Friday, 25 May 2012

I Need a Dollar, Dollar, a Dollar is all I Need...

I've always wanted to go to America, so when my very best friend told me she was off to Florida for 3 weeks, jealous face did make an appearance. She had a wonderful time, marvelled over the flavours of Ben & Jerry's. Poptarts and M&Ms (we don't get many flavours here in the UK), saw Frank the Pug from Men in Black and many more things that I am very envious of.

A week after she got back, a big, fat, squishy parcel landed on our doorstep. Filled with American goodies, and here is what I got...

I know, I know, yarn. Lovely variegated yarn. But that is not what I like most from this parcel, my favourite present is my $1 note.

My petty goal is to go to America, sit on a yellow bus, eat pancakes & bacon in a diner, buy a yellow pencil from Walmart and finally, get myself a dollar. Now you'd think I'd be constantly taking it out and looking at it, but no, I'm worried I'll rip it so I haven't looked at it since Saturday. I am though, going to put it in a frame and hang it on my wall once we have finished decorating my bedroom.

My second favourite present is (you guessed it) my skein of yarn. When I think of American yarn, I always think Worsted, I'm not sure why.

She bought me I Love This Yarn! (very fitting title! Stripes by Hobby Lobby in the Gelato colourway. Abby was worried I wouldn't like the colours, but I love them! I originally thought of making a beret with the yarn, but then it suddenly hit me, socks! So I've decided to make the 5 Stitches per Inch Sock by Ann Budd. I saw 2 projects made from this yarn, so I know it definitely suits the pattern (you can find them here, and here)

She also got me a packet of Coconut M&Ms, a flavour we don't have in the UK, and they were deeeeeelicious.

I also got given a Buzz Lightyear keyring and Toy Story comic (one of my favourite movies ya see!) and a Rex coin from Disney land.

So I want to say, THANK YOU ABBY!! xxx

My lovely friend Amy also gave me a gift last Thursday... an iPhone 3GS!! My sister videoed me as I opened it, my face was quite a picture of confusion and happiness.

So if you follow me on Instagram I apologise for the influx of photographs on my account. It will calm down... eventually :P

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Thursday Book Challenge: Week 11

I really want to apologise for not doing this meme for a while, there are a lot of things going on at the moment. I'm sick, we're trying to decorate the house, having family problems.. yahda yahda. Anyway, the important thing is that it is back!

I have hardly read since I took part last, I've finished Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. The first book was great, but the second (pandemonium) was such a let down. I just don't understand why Young Adult books require a Love Triangle, the book would have been a lot stronger without it.

The next books I read were the Ask & the Answer and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (books 2 & 3 of the Chaos Walking series). I could sum them both up in two words: EPIC WIN!! Especially the third and final book, Monsters of Men. The ending was simply genius, and I really suggest you read it.

The final book I finished was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I really didn't think I'd like this book, especially after the first couple of chapters, but once I really got into it I suddenly understood what all the hype was about, and was sitting on the edge of my seat for most of it. I found myself taking a sharp intake of breath whenever something went wrong, or someone died (I don't want to name any specifics incase you haven't yet read it), and getting a little sad when a certain young girl passes away.

I've moved straight onto the second book, Catching Fire. If I'm really honest, I think I like this one more than the first. I know people complain that not much happens in the beginning, but I thought that it was a good thing. It gave us time to get to know how the characters (and districts, actually) are coping now they are out of the arena and for the love story to really develop. The victors being sent back into the arena came as a real surprise, but I'm looking forward to meeting Finnick in a few chapters time.

So now it is your turn, what have you been reading this week? (and if you don't have time to write a post this week, feel free to tell us in the comments section!)

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

And I was like Baby, Baby, Baby Ohhhhh...

Every time I open my stash, skeins and skeins of DK throw themselves at me, just begging to be knitted with. Especially the pastel colours I've had in there for well over a year now. Finally, I have had ideas on what to knit with them.

Lots and lots of baby blankets.

I've discovered a love of knitting up boring pastel colours and creating something cute and practical. Last week I started a blanket for my Mum's friend at work, who is expecting a baby. I've almost finished it, and will tell you more later on in the week but in short, it is purple, yellow and white. And I love knitting it.

A teaser for you.. (it is bigger than that, it is just folded up!)
Since casting on this blanket, I've found I look at my yarns differently. I used to consider "baby pink" a useless colour, but now I see it as a stripe in a pink & white blanket.
As well as baby blankets, I am planning to make a shawl. I've had 3 skeins of Morocco by Patons in my stash for almost a year now, and I just didn't know what to make with it. When I found myself sat in bed cuddling it, it whispered to me "kerchief... I want to be a kerchief..." I bolted up right, logged on ravelry and found The Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower. I have no idea whether I'm going to gift it or keep it for myself, but at least I know what I'm going to make, that is something, isn't it?

Now I am knitting socks (I casted on my second pair a while ago...) my Mum is eyeing up a pair. I was sat knitting Sara's socks the other day when Mum came up to me and decided "I think my pair will be a dark purple...". So it looks like I am going to be knitting her a pair of socks, too! Fortunately last year my Nan had given me a skein of Suberba ChinĂ©e by Rico Design in a lovely dark purple colourway.

I was using it to knit myself Larch by Tinks & Frogs Rue, but I think I will frog it and use the yarn for Mum's socks. I'm not sure yet on the sock pattern I'll use, probably something by Ann Budd...

I have 2 skeins of Albero by Louisa Harding also hiding in my stash, which is just lush stuff. I attempted to knit the Reversible Lace Beanie Hat from an issue of Simply Knitting earlier this year, but it was a train wreck and ended up getting frogged. I hope to resurrect the project, finish it and gift it to my youngest sister, Katy (who is one of the lucky ones who can wear a hat and look cool).

That is just the tip of the iceberg in regards of my yarn and project ideas, and I'm looking forward to seeing how these projects I've mentioned turn out! :)

For now though, why don't you head on over to the Underground Crafter, the genius behind this meme, for more posts about gift-worthy yarns & their projects. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Congratulations, and Jubilations, I Want the World to Know I'm Happy as Can Be...

If you were here at the beginning of the week you'll have read my review of Mistofellees by Black Cat Fibres. Ruth kindly sent me the yarn, and as it is designed especially for socks I couldn't use it for anything else! I had the pattern 8 Stitches per Inch by Ann Budd in my Year of Projects list.

My sister has just finished her last exam at work, so what better way to celebrate then with a pair of hand-knitted socks?

Knitting them was so much easier than I expected. I listened to "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins as I knitted which meant I got a lot done.

The yarn was a dream to work with. It has a fuzzy halo covering the yarn, which means it is soft to knit with and their is no chance of it splitting.

I loved how the colour changed every few stitches, which kept it interesting.

Turning the heel was the scariest part, but Ann has written the pattern so clearly, you find yourself doing it without realizing. After I'd turned the heel I couldn't help but do a fist pump, such a large hurdle cleared.

The socks took me 2 days to knit, which is a lot quicker than I thought it would take me. And you know what? I am really proud of myself, I think they look great!

They are soooo comfy!

If I was to change anything, I would change the cuff. I just did stocking stitch, when really I should have added some rib to keep the socks up. But other than that I wouldn't change a thing. 
To complete Tamin's CONGRATULATIONS parcel, I popped in a bar of her favourite chocolate (Lindt, if you were wondering) a card, and printed off a "knitter's gift tag of appreciation" from Eskimimi Makes (knit version, crochet version, crafting and sewing/quilting version)

Which are brilliant for telling people how to care for your gift.

So my package looked a little something like this:

I'm pleased to say, Tamin's loooooves them. She phoned me the next day, she told me that she'd got the package during her lunch break, took her socks to work with her and showed them off to all her co-workers! *smile* 

So that is one more YOP project done and dusted, next up is The Age of Brass & Steam Kercheif by Orange Flower. I'm not sure when my yarn is going to arrive, but I'll keep you all posted on how I get on with it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone :)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I'll Knit for You, and You and... No, Not You.

My niece's Jacket with Moss Stitch Bands.
I'm very fortunate in the fact that my family love handmade gifts. I think is due to the fact that we're all so crafty, and artistic. There are about 6 artists in my family, and 8 knitters. So we're all used to getting hand-knitted items, paintings or handmade jewellery. Which means that if I knit someone a gift, I know it'll be appreciated.

95% of the items I knit are gifts (I don't know why, I just seem incapable of knitting for myself!), so this meme will be great for me as I'll be able to plan everything in advance, instead of that awful last minute rush, let's knit til 4am, thing that seems to get me every time.

I'm not really selective when it comes to choosing who to knit for. My only rule is "if they appreciate it, they can have it". If they don't actually like knitting, I don't bother knitting for them, as I don't want to waste time & money on something they're never going to use, or even like. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how many people want knits), the majority of people I know appreciate the time and effort I've taken to make things.

Sara's 8 Stitches per Inch Socks
This year I'm trying to get my family lovely and warm by the winter, which means lots of socks, scarves & mittens (and a couple of Afghans thrown in for good measure). I'll probably knit the odd beret during the summer so I don't go completely out of my mind.

The main people I'll be knitting for this year, are (in particular order):

  • Mum
  • Sara (sister)
  • Tazz (sister)
  • Katy (sister)
  • Abby (cousin/best friend)
  • Tilly (niece)
  • Daisy (niece)
I'll also be knitting for friends and a couple of other family members, but the 7 people mentioned above are the people I'll be mainly focusing on. Some gifts have deadlines, such as Tamin's congrulations package, but other than that, and a couple of anniversaries, I'll mostly be knitting things just because I want to gift bomb them. 

So that is my twist on today's Holiday Stash Down 2012 prompt, which was created by the Underground Crafter. Head over to today's post to check out other posts along the same lines.

Monday, 14 May 2012

In Review: Mistofellees by Black Cat Fibres

This week I am reviewing Mistofellees by Black Cat Fibres. (I received the yarn for free in return for a review).

Yarn arrived the next day (very impressive), and came wrapped in colour matching tissue paper, which I thought was a lovely touch. It felt like I was opening a present (which I was in a way)!

Mistofellees is a Merino/Nylon Superwash Sock (4ply) yarn, I chose to have it in the Summer Berries colourway. A gorgeous purple and pink yarn which just reminds me of picnics in the summer.

As it is sock yarn, I just had to have a go at socks. I chose the pattern 8 Stitches per Inch by Ann Budd, not only because it is my first ever pair of socks, but I knew the plain stockinette body would show the yarn off perfectly.

This yarn is a dream to knit with. It has a fuzzy halo covering the yarn, which means it is soft to knit with and their is no chance of splitting. I did attempt a couple of other patterns with the yarn, but ended up frogging them. Normally a yarn wouldn't be able to cope with so much unravelling, but Mistofellees held up its shape and texture.

The yarn is hand-dyed, so if you are going to need more than one skein make sure you buy them at the same time, as dye-lots will vary. There are a generous 465 yards/ 425m per skein, which will make a large pair of men's socks. It will handle a cool machine wash (30˚), but make sure you dry your garment flat. You can buy the yarn at a bargain price of £10.83 ($17). 

So my honest advice is to buy this yarn, you really won't regret it. I can see Black Cat Fibres becoming very popular, so make sure you get the skein you've been eyeing up soon, before it is too late!

If you pop by on Sunday, you'll see how the socks turned out. Tune in tomorrow though, for my participation in a new meme called "Holiday Stash Down 2012", which was recently started by the Underground Crafter.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

This Week in Knitting: M.E Week Special

This week is the M.E Week Special! So what does that actually mean? Well, I will pick new patterns to show you, that are either easy to knit (for those of us who suffer with "brain fog") or, will help with daily activities.

First up is the Waffled Wheat Cushion by Gemma Waugh. This pattern is both brain fog friendly, and will help with pain. Gemma says:

"To sooth away those winter aches and pains why not make your own wheat cushion to heat in the microwave so you know what natural goodness is in it. Using a very simple six row waffle stitch to give texture and warmth."

The yarn Gemma has chosen is Freedom Spirit DK by Twilleys. A very reasonably priced yarn (£3.79 on Deramores), but I could only find it on sale in the UK, so here are some more choices:

1. Sprout by Classic Elite Yarns ($10.50 / 8.11 EUR)   2. Patagonia Nature Cotton by Araucania ($11.96 / 9.24 EUR)

As I said on Tuesday, people with M.E/CFS tend to suffer with joint pain (you can see the range of symptoms of M.E, by clicking here), and I know after I do a bit of knitting by hands are incredibly sore, so to keep the joints warm I wear Fingerless Mittens. 

© Annie & Company

So, our next pattern is a gorgeous lace mittens pattern, called Tea Leaf Gloves by Annie Riley. This is the second pattern of Annie's I've mentioned on This Week in Knitting, personally I believe she is going to be a big star in the designing world. We must keep our eye on this girl!

I'm seriously in love with this pattern. It is just goooorgeous. The pattern is available in mid-May, but in the mean time, all orders of Annie Sock from her shop during the month of May will receive a free copy of this pattern! (her yarn is also gorgeous by the way!)

Personally, I think you should make the gloves with her yarn, but here are some other yarn choices to tickle your fancy:

1. Yummy Fingering by Candy Skein ($20 / 15.45 EUR / £12.40) 2. Tea Rose by Twist & Twine Yarns ($18 / £11.47 / 13.90 EUR)

©Woolly Wormhead
Our final pattern for this weeks edition is Rainbowret by Woolly Wormhead. This simple beret will be perfect for hiding those bad hair days that those with M.E tend to suffer with on a regular basis.

I'm not sure what yarn they have used for the show knit, so here are my suggestions:

1. Yummy DK by Candy Skein ($18 / £11.47 / 13.90 EUR)
2. Mirage DK by Patons (£3.50 / $5.64 / 4.35 EUR)

Well, I do hope you've enjoyed this special edition. Which of this weeks patterns are your favourite?

Have a great weekend everyone, 

Charly x

Friday, 11 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: A Chat with Jaz...

My lovely friend Jaz, from Jasmine's Crafts and Being Jaz has kindly agreed to an interview, so you can get a glimpse into the life of someone with M.E.

Could you give us a little summary of your M.E story so far?

"I fell ill just after starting secondary school, so about two weeks into year seven. I was 11 years old, and I caught a nasty throat infection which turned out to be suspected glandular fever. I never recovered from it, and got progressively worse. I went from being sporty and active, running everywhere, swimming every weekend, to feeling so shattered and in so much pain I could hardly stand up. I was diagnosed with severe M.E in January 2009. Health has varied over the years, but it's still severe and there isn't an aspect of my life it doesn't effect."

What is a typical day like for you?

"I wake up and if I can move (sometimes I'm just so tired I can't move) I'll eat breakfast and go to school online, I have a gap mid day when I'll stay in bed and listen to an audio book, I'll finish school and the rest of the day will be spent doing as little as possible (most spent lying down in bed). In the evenings I usually listen to a book - M.E makes actually reading a book very difficult - and try and get some sleep, which can be difficult because pain gets really bad in the evenings."

The theme for this years M.E Week is Education. I know you do brilliantly with school, how do you cope?

"I'm a very nerdy person so making sure I get my GCSE's has always been important to me. I study with an online school for the most part, which means whilst there's structure it's flexible enough so that if I miss a lesson there are ways I can catch up. I also do an hour a week at the local tutoring centre towards an Art GCSE and I have an English tutor so that I can take English Lit and Language. It's a bit complicated time wise, making sure tutoring doesn't clash with online lessons and such, and it's certainly not the 'normal' way of studying but it works for me. I should end up with 5-6 GCSEs, including three core subjects."

What keeps you going when you're going through a rough time? 

"My best friend and my family because they always know how to help me."

How did you get started knitting, and what is your favourite thing about the craft?

"My grandma taught me to knit when I was about 10, but I didn't really take much notice of skill until after I was diagnosed when I picked up my knitting needles and re-learnt it ll again myself."

Jasmine's Ocean Breez

Jasmine's Fools for Love doll
What things has your illness taught you over the past couple of years? 

"My illness has taught me how to be patient and how to say no when people demand too much on my time or and energy. I learnt to prioritise. I learnt how to look after my energy (even if I'm not good at it) and an appreciation for my health in general, because it could be worse. I learnt how to ignore people's expectations and labels on me, because people seem to think that because I'm ill I just sit around moping - I don't. I learnt how to stand up for myself against people who thing M.E isn't real."

If you could give just one piece of advise to someone with M.E or any chronic illness for that matter, what would it be?

"Don't ever loose hope."

Despite the severity of her illness, Jaz is always cheerful and positive. She's accepted her limitations, and worked her life and goals around them. Which I find very admirable, and something that we could all learn from.

M.E isn't the end of your life. Yes, it is a terrible, terrible illness that is not treated with as much seriousness as it requires, and it takes a way a lot of things you hold dear (like being sporty) but is not the end. Jaz and I both learnt to knit when we were diagnosed, so if you can, why not try something new? It doesn't have to require much energy or brain power. You could sow some windowsill plants and keep them in your bedroom. If you're well enough, try a new craft like knitting/crochet, card or jewellery making. The main thing is that you have fun! And as Jaz said, "Don't ever loose hope."

Thursday, 10 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: Among the Hedgerows

We've had the 'fun' washcloth already this week, so here is the 'elegant' washcloth. 

Among the Hedgerows was inspired by the berries growing in the hedgerows near where I live The centre (teal part) is knitted in blackberry stitch, then you pick up and knit the edges in a thick rib. You don't have to use contrasting colours, you could knit it all in one colour or, you could even have each section of the border in a different colour. The main thing is that you have fun knitting it! 

I do not suggest you knit it while under the influence of "brain fog", as blackberry stitch is a little tricky to get the hang of at first.

You can download the pattern for free on Ravelry, but if you don't have a Ravelry account, don't despair! You can download the pattern straight onto your computer by clicking here.

I have provided this pattern for free, but please consider donating to, the largest children's charity with M.E/CFS. If you can't donate, don't worry! Just by adding your Among the Hedgerows Washcloth project onto Ravelry, you'll be spreading the word, thank you.
Tune in tomorrow for an exclusive interview with Jaz from Jasmine's Crafts and Being Jaz.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: Coffee Lovers Favourite

Small projects are perfect for when you are having very bad days, they provide that "I finished something" fuzzy feeling inside, and provide solace for the pain you're going through.

Grandmother's Favourite Washcloth is one of those brilliant projects, but after a while you do want to switch it up a bit and try something other than a Washcloth. That is why I designed Coffee Lovers Favourite, the Mug Hug spin on the famous washcloth. It knitted up in no time at all, and was very enjoyable to knit.

The pattern is a plain garter stitch hug, decorated with an eyelet border. It uses hardly any yarn, so perfect if you have any left over cotton after knitting Grandmother's Favourite Washcloth. As there is no real pattern in the hug, you could use self-striping, but personally I think one solid colour works best.

I have provided this patten for free, but please consider donating to, the largest children's charity supporting young people with M.E/CFS. If you can't donate, don't worry. Just by adding your Coffee Lovers Favourite project onto Ravelry you'll be spreading the word, thank you :)

Tune in tomorrow for the release of Among the Hedgerows Washcloth. (If you would like to find out more about M.E Awareness Week, please check out Mondays post)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: Pixie Mitts

Here comes one of my favourite patterns I have designed for M.E Awareness Week, Pixie Mitts!!

Joint pain is one of the many symptoms that M.E/CFS Sufferers have to cope with on a daily basis, warmth such as hot water bottles or fingerless mittens can ease the pain, so I decided to have a go at designing a colourful pair of mittens.

Download the pattern for FREE on Ravelry!

The pattern is created by slipping stitches, so you're only ever working with one colour at a time. Making it so much easier for those new to colourwork or if you're suffering from Brain Fog. 

You can download the pattern for free on Ravelry, but if you don't have an account you can download the pattern for free straight onto your computer, by clicking here to download.

I have provided the pattern for free, but please consider donating to, the largest children's charity supporting young people with M.E/CFS. If you can't donate, don't worry! Just by adding your Pixie Mitts project on Ravelry, you're spreading the word, thank you :)

Tune in tomorrow for the release of the Coffee Lovers Favourite pattern. (If you would like to find out more about M.E Awareness Week, check out Monday's post)

Monday, 7 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: Candy Bobble Washcloth

When M.E gets severe, all we can manage is a quick wash rather than a bath or sitting-down shower. So rather than use a boring flannel, why don't you knit yourself something fun and interesting. Such as the Candy Bobble Washcloth! (They also work great as gifts too)

The washcloth was inspired by the Candy Bobble French Press Cozy that I designed last year. You can download the Candy Bobble Washcloth for FREE on Ravelry. If you haven't got Ravelry, don't despair! You can click here to download the pattern for FREE.

I've provided this pattern for free, but please consider donating to, the largest children's charity supporting young people with M.E & CFS. If you can't donate, don't worry! Just by adding your Candy Bobble Washcloth project on Ravelry you'll be spreading the word, thank you :)

Tune in tomorrow for the release of Pixie Mitts!

(If you want to know more about M.E Awareness Week please refer to Sunday's post)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

M.E Week 2012: Brain Fog Blanket

If you've hung out at this blog for a while, you'll know that I suffer with something called M.E, and have done for 6 years now. Many people don't know very much about this illness (including doctors!), so that is why it was decided to create a week dedicated to spreading the word about this debilitating illness.

So what is M.E?

"Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) is an illness with many names. Within the NHS it is commonly called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or CFS/M.E). Sometimes it is known as Myalgic Encephalopathy or diagnosed as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).

M.E is a long-term (chronic) fluctuating illness that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems.

Many people with M.E experience persistent fatigue or pain. However, M.E is characterised by a range of additional symptoms."

The reason I began knitting, was because I needed a therapy of sorts to help me cope with the pain I am in (as I also suffer with Fibromyalgia) and to give me something to do (as I am no longer able to study for school, drive or get a job). Learning this amazing craft has not only given me a reason to wake up every morning, but it has brought me many friends and confidence (people ask me what I am doing and I am able to respond). 

Download for FREE
So, I decided that to raise awareness for M.E, I would design 10 M.E friendly patterns. One being released every day. The first of which, is the Brain Fog Blanket.

What is Brain Fog?

  • Reduced attention span
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Word-finding difficulties
  • Inability to plan or organise thoughts
  • Loss of concentration
When we suffer with any of the "brain fog" symptoms, it becomes very difficult to knit. That is why I wanted to design a pattern that means you can knit despite these difficult symptoms. So, the Brain Fog Blanket pattern was born. 

It is a simple 1 row pattern that you just repeat until the square is the desired size. Then cast off, and begin another! Once you have enough squares, you can start sewing them up to create your very own squishy blanket (I suggest waiting until you're having a good day before you start sewing up, or ask someone else to help you).

I have a bag of squares already, made from DK yarn I have hidden in my stash. 

You can download the pattern for free on Ravelry. If you don't have Ravelry, don't despair! Click here to download the PDF straight onto your computer.

I've provided the pattern for free, but please consider donating to, the largest children's charity supporting young people (like myself) with M.E & CFS. If you can't donate, don't worry! Just by adding your Brain Fog Blanket project onto Ravelry you'll be spreading the word, so thank you :)

What would be really wonderful, if those with M.E (and those without) would knit one or two Brain Fog Blanket squares over the course of this week. Maybe blog about knitting them if you can, or simply adding them to your project page on Ravelry. This would bring so much awareness to this awful illness, and you'll also be on your way to creating a colourful blanket!

So tune in tomorrow for the release of the Candy Bobble Washcloth!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

This Week in Knitting: Itsy Bitsy Spider Climbing up the Spout...

I'm currently knitting my first ever pair of socks and am starting to form an addiction with knitting them. They're all I think about knitting, they're all I ever want to knit, I stare at fingering weight yarn on the internet and also tend to stare at peoples feet. So, it made sense that the first pattern to kick off this weeks edition would be a sock.

©Lotta Groeger
These amazing socks are called Itsy Bitsy Spider & a Big One by Lotta Groeger. I looooove knee high socks, especially green, lacy knee high socks with big spiders on!

©Lotta Groeger
Now, don't be intimidated by the large amount of lace. Lotta herself says: "The lace pattern is easily memorized". What you might be scared of, is the fact that the socks are knitted toe up.

The pattern is available to download for £2.08 / $3.35, which is a bargain considering all the work Lotta must have put into it. The yarn she suggests you use is Sockenwolle 4fach by Zauberwiese. Unforunately, I couldn't find this amazing yarn outside of Germany, which is a shame as the yarn is gorgeous (I mean, check out this skein!), so here are a few of my yarn suggestions:

1. Yummy Fingering by Candy Skein ($20 / £12.38)   2. Polka Sock by Alice Dyes ($20 / £12. 38)

©Clare Lee
Spring is in the air, so what better to knit then the Spring Leafy Beret by Clare Lee. This is what Clare says about the pattern: "This breezy beret is knitted in all lace with a ribbed band, featuring mini-leaf lace. The crow is modified to retain its diamond shape.Rice in texture, but the easy-to-memorize base lace makes it a surprisingly quick knit -- great for a gift or quasi-instant gratification accessory for warm weather!"

I'm thinking of buying this pattern very soon (available to download for $3.99 / £2.54), as I just love this pattern! It looks like such a fun knit, a great stash buster (who doesn't have skeins and skeins of DK lounging around?!) and a wonderful gift (you might need to knit yourself one as well). 

The yarn she suggests you use is Tosh DK by Madelinetosh ($18 / £15.99), but here are a couple of other options for you to explore:

1. Cotlin by Knit Picks (£2.79 / £2.75) 2. Hand Dyed DK by Wandering Wool ($20 / £12.71)

©Diana Rozenshteyn
Keeping with the spring theme, our final pattern for today is Once Upon a Leaf by Diana Rozenshteyn. 

"Once Upon a Leaf is an airy lace shawl with beautiful winding leaves stitch pattner. Leaves evoke feelings of spring and summer, but this shawl would make a great accessory for any time of the year. The shawl is seamless and knitted top-down from the central neck stitches to the edge."

This beautiful pattern is available to download for $5 / £3.18. The yarn Diana suggests you use is Centolavaggi by Filatura Di Crosa ($19.95). Unfortunately I was only able to find the yarn in the States, so here are a few other options:

1. Superfine Lace Yarn by Joya Fibers ($16 / £10.17)

Remember this lovely cardigan pattern that was feautered in the last edition of This Week in Knitting

©Annie & Company
Well, the pattern is now available to purchase on the Knit Picks website!

So with that, I shall love you and leave you. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for the first day of M.E Awareness Week! Every day for 10 days I will be releasing a free knitting pattern in aid of, including fingerless mittens patterns, washcloths and even a new French Press Cozy! So pop on over tomorrow for the release of the Brain Fog Blanket.

Have a very knitty weekend!

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