Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sosesaswa 2011

Oh my poor neglected blog.... it has been so long I have forgotten where I left you.

I have a few things to share, but let us start with two pairs of socks.

Socktopus Secret Santa Swap Socks 2011
Monkey socks in The Yarn Yard Toddy, in colourway Making Mischief.
Knit from the 2nd to the 18th November, for my Socktopus Secret Santa Swap pal, Sandykins.

And these - knit for me as part of the same swap
Sosesaswa 2011
Marilinda by Cookie A. Knitted in Cascade Heritage in Raspberry (I asked for pink socks and these are just perfect)
They arrived with all of these other fabulous things:
Sosesaswa 2011
Another skein of Heritage in Jade, some crochet snowflakes (now hanging from the mantelpiece) and a folding owl bag from paperchase, handbag notes from Past Times, a grey Herdy keyring, a woollen brooch (a WOVEMBER meta badge ) and a bar of the new Crispy Milk from G&B’s (now sadly eaten).

Check out the heels on the socks... aren't they amazing?
I am a lucky girl...

Next time.... hats.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ruck n' Maul

Ta daaaa!
Thomas' 4 ply jacket is finally finished (minus some buttons).
Ruck n' Maul
The pattern is Sirdar 1240 with a few modifications.
I knit this in a 4ply sock yarn (Ochil from The Yarn Yard in the Ruck n' Maul rugby inspired colourway ). The pattern calls for DK - so I ended up casting on for the age 4-5 years but knitting to the dimensions of the 1-2 year. I also knit in the round to the armpits.
Thomas in his Cabled Cardigan
A pretty rubbish photo, just to prove it fits....

Ruck n' Maul
A close up of the cables and the half fishermans rib (which looks almost as good on the wrong side).
Ruck n' Maul
And finally, the back.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Cabled Cardigan progress

Making a cardigan in sock weight yarn is turning into a bit of a mission - even if it is only to fit Thomas! I've been working on this since the end of July. Hopefully that last sleeve won't take too long.
A cabled cardigan for Thomas
At least it seems to fit.

The pattern is 1240 from Sirdar.
A cabled cardigan for Thomas
I am messing about with it a little as it is written for DK. I knit in one piece up to the arm pits, casting on the right number of stitches for the age 4-5 years but knitting so it measures the same as the 1-2 years.

A hat for Evie

My friend Cath asked me to make her a hatfor her little girl to replace a lost one like this from Mothercare.

I evenutally chose McKinley's Springtime Hat
A hat for Evie

I chose the deliciously soft Malabrigo Worsted, this is made from leftovers from my Brownie Hat and my February Lady Sweater.

It was super-fast to make, it was completed in a couple of hours one evening.

Thomas modelled it before it was sent off to Nottingham - he got the pose just right ;o)
A hat for Evie

15 months

And a very cheeky chappie

Thomas - 15 months

Monday, September 05, 2011

Making Monday - The 2 B Cake

We now have an abundance of beetroot at the allotment. It was planted by my inlaws, but as they are on holiday I have been harvesting it before it gets too big. It is not ordinary beetroot, it is (I think) Chioggia beetroot and is striped inside like a candy cane!

This seems to mean that when it is boiled and pureed it turns into pink mush rather than dark red mush! (However it doesn't stain your hands, which has got to be a bonus!)
B cake
I was looking through the Abel & Cole website for ideas of what to do with all of these beetroot and decided on Sara Blackmore's beetroot cake rather than another chocolate cake.
It is certainly moist, and is nice enough, but isn't the best cake I've ever made. A little too sweet and, despite the mixed spice and nutmeg, possibly needs a little something else.
However, it still hit the spot at 11am this morning whilst Thomas slept after a hectic morning at Tumble Tots!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Making Monday - A Wolves Scarf

It is football time again, and my team are sitting at the dizzy heights of 5th in the Premier League (we were top for a short time on Saturday).
This scarf, made for the Stephen West KAL, is my new football scarf. I am hoping it is lucky.
Stephen West KAL - Wolves Scarf
This was a mystery knit along and after much deliberation I decided on Wolves colours and I am very glad I did. I am not sure any of my other choices from the previous post would have looked as good. I was hoping the pattern would be more like his stripey shawls such as daybreak - however this helped me overcome my intarsia fear and I quite like the end result.
Stephen West KAL - Wolves Scarf
The yarn is The Yarn Yard Clan in Saffron, Soot and Tanzelope. The Tanzelope was a club colourway, the Saffron was a recent purchase and I got the soot from someone destashing on Ravelry.
Clan isn't my favourite sock yarn, it isn't hard wearing enough for me. However it is perfect yarn for a shawl; lightweight, warm and soft.
Stephen West KAL - Wolves Scarf
I used the whole skein of Saffron, bar a few metres. However I have about 1/3 of a skein of Soot and over half a skein of Tanzelope left. Socks for Thomas maybe?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Making Monday - Fruit time

This week has seen me starting to collect the fruit from the gardens and allotment.
I came home from the allotment with a few blackberries and a handful of tiny yellow plums. These were joined by some damsons and a couple of pears from my FIL; and some raspberries from the canes at the bottom of my garden.

Now, what to do with this random assortment of fruit. There wasn't enough of any one thing to do anything useful; so I stewed it all together with a tiny bit of sugar and ended up with some kind of tart fridge jam


It seemed like it would be the perfect filling for a cake. So I spent yesterday perfecting my sponge recipe. I have 8" cake tins, and a normal sponge recipe is never enough. Yesterday I used 4 eggs which weighed 270g. I used the same amount of butter, sugar and flour and it seemed to work perfectly.

Anyone for cake?

Now to find some friends to eat it.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Making Monday. Too many courgettes.

I have ten courgettes plants at the allotment. This, I have discovered is probably eight (or maybe even nine) too many. It is not possible for one family of three, their relatives and friends to eat the volume of courgettes produced by ten plants. It is courgettes with every meal here. I have even resorted to baking and can tell you that the Green & Blacks recipe for courgettes loaf is very good indeed. This is of course due entirely to the courgettes and has nothing at all to do with the bar of dark chocolate it contains.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cupcake Shrug - Sirdar 1239

I give the credit to Kate and her bobble obsession for my latest knit.
The FO below is Sirdar 1239 from their Sirdar 397 Cosy Little Knits pamphlet. I was led to this book from Kate's bobble cardigan. I first fell in love with pattern 1240 and I managed to find the booklet online for little more than the single pattern would cost.
I have been swatching for pattern the cardigan for Thomas, I am planning on using some sock yarn so I needed to do a bit of maths as the pattern is written for DK.
In the mean time, I cast on the bolero for a special soon to be one year old.
Miriam's Cupcake Shrug
I used The Yarn Yard Crannog, a laceweight yarn, doubled and got gauge straight away.
It is a gorgeous pinky-purple semisolid and works very well doubled.
Miriam's Cupcake Shrug
This took about 5 evenings to make. I messed up the increases on the right side, so just mirrored my mistake on the left - so the top and bottom of the cardigan are not symmetrial. I sewed the garment together and then picked up all of the stitches at once and knit the edging in the round - a much simpler way of doing things. However I am not convinced about the edging cast off - instructions are " cast off all stitches in rib as follows:- *rib 3, knit into st 3 rows below next knit stitch, rep from *. This should create a scalloped edging. I wasn't sure what to do after I knit into the stitch 3 rows below - should I drop the stitches down to this one? Should I knit the stitch on my needle with the one 3 below? That is what I ended up doing, where I think maybe option 1 would have been correct. It does have a slight scallop, but doesn't really look like the pictures in the book.
Most importantly, it has been gifted, it fits (with growing room) and it is the perfect colour. I couldn't ask for more!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Mystery - my options

Yeehaw! The first Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL: Earth & Sky starts August 1st!

You need three colours, one as the anchor and then two others.

The colour choice advice is:

Snap! High Contrast - Combine light, medium, and dark shades with contrasting
Crackle! Tonal - Choose 3 shades of 1 color.
Pop! Tonal with a little extra somethin’ somethin’ - Select 2 shades of one color
combined with an accent color.

I have bought the pattern, and am trying to decide what combination of yarns to use. I pulled out the stash last night and came up with the following:

1. The soft option - Nimu Helvellyn ( a silk/cashmere mix that is the softest yarn possible), The Yarn Yard Lochan (merino/tencel) in beachglass, and The Yarn Yard clan (merino) in nude - but I may substitute a double strand of the Zephyr laceweight I used for my wedding shawl.

2. The nautical option - YY Clan in Midnight, Artist's Palette Sweet Feet " Garden Wall" and YY Clan Nude - I would probably need another skein of the Midnight to make this work.
3. Gold and Blue - YY Clan in Haystacks, Artist's Palette Sweet Feet " Garden Wall" and YY Clan in Midnight
4. Shady Garden - YY Clan in Kale, YY Toddy greens and browns, YY Clan Haystacks.

What would you choose?

A day at the embassy

It seems a birthday shrug is the perfect thing to wear with your posh frock when visiting the British Embassy in Paris.
Bodge with Mathilda in her shrug

Bodge and Mathilda at the Embassy

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - in jumper form

After all of those birthday shrugs I was glad to knit something different.
This project has been in my head for a long time, and I am so glad I finally got to knit it for my own little boy. I present "The Very Hungry Caterpillar Jumper".

I was inspired at first by this cardigan on Ravelry (and I later on found this fab cardigan too) but also by the most perfect Very Hungry Caterpillar coloured yarn - Dream in Color Classy in Happy Forest. This is the yarn I knit my Vine Yoke cardigan from, and I had a spare skein which I had been saving for this imaginery jumper.

I started with a jumper pattern I had knit before, the Catch Sweater from Louisa Hardings "Miss Bea's Playtime". However like last time, I knit in the round up to the sleeves and then knit the back and the front separately.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Jumper
I grafted the shoulders, knitted the neck band straight onto the jumper and then picked up stitches and knit the sleeves in the round. I am sure I should probably use short rows to shape the top of the sleeves, but it looks fine like this to me. Instead of plain stocking stitch arms I added a row of purl stitches every 9 rows to make them more caterpillar like.

The jumper came out slightly smaller than the pattern because I used worsted weight rather than aran weight yarn. However as these Louisa Harding sweaters are always massive it doesn't matter too much.
The caterpillar was knit on the fly - after several attempts I finally cracked it. He is worked in garter stitch. I cast on at the tail and used short rows to shape it. I found the best way to define the different sections was to cast off 2 stitches on one row and then cast on 2 using the backwards loop method on the next row. Increasing and decreasing didn’t give enough of a defined shape. The head was knit in stocking stitch and shaped using normal increases and decreases.
The eyes were knit and appliqued on, as was the nose and the feet. The Antennae were crocheted.
I attached the caterpillar to the jumper with bondaweb. I tried adding the caterpillar's hairs but decided it was just too much.


I am so pleased with the finished jumper:
Hungry Caterpillar Jumper
A caterpillar close up:
Hungry Caterpillar Jumper

I think someone else liked his birthday jumper too:
My birthday jumper

Thursday, July 07, 2011

One today!

Thomas is ONE today. The year has flown by.
First Birthday
He has a t-shirt to prove it
I am 1
We went to the farm to look at piglets
With the pigs

He got a tiger cupcake for pudding....
Thomas and his Tiger cupcake

The first 12 months

Thomas - the first 12 months

Monday, June 20, 2011

A trio of shrugs

Three little girls have turned one in the last few weeks. I thought they all deserved a little knitted something. I knit a Little Girl's Shrug for Carys to wear at our wedding and I remembered it was a quick and easy knit; plus it is perfect for spring/summer babies.

So I started off with a ball of Dale of Norway purple merino/cotton that I got in a swap a while ago. I used a crochet edging on the neck as seen here and decided to modify the lace pattern (removing two of the knit stitches) and used this rather than the ribbing on the sleeves. I cast on 12 stitches under the arms, rather and the specificed 8, so the lace pattern would work.
Mathilda is now wearing this on the streets of Paris!
Little Girl's Shrug for  Mathilda

Next up, little Alice. Thomas' friend from down the road, born exactly a month before him. Her mum and I met at a breastfeeding support group in those hard early days, and we have become good friends.
This time I added stripes - which required a little bit of jiggery-pokery as you knit the button bands at the same time, but I think it worked out just fine. This was knit in Rowan Wool Cotton.
Alice's Shrug
Finally, a shrug for Evie who was one at the start of May. This time I followed instructions to make the front curved as in this project. This was knit in the same Rowan Wool Cotton as Alice's shrug. I knit the age 2 size as Evie is a big one year old, and it fits her perfectly. However she is still wearing her February Baby Sweater as a shrug!
Evie's Birthday Shrug
Now, onto a present for Thomas....

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

11 Months

I'm starting to look quite big in my cot.
Thomas - 11 Months
Still smiling lots
Thomas - 11 Months
Sticking my tongue out is my latest trick
Thomas - 11 Months
Along with growling like a tiger (can you see my teeth?)
Thomas - 11 Months
I am also going backwards and mummy keeps finding me in the corner or under the sofa... crawling next month maybe?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Spring Mystery

There have been times over the past year when I felt I would never have the concentration level to be able to knit a lace shawl ever again. However, thankfully those days are (mostly) behind me. I have my evenings free and when Alice from Socktopus announced a Spring KAL at the start of April I decided to take the plunge.
I even managed to keep up with clue one (there were two weeks between clues)
Spriteling Clue One
Clue two was done on time as well, but then I lapsed. Finishing socks, presents, life generally got in the way. However when I started to see some of the finished shawls on Ravelry I knew I needed to buckle down and finish this one.

So, here I present you with a finished Spring Mystery (Spriteling) Shawl.
Made in Malabrigo Sock Yarn (which I now realise is far better suited to non-footwear).
The colourway is Indiecita, which is hard to describe and even harder to photograph... a greeny, bluey, greyish mixture of colours. not quite variegated but far more coloured than a semi solid.
It was always destined for a shawl, and perhaps would be better suited to one a little less lacey, but I love it all the same.