Saturday, 30 August 2014

A Summer of Small Things

::A tiny (no bigger than 3cm) bobble hat to be included in a shadow box collage of 'likes' my daughter put together for a loved one::

::Slightly adapted crochet bracelets from Pom Pom magazine ::

::Spinning for Tour de Fleece which was great fun::It is a spin along that runs alongside the Tour De France where we spin every day they cycle::

::Then my knitting friend Lisette sent me this beautiful Louisa Harding Kimono Angora Pure yarn to knit the Juliettte scarf which is just so pretty and will be a go to item this Autumn and Winter::You must go and have a look at Lisette's new blog Savouring the Seasons here which is all about farm produce and you will find some delicious recipes too::

::There were these cabled fingerless mitts using Titus which is a lovely British Wensleydale, Blue Faced Leicester yarn with a little UK alpaca and is named for the philanthropist and Yorkshire mill owner Sir Titus Salt::it has a lovely stitch definition and feels as if it will be sturdy but has a soft feel thanks to the addition of a little alpaca::I ordered it from Baa Ram Ewe and I used their Baht'at pattern by Anne Kingstone::

::I enjoyed working with the Titus yarn so much that I decided to try the Limited Edition Goddess 4ply to make the Oleum pattern by Rachel Coopey and this is the Shades of Aire colour way::they are so comfy and I love the unique patterning::The yarn was dyed in collaboration with The Knitting Goddess::sadly the yarn is now sold out::

::So it has been a summer of small things but pleasing in big ways::Hoping your summer knitting and crafting has been equally as much fun::

Friday, 11 July 2014

It's Tour De Fleece

Spinning for Tour de Fleece whilst
watching the Tour de France racing through the
Essex Countryside where I live

::During July I am spinning like mad every day that the Tour de France is on and resting on their rest days. This is part of Ravelry's Tour de Fleece and I am in Team Sasquatch which is captained by Podcasters.

::It is great fun and there are prizes to win if you are lucky enough to be drawn from the many daily posts on the Ravelry group pages. My goal is to spin for at least fifteen minutes each day and so far it is going well.

::I am using Fondant Fibre fleece at the moment and making a 4ply weight yarn which I hope to use as a lace edging on a shawl but I mustn't get ahead of myself as there is a lot of spinning and plying to get through first.

Plying spun fibre using my spindle
::Next is another 120g of Fondant Fibre hand carded batt in BFL Superwash Merino Bamboo, Firestar and sparkle. 

::Then I hope to find time to spin this wonderful red hot summer colour-way which I ordered from Fondant Fibre together with this red hot summer project bag

::I love the stitch marker that came with the bag - very appropriate for Tour de Fleece

::I recently bought a new knitting magazine called "pompom" and have been having fun making some friendship bracelets from their free pattern

 ::And on the rest days of Tour de Fleece I shall be enjoying some downtime reading the new Ply magazine

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Kindness of Knitters

::It was such a lovely surprise when Lisette my online knitting buddy wrote to tell me she had put a surprise package in the post for me::

::When it arrived I was delighted to find a lovely ball of Louisa Harding Kimono Angora Pure from Lisette's stash in the wonderful teal colour that is her favourite.  Lisette suggested I might like to try one of Louisa's scarf designs the Juliet scarf::

::But that was not all - also in the package was a knitting kit for a cupcake pin cushion by Spud & Chloë, a "knitted" china mug with some Downton Abey "downton estate blend", a classic earl grey black tea with vanilla, from The Republic of Tea which has now become my favourite blend of all time::

Box of delights

::It was absolutely the most considerate and exciting package that a knitter could open and I would like to say a big thank you to Lisette for her kindness::
Progressing well so far

::I have also been trying my hand at sewing again lately and have these projects on the go::

  • A table top quilt
  • A lap quilt
  • A trial scoop neck top 
::The little table top quilt was something I started many years ago using the paper pieced method and hand stitching::I finished it and then used my sewing machine on the edging and backing and also for the simple quilting::The other quilt was made from a bundle of Liberty Print fabrics I bought many years ago at the Knitting & Stitching show for about £12 and I used a free Amy Butler pattern too which makes it a very economical project::
Amy Butler's "Brick" quilt

The reverse view

Hand pieced and machine quilted table top quilt

The back

The practice top which I hope to make just as soon
as I find the perfect material

::I have also been spinning and have made up some Fondant Fibre "Penny Sweets" colour way fibre with co-ordinating colour for heel and cuffs for some socks::
"Energized Singles" part of The Knitgirllls Expand Your Horizons Spin along
in Fondant Fibres MCN blend

::The strangest knitting project I did this month was a teeny tiny bobble hat which my daughter asked me to make as part of a picture she was making to give to a friend on his birthday::

This has to be the smallest item I have ever knitted
it probably measures 2.5cm (1/2") at the most
::A long catch up and now I am off for a cup of the delicious Downton Abbey tea and some more sewing and knitting::

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Spring Knitting


::Sometimes I find that the number of unfinished projects, the wool I have saved for more projects and spinning together with patterns in books, leaflets and pdf files and wool bought just because... becomes overwhelming::

::Combine that with sewing projects of all kinds and the whole crafting hobby could do with some form of control::

::To help deal with this I am planning to finish one project before I cast on or start a new one::

::I went to a new sewing group called Ladies Who Sew in our village hall and took along a patchwork project I have been working on for some years:: I tried not to be too influenced by some stunning work other ladies were producing which in the past would have me rushing off to look for patterns and materials::

::The big question is always whether the hobby is process led or finished item led::

::I think I am always fighting the draw of a new project before I have finished the present one and that ultimately is frustrating::

::Hopefully by finishing some old projects and trying to keep to a certain number of projects on the go I might re-balance the way I work so that I can get a sense of achievement::

  • on the needles
  • unfinished projects
  • future projects

on the needles

::plain vanilla socks::
::baby monster blanket::

unfinished projects

Ten works in progress

::Lush Lava scarf::
::Trileske mittens::
::Mittens for me knit along::
::Felted Yoga bag::
::Denim bag::
::Neptune cardigan::
::Wrist warmers::
::Betty Moette sweater::
::Leaf sock::
::Sparrow shawl::

future projects

::I have wool designated for at least ten more projects::

::I hope my new regime will help me see my hobby with fresh eyes and that there might be more finished items to share and perhaps inspire over the coming months::

::Happy Knitting::

Friday, 14 March 2014

Still Ever Decreasing Circles and a catchup

::Back at last to finish my look at how I use a planner to organise my knitting::

::I like to keep a note of my finished items and this helps me when choosing a new project reminding me of design elements I enjoyed or worked well for me::
 ::then I have current projects with details of the amount of yarn, needle size and anything else I might need to remind me of where I am on a particular piece of work::
 ::There is also a section for future projects both those for which I already have the yarn or am wanting to buy which is very useful when you get into a yarn shop::
::I then have sections for keeping records of my needles, with sizes, type and material and how many pairs I have::
::I have decorated the dividers with some of my used Mary Englebright desk top pictures::
::I have adapted the address section using the A - Z for keeping instructions for various knitting techniques, for example here is K showing how to do kitchener stitch::

::In the diary part I keep notes of what podcasts and video casts are up and coming or I have watched. I also record special events such as knitting shows or Ravelry knit alongs and Ravellenics::

::I wouldn't be without my knitting planner and find it a very useful knitting tool::

Friday, 31 January 2014

Ever Decreasng Circles

::The title of this post is taken from a tv series and today I am going to let my not-so-inner Martin out and take a tour of my knitting filofax::this is where she sits on my desk in a Martha Stewart desk tidy. Just in front is a book mark I made and to the right is my 'knitters little helper' hand cream::

 ::I am not sure of the model, I think it might be a personal-sized 'mode' but I love the combination of teal and pink::

 ::Inside it has a beautiful pink interior::I keep my current Rowan membership card with the previous one along with some stickers, business cards and a post it note pad::The little hare on the opposite page came with a sewn ornament from The Leveret's Nest on etsy.::

::behind it I keep my current to do list::this one is a cute freeby from Squid-bits::

::next I have a zip lock insert in which I keep emergency supplies::there are some elastic bands and stitch markers on the loose::in the notions bag from Splityarn::

::I keep a small pair of scissors, some safety pins, a crochet hook and several cable hooks, for some unknown reason, and some small post it flags::

::next is what is known in the organizer world as the dashboard::this is where I keep a selection of post it notes::they are arranged on the front and back of a plastic clear pocket insert with Martha Stewart tear drop stickies in the pocket itself::

::the back of the dashboard with more sticky notes and a favourite postcard behind a clear plastic protector on the opposite side::

::this is the section that will eventually hold the diary pages but, as yet, I have not found what I want::in the meantime I have some bookmarks with the tear drop stickies to remind me what podcasts to watch and what team projects I am doing::when I do get the diary I will record knit along progress, when I start a project, future publishing dates of my magazine subscriptions, future dates of podcasts etc::

::I have tabs along the side for 'on the needles', 'suppliers', 'projects to do', 'resources', 'needles', 'general notes' and an a - z index::

::there are also top tabs for sub dividing such as 'finished', 'works in progress', 'stores' and 'books'::


::I am going to split this post here and continue another time with what I record under each tab::I am now in awe of all those who post regularly about their filofaxes as it takes a lot of work::

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Gingerbread People

::These are the gorgeous socks I knitted to mark the Christmas 2013 Season:: 

::The yarn comes with a contrast colour which can be used for heels and toes and in this case I also used it to cast on::

::The yarn is from Desert Vista Dyeworks::The pattern is a free Ravelry download called Vanilla Latte Sock by Virginia Rose-Jeanes::
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