It’s been a long while since we have been had a craft afternoon. Recently, a friend posted a link on Facebook to some project bags made in the most amazing Star Wars fabric, Ling mentioned she had some of the fabric in her stash and soon a plan was hatched to spend the day making our own Star Wars project bags.
Despite buying a sewing machine a few years ago, my machine sewing skills are pretty much non-existent, so instead of being a craft day, it was more of a sewing school for me.
We found this tutorial for a simple Box Bags, and Jen was an excellent teacher explaining each part, I chickened out of doing any sewing so mainly spent my time cutting and ironing the fabric. We ended up with a few technical issues regarding the sewing machine so didn’t get to complete our bags, in the end it was more a lovely afternoon catching up with friends and a little bit of sewing.
Where knitting is concerned at the moment I seem to need a lot of inspiration. I get bored quickly so a larger item (sweater or cardigan) are out of the question, socks whilst quicker seem to have lost their appeal, as I have several pairs and have ruined a lot more (am I the only one who wears though sock). So I need to find smaller projects to keep me going. Lately, I have been doing some sample knitting, the Shawl for Ling and another project for Ruth at Rock + Purl (more of that later). Which is good for me as I can use the deadline for motivation.
I also thought it might be a good idea for me to do some knitting for charities – it also seemed like a great way to put a dent in my stash. I found a great list of campaign that are looking for knitters on the UK Hand Knitting Association’s website. The first campaign that caught my eye was the knitted cup sleeves for The Allegra Foundation, they aim to bring safe drinking water to coffee producers in the Third World. Working with WaterAid they will be selling Coffee Sleeves in coffee shops over UK Coffee Week in May.
As a coffee addict, this seemed like a great project to start me off (I wish I had heard about it earlier so I could have knitted more sleeves). Using up some of my leftover sock yarn, and a few basic patterns – ribbed on “pooling” yarn or a simple cable on plainer yarns, this project is quick and easy to knit.
Instead of our normal crafty afternoon, a few weeks ago Ling arranged a brunch at The Wolseley, it was also an excuse to check out the latest yarn in the Whimzy gradient sock yarn collection. I have been a little obsessed with ombré and gradient yarns at the moment, so was extremely excited to see Ling’s version.
Whilst waiting for us, Kate mocked up a few colour samples using water colours, and they seemed to match up with Ling’s creations – obviously both ladies are on the same colour wave length. The blue/purple creation on the left is very much my first choice, and although the on the right is not my normal colour palette, I love the boldness of the yellow with the grey and purples.
One skein complete stood out, as soon as I saw it I knew it was destined to become a Citron shawl. The yarn looks and feels like cotton (which I love), but it’s actually a merino/nylon mix – with great stitch definition. If you follow me on instagram, you will have seen some of my WIP photos, but you will have to wait a few days to see the shawl in all it’s glory.
There’s no denying that the weather has gotten colder here in London – and whilst it’s not quite time to get the knitted socks and hats out of summer storage, the cooler snap has made me think more about my autumn wardrobe. My go-to accessory is always a scarf, however last winter I made a chunky cowl using Rowan’s Big Wool – it was best suited to the winter months, I love the convenience of a cowl – I could just thrown it over my head and tuck the cowl under the collar of my coat.
When I was hunting for patterns to use my KSH, I saw the simple Ombré Cowl. Using three balls of the yarn, knitting with two strands of yarn at once and changing between colours to create an ombré effect. Knit on the round it seemed to be ideal to ease me back into knitting.
I cast on last week, whilst watching Thor: The Dark World, which wasn’t such a great idea. Three rows in I realised I had twisted my knitting whilst joining the round – complete rookie mistake – creating a möbius stripe! I’m guessing Loki served to be a massive distraction.
After carefully ripping it back – getting fluff everywhere – I re-cast on this weekend whilst watching the football. I am planning on making a few adjustments to make the cowl smaller, so I cast on fewer stitches and plan to make each section shorter. Once successful cast on the pattern is a dream to knit. Row after row of stocking stitch on the round!
Clue 2 of the Follow Your Arrow was released this week. I again opted for Clue B as I wanted something a little different from a semi-circle shawl
I have to admit I miss “read” the pattern and thought the short rows would be on both sides – adding wedges to both sides instead of just one, so I was a little disappointed when I finished and it was lop-sided – I am hoping the next clue will even this out – or else I might rip it back and re-think my choices.
This is the other side, it’s worked in both colours – which isn’t really clear on the finished product – but I love the way the colours work together, as it looks like a variegated yarn and not thin stripes.
Looking back over my project page, I only completed four projects last year (not including the pumpkins and some Christmas Tree decorations). In an attempt to kick start my knitting this year, I signed up to Ysolda’s mystery KAL.
In case you haven’t heard about it, it’s similar to a choose your own adventure book from when we were younger, each week she releases two clues and you pick which option you want, there is also a choice of single or dual colours – creating 32 possible combinations all from the one pattern.
I figured this would also be a great project to stash-bust, I had two dark grey Sokkusu yarns, but they were too similar in colours, so I had a quick word with Ling and she found me a purple-y grey that toned so well with the dark grey and will hopefully make something wearable.
I cast on this afternoon, for some light knitting whilst catching up on tv and have nearly finished clue one. I opted for clue B, as I liked the semi-circle shape, similar to the afternoon tea shawl.
This month, I have decided against posting all my #yarnpadc photos each week, instead I will post them daily on my tumblr (as well as instagram) and try and post each week about what I have been knitting (yes I actually have done a little knitting lately).
Earlier in the year, I was having a chat with Ling, about how I would like to experiment with planned pooling for a scarf. At the time Ling had just released her limited edition Star Trek yarns – after reading the pdf, taking photos of the yarn, I eventually cast on an simple stocking stitch cowl – however, I got bored!
So last month in an attempt to kick start my knitting, I cast on the Sallah Cowl from Knitty, no fancy planned pooling – just row after row of rib! However, it should be a wearable item soon.
I wanted to add again, thank you for everyone who have joined in with #yarnpadc (even if they fell of the wagon), over 3000 photos were shared in September on Instagram. Which still amazes me – I never expected it anyone to join in, I have loved seeing everyone’s interpretations of my prompts and all the creative photos you have taken.
Well in recent months my knitting has been pushed to the side as I concentrate on working and studying, I am so far behind on my 12 FOAM challenge (to have one Finished Object A Month). There is something about this time of year that has inspired me, be it the colder weather, the colours or darker nights spend indoors. Whatever the reason, I am knitting again!
One of the first things I wanted to knit was a cabled hat for the winter, in a golden-orange shade. I wanted a soft chunky yarn and failed to find anything inspiring in John Lewis so instead opted to go for Malabrigo Merino Worsted. To me this yarn is like an old friend, reliable, soft and comes in a range of colours (I adore their Lace and Sock Yarn too). I opted for Sunshine, which isn’t a very autumnal name, but to me looks like the changing leaves.
As for a a pattern, I opted for another Gretel – I have made this pattern twicebefore, love the cables and they way they form part of the increases and decreases, and the fit is perfect for me.
At the moment, it seems all my knitting project at the moment seem to be using the same yarn, Sokkusu Original. I have been fortunate enough to be able to pop along to the Socktopus Studios a few times and each time, I am tempted by the wonderful colourways and end up coming home with a mini stash of yarn.
I was particularly taken with the Hunger Games colours, I adored Haymitch and was really keen to cast on a new project. Around the same time Ruth announced her Mystery Sock KAL, so I thought this would be a perfect combination.
I cast on and happily knitted the leg (week two) – when I suddenly thought this yarn is too pretty to be hidden away as socks, but I continued on to the heel flap, and then it dawned to me – this sock pattern is actually perfect for a guy!
I have yet to find many exciting sock patterns to knit for year – a lot of “male” patterns, I just end up knitting in a smaller size in a girly colour. When it comes to knitting socks for Jason, I have two defaults, a vanilla sock or 2×2 rib! What is worse I also have two yarn options, Regia/Opal self-stripping in grey or a solid yarn (occasionally I might pick something interesting) in Black or Navy! Is there anything worse than knitting 72 stitches of stocking stitch in black?
So I figured Ruth’s sock pattern might just work – and what is more than that, I have a great Socktopus yarn – District 12 (a semi solid dark grey)! This of course meant ripping back the sock 🙁 But fear not, a quick hunt to Ravelry and I found another interesting pattern Afternoon Tea.
It’s been so long since I have written a proper blog post, I am sure you have been wondering what I have been up to.
First off, we had a little holiday in Portugal (the sun was out most the time but obviously not on the day I took my photos).
Since where we were staying was so close to Seville (about a 2 hour drive), we decided to head over the border for some Tapas and to check out the Plaza de España as it was used as a location for the Attack of the Clones.
Whilst, away it struck me that my life had become very static, with the pregnancies and my operation, I haven’t made any effort to improve my career or job opportunities so, after we returned, I signed up to return to school, I am planning on taking a few course over the next year to improve my Web Design skills and learn some new ones (HTML5).
I set about starting up a little side line venture Prêt-À-Tricoter, and we put out our first Knitting Kit – themed around the Hunger Games (there are a few still available if you are interested). On top of that I am currently doing an internship to improve my Social Media networking skills.
When we returned home Jason’s eczema flared up pretty badly and he began a cycle of antihistamine, lotions and anti-boitics. After a few weeks, when Jason’s eczema showed no signs of improving (in fact it was getting worse), and we ended up at A&E, after he developed a fever. He was diagnosed with a Staph Infection and spend the next 24 hours in hospital have more antibiotics administered via an IV – this was only the third time in our five year marriage Jason and I have not slept in the same bed (one of the others being when I was in hospital last year). It seems to be under control now and we are just hoping it doesn’t get that sever again.
Sitting around the hospital for 24 hours and then the numerous follow up doctors and dermotoligist appointment have meant I had a lot of time to knit. Firstly, on a Wingspan shawl and also on Ruth’s Mystery Sock KAL