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    Entries in knitting (34)


    On and off the needles

    I managed to get quite a bit of knitting in over the holidays. I'm trying to finish some WIPs (Works in progress) and the first two I finished went to my Mum as late christmas presents: 

    The hat was requested to replace the one I'd knit for her in Woolyknits Aran a few years ago. It's a Sideways grande cloche, knit in Malabrigo Silky merino, in Blackberry held double. It took less than 2 skeins. I hadn't used the yarn before - but I will again, it was lovely.

    The socks are in lovely hand dyed sock from Fivemoons yarns that I bought at Wonderwool Wales 2014. I started the first sock straight away with an improvised simple slipped stitch pattern. I was so in love with the yarn that I ignored the fact that the sock was really a bit too small for me. I got onto the foot on the second sock before I accepted that the stitches I somehow lost on the cuff of the sock were really fairly critical and I had to rip back, almost to the cuff. I lost interest & they languished in the UFO (unfinished object) pile until I picked them up again this year. They were a really quick knit & I'll make them again. Next time I'll start with 66 stitches instead of 60. Luckily, they fit Mum perfectly.

    While I was on a finishing roll, I repaired a pair of favourite socks. There was a massive hole in the toe, so I cut the toe off, picked up the live stitches & reknit the toe with a different yarn. I didn't have any of the original, so decided that visible mending was the way to go. (Pattern is Pointelle by Cookie A. Sock perfection!)

    I also darn my handmade socks in contrasting yarns. I like the idea that something I've made has been worn so much it needs mending & I don't want to hide that. It's also easier than finding the original yarns! Have you been busy finishing things? And do you repair what you've made, or throw it away?

    There's more that I've made this year, including my zipped cardigan. I'll tell you more soon xx


    Finished objects and photos 

    There was so much I made last year that I didn't show on the blog. This was partly down to having a microscopic attention span, but also because I didn't get modelled pictures of a lot of things. A lot of those things have been worn to death, but a) it's hard to take pictures of yourself and b) I hate having my photo taken and tend to be hypercritcal of how I look. But not everything needs to have a modelled picture, does it? I'd rather post about something I made and show a picture of it folded up than not post at all. So that's what I'll try to do this year :)

    Having said that, remember my Icelandic lopi sweater? I wear it a lot, and love it. We went up to Scotland to visit friends on boxing day last year, before heading to Yorkshire for New Year. Neither place is known for their warm winter weather. And my coat didn't get packed. Luckily I had the sweater with me, so I got myself swathed in knitwear & ventured out with everyone else for a walk at the nearby country park & beach.

    The wind was chilly but I was ok - but felt the cold around my neck. Got that sorted for the next day though.

    Now an oversized hoody under my lopi sweater is not the most slimming outfit I've ever worn,  but since Scotland had gifted us the most spectacular - if cold - day I was not going to be stuck inside. I was toasty warm, and in no danger of being missed! 

    Lots of us are a bit scared of choosing colours for jumpers like this, or fairisle designs. But if an image appeals to you, why not try picking colours out of it to put together? I've got loads of inspiration from the beach that day.

    All of these photos have the blue of the sky & sea and the earthy tones around. But there's also the hit of white, and the zing of yellow or acid green to liven the whole. I'm sure these will make it into my knitting some day. You might even get modelled photos - but don't count on it!!


    Busy busy!

    I'm still here! I haven't forgotten you. I've just had a slightly manic few weeks. I had a couple of short deadline knitting designs to do which took most of my time. I still have the second part of the Hook, Stitch & give review to so - but I haven't managed to take a photo of the hat I made yet.

    I'm doing the Woolly Wormhead Mystery hat-a-long, which is coming along nicely - but I can't show you photos until the whole pattern is released. I have a sinking feeling that this project is not for me. I love it - but it's telling me it's for a gift. Now this is not especially like me as I only give hand made presents to people that I deem especially gift-worthy, so I'm not sure why I'm feeling that this (lovely) hat isn't mine. It's even in my favourite colour (yes, purple, since you ask!). It's a mystery in more than one sense of the word!

    I still haven't quite finished the Marie Curie mitts - but they are utterly delightful & totally hitting all my geeky buttons. I wasn't going to use beads - until I saw the design. Each hand is a little different and feature the atomic models of the two atoms that Marie Curie and her husband discovered, Radium and Polonium. The beads are the electrons. The big silver bead is the nucleus, so it had to be a different bead - obviously. I have about a quarter of the second mitten & both thumbs to do & I'll show you when they're finished. LOVE THEM!

    I ran my first bag making workshop on 1st November & despite some early problems - like a forgotten sewing machine plus a forgotten power cable (not mine, but it did justify me owning two sewing machines!) the students were brilliant & made fantastic bags. Look!


    I really enjoyed the bag making workshop & look forward to running it again :)



    Provisional Cast on tutorial

    Quick blog post to let you know that I've recorded a couple of videos on how to do provisional cast ons. Especially useful if you are taking part in the Woolly Wormhead Mystery Hat-a-long which starts tomorrow. Hope these are helpful x


    It's a mystery!

    Have you done a KAL or CAL before? A KAL is a knit a long, CAL is crochet a long, and they can be internet based or done by a knit group. The idea is that a group of people knit or crochet the same pattern at the same time. It's a good way to make the most of the community aspect of our crafts - and it's fun to see how different yarn choices make the same pattern look different.

    A MKAL is a type of KAL with a twist - it's a mystery! You don't know what the finished object should look like when it's finished. So you are taking a risk. But luckily it's just knitting - you can undo it if you hate it!  The mystery aspect definitely adds a fun element to the whole thing. Mystery KALs tend to be for accessories rather than garments - they don't take huge amounts of yarn & are always suitable for gifting if they're not quite to your taste.

    Woolly Wormhead does a MKAL every November. These have produced some seriously beautiful hats! This will be the 7th year, and I'm in! The pattern will go on sale soon and knitting starts on Nov 1st. All we know is that it's a hat, there are 2 styles and we will need 100g 4ply (or fingering weight) yarn. I have treated myself to a skein of gorgeous Malabrigo sock from The Wool Stop in Violeta Africana. It's a lovely hand dyed purple. Yes I know I have a lot of purple knits. But I wear them all the time! In fact the last hat I made is also purple - I may have a problem! 

    While I was thinking about Woolly's Hat a long, I had a quick look at other MKALs and stumbled upon one by a designer that's new to me. It only cost $2, it's mittens, and the clincher - the name! Marie Curie MKAL, run in the 'Made with love & science' group. You might not know that I did a chemistry degree - and Marie Curie is a total girl crush for most women scientists. The only woman to have won two nobel prizes, and in two different disciplines, she was amazing. Working with her husband, she discovered radioactivity and unusually for the time worked on a par with men. How could I resist! 

    I'm loving these mittens. There's colourwork, cables and beading. I wasn't going to bother with the beads until I saw the second clue which has just been released and realised what the beads were for. I'll be buying some beads tomorrow!

    I'll show you pictures when the pattern is complete. Until then - if you fancy some interesting colourwork mittens which will look gorgeous even without the added geeky excitement of knowing what the pattern is - there really is no excuse not to buy this pattern! 

    I'll be back soon - I have to tell you what I think of Kat Goldin's new book. That may be connected to my new purple hat.....