Tuesday, 6 February 2018

February knitting

In January I bought this blouse in Sainsburys, it isn't my usual sort of thing but I want to make some changes to my wardrobe and what I wear. It'll go very well with a denim pinafore dress I bought, also from Sainsburys, as well as my usual jeans.

As I want more hand knits in my wardrobe I decided I would use this blouse as a base for a colour palette of hand knit garments to go with things already in my wardrobe and to go with things I purchase or make in the future.

I've cast on 3 cardigans, all in different weights of yarn. This gold one is Drops Karisma (52 Dark Mustard) which is a DK (100% wool, £2.00 per 50grms) weight. The cardigan I'm doing is 'Scollay' by Karie Westermann . This is a paid for pattern

The nest cast on is 'Harvest' by Tin Can Knits. Again I'm doing in a Drops yarn - Nepal, 8905 Deep Ocean (£2.10 per 50grm ball, 100% wool, Aran weight). This is a free pattern.

Last but not least, is 'Stockbridge' by Ysolda Teague. As I love Drops yarn (apart from 'Belle') I'm using Drops again but in Flora (05 dark grey, 4ply, 65% wool, 35% alpaca, £2.10 per 50grm ball) This pattern is a paid for one.

I like to have several knitted projects on the go at once, especially if they are in different yarn weights as my arthritic hands don't like the heavier weight yarns so I can only knit on them for short bursts, my hands like 4ply the best so I am enjoying the Stockbridge the best. I am trying to rotate which garment I work on each day but I'm not rigid about it.

I buy garment quantities of yarn from Wool Warehouse - they are both online and a bricks & mortar shop, based in Leamington Spa. They have a fantastic range of yarn, great service and ship internationally!

Over the weekend I spent some time looking at all my WIPs, in all craft groups - quilting, knitting, crochet, cross stitch and crochet. I had a good look at everything and decided which I really wanted to work on and use, the rest have gone! This beaded piece is my oldest WIP, started in 1994, it was to be a small low round footstool. In between the beading is to be tapestry. I have gone completely off it, I wouldn't use that type of footstool and it would look wrong in my house so it hasn't escaped the cull!

This book has been popular in recent months, I have read it, enjoyed it and would like to pass it on, if you would like to read it please leave a comment and I'll draw a name and pass it it on (I will ship internationally)

Friday, 26 January 2018

January 2018!

Well! Another New Year come and gone!

Last time I wrote on this blog it was October!

Last year was an OK year, there was one family happening that was sad but it was more that made up by our Grand-daughter being born in July.
but I wasn't in a good place and the year pasted me by without me achieving a great deal. I am determined not to let 2018 pass me by in a similar fashion.

 Christmas knitting - I finished S of M's jumper. I didn't realize at the time it is a free Drops Garnstudio pattern. I got the pattern from a copy of Simply Knitting -  a British knitting magazine. I didn't finish DD's jacket but I haven't told her about it so I am going to finish it for Christmas 2018. Trying to knit 2 adult garments before Christmas was too much for my arthritic hands!

In the last 3 or 4 months of 2017 I discovered knitting and sewing podcasts on You Tube and have watched loads. I have been inspired to knit more and do more cross stitch, it is also my intention to start making my own clothes again. 

One of the knitting podcasts I watch is Dani from 'Little Bobbins'. She has started a tradition of casting on a new pair of socks on Christmas Eve. This year I joined in the fun! I am knitting the Mercury socks by Kim Drotar. It is a free pattern on Raverly. It is a lovely pattern to knit and I plan to knit it again for DD. I have also have started collecting hand dyed yarn to the detriment of my bank balance! The yarn I'm using for these socks is 'Holidays' by Yan Tan Tethera yarns - beautiful!  There are some fantastic British yarn dyers out there!

This year I am going to try and be more organised and proactive so as part of that I am following along with 2018 finish a long, I haven't joined formally this quarter but I really want to try to get some long standing projects completed.

This quilt has been on the go forever, since 2010! It is high time I got it finished, I really want it on our bed!

I showed this cross stitch last time I posted - I am slightly further on and I want this finished this quarter 

I want to finish the Mercury socks and and I've got a knitted cowl on the go too, that I want off the needles.

I've had some knitting starts too! I've started and Aran weight jacket, a DK cardigan and a 4 ply cardigan - I'll show these in more detail next time I post - 2 of them are just ribbing at present! I have different weight projects on the go because of my arthritic hands, they get less sore if I'm able to knit on different things. I also am planning a colourwork jumper and a summer top. 

I've ordered some fabric to have a go at making a couple of summer dresses so I'll discuss those too!

I leave you with Miss Moo as she has now become! She was 6 months old on Monday! She is such a lovely happy, smiley little girl. DD has gone back to work after maternity leave so I'm back to having her and Little Gromit (who is 4 next Thursday) when she is working.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Christmas knitting

I rarely do any Christmas present knitting, in fact I think this year is the first year I have done! and I've set myself a big challenge to knit 2 adult sized garments!

Last month I showed you a jumper I'm knitting for SofM. I showed it being knit in Drops Belle, which was the yarn called for in the pattern. This jumper is knitted in the round. The Drops Belle is a cotton based yarn and I hated it, it was spilty and it was knitting up huge, also I was getting nasty ladders on the sleeve from the DPNs so I frogged it and ordered some Drops Drops Merino Extra Fine and it is knitting up 100% better! 

When we were away in Norfolk at the beginning of the month, I went into a lovely little yarn shop called Norfolk Needlecraft in Mundesley, which is on the coast. There was a delivery of new yarn from King Cole - Indulge, which is a chunky Acrylic, Polyester and Alpaca mix. The colours are lovely and when I saw this pattern and this colourway I knew DD would love it!

It should be knit in the flat and seamed but I hate doing that so I've cast on 2 extra stitches to ensure the pattern is going to be correct and I'm knitting the fronts and back together. I was going to knit the sleeves on DPNs but that didn't work very well so I will knit those flat.

The nice thing with King Cole patterns you always get 2 patterns for the price of one - in this case it is a long and short jacket, I'm doing the long one.

My socks are finished! I had a job with the toe grafting, I'm not very good at it! I will keep practicing!

I used to do a lot of cross stitch, in fact it was all I did throughout the 1990's and early 2000's but I've only done little bits here and there since I started quilting in 2007 but every so often I see a pattern that really appeals.

This pattern is one of them, from this month's 'Cross Stitcher'. I like this magazine - the designs are quite modern and I like that. You can't see it on the photo but the fabric has a glittery thread through it which is lovely.

I started a cross stitch before last Christmas that I must finish too!

I'm knitting another pair of socks, this time for Little Gromit, to wear with his wellies! They need to be finished for next Saturday because we are taking him to a bonfire for Guy Fawkes night (or bomb night as he calls it) and he will need to wear his wellies.

I've been watching a lot of knitting podcasts recently and most of the podcasters knit socks and get left with lots of bit of sock yarn that is too good to get rid of so they are knitting 'cosy memories' blankets. I love the look of the blankets but haven't got the patience to knit one so I'm crocheting one. Just good old granny squares surrounded in a natural coloured sock yarn and crocheted together. This will be a long term project and I am enjoying collecting mini skeins of hand dyed yarn for it.

And last but not least I'm knitting a DK weight jumper for myself. This jumper called 'For the love of trees and is in issue 79 of 'Knit Now' I'm also using Drops Merino Extra Fine for this. I've haven't worn this type of jumper for over 20 years as I don't think I suit them but I want to try one and I loved the pattern.

Last night my Mum, Dd and I went to Crewe Lyceum to see 'The Nutcracker'. It was lovely! we really enjoyed it! We rarely go to the theatre so it was a real treat!

Thursday, 21 September 2017


Last week I took Mum up to Scotland for a weeks' holiday. We stayed in a little house in Gullane, near North Berwick. The weather wasn't brilliant but we did get out and about. One of our trips out was to see the Kelpies. These are an amazing sight, they stand 30 meters tall, on either side of a canal lock.

Whilst we were away I also got plenty of knitting time. I did contemplate taking my sewing machine but I'm glad I didn't as there wasn't really a suitable space to set it up.

I spend a good bit of time watching podcasts and saw some wonderful things being knitted, so I planned my Christmas knitting.

I saw this shawl pattern on Ali's podcast - Little Drops of Wonderful (sorry, I couldn't get the link!) and loved it! She has knitted this pattern 3 times! So this is part of my secret Christmas knitting!

I don't buy many magazines these days but when I go away I treat myself!

This issue of Simply Knitting is 163. I just loved this man's jumper and thought it perfect for Son of Mine for Christmas. The yarn is Drops Belle in colourway 7 - Zinc. I ordered it from Wool Warehouse whilst I was away and it was waiting for me when I got back.

It is a pattern written in the round which I love but you wouldn't credit how many mistakes I've made! (although I think there is a mistake in the pattern for the sleeve), the pattern is a 4 row pattern and easy to remember but I still have managed to get confused! The only other thing I'd say about this, is the yarn is splity so you have to watch it.

Last time I posted I showed this tiny bit of scrunched up knitting - 

it is now a blocked but not quite dry shawl! Done in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply, colourway Pennyroyal, pattern - a free pattern on Ravelry - The Oaklet shawl by Megan Goodacre.

My sock has also moved on - I had just turned the heel, I am now shaping for toe.

I have got a different pair of socks on the go too but I'll show you those next time.

I haven't touched my sewing machine again and I won't be able to for a few weeks as DD is moving house and needs my help and we go away again on the 30th of September for 6 days.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Summer 2017 - Part 2

 Three months has gone by since I last posted and we've had a few days out and I've done some crafting and just generally pottered through the summer.

I've lacked motivation this year so far and my depression has reared its' ugly head from time to time during the summer so I haven't achieved anything like the amount of things I could have if I'd been in a better place.

Anyway, here's want I have been doing!

From March 2016 to this August I've done no machine quilting at all, I've not been to any quilt shows or bought much fabric, nor have I started any new quilts - 

but, in August I decided to get this quilt out - this is the year I am going to finish this quilt! It is for our king size bed.

 These 12" star blocks (to my own pattern) made with Moda French General have been in process since at lease 2014! It is time it was finished!

All the blocks are complete. I am using the 'quilt as you go' method so all the blocks are sandwiched and quilted. One row of 8 blocks is completed including the hand sewing on the back, another row is stitched together awaiting its' hand sewing and the rest of the blocks need trimming down and the sashings sewn on, so it could be finished by the end of September if I get a move on!

I have gone through all my projects that have been started and decided which I am going to finish and which I was getting rid of. This cardigan is an item that's been on the needles for years and it needed very little doing to it, it is now finished apart from weaving 3 ends in and sewing a button on.

 I really like it! I knitted the 2 fronts an the back together so I wouldn't have to sew up the side seams, I also knitted the sleeves on DPNs, again so no seaming! The yarn used was Rowan Felted Tweed, the colorway 151 Bilberry.

I liked this pattern so much I've stated it again, using Sirdar Harrap Tweed colourway 107 Shelley, which is a lot cheaper! It is a very similar yarn to felted tweed but slightly thicker. 

It's a great knit whilst watching Netflix!

These socks are another thing that has been on the needles for a long time. The first sock was finished except grafting of the toe. I have had real difficultly doing the grafting because I'm left handed but after watching You Tube videos and blogs I've managed it, it's not as neat as it should be but I should get better with practice! I do love knitting socks and these fit me really well.

 I use this basic pattern - Super Simple Sock Pattern by Allison Sarnoff. It is a free pattern on Raverly.

I have also cast on a shawl too! The pattern is the Oaklet shawl by Megan Goodacre and it is another free pattern on Raverly. I am knitting it in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in the colour way 530 Pennyroyal. This yarn is a standard sock weight yarn and comes in self striping colours as well as solid colours. It is lovely to knit with.  

I have started decorating my house for Autumn and I decided the other day I wanted a Autumn themed table runner. I had this Moda charm pack 'Awesome' by Sandy Gervais for ages and thought it fitted the bill nicely. I thought I would do a 3 block disappearing 9 patch so I sewed the 3 blocks and started to cut the 1st one to turn it into the 'disappearing' bit and made a right old mess of it so I put it away for another day!

I am also crocheting 'Attic 24's' Hydrangea blanket, I did a couple of rows this week but it will be on hold now as I take my Mum on holiday next week.

This is my charity knitting that I do when I go to a charity knitting group every fortnight. We knit baby blankets and hats for our local hospital. So far I've knitted one hat and a blanket.

And our biggest news of this summer is that we now have a baby grandaughter!  Meet little Miss Gromit, who looked just like her brother when she was born.

She was born on 22nd July at 19.19, weighing 11 pounds 9 ozs.

and here she is today, 7 weeks tomorrow! She has been helping me write this post today!

I did buy a little bit of fabric! - Moda Nanette, for Little Miss Gromit of course, as she has to have her own quilt!

Friday, 30 June 2017

This summer....Part 1

They last time I blogged we were getting ready to to go on holiday.

We had a week in Maderia at the beginning of April with my Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law.

The weather was fantastic - wall to wall sunshine all week - a really lovely break!

 The Tropical Garden in Monte, above Funchal.

Maderia is famous for being able to grow fantastic Birds of Paradise.

At the end of April we had a week's canal boat holiday on the Kennet and Avon canal with the family - 5 adults, one 3 year old and 2 dogs! The weather was mediocre but at least we didn't see much rain!

Deep lock in Bath

69ft boat - the longest that can go through the locks!

It was a busy week but it was lovely to spend time with the family!