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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

FO Frost on Roses

Once I’d finished Cassie’s Little Trees hat I felt like I was done with hats for just a little while.  I was going to work on the baby blanket for my forthcoming niece/nephew for a bit before maybe casting on a Boo Knits shawl.  Felicity had other ideas and demanded that I immediately make her a hat just like Cassie’s but purple and with open flowers instead of trees.  Who was I to deny such an incredibly specific request for knitwear!
After a bit of searching I showed her a picture of Frost on Roses by Katrin Schubert and asked her if that was open flowery enough for her and once she understood that I didn’t have to make it in the same colours as in the picture she agreed that it would be fine.  She was also happy with King Cole Panache DK (but it's a very fine DK so more like a sport weight) in soft grey and purple, which was lucky because that’s pretty much all I had in the right weight!  The colours don’t contrast much leading to a really pretty subtle effect which is just perfect for Felicity.
I’m pleased to report that I didn’t have anywhere near the difficulties I had with Cassie’s Little Trees and this knitted up quickly and easily.  It took me a few rows to kind of see and understand how the patterns were coming together but once I’d got one repeat under my belt I got a feel for it and I could read my knitting better and see easily if I was going wrong.
Once finished I was a little worried because the crown decreases left the hat with a kind of tricorner look to them as it was all a bit pointy but after a light blocking that almost disappeared and disappears completely once the hat is stretched over the head.  Felicity insisted on having a bobble on the top which obscures the crown a little but not entirely.  After much deliberation and consideration of my bobble stash (we all have one of those right?) she settled on a pink one which I duly sewed on.  2 days later she decided it was awful and went back into the stash and picked a white one instead.  Obviously this was rather annoying but the kid obviously had a very clear vision for this hat and if I’m putting in the effort to make her something I have no problem making sure it’s exactly what she wants.
I’m really pleased with how this turned out and I hope Felicity is too.  I can see myself making an adult sized one in more contrasting colours for myself, but not for a little while, I’m definitely hatted out at least for a little while now!

Sunday, 3 March 2019

FO: Little Trees kiddo edition

After being a pink sort of girl for many many years Cassie announced recently that she was now super into red and all her things must now be red.  She was needing a new winter coat so we got her a lovely red one and I thought it would be lovely to make her a hat to match it.

Cassie’s choice was to have a hat just like my Little Trees hat but red so I bought some Drops Lima in red and navy blue and got knitting.  Given that I have recently knitted this pattern I thought I’d get this knitted up in a couple of days.  After trying my hat on Cassie and using the scientific technique of pulling in tighter round her head I decided to do 2 less pattern repeats each round to make it fit a 6 year old.  I also made the ribbing at the brim shorter so the hat wasn’t too long.
All was going well until I’d completed about 2/3 of the hat and then I made a mistake, tried to unknit it and something went awry and I had no idea how to fix it.  I can usually work out what’s gone wrong and work out some sort of fix but this one was beyond me so I ripped the whole thing out.  I figured it’s just a little hat so no big deal.  The second time I had to rip was just a few rows in, the third time about half way through and at that point I started to get really annoyed!  Thankfully that was the last time I had to fully rip out but I kept on making little mistakes that meant I needed to unknit a couple of rows here and  there and the whole thing really just took far longer then it needed to.
Eventually I got to the end and it was totally worth it, this hat is so cute.  I did think that maybe I wouldn’t need to do as many pattern repeats as the pattern specifies but shortening the brim ribbing was enough to stop the hat being too long and I’m pleased that I cast on the right amount of stitches to make this fit Cassie snugly.  I let her pick her own pompom which is why that colour combo is a wee bit bonkers, but it’s her hat so who am I to judge!  I bought these pompoms a while ago before I discovered the one that come with poppers attached so sewing this one on was a bit of a bugger.  It has a small elastic loop attached which I sewed to the hat but the bobble wobbled around something awful and the last thing you want is a wobbly bobble so I had to anchor it at several points around the base to get it on there more firmly. 
So finally it is done, she hasn’t worn this properly yet because it has been really warm but the temperatures do seem to be dropping a bit again so hopefully it will see some wear before it goes away for the summer.  Oh yes and the tooth is gone, it took a minor blow to the mouth while she was playing at the park to get it out but it was more than ready so it wasn’t too much of a drama.  I can’t get enough of her gappy little face at the moment, so cute!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

FO: Briochebubbles hat

More brioche hat goodness for you today, because I was wearing my Little Trees hat constantly so I thought it needed a friend for a bit of variety! 

The pattern I chose this time was Briochebubbles Hat by Raina K, I liked this one because it is a bit different and is very visually striking.  I particularly liked her orange and blue version but I couldn’t find both an orange and a blue that I liked in the same yarn so I went with orange and purple which does the same job as far as I’m concerned.  The yarn I used for this was King Cole Luxury Merino DK and in all honesty I’m not entirely into it, it’s a bit finer than I expected and quite limp so this hat isn’t quite as warm as Little Trees.  It’s good to have hats for not quite so cold days though and given how long this hat turned out this limpness of the yarn is probably a good thing because I wouldn’t really want it to stand straight up!  Luckily brioche knitting is very stretchy and I have a tiny head so I didn't need to worry that the hat wouldn't fit even though the yarn is a bit thin.

The extreme length of the hat is purely down to my brain going renegade and playing silly games with me.  According to the pattern once you have completed the completing the repeating part the first time you should repeat it once more and then do the first few rows a third time.  I read this, I understood it and then my brain logged it as ‘repeat the whole thing twice more’.  So one I’d done that, realised my mistake and carried on regardless adding those first few rows again and then the  crown decrease section, this hat is looooong!  I added a fur bobble to weigh it down so it doesn’t stick straight up and make me look like a gnome and honestly I’m not mad at it, it’s a good hat.  It did what it wanted to do and I like it even though I do feel a bit of an idiot for not double checking the pattern.

Of course it is now far too warm to wear this, it’s been hitting over 16 degrees C every day so far this week which is not right for February.  I really don’t want to have to pack my woollies away just yet so I’m hoping the chilly weather will return for just a bit soon.




Saturday, 16 February 2019

Quinn Fox Headbands

After all of the shawl knitting I have been doing recently I’ve been taking a bit of a break in order to knit some headgear.  I’ve got some hats in the works but because my daughters are required to wear their hair up for school I’ve found that hats are not always that practical for them.  After one particular day when Cassie insisted on jamming her Foxy Hat on her head over a high ponytail and wondered why her ears weren’t covered I figured I should probably knit her a headband instead.  Oh and one for Felicity too.  Incidentally this is Cassie when I knitted her Foxy hat:

The hat is 5 years old and miraculously at nearly 7 it does actually still fit her when her hair is down.  Seeing as she still loves and wants to wear this hat I was excited to find a pattern for a fox headband and cowl set.  I don’t really see myself knitting the cowl element although it is pretty flipping cute.  The headband though is exactly what I was after.

These were really quick to knit with a simple seed stitch strip, knit flat and joined and the ears and bow made separately and sewn on.  I actually knit the girls headbands last year, simple navy ones to match their school uniform.  They were also seed stitch but knit in the round and they hardly ever wear them because they are a little large and don’t stay on well.  I much preferred that these were knit flat as I could keep trying them around the kids heads so that they fit perfectly.  I used a provisional cast on and joined the ends with a 3 needle bind off rather than seeming because personal preference and then sewed the ears on where I thought they should go rather than following the directions because my bands were a little shorter than the measurements given in the pattern (tiny heads run in the family!).  I used DROPS Lima and some scraps of white something or other from the stash for the inside ear bits.  Apparently the yarn is a little itchy on their ears but they have been wearing them without complaining so it can’t be that bad!
Both girls are really pleased with these, they love wearing them to school and I love that their hair isn’t all messed up when they get there in the morning.  I will be making them a hat each soon too because some days it is so cold that a hat is definitely needed but for the rest of the time these headbands are just the ticket.
Oh and don't mind Cassie's face in this picture, she was determined to get her crazy teeth in every photo I took!  At this point those top front ones were so wobbly that you could see them flopping about when she was talking, so grim.  Currently she looks like this:
So now we are just waiting for the other one to drop out, at the moment it's sort of hanging to one side so it looks like she has one central tooth poking out between her lips.  She is putting absolutely no effort into getting it out so I'm guessing it's just going to hang there for at least another week.  Join me next time for another episode of tooth watch!

Friday, 8 February 2019

FO: Moving Forward MKAL

Well here it is, all blocked and ends woven in (oh the ends…soooo many ends!)

I will say that this is not entirely my cup of tea now that it is done, but that is the risk that you take with mystery knitting and I’m completely fine with that.  The process was fun and I enjoyed seeing this come together and I can always find someone up whose alley this will be so it’s all good.  

I feel that this project did carry a slightly higher element of risk given that it involved choosing a number of colours without knowing how they would be combined and I can certainly say that I would have chosen completely different colours had I seen the pattern first.  Despite really liking the colour combo that I picked, somehow the end result is not me at all.  I would have preferred it if I’d chosen all shades of one colour with the difference in shades being very slight for a much more subtle effect.  Of course now I know that there is absolutely nothing stopping me knitting another and choosing the exact colour scheme that I want and I may very well do that at some point. 

So, there’s not really much to say about this further to what I’ve already said about each clue as I knitted them.  This is my finished Moving Forward, it is lovely and soft and I really like the different textures of it, I’m just not entirely satisfied with my colour palette and so off into the present box it goes until I match it up with the person it’s meant to be with.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Something Pretty!

I hope everyone is keeping warm wherever you are.  We were forecast snow during the night, along with a lot of the UK, and although I know i did snow a bit it turned to rain and we woke up to a very drab grey day with persistent rain.  It is however very cold and going outside is just the worst.  So to brighten up an otherwise drab day I thought I would share some very pretty yarn that I received a couple of weeks ago.

Shortly after new year I received the very exciting news that I was one of the lucky prize winners from the 2018 Boo Knits Challenge.  I was pretty shocked because I actually won a prize last year so I did not expect another one at all.  There were prizes for the 3 knitters who completed the most items in the year, I did not win one of those prizes seeing there were people who knit more than 30!  Then there were 11 prizes to be drawn from all of the other knitters who completed the challenge.  We knew what each of the 11 prizes were but at that point didn’t know who had won what.  A few days after I was contacted by Sabine from Lichtfaden asking me which of 3 beautiful skeins of her Meridian Lace I would like to choose.  Honestly I couldn’t believe my luck!  I’ve used Meridian Lace once before to knit my Just Be You and it is just lovely.  It’s a total splurge though so I was very grateful to be getting my hands on some more.
Just Be You
I was able to choose between a beautiful one of a kind red skein, a skein of Mother of Pearl and one of Peacock Feathers.  They were all tempting but I knitted a red silk shawl last year and I haven’t really worn it so I’m not sure another would fit in to my wardrobe.  The Mother of Pearl was very hard to resist but very special and not really for everyday wear so I went for the Peacock Feathers which is also beautiful but somehow more wearable in my own wardrobe.  Once it arrived I knew I’d made the right choice, just look at it!

It had been delivered to the local Royal Mail office so I picked it up on the way to work and opened it there.  At least two of my colleagues remarked how it looked just like a peacock before they even saw the shade name on the label.  Another colleague has made me promise that she can have it if I die before knitting it up!  So now I just need to pick a pattern and choose the right beads for it because I really want to knit with this as soon as possible and then maybe it can help me on my way to completing this year’s Boo Challenge.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Moving Forward MKAL: Clues 6&7

So I'd hoped to bring you this post last week. Clue 7 arrived on Monday when I had a couple of rows of Clue 6 left to do and it turned out that Clue 7 was just the bind off so I was hoping to have it done in a flash.  Of course that was when I caught a godawful pestilence that has been doing the rounds here and pretty much didn't knit a stitch for several days.  Has anyone else had a horrible cold?  I wouldn't say it was quite as bad as flu but it was getting there and even now I'm recovering I feel all weak and pathetic and just.....wrong I guess.  Luckily I was expecting it as so many people around me were ill and I knew it was going to be bad so I wasn't surprised by how awful I felt, but still, ugh.
Anyway I've recovered enough to finish the last 2 clues and get this shawl off the needles.  Clue 6 featured a series of increases which help to form the points as well as 2 row stripes.  I completely failed to notice until it was far too late that the penultimate stripe was supposed to be in colour B instead of colour D.  A bit of a whoops there but I decided that it really wasn't going to bother me enough to warrant unknitting a row and and a half so it stays.
Clue 7 was just the bind off and we were given the choice of doing a picot bind off or substituting a stretchy bind off of our choice.  Now had I been knitting along as soon as the clue released I would have gone for the picot bind off.  I don't particularly enjoy working them and I find that they can look a little fussy for me at times, but I like the way they look on some shawls and I'd have given it a go on this one.  As I'd fallen behind however I was able to check out some of the finished shawls and decided that in this case I did prefer the simpler edge so that's what I did.
All that remains now is to get this thing blocked and get some nice photographs so that I can show off the finished object in all it's glory.