Tag Archives: yarn

Yarny Goodies.

Finally – a non-running related post :).

Look what lovely yarn my amazing friend bought me for my birthday:

Isn't it divine?

Isn’t it divine?

I have to admit to never having seen anything like this before. Each skein gets slightly lighter (or smoother depending on your view-point). It is 100% Superwash Merino and it feels divine. Perfect colours for me too.

It is called nougat on coffee which contains just the most perfect colours for me.

It’s name is Nougat on Coffee which has just the perfect colours for me.

Aren’t I just so, so, so lucky? I am thinking a beautiful shawl.

I have also ‘acquired’ these:

All my favourite colours.

All my favourite colours.

I just feel so happy when I look at my new acquisitions. The same friend that bought my nougat yarn was having a clear out and these just jumped out at me. Not quite sure what I will do with these but now they are giving me lots of pleasure just as they are. Planning is part of the enjoyment right?

What would you make?

A sneaky day out

I was very privileged to be able to take a day ‘off’ from children to spend a day with Joanne (notsogranny) and go to Fibre East. It was my first time to a wool show and I was very much looking forward to it.

I was not disappointed.

The day was very enjoyable (except for being broken by a personal training session the day before which made my legs seize up and hobble around like an ancient lady).

Our excuse for going was to collect the crochet panels that had been on display there:

They were on display in the main hall just near the entrance.

They were on display in the main hall just near the entrance.

IMG_1010Of course they needed picking up at 4.30 when the show closed but it would be a shame to drive all that way and not actually go around the show at all wouldn’t it? We got there at about 11!

The show itself had plenty of lovely stalls to browse around and lots of lovely yarn to stroke and look at as well. It all felt quite relaxed and although busy it was not so bad that you couldn’t see what you wanted to see.

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There were lots of demonstrations; spinning, weaving, felting and rug making:

Joanne had a go at this - hew perfectionism worked to her advantage with this - she was very neat and good at it.

Joanne had a go at this – hew perfectionism worked to her advantage with this – she was very neat and good at it.

Of course I was not able to come away out buying anything. I was really after a shawl to make but fell in love with a beautiful lacy top which just so happened to be made out of some gorgeous local yarn that I first came across at a local National Trust wool fair (yes, I know that it technically means that I have been to 2 wool fairs but this was a proper grown up one!) I always knew that I would end up with some of this yarn!

I wish you could stroke this yarn...

I wish you could stroke this yarn…

The bonus of going along with a fab designer is that she knows a lot of people in the business which means that I get to talk to some really interesting people and learn all sorts of great things. Today, for example, I learnt that you can wind a skein all by yourself – no chair, child, husband or even a swift needed! It also meant that I was able to put a face to a few people from twitter that I ‘know’. All in all a perfect day. Thank you so much Joanne – you are the best.

(In case you are wondering – yes we did get the panels back all safely!)

Gentle Waves

Socks are one of those things that are on my (extremely long) to-do list. When a pattern that I really liked appeared in my copy of Simply Knitting I decided that now is the time to have a go. I bought some very expensive but gorgeous Malabrigo sock yarn.

This is the colour. As the socks have a lovely pattern I wanted something plain so as to show this off to it’s best.

When I first cast on I was a little bit worried by how thin the yarn is. I thought that it would take me for ever…..however socks are not that wide and so each round comes around fairly quickly. As mentioned, they are knitted in the round. I have to say that I think that I would probably prefer to use dpn’s, simply because I get really fed up keep having to pull the cable through the socks. Changing needles feels like it would be a lot easier…..

This shows the wave pattern quite nicely.

This shows the wave pattern quite nicely.

2 holed socks 033

Instead of a bowl, this time I have used a pint-sized glass!

It is upside down – the heel is at the top of the photo. This probably shows 1 and a bit weeks worth of knitting. Last weeks WI was very productive. I learnt about flower arranging whilst knitting! This morning I turned my first ever heel:

This might give you some idea of my first heel?

This might give you some idea of my first heel?

It was all done using short rows where you knit only a few of the total number of stitches without casting any off. It is a great technique – really clever. I have done it once before on a jumper but the instructions are really clear and so a complete beginner would be able to do it.

I am hoping that my fast pace continues and I have a completed pair to show you in a couple of weeks? I am only slightly scared that having done one I will think that the challenge is complete and the one will remain single! Do you have any tips to help?

Finished Object (nearly!)

This week I have been cracking on and making a real effort to crochet each and every day. I think I managed it 🙂 I certainly feel better for it and have something to show for it…..Yippee 🙂

My sock number 2!

My sock number 2!

There is only one problem. I ran out of yarn with about 2 rows to go. 😦 How annoying is that?

Can you see.

Can you see?

As I am wearing them at home and no one will see them does it matter and do I leave them like this or should I invest in another (fairly) expensive ball of wool? Deep down the perfectionist in me would say yes, you need to finish them properly but the tight me would say that it doesn’t matter…..what would you do?

I must say a huge thank you to DaniellaJoe for these socks as she hosted a CAL and got me going. I may well have reached my destination slightly behind everyone else but the detours were well worth it. (Anyone who reads her blog will understand the meaning behind this.)

Crocheting everyday has also meant that I have had time to swatch another very exciting, top-secret project in this yarn:

YarnYarnThat is the most I can let you see…..

I do hope that everyone else has had a great week, with a lot of crafting time fitted in. Why not pop over to handmade harbour and see?

🙂

 

 

 

Spinning……

Another really busy week although unfortunately not on the crafting side 😦 I do have a couple of things to share with you however. Do you remember this?

It is called Flutterby

It is called Flutterby

Well I can now reveal the finished object:

A baby blanket.

A baby blanket.

One of my very good friends had a baby recently. She knew it would be a boy hence the bluish colours. Being for a baby also meant that it had to be very washable which this is. I suspect that it will come out of the machine almost dry. I finally got around to sending it this week and so that is the reason why I could finally share it with you.

All parceled up.

All parceled up.

I am ashamed to say that this is the first blanket that I have ever managed to make for a friend. I really hope that this will be the first and not the one and only!

The other major thing I did this week was have a go at spinning at my WI group. It was a really excellent evening. Our chair spins and she brought in her spinning wheel and gave a really interesting talk / demonstration. My Mum spun  wool when I was little but I learnt so much from this talk. It was really, really good. Towards the end we had a go ourselves using a pencil (yes, really).

spinning wool with a pencil

See?

This was thought through really well as it was a really good way to get used to how the wool feels, works and the technique in general.

spinning wool with a pencilNot bad for my first ever attempt? Some people then went on and made a spinning spindle out of a pencil and jam jar lid but I decided to stick with what I was doing. I have borrowed my Mum’s drop spindle however and fully intend to have a go at this at home… I fear that it won’t be long before I am borrowing my Mum’s spinning wheel (if only I had more time…)

Now that the evenings are drawing in I am finding it really hard to get proper photos as my days are so busy. I shall try to find time tomorrow to take some better ones and will post them up on my Facebook page. 

I shall also take photos of the progress of my crochet project that is growing very slowly (this will also cunningly give me a bit more time to work on it! ;))

Now is the point where I say that I am linking in with Handmade harbour. I am not going to this week as I failed to get around to very many last week and am not sure that I will have a lot more time this week due to my Mother being quite ill and also attempting to move into a barely finished house …..I obviously will pop over if and when time allows but I do suggest that you pop over as there are some very talented people over there.

Hope you all have a fab week 🙂 xx

 

 

Something new to try.

It is called Flutterby

It is called Flutterby

This is the yarn that I have been using for my latest crochet project. Unfortunately I cannot show you the finished item…..yet. This yarn is not one that I would choose again in a hurry as it was not easy to use although it will be perfect for the project that I have used it for. It is made from polyester and will wash and dry really easily and my boys like it because it is lovely and soft. This colour way is a new one.

The second item that I have been working on this week was a piece of jewellery, my beloved kumihimo. This time I have used chips of Turquoise:

KumihimoIt has created a really lovely chunky item which I will turn into a necklace.

Finally, some of you may have noticed that I have spent very limited amounts of time on the internet this week? This is because we have been away. We had a lovely week in Broadstairs (Kent) where i managed to swim in the sea every day! There is a lovely little wool shop there, which I had to visit ;). The main reason was for this:

DesireI know it is not yarn as such but I am hoping to be able to make a scarf a bit like this:

Unlike All night knits, I have never made a ruffle scarf before (she is going for the world record I think, although not through choice!) but I was drawn to this because it is unusual. I it is actually chiffon which has holes lasered into it:

Broadstairs2012 037The laser is to stop it from fraying. Luckily it comes with instructions and there are some tutorials on YouTube too (thankfully!). It was not cheap at £11.00 but I am looking forward to the experience. I shall keep you informed as to how I get on. Has anyone else come across it before, it is called Desire by Woolcraft?

With it being Sunday I shall be heading over to Handmade Harbour to catch up on 2 weeks worth of news (my phone does not make it easy to  comment so sorry to everyone. I shall try to make up this week :)).

Upcycling.

I have been busy doing a project that will please Vicky from vickymyerscreations recycled bags, and possibly Alison from Fiddly Fingers too. I have been saving 3 old tops that were no longer wearable (much to my husbands disgust) and finally decided upon the perfect project for them.

The three tops.

The three tops.

I cut them into strips.

I cut them into strips.

The three tops cut into strips.

The three tops cut into strips.

I then joined the loops together in the same way as you would if making plarn.

I then joined the loops together in the same way as you would if making plarn.

You should end up with a ball.

You should end up with a ball.

Not sure what it is called jearn? (Jersey yarn?) You can buy off cuts of jersey that is made into yarn for you, apparently called Boodles, but I have made my own and turned it into this:

A lovely little bag.

A lovely little bag.

I could have done with 4 tops as I had to resort to using the sleeves for the handle which has resulted in it being quite ‘knotty’ but it does the job that I wanted it to: i.e. I have a bag in which to carry my essentials in (plasters, creams, phone and keys) and just sling over my shoulders.

turquoise 006

It is really quite heavy and sturdy and was fairly physical to make as it took my whole arm and a fair bit of strength (Alison will know if this is usual when working on the slightly larger scale). I am just a bit unsure as to whether it will fray and how that will affect the strength and longevity of the bag. I shall keep you posted.I do know that the colours won’t run as it has been through the washing machine countless times. 😉

The back

The back

It only took a few hours so it is a quick and very satisfying project. I shall be popping over to handmade Harbour to see what everyone else has been up to this week later. Do pour yourself a glass of wine and join me 🙂

So how long should it be?

I have been working really hard on a crochet scarf this week. It is not a hard project to work . I have lovely yarn to use and it grows quite quickly. It has been a nice project to sit and do whilst watching Wimbledon.

I said that it grows quickly and it does when it comes to completing the pattern repeat. As for the overall length however I would have to disagree.

When I started off I thought 2 skeins would be enough (this is about 100 yards of  yarn ). As the end of the second skein came my thoughts were along the lines of:

hmmm not quite long enough, maybe I will do the third.

I have now finished the third skein and am still not sure that it is long enough! (Yes even with the required blocking.) I was a little disappointed – you know that feeling you get when you think that you have finished something? You have worked really hard to get it finished only to find that you haven’t?

So what is the correct length for a scarf?

As you would expect. There is no correct answer as personal preference comes into play and different styles also have a bearing on it.


 

The only advice that I could find is:

The general rule is the scarf should be about the same length as the person.

Go-on admit it, how many of you will be going to lie down next to one of your scarves in  the near future? (I have already had a go myself if that helps?)

The things that you never think about despite using them all the time! Have you ever had a situation like this?

With it being Sunday I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour to catch up with all the lovely crafty blogs over there. Do come and join in. 🙂

Can you make this?

4KCBWDAY4

The challenge today is the one that has cause me the most problem. Last year I seem to remember that there was an extra topic prompt to use if there was something you didn’t want to do. No mention of that this year.

It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog.

I did this with the infographic. I managed to do something different on that day but today….

I have come up with something although what you will think I really am not sure! Before I attempt to show you what I have done I would just like to mention that this is something completely new to me thus conforming to the house of the Monkey which should gain me extra points?

Bonus points if you manage to work your house animal in somehow.

Do you think I am stretching this a bit much?

OK. What happens when you give a child a stash of yarn, some hooks, needles and beads?

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So there you have it. Something different? check

Something new? check

Something sparkly and shiny? well no (there are 2 shiny beads??)

Something quick? check

Do you agree? Now you have seen my poor attempt I would go and see what wonderful creations everyone else has come up with 4KCBWDAY4.

It is the final day to enter a giveaway to win a signed crochet book.

PUBLISHED!!!!

I am sure that most of you will have noticed how crochet is currently undergoing a bit of a resurgence. Crochet classes are filling up within days of being publicized and new magazines dedicated to crochet are being released. Crochet is no longer being squeezed in along side knitting – it is becoming a craft in its own right.

If you knit  (and even if you don’t) you will be aware of the many places where you can find knitting patterns. They are all over the web on countless sites and yarn and craft shops usually have a good selection to choose from. When it comes to crochet however there is not usually the same choice. Crochet also has a bit of a reputation linked to the 70’s and there are quite a few patterns around that reflect this.

        

(Yes these really are from the 70’s – so much orange!)

Now please don’t get me wrong, there are some patterns that just need a bit of updating (colour, yarn etc) but Joanne Scrace (notsogranny) and Kat  Goldin saw an opportunity in this and went about setting up The Crochet Project:

The aim of The Crochet Project is to promote beautiful, modern crochet patterns to the online market.

They have both worked very hard to bring all the good  things you expect from modern knitting patterns to the world of crochet. The patterns are all written in the same consistent style, the yarn is beautiful, the patterns contemporary and the photographs stylish.

I realise that I am writing as if I am selling this idea. In a way I am but I really wanted to share with you all the background behind this project. I am not being paid directly for doing this and the opinions are my own BUT …..

I AM ONE OF THE ‘DESIGNERS’ FEATURED IN THEIR FIRST ISSUE!!

Loud enough? Can you tell that I am excited?

Back to the beginning:

In October I saw the mood board that they had put together. The title was Botanicals and was all floral and summer picnics. I decided that I had an idea that may just work and set about making a prototype:

Here it is - my protoype.

Here it is – my prototype.

Being my first submission I really wanted to know whether it would work and also to get some idea of how I could write the pattern down.

A close up of the flower.

A close up of the flower.

I included the flower as a bit of detail and to link in with the floral theme.

Roll on to December and I received the wonderful news that my pattern had been chosen as one of the ten from the first edition. WoW. I was really shocked and very unprepared as to what it would involve.

When doing a piece like this you get sent the yarn – the suppliers will usually provide it as a way to get some publicity. Unfortunately the yarn for my project got held up and I only received it just before the deadline date. Luckily Joanne and Kat were very nice and realistic, giving me enough time to get the project made without any pressure.

The yarn I was sent.

The yarn I was sent.

Isn’t it lovely? It is merino, really lovely and soft  – great to work with too. I had been asked to make the pattern in three child sizes and three adult. Fine in theory! I only had to make one size for the photo shoot.

The making of the gloves was not too hard. The writing of the pattern harder. Poor Joanne must have had a bit of a shock when she saw what I had done. She was ever so kind however and I had another go at getting the format correct.

Then, finally on Friday the whole thing was published. I had always said that I didn’t want my name and photograph out on the internet….it soon became clear that this was one rule to be broken!

So here is the finished mitt.

So here is the finished mitt.

I think that they have a real vintage feel and I managed to get some beads in with the flower! Wouldn’t they be perfect for a bridesmaid or a ball?

If you would like to see what the other patterns are like and see the proper ‘professional’ photographs then do head over to the  website here.

Thank you so much in indulging me in the blowing of my own trumpet. I am very passionate about this project and yes, I would have been even if I hadn’t been accepted! Joanne and Kat have spent a lot of time on this but I truly believe that it has been worth it! Now onto the next submission – a woodland theme this time. 😉

As always I shall be heading over to Handmade Harbour to catch up on the lovely things that everyone else has been up to this week. I am thinking that there will be some Easter ideas cropping up?