Friday, 24 October 2014

FO: The 80s-type Drop Shoulder Sweater

I finished something!! :D

Last year I was given some balls of mohairy/angora type yarn from a friend, and I decided to stripe it with black acrylic to make an 80s-inspired oversized boxy sweater.  I used the drop-shoulder pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and this is the result:

There was so. much. sewing!  This pattern is written in pieces, which I thought would be perfect for the stripes, but not so much.  I'd been putting off the seaming for ages and realised while I was sewing it up why patterns are mostly written in the round nowadays!  These are all the ends that I had to sew in:

I'm super happy with the sweater though!  It's nice and comfy and cosy and warm.  Perfect for the colder weather :D

I still have some of the fluffy yarn left over - maybe I should make another one? :)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

FO: Rapunzel's Tower socks

I finished these socks!!

Pattern: Rapunzel's Tower by Becky Greene - rav link:
Yarn: Regia Color 4 ply
My ravelry project page:

These were a very fun knit - the cables and panels kept my interest and worked very well with the yarn, I think.  I definitely enjoyed knitting these, and will probably knit them again at some point :D

The cuff is shorter than I would normally knit (at about 4.5" compared to my usual 6" or so) and I was worried that they were going to be too short, but they turned out perfect :D

Now for FO pic overload :D

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

In A Blue Kind Of Mood

I often find that unintentionally and unconsciously I'm drawn to a particular colour when I'm crafting.  I won't notice till I look at my ravelry page, for example, and then suddenly there's a big block where everything is the same colour.  Today I was taking photos of what I've been up to, and it's all blue :)

Pattern: Rapunzel's Tower by Becky Greene - rav link:
Yarn: Regia Regia Color 4 ply
My ravelry project page:

Not much to say about these other than I'm really enjoying the pattern.  These are a lot of fun to knit.  I made the cuff a bit short and am going to have quite a bit left over, but that's not a bad thing.  I can make some more socks or mitts with the leftovers and continue the blue theme.

And this is some light blue merino (from Scottish Fibres) that I'm spinning.  That ball is 25g and there's another 75g there to spin.  I like to spin in 25g increments then each plied skein is 50g.  Nice round numbers.

I'm trying to spin the merino quite thin, and the fibre is so soft and fluffy that it's quite easy to draft it out.  My plan was to barber-pole it with a organgey-brown that I've already spun into singles, but the blue is coming out so fine that they may end up being different thicknesses.  I'll spin up all the blue and then decide :D

Monday, 8 September 2014

Stash Enhancement at the Spinning Guild (pic heavy post!)

This weekend the local Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers had a supplier's day, where they invited some stores and individuals from around Scotland to come and sell their wares.  I don't normally get to go to local yarn stores or knitting events as I don't drive and live in a rural area, so I was really looking forward to this.  I tend to save up all my money for events like this, instead of making regular purchases, and then have a major yarn blow-out :D  Which is basically what happened on Saturday.

All of my purchases together:

I'll go from top to bottom and tell you all about them :D

The skeins are merino/nylon fingering weight yarns from knitglobal:
They're probably going to become some Martina Behm scarves/shawls.

 These braids are all merino/silk blends.  They're very soft and squishy and have wonderful colours.  They were from the Queen of Purls stall, who are a new shop in Glasgow:

I did go a bit mad at their stall, and all the fibre is from there.

Here's some individual pics of those braids, for the pretty :D

Next up is some Manx Loughton fibre:

And some BABY ALPACA which is so soft and squishy it's unbelieveable.  I just can't stop petting it!

I got 200g of each fibre as I spin quite densely and I wanted to be able to get some decent yardage for a change.  Here's all the fibre together:

And lastly the two cones:
 These are 200g each of Shetland wool from Yarns to Yearn For:

I don't know what they're going to become yet, probably some scarves.

So, as you can see, the stash increased by quite a bit on Saturday!  It does seem like an awful lot of yarn and fibre, but like I said, I don't normally get the chance to buy in real life, and don't tend to buy yarns etc off the internet much either, so this is the big blow-out time.  I think it's been more than a few months since I bought any yarn or fibre really, except for a few small balls from the charity shop to make hats with, which was a couple of months ago as well.  Hark at me trying to justify myself lol!  All this pretty doesn't need justifying :D  I'm super excited about knitting and spinning with it all!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

WIPpin' Along - Slow and Steady

I feel like there's not been much progress in my knitting recently.   Mostly because I've been having trouble actually finishing things I think.  I have two or three sweaters and other things that need only a little work to finish, but I can't bring myself to actually do that little work.  So I cast on new things :)

This is the WIP I'm most excited about at the moment:

Pattern: Space Girl by Heidi Kirrmaier (ravelry pattern page:
My ravelry project page:
Yarn: Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool - colourway Loganberry

I was very kindly gifted the Space Girl pattern in a random drawing on a chat thread on Ravelry at the beginning of this month, and I'm super happy and excited about it!  It's been in my queue for ages, and I actually had yarn in my stash that works perfectly with it, so it's great to get started on it.  I'm at the stage where it's just knitting around and around, but that's fun :)

I had to cast on a pair of Little White Socks, because I've been rewatching 'Allo 'Allo, and all those resistance girls inspired me lol

Pattern: Purl Lace Socks by Sheri Franz (ravelry pattern page:
My ravelry project page:
Yarn: Patons Fairytale Dreamtime 3ply

 As you can see, I've finished the first sock - I'd better get the 2nd one started before I run out of motivation!

I have a crocheted toy giraffe on the go as well - all the bits are done and stuffed, in a bag ready to be sewn together.  Again, need to gather the motivation to do this!

Pattern: Ellie the Giraffe by Gina Renee' Padilla (ravelry pattern page:
My ravelry project page:
Yarn:  acrylic DK/light worsted scraps

And there's another large-ish project on the go, but it's so large and grandiose that it needs a whole other blog post to describe the sheer awesomeness lol.  So I'll leave this post at this - a listing of all the stuff I'm working on at the moment.  Maybe writing all this will motivate me to actually get stuff finished!  I do feel somewhat compelled to sew up that giraffe now - he looks all sad and somewhat disturbing in his plastic bag there!

ETA - ooh, a quick edit just to say I realised it's Wednesday today so I totally made a WIP Wednesday post without meaning to!  Bonus points to me!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

ALL the hats!

I have a lot of works-in-progress going at the moment.  I think at the last count there were 3 or 4 sweaters, and they're all at points that need focused concentration (seaming or math calculation or general tidying up).  The problem is, at the moment, I have no extra concentration to focus at them.  I have a bunch of things on at the moment, and while I would like to have all these extra sweaters off the needles and on my body, it also is summer, and rather warm here.  Not hot yet, but warm enough to make sweaters utterly redundant.

So I'm making hats.

I was sick of looking at my stash and wondering what to knit that would be easy and also pairing up the yarn.  So what I did was I got a tote bag and shoved a bunch of single balls of DK/light worsted yarn into it.  No thinking about it - if it would knit up to 22-24 sts to 4 inches, in the bag it went.

(yes, that is another pair of needles with a WIP on them in there!)

Then I went on Ravelry and did a pattern search for free hat patterns that would knit up to that gauge.  I downloaded a bunch of them - again without thinking too hard.  If I liked it, I downloaded the pdf.  And I stuck them in a folder on my tablet.

So now I have a bunch of patterns, and a bunch of balls of yarn :)  And if I feel like casting something new on, I pick one of those patterns and one of those balls of yarn, and get going.  I'm not thinking too hard about it.  I'm not focusing on the usual "is this the perfect use for this yarn?" thoughts that I get.  I just pick up some yarn and needles, and knit.

It's difficult not to focus on those thoughts, even when I'm halfway through a hat.  But I'm learning to ignore them.  There will always be other yarn that I can find the "perfect" use for.  And if this pattern is not the "perfect" use for this yarn, at least it's a use for it.  The yarn is not just sitting there on my shelf puzzling me with what to do with it.  It's getting used.  And if I don't like the resulting hat that much - well, I live in a climate that gets cold at winter.  I know lots of people who's heads will get cold and could use a hat :)  Also - xmas.  Just sayin'.

So I've finished one already:

Pattern: Cable Rouge by Marisa Hernandez:
Yarn: Stylecraft Life DK:
My Ravelry project page:

I like it a lot :) The pattern goes really well with the forest green of the yarn.  I had to add extra stitches to make it fit my giant head, but I have to do that with most hat patterns.  I just have a big head :)  I also had to block it a lot to make it as slouchy as I like - next time I'd probably knit an extra repeat before decreasing for the crown.

And I have started another hat:

Pattern: Lily of the Valley Hat by EAU Salang:
Yarn: Stylecraft Life DK:
My Ravelry project page:

I'm liking this method of choosing quick projects.  I get very bogged down in the combination of pattern and yarn and this "grab-bag" method is really taking a lot of the thinking out of the process, which is really good for me.  And it means projects are getting started AND finished!! :D

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

WIP Wednesday - the first one here!!

My first WIP Wednesday post on the new blog! Very exciting!! :D

My currently-being-worked-on WIP is Sweet Jane by AmyMiller.  It’s a mostly plain top-down set-in-sleeve sweater, but the bottom hem is assymetric and angled down the hips.  I saw it pop up in the recently added patterns on ravelry, and immediately had to make it :)
There have been a couple of snafus with this WIP so far.  The pattern suggested about 2” of positive ease on the bust, so I cast on the appropriate size and went for it.  All was fine till after the shoulders, where it said to cast on a massive amount of stitches, compared to any other sweater I’ve made.  But I cast them all on, and went ahead and knitted a few inches.  Then I tried it on and it was MASSIVE.  So, rip rip rip back to the armholes and I cast on 6 sts instead of the large amount it said.

After that, the knitting was plain and smooth sailing and fun.  Then I got to the bottom bit where you pick up short rows.  I’d apparently done all my purl short rows wrong, and my stitches were completely strangled.  There was no way to pick them up without having massive holes in the fabric.  I didn’t want to, but I had to rip back 9” of work because I had been too lazy to look up how to do short rows properly.

I re-knit the short row section, but I think I did something wrong actually picking up the stitches.  The side where I had purled the short rows just doesn’t look as smooth as the knit side.  But I figured that it’s on the hem – noone will notice, and in 6 months I’ll have completely forgotten (unless I look back here lol).  So I just went with it.

I changed the actual hem as well because I’m using acrylic yarn (stylecraft special 4-ply) and with a small rib section, it would just flip over and annoy me (I have a sweater that does this already).  So I went down 1.5mm in needle size and did a few rows of garter stitch.  I like how it looks!

Sweet Jane WIP

Now I’m at the stage of picking up for the arms, then knitting down.  But I’m having another problem.  The pattern says to pick up a teeny amount of stitches (especially considering how many I was supposed to cast on at the armpit).  I tried, but it was less than one stitch for every two rows – it just didn’t look good.  The way the pattern is written, you need to pick up that specific amount of stitches and work short rows because that will influence the circumference of the sleeves.  With the amount of stitches I can comfortably pick up, I’ll have 15” circumference sleeves.  About 3” larger than the pattern says, and it would probably be far too baggy.  So I’m going to have to think about where to incorporate a lot of decreases.  I’m wondering if I can fit them in the actual short rows, but that will require some focused attention and maths.

Apart from the problems I’ve had, I’m really looking forward to having this sweater, I think it’s going to look really cute! :D