Thursday, 4 December 2014

Knitvent 2014........ Adorn Gift Bags.

Hello my friends, how is everyone? It's week 4 of Knitvent 2014 and behind this week's window were some adorable, knitted Adorn Gift Bags. There are two different styles, Style A has two sizes and Style B has a beaded snowflake which is just beautiful.

The beauty of this pattern is it only uses leftover sock/4ply yarn and are super quick to knit. I've knit my gift bag in Style A in the small size, this size is perfect for little beauty gifts such as nail polishes, handmade soaps and hand cream or maybe some chocolate truffles.

It has an eyelet detail at the top to add some decorative ribbon, you could leave the front plain or add some decoration as I did, I attached a little metal snowflake that I had in my stash. They are knit in the round so there is no seaming, the pattern is written for Magic Loop but I used DPN's as that is my preferred method for working in the round. I put the stitches on three needles but as you need to know where the round starts and the centre of the stitches, I added a couple of stitch markers.

Every Christmas I treat myself to a Christmas Classic book to read, this year I've bought A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas. It's a cloth bound edition and is beautifully illustrated by Peter Bailey. I'll enjoy reading this over the festive period.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, I love looking through the links to see what others have on their needles.

I've been knitting so many gifts for people, I decided to cast on something for myself so I've cast on a pair of socks, just because. My husband and I went to a local vineyard where they have lots of little independent shops selling gifts, jewelry and glass. There is also a papercraft shop there and they've started selling a small selection of yarn. I was drawn to this Rico Superba Mexico self patterning sock yarn, I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was too, at only £6 for a 100g ball, more than enough to knit myself a pair of socks.

I'm knitting a plain Vanilla sock which I never normally do but I'm really enjoying it. I love how the pattern is emerging and it's so easy to pick up and down without worrying where you are in the pattern. I can see myself knitting more vanilla socks in the future.

 

Thank for stopping by, have a good week.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Knitvent 2014.......Crisp and Even Cowl.

I've just "opened" the third window of the Knitvent 2014 it is a beautiful cable and ribbed cowl called Crisp and Even which comes in three sizes.
I've cast on the small size using some Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk Aran that I had in my stash. I'm using a pretty icy green and lavender. The colours reminded me of Frozen which is rather apt as the cowl is called Crisp and Even. It's knitting up really fast as it's an heavier weight yarn and would make great last minute gifts.
I've also cast on another new project, Miss Gelato Giraffe By Kay Jones. Kay is best known for her Bakery Bears, her patterns are very clear and concise with great photography. I've recently finished Mr Bakery Bear so can highly recommend her patterns as every little detail is so well thought out.
The only other project I've been working in this week are the Vanilla Latte socks, I'm using the very sort after Trailing Clouds self striping in Mind the Gap. I'm still knitting them consecutively, I find this better as I don't get second sock syndrome. I pick them up when I have a lot going on around me as the pattern is very simple and doesn't need any concentration.

I've started reading a new book called The Knitting Bee by De-Ann Black, it's a very sweet story about a local yarn shop owner, set in Edinburgh, perfect bedtime reading. It makes me wish I had a local yarn shop like this one, it sounds perfect.

I'm linking to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, check them out, there are always some great projects, my queue gets longer each week after seeing all the wonderful projects.

I just wanted to share these sweet little matinee jackets and bootees, knit for Caiden. They weren't knit by me though but my Aunty Ena who is over 80 years old. I think this is amazing and hope I'll be still knitting at that age. I imagine she used the same pattern for my grandson as she did for me when I was a baby.

Here is the little cutie wearing one of the cardigans, I do love this little man. Have a great week and hopefully will be back on Friday with some FO's.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Friday, 21 November 2014

FO Friday...... Lind Cowl

Hello my friends, how was your week? I've been busy knitting for Christmas, I'm hoping to give all my close family a handmade gift this year, at least those who I know will appreciate them ;-)

I've finished the Lind Cowl, it was super quick to knit up in 4ply, the pattern has the choice of two sizes and I went with the small. I'm wearing it as I write this post, it is sooooo warm on my neck, it's suppose to be for my mom, I don't know whether to keep it for myself or I could knit another one.

I love how it's turned out in the heavier weight yarn (the original was knit in lace weight), it's the perfect size to pop on with a winter coat without been too bulky and feeling as though you can't move your neck. Don't get me wrong I love bulky cowls when you're going for a walk on a cold, frosty morning but if you're going shopping or just jumping into the car, this is perfect.

I used Rowan Cashsoft 4ply in 461 Fushia and 458 Almond which has been discontinued, I think it's still available though in some retailers. I used the recommended needles on the pattern of 4.5mm and 5mm, which gives a nice drape, you could knit it on smaller needles but it would be a more structured cowl. The finished dimensions once I'd blocked it were 24" circumference and 12" long which wasn't far off the pattern. I'm now looking forward to the next Knitvent 2014 pattern which is released on Tuesday.

Next up is the super cute, Mr Bakery Bear by Kay Jones, he is for my little nephew and I know this little teddy is going to be very loved. I knit him in Cascade 220 in the colourway 9499 Sand, his clothes were knit in Rowan Cashsoft DK, you don't need a lot so any leftover DK would work.

Kay has just released her latest pattern today, Miss Gelato Giraffe, I fell in love with her when they showed her on their podcast and got my supplies all ready for the release. If you haven't seen the Bakery Bear Podcast, you should check it out, they are a husband and wife team who both knit, it's a really fun podcast and always makes me smile when I watch them.

She is going to be for my baby grandson, I'm knitting her in Caron Simply Soft, a worsted weight, varigated yarn. It really is soft for acrylic, I never usually use an acrylic yarn but I wanted something that could be washed and I loved the colours, perfect for babies. I'll be casting this on later so I'll show you the progress next week.

Last but not least, I finished the Ardvasar Hat from Issue 6 of the Pompom magazine. It's the third one I've knit as I love how this hat looks on, it has a pretty cabled band and just the right amount of slouch. This one is for my sister, she said how much she liked it when she saw me wearing mine. It's probably not the easiest pattern to knit as the cable is quite fiddly but it's totally worth it.

I'll leave you with a photo of my precious little Superbaby. Have a great weekend, I'll be having lots of cuddles from this little man over the weekend and I'm also meeting up with some crafty friends. I haven't seen some of them for 12 months so I can't wait to catch up with them.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Knitvent 2014........ Lind Cowl.

It's week 2 of Knitvent 2014 and yesterday I got to "open" the second window to reveal a stunning colour block cowl called the Lind Cowl, a delicate, lightweight cowl, knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Kidsilk Eclipse with some added sparkle. This photo is one from the original pattern and is of Helen modeling the large size cowl.

The patterns in this year's collection have different sized options so they can be quick knits or if you've got more time you can go for the larger size. My aim this year is to knit each pattern as its released, so this morning I cast on the small Lind Cowl.

I hadn’t got any Kidsilk in my stash so I’m experimenting with a different weight yarn and knitting the small size in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply yarn. I’m still using the recommended needle size which is giving a nice fabric but I'm using short 40cm circulars so I don't have to do magic loop, so far so good. It's not as airy and loose as it would be in knit in lace weight but I like how it’s turning out.

I love these two contrasting colours together, it will certainly brighten a grey winters morning. I think this will be really quick to knit, I only did a couple of hours on it this morning and have finished the lace section.

I'm still knitting on my Candlelit Shawl in-between knitting Christmas gifts and I'm up to the 45% mark on the pattern. This is such a pretty shawl and hope to have it finished to wear over the festive period. I'm loving the Knitvent calender, it's such a treat each week without any calories!!!!!

This week I treated myself to this cloth bound edition of A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and beautifully illustrated by Peter Bailey. I'm not familiar with this book so looking forward to reading it through the month of December.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO. Have a great week and I'll be back on Friday with some FO's.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Two FO's and the winner is..........

First up I would like to announce the winner of the Knitvent 2014 collection, the winner is............. Amanda Hurrell. Congratulations Amanda, if you could get in touch with me please, with your Ravelry name and I'll get Helen to send it to you.

I've been busily knitting away on some Christmas gifts, my first FO are the Global Nomad Handwarmers by Helen Stewart, that I've knit for one of my niece's. I only ever see her wear black so I've gone with black with some grey thrown in, just to add a bit of colour ;-)

I used Drops Lima which is a wool/alpaca blend, it's an economical brand which you can find on offer at the moment, that makes it even better value. I buy mine from Wool Warehouse which is based in the UK, they give a great service with quick delivery and as an added bonus they pack their yarn in a gorgeous organza bag which is great to use as a project bag. Even though this was an economical yarn, it's fab quality, very warm and squishy.

The Global Nomad Mitts are a fairly quick knit which is ideal for gift knitting, I didn't time myself but I'm guessing at about 8-9 hours. It's mostly rib with with a small lace section, just to give it a bit of interest, I'm pretty sure my niece will be really pleased with them, they are very much her style.

My next FO are the Checkerboard Mitts another pattern by Helen Stewart, this pattern is from her Knitvent 2013 collection which you can purchase as an e-book or as a separate pattern. The pattern is given for a mans average size hand but it tells say how to knit them larger or smaller to suit you. I cast on 36 stitches and they fit my hand fine, I would say I have an average size hand.

This pair are for my other niece and are knit in Aran weight, I used Rowan Pure Wool Aran in Cloud, a pretty shade of blue. I did time myself whist knitting these and they took me six and half hours so can easily be knit in two to three evenings, comfortably.

I love the texture on these mitts which make them even more warm and snugly, they are also very squishy. That's all for today, I'm off to do some more Christmas knitting and hope to finish another project today.

Here's a little sneak peek of what I working on today, it's Mr Bakery Bear by Kay Jones, he's "legless" at the moment so he's stopping in my favourite Bakery Bear bag also made by Kay.

Also my favourite knitting magazine arrived yesterday, it's the Winter 2014 issue of the Pompom magazine so at some point today I'll be reading this. It's always full of patterns I want to knit and also great articles including a seasonal recipe. I hope you all enjoy your weekend and congratulations to Amanda on wining the giveaway.

xxxxDebxxxx

 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Christmas Knitting......and a Knitvent 2014 Giveaway.

Hello my friends, yes, I'm trying to be organised and I have started my Christmas gift knitting with the help of Helen from Curious Handmade and her free Holiday Knitting Planner. I have lots to show you as I have quite a few things on my needles, all fairly quick projects, ideal for Christmas gifts.

Helen has also just released Knitvent 2014, a collection of patterns that are ideal to knit for yourself or to give as gifts. The first Knitvent was released last year and was a great success, it came from the idea of an Advent calender where you get to open a window each day but instead you receive a new pattern each week for five weeks. They will be accessories that are quick to knit and will include different sizes so you decide how much time you want to spend on each project.

The first pattern is the Candlelit Shawl, perfectly named, it's a gorgeous shawl with beautiful twinkling beads, it comes in two different sizes and the option of with or without beads.

I've cast on the small, one skein version with beads, last night as I had the ideal beads in my stash that matches perfectly with this gorgeous Juno Alice in Ethereal. It's a match made in heaven, this is a gift for me as I really don't think I could give it away!!!!!

As well as the release of this year's Knitvent Collection, there will be a Knitvent KAL over on the Curious Handmade Ravelry board with weekly prizes and a grand prize at the end.

To celebrate the release of Knitvent 2014, Helen is giving the Knitvent 2013 collection FREE when you purchase Knitvent 2014 until Sunday 16th November, just add both to your basket, no code is needed.

Also, Helen has very kindly offered me the 2014 collection to give away to one lucky reader, if you want to be in with a chance of winning just leave me a comment by Saturday 12am GMT, telling me what you like to knit for Christmas gifts. My favourite things are mittens and hats as they are quick and easy especially in a heavier weight yarn.

I cast on the Checkerboard Mitts yesterday afternoon whilst watching Christmas films, as you can tell I'm getting into the Christmas spirit!!!!! These are really quick to knit and would make a great last minute gift, they are from the Knitvent 2013 collection. I've only got the rib to finish at the bottom of the mitt and the thumb and it took me less than two hours to get this far.

I'm knitting the Ardvasar Hat for my sister, it's from Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 6 and is one of my favourite hat patterns, it's the third one I've knit.

I've cast on the Vanilla Latte socks, a free download on Ravelry, these are for my husband, he's been driving me mad asking me to knit him a pair of socks. I'm using Trailing Clouds Mind the Gap, he probably won't like the pink but the other colours will make it less noticeable.

I've also bought this yarn for more Christmas projects, watch this space!!!!! I haven't had much time to read this week. I've started reading In the Woods by Harlan Coben, I can't say I'm enjoying it that much and was tempted to start a new book. I'll carry on for now to see it gets any better.

I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO, don't forget to leave me a comment if you want to be entered into the draw to win the Knitvent 2014 collection. I will pick a winner from the teacup on Saturday, don't forget you've got to be in it to win it!!!!!!

Have a good week.

xxxxxDebxxxxx

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Yarn Along......Eden Fells Hat and Scarf.

Hello, how are you all doing? I've been doing some more test knitting for Helen from the Curious Handmade Podcast. This is the Eden Fells Hat and the matching Eden Fells Scarf, the last two patterns from the Dream Big collection.

It's a great unisex pattern, Helen knit hers in grey and looks great on her male model, it can be knit as a more fitted hat or add a few extra rows of the chevron pattern for more slouch. It's knit with a squishy worsted weight yarn, it would be a great Christmas gift as it didn't take too long to knit. I used Drops Nepal in a vibrant red, perfect to add a little colour to the winter months.

This really is my perfect hat, I knit the medium size with the extra slouch, it's just the right amount of slouch for me. I can see myself wearing this a lot over the winter months as it's very cosy even my youngest daughter has asked me to knit her a set, it's the first time she's requested anything knitted!!!!

I knit the scarf to the exact pattern but you could make it shorter or longer, if preferred. After soaking for 20 minutes and removing excess water by rolling in a towel, I let it dry naturally by hanging over an airer. Once dry it measured 75", a good length for me. Helen does recommend steam blocking but the yarn I used needed a good soak to soften it up, it did block well but probably grew more than what steaming would.

The patterns have now been released and as these are the last two Dream Big 2014 patterns, Helen is offering a discount code for a limited time. If you buy any two single patterns from the Dream Big collection, you can add ANY of Helen's other patterns to your cart for free, just add the code DBPARTY at the checkout.

Also on the knitting front, I've finished one of my Leaf Collector Mitts. I'm using Skein Queen Blush in Dipped Rosewater, this yarn is so soft and luxurious.

I've also cast on another pair of mitts for a Christmas gift, they are the Global Nomad Handwarmers by Curious Handmade. I'm also making the most of the free Curious Handmade Knitvent Gift Knitting Planner, this is a great idea to keep track of what you want to knit for Christmas gifts and keep yourself organised. I'm taking part in Little Bobbins Mitt-Along which is keeping me focused and stopping me from casting anything else on.

I've been reading the back issues of my Pom Pom Quarterly magazines for Christmas gift ideas, I'm linking this post to Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's KCCO.

Thank you for stopping by, enjoy your week.

xxxxxDebxxxx