This post has a bit of a “better late than never” flavour to it, with a sprinkling of “done is better than perfect”. I started a full time course in Financial Services Administration at the end of September and it’s been a bit of an adjustment period. Although the course hasn’t been particularly strenuous, having been a stay at home mom for the last 8 years, and working from home for the last 2, being out of the house most of the day is taking a bit of getting used to. I’ve been trying to publish a blog on a weekly basis, but that involves working on the blog on a nearly daily basis and that hasn’t been happening as the last 2 weeks as I’ve been picking up the needles instead of the laptop as soon as I sit down in the evening. However, I’ve been enjoying a more regular blogging schedule and am going to try and keep up the weekly posts by working a daily schedule into my evenings!
Not only has my blogging taken a bit of a back seat, so has my Ravelry project pages and my Instagram feed, meaning, my project photos are a little bit scarce this month, especially the FO photos. I had great intentions of getting out yesterday and getting some photos but laziness prevailed and I spent the day on the couch, in my pjs, listening to podcasts and knitting. I’m sure you can all forgive me for that and I promise to have better photos for the end of October. So, bearing all this in mind, let’s get cracking with the WIP around! This month I have for you Prairie Fire, Thistle, Barley and Maize by Tin Can Knits, Sundottir by Diana Walla, Happenstance by Romi Hill, Knit Pro Designer-a-long, Severin Hat by Carle’ Dehing. Yarns I’ve been knitting with are some of my recycled yarn, Rowan Fine Art, Cascade 220 Heathers, Baa Ram Ewe Titus, Louisa Harding Akiko, Rico Creative Cotton Aran and Ice Yarns Merino.
This is one of those projects that I cast on out of impatience. It’s not going to be worn until next year as it is a warm weather sweater, but I was waiting on my bounty from my Loveknitting competition win to arrive. I had just finished skeining up the recycled yarn and I just wanted to cast on something. I had been wanting to make this pattern for myself since I first saw it.
As with most Tin Can Knits patterns, it is sized from “baby to big” and is very well written. It is designed with 0-2″ positive ease so I opted for a small size. It’s a seamless top down raglan knit, with garter stitch edging. The beautiful lace panel starts in the centre front and gradually grows out around the body of the sweater until it meets at the back and becomes and all round pattern. The pattern sample is knitted in Madelinetosh Tosh DK but I’ve used my recycled Patons Linen Shadow DK. This is a 70% Cotton, 15% Linen / Flax, 15% Acrylic blend yarn so quite different from the yarn used in the pattern but it is sill turning out lovely and it will make a lovely summer sweater for next year! I’m doing 3/4 length sleeves, well more like half length sleeves, as I don’t have enough yarn for full length. I’m using Tin Can Knits Lush sleeves as a guide for decreasing.
The yarn is discontinued but I can’t say that I would rush out to buy it again if it was still available. I’ve found it quite tiring on the wrists to work with but the colour is gorgeous and I think the sweater would work up lovely in a cotton and acrylic blend yarn.
I will probably have this one finished this evening and blocked later on in the week!
This has to be one of my longest ever WIPs. Not because of difficulty or dislike of the pattern but I think knitting 2 in a row, in the exact same yarn was just a bit too monotonous for me. You can read more about the pattern and yarn here. I am finally finished knitting this now and it is blocking behind me as I type! It’s a present for a friend of mine who lives in The Netherlands so I don’t need to worry about us showing up somewhere with the same scarf.
I was eager to join in on another KAL after the Colours of Fall one finished up so I was delighted to see that Knit Pro were starting one. The deal is that every week, for 6 weeks they release a knit square and a crochet square through the Knit for Peace website. You pick up the pattern for £1 each week and I assumed make a blanket.
Now I say “assumed”, because after knitting 2 squares, I’m not entirely sure how they’re going to fit together to make a blanket, as they are completely different sizes, which is disappointing. The first square, a lovely gingham square is designed by Debbie Bliss and the second, a striped square with a diamond motif is by Sarah Neal of Let’s Knit.
There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of uptake on this KAL and I can understand why. Doing colourwork back and forth isn’t for the faint hearted. In fact, a lot of knitters avoid any colourwork at all like the plague. The fact the squares aren’t the same size seems like a massive oversight on the organisers part. I will still buy and knit the following squares, but what I’ll actually do with them is beyond me at the moment. I don’t know what the crochet squares are like, hopefully they were a bit better thought out and more accessible than the knit ones!
I’m using Rico Creative Cotton Aran to knit my squares. The second square is supposed to be intarsia, but all the ends got me completely confused, so I decided to do it stranded, trapping the floats along the back.
Our knitting group, The Peeko Crafters, decided to start dedicating one night a month to charity knitting and we settled on Helping Hand Waterford as our first cause. Helping Hand provide help to the homeless through providing a soup kitchen and accepting and distributing charitable donations. Anyone from Ireland, or who follows our news, knows that we have a housing crisis at the moment and an increasing problem with homelessness. Helping Hand had put out a call for hats and scarves, in step us knitters. We have a stash of yarn, donated by members, that is there for things just like this so in we delved and everyone started knitting on different hat and scarf patterns. I looked no further than Tin Can Knits Simple Collection and cast on Barley in an acrylic aran weight yarn that I think I picked up in Aldi.
I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with myself and the speed with which I knitted this. It took exactly 1 week from cast on to cast off and another 2 days to block. This is a very well pattern, written for Brooklyn Tweed so naturally the pattern calls for Brooklyn Tweed yarn. However, I used Cascade 220 Heathers in Turquoise Pebble and Indigo Frost. Even though there’s a fair isle yoke, it is an easy knit and one I’d recommend for someone looking to try their first sweater and/or their first fair isle project. It has a small bit of waist shaping but is worn with positive ease, which I’m glad of as, even though the yarn is a soft wool, it still has a slight tickle so I’m able to wear a long sleeve top underneath. It’s been washed once since blocking and so far seems to be washing and wearing well with not bobbles appearing so far!
As I said, it is knit bottom up and in the round. The arms and body are then knit together to start the fair isle yoke. The colourwork pattern is easy to work and memorise. The pattern includes a tips and tutorials section at the end, which makes the pattern great for knitters who are using it to learn a new technique.
This is another make from my Loveknitting haul and the pattern is actually from the Book of Haps by Kate Davies that I won from This Is Knit. (I was always one of those people who never won anything until I started entering knitted related competitions. Yay to winning knitty stuff!). I absolutely loved making this project and I adore wearing it. I used Baa Ram Ewe Titus in Coal, Chevin and White Rose and it was gorgeous to work with. It is an Alpaca, Wensleydale and BFL blend.There is a slight tickle in it, but it is still really soft and warm to wear but still nice and light.
The main triangle is knit first from left to right, in garter stitch, and increasing on one side up to the point of the triangle, and then decreasing back down again. Stitches are then picked up along the edge to start the striped and lace section. The pattern is well written, and the book itself is a great source of knowledge on the history of the hap as well as including 13 beautiful patterns from some well known and talented designers.
I whipped up these after experience one of my first nippy mornings cycling to work. As it’s a Tin Can Knits pattern, it comes in a wide variety of sizes and also includes a full mitten instruction. Better still, it’s free as it’s part of their Simples collection. I used some Louisa Harding Akiko that I had left over from hats and gloves that I had knitted for Mick. It’s a 70% Merino/30% Alpaca aran weight yarn and oh my god it is so soft. It’s a bit like wearing clouds on your hands. It does felt quite easily, but what we learned from Micks gloves, this isn’t a bad thing. It only serves to make them even softer and warmer.
Ever since I knitted Saoirse’s Grey Rose hat, I wanted to knit myself a fair isle hat. However, I am on a strict yarn and pattern diet at the moment so I had to search for free patterns. I knew I’d be using the Ice Yarns Merino Light, as I don’t seem to have a lot of solid colour woolly yarn in my stash. The pattern I chose was designed by Nurturing Fibres. It’s a pretty basic pattern, in that it doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles. It has the bare minimum in instructions and a chart for the colourwork. Having said that, it does the job. The fair isle pattern does require a bit of concentration but is very enjoyable to knit. Naturally, I decided I add a pom pom to my hat because what is a hat without a pom pom?
When this quarter Golden Skein subscription arrived, and after I spent a good hour squishing it, I decided it was just too good to go into the craft room. I also decided that a lot of my skeins were too good to be hidden away in a room that no one but me ever entered. So I pulled out a box that I had picked up in TKMaxx and created a little display of my favourite skeins of yarn and placed it in the living room. Let’s face it, hand dyed yarn are works of art unto themselves, they should be displayed!
Vintage Patterns and Updating the Ravelry Yarn Stash
I have a pile of vintage patterns, from the 60s-80s, that my grandmother gave me. I’ve been holding on to them for a few years, but I don’t think I’ll ever knit any of them so I’m slowly but surely starting to add them to my Ravelry library and opening them up for sale or trade. If you can’t wait for them all to make it to my Ravelry library (it could take quite a while!) feel free to contact me for more info on them.
Some of you may know that I’m also winding down my Etsy shop. I’m hoping to get around to a clearance sale in the next couple of weeks but I’m also doing a bit of a clear out of yarn and supplies. Yesterday, I put all my stash of Rico Creative Cotton Aran up in my Ravelry stash for sale, as well as some single skeins from my personal stash. I’m also very open to trading so if you are interested in anything let me know!
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Craftsy, The Wool Warehouse and Book Depository. This means that when you click on a link for any of these sites and make a purchase I get a referral fee, which helps feed my yarn addiction. I fully enable you to buy all the yarn, knitting classes and knitting books so that you can enable me to do the same, so that I can tell you about them, run giveaways and enable you. It’s a vicious circle of yarnie wonderfulness that I am happy to be the instigator of. Now go buy yarn my lovlies!