Friday, 22 August 2014

FO Friday.....two test knit hats.

A short and sweet post today, just to say hi and show you the two test knit hats for Melody, they don't have a name yet but the pattern should be released by the end of the month.

I knit the first test knit hat for Jodie in Cascade 220, it's a very quick knit in worsted weight yarn in garter stitch and a textured panel.

This is the second one, finished this week, knit in The Natural Dye Studio Godivia DK, though it's more of a worsted single spun hand dyed yarn in Amitola. I'm not sure whether I'll be keeping it for myself or giving it as a Christmas gift.

Have a great weekend.



Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Yarn Along........Two Hats and Two Shawls.

Hello, how is your week going? This week I've been working on two hats and two shawls, the first hat is a test knit for Melody of Manderine's blog. Check out her blog you won't be sorry, it's full of pretty photos of the Latvian countryside, nature, knitting and recipes, her photos are so tranquil and after reading her posts I always feel very peaceful.

I received the pattern on Thursday evening, cast on Friday and had it finished and blocked by the Sunday. It is a quick knit using worsted weight yarn, a fair amount of garter stitch and a beautiful textured panel at the front. If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen the FO, modeled by my daughter but I'll share the photos on my blog, Friday.

Jodie kept the hat and took it home with her so I immediately cast on another one for me using a variegated yarn, I should also have this finished by Friday and will give you full details of the yarn on Friday.

The next project I've been knitting on this week is my Leftie by Martina Behm, as I'd said last week, Zena, Rachel and myself are all knitting this pattern with yarn we'd bought from Unwind. Zena and I don't live too far away from each other so we arranged to meet at The Library of Birmingham for a coffee and to knit on our Leftie's. We had a great morning, chatting and knitting away and hope to meet up again soon.

If you are in Birmingham, I highly recommend paying a visit to the library, there are activities going on, thousands of books to peruse, two coffee bars, lounge areas to sit and relax but my favourite part was The Secret Garden.

It's on the seventh floor and is a balcony wrapped around the building with an urban garden and places to sit, this was the view of Birmingham from the balcony. Unfortunately, it was a little bit too chilly to sit and knit up there on Saturday, I'm hoping for an Indian Summer so can go back and sit up there and take in the views.

Shawl two is the Menehune Shawlette by Mel, Episode Three of With Mel is now up with the third part of the pattern which is the middle section of the border.

This is a simple garter stitch section which didn't take long to complete, so I now only have the last part to finish which will be in next weeks episode. This has been such a fun knit, I really enjoyed this week's episode, she took us on a boat trip with her family and of course it's great to sit and "knit with Mel" !!!!!


I'm into my thrillers at the moment and have just started reading Fresh Doubt by Eva Hudson, I've not read any of her books before and so far, so good, I'm enjoying this book, the first in a series of books featuring Ingrid Skyberg, FBI Agent.

I'm linking to Yarn Along, WIP Wednsday and Keep Calm, Craft On, I've decided to post it a day early this week as one I've written it in advance and two, Nicole from Frontier Dreams, posts her KCCO on a Tuesday.


There is just one last thing I would like to say, Mel has just wrote a heartfelt post and would like some help raising some money for a bereaved family, if you could please pop over and read it, she would really appreciate it. She has just released a shawl pattern called Hapa and to help this family from 19th-26th August, Mel will give all profits from the pattern to this family who's life has tragically been ripped apart. I've bought mine, every little helps.

Thank you for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week.



Friday, 15 August 2014

FO Friday.......blankets and bootees.

Happy Friday, are you all ready for the weekend? I'm back to show you a couple of finished baby projects today.

I've finished the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket by Helen Stewart, this is what I'm calling his "best blanket" and will come out of the hospital wrapped in it.

I used 5 balls of Rooster Almerino DK, a gorgeous soft blend of alpaca and merino which shows off the stitch definition beautifully.

Next up, I've been making some Pom Pom Bootees, I used different weight yarns to get the different sizes.

The white pair are the larger out of the two, I used MillaMia which is a sport weight on 2.75mm, they would fit a 3-6 month old.

The blue pair are knit with Cashsoft 4ply again on 2.75mm needles and have turned out a lot smaller, fitting a 0-3 month old. I decided to add some pompoms for the cute factor and used the Clover Pom Pom Maker in small for the white and extra small for the blue pair. I can't recommend the Clover Pom Pom Maker enough, it's simple to use and you get a perfect pom pom, every time.

That's all for the knitting, the next part is photo heavy of what I've been up to this week. Do you remember me saying on Wednesday, I was hoping the rain kept off so we could take the little ones out? Well it did and we went to Bantock House and Park.

Even the grown ups were having fun.

Then yesterday, my friend Kerry and I went out for the day. We went to Hobbycraft and picked up some Project Life which has 25% off at the moment then had lunch at Pizza Hut, I love the lunchtime buffet!!!!

After lunch we drove to Ironbridge a beautiful Shropshire town by the river, famous for it's iron bridge across the river.

The obligatory selfie by the bridge ;-)

Have a great weekend.



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Yarn Along.....lots on the needles.

Hello my friends, how is your week going? I'm writing this hoping the rain will stay away this morning so we can take my niece and nephew to the park. Well, I seem to have cast on quite a few things this week, including something using these gorgeous mini skeins from Fivemoons Yarns.

I'll start with this project first, though these aren't my usual colour pallet but they jumped out at me at Unwind Brighton. They came in a little wooden box called A Big Box of Sweeties and had 10 x 10g mini skeins of Luna Plus 4ply, 75% superwash merino/25% nylon. I resisted at first and bought the Fade to Grey which I knit my Pebble Beach shawl in.

As I sat in the Pavillion Gardens, knitting on my shawl, Zena said those mini skeins would be perfect for the Leftie Shawl by Martina Behm. I'd had my eye on this pattern for some time and thought what a great idea and those colours I'd been looking at would be perfect, so later that afternoon I headed back to the Marketplace and bought them.

The main colour needs 150g of yarn so rather than having to buy 200g and having leftovers, I started looking for 50g skeins. I found some Artesano Alpaca Silk 4ply which is 70% alpaca/30% silk. It is beautifully soft and has a very slight halo, I love how it looks against the bright colours.

After speaking to Zena, we decided to cast on and knit it at the same time, I then found out Rachel from The Good Yarn Guide wanted to knit it too, so we are having a mini knit along together. We were all just about ready last weekend to start it and I cast my Leftie on Saturday evening, managing to get six leaves finished.

My only reservation with this pattern were the short rows, I've always had a problem picking up the wraps and making it look neat. I looked on You Tube to see if I could find any tips and after the finishing the first two leaves found it wasn't too bad. After avoiding short rows when I could, I'm now finding them not to be a problem. If I need any help with knitting, I tend to use the tutorials by Very Pink Knits, she is very clear and does great close up shots.

My next new project is by Mel, she has a brand new look blog with a new name and podcast, if you take a look at the first video, you can find out the reason for this new look and name, it's wonderful news, you can find the first video here.

Mel is such a warm, kindhearted person and loves to bring people together, she has come up with a great idea for knitting together. On the first episode she encourages us to pick up 100g of fingering/4ply, some 4mm needles and cast on a gorgeous, easy to knit shawl that she's designed especially for her podcast listeners.

She talks us through the intructions and also has them written on the video, so grab a note book too. It didn't take me long to finish the first part and was ready for the second episode.

As promised, Mel was back the following week with episode 2 and the next part of the pattern. I'd got 460 yds of yarn so I wanted to make mine bigger which Mel explains how to do that, leaving enough yarn for the border. She then goes on to tell you the instructions for the first part of the border which I'm just about to start. I just think this is a wonderful idea, the pattern hasn't been released yet, this is just for her podcast viewers at the moment, so go check it out.

I've also cast on a mini version of the Georgie Blanket by Helen Stewert, I've cast on 81 stitches rather than what's given in the pattern. It will be the perfect size for the carry cot and car seat. I'm using some leftover Rooster yarn which is one of my favourite commercial yarns, it's a dream to knit with.

We went up to see her on Sunday, here she is with just 8 weeks left to go.

We took all the baby things up that she'd been storing at ours until the nursery was finished including this sweet little Mose's basket we bought them, you can just about see the first Georgie blanket I knit for him.

Now on to the book I'm reading this week, it's a great thriller that I have on my Kindle called Abducted by T.R. Raglan, it's an on the edge read and I'm loving it. This week I'm linking to Yarn Along, WIP Wednesday and Keep Calm Craft On.

Thank you for stopping by have a great week.



Friday, 8 August 2014

FO Friday......Pebble Beach Shawlette.

Hello my friends, how was your week? I've finished my Pebble Beach Shawlette by Helen Stewart as I've said before I love this pattern and this is the second one I've knit. This one is special though, I cast it on with a wonderful group of ladies at Unwind Brighton including Helen, the designer. I bought the yarn from the Unwind Market Place, we sat under a big shady tree in the Brighton Pavilion Gardens, cast on and just sat chatting and knitting for the afternoon. I also spent time on it all over the weekend, knitting on Brighton beach, it holds some special memories from a fabulous weekend,

I used two sets of Five Moons, Mini Phases in Fade to Grey, they also sell 20g mini skeins so you could make up any colour gradient you like. I made this slightly bigger by repeating some sections. I repeated rows 92-96 once and rows 105-108 once.

I also added beads to every other stitch on rows 91, 95 and 99 then every fifth stitch along the very last right side row and along the picot bind off edge. I buy my beads from The Bead Merchant, I use size 6 beads and a .75mm crochet hook.

Thank you for stopping by, have a great weekend.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Sunburst Shawl.......

Do you remember this yarn from the other week? I was using it for a test knit, I can now show you the finished project.

It's the Sunburst Shawl by Helen Stewart, and is the August release for Dream Big 2014. If you haven't heard of Dream Big, it's a collection of ten patterns and you receive one a month over ten months or you can buy the patterns separate as they are released but by buying the e-book the patterns only work out at £1.20!!!!!

It's an elegant, beaded crescent shaped shawl with an Art Deco feel, perfect for summer evenings. I used Yarn Pony Show Pony 4ply in the colour Berry Surprised, it is a beautiful blend of 50% merino and 50% silk and was perfect for this pattern.

I used size 6 Miyuki bead in Aqua Transparent with Fushia lining which suited the colour of the yarn perfectly, when it catches the light, it looks really pretty. I bought my beads from The Bead Merchant, they have a super quick delivery service and great customer service. I prefer to use a .75mm you could use a 1mm but sometimes the 1mm won't go through the centre.

Here's a close up, you can see the beautiful starburst pattern. I really enjoyed this knit and it was the first time I'd added beads to my knitting, it was really easy and I have since added beads to another shawl I'm working on. If you fancy giving it a go, there's a good feature on but the actual pattern gives good instructions.

Have a good week.