art, cats, craft, knitting, travel, Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 11-16

Unfortunately I had to go away with work unexpectedly for a few days and therefore have to catch up now on my 30 Day Knitting Challenge.

Day 11: Do you have a ‚ÄúKnitter Hero‚ÄĚ or someone that is just way too awesome for their own good? Do share!

My knitty heroine is Lauren O’Farrell AKA Deadly Knitshade – a graffiti knitting artist with a fabulous sense of humour, she also loves cats, so what’s not to like!?

This is one of my many favourite pieces… ¬†A Phone Box cosy from her book¬†Knit the City.

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Day 12: Where do you keep your stash?

My stash is finding itself strewn across the house – it started off in my purpose-built Tardis cabinet¬†but has now stretched across to the bottom of my dresser and to many different nooks and crannies¬†downstairs. ¬†It hasn’t yet trickled upstairs yet but I think it’s only a matter of time…

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Day 13: Do you have yarn that you love but can’t find a project for?

I love Noro yarn and bought this bargain-tastic lot recently – but not yet found a project for them all…

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Day 14: What’s the worst yarn/fiber that you’ve worked with and why?

When I started knitting and crocheting, i started with a lot of cheap acrylic double knitting yarn to practice – such as the one for this mobile phone cover which I made for my friend… ¬†I rarely work with acrylic now.

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Day 15: What was your least favorite pattern and why?

I tried this¬†Eyelet Scarf¬†in Jarol Heritage 4ply, which I was never very happy with, but looking back it is not as bad as I thought…

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Day 16: Have you ever had a knitting related injury?

When I first started knitting, I found it very hard to wrap the yarn with my right hand, as I am naturally left-handed, however after a few teething pains it became bearable over time.

My worst injury was a series of small, odd-shaped bruises on my legs and shoulders, which I could not work out where I had got them from.

Eventually I worked out that I was using needles that were too long and was pushing them into my legs or shoulders to help move the yarn along sufficiently!  I soon moved onto better yarn and needles which resolved the issues.

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craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized, yarn

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 10

Day 10 already!

Day 10: Do you have a favorite pattern or designer?

There are so many amazing designers and patterns to choose from Рbut one that I keep going back to is the amazing Noro Silk Garden scarf from Jared Flood.

It is a relatively simple knitting pattern, but the impact from the alternate colours is outstanding.

Noro Silk Garden is one of my favourite yarns, even without making anything, the yarn itself is so delicious and is hand-dyed in Japan.  It is 45% Mohair, 45% Silk and 10% Wool.

If you hadn’t already realised, I am a massive Noro fan and recently managed to get hold of a whole basketful of yarn at a bargain price. ¬†It’s so gorgeous, I’m not even sure I want to use it!

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craft, crochet, knitting, yarn

Works in Progress and Stash Love

I’ve been very busy with some projects for friends and family, which has been great relaxation, as the weather has been grotty for ages and I’ve had a nasty¬†cold…

First up are a really fun couple of projects for my friend Donna and her new baby, wee Olly. ¬†This baby blanket is my first large self-designed project – it is cot/pram sized and I’m so thrilled¬†with the design and how it has turned out, so I will be giving it to them in the next week or so. ¬†I had enough left of the gorgeously soft Drops Merino Extrafine DK to make a quick pair of baby booties.

Thankfully I made them sized for around 6¬†months old – at¬†only 8 weeks I thought he might have to wait a while to wear them, but Donna has said that he’s already in 3-6 months clothes, so he may get use of them¬†sooner rather than later…

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Next the ongoing project for my brother, I didn’t quite finish it for Christmas! ¬†I hadn’t done any knitting for a while and I’m still pretty slow. ¬†But it’s coming along finally, now I’ve finished my other projects… ¬†I love the combination of bright, medium and dark reds in this Katia Basic Merino Flash DK. ¬†The design is reversible – Half Moon Stitch – and looks great.

 

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Now these projects are either done yarn, (or very nearly dusted!) I’ve been on another couple of trips to reinvigorate my stash. ¬†It is impossible to resist when passing¬†a yarn shop, or browsing online on Deramores or Wool Warehouse.

I bought the Noro¬†Kureyon and Noro A La Mode (both Aran/Worsted) at my favourite yarn shop, Marmalade Yarns in Frome. ¬†I have a particular project in mind for this but won’t say too much as I might spoil someone’s surprise!

I bought some Malabrigo Merino Worsted to make Mum’s scarf for Christmas (which I haven’t got a picture of yet but she has promised!) so I bought an extra couple of skeins to make something for myself. ¬†As yet, I haven’t made myself anything so I think it’s about time I got started on this!

Next up is some Jillybean yarn from Marmalade Yarns Рthis lovely red wool is called Yabbadabbadoo and as it is made in such small quantities and not marked up but it seems to be a DK sort of weight.  At 60% organic Shetland and 40% Mohair it seems quite robust and yet soft.

Finally a quick visit yesterday to Marmalade Yarns (again!) I could not resist these beautiful blues by Fyberspates – Scrumptious 4ply/sport weight 55% Merino, 45% Silk but machine washable.

So I think I had better get making!

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Uncategorized

Knitting and Stitching Show Madness!

Well, it’s a week since I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in London.

My Mum was kind enough to come up with me and left me with a little present in the form of a nasty cold!

So I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself, what better way to cheer myself up other than having a gander at the lovely stash that I brought home with me!

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Olympia before, for the uninitiated, it’s an exhibition centre in Kensington, West London. ¬†I love this old photo – much has changed in the area, but Olympia remains pretty much¬†as it is here.

 

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I was a bit remiss in taking photos on the day – blame my yarn obsession for that! ¬†As we arrived we only just¬†had time to book into a needle-felting class which began immediately… ¬†We were making a bee – mine wasn’t quite finished and a bit, erm, shall we call it ‘rustic’ so I haven’t taken a picture of it to post here!

As well as the expected¬†suppliers and manufacturers, there were a few fun surprises. ¬†The lovely people at Toft had brought their crochet jungle with them (sadly I didn’t get a picture!) full of monkeys crocheted by newcomers and experts alike – with funds and awareness-raising of Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and Noah’s Ark Hospice.

Another fun thing was the Knitted Farm – some of the work was quite remarkable.

 

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This was a competition organised by the Show and the winners can be found here.

I was thrilled to see a stall there by Cats Protection РI worked for them for several years before I moved down to Wiltshire.  I also met up with an old friend who was manning the stall Рshe arrived just at the same time as I found the stall Рwhat a happy coincidence!

So, onto the really fun bit – all of the wool / yarn… ¬†I did go a bit mad, I had a budget and only slightly blew it! ¬†But what I did get was¬†such lovely and unique pieces and yarns which I have never seen before as well as some bargains…

Firstly my bargain yarns РI got four balls of Sirdar Escape DK as well as three balls each of King Cole Galaxy Chunky Рall for £20 Рbargaintastic!

 

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Next up is some beautiful yarn by the Japanese firm Noro – a gorgeous mixture of 45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lambswool. ¬†The overcast weather here in Wiltshire has dampened the colours of this – it is absolutely glorious. ¬†The colourway is a mixture of blues, green, purple and yellows. ¬†I’ve wanted to try Noro yarns for ages – I have a great respect for the craft skills of the Japanese people. ¬†One day I hope to go to Nippori¬†in¬†Tokyo – my dream craft destination!

 

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This Debbie Bliss Winter Garden is a tweedy mix chunky yarn made from 30% Llama, 30% Merino Wool, 20% Silk and 20% Linen.  The colours are gorgeous Рrich purple and a russety conker colour.  Makes me think more of Autumn than Winter!

 

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These next yarns are made from recycled Sari silk and are such beautiful, vibrant shades, unfortunately again my overcast weather doesn’t really show them at their best! ¬†I’m looking forward to working out what I can do with these…

 

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Further rummaging was needed to find the next ones – by this point Mum had given up and gone home. ¬†I couldn’t resist these¬†from the Little Knitting Company – 80% Cotton and 20% Cashmere, they have the most lovely feel to them.

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Finally I went a little mad at the last knockings, buying (left) Debonnaire Silk/Lurex mix in jewel colours (regular readers will notice a pattern here!) from Ehdknits¬†and last, but certainly not least, my most favourite stall was Watercolours & Lace¬†– (right) – such wonderful hand-painted and dyed natural fibres. ¬†I bought two and then went back for another one – I couldn’t resist! ¬†I bought Cashmere Silk lace in the softest purples and blue-greens, a Baby Alpaca/Silk mix in soft rose pinks and at the back a Merino Fine Lace in gorgeous blue-purple, reminding me very much of Delphiniums.

This is such a beautiful shop, I heartily encourage you to seek them out at a Fair or even buy online. ¬†I can’t think of a more gorgeous range of quality yarns.

 

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So that was the sum total of my first Knitting and Stitching show – lots of beautiful wools and yarns to be going on with.

When is the next one!?!

Happy crafting

 

Lou x

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