Category Archives: Knitting Natter

Knitting Natter: Brioche Knitting

Having taken some time away from knitting, I seem to have missed a few knitting trends. Previously, when I was heavily into knitting, the trend was for berets, socks and lacy shawls knitted in sock yarn! Now, it seems to be bobble hats, boxy sweaters, brioche knitting. Not to be out of the loop I have been quickly embracing brioche stitch! My next two projects are both based around this stitch, and one of them is even a boxy sweater. So I am embracing two trends.
Knitting Natter: Brioche Stitch

Brioche Knitting

I had seen a class locally, that was teaching the technique, but rather than wait a few weeks. I turned to Youtube to look for tutorials, I found the Wool at the Gang video and some tips and hints from Purl Soho (both linked below). So I thought I would give it a go. Although brioche stitch looks complicated it’s is actually, pretty straightforward. It is a little weird to get the hang off, as you have to work each row twice. First by knitting and slipping stitch alternative stitches, then re-working the same row purling the slipped stitches and slipping the previously knitted stitches. Once you get to grips with not working left to right, and then right to left. It is pretty easy to work and yet looks far more complicated.

Brioche Knitting Sample
Brioche Knitting Sample
in Cascade 220 in Natural and Grey.

Whilst, you can work brioche stitch in one colour, the technique looks best when worked in two colours. Working each row first with one colour and then passing over the second time with the second colour. For a truly beautiful effect, variegated or self-striping yarn worked together with a solid colour looks amazing. One of the best things about Brioche Stitch is experimenting with different colour combinations.

Brioche Knitting Coffee Cozy
Brioche Knitting Coffee Cozy
in Whimzy Yarn in Chocolate and Girl on Fire

So far, I have only been working brioche stitch knitted flat. However, my next plan is to knit on the round. Which will be needed for the LUSH cowl, I want to knit. Then I hope I can move on to more advanced patterns, like the leaf pattern as seen in Nancy Marchant’s Willow scarf.

Recommended Reading

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Brioche Knitting

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Knitting Natter: Diversity in Knitting

I used to knit a lot! Knitting was my may past-time. In evening whilst watching television, on the tube and even in the pub (during our knitting group). I would attend knitting shows with the same planning and determination you might have for attending a con. I even started this blog originally to write about my knitting projects.

Knitting Natter

Whilst I never stopped knitting, I certainly cut down, until recently. I don’t know what changed but once again I have been knitting in the evenings. Not only has this help me relax more, it has also it also stops me from using a second screen whilst watching TV.

Wonder Woman Wrap

For a while now, I have been wanting to write more about my knitting on the blog. Recently, most of my posts have more a geeky feel, so writing knitting would technically, be a step away from my normal content. However seeing as the two major knitting projects I have been working on this year, but have a geeky theme, It would make sense to write to about them.

More than that, I love being part of the knitting community. I have made a lot of friends via knitting. We were brought together because of our shared interest in knitting but since then we have discovered we have the same love of food, books and movies. I want to once again write about these experiences.

Whilst I don’t regularly go to attend a knitting group anymore. I do still meet up with friends I made from the knitting community. When we get together we might not all bring our knitting along, but we will find a new interesting place to have lunch. Talk about the latest Marvel or Star Wars movie, our collective love of Hamilton.  And our conversation will always return to what is hot in the knitting world.

Diversity in the Knitting Community

Lack of diversity in the media has been a hot topic since the #SoWhiteOscars. I never really thought about it in the lack of diversity in the knitting community. It wasn’t until I recently read an interesting post by Lady Dye Yarns on Instagram on the topic. It got me thinking about my experiences as an Asian knitter.

Nakia Infinity Scarf

Maybe it is because I am based in London a multi-cultural city, but my group of knitting friends has always been pretty diverse. In fact, I remember a conversation at one knitting night, where we discussed we were all immigrants. Being born in the U.K. I was the only second-generation immigrant. Yet if you look online or in knitting publications, it is predominantly white designers or models, not at all a reflection of the knitting community I know.

#diversknitty

The conversation about diversity in the knitting community was started by Sockmatician. He commented on the lack of non-white faces when scrolling thru the #knitting hashtag on Instagram. He started the #diversknitty hashtag to help promote not only knitters of colour but also, knitting designers, indie yarn dyers and companies run by non-white knitters.

Scrolling through the #diversknitty hashtag, I have read some amazing stories and experiences from fellow knitters. Plus I have discovered new patterns like the amazing ZigZag Stole and the beautiful knitted jewellery kits sold by Mahliqa. I have also noticed two major yarn magazines feature women of colour on the cover this month. I Like Crochet and Pom Pom Magazine. It seems the knitting community is finally catching up with the entertainment industry, by not only having the conversation about diversity but also highlighting crafters of colour. I cannot wait to see what more is to come.Knitting Natter: Diversity in the Knitting Community

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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6 on 6 Red

6 on 6 - Red

I am posting my final photos in the 6 on 6 series, red for December. Like my gold photos for November, these have a Christmassy theme. A lego Santa, and Starbucks red cup. I have also added an Electra Tsum Tsum. The Harley Quinn Funko, was a Halloween gift as past of the Geek Girl x Bloggers group from the Funko Queen dePepi.

The final photo in my red themed #SockSunday photo I took on Instagram. Featuring the Red Queen book, a red cup and my 2 luv crew socks I knitted years ago. These are my favourite socks that I made, that I tend not to wear them, which is why I think they don’t have holes in them.

6 on 6 - Red
Lego Santa
6 on 6 - Red
Electra Tsum Tsum

 

6 on 6 - Red
Harley Funko
6 on 6 - Red
Red Post Office Box!

6 on 66 on 6 is a monthly photography challenge started by the Scruffy Little Nerd Herder #6on6

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Bookstagram

One of my goals this year was to read more and I’m always looking for inspiration for new books to read. As much as I love my kindle, I have always loved to potter in a book store and read the blurbs on the back of books, but more recently I have been using social media for ideas on what to read next. As a result my latest obsession has been looking at book photos on Instagram; I literally am judging a book by its cover.

Bookstagram has become a huge phenomenon in recent years, we live in an age where we all know that if a celebrity been seen wearing an item of clothing will cause that item to sell out in the shops and even expect celebrity endorsements on consumer goods. I recently read an article from the USA Today showing how books have become the latest trend on celebrities Instagram feeds, which is something that I love!

It might seem easier to search Goodread or Amazon from recommendations, but searching Instagram for #currentlyreading or #bookstagram, brings up thousands of photos, and can give you can insight into what’s hot at the moment. I have added several books to my “to read” shelf from Red Queen, Nowhere But Here and Rebel of the Sands.

The bibliophiles on Instagram carefully choreograph some amazing photos to show off what they are currently reading using themed candles, mugs, bookmarks or other props. As I mentioned I love my kindle, I don’t have a lot of physical books, or bookshelves filled with books, but I adore seeing other peoples – maybe when I get that larger dream home, I can have a library filled with books and a cozy reading nook.

Until then, I’ll spend my free time curled up in my bed with my kindle and attempt to post boring #socksunday photos showcasing some hand knitted socks and my plain kindle.

What are you reading at the moment? Where do you get inspiration for you next read from? Do you have a favourite bookstagram account I should be following?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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(P)inspirational- Bobble Hats

pinspiration
Maybe it’s the knitter in me, but I’ve noticed everyone seems to be wearing a bobble hat this winter! Hoping the trend might continue to next winter, I thought it might be fun to knit a collection of hats as gifts for next Christmas. So I took to Pinterest and Ravelry looking for inspiration.

The most popular hat on social media seems to be the Baable Hat (seriously there are over 3,500 photos tagged on Instagram), the cute sheep motif makes it an instant hit for knitters it’s as a lovely fair isle pattern also makes it an interesting knit.

Obviously, I love the Force Awakens hat by Mrs Luedeke. Which she designed to mark the release of the new Star Wars film last year, and I can see myself knitting one – once I decided in the ideal colour scheme.

The hat I decided would be the perfect gift would be the Friendly Fair Isle Hat, the simple patterns looks like it would knit up quickly and I like the ideas of knitting bright colours for little children. For the older kids, I might do their monogrammed version.

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Herd of Elephants

Flo the Elephant

I finally finished all my elephants (and they are safely at their new homes), I figured it was time to post some photos of my finished projects.

Flo the Elephant

First up, Flo from Knitty, I moaned before about the sewing involved in this pattern as it takes as much time as the knitting, but it does look amazing when finished.

Flo Tail

I love using the contrasting colour for the stitching on the ears and feet, which I also added to the tail to add to the hand-made look.

Elijah Twins

The other patterns I have knit has been Elijah by Ysolda. This pattern is the complete opposite as it involves no seaming – it’s all knit on the round with picked up stitches.

Elijah

Like with all of Ysolda’s patterns in attention to detail is amazing – each increase or decrease stitch is part of a design, the increases in the head form the guidelines of the faces and the decreases in the foot forming this circular pattern.

Elijah - Foot

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Autumn Hat

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.

Malabrigo Sunset

As for a a pattern, I opted for another Gretel – I have made this pattern twice before, love the cables and they way they form part of the increases and decreases, and the fit is perfect for me.

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The Same Yarn

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.

RnP Mystery Sock Clue 1

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.

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Making

Over the last few weeks I have been feeling unwell – first vomiting and then a suspected kidney infection. Now I think I am final on the mend but taking things slowly. As a result I have mainly spend the last few weeks in bed reading away from the Interweb. (Have I missed anything?)

Valentine's Day Banner

Obviously I am now way behind on my making 52 things in 52 weeks AND my letter writing. However before I feel ill I did make this little Valentine’s Day garland to hang in our bedroom. If I could I would decorate our house for every major holiday, at the moment I tend to go mad for Christmas and Halloween – which is also my birthday so I don’t have birthday decorations just scary ones, we also have a few football decorations for Jason’s birthday – I need to add a few more this year.

Valentine's Day Banner - ECU

Making this garland was pretty simple I printed the words in Word (Arial Black at 200pts) to use as a template and the felt was a purchased from a Felt Mix Kit on eBay of Pinks and Reds. I cut out two of each letter to filled them with a little stuffing and then hand stitched them with embroidery thread. The little opening I used for stuffing was then sewn shut and attached to the ribbon.

In at attempt to catch up on my “making 52 things in 52 weeks” I figured I could bake a lot! However our oven is broken – so no baking for me! Secretly I am happy, our oven obviously was on it’s last legs and things were taking a lot longer to cook in fact there was a lot of guestimation on baking times. It does mean I will have to bake a lot in the next month to catch up.

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OTBg

Jason is still in contact with a lot of friends he went to school with, even after leaving their home town for university or work, they still would make the effort to meet up several times a year (and always on Christmas Eve) in the Old Town area of their home town. As a result they lovingly refer to themselves as The OTB (Old Town Boys).

As they entered their twenties, several of them moved down to London, they started having serious relationships, and as a result a a group of WAGs joined the OTB, and we would still meet up semi-regularly in London and always on Christmas Eve in the Old Town. As they entered their thirties and some of them moved overseas, they started to getting married and having children. That’s where the strange thing happened all the children where girls.

Two summers ago, I thought it would be nice to knit something for the newest OTB girls, after seeing Ysolda’s Poppy doll at Knit Nation I thought that was the perfect pattern. I had a practice run making a doll which eventually ended up with my sister and then started the mass production. Making three that summer for the two newest babies and ones older sister. Then that Christmas I made three more, this time for older girls so I made a few extra pieces of clothing.

dolly10

Last of October another OTBg was born, with my lack of knitting mojo I never got around to knitting her a Poppy. However this past weekend it was her Dad’s birthday and attended his surprise 40th party, so it was the perfect opportunity for me to make another Poppy, this one to live in Leicester.

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