Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pattern Doodling

Yesterday I said I was going to show you a swatch for a new scarf pattern I'm dreaming up, using Patons Morocco Aran in Jade/Smargd.

Well, I did have a go with the Morocco yarn but I just couldn't think up a pattern that worked well enough with it. So, getting bored I grabbed my skein of Stylecraft Special Double Knit in Raspberry, settled down in front of Larkrise to Candleford (series three, if you were wondering) and knitted away.

I tried to think about this new design as little as possible, and to just see where I went with it. Two episodes later, this is what I was left with:

I call them 'Doodle Mitts' :) 

As you can see, at the start of each cable there is a decoration of YO's, following the bend in the beginning of the cable.

They are knitted flat, then sewn up. The cable is really simple, making it perfect for a cable novice. In fact, I think this pattern would be great for beginners!

I'm going to knit up the second mitt, and then I'll release the pattern some time next week. Late last night I designed a second pair of mittens, I'll give you two clues. It is fair isle, and they are inspired by where I live...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Non-Knittable Yarn

July of last year, when I was still in the process of learning how to knit (although to be honest, when do we ever stop learning?) I blogged about the Cable Bag I was making. I initially started knitting the bag with Patons Morocco Aran in Jade/Smaragd, a beautiful multi-textured, self-striping yarn. 

I can't get over at how messy my knitting was back then!
The first thing that struck me when knitting the bag, was that the yarn wasn't thick enough to be Aran. Sure, the dark blue aspect of of the yarn was Aran but the rest of the yarn, to me anyway, seemed slightly thinner that DK. Because of this, I realised the bag wasn't going to be strong enough to hold books etc, so I decided to frog it and try again in a different yarn.

I was then stuck with three skeins of this yarn, and no clue what to make with it. I had a flick through my book Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner, and found the pattern 'Lacy Wrap'.

When I was about halfway through knitting the shawl up, I realised that I would never wear it! So, I decided to frog that project as well.

I've had this yarn in my stash for a year now, and I desperately want to have another go with it. As I've had no luck finding the perfect pattern, I decided I would just design a pattern myself. 

I want to design something that'll not only make the yarn look great, but that is quick and easy to knit. I have a feeling I'd like cables incorporated but with a lacy twist. The only thing that I have decided on, is that it is going to be a scarf. As that is probably the simplest thing for a new knitter to create :) (plus I need another scarf!)

I'm about to start swatching for the design, and will show you my efforts tomorrow. If you have any ideas that I could incorporate into the pattern, then please let me know. Either through a comment, or a Ravelry message :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

The One Where Tink & I Design a Cardigan in Our Sleep

Last night I had a dream that Tink, from a Master of a Thousand Things, and I were designing a pattern together. It was a long sleeved black cardigan, with what I think was either fair isle, or most probably, intarsia Poppies covering the cardigan. I made a point of saying that the Poppies needed to be 'blood red' (why I said that and didn't go with something like Scarlet is beyond me).

We decided to knit the cardigan in parts and sew it up later, rather than knitting it all in one piece. I got started on the back, while Tink had a bash at the fronts. When we'd finished our little section we'd post it to the other to make sure they thought it was okay (as Tink and I live almost 4 hours apart), and whether or not anything needs to be changed.

Flower Power Cardigan by ShopBop
Purchase for £108 / $168
The dream ended with the cardigan actually finished. I had a look online to see if I could find a cardigan which matched the one in my dream, and I found a pretty much perfect match.

I promise you I had never seen this cardigan before in my life! The only thing about the cardigan that was different was that the collar was all black, the flowers were actually poppies, and that for some very strange reason the flowers were blood red.

All this got me thinking though, how much fun would it be to do a design collaboration!

Obviously it'd be best if you both lived near to each other, but I have heard of it working very well over the Internet. I think it'd be great fun! I imagine it would work out like this:

First you'd talk about what you want to design and perhaps what key elements you'd like included. Then it'd move on to preliminary sketches, you'd work out the little kinks before doing final sketches. Then of course it's time to talk about yarn! By now you've probably decided on the weight, and perhaps even the colour of the yarn you want to use. The real fun comes in when you get to knit swatches in different yarns to see which you'll use in your final design.

I'm not quite sure about what would happen next. Would both of you start knitting the design up? Or, will you wait for the other to finish and then you test the pattern? Perhaps you'd both knit different parts (like in my dream), and then get them sent to either you or your partner to sew them all together.

Hopefully in the future I'll get the chance to do a design collaboration, if I did I'd love to design socks as I'm not clever enough to design them myself!

If you could design anything, what would it be? And would you prefer to design it by yourself, or with someone?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

An Unblocked Cowl and a Finished Fair Isle Hat!

I was out all day last Sunday, so didn't get chance to blog about my finished Origami Cowl! I had about an inch of yarn left after I'd casted off, so don't have enough to sew the hem back like I was hoping to. I tried popping it on as soon as I'd finished, but couldn't get it on! So, yes, definitely needs blocking. I haven't had chance to do so yet, so here it is unblocked:

I'm not a big fan of it I have to say, but Rizzle loves it so perhaps it'll be going her way! You were all in love with the yarn I used, and made a point of telling me that I should knit something I love with it. But, what I neglected to tell you was that I have 2 skeins! So I can make myself something I absolutely love. I'm not sure what they'll be yet, perhaps another cowl, or mittens... the possibilities are endlesss! 

Hopefully next week I'll be able to model the blocked version for you, but we'll just have to see what this coming week has in store for me!

After I casted off the cowl, I was in need of a quick evening knit, so scrolled through my YOP list and found the pattern Scrappy Gems Fair Isle Hat by Tina Edgar. I decided to make it for my niece Tilly, who has just started school. The yarn I chose was Stylecraft Special Double Knit in Plum, Pale Rose & Pomegranate. If you've been reading my blog posts over the past week you'll remember me using them for Abby's Blanket & Molly's Scarf & Mittens set

I read through project notes for this pattern, and I noticed a trend of people mentioning that the hat turned out a smaller size than they cast on for. So I chose to play it safe and cast on for an adult hat, hoping it would turn out child-size, otherwise Rizzle gets her mitts on another hat!

Normally I'm not a fan of doing colourwork but I love doing Fair Isle. I find it quite therapeutic. About four hours later I casted off, it turned out Tilly size - woo! 

I reaaaaaally enjoyed knitting this hat, and the pattern is perfect for a quick knit to add to the present bundles I give to those expecting bubbas! One day in the future I'd like to edit the pattern so that it comes out as a slouchy beanie as I think Rizzle would love very cute in a blue ombre one!

So there we go, not one, but two projects to tick off on my YOP List! I can't decide what to knit next, either  the Very Braidy Cowl or, the Scallop Lace Hat. Decisions decisions!

To find more Year of Projects: Year 2! posts, search Google for 'YOP1213' or, head on over to the Ravelry Group and check out the 'October 28th - November 3rd' thread.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Guest Post: Pink Kitties

The following post is written by my good friend Fleur, from the blog Blue Mark for M.E. I hope you enjoy it!

Pink Kitties

Ravelry is an online community where you can find all sorts of patterns (some for free!), a lot of tips and tricks about both knitting and crocheting, and many fellow knitters. It is where Charlotte and I both met.

Photo: Channel 4 television
There is plenty of room for discussion with either members of the groups you are in or with others on one of the six main boards that are about general knitting topics. Just this other day a knitting colleague started a topic because she ran out of yarn and asked if someone could help her find a bit more of it. She needed to finish her Bagpuss. As a Dutch girl English is not my first language, but I am familiar with most of the English phrases regarding knitting. This, however, sounded like a weird object to me. Whenever I doubt what a word or expression might mean, I use Google and click on 'images' to see if it is what I thought it would be. Like 'bare stalks' and that turned out okay, it was meaning what I wanted to express in a short story that I had written about birds in the garden. 'Thick bush' meant quite something else. I was glad I checked it before putting the story online. So perhaps you can imagine I doubted to look the Bagpuss up on Google, because who knows what would have popped up?!

In the end Bagpuss turned out to be a lovely kitty. Thankfully there is nothing kinky about knitting a fun creature like that. Another knitter on Ravelry was kind enough (yes, there are only nice people on there. Honestly!) to show me Bagpuss on Youtube. And one thing led to another. I went from one pink cat to the next: The Pink Panther. That cool cat is one of my childhood heroes.

Just then something struck me as odd, I never realized this when I was a kid. The panther doesn't wear any clothes, nothing. Nope, that is not odd, Bagpuss also has nothing on her but stripes. But tell me: why does the Pink Panther change into swimming trunks after arriving at the beach?

So, happy knitting and hope to meet you all on Ravelry!

Ciao, Fleur. (Fleurtje-Eliza on Ravelry)

(Click here for the 'Hamish Part One' with Bagpuss;
Click here for the movie 'Come on in! The water's pink' with the Pink Panther.)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Gifts for Miss Molly

Yesterday I teased you about a lace scarf & fingerless mittens I had made for my more than lovely friend, Molly. Well, it's time to show you all :)

Molly has done brilliantly the past couple of months with her voluntary work so I thought I would make her something to keep her nice and warm on those cold days that are so fast approaching. I decided I'd make her a pair of mittens, and the pattern I chose was Cherry Red Handwarmers by creativeyarn. I'd subluxated my finger (on my writing hand) the day before, so I had to hold the yarn as if I was learning to knit all over again.

I read the pattern wrong, so I only did 5 pattern repeats rather than the 10 the pattern calls for. Which meant that each mitten only took me an hour to knit, making it an uber fast knit. Once they were finished and sewn up, I found I preferred them shorter.

Once I'd photographed them, I felt like they were lacking a little.... something, so I sewed on a few silver buttons :)

I felt like mittens weren't enough, so I decided to whip her up a scarf as well! I wanted to use a pattern that had a nod to period drama, as we are both a liiiiiiitle obsessed with Georgette Heyer novels at the moment. I managed to find a lace pattern called Victorian Scarf by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence, which Tink from Master of a Thousand Things, made a little while ago. I decided to give a modern twist to the scarf by using three different colours: Pomegranate, Pale Rose & Plum (The same colours I used for Abby's Blanket).

The scarf was really quick to knit up, and I quite enjoyed knitting it. 

I wrapped Molly's presents up in purple tissue paper, with a note in the shape of a heart. I almost chickened out of giving them to her, as I always do when I knit someone something. I did manage to pluck up the courage to give them to her, and she loved them. I was so pleased :)

Before I pack you all off to Tami's for FO Friday, don't forget to come back tomorrow for a Guest Blog Post by my good friend Fleur from the blog, Blue Mark for M.E.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

3 Shades of Purple

Abby subtly mentioned one summer day that she'd love a knitted blanket more than anything, I quickly took note of the hint and started looking for blanket patterns.
From left to right: Raspberry, Pale Rose & Plum.
Not too long before, I had finished knitting a baby blanket using the pattern 'Hit the Road' by Biggan Dups. It had been featured in the May issue of Let's Knit, and I had really enjoyed knitting it. So much so I decided to knit another one!

Abby loves purple, but I didn't want to do just one shade of purple blanket, I wanted to mix it up. I decided to use three different shades: light, medium & dark. With all these different skeins required, I didn't want the blanket to get expensive so I chose a 'cheap' yarn in the form of Special Double Knit by Stylecraft. 
For the light shade, I used 'Pale Rose', a gorgeous shade that really softens the medium & dark colours. The medium shade was a bit of a gamble, as I know Abby isn't a big fan of pink, but I really thought 'Raspberry' went perfectly with the other colours, so decided to take the risk. Finally, the dark shade. As I said before, Abby's favourite colour is purple, so I had to have a purple shade in there somewhere! I decided to use 'Plum', a very delicious shade I must say!

The pattern is dead simple, and took about.... 8 or 9 days to knit. You have a thick moss stitch border (to prevent curling and to add texture), then it is a simple case of striping! After every stripe you must do a set of fair isle rows, which took forever. I did the fair isle in Pale Rose, to break up the medium and dark shades :) I'll definitely be saving this pattern, as I can see me using it a lot in the future for baby presents! 

Abby absoloutely loved it, and I'm so pleased as I myself am quite chuffed with how it turned out. Fortunately I had left over yarn in every shade after finishing, so I was able to put that to good use and knit up my very lovely friend Molly a lace scarf & a pair of fingerless mittens (which I shall show you tomorrow!). Even after all that I still have yarn left, so am mulling over what to knit next... perhaps a pair of mittens for my adorable, pink loving friend Megan. We shall see! :D

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

I'm Hooked!

One of my goals this year was to learn to crochet. I've attempted to teach myself several times but I could never get the hang of it. I remember mentioning to my friend, Rae, how difficult I was finding it and she told me that she'd teach me! She told me that she wouldn't tell me which stitches I was learning until after I'd got the hang of it. I thought that was a very clever way of getting me to learn, as I'm constantly getting confused between 'treble', 'half treble' etc etc.

So on Monday night, when I was in way too much pain to sleep and I didn't feel like knitting, I decided to give crochet another go. I kept Rae's idea in mind and headed onto YouTube to find a Granny Square tutorial, as granny squares (and ripple blankets actually) were the reason I wanted to learn to crochet.

I found a series of great tutorials by Bethintx1 (click here for lesson one), she did it really slowly at first to get you started, then as the lessons go along and you get the hang of it she quickens her pace. I was doing really well, until I got to lesson three and I got extremely confused and I couldn't find where in the video I had got stuck. Now having a general idea on what to do, I tried to find a photo/written tutorial on Ravelry and came across 'Granny Square Tutorial Over Simplified'. It's brilliant, as each step is photographed so you can see how it is meant to look.

After about 15 minutes I had my first granny square....

No idea what the yarn is... It was a gift, but had no ball band!
All I do know is that it's DK weight.

It turned out big because of my loose tension. I had no idea if it looked like a granny square or not, so I asked the very lovely people on Instagram and apparently it is a granny square. So, hooray!

I then made another in 'Plum' Special DK by Stylecraft. This one turned out smaller than my first.

By now it was about 4:30am and my body was screaming at me to get to sleep. After I finished crocheting, I started to notice the pain but by then it had softened enough for me to get some sleep. I drifted off thinking, chain one, 3 double crochet in chain 1 space, chain 1, 3 double crochet in corner, chain 2, 3 double crochet in corner - one corner made! 

I woke up in a pain haze, completely forgetting about my crochet escapades. When I saw the granny squares piled up by my bed, for a split second I thought perhaps someone else had left them there. When I did finally remember that I had made them, I was over joyed and immediately grabbed my hook and started making more, just to prove that it wasn't a fluke.

Turns out it wasn't, I can make granny squares!

These ones didn't turn out great...
@blrb on instagram (who is always lovely about my crafting) said that changing the colours would help define the pattern, so I thought I would give it a go.

I found some bright yarn in my stash that I got free from a magazine, it's really crappy stuff but the colours are great, and had a go at another couple of granny squares.

I can't get the yarn to photograph properly, it is really bright in real life!

And because I am now completely obsessed, I crocheted a square while writing this post, this time in rainbow yarn!

I'm getting my room decorated soon, and it is a seaside theme. White, red and blue are the colours being used for my new duvet & curtains, so I thought I would crochet myself a matching Granny Square Blanket (since I have always wanted one). When I get some money, I'm going to get myself a few skeins of Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK in... Classic Red (for the first round), White (for the second round) and Azur (for the final round. I can't wait to give it a go!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


    ©Daily Picture
    Using Flickr Creative Commons
    Autumn is probably my favourite season. The weather has only slightly turned, but enough so you can pop on  your fingerless mittens and a cowl, and head out on wonderful walks through the woods. All the leaves on the trees have transformed from a hard green to a burning orange. The crisp leaves then flutter down to the ground, making a satisfying crunch under your feet. When there are enough on the ground, you can collect them together and make a nice large pile, then with the children you can sprint towards them, and land in a heap on the ground as the leaves you've landed on twist and somersault in the air. 

    I was meant to knit my Autumn knits in Summer, so that I have everything ready beforehand. But life never works out as you would like, so I'm whipping up this season's knits at the moment. 

    I have finished my Origami Falls Cowl. The burning orange yarn I used reminds me of Autumn leaves, and I'm looking forward to wearing it with my coal black coat, possibly teaming it up with my Emanelle fingerless gloves I knitted forever ago. 

    I searched for "Autumn" in the Ravelry patterns, and came up with these results. My favourites have to be the Autumn Leaves Shawl by Supisa Oliver, Autumn Tam by Sandy Blue, and Autumnal Cardigan by Hannah Fettig.

    My Autumn knits this year are my Horseshoe Lace Cowl and Origami Falls Cowl. I'm planning on knitting Twin Leaf Fingerless Gloves (in Melon, to match my Horseshoe Lace Cowl) and A Very Braidy Cowl (using cashmere mix yarn, mmmm). The braidy cowl will be no problem to knit, in fact I think it'll be a really fast knit. The project I'm worrying about is the fingerless gloves, I've never knitted fingerless gloves in the round and am worrying about knitting the thumb gusset, but we'll cross that hurdle when we get to it. 

    Even though I haven't finished this season's knits, I'm already planning on what I'll make during the winter. Mostly Spring knits, I think. That way I'm all prepared! :D

    What are you planning on knitting this season? x

    Monday, 22 October 2012

    Just One More Row...

    I'm a procrastinator. 'I'll tidy up... after one more row of my project.' Ironically though, I am also a procrastinator when it comes to my knitting.

    3 weeks earlier: 'I should knit my friend a gift for her wedding anniversary.'
    24 hours before said anniversary: 'Perhaps I should cast on her gift now.'

    The problem is I want to knit so many lovely things at once! I went through a stage last year where I would cast on project after project, I'm amazed how I ever managed to finish anything!

    I still have some of those old WIPs, and last week I decided enough was enough and that I'd finally get round to finishing them. To make sure I did, I added them to my Year of Projects (YOP) list. I only have two WIPs that I could find, but I'm sure I have more lurking around the house.

    During the past few months I've been determined to only have one project on the needles at a time, that way everything gets finished. It's not been easy, especially when I've been routing through Ravelry patterns (I wrote a blog post about that, too), and I don't expect it'll get any easier but its nice to experience that 'finished' feeling more often.

    The Brain Fog Blanket that has been in hibernation since May!
    This month alone I've managed to knit (1) set of fingerless gloves, (1) lace scarf, (2) beanies and (2) lace cowls. So my new rule is reaping results!

    I am going to be getting a little help with my Brain Fog Blanket. My Mum is able to knit/purl & cast on/off, and I'm currently teaching Rizzle to knit (can't wait to show you all her scarf she is working on!). They both decided they want this to be a family project, so what we are going to do is put all the lovely yarn for the blanket in a basket, along with needles. Then when they sit down to watch TV they can whip up a few squares and pop them in a separate basket. When we have enough squares, we'll sew them all together, then tada! We have a soft and squishy blanket for the living room.

    As for my Swirling Gauntlets, the other WIP I have stored away all these months, it shouldn't take me long to finish. I'm halfway through the second mitten, all I need to do is correct the huge cabling disaster I have going on, and then I'll be done. Silly of me to put off such a little problem for so long, but hey ho! It will be done soon. 

    Hopefully from now on I'll continue to behave myself, and you'll see me taking part in FO Friday much more often ;)

    As Tigger would say, Ta ta for now! 

    Saturday, 20 October 2012


    Charlotte Dunning


    600 yards of Baby Aran by Stylecraft 
    5mm needles


    Main Piece:

    Cast  on 108 stitches. 

    K2, P2 (2x2 rib) for 4 rows

    Row 1: *K1, P1; rep from * until end.
    Row 2: *P1, K1; rep from * until end.

    These two rows from the Moss (seed) stitch pattern. Continue in this manner until piece measures 69cm, finishing on row 2. 

    2x2 rib for 3 rows.

    Cast off in pattern.


    Pick up and knit 102 stitches down side. 

    2x2 rib for 3 rows.
    Cast off in pattern.

    Repeat this on the other side.

    Weave in ends and wrap up that baby!

    Friday, 19 October 2012

    My First Cowl!

    I'm so pleased it is finally Friday, I've had a really difficult week and have been looking forward to settling in front of the telly with my knitting and a cocktail all week. I have also been looking forward to showing you my cowl! I casted this on in favour of a beanie I was knitting, and I'm really pleased I did.

    I've never knitted a cowl before, but have seen them around the blogosphere a few times lately so thought I might as well give it a go. I found the pattern, Horseshoe Lace Cowl by Sashka Macievich, and instantly fell head over heals for it. I had ordered a skein of Stylecraft Life DK in Melon from Deramores a little while ago, but had no idea what to make with it. This seemed like the perfect yarn for the pattern so I cast on.

    As I told you on Wednesday, I struggle following lace charts so I 'translate' them into written form. This pattern was really simple and I was able to remember it pretty well, making it the perfect TV knit. Rizzle and I sat and watched The Paradise, three and half episodes later I was finished! :) (each episode is an hour long)

    I really enjoyed knitting this, and can see myself using this as a quick gift knit in the future.

    Rizzle kindly modelled the cowl for me, as I'm scared of cracking your computer screen, I look that awful at the moment.

    So, here is the finished article in all its glory!

    As you can see in the final photograph it still curls, despite having a garter border top and bottom. I'm thinking of sewing the hem back, like I'm going to do to my Origami Cowl, to make it sit straight. If that fails to work I'll have to block it, but I'll have to google how to do that as I have no clue whatsoever!

    Hope you all have a lovely weekend, mine is to be filled with friends, yarn and lots of TV!


    I am releasing my first baby blanket pattern tomorrow, inspired by my gorgeous niece, so please come check it out :)

    Thursday, 18 October 2012

    A Second Year of Projects: The List

    I tried to take part in A Year of Projects last year, but life got more than out of control and I was forced to back out. Life is slowly calming down, and in another 4 or 5 months it should be back to normal - whoopee! So, I thought I would have another crack at A Year of Projects (YOP).

    For those who are unsure on what YOP is, let me shed a bit of light on the matter for you. Basically those who choose to take part, post a list of projects they plan to accomplish between 1/07/2012 and 30/06/2012. This list could compile some or all of the patterns in a particular book or magazine. Some, like myself, have chosen to pick a few patterns from their Ravelry queue and others are working through their back-catalogue of WIPs. Once you've blogged your list, it's time to get started! Then every Sunday you blog about how you're getting along (you don't have to blog every week, its up to you!). Hopefully by June 30th you'll have finished your queue! You can find out more by heading over to the YOP group over on Ravelry, Come Blog-A-Long.

    At the moment my list only consists of 13 patterns, but I shall add to it during the course of the year. I have a mix of Ravelry patterns, patterns from books & WIPs in my lovely list :)

    (Note: None of these patterns are in a specific order)

    1. Twin Leaf Fingerless Mittens by Sashka Macievich 
    -  I'll use Life DK by Stylecraft in Melon & I'll keep them for myself. 

    2. Origami Falls Cowl by Teleri 
    - I'll use Finullgarn by Rauma in Orange. I can't decide whether to gift them or keep this for myself. I'll decide when its knitted up.

    3. A Very Braidy Cowl by Maryse Roudier 
    - I'll be using Lion Cashmere Blend by Lion Brand in Dusty Blue. I can't decide whether to gift this or keep them for myself. I'll decide when its knitted up.

    4. Swirl Hat by Mandie Harrington 
    - I'll be using leftover DK in my stash, not sure which one yet. I'll be gifting this to either my niece, Daisy, or little friend Amber.

    5. Spring Beret by Natalie Larson
    - I'll be using Craft Cotton by V&A  Products Ltd in White. I can't decide whether to gift this or keep them for myself. I'll decide when its knitted up.

    6. Scallop Lace Hat by Leah Coccari-Swift
    - I'll be using Special Double Knit by Stylecraft in Wisteria. I can't decide whether to gift this or keep it for myself. I'll decide when its knitted up. 

    7. Later, Gator! by Amanda Berka 
    - I'll be using Morocco by Patons UK in Jade/Smaragd. I can't decide whether to gift this or keep it for myself. I'll decide when its knitted up.

    8. Hugo the Couch Potato Monster by Rebecca Danger
    - I'll be using Supersoft Aran by Sirdar in Bright Pink. This will be knitted for my niece Tilly, whose been asking for this little for a while now. I've been putting it off though, as there are a few techniques required in the pattern that I've never tried before. 

    9. Herringbone Lace Socks by Ann Budd
    - I'll be using Special 4 ply by Stylecraft in Aspen. I can't decide whether to gift these or keep them for myself (as I do not yet own a pair of hand-knitted socks!). I'll decide after they're knitted up. 

    10. The Age Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower
    - Not sure on the yarn choice, or whether it'll be gifted or not. We'll have to see when it comes to knitting it!

    - I'll be using leftover Life DK by Stylecraft in Melon, and white 4 ply I've found in the bottom of my stash. This particular project is for Rizzle! 

    12. Swirling Gauntlets by Susanna IC 
    - This is a WIP that I've been putting off finishing for a while now, it'll be nice to finally have these finished and warming up Rizzle's hands!

    13. Brain Fog Blanket by Charlotte Dunning (yep, that's me!)
    This is a blanket I designed for my Mum, but am yet to finish! I hope to knit a few squares each week, so by June it will be finished!

    So, that is my list! I've already started work on the Oragami Falls Cowl, and will be finished by Sunday - I hope!

    Wednesday, 17 October 2012

    Origami Falls Cowl

    Yesterday I spoke about the Horseshoe Cowl I was casting on in favour of the Slouchy Bubbles Beanie. Well, its finished! So I shall share it with you on Friday. As per usual, I can't knit just one of a certain type of object (i.e beanie, cowl) I have to knit a whole load of them in a short period of time. Last night I cast on another cowl, which you could brand as cheating, as this pattern is apart of my Year of Projects list I was going to blog about on Thursday.

    The pattern is Origami Falls Cowl by Teleri. I thought this pattern was absolutely gorgeous, and couldn't get my head round why it only had a project count of 35. I decided to use Finullgarn by Rauma in what I call, "Essex Tan" (bright orange for those outside of the UK). Finullgarn is a 100% wool, fingering weight yarn from Norway. My very lovely friend Myriah sent it to me when we were paired together in a swap, this time last year. I've been umming & arring over what to knit with this yarn for months (12 of them in fact!), so I'm pleased I finally found the perfect pattern.

    I cast on using a set of 4 DPNs rather than the circulars, or 5 set the pattern calls for, meaning I have a total of 40sts on each needle. The cowl has no purl at either the top or bottom to stop it from curling (which got pretty annoying when I was trying to photograph it), so I am going to have to sew the hem to the first row of knit stitches on either end of the cowl to get it to sit straight.

    I have always struggled following charts, I either read the pattern the wrong way (your meant to read right to left on RS, left to right on WS) or get confused with the different symbols. So for the past few lace projects I've 'translated' my charts into written patterns, as I find it much easier to follow.

    I've been finding this pattern knits up very slowly, I casted on yesterday afternoon, and despite there being a stitch of only 120, I've done a measly 31 rows (3,720 sts to be exact). I hope to get my fingers flying and get to at least halfway through the second repeat by this evening. The fact I'm knitting so slow could be due to the fact I'm working on thin needles and thin yarn, but I'm not really sure.

    Now that the pattern is beginning to form, I find I don't love it as much as the pattern picture. I got talking to Megan, from A String of Purls, via instagram. She told me that she cast on this same pattern a few months ago and like me, found the pattern didn't have enough depth to it as the picture makes out. But, that is just our opinions. What do you think?

    When I took a closer shot, the camera, rather annoyingly,
    dulled the yarn colour. 
    I'm off to re-watch last nights episode of The Paradise, a new British Period Drama which I'm a little addicted to.

    Click the picture below to be taken to Tami's, where she is showing us pictures of the Vista Fibre Fiesta she attended over the weekend, plus all the goodies she snagged while she was there!

    Tuesday, 16 October 2012

    Pattern Infatuation...

    I was knitting Slouchy Bubbles, before I looked on
    Ravelry and fell in love with a pattern... this beanie
    ended up getting frogged! 
    Searching Ravelry for new patterns despite having a WIP already on the needles is a dangerous business. I fool myself into looking every time by saying, "I'm only going to look... if I like it I'll add it to my queue. So, what's the harm?" For a few minutes it all goes well, you see a pattern, you add it to your queue then you carry on looking. You then find a pattern and become infatuated with it from the very first glance. That is when things become dangerous.

    You sit there for a moment considering who you would knit it for, what yarn(s) you would use... how much fun you'd have knitting it. After that you start thinking about casting it on. You believe that you can finish your current WIP after you've knitted this little beauty, but will you, really? Will you finish this project, search Ravelry and repeat it over again? That little WIP, the one that you fell for just a week or so before, is now at the back of your mind, and in the back of your cupboard.

    The photograph makes it look much more grey than it really is.

    This is what happened on Sunday afternoon. The night before, I had cast on yet another beanie (Rizzle groaned when she found out). I chose the pattern Slouchy Bubbles by tshep, and was using Lion Cashmere Blend by Lion Brand. A yarn I could just sit and cuddle, it is that soft & luxurious.

    Slouchy Bubbles is a gorgeous cable beanie, and I was really looking forward to knitting it. I had almost finished the brim when I realised that I might not have enough yarn to finish the project. So, I decided to look on Ravelry for a back up project, just incase I had to frog my third beanie of the week.

    I found a couple of nice patterns and added them to my queue. As I continued to surf the web, I came across a designer called Sashka Macievich, and instantly fell in love with her pattern 'Horseshoe Lace Cowl'. I've never knitted a cowl, but was encouraged by Rebecca from The Cornwall Yarn Shop (honestly, her shop is heaven) to give it a try if I ever got the chance.

    So, I decided to frog the Slouchy Bubbles beanie as I don't want to get 3/4 of the way through and run out of yarn, and have to frog all that work. I will knit another Slouchy Bubbles beanie when I get more Aran yarn, as it's a lovely pattern and I think Rizzle will look very cool in one ;)

    I won't divulge any more information about my cowl, you're going to have to wait until tomorrow to find out more. I will let you into a secret, though, but you need to promise to keep it to yourself ;) If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you can see photos of the cowl in progress before anyone else.

    See you tomorrow folks! x

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