much.

The only other thing I've been actively knitting on this week, apart from a test knit, are the Hermione's Everyday Socks. I'm only a couple of inches away from starting the toe so hopefully will be finished by the weekend.

I'm still reading The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans and I'm really enjoying it, saying that I love any book set in Paris. I would like to share with you a book I picked up at The Works, the recommended price is £20 but I bought it for £4.99. I love it, it's mostly sweaters inspired by the 1930's, 40's and 50's but there are some accessories and want to knit a few of the patterns. It also gives you some history and background with some original photos. I love this era and the fashion and I highly recommend this book, everything is very wearable and all the yarn used is readily available.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along, Tami's WIP Wednesday and Nicole's Keep Calm, Craft On.

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it and all your lovely comments.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Broccoli and Stilton Soup.....

The leaves are beginning to fall from the trees, turning beautiful shades of orange and yellow, crunching underfoot, there's a nip in the air and I've been craving homemade soup. Yep Autumn is officially here and it's time for me to start making tasty homemade soups again.

I had all the ingredients for Broccoli and Stilton so this was to be my first soup of the season. I don't usually follow a recipe, I see what I have in the fridge/cupboard and concoct it from there. The family very much enjoyed this one so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.

This would serve six people as a starter or four as a main in a large bowl with fresh crusty bread, just use half the ingredients if you want a smaller batch.

Ingredients

2 medium sized onions, finely chopped.

2 broccoli heads, chopped into bite size pieces.

1 medium sized potato, cubed.

Oil for frying onions.

Knob of butter (optional)

2 stock cubes.

1000ml water.

200g Stilton, crumbled.

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Croutons (optional)

In a large saucepan, fry the onions until translucent, add the brocolli, potato and butter. Make up the stock with the two stock cubes and a 1000ml of boiling water, add to the pan.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, covering with lid until the vegetables are soft. Leave to cool slightly then blend until smooth, I use a hand blender so I can blend directly in the saucepan. At this point, if it's to thick, add more water, a small amount at a time as you don't want it too runny, this is meant to be a thick, creamy soup.

Return to the heat and add the Stilton, leaving a small amount behind for decoration. Stir until the cheese has melted, add salt and pepper if required. I didn't add salt as the Stilton and stock cubes contain it but I did use copious amounts of black pepper.

Serve immediately with a big chunk of crusty bread and enjoy.........as an optional extra, I added croutons and crumbled Stilton on the top.

Enjoy your week and Bon Appetit.

xxxxDebxxxx

Friday, 19 September 2014

FO Friday.......the perfect newborn baby cardigan.

Hello my friends, I hope you all had a good week. I'm back to show you the two Newborn Vertebraes I've knit over the last week.

I love this sweet pattern and think it's the perfect cardigan for a newborn, it only takes one 50g ball of 4ply so is quick, economical and great for a baby shower gift. It's perfect to wear over the all in one sleepsuits that they mostly wear when they are so tiny. It is open at the front but is long at the back, covering their little bum, keeping them warm and cosy.

I have lots of odd balls of Rowan Cashsoft 4ply and picked navy for the first one, I had a small amount left over from another project so with some left over cream, I knit a stripy Easy Peasy Newborn Hat to match, isn't it cute? I used DPNs instead of circular as I really struggle with Magic Loop, I always end up with a ladder whatever I try. Does anyone else have this problem with Magic Loop?

Again, I used Rowan Cashsoft 4ply in sky blue for this one, it was what I knit the Pom Pom Bootees in. I'm going to knit the next one in a DK to make it larger for when he's a bit bigger, these newborn ones are tiny.

Have a great weekend.

xxxxDebxxxx