Saturday, 19 July 2014

Knit for victory!

What a night, was anyone else woken up at 4am by the thunder and lightning?  It was amazing, I love a good thunder storm and I saw the bolts of lightning instead of just flashes in the sky.  Actually this happened at Glastonbury so I don't know why I was so excited but hey ho.  Oh and it's just started up again!

A few people have asked how I got on at the Cheshire Show, where I entered this knitted cushion.

Knitted fox cushion

Highly commended!

Knitted fox cushion

I'm really really pleased, ok it's not an actual prize but they must have thought it was alright!  I think their comments were fair too, I didn't quite get the colour changes right but I'm super pleased with my seams and apparently so were they

Knitted fox cushion

It says "An attractive design idea.  Beautifully worked seam joins.  Take care to keep knitting more even".  I can't argue with that.  Now bring on 2015!  As a WI our group also came 2nd with the most number of prizes for a new group, which wasn't bad considering we didn't even know that this was a category.

Thanks to everyone who convinced my to block my wonky blanket called 'Muriel'.  The lovely Christina explained that this has happened because I've started to crochet each row from the same end, instead of alternating my stripes.

I had a bit of a wobbly and was going to start over but I just couldn't get inspired, so I thought I'd try blocking it and I'm so glad I did!  I should have taken photos at the time because I've added a few more rows so its started to slant again, but I'm feeling a lot more positive about it now.

I'm absolutely loving this knitted retro blanket...

Retrobaby

It's such a rhythmic pattern and I love the colours which I tried to keep to the original as closely as possibly, although I left out brown because I don't have any.  I'd definitely recommend the pattern and it makes a nice change from crochet ripples

Retrobaby

Better get off now, we've decided to our for tea so I need to get ready.  I can't decide if I'm looking forward more to the food or the wine ;-)

x x x x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A wonky blanket; help required x

Once again all of my friends have decided to have babies at once, now I may be exaggerating a little but I can count 4 who are due between September - November; there are 8 other months of the year guys!! Joking aside, I know it's not as simple as deciding when you're due date is going to be, but if my friends could plan with me first that would be great haha!

I'm currently working on two blankets and this is where I need help.  I used a random stripe generator on a site called Biscuits and Jam which is great for getting a finish that you want while still being random.  Randomness isn't something I've previously been good at so this tool is fantastic.

So far it's a complete crazyness of colour and I'm really hoping that my friend will like it.  Looks ok so far right?

Muriel

But why has it gone so wonky!!

Muriel

At this point I can't restart, but if there's something I'm not doing right which is making it lean like the tower of Pisa then I'd love some tips.  I'm using UK Double Crochet (US Single Crochet) and starting from the same end on each row.

I'm not sure whether pinning it straight and blocking it will help, so yeah, if anyone has any tips or advice please let me know!

My second blanket is going much better, although this is now the third attempt at getting the pattern right

Retrobaby

It's a pattern called Rocky which I bought from Ravely, by a designer called Suzie Johnson.  It isn't all that complicated but I found until I'd established the pattern that I kept mis-counting, so on my first attempt I completely messed it up, attempt number two was nearly there but I'd missed the increase at the start on one of the triangles which didn't get any better the more rows I did, so I started again.  Attempt number three (as in the above!) isn't perfect but even I can't tell where I've had to increase or decrease to get back on track so I'm sticking with it.

Retrobaby

For a baby blanket it's a lot wider than it needs to be but there is absolutely no way I'll be starting again!  This will probably be for our new niece or nephew so it can last them forever

Retrobaby

I'm going to enjoy some more bloggy reading and catching up on what you've all been making while I've been awol! Back soon!

x x x x




Glastonbury 2014

*writers block!* 

It shouldn't be that hard to come up with something to say, I've been very busy after all...  I'm back from Glastonbury and ready to get back into normal life.  *sigh*.  It's the same every year, I go, never want to leave, come home and feel very blue about it all.

It's not all bad though, I've decided to start looking for a new job because I want to do something creative or challenging and unfortunately my current job offers me neither of those things!

I'll share some of my favourite photos of the weekend and then it's onto knitting and crochet talk because I NEED YOUR HELP

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014

I never usually write a great deal about Glastonbury here but I've realised that the little things are all becoming a blur from years gone by!  So, things I did, learnt and would like to remember from 2014...


  • Camping under pylons isn't as bad as I thought
  • Camping 10ft from a bar is a good thing
  • My poncho was an excellent investment
  • Take more long socks and less leggings
  • Don't take chocolate, it melts and I don't eat it
  • Fruit snack pots are breakfast winners
  • Go with your gut for clashes (London Grammar vs Kasabian, London Grammar won, best set of the festival!)
  • Cream tea was a winner
  • Hanging out at the Circus on Saturday was a good choice
  • As was getting a Glastonbury Free Press poster (should have got the type face one though)
  • Getting a coach was remarkably less stressful than driving
  • Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton
  • Making a leather bracelet in the craft fields
  • The electrical storm shut down!
  • Visiting the London Underground tent

x x x x

Sunday, 22 June 2014

And the winner is...

Thank you to the lovely ladies who entered my mohair giveaway.  You had some great ideas so I know it's going to a good home!

Giveaway

I went for the good old "draw out of a hat approach"

Giveaway

Although I actually used a bag because I didn't have any hats to hand :p

And the winner is....


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Giveaway

Et voila!

Congrats Chrissie, I'm really looking forward to seeing your cushion or whatever you choose to make. Will be in touch shortly.  Thank you again Nana Go-Go and Dovile x




Monday, 16 June 2014

I entered a show!

Last January I joined the WI and it's one of the best things I've ever done!  I've met a lot of lovely ladies and most importantly fellow crafters 'get it'.

Understandably when I mention our WI I get the odd look of surprise, possibly because I'm not quite 30 and they think it's all jam, knitting and Jerusalem.

Knitted fox cushion

I like to reassure people that the WI is for everyone (unless you're a bloke!) and there is no such thing as "old" either.  I also try and convince people that we're not all knitting and cake, but this is all lies because we eat a LOT of cake (we have a cake rota and a committee role of cake organiser and cake taster) and we have a craft club full of knitters.  I also happen to really like Jerusalem too.  So there people with your odd looks!

Every year there's a show for our Federation (Cheshire) and I guess it's just like any other country show where you can enter preserves, cakes and crafts into competitions. I didn't enter last year because we were a new group and I didn't have much time, but there were no excuses this year. As a WI we've entered 32 things so we'd better win something!!

I'm down in the yarn category. How I settled on a pattern I'm not entirely sure but I decided I wanted to knit a fox, and then that became a cushion and that's what I did. I made it up, which is why I ended up making the cushion inner as well because it didn't fit the original one... Thank god there were no size requirements!

Knitted fox cushion

I know that the judges are very picky so I decided to use a few techniques, and I also really like moss stitch, which is why the flap looks like this.  The pic above was in a cheap horrid acrylic which I soon scrapped in favour of a much lovelier Stylecraft Lite (I think?)

Knitted fox cushion

And so not content with entering my first show, I went ahead and made this with no idea really how to do intarsia, but I think it's passable!  In fact, I'll be honest, I don't even know if this is intarsia...

Fox cusion

Then he got little button eyes .  Importantly, VERY importantly these buttons match the ones on the back, because yes; the judges are that picky.

Knitted fox cushion

Because I made the pattern up the fox is a bit off centre and has a lot of space above him which I felt needed filling.  I embroidered some stars but they all ended up wonky and different which I reckon the judges would be oh so picky about, so I unpicked them all save this one, which I thought was alright

Knitted fox cushion

And here he is! He went off to the show today and I think the judging is tomorrow. Exciting isn't it? I wish I'd taken a photo of the seam because I'm incredibly proud of my mattress stitch, I know you shouldn't blow your own trumpet too much but I spent bloody hours on it and it's good :p

Knitted fox cushion

Don't forget to enter my competition too, yarn for free? How often does that happen!

x x x x

Saturday, 14 June 2014

It's giveaway time!

Hello lovely crafters!  I'm having a major clear out here and I'm about to take a car load of stuff to the charity shop It really does feel great to de-clutter!

It's hard to part with yarn but I've got to give in.  I picked up this beautiful bright mohair with good intentions but I've yet to make anything with it, and being honest I know I'm probably never going to.

Mohair yarn

So there's no point in it being stuck in my yarn stash is there!  I'm certain one of you could make something absolutely lovely with it, and it's also a way to say thank you because I could probably sell it but I'd like to give it away.

I've got 9 balls, three red, three gold and three green

Mohair yarn
So lets keep it simple, if you'd like some mohair to add to your yarn stash just leave a comment and let me know what you'd like to make with it, that way I get to read some interesting ideas too and wish I'd come up with them!

Mohair yarn

I'll pick a winner at random and they can have the lot.  Don't forget that if you don't have a blog or someway I can contact you you'll need to leave me an email address.  I'm also happy to post worldwide  Giveaway closes a week today, Saturday 21st at 11.59 pm UK time ;-)

A bit about the mohair, I believe the yellow and red are Hayfield Mohair but the green is Jaeger Mohair silk, although I don't think you'd be able to tell that they're different brands.

x x x x

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A new look

I think the change if fairly obvious if you've ever visited my blog before, but look I have a new banner!  I haven't used Illustrator in ages so it took a while to get back into it.  I was getting annoyed with my other banners being off centre, the wrong size and my little head was itching to design something.

July 2013

The constellation background is just a standard one from Blogger because I always want to go to Space, it's just never going to happen!


x x x x

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Chunky Cowls

I'm trying to keep the rain at bay with winter knits, I thought I might have succeeded given yesterdayss sunshine  but unfortunately I don't think it has been enough, today has been a wash out!

A couple of years ago my mum & dad bought me some wool as a Christmas present, but come Christmas day it never materialised because they lost it!  It became a bit of a running joke ("I can't believe you lost my wool!!") & we decided that they must have accidentally binned it.  Can you imagine!?

I'd even forgotten what it looked like, so when it eventually turned up I was surprised to say the least!


The missing wool


I had a look through Ravelry and found a pattern for a chunky cowl, which you can find here for free.

Canberra cowl

I think this knitted up in only a few days, which is the brilliant thing about chunky yarn & 10mm needles.

Canberra cowl

I really like the uneven rib stitch and it's so easy to do, k1 *p2, k2* and that's it for every row

Canberra cowl

The one thing which was not easy was grafting it together using kitchener stitch.  Now the fact that I've never done this probably didn't help, but doing it on an uneven rib made it even worse.  I thought it might be a 10 minute job and it took me a whole evening.  I wouldn't have been happy with it any other way though.

Canberra cowl

And so we have it, ta dahhh

x x x x

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Cable hats, because Summer is late

I think it's supposed to be Summer but someone has forgotten to tell the weather.  So it's May and I've knitted two hats and a cowl, yes...

My Cousin asked if I'd knit him up a hat and I was quite happy to give it a go.  I won't knit for just anyone, but I find if someone has asked (who I like!) they're probably going to appreciate it more ;-)  We agreed on grey, cables but no pom pom.  I forgot in the end to loosely attach one as a joke.

IMG_3802

My Cousin has a large head & lots of hair so I made it two pattern repeats larger & it fitted perfectly.  I think he really really liked it too which was awesome

The pattern, Winter Femme by Diana Gates is free and available on Ravelry.  I used Stylecraft Special DK - Grey (1099).

Cable beanie

I liked the hat as well so I made myself one with a turn up.  I stuck to the original pattern which fits my normal sized head, but made a bit of a mistake with the cables...  I'd written the pattern out so I could knit on the go without my laptop, but instead of writing that the cable was a repeating pattern of 8 rows I managed to make it 5 rows so they're a lot tighter.  Luckily it worked out that doing another cable pattern of 5 rows at the end got me back to the correct size.  So you could say I made my own but it was a complete accident!

This one is in Stylecraft Special DK - Teal (1062)

Thanks to everyone who explained what Raglan sleeves are, you're a wonderful bunch


x x x x

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Catching up, I knitted a jumper!

I thought I might have posted about a jumper I was knitting but it appears not!  We do our weekly food shop in Aldi now, which suits me because it's a lot cheaper, smaller (I hate big supermarkets) and they have different deals twice a week where I buy loads of unnecessary tat, like oven gloves and bike panniers (because 3 wasn't enough already?).

Sometime earlier in the year they were selling big 3/400g balls of Aran wool so I bought two pink.  In hind sight I wish I'd gone for grey, but J convinced me I already had loads of grey jumpers, and he was right, but that's because I wear & like them whereas this pink might just be a little 'lets leave it in the wardrobe'.

Raglan jumper

This was my only WIP shot.  So far through I decided one ball was plenty and swapped it for cream (no grey left!).  Right at the end I was convinced I wasn't going to have enough left, to the point of making one arm a few rounds shorter (you can't tell) but guess what?  I had this left...

Aran

I found a simple pattern on Ravelry called Brick, which was free and really easy to follow.  Because I've never knitted anything to wear so size and gauge hasn't mattered before I wanted something easy but I could definitely have followed something more complicated, so I've now cast on the Solstice cardigan which in contrast is probably the most complicated pattern I've ever laid eyes on, but I am loving the challenge.

Anywho this is my version of the Brick jumper, not bad eh?

Raglan jumper

It's called Raglan which I think just means it's knitted in one piece, although you knit the arms and collar after by picking up stitches.  This style definitely suits me, no sewing seams!

Raglan jumper

I've got a nice stretchy waistband and cuffs (use larger needles for this)

Raglan jumper

And the collar isn't bad too...

Raglan jumper

I probably should have knitted the smallest size.  It's funny because non-knitters tell me "oh it will shrink" but as it's acrylic my crafty friends know better!  So far I've not washed it, but if it ends up enormous then maybe it can become my festival jumper.

Is there anything new on your needles* you've never tried before?

*or anything

x x x x