Tag Archives: knitting

The goats of Inversnaid

With the temperatures today hitting the late 20’s, it is, of course, the perfect time to post a review of knitted hats and mitts.¬† ūüėĮ

This yarn and pattern was a gift to me from my friend Christian at Christmas 2015, and they’ve been finished, so Ravelry tells me, since February 2017. ¬†So this post is long overdue. ¬†I hope you’ll humour me!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before what a huge fan I am of Kate Davies, and I was keen to knit one of her patterns and try her Buachaille yarn too. ¬†So this was the best kind of gift from a friend who knows you well. ¬†I’m blessed with several of those.

Starting with the yarn, I have to say this is just about the nicest yarn I’ve ever knit with. It’s crisp and firm, with excellent stitch definition, and deep colour saturation. Hubby was bored senseless¬†of me gushing every time I picked up this project, but the yarn is simply joyous to knit with.

It’s not cheap, but it’s an artisan yarn and, I think, well worth the money. ¬†I suspect this is going to be one of those yarns that lasts through much wear and tear, making it, in reality, much better value for money than less expensive, or squishier yarns, that frustratingly give up the ghost much sooner.

Having had a few of those experiences recently, I’m vowing that whilst the cheaper yarns are fine for the kids, who grow out of clothes rather than wear them out, for us grown ups I’ll be investing as much in the yarn as I do in the actually knitting of the garment.

The pattern is equally lovely.

Expertly written. ¬†Easy to read. ¬†Delightful to knit. Everything I’d hoped it would be and more.

I’m not an expert knitted of stranded colourwork, but Kate helped me produce a result that would fool anyone into thinking I was.

Oh those little goats!  They are stupidly easy to knit and each one gives you a happy feeling as you knit the last row of its horn.

Miss Button is gazing wistfully at the hat.  She does look adorable in it, so I may succumb to her entreaties.

But the gauntlets are mine. ¬†I’ll fight anyone to defend their glorious goatiness.

And as they’re¬†stranded they are super cosy and warm.

I know it’s far too warm to be thinking of winter knits at the moment, but I’ll be smug when normal northern weather resumes and I’m already prepared.

Can I suggest you add these to your knit list for this Autumn? ¬†I promise you won’t regret it!


The little socks that could

My life feels dominated by socks and hospital visits at the moment. This pair is just off the needles and I have two other pairs on the go. ¬†Our little man is on the mend,¬†but his wound is still about 5 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1.5 inches deep. It’s a slow heal. ¬†So three times a week we are at the hospital changing dressings. There is invariably¬†a long wait. That’s ok. We’re glad we don’t need the nurses urgently any more, and are more than happy to wait whilst they prioritise those that do.

Thankfully, a sock is a very portable project.  We grab drinks from the coffee concession on our way in and check into the ward fully prepped for however long it takes.

Whilst my wee man was poorly in hospital I had a sock with me at all times. ¬†It’s tricky to concentrate on knitting with a sick small person in a hospital bed, as the interruptions are constant. ¬†But slowly, slowly, between obs, and while he slept, my hands turned one round of stitches, followed by another. ¬†And slowly, slowly, the sock grew. And each stitch was a moment of calm that took him closer to wellness.

A sock is also a great conversation starter. ¬†I met nurses who knitted but had never dared try a sock, nurses whose grandmothers had knit socks and who thought the art had died out. ¬†A student nurse who had only used¬†a knitting frame and was intrigued to see how it was done “properly”. ¬†Small peeps whose fascination was wide eyed and intent.¬†And¬†worried mums were distracted for a few moments and transported to a place of calm and cosiness.

This is the pair of socks that I knitted by our boy’s bedside. ¬†That commanded attention and brought our little community behind the curtains together.

Who’d have thought a pair of simple socks could do so much?

Project notes

Pattern:                             Regia 4 ply sock

Pattern cost:                     Free

Yarn:                                 Stylecraft Head over Heels

Colourway:                      Kilimanjaro

Purchased at:                  & Sew What, Chorley

Yarn cost:                         About £7?


Cove Cardigan

I do love a good cardigan for Button, and this certainly fits the bill!

It’s a super little pattern that is easy to knit, but you have that lovely lacy button ‘band’ at the front that gives it a certain lift.

The yarn is starting to pill slightly due to wear. I really must get the pill shaver on it soon. But I’d rather that¬†than the garment languish in the drawer unworn!

This yarn is the perfect match for a pair of cotton trousers and print top that we bought from Next last summer. ¬†I’m really hoping she doesn’t outgrow them too quickly as they’re so cute. ¬†I think we’ll get away with the trousers looking adorably cropped, and the top will still be modest enough for her to get this spring out of the ensemble.

This ‘gathering’ is a simple technique but gives the overall garment a bit of shape and some interest to an otherwise plain back.

The 3/4 sleeves are perfect for spring and give a nice proportion.

I have no hesitation in recommending this pattern. ¬†It’s well written and easy to follow, an enjoyable knit that doesn’t need you to concentrate too hard, but the lace front detail takes the edge off the plain stocking stitch.

In fact, I like it so much I made a second version for Button’s school friend, who admired it when it was worn on a playdate!

Project details

Pattern:                             Cove Cardigan by The Velvet Acorn Designs

Pattern cost:                     $6.60

Yarn:                                 Cascade 220

Colourway:                      Smoke Blue and Dusty Rose

Purchased at:                  Loop London (No longer stocked by Loop)

Yarn cost:                         £5.99 per ball from Wool Warehouse

 


Iggy

I finally get to share with you a finished project¬†that isn’t a pair of socks. ¬† Hurrah!

Last Wednesday the sun shone brightly upon budding trees and jolly daffodils, and the wee small boy and I took George to the groomers, then popped into a local cafe for a rather splendid hot chocolate.

It was such a lovely day. Especially as he’d¬†terrified¬†us all the previous week by being rushed into hospital and needing an emergency appendectomy.¬† The spring weather was the perfect opportunity to wrap him in his new Iggy sweater and grab a few shots. ¬†We’re ignoring that the shorts aren’t the best match….they were just the comfiest on the wound area.

I¬†wish that was the end of his medical adventures, but on Saturday afternoon he developed a nasty post-op infection and was back on the ward for another surgery on Monday. ¬†He’s home with us now, snoring his head off as I type, but we have daily hospital visits at the moment to change the packing and dressings on the wound, as they had to leave it open to avoid further infection.

It’s been, quite frankly, bloody awful. ¬†I wouldn’t wish the past few weeks on my worst enemy, let alone a small boy. ¬†Thankfully, today he seems to have turned a corner. ¬†We are hopeful that the worst is over.

So pictures of a smiling boy in the sunshine in his special request jumper are a nice reminder that this too shall pass.

He had a very clear picture in his head of what he wanted.  Having browsed my patterns to find a shape he liked, we drew out some stripes to get the idea out of his head an onto the needles.

The original pattern is Iggy, by Sarah Hatton. Apart from the stripes, the only change I’ve made to the pattern is to knit it in stocking stitch, rather than reverse stocking stitch.

It’s a quick and easy knit and the details of yarn can be found on my Ravelry page.

Needless to say, I have socks back on the needles again!


In a spin

For the last couple of weeks life has been even more chaotic than usual.  Which is the only reason I can think of that I thought it would be a reasonable and sensible thing to put my Boxy sweater on a 400 spin in the washing machine before laying it out to dry.

I know!

I heard that sharp intake of breath!

It was an insane thing to do and this is how it looks today. ¬†It is wearable…I wore it out and about today to check out the fit and nobody pointed and laughed! But it just feels a bit off. So I think the best option will be to cut the bottom off, lose a couple of inches, pick up the stitches and reknit the hem rib.

The only upside is that it’s possibly less likely to droop going forwards.That’s not a good enough upside in my book.

Take it from me…DO NOT¬†put your hand-wash only hand-knits in the washing machine.

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Pigeon Toes

Santa was good to me this year and brought me a lovely new point and click camera.

As my big Canon is back from being repaired, but is hiding somewhere in the sewing room, it is very lovely to have a new camera to quickly snap some pictures of outstanding makes from last year.

2016 turned out to be the year I became the patron saint of unselfish sewing and knitting, although, to be honest, I didn’t make very much at all. ¬†14 finished items, 13 of them made it to the blog, only 3 of the blogged items were for me, and only 1 of those is still in the wardrobe. ¬†That’s the Lemongrass sweater. ¬†I just love this sweater so very much! ¬†Cosy, easy to wear, makes you look like you’ve made an effort even when you haven’t!

The Burda sweater has been donated as I just couldn’t get to grips with the scarf neck and even though that was stitched in place I still felt very exposed in anything other than an upright position.

The Burda trousers are donated to Ma. ¬†I’m going to alter them for her as they’re a much better style and fabric for her than me.

The main focus of the year has been socks. ¬†And I’ve another pair to share with you today.

Same old, same old pattern, but just a lovely combination of colours in the stripes.

Very subdued by Hubby’s standards. ¬†Absolutely perfect by mine! ¬†I may have to match that pale grey/blue colour for a sweater for me. ¬†It’s sublime!

Now, if I could just get the wee monkeys to stand still for some photos, I could show you that occasionally I knit something other than socks!

Project details

Pattern:                             Regia 4 ply sock pattern

Pattern cost:                     Free

Yarn:                                 Sirdar Heart & Sole

Colourway:                      Pigeon Toes

Purchased at:                  Black Sheep Wools

Yarn cost:                         £4.99


Knitting

Refurbishments continue apace. Being badly let down at the last minute by a plasterer turned into a blessing because the new guy we found is a gem. ¬†He came, he plastered, he hung coving, he went. ¬†He didn’t talk me into a coma, which has been my previous experience of plasterers. Already the house feels more like our home.

At 9am on Monday the decorator arrives. ¬†I have boxes of wallpaper and tins of paint up the wazoo. ¬†I’m starting to feel more than a twinge of excitement.

sewing_room_before

I hadn’t realised how much I would miss being able to sew. ¬†At the moment I walk into the room and touch the boxes and twitch to open them and unpack. ¬†The truth is I don’t exactly know what is actually in the boxes. ¬†There are books and patterns and fabrics and notions that have been packed away for the best part of 18 months. ¬†There are supplies for knitting, dressmaking, crafts and embroidery.

Honestly….it’s going to be like a satellite branch of Hobbycraft with a more than a little John Lewis thrown in!

I can’t wait.

But in the meantime the knitting is keeping me sane.

malabrigo_1I wound this beautiful Malabrigo Rios worsted a little while ago, whilst the sun was still shining, but the yarn is perfect for the chill that has settled in these parts.

malabrigo_2

I’m knitting the Worsted Boxy sweater from Joji Locatelli.

worsted-boxy

You’ll recall her lovely Lemongrass sweater…this is another beautifully written pattern.

Admittedly, there are acres of stocking stitch to work, but this is mindless TV knitting at it’s absolute finest. The Malabrigo makes a wonderfully¬†drapey fabric that will work beautifully with this style, and there is a cute short row shaping at the shoulders that adds a nice detail.

The back is already completed and I’m almost half way up the front. ¬†I can’t wait to have this finished. ¬†It the kind of easy to wear, cosy sweater that I need in my life at the moment.

Whilst I was winding the Malabrigo, I also took the opportunity to wind some wool that had been a gift from my friend Christian last Christmas.

buchaille_1

These beauties are Buachaille by Kate Davies. ¬†I’ve long admired¬†Kate. She is inspirational in how she turned a major illness that would have floored a lesser woman into a catalyst for a new and rewarding life and business. ¬†Her designs are so beautiful and her dedication to Scottish wool and knitterly heritage is exciting to me.

buachaille_2

That said, I’ve not knitted one of her designs yet, which is pretty shabby on my part. These guys are destined to be The Goats of Inversnaid.

goats1

Goats! ¬†On a hat and gauntlets! ¬†What’s not to love? ¬†My friends have the best taste and know me so very well.

So that’s keeping me busy. ¬†I’ve also a little Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran awaiting turning into a quick hat. ¬†All my hats and scarves are currently still in boxes, and I think I may have mentioned that the weather has turned here. ¬†Whilst The Goats will be lovely, they’ll take me a wee while to make and the weather waits for no woman.

The wee man has requested a blue sweater with red stripes, so a quick trip was made to Black Sheep Wools this week for supplies. ¬†I’m not turning my nose up at the kids asking for things to be made for them.

Add in the ball of sock yarn that the Hubby located last week and I think I’m covered until the boxes start being unpacked!

My cameras are currently in the shop as I’ve been having sensor problems with one and managed to bend the prongs on the card reader with another. ¬†But as soon as they’re back I’ve got a cardigan that I made for Miss Button to share and yet another pair of socks that I’d completely forgotten that I’d knitted for the Mr.

Right…the babes are off to bed, there’s a gin and tonic with my name on it waiting to be poured, and The Hubby has a movie all lined up. ¬† There’s also a little more acreage of stocking stitch to be knitted. ūüėČ


Don’t Dilly Dally on the Way!

This is the last pair of socks that I knitted for The Hubby.

dilly_dally_socks_1

When I say “last” I mean “most recently completed” not “the final pair”.

dilly_dally_socks_2

Amazingly another ball of sock yarn appeared just as I was knitting the toe of the second sock of this pair.

dilly_dally_socks

Hubby had found it in a box he was unpacking. ¬†I’m feeling the fates conspiring with him to fill the world with hand knitted striped socks.

dilly_dally_socks_3

I, on the other hand (or foot), have other knitterly plans!

Project details

Pattern:                             Regia 4 ply sock pattern

Pattern cost:                     Free

Yarn:                                 Sirdar Heart & Sole

Colourway:                      Dilly Dally (051)

Purchased at:                  Black Sheep Wools

Yarn cost:                         £4.99

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Rum Paradise Socks

Ooof! ¬†I had no intention of falling off the edge of the world for another month. There’s a whole lot of life happening here at the moment.

I’ve also been busy getting quotes for all the trades that we need in to help us bring this house to life and make it a home, and happily, the first of those starts work next week. ¬†I’m hopeful that by Christmas I’ll have a big chunk of decorating done and will be in a position to start setting up the sewing room.

Until then, everything is still in boxes so my creativity is limited to knitting. I even had to borrow needle and thread to sew name labels in the kids new uniforms!

And you won’t be surprised to learn that I’ve been knitting socks!

rum_paradise_1

Wildly coloured, fabulously striped socks!

rum_paradise_2

They are delightfully gaudy, and very cheery on some of the rainy days we’ve had recently.

rum_paradise_3

Basically everything The Husband loves in a hand knitted sock.

Project details

Pattern:                             Regia 4 ply sock pattern

Pattern cost:                     Free

Yarn:                                 West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply Cocktail Range 

Colourway:                      Rum Paradise

Yarn cost:                         £7.20

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Fruit pastille socks

If you’re the lady we met on the train to Birmingham, and you’re here to check in on the socks I started, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed today.

Sock knitting has been slowed down by the siren song of an aran weight cardigan for Button, that now only needs….you guessed it….buttons!

And swatching to find a yarn to make up a pattern that calls for Quince & Co…which would need importing and is also way beyond my budget.

But…I do have another, different¬†pair of socks to share with you.

fruit_pastille_4

These have been done for a while and the husband is keen for me to get them photographed so he can have them back to wear.

fruit_pastille_1

I swear I don’t believe the weather will ever be anything else but grey here. The sun broke through for about 30 seconds, but by the time I’d set up the socks and the camera the heavens had opened again. So I’m sucking it up and sharing somewhat¬†gloomy photos.

fruit_pastille_2

But even gloomy photos of socks can be cheery on the greyest of days.  Especially when they bring to mind a roll of fruit pastille sweeties.

fruit_pastille_3

And now I’ve shared I can go back to knitting the anticipated, and very, very jolly socks that I started on the train to Birmingham.

Project details

Yarn:                             Debbie Bliss Realto Sock

Colour:                          2 РRoskilde

Purchased from:          Fabrix, Lancaster

Cost:                               £9.95

Needles:                        2.75mm

Size:                               64 stitch cast on