Thursday, 28 January 2016

Things on my needles Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone!

I hope your week is going well, I thought I'd share with you my WIP's today - and as I'm a tad late for a WIP Wednesday post, it will have to be a Things on my needles Thursday!

This is the Brill Shawl pattern by Anna Wilkinson from the Spring 2014 issue of Pom Pom mag. I loved this design from the minute I saw it on the pages and knew I wanted to knit it. It has been a long time coming and now it's on the needles I'm super excited to get it made. At the moment the rows of knit stitch are very long - over 400 stitches I think, but there are decreases every other row so if I persevere it will get to the stage where the rows are more manageable and I will see quicker progress. It's definitely an enjoyable knit, the yarn is lovely to work with. It's Quince & Co Finch which I bought the first time I visited Loop in Islington, and it is a treat to work with.

And my husband is getting socks! Yes he's been hinting for long enough that he wanted some so I though it was about time he had a handmade pair. Beales had put loads of sock yarn in their sale bin so I took the opportunity to pick up this multi-coloured delight for him.
It's Regia Design Line by Arne & Carlos (Beltesakk Color). I've just put 'Beltesakk' in Google translate and it came back 'tracked zag'. I thought this was quite interesting, does it mean a type of zig-zag? Or maybe it's just another word for patterned stripes? Let me know if you know what it translate to :o)

I'm looking forward to settling down this evening to work on either or maybe both these projects, better get some jobs done first though...

'till next time...

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Raspberry Potter's Shawl

Hello everyone, I hope you're doing well?

Yesterday, while my little one was a nursery I took myself off to Fancy armed with my laptop, crochet, camera and my newly completed Potter's Shawl. The plan was to get some pattern writing done, to come up with a new project for my next workshop and to take some pics of my shawl.

Yummy latte and bakewell tart was the last ingredient for my mornings 'work' :o)

In-between chatting to Saffron I did get stuff done and am very happy with my photographs, it makes a change to have a different location rather than my house. I absolutely loved knitting this shawl, I started with a gradient yarn bought from Sara's Texture Crafts at Fibre East last July. The first bit of the shawl is garter stitch which is nice and easy and shows off the sparkle in the yarn. I had a problem as I reached the applied border as it was then it dawned on me that I needed 2 skeins of yarn, not one! (This was my error of course, I should know by now to READ THE PATTERN PROPERLY!) Anyway I did contact Sara and she was so very kind to dye me a skein of the darkest shade in the gradient so I was able to finish my project. I am really grateful to Sara as the original skein was one of her 'one-offs' and it was lucky for me she could remember how she dyed it up.

I really adore the raspberry colour of this yarn and it's made a gorgeous drapy fabric which is perfect for the shawl. The lace border took concentration but I enjoyed getting really involved with the pattern and focussing my mind on it.

It's perfect weather right now for this type of attire, so I plan to wear this a lot.

'till next time...

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Rose Chocolate

Hello all, how are you?

I was geared up to be all excited and giddy about this post. You know 'lovely yarn, I love how it's turned out' and all that. Don't get me wrong I still am very excited and pleased with this project but it is turning out to be a very strange week indeed and I don't know, I'm feeling quite peculiar (yes thank you anyone who said I'm peculiar all the time! :o) )))

Mr Bowie passing away earlier this week and hearing his song predicting this is sad and upsetting. My husband is a musician and in all seriousness is really quite bereft, David was absolutely one of his major heroes. 

A friend going through a really difficult patch is heartbreaking and I wish there was something I could do. But there isn't. Except listen.

Unsettling developments at work :o(

and I've just learned that Alan Rickman has passed away too.

It feels all a bit too much.

So anyway, my project. Rose Chocolate cowl. I do love it, it's soft and warm (merino and silk) I'm wearing it now and it didn't take too long to make. I matched it up with the mitts which are adapted from my Snow Dipped Mitts pattern - more shell rows in the cuff and slightly longer hand bit. 

I have written up the cowl pattern and it's ready and waiting for you. 

And it's free.

My gift to you. 

So get over to either Love Crochet or Ravelry and download the free cowl pattern. Dig into your stash and see if you can find your favourite colours to wip this up, or treat yourself to something new. Life's too short, it's full of ups and downs. Lets enjoy it while we can and take pleasure from the simple things.

'till next time...

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

A Thousand Kisses Shawl

So soft. So, so soft! The alpaca and silk blend yarn I used for my Thousand Kisses shawl is just exquisite, it is very luxurious, has a gorgeous drape and even the colours are soft in appearance. 
Very lovely indeed.
I wanted to crochet a shawl in fingering weight yarn that could sit happily with the beautiful knitted shawl patterns there are around. It had to be soft and drapy, with a delicate but not lacy fabric. I had the stitch pattern in my head for some time and it's taken a while to reach reality. I have tried out versions of the 'kiss' stitch loads of times before, and at last I think I have managed to transfer the image I had onto something real. The stitches cross one another, looking like little kisses. There are many of them in the shawl - not sure quite a thousand but I haven't worked it out. Anyway, that is where the name came from of course.

It's triangular in shape and worked from the centre out and down in a 2 row pattern repeat. The edging is a simple and cute picot. I used 5 colours, the yarn is Drops Baby Alpaca Silk in shades light grey purple, light grey, powder, wheat and medium grey. Check out the pretty colour chart here.


Being a chilly-body I do like to wear a scarf or shawl around me at this time of year. With something this soft it's like having a loving hug :o) I have worn this a lot, I love it. To the point it probably needs a wash again. I did block it after I'd finished making it, I wanted to encourage the drape, bring out the stitch pattern and I also wanted to block it to the triangle shape as it is a bit diamond-like otherwise.

I wear it with the star skirt I made in November, it goes really well and of course it's great to create handmade outfits, something I want to build on this year with my sewing, crocheting and knitting.

Pattern is all done and ready to buy (thank you to those lovelies who have already purchased it) and as usual it's available at both Love Crochet and Ravelry

Click on the images below to take you there...

I really hope you enjoy it, 'till next time...

Friday, 8 January 2016

In the flow...

Hello my friends, how is your new year going? I don't have any great plans for 2016, with a busy family life when there is always something going on I just wish for steadiness and peace and quiet. The roller coaster of dramas in our house is enough excitement for me thank you! Anyway, later this year my eldest daughter will be heading off to university and my youngest daughter starting school, so there will be changes and adjustments to deal with then (sob)

I'm not really doing any resolutions either, just the ongoing futile attempts at eating more healthily, being more organised and not buying so much yarn. As usual at this time of year there is the desire to finish up long-languishing WIP's but whether I will or not remains to be seen. In the meantime I can show you my finished #adventsockkal socks that I am delighted with. They have actually been re-christened 'snazzy socks' after a comment left on the Instagram post I put up about them. I had struggled to keep up with knitting on them each day of December, but with some concerted effort on Christmas eve, I managed to finish them on Christmas day itself as I just had the kitchener stitch to do. I had just put the turkey in the oven and everyone was happily occupied with their gifts and toys so i took the opportunity to finish them off and then wore them for the rest of the day (and the next day too).
Hand knitted socks are just great, especially made with such lovely yarn. It feels like a treat every time I put them on!

I want to share with you this shawl I've been knitting on for some time. It keeps getting put away and taken out again, but now I'm on the lace border, which is lovely, the end is in sight. The pattern is the Potter's Shawl by Jen Lucas from the Interweave Spring 2015 magazine. The main body is easy garter stitch but the lace edging needs more concentration, although it isn't difficult you do need to keep track of where you are. Well I do anyway, so I only pick it up to work on when I know I won't be interrupted.  This means it's slow going but that's ok because the yarn is lovely and a real pleasure to knit with. I like the fact that I associate it with stillness and quietness, a time when I can concentrate on the stitches and get into the flow , I am of course looking forward to finishing and wearing this shawl, but enjoying the process of making it is so rewarding too.

Another of the WIP's of mine is this baby blanket I'm crocheting. I really like the colours of this Sirdar Snuggly dk yarn. I picked up my first 'batch' in Hobbycraft and paid £3.90 per 50g ball. Of course  I hadn't bought enough to complete the blanket (I always seem to underestimate) so I popped back to the store to get more knowing they had the 3 for 2 offer on all yarn. I was really annoyed to discover that the price had been increased to £4.90 per 50g ball! It (the 3 for 2 offer) still meant a saving, but I get so annoyed with the sneaky tactics of the big companies when they do this. You think you are getting a bargain but it's not the case. I've checked online too and the yarn is about £3.15 per ball in some places.  Regardless of this I'm really happy with the way the colours are working up in the Puff & Ripple pattern (soon to be released if I can get my finger out!)

I hope you have  lovely weekend my friends, whatever you may be up to. Make sure you find time for some crafting of your choice and get into the flow - it's so good for your soul :o)

take care, 'till next time...