Monday, 31 October 2011

Monthly round-up.

Well I knitted another hat! 
But I have no photo's to share because the camera battery got all used up recording seasonal fun so a wordy post instead. If that's not your thing then jump blog now :)
I thought I might start posting an end of the month round-up of all the makes for that month.
Maybe I'll do it every month, maybe I'll never do it again.
We'll see.
So this month we have:

And the hat with no blog post (which I will come back and edit when I charge the battery, take the photo's, write the possibly I'll never get round to it!)

Phew, a productive month then, you can tell we're on the run up the giftgiving time of the year.........


Saturday, 29 October 2011

All wrapped up.

I have finally finished something else. At last! 
You want to see what I've finished?
Then here you go:

Forgive the bad picture!

Very snuggly, wouldn't you agree?
A lovely warm, squidgy, winter scarf to go with the lovely warm, squidgy, winter hat I knitted a few days ago:

Another bad picture!

At last, something to put away for gifting. Just hoping now that Jen will like it. Oh, and that I can find a similar shade of DK to knit a pair of gloves to go with......

Knitted up with the other three 100g skeins of Wendy Serenity super chunky, using 10mm needles so finished in a flash. I wasn't sure about whether to add the fringe but now it's on I like it, kind of finishes off the scarf properly I think?
So what about that other bit of knitting do I hear you ask? The dashing-along-without-a-care-until-the-very-last-row bit of knitting? Well I finished it! Yes, the Hitchhiker is all done, wrapped up and put away for gifting to another grown girl. So I'll share a peek shall I?

I need a bigger room to lay it out in!

What do you think? The photo is so bright but then the colours are just as they seem. Just right for the woman who loves colour and brightness and fun:

I really enjoyed knitting up this scarf and I'm already fairly sure there may be another one appearing pretty soon. A quick reminder of the technicalities - Hitchhiker pattern is found on Ravelry. The yarn is King Cole Riot DK. The pattern originally used 150g Wollmeisse sock yarn I think but the Riot is a thin DK, edging close to a 4ply so it turned out a nice size. I used around 165g altogether to get the full 42 teeth worked. The King Cole yarn was ok to work with if a little splitty and I'm glad it was a simple garter stitch pattern as it meant the snagging didn't slow me down too much, well, until I got to that last row already blogged about! I think this scarf would look wonderful knitted up in Noro, and would be a real luxury item. In fact the guy in our LYS did briefly think it was Noro until I told otherwise. Maybe I'll knit the next one in a smoother sock yarn? We'll see. But before i think about that I have more projects in mind, and another cast on already.
Oh in case you're wondering - the Pixie hat was the size of a newborn so that's gone to the Dolly wardrobe already!


Friday, 28 October 2011


I knitted on the train again yesterday, whilst travelling between workshops. I chatted to a lovely widower who told me all about how how wife used to knit him pure wool v-neck pullovers when they were courting, and how she would knit their children an aran (fishermans) cardigan every winter. He admired the Hitchhiker and said how lovely it was to see someone younger (me?) keeping up the old skills. He hoped I had or would teach my children and keep the skills alive. I reassured him that handcrafts were booming once again with so many people enjoying them. A lovely conversation. And the Hitchhiker thundered along, being garter stitch it only requires a quick glance now and then. The yarn is a little splitty and so I snagged now and then but nothing major. Or so I thought.
1am this morning I was on the final row before casting off. I glanced down and noticed a thin spot. I looked again and noticed that there was definitely an almost hole. And I knew immediately what had happened. Whilst chatting away I had snagged the yarn but didn't look down, just moved the needle out and then re-did the stitch. But of course I re-did it through the snagged strand, which was as fine as a hair. And that superfine strand was now the base of every knitted stitch above for at least 15 rows! 150+ stitches a row. Do the maths - scary number of stitches right? So no ripping back then. Instead I deliberately dropped the stitch at the top of that column and laddered right down to that one pesky stitch. Kind of worrying as the yarn being so splitty meant that I had to tug most of the stitches to open them up. Still, the alternative was much, much less appealing. I picked up each stitch in the ladder with the crochet hook. At 1am. After waking at 7am that morning. And a full, busy day in work. With the light low so the girlie on the sofa didn't wake. But I did it. 

And so I finished knitting that last row. I semi reluctantly began the cast off, the Hitchhiker had been a lovely no stress project (well almost). But still I was there, casting off, thinking of seeing it fully opened up and sharing with you. And then 60sts off the needle, 100 to go, the girlie woke up. So it was off to bed we went.
So you want to see the finished Hitchhiker?
Well then you shall.............

When I finish that cast off at some time today!


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Yarn along.

Joining in with Ginny's yarn along over at Small things again.

So I could have just posted last weeks post again I suppose seeing as I'm still working on the Hitchhiker, and still only two pages into The Green Buddha. But that's not in the spirit of things is it? So here's something else I'm currently reading and knitting:

An old issue of Living Crafts magazine, full of interesting and lovely crafting articles to share with the family, and knitting - a pixie hat for little miss from the same magazine. Working with King Cole mirage DK which I'm trying to convince myself to like, as splitty as it is. till, it's only a little hat.........
Don't forget to check out more of the lovely projects shared in the yarn along, and hopefully I'll have a finished Hitchhiker to share in a day or so.. Or a pixie hat........


Sunday, 23 October 2011

On the go.

What do these places have in common- the Liverpool train, the church gardens, the hospital park, and my living room? Easy, they're all the places the Hitchhiker has been getting whipped out. Working on a circular means that it is compact and portable, and essential part of my work bag this weekend. See, even when I'm working I manage to fit a little knitty time in ;) Thirty repeats worked, twelve more to go, each row is over 100 stitches now. Still loving it!
Handbag - check, backpack - check, Lansinoh sachets - check, lunch - check, little WIP - check!

Unfortunately when I arrive home I'm so tired that once the family are loved, fed, entertained and settled to bed, I'm ready to be in the same place myself. So not a lot else happening here. Ooh, yes there is - the scarf to go with the hat! Same Wendy Serenity, another lacy pattern, two thirds done so one third (or one hank) to go. Yes, yes, I know, I said there would be no new projects until the old ones were finished. Well guess what - I lied! Go on, tell me you don't have a queue of half finished works......
Two days off now so lot's of time to be getting on with finishing the started. Right?
So off I'll go then!


Friday, 21 October 2011

Easy? Right!

Today I knit a quick and easy hat for a yule gift. The knitting went a little like this - cast on, single rib for six rows, commence lace pattern. Work 1st row. Work 2nd row. Work 3rd row. Work 4th row. See the pattern emerging? Work 5th row. Realise a stitch is missing. Rip back 3 rows. Re-work 3rd row. Re-work 4th row. Re-work 5th row. Realise a stitch is missing. Hmm a new pattern emerging I think. Rip back 3 rows. Re-work 3rd row counting and checking every single stitch. Re-work 4th row. Re-work 5th. Continue with pattern.
Heave a sigh of relief at finally establishing the lace pattern and zoom through the rest of the knitting.
 Find a beautiful girl to model the too-large hat.:

Luckily the hat is for one of the big girls, most probably the model's mum :)
See - fairly simple repeat right?

Technical specifications:

Pattern - Erie by Helen Ardley (free supplement with Let's Knit November 2011).
Yarn - Wendy Serenity super chunky
Amount - approximately 90g
Needles - Pair of 9mm
Time to knit - 90 minutes (eventually!!)
Difficulty level - Hahahahaha 

Let's hope the scarf isn't as awkward!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cuddling up.

Take a (4mm) hook and start making these:

Squishy Debbie Bliss baby casmerino and James C. Brett pure merino - mmmmm.

Reverse the colour sequence (more than once!):

Run out of lemon when edging the last square and make an emergency trip to the LYS for some more, feeling extraordinarily pleased to discovered that two years apart the dye lot is the same! Use the same lemon to join the squares AND edge the whole thing:

Find some pretty co-ordinating soft cord and try to avoid too much pinning and sewing by machinestitching the backing to the inner edge of the outer round (confused??) and so making a pretty little trim:

Stuff with a pillow and place not-so-artfully on the mama made throw on the Papa revamped chair, and admire:

Yes that is a potty with an L plate - a certain little girlie is finding it a bit cold up there using the toilet ans likes a potty downstairs just in case......

Aaaahhhhh, lovely........... the cushion, not the potty!

Now back to the Hitchhiker.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Yarn along.

Thank you for popping by as I join in with Ginny yet again for the Wednesday yarn along.

On the needles - the Hitchhiker scarf in King Cole Riot DK. A yule gift for Jen, who admired the pattern so much when I mentioned I was making it for Helen - sneaky mama ;)
Reading - The Green Buddha. Only just opened up this book despite having it for several months/a year plus now. Looking forward to offering an opinion on this book soon. f the knitting doesn't carry away my reading time, the Hitchhiker is very addictive you know.

Well now, that was a quick post! Mind, I've posted an awful lot lately so do have a scroll down to see much much more of what I've been up!
Thank you for visiting and hope to see you back soon :)


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Little lovings.

Aaargh, I ran out of lemon DB baby cashmerino with only one crochet square left to edge! Well actually I lie, I didn't run out, but I knew I would because I measured the yarnage (good word huh?) on the fourth from last square and realised I had enough to edge three and a half more squares. You want to know my mathematical way of working out if I have enough in these situations? It only works for regular patterns mind - squares, stripes etc. I wait until I have four squares left to edge and then I pull out the remaining yarn, find the centre point and tie a slipknot, find the centrepoint of that length and then slipknot again. I then continue edging the next square and if I don't reach the slipknot then I know I have enough for three more squares. If I do reach the slipknot then I'm stuffed! I do the same for my Granny Stripe. Find the centrepoint and then the quarterpoint the same way and then crochet till I get halfway along the row, (it's a two row stripe pattern you see). Ingenious eh? So anyway back to the squares. So I knew I wasn't going to have enough and needed to formulate a plan. Only I didn't like the plans that came to mind so I reluctantly decided to visit the LYS and buy another skein. Reluctant only because I knew it would be hard being surrounded by shelves and shelves of scrummy yarn goodness and NOT buying anything other than the solitary skein of DB baby cashmerino. And I did really well you know. I walked straight past the fabric shop with only a peek through the window. I went into the yarn store, I picked up the cashmerino, I walked over to the counter..........and then I spotted the cutest little hat in the window. The colours were lovely, all stripes of soft fluffy brightness. And so you know what I did, right? I  paid for my one skein and left the shop? No - I bought this:

King Cole Mirage DK.

But you see how restrained I was? Only two skeins! Wasn't I good? Haha, not really, there was only two skeins in that colourway left ;)

Today I finally got round to packaging my gifts for a Mama Love swap I took part in. A little (lot!) late for a multitude of reasons but it's all done now and I hope the Mama loves it. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read here but Sal if you do then look away now.
So this is what I sent:

Little scarfette knitted in James C Brett Marble chunky with a little wooden pin.

Aviatrix in James C. Brett merino, ready for a spring baby.

Tea and biscuits - Dove farms organic gluten free lemon ginger cookies, with a cup of rose and chamomile tea, ginger sweeties for queasy days.

Bamboo/cotton facecloth and soapbag, with a bar of everything free lemongrass soap, a lavender sachet and a handrolled beeswax candle. And the lovely Aviatrix again ;)

Lot's of little lovings don't you think?

And talking of loving, this is a blog I am really loving right now. I can't believe Sarah only has eleven followers, maybe you all have her bookmarked instead? If not then why not? Sarah's weaving is beautiful and mastered so quickly, and every single post brings a smile. Go on, go over and take a peek, you'll be glad you did :)

So what's happening tonight? Well a little madam is actually asleep for once so I'm going to open up that new skein of cashmerino and get on with finishing the crochet squares project, ready to share with you tomorrow..........I hope!

Happy crafting everyone.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Well now.........

What to blog today?
I could show you where I'm up to on the Granny Stripe.........except it's exactly the same as last time I showed you!
Or maybe the squares I was working on yesterday? Except they are also just the same as I showed you, just with a few more added.
Or maybe I could show you the "gift for Helen" progress? Maybe not....that hasn't even been looked at today!
So what can I show you today? How about the last little bit of the stash? The bit that I forgot about the other day?
The box of "other" yarns that were stuffed behind the Granny stripes:

Lot's of white cotton, some maroon and some flecked cotton, some pastel bamboo, and some muti cotton left over from this dress.
And the fine yarns:

Sock yarn - for socks :)

Lot's of Paton's 4ply cotton in different colours for dolly clothes and face/dish cloths, any other ideas? And 2 skeins of lilac charity shop 4ply!

3ply, because I have a lovely collection of vintage patterns and they all seem to love 3ply! And crochet cotton - because I will make the matching doily one day! The cone was from the car boot sale and is shimmery stuff that might look nice mixed with another yarn.......or might not.

Regia are now doing laceweight - pretty colourway isn't it? And my favourite yarn in my whole stash Araucania 3x100g. No plans for this other than to love and savour!!!
So what shall I make with those? 
Open to your wonderful ideas :)


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Indecisive - moi?

So last post I said I was going to get back to projects already started, right? Wrong! The Granny stripe stayed in it's bag, and the pair of socks is still only a sock and a rib. 
But remember I said the merino was going to become my crochet cushion? Until I used some for the baby set? Well the cushion in my mind was a big, squishy, round huggable circle of softness. Instead the yarn is slowly becoming these:

See the sunshine glow across that project box? It's been such a beautiful day here so between long walks, cooking the meals, cleaning the home and feeding the little girl, I have also had time to sit in the front window, feeling the sunshine and hooking away. Wonderful.

Being the indecisive type I also cast on for part of Helen's yule gift:

Not the pattern I thought I would use, but I just know she will love this quirky little knit when she sees it :)

And staying on the theme of indecisiveness I definitely think I'm going to turn some of the King Cole Riot into one of these! I have loved this little scarf since I first saw it blogged here and I knew I was going to make it for someone. Then I forgot all about it! Until I noticed it popping up in blogland just lately and so I went and downloaded the pattern. I think it's going to look great in that riot of colour, don't you?

So there we are, after posting all those plans for all that yarn, I've already changed my mind on three things! 
Oh well there's plenty of time to get back to the others one day.........


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Quick knit clickety click.........

So the overdue neighbour WAS seen climbing into an ambulance. Twenty four hours later and she's back home with a beautiful little boy. The beloved man has already passed on his congratulations and given baby a cuddle. He arrived back home all gooey faced and telling of how sweet the new baby is. Really, I have never known a man so broody as mine..........
So dilemma - do I cast on the jumper with the baby sized amount of aran mentioned previously? Or do I go for a guaranteed quick result and opt for hat/scarf/mitts/bootees type combo's? Well the winner is:

Now Lucy here, (don't you love that essential work kit includes a baby sized dolly - Have I mentioned how much I love my job?) tried modelling them for size and they seem to be a little bit on the larger side, and the new baby in question is rather dinky, but hey, everyone buys newborn for gifts don't they? And the weather is only going to get colder after all!

So do you see which yarn I used? Yes my squishy soft cuddly crochet cushion merino stash. I only used about half of a 50g skein in each shade so there should still be plenty for the cushion that is living in my head right now. And of course, merino is such a lovely wool for a new baby, super soft and gentle for that delicate skin.
So now it's back to the projects already started, I wonder which to pick up today?
And here's a funny thing - did you see I have exactly double the number of followers over on my family blog than I do on this one? Does that mean you all prefer a peek at other family's lives before sharing crafty times? I must admit I'm torn - I follow lots of crafty blogs, but then I love to catch up with mama friends and their families who I would hardly get the chance to meet in real life. And of course both sides of life are so intertwined, being creative keeps me sane and gives me the opportunity to express myself in way's I couldn't otherwise. No better way to work off a bad day than to hook mindlessly away on yards and yarns of Granny goodness...........

Thanks for popping by, follower or not ;)


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Warning - Stash alert!

Inspired by Kath I decided to have a stash sort out this evening.

Be warned, this may get a little boring.........

12 skeins of 50g Sirdar Click aran which will soon become this cardigan for Emma:
The acrylic DK yarns for the Granny Stripe. About 1600g still to hook up, hoping that's enough!
20 Skeins of 50g Rowan purelife DK which is going to be a throw for the living room once I settle on the blocks I will use. Oh and add a few more skeins too ;)

5 X 100G Sirdar Denim Chunky which will probably become this sweater for Cain unless......
...this becomes it instead! 13x50g of Sirdar Click Chunky.
5 x 100g King Cole Riot DK destined to become a poncho for Heather, and possibly another for Sophie too.

The latest acquisition - 10 x 50g Mirasol Qina DK/Aran weight, soon to be hat, scarf and gloves for the beloved man.

Assorted DK Mirasol skeins because I just love Mirasol!

Assorted Merino DK's in 50g skeins - a lovely squishy crochet cushion don't you think?

Randomly - 3x 100g Patons wool blend aran (itchy!), 4x 50g Robin pure wool (very old and itchy!!) 7x50g Grousemoor chunky (very old, very un-chunky but not at all itchy!!!) and 4x50g Sirdar Escape DK (not very old, or itchy, or even DK, more of an aran!!!!).

Debbie Bliss Rialto aran leftovers, soon to be a stripey hat for Owen (or maybe me)

More Debbie Bliss Rialto aran also soon to be a hat but this time for Heather.

10x50g of lovely soft, not as sludgy as it looks Rowan classic DK/aran weight. Hmmm? A cabled cardi for Jen?

Leftover anonymous aran from Cain's winter 2010 aran - enough for a welcome baby sweater for the overdue neighbour? (Hmm just been informed she was seen getting into an ambulance a couple of hours ago? Have to knit fast.)

Patons fairytale color 4 me - pumpkin hats:) And the Paton's diploma gold - still working through the pack of 10x50g I originally planned a hoodie for Helen with. Didn't happen -  2 toddler cardi's ended that idea!

Hmm running out of ideas now!

Aaargh - scary stuff!! Couldn't even give it away last time I showed it....

Aahhhh, that's better - super soft and squishy Twilleys Freedom extra chunky - scarf for the middle man. He says I never make him anything - he's 15, do 15 year olds actually want mama knits??

Nice, nice, nice - but open to suggestionsThe araucania has been in the stash forever but it just feels sooo.......... nice? 

Wendy Serenity 4x100g - eek I've lost one, sure I had five? Again no idea!

Paton's Symphony 5x100g. Lovely Heathery colours, maybe a winter woolly for Heather? Or a big squishy bag?

2x400g aranweight. Brought home by the beloved man from a trip into town. Picked because I like those kind of colours and it was soft............? Good enough criteria then ;)

So you stuck with me then?
And I forgot to take photo's of the 2 other boxes, all filled up with the skinny yarns. Maybe tomorrow?
Now how about you show yours....