Friday, 29 November 2013

FO Friday - Traveling Woman Shawl for Mim

I've been wanting to make my Mum a lace shawl for a while. This one is a kind of halfway shawl as it's knitted with fingering weight yarn and no beads, next time I'll make her something really really fancy :-)


Having said that though it is beautiful. The yarn is by Dye For Yarn in a colourway called "Memory of a Fearsome Tale. I love DFY colourways, they are so rich and saturated and even the names are wonderful.


The Traveling Woman pattern is such a lovely one to knit. It's very intuitive once you've got into the rhythm of it


I blocked the edge of the shawl into some gentle points which has opened up the lacework beautifully. I'm so pleased with how this has come out.


My Mum also seems rather pleased with it too which is always good lol. Although it certainly wouldn't have been any hardship to take it back and claim it for myself ;-)

Today I'm going to try to chill out a bit as I got home from babysitting very late last night, I've got a lovely cold coming on and before I'd finished breakfast I'd dealt with the aftermath of a sick two year old. Thank goodness it's nearly the weekend!

I'll be linking in with FO Friday, Fiber Arts Friday and Creative Friday today

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A new project

Yes I know I said I wasn't going to cast on this yarn until I'd finished my colourwork cardigan but there was an emergency. Ok, not an emergency, a pressing need. Oh fine, it was a convenient excuse! I'm babysitting for my neighbour tonight because her husband is having a Significant Birthday and they're going out for a meal. I wanted to bring a simple project with me because knitting colourwork late at night is almost certainly going to end in a disaster


So I've cast on this beautiful yarn from Wharfedale Woolworks and I'm knitting my normal vanilla sock with a cable up the side like the Socks on a Plane pattern


I think these should be just perfect for some mindless knitting this evening and then after that I PROMISE to go back to the cardigan.

Oh and by the way, the lovely Kirsty has a 20% discount code running at the moment if you fancy adding some of her beautiful yarn to your stash ;-) I'm not on commission, I'm Cold Sheep-ing for a bit so trying to enable other people to buy yarn instead ;-)

Pop back tomorrow to see photos of my Mum's finished shawl. The shawl and scarf arrived at my parents' house yesterday so I don't have to worry about spoiling the surprise for them any more. I think they liked them :)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

WIP Wednesday

I've got back in to knitting my colourwork cardigan. I've not only finished the second sleeve but I've also started joining them on to the body, exciting!


I'm hoping that I can block the stitch work a bit neater and also hopefully add a little extra length as my daughter has had a growth spurt during the time I've been ignoring this project. Most unhelpful of her lol. Should be wide enough in the chest though as she's fairly skinny so maybe I could just pick up some stitches on the sleeves and hem to make it a bit longer :-)

I'm linking in with Tami and Ginny, hop over to their blogs to see what other people are up to this week :-)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

FO - Retirement scarf

I'm taking this scarf and my Mum's shawl to the post office today so thought I'd better get a few pictures before they leave! I'll post the shawl photos on Friday because my Mum reads my blog so I don't want to ruin the surprise.


The scarf is made from fingering weight yarn. I just made a crochet chain of about the right length and then worked rows of treble crochet until I'd used up all the red yarn. Then I added another 5 rows of the purple yarn to make it that little bit wider


It's quite long!



I like the wavy edge formed by the crochet. I tried to preserve the effect when I blocked it


I tried to get some photos of Mr Soaring Sheep modelling it


It was rather cold outside though and he had other things he wanted to get on with so the indulgent smile was replaced by this lol


Hehe :-)

It was a nice fast project but it's turned out really nicely. I hope my Dad likes it as much as I do.

I'm linking in with Nicole's Keep Calm Craft On post today so hop over there if you fancy having a look at what other people are up to :-)

Monday, 25 November 2013

New FO Photos, Fragile Heart shawl

I knitted my Fragile Heart shawl in May last year. It was my first time knitting with lace yarn and first time using beads in my knitting. I also wasn't as confident with blocking lace as I am now. At the weekend I decided to get out my blocking wires, give it a soak to loosen up the fibers a bit and then block it to within an inch of it's life!

Definitely worth doing in my opinion! Look how pretty it is now :-)


The points are pointier, the lace is more open and it's got a wonderful floppy texture


I wish I'd used bigger seed beads with this project and perhaps in more of a contrasting colour. It seems a shame to have gone to so much effort and not be able to see it. That's the nature of learning a new skill I guess, you get better the more you practice :-)


Such a pretty pattern, I know I've said it loads before but I love Booknit's designs. They're so delicate, easy to knit and well written



Of course now I want to knit another shawl... must resist! I really fancy making Rainshine at some point. I've even got the perfect yarn in my stash and beads to match ;-) Maybe a project for the New Year!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Blocking and Shadows

Sorry for being a bit quiet lately. I've not really had much to blog about in terms of projects! The scarf is finished now and I'm just about to block it. By this time next week I want to get the sleeves of my colourwork cardigan joined onto the body so that's the project I'll be concentrating on. I'm still promising myself a new pair of socks once I've reduced my outstanding WIP's :-)

I've been reblocking a couple of shawls because when they were originally blocked I didn't do it quite as thugishly as I do now. Having blocking wires has really made a different too, I'd strongly recommend getting a set, especially if you knit a lot of lace.

After I'd blocked my Wedding shawl I hung it up over a couple of photo frames in our bedroom because I was too lazy to put it away. You can see how much more open the lace is now:


Previously it was like this:


What I quite liked was the pretty shadows it made on the wall



Reminds me of a spider web :-)


I also reblocked my first ever lace shawl. I'm actually going to have another photo session for this shawl as it looks completely different to when I originally posted about it

It's amazing how much a proper block can change a shawl and make you fall in love with it all over again :-)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Happy Hump Day

I am glad this morning is over, it's been hard work! Running a busy toddler group on my own is never fun but to then come home and for my toddler to have an "accident" on the carpet and then spread it round the house was just the icing on the cake. Urgh!

This week has turned out to be rather a busy one. Monday I was catching up on the ironing and some of the housework from the weekend and then Tuesday I was rearranging the playroom and had a friend round so had to do a little more housework! My house isn't disgusting or anything, it's just there are certain standards of mess I don't mind inflicting on my own family but feel bad asking my friend to put up with. It's silly really, if she got upset because the carpet needed a vacuum then she wouldn't be much of a friend anyway ;-)

The playroom rearranging was my own choice too. We're hopefully adding another hamster to the family at the weekend so I wanted to make some room for a big cage. She's an old girl and I don't want to stress her out too much but I figured a proper sized wheel and a decent floor space to explore would probably help her to settle in well.

Anyways, the upshot of all this busy-ness is I don't really have very much progress to show you this Wednesday! I'm onto the 3rd purple row of my scarf, I'm aiming for 5 rows I think so nearly there. I'll see how it looks when I've got that far


Pretty wavy edging :-)


That's it for crafting this week. Bit feeble really! How about I leave you with a photo of my cat Rosie who came over to inspect the scarf while I was photographing it. She's now curled up in the sunshine snoozing, typical cat lol


For less waffly and more productive crafting posts visit Tami, Ginny and Nicole. I'll try to have something more interesting to post about soon!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Slight design change

I've been working away on my red scarf and have run into a problem. I've run out of yarn!


Now, I did consider frogging it but that would be rather painful given how much effort it's taken to do. Then I had a look on ravelry to see if anyone else had the same yarn in their stash and could be persuaded to sell it. Nope. Ok, how about a different colour?


Hmm, nope, not quite right. Needs something darker and more contrasty. I know!


Fab :-D The purple yarn is a little softer than the red because it's not spun as tightly (it's left over from my Capricious cardigan) I think if I do about 2 inches of the purple yarn then together with the 4 inches of red I'll have a nice looking scarf and it will be lovely and cosy for my Dad.

I'm hoping to finish it this week and get it posted it so I can do finished photos in a week's time after my parents have got their scarves. My Mum reads my blog so don't want her to know exactly what she's getting. If I can get the scarf finished fast enough I'll do some work on my crochet Christmas tree and then I'll have something to show off this friday. The ironing basket and housework will just have to wait, there's crochet to do! ;-)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Weekend Breakfast

Mornings in our house, like many other families with young, school-age children, are rather busy. They want their breakfast immediately, you want to stay in bed for another 10 minutes, they want to watch tv, you want them to get their clothes on first... It's busy and a little crazy, breakfast tends to be a bowl of cereal or some toast.

At the weekend we have more time. It doesn't matter if they spend a while watching tv in their pj's while you have that extra 10 minutes dozing. Breakfast can be more leisurely, you can put a bit more effort in. Today we made Cranberry-Orange Breakfast Buns from Smitten Kitchen.

Oh my!


The prep work was done yesterday evening. This morning I just put the dish in the oven for half an hour.


The recipe suggests orange icing to go on top so we added that too


So pretty!


The centre is gooey, sweet and citrusy


They were very very good! And filling too, we've got half the dish left over for breakfast tomorrow, fab :-)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIP Wednesday

Brr we've started getting frosts at night now, Winter is definitely getting closer! I guess it's a good time of year to be a knitter or crocheter. Lots of warm scarves and hats and snuggling under blankets, what could be better lol.

I've been working on a scarf for my Dad. I wasn't happy with the knitted version I posted about on Monday so I'm now crocheting him one.


Doesn't really look like I've done much since Monday does it. How about if I told you it's sock yarn, a 3.0mm hook and I'm crocheting it along it's long length rather than the short...


Is that slightly more impressive?

Ok, it's not really, I'm not the fastest crocheter in the world and I've been a bit busy these past few days. I'll have to try harder lol.

A couple of weekends ago I started making this pattern for a Christmas tree. I've almost finished it really but I messed up the number of branches in one section so frogged it back a bit and put it on a shelf in time out. I've almost forgiven it so hopefully I'll get it finished off soon ;-)


I'm looking forward to decorating it :-)

I'm trying to finish off some long running WIP's and I've promised myself that when I've finished off a colourwork cardigan which I cast on AGES ago I'll let myself cast on a pair of socks in this yummy yarn. Hopefully it will motivate me!


What do you do when you've lost motivation for a project? Do you force yourself to work on it or just put it in time out for a bit until you're in the mood again?

I'm linking in with Tami, Ginny and Nicole this week so hop over to their blogs for more links to what other crafters have been up to this week :-)

Monday, 11 November 2013

Searching for inspiration

I promised my parents I'd make them each a scarf/shawl as a retirement present. I've finished my Mum's shawl so I thought I'd cast on for my Dad's. I was originally planning to make the Checkerboard scarf but the brioche stitch, the thin yarn and my inability to concentrate properly at the time meant I was finding it far more complicated than I could be bothered with and not looking how I wanted it to


It's gorgeous yarn (from Posh Yarn) and in my opinion it needs something simple and textural to show it off best. Ok, back to the drawing board, or rather back to the stitch pattern dictionary. How about a simple k5 p5 basket stitch?


Grr still not right. My tension is all over the place and it just looks messy and yuck. Plus I'm having doubts about the whole concept of knitting a 5ft scarf using 2.5mm needles and fingering weight yarn :-S

So I log onto the laptop, make a pot of tea and have a read through some blogs. I see Country Maison has just posted about a crocheted scarf. Now there's an idea... maybe lengthwise instead of doing the short horizontal rows. The natural texture of the crochet will look a bit like a ribbed one and show off the yarn nicely. Plus I can make sure it's the right length and then just keep working it until the right thickness or until the yarn runs out. Perfect!

A slight problem though. A certain flur baby has decided to take over my lap and, well, I'm pinned down!


He is beautiful though :-)


I think I'm going to get frogging and then start hooking. Once I've had my cup of tea and escaped from the cat of course ;-)

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Found my rainbow

After a rubbish week with hospital visits and a trip in an ambulance it's been nice to have an afternoon walk with my family


As you can see my littlest boy is perfectly cheerful and has no idea how much he worried his parents!


He also rather likes his new hat :-)



We all wrapped up warm and went for a walk round our local country park



A certain young lady has lost one of her gloves somewhere in the playroom so borrowed Daddy's instead!


Daddy didn't seem too bothered lol


A rare photo of me! And I'm wearing my new shawl too :-)









Walking like geese apparently...


DSC_0631   DSC_0627


A good day :-)


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