Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Booty

So that's Christmas pretty much done and with the New Year on the way it's time for me to sit down and think about my crafty resolutions for the year ahead. I've achieved a lot of things in the past year that I'd been meaning to get on with for a long time so it's going to be a bit more difficult to come up with a list next year. For today though I'm just going to have a quick look back over the last week at all of the knitting related goodies that I was lucky enough to receive this Christmas.

My SIL and my brother/SIL to be both gave me Millamia pattern books which I am really pleased with. Bright Young Things is my favourite at the moment with the Lotta Striped Bolero being an absolute must knit for Cassie. Wonderland is also packed full of eye candy but I haven't picked out a project from it yet. There is a super cute babygro which I would have loved to knit if I'd had the book earlier, but with baby due any day now I really don't have the time to start it.

The same goes, unfortunately for my favourite pattern from Knitting Gifts for Baby which was very thoughtfully bought for me by my BIL. The Papoose sleeping bag is possibly the cutest thing ever and I'm very sad that there is just no time at all to knit it. Hopefully someone else close to me will get pregnant before too long and I'll be able to knit it for them instead, it's just too cute not to.

But for the time being I will just make do with knitting on my Star Illusion Blanket. I've decided to just get on with it and see how much progress I can make before the little lady arrives. So far I estimate that I am about 3/5 of the way through it although I will stop when the proportions look about right regardless of where I am in the pattern. I'm still really pleased with it, it's cool huh?


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I've been very busy just recently, unfortunately not with knitting and also not with having the baby or anything dramatic like that so I've been a bit quiet for a few days. I did, however want to pop in and say Happy Christmas, have a lovely time however you are celebrating or if you are not celebrating at all. We are spending the day with my parents today. Cassie is quite excited but not really sure what all the fuss is about, she is making us all laugh though, especially stomping around in her fancy new shoes.

My knitted gifts seem to have gone over well, both SILs received hats and they fit them just right and they both loved them. My brother's fiancée in particular was super excited when she opened hers and I was really pleased to be right, it looks way better on her than it did on me, I hope she'll let me take a picture of her in it soon.

Anyway, I'll be back soon with hopefully something more interesting to say. Have a lovely time one and all!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

FO: Barry

So Barry is done, blocked and dried and is now my absolute favourite thing. Seriously, I love this hat. This is great because the pattern is so versatile and I can see myself making several more and they will all be completely different. Genius! I thought the colours might be a little bright for my head, but I think they work really well and although my button choice really surprised me I'm glad I went for it it, they are so cute. Can you tell I love this pattern?

I think my next one will be in a bulky yarn, perhaps with a little less height/slouch. I can't wait. Again the pattern is Barry by Leethalknits and the yarn is Drops Nepal leftover from baby's coffee bean cardigan. I still have some left and although I considered making baby a matching hat to go with the cardi I've decided that she already has a lot of hats and so I'm going to cast on for a hat for Cassie instead. I think I'll put it in her Christmas stocking.

And as Christmas draws nearer, so does baby's due date, eek. In fact if this little lady is in a bit of a hurry like her big sister was then we are looking at less than 2 weeks now. I'm kind of hoping she hangs on a bit longer than that though. I may change my mind on that one though as I get bigger and bigger, Cassie can already hide from me just by standing directly in front of me and I am developing my own gravitational field!


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Stashdown for November

My Barry hat is almost done, just the crown left and then I can add the buttons and see how it all comes together, but as I finished off a ball of yarn yesterday and added it to my graph it reminded me it was about time I posted it again.

Stash | Create infographics

As you can see things are starting to look good and I actually used a record number of balls in November. I have recently added a ball but that was the handspun I posted about a few days ago. Let's see if I can keep it up.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

WIP: Barry

Despite Christmas looming and baby's due date getting ever closer I decided that quickly knitting something for me was what I wanted to do next. Using some if the leftovers from baby's coffee bean cardi I went ahead and cast on for Leethalknits Barry hat. I got the pattern a while back when she was having a giveaway and I have been itching to knit it ever since. I am completely in love with the idea that it can be knit in any yarn without swatching, just perfect for handspun.

So far I have just finished the first section which goes around the head and I'll be starting the second section using the contrast colour as the main colour which I think will look pretty cool. I can't wait for this one to be done and then I can no doubt choose another project which will get me no closer to finishing up my Christmas or baby knitting!


Friday, 6 December 2013

Things that are not knitting

Yesterday I somehow completely forgot that as well as knitting I have actually found a little bit of time for some spinning and dyeing. I think this is because I am now home in the evenings and cooking dinner for us all again and it is very easy for me to sneak in to the dining room and spin for a few minutes while I'm waiting for this to cook or that to boil. It's not much but I'm really pleased that I have finally finished the skein of yarn which has been sitting on the wheel for months now.

It's only half of the fibre, I have this left to spin.

There was 150g there to begin with, so a little too much to pack on a bobbin so I split the whole lot into 25g sections to make two skein of 3ply. This first skein still needs to be washed so it's not quite done and I haven't bothered weighing or measuring it yet but I really like it. It's soft and squishy and I love the cheerful glimpses of shiny yellow peeping through the other colours.

After a long dyeing hiatus I started simple, dyeing half a skein of sock yarn pink for my ill fated mittens. There's not much to say about this except that it is PINK pink and that makes me very happy. So happy in fact that I decided to dye a little bit of fibre the same colour.

I had a 200g bag of South American fibre which I split into 3. I left one third undyed, dyed one third in the lovely bright pink and then split the last third in two again and dyed one part purple and the other orange. The idea is to spin two solid plies, one white and one pink and then spin the third ply randomly in pink and orange to hopefully give a really subtle variation to the finished yarn. I can't wait to see how it turns out.


Thursday, 5 December 2013


I've been a bit quiet for a few days, mainly because I've been a bit disordered, flitting about a bit and every time I thought about writing a post I couldn't quite work out where I was going to start. So today I'm going to see if I can get myself together and fill in any gaps over the next few days.

So what have I been up to. Well firstly, after my first attempt to make my SILs Christmas hat didn't work out I thought I'd get right on that and make her a different one. This one turned out much better but it took me a good few days to get round to taking any photographs so I'm only now getting around to revealing it. Thanks to my sister for modelling for me.

The pattern is Candy: Stripes and Sprinkles by Tori Gurbisz which I have had my eye on for ages. It was included in the Giftalong on Ravelry so I got a discount on the pattern and I was very excited to finally make it. I also treated myself to Themisto by the same designer and look forward to making that soon too. The pattern was really easy and it was fun to see it come together in the end. The yarn is my own handspun and I'm really pleased with the way it knitted up. I had no idea it would stripe so well and I love how sparkly it is. It's a BFL and sparkle blend I got from FeltStudio a while back.

After that I decided that I desperately needed some mittens. It's got quite cold here and while I usually make do with my Evangeline armwarmers, a trip out with the buggy meant there was no hiding my fingers from the cold. I cast on for a pair of stranded mittens with sock yarn and knit for a couple of days but after a couple of days I started to doubt whether they were big enough and whether I was actually likely to finish them any time soon. Then I spotted a mistake I couldn't live with so I ripped them back and went out and bought a pair of flip top mittens instead. I completely forgot to take any photos of them but I will start them again in a few projects time so I'll add the details then.

Since then I've been at a bit of a loss as to what to start next so I've been working on baby's blanket. I've now completed the chart once, all 164 rows of it. The pattern suggests 2 1/2 repeats so I feel like I'm getting somewhere now. I have now settled on my next project so hopefully I'll get going on that later and introduce it tomorrow.

And finally, can I get a massive hooray? Due to saving up nearly all of my annual holiday entitlement I am now officially on maternity leave until at least September! I like my job a lot, but I love being home for dinner and baby bedtime every night even more and I'm glad I can make the most of these last few weeks with just Cassie.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

FOs part two

My second FO for this week was a little cardi for baby. Much as I'm supposed to be concentrating on Christmas presents and winter woollies for Cassie I do feel better now I've completed a 'proper' garment for baby, not just hats and socks.

There's not really a lot to say about this, the pattern is Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith and is a really simple lovely little pattern. As ever I was less than enthusiastic about picking up stitches for the button band and I made a less than brilliant job of it, but I can live with it. The yarn is Drops Nepal, I ended up using 1 ball of the pink and about 1 1/2 of the blue. I'm a bit miffed that I bought extra of the pink when it turns out I had just enough in the stash but I'll definitely use it for something so I'm not too annoyed. The buttons are super cute and were actually in my Christmas stocking last year, good choice Santa!


Saturday, 23 November 2013

FOs part one

The leaves hat has been finished for a week now, but with drying time and me being too lazy to get a good picture of it I've actually managed to finish another whole project in the mean time. More about that tomorrow when it will be completely finished. For today I'll stick with the hat.

I'd had my doubts about whether it was going to be big enough right from the beginning and those doubts were not calmed once I'd got the hat off the needles. Not only was it not slouchy like it was supposed to be but the crown shaping made it completely unsuitable to be worn as a beanie. Refusing to panic until after blocking I threw it in the sink to soak and then impatiently waited while it dried. I'll admit I did try it on briefly while it was still damp and was happy that the bath seemed to have done the trick. Now it's dry it slouches adequately on my head, though not as much as I would like and I'm not sure how it would do on a bigger head than mine. My sister will be visiting later, so I shall try it on her normally proportioned noggin and make my decision then. I suspect I might end up keeping it for me and knitting something else for my SIL. It's not the end of the world as I have another pattern up my sleeve and I do love this hat enough to wear it myself.

So vital statistics for this project. The pattern is As The Leaves Begin to Fall by Eliza Jarvi and the yarn is Drops Alpaca which is lovely and soft. The pattern was pretty easy to follow and the chart was simple as there are two stitches in each repeat which stay the same on every row, so it's really easy to to work out where you are in the pattern without too much counting back. I'd quite happily knit this again.


Friday, 15 November 2013

WIP: Leaves Hat

After my little colourwork hiatus, I'm back on it again. It's so funny how quickly I've become a bit addicted to it. I avoided it for such a long time and now I can't get enough. Luckily it's getting really quite chilly here now so the extra warmth that the stranding provides will be very welcome. My latest project is a hat for my SIL for Christmas. Probably. I keep having my doubts as to whether it will be the right size when I've finished. Only time will tell, but it's not the end of the world as I'm pretty sure it will fit on my puny head and I have no problem keeping it and knitting her something else. My aim is to finish this by the end of the weekend, it has seemed like slow going so far, most of my projects recently have been in at least DK weight and this is knitted with sport weight, but I think I'll make it. The pattern is As The Leaves Begin to Fall by Eliza Jarvi


Monday, 11 November 2013

Two FOs

That's right, I'm really going for it at the moment! Cassie's Owl Mitts are finally dry and baby's Kilkenny hat took barely any time at all so that is done too.

The mittens turned out super cute even though I really didn't love the pattern. I felt like I had to translate it before I could even start and even some of the bits I thought did understand were a bit puzzling when I got to them, but what I ended up with is lovely so I can't really complain.

The pattern offers a few options with the construction of the mittens. I chose to do the two colour ribbing rather than solid, firstly because I think it looks better, but also to try out another new technique and improve my skills. This does sacrifice most of the elasticity at the wrist but I still love the way it looks. I decided not to bother with the slit at the palm. Cassie doesn't really need to get at her fingers while we're out and about, but that would be a good option for an older toddler. With hindsight I also could have left off the thumb for the same reason. They are very long for Cassie, unfortunately I can't get a good picture of her wearing them because she keeps waving her hands about, but hopefully that means they will last her for a while. She loves them and keeps asking me to put them on her so hopefully she'll actually keep them on when we go outside.

Pattern Convertible Owl Mittens by Rebecca Reveal, yarn Drops Nepal
Baby's hat was a much less of a problem. There's not much to say really, it was quick and easy, the pattern was clear and concise and the hat is really cute. I can't wait until there is a tiny baby head in it though because it looks a bit sad at the moment.
Again the pattern is Kilkenny by Woolly Wormhead and the yarn is Drops Lima. I did make just one change to the pattern, the icords were supposed to be purl icords but I tried that for about 4 rows before I decided that it wasn't working for me and plain old regular icord would have to do. I like it anyhow.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Not a surprise then.

Not so long ago I posted a close up of a secret Christmas project for someone who might look in on this blog. Well it's not a secret anymore as my sister announced at lunch time today that she desperately needed some gloves and was going to have to go out and buy some. As a knitter and provider of woolly garments I couldn't just allow a perfectly good pair of Commuter Fingerless Mittens to sit unworn until Christmas Day while the intended recipient went out to spend money on an inferior alternative.

Luckily she was really happy to receive them and not at all bothered that I had ruined a Christmas surprise. She also thinks they are really cool so I'm patting myself on the back for a job well done. I had planned to wrap up the leftover yarn with the mitts so that Jess could knit herself a hat to go with them, but if I have the time I'll do that myself so that she gets something knitted on Christmas Day too. Aren't I a super dooper sister?!

The yarn is Rowan Kid Classic which is very fluffy and soft. The mitts were a really quick and simple knit and I'd definitely knit them again.


Saturday, 9 November 2013


I finished Cassie's owl mittens right before I went to bed last night and woke up this morning with a spring in my step (well as much of one as the average 31 weeks pregnant lady can manage) knowing that I would get to cast on something new today. The mittens are currently drying so they'll get their own post hopefully tomorrow.

So what have I cast on for today? Well I have one planned Christmas gift left to knit so that really should be a priority, but it's more colourwork and I could do with a day or two off from charts. For that reason the winner is another hat for baby. A nice quick simple project, easy and instantly gratifying. Also watching the little basket I've set aside slowly filling up with woollies just for her reminds me that before we know it she'll be here. Predictably it's another hat from Wee Woolly Toppers, Kilkenny this time in cerise Drops Lima. At this rate baby will have the entire book of hats to choose from but I don't care, they're all so cute!


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Drive by blankie update

After giving myself a couple of days off from the owl mittens I've put in a bit of work on the star blanket for baby. I'm getting back on with the mittens again now, but it was hard to put the blanket down, I'm enjoying knitting it so much. I'm getting towards the ends of the first two balls of yarn now which means that I am roughly almost a third of the way through and the pattern is really beginning to show itself. It's kind of magical.


Monday, 4 November 2013

WIP: Owl Mittens

The first of the owl mittens is mostly done, obviously it is lacking a thumb but it's nearly there. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to crack straight on with the thumb or whether I'll knit the second mitt first and then do both thumbs at the same time. I'm sort of putting it off a bit because it looks fiddly so I should probably just get on with it. However I'm putting the whole thing aside for today and concentrating on the baby's blanket. Cassie is still a bit fiery at the moment so I need to work on something I can easily pick up and put down. The poor thing has had snot pouring out of her nose for nearly a week now so I can't blame her for being cranky, I am very much looking forward to her feeling better though.


Saturday, 2 November 2013

FO: It's a secret

My secret Christmas present project I've been working on is done. I'm a bit bummed that I can't really share anything about it but I figure an extreme close up won't do any harm, so here you go.

So there you go, it's black and has at least one turquoise button, intriguing.

With that done, it's onwards and upwards so I'm casting on for Cassie's Convertible Owl Mittens. I'll be honest, I've had to read and re-read this pattern so many times before it made complete sense to me. This is probably nothing to do with the pattern and is most likely because I've never knit anything with a similar construction. Now I've got my head round it all it actually seems pretty straightforward, but I've annotated the chart with simple instructions in my own word which should clarify things if I start to get a bit foggy again. Now I just need to get Cassie to bed so that I can give these my undivided attention. She's having a 'difficult' day and I'm fairly sure arsey toddlers and stranded knitting do not mix.