Tag Archives: knitting

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 😉


Don’t Dilly Dally on the Way!

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

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

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

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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.

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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!

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Wildly coloured, fabulously striped socks!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 – Roskilde

Purchased from:          Fabrix, Lancaster

Cost:                               £9.95

Needles:                        2.75mm

Size:                               64 stitch cast on


The socks of incredible gaudiness

As the weather isn’t playing ball for pictures of Miss Button in her new mummy-made garments, I took advantage of the grey skies to tone down the incredible gaudiness of these socks.

It worked!  In this picture they look positively subdued!

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This is what they really look like.

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That pink makes your eyes water in bright light!

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We recently had an interesting conversation with Anne at our LYS, & Sew What, about men and colourful socks.  Her experience is that younger men prefer a more sober sock, sticking with plain or only slightly variegated yarns, whilst more mature men love the more colourful, wildly striped yarns.

The husband bucks this trend as he’s hardly an older chap but the more bold the colour combination of the yarn, the more it appeals to him.

Hence, these sunglasses-inducing lovelies.

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There is a small part of me that’s convinced he chooses such combinations as he knows I’ll be knitting as fast as my fingers allow, just to get them off the needles and onto his feet. But he’s such a sweetheart, so that couldn’t possible be the case.

Could it?


Lemongrass

I LOVE this sweater.

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I love the colour.  I love the yarn.  I love the pattern.  I love the fit.  I love every. single. thing. about it.

Lemongrass_2The pattern is Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli and it is a complete joy to knit. It’s a beautifully written pattern and I can’t recommend it enough.  I had no project fatigue with this at all.  I’d happily knit it again tomorrow!

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That cable!  Looks complex…is easy enough to knit in front of the TV!

I couldn’t find buttons to match this yarn.  It’s not quite blue and not quite purple. So I stitched up the buttonholes and the sides together.  Problem solved.

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The yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the colourway Azul Bolita and the pictures do not do it justice at all.  It’s deeply saturated and gently variegated.  It’s soft and squishy and has beautiful drape. It’s a truly joyous yarn.

Be warned…it leaks colour like a mad thing whilst you’re knitting it.  I had blue hands every night I knitted this.

But it’s worth it.

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If only we weren’t heading into summer.  I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear this all the time.

 


Pairfect socks

 

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You might think that the title of this post slipped by the spellchecker, but no!  These latest socks are knitted in Regia Pairfect yarn, which was a Christmas gift from my lovely friend Linda.

She knows what I like!

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After the travesty that was the poor Herriot Socks, these were an absolute joy to knit. The yarn is robust but not harsh and a good stripe always makes me knit faster.

“Just one more stripe!”

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The yarn is actually designed to give perfectly matched stripes on toe up sock patterns, but these are my trusty Regia sock pattern, which is top down.  I just knitted some blue for the cuff, pulled the yarn through until I hit the stripes, rejoined and knit until I came back to the blue.  There were a couple of more ends to stitch in at the end, but I’m happy to do that.

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You could of course knit these top down and have striped feet, but The Hubby’s preference was for stripy legs and I was happy to oblige.

Although I have another pair of socks on the needles at the moment (of course), I promise the next finished project will be something different.


Good socks gone bad!

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So! I recently finished two pairs of socks for the Hubby knitted from blue and plum coloured Juniper Moon Herriot Fine.  I don’t mind admitting that I’ve never been so glad to see the back of a project as I was these.

The yarn, as you’d guess from the name, is a lightweight fingering.  It’s also fluffy. And I didn’t like the plum colour at all! It’s fair to say that I didn’t enjoy one single stitch of these socks.

Except perhaps for the last stitch of the grafting of the toes.  I definitely enjoyed that one!

But he was happy and that’s why I knit him socks.  And to be fair to the yarn, the problems I had with it were down to personal preference.  It’s beautifully spun, the colours are soft and heathery, and, I’m told, they are supremely comfortable to wear. The skeins are generous at 461 yards/100g.

It’s also a hand wash alpaca blend.

You know what’s coming don’t you.

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Yep….hand wash alpaca blends do not take kindly to the hand wash programme in your washing machine.

Ooooops!

Which isn’t exactly what I said when I took them out of said machine!

I’m not entirely sure why the plum shrank more than the blue.  Possibly to do with the dye?!

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Total user error.  Thankfully they are just about still wearable!  And there are more pairs to come.  Just not in the Herriot yarn 😉


Fan-shaped bobbles – made by Ma!

The weather continues in its unpredictable vein, with 4 seasons in one day being the norm. The school holidays are flying by and the house selling/purchasing saga continues.

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So when we were gifted a warmish and sunny day last week, we hit the park for fun and photos.

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This is another great workhorse of a sweater from Ma.  The pattern is an old Wendy/Peter Pan pattern number 747.  The yarn is a mystery acrylic blend, which is perfect for mudlarks as it can be thrown in the washing machine and tumble dried if necessary.

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Slightly oversized but not sloppy this is a great shape for layering for warmth, with plenty of room for climbing and playing.

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Cute fan shaped bobbles make the boxy shape more feminine.

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You can never tell with Miss Button if something you make for her will be worn to rags, or languish at the back of the wardrobe hardly worn.  This is one of the former. It’s her current go to sweater for playing out and park days and just generally keeping cosy.

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Longfellow Blue

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I do hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter.

Finished makes have been thin on the ground around these parts recently, but I’m finally pleased to share with you Longfellow by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed, which I finished for Hubby back in January.

Spring in the North of England is a contrary beast to say the least.  Today we’ve had sunshine, rain and wind.  So a lightweight cardigan like this is a great garment for a chap to have to keep the chill at bay whilst still maintaining his vaguely hipster credentials (I have my tongue firmly in my cheek at this point!).

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If you’ve a good memory, because this took an absolute age to finish, this is knitted in Garnstudio Drops Alpaca.  It’s a fine 4ply with a halo and a bit splitty, but it creates a lightweight yet warm fabric which keeps himself cosy.

The pattern itself is spot on in terms of measurements.  I’ll be honest and admit that I found the instructions for the armholes more than a little confusing, so defaulted to a simple k1, k2tog decrease (k2tbl at the end of the row) which worked perfectly fine. Knitted pockets are still new to me and these were a doddle.

Whilst simple 4ply cardigan patterns are hardly as rare as unicorns, I think the proportions of this one are just right. It fits great at the armhole and shoulders, and I’m particularly fond of the depth of the v-neck, which is perfect for wearing buttoned over a shirt.  Which is just how Hubby likes to wear it.

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All in all this cardi is a great success and I’d happily knit him another one, even with the miles of stocking stitch needed to cover those rugby player’s shoulders.  Next time, though, I’d use a different yarn because I’m not happy with how this one is wearing. You’ll clearly see on the above picture that it pobbles and bobbles quite easily. What you can’t see is that despite the most careful of hand washing and flat drying the fabric is flattening quite quickly.

Also the buttonholes don’t hold up to being buttoned, and I can assure you that this isn’t a tight fit.  There’s enough ease just not enough support in the buttonhole.

The yarn was very inexpensive as I bought it on sale so I’m not completely gutted by this…I just won’t use the leftovers to knit Button her Fleur Bleue.

Oh dear…that just means a visit to the yarn shop!