Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Next up, the Tulle Shawl...

Still looking through photographs taken of old makes, though this collection of knitvent 2017 aren't actually that old - there are much older finished projects waiting their turn. Maybe I should call these posts makes I've finished but forgotten to post about...

So, the Tulle Shawl was the second pattern released in December as part of knitvent 2017 collection by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. A fairly simple shawl in possibly my favourite garter stitch (cannot choose between garter or moss stitch as my all time favourite...) with a lace border. These patterns were released weekly during the festive period with the idea that they would make great gift knits, so while they have interest for the knitter, they shouldn't be too time consuming
So happy when my woolly make co-ordinates so prettily with my project bag.

As usual when making a shawl I didn't knit a gauge square, though the finished shawl after blocking is slightly smaller than the pattern suggests, not at all something I mind as it is the most delicate shawl. 

Such pretty lace. Mine is knit without beads (though this is optional in the pattern). So pretty... it really does live up to its name.

Happily I found the perfect yarn for this shawl in the basket - the colours made me think of the tulle tutu worn by the sugar plum fairy. The yarn is from fondant fibre, though sadly Debs isn't dyeing yarn at the moment. The colourway is jasmine scented evening and the SW merino mulberry silk mix means it has the most gorgeous drape

Deb also included the sweetest stitch marker...

Other than catching up with unshown makes, life has been gently busy though of the nothing to show general busyness of the lovely everyday. There has been snow - with four happy snow days - a birthday (mine), so many swim meets (my birthday was spent at the pool at UEA), making for World Book Day (the only making this year was a waistcoat as the rest of Newt Scamander's clothes were gathered together), a cancelled World Book Day (aforementioned snow day) and a gentle Mother's Day. Oh, we are also the proud new owners of a slow cooker in an attempt to manage to both cook and eat inbetween Patch's daily swim training. There have been a few really? But why when you are vegetarian moments, but the ease of putting ingredients in a pot and coming home late in the evening to find a yum meal was too tempting. So if anyone has any tempting vegetarian slow cooker recipes, please do share...
 Of course there has also been some time for knitting. Ami of the little tailoress blog is currently hosting a kal for these bonding squares, I now have quite a pile which will be packaged and sent to Royal Berkshire hospital SCBU where Patch spent his first few weeks
 And also some crochet time... this is the beginnings of a test pattern for Picot & Tricot in the most delightful Spring colour. More soon!

Friday, 23 February 2018

The land of sweets cowl

As soon as Helen of Curious Handmade mentioned that this years (last year's!) knitvent collection was inspired by The Nutcracker, I knew that I would be knitting along. I have loved the magic of The Nutcracker ballet since a child, and two years ago my parents gave me tickets as an early Christmas present to take P to see it at the Royal Opera House. So beautiful. And Helen's first pattern of knitvent 2017 was perfect.

 This pattern is made up of twenty-four stripes of varying stitches and was designed with yarn advent calendars in mind. Sadly I had no gorgeous yarn advent calendar, but what I do have is lots of yarn oddments. Oh and one dreamy skein of Cosmic Strings - not at all an oddment! Rather than do all twenty-four stripes in a different yarn, I decided to knit the lace sections in the same yarn, and chose the deliciously named Cosmic Strings in marshmallow (and this way I would get to see more of these lovely speckles). I then dug around in the basket to see what other 4ply yarns I had in typically Christmas sweet colours... the ubiquitous tin of jewel foil covered chocolates. Oh and red for the candy canes of course.
This has been such a popular pattern this wintertime, and rightly so... a chance to play with colours, all those gorgeous different textures. It may be one of my favourite patterns
I get ridiculously giddy when my woolly make, project bag and progress keeper match. Just look at that star filled bauble! Purchased from the lovely Jooles of sew sweet violet
I have been wearing this cowl so much this wintertime, it is so snug and colourful and long - quite unlike any other cowl I have. It softly folds and drapes and looks most cheery. Today is day three without heating and oh my it is cold out there, and in here, but my neck at least is toasty...

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

February is the new January...

So happy new year! That way we can ignore the silence on here of the past few months. Suffolk has been grey this January. Perhaps more brown due to all the mud. So brown and grey. It would appear that when all is brown and grey all I want to do is curl up. Everyone has been clothed (in fact that has been a highlight of January, saying hello to the bottom of the ironing basket), appropriately fed and the house is vaguely tidy and clean-ish, and that has been it. I have high hopes for February!

Starting with a sunny shawl
Mr R gave me this yarn for Christmas last year (oh, I think I might meant two years ago. Not this Christmas), my first gradient yarn cake, from a dyer he found all on his own on etsy. The yarn is the Merino-twin from Wollelfe in the colour Gloria Dei
 I think this colourway is named after a rose, and it was such a pretty yarn cake. I think it might have looked slightly prettier as a cake than knitted...
The pattern is a free Ravelry pattern - the storm shawl by Joanna Davies designed with gradient yarn sets in mind. I have called mine the petal shawl as it reminds me of a peony petal
 Such an easy pattern though fairly lengthy to knit all 800 meters of yarn. The colour changes did help to keep my attention, and the interest of fellow swim parents, as this was my at the pool knitting make last late winter and early spring. Looking forward to wearing it again in the sunnier weather, or maybe I should wear it now to combat the grey...

Monday, 20 November 2017

Another shawl in the pile

I think I mentioned back in May that I would be sharing this completed shawl soon... It was finished in the spring, and has been a favourite ever since
 I love this pattern, and if it wasn't for my rather lengthy Ravelry queue, would be tempted to knit it again. The Arrosa shawl by Jennifer Weissman featured on the front cover of pompom quarterly issue 20 and was my reason for buying that issue (though a later flick through added a few more knits to the must make list). To make this shawl a fairly affordable knit - and because I like the softness of this yarn - I knit the main part in Drops baby merino already in the basket and then treated myself to a pop of dreamy colour for the cast off... the oh so delicious Cosmic Strings in Foxglove colourway
It is such a pretty yet still simple design. Beautiful.
Don't forget - I am holding a giveaway for a festive sock project bag here on my blog. All details on my last post... you have a week to enter by leaving a comment telling me what festive make you would house in the project bag. Go and comment, and good luck!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Seasonal project bags... and a giveaway

I realised a few weeks ago that my woolly makes are currently homed in seasonally inappropriate project bags, and so rummaged in the fabric piles to see what autumnal and wintery fabrics I had.  A gentle sewing project suited my mood and ability after what seems like months of coughs and colds.

The largest piece of fabric found was left over from a festive skirt made for one of P's friends, and so I started to experiment with various sizes. My first attempt is a fairly wide and short project bag, suitable for a pair of socks or such...
 followed by my favourite size so far - just the thing for a shawl.
The next one has an autumnal feel with the sweet thermos, and the size was depicted by the remnant of fabric found in the pile. A good size for socks or gloves
In the middle of bag making I signed up for knitvent 2017 by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade - the theme this year is The Nutcracker, and I could not resist. In preparation for the release of the first pattern in the collection I made yet another project bag in some dreamy fabric which reminds me of the festive magic of The Nutcracker
The fabric is Be Merry, part of the Little Town collection, purchased from sew me sunshine  and is home to the first knitvent 2017 pattern released last Thursday, a dreamy cowl inspired by the Land of Sweets (yes, already cast on - shall show you my progress soon)
And so, giveaway time. As there is yet another project bag still to be shown I have decided that I possibly don't need quite this many, and certainly not two in the same print, so I shall giveaway the smaller of the Christmas tree print bags. This is the project bag shown at the front of the first photograph, and on the right below where you can see the width more clearly. It is fully lined with a red dotty fabric and would make a good size project bag for a pair of socks or mittens. Leave a comment below telling me what woolly project you would use this festive project bag for, and I shall chose a winner on Monday 28 November. Good luck!

Monday, 30 October 2017

The Spring shawl making continued...

 This time a crochet shawl... During the spring of this year, the lovely Sandra of cherry heart blog organised a Hotel of Bees CAL, for the Hotel of Bees shawl by Christina Hadderingh. Eager to crochet along with Sandra I purchased the pattern, thought about colours, searched for suitable yarn in chosen colours, struggled to find what I wanted in those colours, found colours in a cotton yarn, decided cotton would be fine, in fact great as this could be a summer shawl, purchased yarn and set to.
I do like the yarn in its little pile, but I do wish I had thought a little harder about a one hundred percent cotton shawl, a large-ish 5ply shawl. This is oh so heavy and I imagine will stretch a lot - if it is ever worn.
Because sadly for this poor shawl, I don't think it has been worn once... and not just because of my poor yarn content choice. So eager was I to join in the fun of the CAL that I didn't really pay much attention to the finished shawl, and while it was a great pattern to crochet with lots of techniques, and the pattern itself was so well written, the finished shawl is just a bit bitty I think for my liking. I have since seen a version crocheted in one colour however, which I do like and I really, really like the honeycomb effect in some of the sections.
Hmmm, so what to do with it? I am quite proud of the finished thing and yet it isn't something I reach for from my pile of shawls and it seems a bit of a waste for it to sit in the wardrobe. Oh well, maybe it will grow on me (hopefully not in the stretching sense) next summer... Details of (poor) yarn choice can be seen on my Ravelry page here

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Just the weather for a shawl

Oh September and October, you have been so full of horrible illness for this little family... it started with the cold P got in the first week of term, which he then lovingly shared, followed by yet more colds, a bout of flu and now a persistent cough for me that is proving rather tiresome. The garden still needs autumnal attention, the house needs a thorough clean. Yuk. The good thing about October though is the regular necessity of a shawl again
This was my introduction to Helen Stewart's patterns... the Spindrift Shawl, knitted last wintertime. I think I chose this one to knit first as the pattern is rather generously provided for free once you sign up to an email workshop.
I really like the way Helen's patterns are written - my current swim project is another of Helen's shawls, and the format of the patterns mean that I can easily keep track of rows even when being a good Mummy and glancing up to see how P is doing in training. So much support is available in the Ravelry Spindrift group (another thing common to Helen's patterns and particularly useful and motivating for the more complex Snowmelt Shawl).
I had been saving the precious remains of my first skein of dreamy Cosmic Strings (used to knit a pair of yet-to-be-blogged wristwarmers, made probably a year ago. How remiss) and this gorgeous single ply merino yarn has made such a soft shawl. The pretty colourway is rose garden, purchased summer 2016, so most likely no longer available but I know that I could happily buy many skeins of their yarn each time I look, so no doubt there will be some gorgeous colourway to tempt you. The wristwarmers meant that I had to combine a second yarn, though normally this would be a one skein pattern. I knit the wristwarmers with a contrast rib (reminder to dig them out from the bottom of the knits basket and photograph them) in a 4 ply though I think the Cosmic Strings yarn is more of a lightweight 4 ply, so for this shawl I paired it with the similar weight Coop Knits socks yeah in Danburite.
I'm off to cosy up with another October highlight - cinnamon tea. Yum