Sunday, 31 January 2016

January Yardages

I said back at the start of the month that one of my goals for this year is to be "stash neutral". I don't think I've quite managed that this month lol.


I've added quite a few sock yarns this month. Some of them from a prize and some of them just because I spotted them and lusted after lol. I've got two more skeins of Countess Ablaze to arrive but I'll count them as February yarn's ;-)


I only had a couple of FO's this month although I've got two pairs of socks and some fingerless mitts which will hopefully get finished soon next month. I made some Baby Jester hats for my pregnant friend. I think she's due today but I don't know if she's had her baby yet. Mine tended to arrive late...

I also made a sweater for my son which has been keeping him cosy on these Wintery days


So in total:
Yarn out of stash: 1102.4 yards
Yarn into stash:  3178.1 yards

Stash is currently PLUS 2075.7 yards, whoops ;-)


The photos on this post are from a puppy meet up we went to today. Pippin enjoyed spending time with his brothers although they did pick on him a bit. They all ended up covered in mud so I had to give him a bath when we got home. He wasn't very impressed with me but he smells beautiful and has slept most of the day after all that running around :-)

As far as stash reduction goes, I guess I'd better get on with some more knitting!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Yarn Along

I've got a couple of projects to share with you this week. First up is one that I've posted about before, the Coast to Coast fingerless mittens.


As you can see I've finished most of the first mitten apart from the thumb and I'm just starting the second one. I think I'm going to frog back the ribbing on the fingers of the first one though and redo it with smaller needles. And I'll cast on the second one with smaller needles too. My own fault for not reading my notes properly. Shouldn't take long to fix though, and I'm thrilled with how they're turning out.

My other project is my latest bit of indulgent knitting. I've been working my way through the back episodes of the Little Bobbin's podcast and after seeing so many photos and videos of Dani's beautiful sock yarn blanket I couldn't help but be inspired to cast on my own version.


Now for years I've been adamant that there is no way I'll ever knit a blanket, let alone one made out of sock yarn. Well I'm eating my words now. I've done 26 squares already and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Each square feels like a mini-project on it's own and as you decrease it feels like every row you're getting faster and faster until suddenly you've cast off and then you get to choose the yarn for your next square. It's brilliant and very addictive. Love it :-)

So my plan for this afternoon is to get the ribbing done on both mittens in the right size needles and then I'm going to knit on my blanket some more. Have any of you had a project you've been certain you'd never make and then you've tried it and found it was lots of fun?

Yarn Along

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

FO - Little Spare Time Sweater

My eldest boy is growing like a weed at the moment and as he's super appreciative of Mummy-knits I thought it would be a good time to knit him another sweater. I showed him the yarn I had in mind and then pulled up various patterns on ravelry that would work and let him choose the one he wanted. Took him a little while to grasp the idea "I want that blue one Mummy" But I have red yarn, would you like it if it was red? "Erm not really"... *sigh*

In the end though we got there and he picked a pattern which would be interesting for me to knit and appealed to him, the Little Spare Time sweater. He liked the idea of the cosy collar to snuggle in when it's cold


The collar is definitely the best bit of this sweater. I love how it looks although I think I should probably have made the button loop a little shorter!


The garter stitch collar is echoed in the cuffs and hem of the sweater. He grew AGAIN while I was knitting this so the body is a bit shorter than I'd have liked. The sleeves were knitted after the growth spurt so they're a nice cosy length


The button for the bottom of the sweater doesn't match the one for the collar because I was too impatient to go out and find matching ones in the shops. Instead I raided my button box and found this purple one which is also his favourite colour. Smart boy, it's my favourite too ;-)


I sewed the buttons on this time rather than asking Mr Soaring Sheep to do it. I expect they will fall off and need reattaching soon. I just don't have the knack for sewing buttons lol


I used Wendy Superwash Merino DK to knit this sweater, it's super soft and a lovely bright colour. I've used it previously in a different colourway to knit a Frozen sweater for him and a Koru Hat for me. Both have washed and worn well so I'd recommend this yarn and would use it again.

My project page is here


Linking up with Keep Calm Craft On. Have a good week everyone :-)

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Stash Enhancement Sunday

I've been doing some stash enhancing recently with some more sock yarn. I know I just got 450g of Mothy and the Squid sock yarn which I won and shared with you last week but apparently I felt I needed more! I can go weeks or months without buying yarn but then when I do I seem to end up with quite a lot all in one go.

Both dyers are new to me although I've been seeing their work around so I'm excited to get my hands on some of their yarn. The first is from Shadow at Den of Yarniquity who also knits and creates beautiful things as Felt Fusion. I've actually known Shadow online for quite a few years before either of us could knit and were using cloth nappies (diapers) for our children. Shadow always had a brilliant eye for colour and she's certainly carried that through to her dyeing


This gorgeous yarn is called "A Christmas Rose" and is on a superwash merino/nylon/stellina base. Shadow also put a sample of Yuzu scented Soak in with my parcel which I'm looking forward to using as it's one of my favourite wool wash scents. I expect this yarn will become socks for me at some point but I intend to savour it for while lol


Yummy :) Makes me think of Spring flowers despite it's name lol.

The other yarn I bought was from Fab Funky Fibres on etsy. I spotted this gorgeous self striping yarn in her shop and then messaged Elaine asking if she could dye me up another 50g of the chocolate colour to use as a contrast heel. She got it done and posted off super quickly


The yarn is a merino/nylon mix and hte colourway is called "Chocolate Brown Rainbow". You can see photos of it wound up in her shop. It makes me think of chocolate smarties (google image search)


Hope you've had a good weekend. I went out for another run yesterday morning and was pleased and surprised to find I was doing quite well. Next run is on Wednesday and the trainer is going to be doubling our running time. Every week we'll be running for longer and walking less and then I think in the end he'll be trying to get us to run faster and further. At the moment that seems a long way off!

I've taken some photos of my son's sweater that I finished a while ago so I'll share those later next week. I've also got a new project on the needles to show you but it deserves a post of it's own. I'm very excited about it, it's all I've really been knitting this past week :-)

Take care everyone, especially those in the US experiencing all that snow! Puts the few cm's that we get here into perspective!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Fluffy post!

Recently the lovely Jillian from Mothy and the Squid ran a giveaway on instagram to celebrate reaching 4000 followers. Well I won! Such a lovely surprise, there may have been some squealing and bouncing around lol. Anyways, my prize arrived yesterday morning while I was out so today I picked it up from the post office and thought I'd show you how spoiled I've been :-)


What a wonderful parcel to open! There's 450g of sock yarn here, that's going to take me while to knit through lol


This one is "Cheer Bear's Rainbow" which is 100% merino I think. Jillian has crossed out part of the label so I might have made a mistake there. It's very pretty and soft so I think it needs to become some sort of shawl, hat or gloves


"Spring Rainbow" is one of Jillian's lovely rainbow colourways. I've had a black version and a blue version of this idea which have knitted up really nicely into socks. I think that's what I'll do with this yarn but that may change if I think of something else that would suit better


This one is my favourite I think. It's shades of blue and green. Sooo pretty. It's called "Kracken Ink" and it HAS to become a hat for me. Love it.


Next up is "Foxglove" which is definitely not a colour I would have chosen with all the brown but it's so nice in real life. I expect it will also be knitted into socks so I'm looking forward to seeing how the pink and orange colours combine with the browns. I think I might need to branch out a bit in my yarn choices!


Lastly is this pretty sock blank called "Early Blossom". I love how Jillian displays her sock blanks, they look so squishy. I've previously knitted some rainbow socks using a blank from her and they turned out beautifully. I've not unwound this blank yet to see it properly because it's so beautifully presented lol.


As a lovely bonus I've also got 4 new stitch markers, aren't they cute :)

I had another session with my running trainer this morning. He was very mean and made us run up a hill. Bleugh. Pippin the puppy spent the morning in his crate so he's currently making up for lost time and sleeping next to me on the sofa so he gets lots of cuddles. I'm feeling very tired as had a few late nights recently and the running (ok jogging and walking!) is tiring as well. What a surprise ;-) I think I'm going to chill out for a bit before the children come home and hopefully find some energy somehere. And maybe I'll have a think about what to do with these new yarns

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Keep Calm Craft On

It's a frosty day today, things look more magical somehow when they're covered in frost




The chickens don't seem to mind the cold, they're always busy searching the garden for tasty things to eat



These two girls are the ones that have started laying. They've also decided that the middle of Winter is the best time to lose their neck feathers. Maybe I should knit them some scarves ;-)


I think this girl is holding on until Spring before she starts laying. You can see her comb is much smaller than the other girls. She has sensibly kept her feathers. I do love their fluffy feet



We try to keep the feeders filled up for the garden birds at this time of year. The wood pigeons especially are messy eaters so lots gets spilled. The chickens worked this out quite early on so whenever a wood pigeon flies in they run to wait under the feeder in the hopes of getting some of the dropped seeds


I turned the heel on my rainbow socks at the weekend, how perfectly did those stripes work out! I think I'm going to work on these today.

Linking up with Keep Calm Craft On

Monday, 18 January 2016

FO - Baby Jester Hats

I've finally finished, washed, blocked, wrapped up and given the hats I promised my friend back in the Summer. I've no real excuse for why it took me so long, just a lot of procrastination I think


Both hats are knitted with Stylecraft Special aran in the Royal and Teal colourways. As you can see I added a few bells to the top of the one for the 4 year old. Wasn't planning on adding bells as I didn't remember that I had some, but when I was sewing buttons on for my other FO (photos coming later this week hopefully!) I found some in my button box and thought they'd make a nice surprise. For obvious reasons I didn't add any to the baby's hat


The pattern is Baby Jester Hat by Woolly Wormhead which is free on ravelry. There is also an adult version which is also free. I made the 14" and 18" sizes but as I was knitting with slightly thicker yarn they've come out bigger. The blue hat will just fit my head but when I tried it on my 4 year old it fitted her much better which is perfect. Very simple pattern to knit (providing you follow the instructions..ahem!)

Like a lot of the UK we had a bit of snow this weekend. I know it's not really that impressive to some of you but it's pretty exciting for us lol. Pippin the puppy and our chickens hadn't encountered snow before so were a bit suspicious at first...


He got used to it in the end :-)


Have a good week everyone :-) Snow pictures courtesy of Mr Soaring Sheep because I was feeling a bit unwell so stayed upstairs in bed

Friday, 15 January 2016

Friday Finishing

I was supposed to have a tennis lesson this morning but when I got there it was cancelled because the courts were covered in frost and as slippery as an ice rink. I was kind of glad as after jogging with my friend for the past two days in a row my calves are feeling rather sore! Instead I'm going to spend the day chilling with Pippin, drinking hot cups of tea and hopefully finishing off these knits


I'm normally fairly quick at sewing in ends but for some reason I haven't done that with these. The hats only have one end each to sew, so I've no idea what my excuse is with them. The red sweater I've done most of the ends but I need to check the instructions for sewing the collar down and I also need to acquire some buttons. I might have the right size in my stash but I doubt it.

I picked up a hibernating WIP the other day and added a few rows. I've not shown it to you in a while so if you look on the left hand side you might be able to spot a safety pin which marks the row I was on last time


I'm enjoying working on it but urgh it's slow. I'm loving the effect of the stitch pattern though so I'll keep on with it.

Speaking of Pippin, look how big he's getting now!


Actually this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago so he's changed a bit since then. He's 4 months old now and has started puppy classes. The first session was last week and he introduced himself to everyone by barking very loudly for a very long time. We were really popular after that ;-)

He's started getting his adult teeth so lots of things are getting chewed. He seems to have a fondness for the delicious pencils and pens the children leave out. Last night though my phone charger was the casualty. Thanks Pip!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

WIP Wednesday

Thank you for the birthday wishes for my biggest girl on Monday. She had a lovely 10th birthday, the highlight of which was us going off to Pizza Hut as a family and having a meal together. They even got to have the ice cream factory for pudding where they chucked on every type of sprinkle topping that was available lol.


I made her birthday cake yesterday. Just a plain sponge with cocoa powder to make it chocolatey and I used dark brown sugar instead of white so it feels a bit richer. Covered it with shop bought chocolate fudge icing because I can't make stuff that taste this good without going more effort than I could be bothered with ;) It tasted very good!


So here are the WIP's I've been focussing on this week. The navy jester hat is so close to being finished. I think I've got about 6 rows to go before I can do the crochet cast off to create the points.


My Coast to Coast fingerless mitts have grown since last week. I'm really enjoying the pattern. It's only charted which I prefer for cables I think. I had to carefully drop some stitches and rework them with a cable hook after discovering I'd crossed a cable the wrong way several rows back. It was either that or frog back as I couldn't have left it now I knew it was wrong lol


My Bandwagon socks have also grown since last week. I'm loving how the yarn looks with the pattern. They're fun to knit and look more complicated than they actually are which is always good. Now the weather has cooled down after a mild December I'm enjoying having cosy handknit socks to wear.

I seem to have joined in with a friend's New Year's Resolution and we're doing the Couch to 5k programme with her neighbour who is a fitness trainer person. We had our first session this morning. It went rather well I think, I was expecting it to be much worse. We alternated jogging for 30 seconds and walking for 2 minutes. As the weeks go on we'll spend more time jogging. Have any of you guys done this sort of thing before? I was never really in to running at school but I think having someone teaching me who knows what they're doing will help, as does having a friend to run with.

At some point I will google how far 5k actually is in miles ;-) At the moment I'm happy remaining ignorant!

Linking up with Keep Calm Craft On and Yarn Along

Monday, 11 January 2016

Monday's Mission

Several years ago I made a baby jester hat for a friend's toddler. He's now outgrown it but his Mum loved it so much she asked if I could make him another one. She's currently expecting a new baby boy around the end of this month so I thought I'd make them both matching hats


As you can see I've finished the baby's hat aside from needing to weave in the ends. The bigger hat though still needs the 3 points knitting. I think I've got enough length but I want to try it on my youngest daughter who is around the same size so I'm using her as a guide. Naturally I forgot to do this before she went to school this morning so I'll have to try later.

It's my eldest daughter's birthday today, she's 10 years old. A decade! I'm so proud of her, she's growing up to be such a lovely person. We didn't have time to open her presents this morning so this afternoon we'll do that when Mr Soaring Sheep is home from work. I'd better get round to wrapping them! :-S

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Knitting Meme

I saw these questions on Chrisknits blog and fancied giving them a go

Do you have a bad habit?
Probably too much computer time. I could probably be doing far more useful things with my day. I am trying to be more purposeful with my computer use and to have discrete blocks of time where I use it rather than pottering around all day

Do you have to hide your knitting from your pets?
Nope. The cats don't care about it and the puppy quickly learned that mouthing balls of yarn is not allowed lol

Do you cheat when you cable?
Bit of a strange question. I took Chris's interpretation of it asking about cabling without a needle. I do cable that way sometimes depending on the pattern but I also like to use a DPN for bigger cables. I keep meaning to get some cable needles at some point but as I've always managed without them up until now I don't know when that will be!

Do you not really listen to your family when you are knitting intensely? Or blogging? Or buying yarn online?
I'm quite good at listening and knitting but I choose projects that are fairly mindless if I'm knitting around other people as I want to be able to concentrate on what is being said. I tend to blog when the children are at school but if they are around like during the holidays I try to get them occupied with something first as I can't concentrate on them and type something that makes sense. I'm struggling now because the puppy wants some attention and keeps bringing me toys to play with him!
Do you fall for Knit kits?
Nope, I've never bought or knitted from a kit. I have bought some crochet yarn packs a couple of time because I liked the mix of colours but I've done my own project with them. I must confess to not really understanding why people want to make identical blankets to other crocheters, surely putting your own stamp on a design is part of the fun of crafting?

If anyone else fancies joining in and answering these questions on their blog then please drop me a link in the comments section. I'm planning on knitting some hats for my friend's children today. I've been promising them since the Summer and I've finally cast on so I want to get them done, blocked and wrapped up before the end of the weekend

Friday, 8 January 2016

FO - Here's Looking At You Hat

I thought I had a tennis lesson this morning, then I checked my emails and saw it doesn't start until next Friday. Glad I checked, would have felt rather silly standing around in the cold waiting! Instead I changed out of my layers of tennis clothes (sports bras feel like a workout by themselves!), got the puppy out of his crate and decided to get some photos of a recent FO.


It's been said before, but it's so tricky taking photos of yourself wearing a hat!



I wish I'd trusted my instincts and adjusted the placement of the start of the round in relation to the patterned panel, that line down the front irritates me


I do love the pattern itself though. At first I thought it was some sort of cabling but it's actually just yarn overs and decreases. Very easy to remember and has a really pretty effect I think


Clearly my behaviour in the garden was a bit strange as these feathery ladies came over to see what I was up to



*sigh* the state of my garden makes me sad. This is what it looks like after 9 weeks of having a puppy. He's uprooted some plants, chewed others down to the ground, dug holes, ripped out labels and plant pots and is systematically destroying the lawn. Oh well, I guess I'll start again in the Spring...

So just to recap, the pattern I used for my hat was Here's Looking At You by Lydia Brown. I knitted mine with some sparkly purple yarn from Flamboyance Yarns in a colourway called "Violets". I used less than 50g of sock yarn to make mine and I'm pleased for have another pretty hat to keep me warm on those Winter dog walks :-)

Linking up with Wrap Up Friday


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