Friday, 16 May 2014

Artisan Apron

Over the Easter weekend I made this ‘pinny’ for a friend who was on the lookout for one of these.  I found a lovely pattern by Janet Clare and bought a pile of linen and this is the result.

It is such an easy pattern to follow, it is fully lined in cotton too, not a raw seam in sight.

It is embellished with little liberty fabric flowers paper pieced together as hexies and a liberty patch pocket.

  The name tag is on a brooch back so it can be removed. I am glad to say it was very well received.

Although it is plain I think I like the back best of all.

I can see me sporting one of these I have added it to my (ever growing) list of things I need to make.

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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Whippoorwill Shawl - Finished at Last

I've finished!!

Although I went for the medium size not the huge full sized one it has still taken me an age to do.

Whippoorwill in embryo

worn as a shawl

worn as a scarf (how I will most likely wear it)

in all it's glory
(my hubbie took this next one and told me I reminded him of the serial killer Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs (thanks!), film nerds will get the link)

I do love it though I love the colours and following a wash the wool is much kinder on the skin.

More details on the pattern and wool can be found on my last blog post about it here.

Thanks go again to Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch for the inspiration.

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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Miss Maggie

I recently received a parcel of goodies from a dear friend and one of the items had me swooning.

Meet Miss Maggie, an Alicia Paulson design.  This delightful creature was handmade for me by my lovely Lynda and I love her.  Miss Maggie has been on my long list of things to make for an age, I have the patterns ready to go but now I can just accessorise her.

As a kid the only clothes I had for my beloved Sindy doll were the ones she came with all other clothes were handmade by me.  I vividly remember cutting a big square out of my candlewick bed spread to make Sindy a rather gorgeous towelling bathrobe.  My mother was not so pleased, but to be fair it was the bottom corner.  When Miss Maggie arrived my first instinct was to make her something.

I have added a cotton floral dress, some bloomers and a knitted pink dress to her wardrobe, I feel like a kid again making for my dollies!

I made her an artisan apron too but it is very tricky to do tiny little hems in linen, I need to find something more suitable and try this again.

In the meantime she is a rather well dressed young rabbit and has taken pride of place on my dressing table.

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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Whippoorwill Shawl

I have a very long list of things I want to make and on that list is this beautiful thing The Whippoorwill Shawl.

Photo by Carina Spencer
I saw this Whippoorwill Shawl on Crafts from the Cwtch blog last year and when I saw the lovely Lynda (Lynda is the Mum of Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch) wearing it on Great British Sewing Bee last month it brought it back to mind.  This year I promised myself I would buy no more wool or fabric until I had worked my way through my little stash mountain, but look, isn’t it divine, all swishy and bright? 
I had to have it so I bought the pattern and the wool there and then before I put it to the back of my mind.
The pattern is available to buy on Ravelry here and the wool is Kauni Effect Yarn.  
I bought my wool from here it came all the way from Estonia in a couple of days!  It’s quite a scratchy wool but I was itching to get knitting with it (see what I did there?).

I love the way the colours are showing themselves, this looks like a sunset to me.

I will be posting updates on its bright and breezy (albeit slow) progress.

p.s. I was gutted Lynda didn't win she was my favorite of all the GBSB bees!

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Monday, 5 May 2014

I've Finished my Cardigan -*fanfare*

Hope you are enjoying your bank holiday today, I am taking the chance to catch up on a few blogs today.  I thought I would pop in and report my progress, I have finished and worn my grey CDA Petite Choses Cardigan.  This was knit in grey rowan alpaca cotton its super soft and toasty warm.  
The garter stitch is what attracted me to it in the first place and I do love it.

I sourced some handmade blackthorn buttons from here and I am rather chuffed that I have a proper garment I can actually wear.  The little handmade tag is a small length of cotton ribbon, as it's creation spanned a couple of months the date is a season rather than an actual date (I'm slow).

I found this sweet scarf pattern in Cute & Easy Knitting by Fiona Goble and as it was one ball and I had one ball left over I made a matching scarf.
It's a bit much with the cardigan on too I think but it is sweet nonetheless.
Not one to sit on my hands, I am on with another knit now my Whippoorwill Shawl.  
It's very slow going but I am loving the colour changes that happen with the Kauni rainbow yarn.  I will be back soon to report progress.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Re-training my knitting brain

I’m currently plodding on with my grey CDA Petite Choses Cardigan.  This is being knit in grey rowan alpaca cotton which is a nice fluffy yarn but it’s a pig to pull out as it catches.  I should try to make fewer mistakes I guess. 

This is a free pattern and can be found here, it is in French but there in a link to an English translation.

I have mentioned before that I consider myself to be a beginner when it comes to knitting, I guess I could say I was now an intermediate knitter considering the range of things I have taught myself to do but… I always feel like a bit of a fraud.  You see knitting on long straight needles is a breeze for me, but using circular needles and double pointed needles has proven difficult as I am a ‘tuck your right hand needle under the armpit’ knitter.  This is how my Mam knitted and my Nanna before her and how I was taught as a kid.  It transpires it may be a bit of a northern thing or at least I have read that certain regions of the country tend to have pockets of us armpit lot.  This is a fine way of knitting and I am fast knitting this way, but you can’t tuck a floppy circular needle under your armpit, and tiny DPN’s tucked under there make me look like a demented T Rex (yes I tried). 
I decided that I would have to re-learn how to knit and how to hold my needles and yarn and I am quite proud to announce that I have nailed it.  It took about a week of persevering but I have cracked it.  There are lots of various methods of how to hold needles but I looked at them all and found a way that feels natural to me and this is it.

 Holding the needles like a pen and flicking the yarn over with the index finger of my right hand.

Flicking the yarn over
This is how I hold my yarn for tension

This cardigan was knit quite quickly on long needles up to the point where all parts had to be added to a big circular needle. It’s a bit slow going from there as I am using this cardigan as my practice to learn a new method of knitting.

I have been interchanging between the two methods of knitting and I find I am able to do both now without much trouble, there is a 3-5 second delay every time I pick up my circular needles as my brain puts my hand into the best position and the first couple of stitches are a bit pathetic but I soon get into it.  Fingers crossed I will have a completed cardigan to share with you soon.

I have already got my next project lined up and am itching to get started with it, on circular needles of course.

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Colour Affection Shawl

I was the very lucky recipient of a stunning gift from my friend Lynda some time ago and I am totally in love with it.
My first Colour Affection Shawl (pattern by Veera Valimaki)
I wear this often, regardless if it matches what I am wearing, I just love it.  I wear it so often that I simply had to have another one in another colour so I bought the wool and the pattern and went for it.
I would say I am a basic to intermediate knitter and looking at the shawl that I have it just looks so complicated, but it’s really not.
It was a nice easy pattern to follow and I think that the overall effect makes it look a heck of a lot more complicated than it actually is.
I am in love with all things mustard at the minute and when I clapped eyes on this Fyberspates Yarn I had to have it.  
I bought three skeins in three colourways and I am really happy with how it turned out.
I have read about problems people have encountered when knitting this pattern, namely the hump that forms at the top and the tight sides with the carrying of the yarn up the side.  
I was aware of this and tried my best to give generous leeway at each colour change. 
This is not a complicated pattern but it is a grind, it takes a long time and towards the end your rows seem to go on forever.  When the shawl came off the needles I was a mixture of relieved and gutted.
The hump was very obvious; almost a hood shape and the sides were tighter than I thought they might be.  Gutted!
I thought I would block it and see how I felt after that and lo and behold, the miracle of blocking did its thing!
I adore it.  The mustard colour has a golden hue it is a simply beautiful yarn.
It is a large item and is very difficult to photograph, not to mention that the light has been rubbish lately too.
Here it is, my little pride and joy, it gives my other pink colour affection a day off.

While the wool was out I did make myself a pair of wristees following the same pattern I used to make these from the Learn to Knit, Love to Knit book, simple but effective with a stripe I think... now just watch a heatwave will hit the UK!
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