Secret Summer Sunshine

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This is not a pair of jeans. I have nearly finished my 5th Liana’s, but procrastination and life in general keep conspiring to get in the way.

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This is the scarf I’ve knitted my mum for Christmas, finally finished, ends woven in, blocked (kind of) and all ready to wrap. Not bad going considering that I bought the yarn at the beginning of January planning to make it for her mid March birthday.

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Yarn: 3 skeins of Rowan Alpaca Colour one each of  Emerald, Agate and Garnet.  The colours change subtly within each skein, which I didn’t realise at the start.

Stitch: moss (seed) stitch, cos I like the texture and who wants a scarf with a right side and a wrong side.

Inspiration: My Birthday Scarf, as several times whilst I was making it my mum said she liked the randomness of the stripes, but it wasn’t in her colours. I’m pretty sure these are more her colours and I hope the substitution of baby alpaca for silk is acceptable too.

Length: All the yarn. And with 3 skeins, rather than the two last time, it makes a proper scarf. In fact, she will probably complain this one is too long. Also, this is a tad narrower at 35 stitches rather than 42.

Top Tip: For moss stitch, use an odd number of stitches so you start each row on the same stitch. I made so many less mistakes on this scarf than the last one.

This scarf was knitted in so many different places, including a long winding journey at the top of the front of a double decker bus winding its way slowly through Devon on a  Sunny day in May (it’s a long way to the VW specialist garage), and I like to think a little bit of all those places is knit into the scarf.

Fingers crossed she appreciates it.

 

 

 

Hattifateners

So, I finished the hat!

T

It suits her, but she doesn’t like warm clothing of any description so was co-erced into modelling, can you tell?

My calculations were a bit off, so it’s come out as a large childs hat (my kids have inherited my large head). It’ll go on one side for now until I work out who to gift a hand wash only kids hat to. Or maybe it’d fit a small headed adult. Hmm.

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Love this shot, thanks to my photographer

I’m still in love with the yarn colours. The red feels quite different than the yellow or the green, which I had to knit double to make them work with the red. I was warned that I had picked three different types of yarn which would handle differently (I can only remember that one was Blue Faced Leicester, but I can’t remember which one). [edit: apparently the green is Blue Faced Leicester, the red is Masham and the yellow is White Faced Woodland] I knit it on 8mm dpns as they were what I could find. I tend to knit my hats in chunky yarn with a fairly tight tension that makes a firmish hat.

I have started a second hat with the leftovers but I’ve had to search for other yarn remnants to make enough for a hat. Which I think will probably also be child sized. I’m not too bothered, my hats all seem to find homes in the end!

I also need some more concentrated knitting time to finish the heel flap and turn the heel on my second sock. Hopefully before Wednesday as I’ve found out about a knitting group in a local pub, so I can then mindlessly knit rounds of sock foot whilst chatting.

But I’m also looking forward to doing some sewing. For a start (probably, unless I get distracted) I’m finally recutting my Jalie pattern pieces full sized (rather than how they came – half sized to be cut on the fold) so I can cut the dratted skittery stripey fabric I want to use. Which means I might finally be on theme for the Stashbusting Sewalong as May in knit fabric month.

P.S.

Apologies to anyone looking forward to a Moomin related post, I’m just a bit random with my titles sometimes.

Queue jumper

Repeat after me “I am not doing sewing this weekend, I have guests staying. I am not doing sewing this weekend, I have guests staying. I am not doing sewing this weekend, I have guests staying.

Look at me not trace out a pattern. Or cut fabric. Or just get the machine out to do some mending.

I am doing so well. Honestly, I did not realise there would be someone spinning at the street market we went to. A little peak won’t hurt will it? And I have to hang around to stop my kids breaking things whilst my son asks his usual barrage of questions, that’s my job as a parent, right? And it won’t hurt to just fondle some of the pretty colours while I’m here.

Lovely tones

Lovely tones of hand dyed hand spun wool from Spindle and Skein

Whoops, I accidentally bought some. But it would be rude not too, we were there a while and she was so patient with the boy.

Anyway, I will not be rude and start knitting in front of guests. I will not be rude and … hey, one of my guests is knitting. Right, that’s it….

testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4

testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4

Test piece done. I may be knitting another hat. Not sure who for yet, other than for someone who knows how to hand wash.

I knit a hat again

Saturday night chin wag over a glass of wine at my friends house, supposedly post kids bedtime but we were entertained by her restless toddler for the first hour and another friends non sleeping baby for a lot longer.

Da big fat chunky hat (knitted top down, in the round, using 2 strands of aran yarn on 8mm dpn's)

Da big fat chunky hat (knitted top down, in the round, using 2 strands of aran yarn on 8mm dpn’s)

Inspired by Jen from Grainline’s post about a Sunday Sweater Knit Along I took some yarn from a project I never seem to start to knit up a tension swatch for. But there was still my circular needles in my knitting bag from when I went away and two balls of Blue Face Leicester Aran wool in green. So I knit a hat instead, with basket stitch sides (I took a vote on the sides, only one person voted as the other 2 don’t knit, so basket weave it was then).

up close and personal

up close and personal

It’s very similar to the last hat I knit, but plainer. Now to find a home for it. With someone who wont accidentally felt the wool. Although, despite it not being my usual colour, I quite like how it looked when I modelled it for the photo’s. It did ride up though as it’s a bit small for my humungeous head.

I did do a spot of tension knitting today. As I suspected, I need to buy new needles (the pattern asks for 5mm, I only have 5 1/2mm and they’re too big, I’ll probably need to buy more for the rib too, oh well). I also re read the post, and it’s not, as I thought, a KAL where you knit of Sunday afternoons, but rather you knit the kind of jumper that would get worn on a Sunday afternoon. So maybe a school friendly cardy for a boy is not really a good fit for the KAL, but it doesn’t really matter.

Selfie Schmelfie

Selfie Schmelfie – purely for your amusement

Hat Addict

This weekend I have mainly been knitting hats.

OK, so that’s not exactly true, I did lots of other stuff too (especially eating), but I did have a couple of 3 hour train journeys to make and had some free time (without kids) when I was away and hubby did point out just before I left that the hat I knitted him about 3 years ago had shrunk and he needed a new one.

So I set off with a set of double pointed needles a ball of lovely green and black Monello trend Adriafil Wool/Acrillic blend, which is a yarn which is slubby and fat in places, plus the end of a ball of black acryllic aran weight, both from my stash, both approved by hubby. I’d dug out some rough notes on how I used to make them (pre sewing renaisance, pre blog) and I set to work on the train, hoping my fingers would remember what to do as the notes were pretty sparse. It became apparent before I arrived in Birmingham that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn (I was knitting it double stranded so the aran bulked the more expensive yarn out). My very patient, non sewing/crafting friend met me from the station and accompanied me round the rag market (there was one yarn stall which had nice stuff but nothing suitable for this emergency) and then escorted me out to Guthrie and Ghani. It was there I managed to pick up some plain black Rico Essentials Super Chunky virgin wool/acrillic (don’t be fooled by the Essentials tag, this was definitely not cheap and cheerful, more expensive and luxiurious) which was just the right weight. I had the hat finished well before the end of the weekend (bar some minimal darning in of ends, I love the lack of sewing up when you knit in the round) and had a few conversations knitters and non knitters about what I was doing too.

The boy has requisitioned the old slightly small purplish hat, hubby is modelling his new huge slightly pointy one (think hats are like pancakes, the first one comes out a bit wierd then you get your hand in)

The boy has requisitioned the old slightly small purplish hat, hubby is modelling his new huge slightly pointy one (think hats are like pancakes, the first one comes out a bit wierd then you get your hand in)

But then I had most of a ball of lovely soft black yarn left so I started another hat, which I finished on the train journey back. This one is going to be a present, so shh, don’t tell anyone.

very tired girl modelling an extremely soft black cat hat

very tired girl modelling an extremely soft black cat hat

Now I’m on hat number 3, not sure who this one is for. I’m sarting to remember how addictive hat knitting is. But I can stop anytime I want. Anytime. Honest.

Oh, and I may have bought a little fabric and notions whilst I was away too.

Modest Haul. Spotty Cordrouy, stripey jersey, clear elastic, cat and heart buttons all from Guthrie and Ghani. Lacey ribbon, fancy trim and what will hopefully be suitable purple knicker elastic, all from the Rag Market.

Modest Haul. Spotty Cordrouy, stripey jersey, clear elastic, cat and heart buttons all from Guthrie and Ghani. Lacey ribbon, fancy trim and what will hopefully be suitable purple knicker elastic, all from the Rag Market.

Now, where is that yarn stash……