Sunday, 28 December 2008

Christmas knitting.................

I had initially just opted to make one knitted gift this year for my Father-in-law for christmas as he had requested some cashmere socks. I went on the hunt for this yarn back in October at Ally Pally and landed on some Seriously Gorgeous Cashmere Silk from Knitwiches.


This has to be one of the softest yarns I have ever knit with and I have to say there were several times when I really wished the socks were for me. The colourway was Forest Moss so I needed to design and appropriately named pattern to go with them. I was also able to apply my newley learned skills of toe-up, magic loop knitting. There was no way I could afford to have one of my usual running out of yarn disasters at the toe again. I very dilegently split my skein into two equal balls and commenced the knitting.

The result was the following pair of Woodland Trail socks, so named to compliment the neat mossy pathways that follow up the socks to the cuff. The cuffs were a 3x3 rib so that they were loose as FIL can't wear anything tight around his ankles.





I also knitted another one of these little cardis that I had done for a friends baby that arrived in July for my brothers daughter. I love the way this knits up and I want to have a go at knitting an adult version of this one.


There was also the hat, handspun and designed especially for Andy, Mr Wool of, I am really pleased with this as it is the first time that I actually knit with my own handspun.


Oh and with all that finished well in time for christmas last Saturday I suddenly decided that I wanted to knit up and wear my Hey Teach on Christmas Day. To be fair I was completing the button bands on Christmas morning but I did have it ready to wear in time for lunch at our friends. (This has not yet been blocked.)


The buttons are some cute pewter ones shaped in Celtic Knots that I went around and collected from Robynn of Purlescence on Christmas Eve. I am really pleased with how well it knitted up once I got the hang of how to count the lace repeats from the chart! I also decided to be a little bit different with this being a virral knit and decided that reverse stocking stitch would be better for the plain part of the body. I knitted this up in some Fyberspates Scrumptious DK yarn and it only took 3 skeins to knit, in fact there were 80grms of the third skein left.

I am definately going to knit another one of these. I also wore it over a long sleeve black t-shirt on boxing day along with jeans.

Oh and not to forget of course Carl's christmas present - The Cable Sweater of Doom!


I also had a few knitty and spinny things for christmas too but you will have to wait until the camera has charged up before I can post those!

Friday, 26 December 2008

Happy Christmas........................

Well even if slightly belated here is a Happy Christmas to those out there that come and check out my blog.


No this is not my house, but I have had fun trailing the streets to find the most outrageous example that I could find. This was actually in the next street to my parents in Crawley.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Tear my sole............................

Or also known as the last Socktopus Sock Club parcel for 2008. Wow and what a year it has been. So far I have completed 4 of the 6 pairs and I have already wound up the yarn for this last pair.

So here is a little glimpse of my last shiny package before I start the whole thing again in the New Year.





Once again a whole selection of little goodies along with the pattern and yarn. I love the little needles gauge and I think Santa is going to be bringing me one of these too but you can never have enough can you?

But the most exciting extras in my package were my badges. My little reward and incentive for finishing each pair.

So far I have earned.......



Neighbourhood Tunnels



and still to follow are Hopscotch. So just Fiorri de Zucca and Tear my Sole to finish before the end of February for my Queen Bee badge.

Now how to display these lovelys so I can share my dedication to sock knitting with all around me......


Monday, 15 December 2008

Spinning through the heather and moss..........

With the excitement of the pending arrival of my Majacraft Little Gem I have been cultivating my spinning mojo this week. Saturday was up into town and along to Iknit to spend a few hours with the spinners group. This amounted to me, ProbablyJane and SnailHannah. I think the rain kept the others away from coming out to play. Having said that I had a fantastic time and I managed to finish spining up, plying and skeining some fibre that I dyed a few weeks ago.

It was my first attempt at dyeing fibre and initially I thought this was going to be a felting project. However, all's well that ends well. I was particularly motivated to get this done as the New Winter Knitty had a beret pattern that I wanted to knit and I thought the colours would be perfect.


This is some of the dyed fibre, the less felted looking stuff. And here making some progress drafting and spinning it.




Anyway it turned out to be on average 13 WPI, so a good DK weight meaning that Fern Glade was definately an option to knit.



The purples and green were definately calling out to me and I have decided to name the colourway Heather Moss.


Here is the hat before blocking on a plate into its beret shape.


I love the way the colours have blended as this has knit up. There are very subtle changes between the purple the green and the white.


And now here in its current status blocking on one of my dinner plates.



I am really looking forward to knitting with more of my handspun now.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

My SoSeSaSoSwa has arrived..................

My parcel arrived this week from Bat out of Hell for the Socktopus Secret Santa Sock Swap, thank you so much. There has obviously been some serious stalking and research gone into this parcel, it is truly fabulous. Actually it arrived on Monday but the kind postman decided that there was no one in even though there was so it was Wednesday before I could go and pick it up from the sorting office. It was definately worth the wait though.


Yep, I like pink! You never would have guessed really.

The socks are just gorgeous in my most covetted Angel sock yarn from the Natural Dye studio, such a treat. I haven't actually put these on yet as I am still in the stroking phase. This has certainly motivated me to knit up the skein that I bought in the summer.



All my favourtie fibres in one. The colour is perfect too with just a hint of lilac in there too. I love this pattern and now fancy having a go at knitting some up myself too.

Among my other goodies were sweets in a pink case, smellies, all pink related, including some pink grapefruit soap and everything was delicately wrapped in pink tissue. There was also a little mini skein of laceweight cashmere which I think will knit up a little mini scarf.

This has been such a fantastic swap I have really enjoyed it. I loved stalking and knitting for my pal Roo Knits and then recieving my treats too from Bat out of Hell. Thank you Justine and Laura for organising this whole thing. I am already looking forward to doing next years.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

WIP wrestling................

I have found myself with a little bit of time, shhhh don't tell anyone, in between the next sock parcel arriving, knitting travelling scarves and other little projects that I thought it was finally time to get my backside into gear and finish this lovely cardi that I started back in February this year.


It has been sidelined on several occaisions, and I have managed to knit two sweaters for DH in that time not to mention the number of scarves, socks and things for others. So I decided this weekend would be the time for a bit of selfish knitting.

I have now managed to complete the two fronts and the first part of both sleeves.
Next step is to sew it all up and then decide on the frilly / lacy cuffs I want to add in the Debbie Bliss pure silk. I am going to spend some time looking through my Barabara Walker Stitch libraries for inspiration.
Right off I go, seconds away, round II.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

I made it just......................

I finished my Hopscotch socks late on Sunday night but I was determined I wasn't going to bed until they were done.
I have had to learn quite a bit to be able to knit these socks, magic loop being the main thing and then learning to do magic loop toe up. I have learnt Judy's magic cast on, or should I say my version of it that works and I have learnt that you need to increase every round of the toes to start off with if I don't want pointy toes.
Anyway the result is this lovely pair of socks desingned by Anna Bell.



I have had to learn how to do a short row heel and I have finally solved the mystery of the holes. I hadn't realised that I needed to wrap and turn when I picked the stitches back up too.

I have to say one of the best bits about this sock club, apart from the fantastic patterns, gorgeous yarns and goodies is each new technique it has forced me to learn to be able to tackle the pattern. I have really love the challenge. After the last pair are knit up I will be posting about all the things I have learned along the way in the sock club. Thank you Alice for such a fantastic club. Things are already along the way for the new club for next year and of course I couldn't resist signing up again.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Teacher's Travelling Scarf.............

Yes something else I have joined recently is the European Teacher's Travelling Scarf group on Ravelry. It is a very simple idea. A number of people get together around the country, Europe or even the world. Each starts a section of a scarf that they then pass on to the next person in the line. This goes on until everyone in the group has added a section to the scarf and it returns home to its original owner.
My scarf should arrive back with me sometime towards the end of March having travelled the length and breadth of the country with a quick pop over to the European continent on the way.

This is the first section of my scarf all ready to go!

Here is the package ready to be sent of to PrincessPurling the first recipient to add to my scarf.

As my scarf travels around and the sections are added I am keen to know the yarns and the patterns that have been used so have included a little travelling note book to add notes about yarn and a sample. I have also included a little gift for each person who adds to my scarf.



I made these stitch markers so that each person who knits for the scarf may take one along the way.


I am as usual a little late at getting things onto my blog so I have already added sections to these two scarves that have already passed through my location.


This knitter requested neutral tones and block patterns.


This knitter wants an only pink scarf.


AKA the Socktopus Secret Santa Sock Swap.


Well I may not have posted much in the last couple of weeks but I can assure you that I have been busy on the knitting, spinning and dyeing front over the last few weeks.
A couple of months ago towards the end of the summer and as autumn was just starting to draw in I signed up to the Socktopus Secret Santa Swap. There were too choices of swap, either to produce a sock kit for someone with pattern, yarn and goodies or to knit a pair of socks and then send them with some goodies to your partner. I chose the second option as it meant I would recieve my first ever pair of handknit socks from someone.
If you care to scan back through my posts somewhere along the line you will find the questionnaire I had to complete about my likes, dislikes etc to provide information about me to my partner. We were then assigned the recipient of our package and it was time to start doing some serious stalking and snooping. So it was off to read the blog and the stalk the ravelry projects page to see what they would really like.
So what did I find out about the person I was goign to be knitting for:
Well obvious things first like sock size and then preferred colours and yarns. I then found out about their interests. They were a Harry Potter and a Miffy fan and also love the Lake district.

Once I had enough info it was time to start hatching my plan of action. The colours requested were purple with a new found interest in teal. This made me decide that the best thing to do would be to custom dye some yarn for this lady, she was also a big fan of Merino so I aquired two skeins of Merino Tencel ready for dyeing.

Here is what she got:




I reskeined to get a feel for how the colours would then mix.


With the yarn dyed, dried, reskeined and wound into a yarn cake it was time to decide on the pattern. I decided to knit Saucy (by cidermoon) which was a pattern in my partners queue on Ravelry.




Once the socks were finished it was time to put a few things together to complete the package. It was easy to do as my partner had some very clear interests.


Also when I included another skein of the yarn that I had dyed especially for her as well as a laminated copy of the pattern I had knit. There were also the other usual essentials for the sock knitter, foot treatments, chocolate, sticky notes and of course a little christmas angel decoration.

Rooknits I really hope that you enjoy your package and I will be looking out on your blog for your post. It was great fun putting this together for you.