Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Another knit finished!


I am feeling quite productive at the moment, I managed to get my pair of Susie's Reading Mitts finished yesterday.
They are nice and cosy for when the house is a bit chilly or for running to the garage to go to the tumble drier or the freezer, very handy to have around.
I do have a couple of bits of the yarn left over which is annoying as I was trying to banish it from my stash, I am going to knit a few mug warmers that I downloaded from this Etsy shop a couple of weeks ago. I got the Lace rib and the twisted rib versions which should keep my hands warm but not burnt when getting my Starbucks!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Nominations

It has just come to my attention after browsing my sitemeter that someone has nominated me for a Dorset Cereals Little Blogger Award.
I would just like to say a big 'Thank You!' to whoever the lovely person who nominated me was, I only have one vote but for someone to actually nominate me has made me very happy.
I hope your all having a good Monday.

P.S. There is a little linky thing on the right to vote if you would like.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

CrackSilk Addiction



I have heard of many knitters who have suffered from this terrible addiction, however, I was never informed of how quickly it can take hold!


These beauties all arrived during the past week, six balls in Jacob, four in Fondant, and two in cream.
Why all the Kidsilk Haze you say? Especially why so much when I still have 6 balls of Kidsilk Aura waiting to be knitted up?

Well they were reduced, by at least £2 each, most a bit more then that, which at over £7 a ball each normally was a bargain I couldn't pass up, especially when I have some projects in mind for them.
The six Balls of Jacob are going to be this:

This is the Effie sweater from my new Kim Hargreaves Precious book and I think it is simply gorgeous! I have some lovely smart trousers that it would look great with in the dark brown I bought.
This lovely little cardigan, Precious from the Heartfelt collection, is going to made from the Fondant colourway, it calls for beading also but I am not entirely sure I want to add beads, if I do they will be silver, I don't want too much pink! This is specifically being made to accompany a suit dress that I own and have no jacket for, but I think it will go nice with anything black or cream too.

The cream I don't have a picture of the pattern but it can be seen here on Ravelry, I intend to make the Anisette shawl. I came across this when I was looking at shawls that people who participate in the HPKCHC have made and I added it to my queue as soon as I saw it. It looks so delicate and beautiful, the sort of thing to cherish and keep for special occasions.




This is the Calm pattern from Kim Hargreaves' Heartfelt collection which I am going to e making from the Kidsilk Aura. I am going to hopefully cast this on next and will be knitting it in the round instead of straight and seaming. This will be my first sweater AND my first time changing a pattern from flat to round, so it should make for an adventure!!

Creativity:

I have been getting creative on the tinkering of the blog, what do you think?
I like the colour, but I am considering removing the bows, they look cute without any content, but a little too much with all the other stuff.
Let me know!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

New...

I broke out my mad photoshop skills to make a little collage of some of the new things I have added to my knitting stash, voila!

As you can see I got myself the new Kim Hargreaves Winter Blooms pattern book along with the Precious collection from the autumn, I am itching to start making some of the things from these so watch out for some of the patterns in the future.

I also got a big bottle of Scentless Soak after I tried a little tester, it is really difficult for me to find soaps that I can use because I have extremely sensitive skin so it is nice to know that my knitting wont suffer because of my allergies. I got this huge bottle from one of my favourite online shops P2tog. I would recommend everyone go for the big bottle, because it is only a few pounds more then the smaller bottle which about a quarter or the amount of soap! Crazy!
Also incoming has been some more Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn, they are in Cranberry and Powder Blue colourways and they were purchased from Pure Purl, another fab shop that I have mentioned before.

I have slipped in pictures of all my notions and needles nicely organised in a cool toolbox that my sister gave me, being organised like that inspired me to do the same to my stash so all my complete balls of yarn are now in zip lock baggies to make sure they don't get damaged and are kept separate from my part used balls. The part used balls live in my Cath Kidston knitting bag along with WIP's, and the tidy stash lives in a spare laundry sack I had lying around. I do like being all tidy (I even organised all the photos I have for the blog into the type of project etc. on my computer, now it is super easy to find things!)

Finally I have a few paint swatches, my bedroom is dark red with that creamy/tan colour on the other walls and I am going to lighten them up so it is more strawberries and cream tones, I am thinking the middle shade, as I don't want to go too white, the middle one is quite like clotted cream in colour, maybe a teensy bit lighter. I couldn't resist the Keep Calm and Cast On poster, which I downloaded from the Laylock website, I am going to frame it and put it on my nice walls when they are finished.
The same website also has a great little stationary set I downloaded a couple of weeks ago called Knit Love, it is a PDF file full of great stuff which you download and print out when you need it, it includes bookmarks, gift bags, book plates, tags, belly bands and needle cases all with a knitting theme, and all great for if you are giving a knitted item as a gift, definitely worth taking a look at for a little something to brighten your day!

What's new with you?

Friday, 19 March 2010

I do declare...

it is time for an update!

Firstly the projects i have completed and am currently working on.

Remember how all the way back here I may have mentioned working on something? Well they were finished a few weeks ago now but here they are, my first ever completed pair of socks!


They are the Bellatrix socks by Monkey Toes and I love them. They are part of a triplet of sock patterns each representing a character from the Harry Potter series. I knit them up using my Socks that Rock yarn that I think resembled candy floss while in it's wrapper and they are definitely sweet on my feet, they keep them nice and toasty!
I originally knit them to be my Charms homework for the HPKCHC in January and I think I could have finished them if I hadn't left the first one to the side for a couple of weeks with just the kitchnering of the toe to complete. The second one knit up really quickly after I had mastered that technique.

Anyways the class project was to make the teacher laugh, and below is the image I had planned in order to do just that, something tells me that Ms. Lestrange would not like her black socks suddenly being pastel coloured!


Next up is the only project I managed to finish for February (I had some technical problems during the month, my village seemed to be denied proper internet access for a while there, but it is a project I am proud of because I had to do actual maths and things, no just following a pattern here oh no!


These are a wrist length version of Ysolda Teague's Farinelli opera gloves.
I had been drooling over these since I saw them on Ysolda's blog and had bought the pattern intending to make the full length one's when I had a reason to. Well I decided to get a little creative and use some of the yellow Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK that I had sitting in my stash to make a smart formal pair of gloves to match my Haven scarf and my lovely pale yellow handbag.
The pattern actually calls for fingering weight yarn so I had to actually knit a gauge swatch for the first time, in like, the whole time I have been knitting, I normally just don't bother, and I had to go down from 2.75mm needles to 2mm needles to accommodate. If I am honest the swatching was quite fun because I got to use my Karatstix knitters rule for the first time since I got it a few weeks ago (to see it click the link under knitters rule, I don't want to make this too photo heavy).
After sorting that out I had to figure out the whole where to start in the pattern, well I started with the final sleeve pattern repeat (rounds 145+) except I made sure that the pattern end came to a point like it does on the top of the hand by reversing the final two rows of the hand pattern before starting the repeat and after adding a very straight forward but attractive edging pattern.
I think they have come out really well and they fit really snugly and look smart with my handbag. They were a pain however because the reason I knit them for the class was because the project was to knit something you hate, and I hate knitting thumbs and fingers on mittens and gloves, I can never seem to get the casting on of extra stitches and picking up new ones right and it drives me nuts. I am however rather pleased with the outcome of this one.
Definitely an 8/10, and I will be knitting the full length ones in future!

My next finished object is my first attempt at making a beret style hat, and I am not happy with it.

I made this Grace Lace Beret out of the Ethical Twist Alpaca and Wool blend that I got from Tricot to try out. The wool is quite nice but I am not sure that I would buy it again, I think if I did I would get the Baby Alpaca option instead as that seemed a little softer and had more of a fluffy texture then a coarse one.
I love the way it looks, the pattern really has shown up well, but the problem is that in order to do that I had to lightly block it, I dampened it with water like I have all my other forays into the art of blocking and it grew in size, the main body of the hat would be fine in the large size but the ribbing has lost all its elasticity. If anyone knows how I can fix this then let me know, if not I will just have to find a large headed friend to gift it to.
The hat was for another HPKCHC class, this one Care of magical creatures for this month, and it is representative of an Acromantula web (giant man eating spider). I am quite chuffed with it as representation of the subject, I just wish I could wear it. Maybe my next one will be more successful.

Now last but not least for this post, the project I am currently working on is the Susie's Reading Mitts pattern.

This picture is actually from Wednesday and I have since completed the above mitt and am over half way on the second one. I am using up the Katia merino DK that I bought to make a hat to accompany my Pink Bella's Scarf as I had gone off the idea of a matching hat and this is a perfect way to bust some of the stash I have (which was the project for the HPKCHC class, banishing some stash) in order to make way for a couple of things that have come in over the past couple of days.
It is a really quick simple knit and I have been wearing my completed one already, It is the perfect length for when I am typing etc and keeps my hands nice and warm. I have bad circulation in my hands and wrists so the extra length on the wrist is also great. I am hoping that the second one will be finished by tomorrow!

Coming up, random things I have been up to and some of the recent additions to my knitting corner!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

So swiftly...


Ok, so I have about 5 different posts I need to post, all nicely typed up and awaiting uploading, and I know I really should do things in the order that I actually made them but I really cannot wait to show you this one because I am SO PROUD of myself for making this!

I spent Friday night and most of Saturday sawing drilling and sanding and produced this amazing contraption:

I made myself a yarn swift!!
It only cost me about £7!! How amazing is that!
I was never one for manual labour and never really tried very hard in woodwork classes at school but I have always been someone who can do something if they think about it, and so, I did an internet search and found these instructions on how to make your own swift.
I did version one, and I love it, my only problem so far was finding a hex bolt the right size, so the one I got has a rounded end instead of a flat hex end (this is also the reason my base is slightly different from the one in the tutorial, I had to get creative with some spare dowel to make it still balanced and yet raised up enough to accommodate the lack of flat ended bolt)

I have yet to use it to actually wind anything, but I have put a few skeins of yarn on it just to give it a spin :D