knitting · Shawls

FO: A couple of shawls

The other day I got round to blocking a couple of shawls I finished absolutely ages ago. Both had been languishing in a project bag for months waiting to be blocked.

First I gave them a gentle wash in Soak which is great as it smells lovely and doesn’t have to be rinsed.

I decided to just lightly block the shawls so after I’d washed them, I just lay them out on towels and gently stretched into shape to open up the lacework. I didn’t want to block them too aggressively so didn’t use pins.

The first shawl is the Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter of Hedgerow Yarns. It’s a free pattern that you can get on Ravelry. I knitted this in 4ply by Biffsugar Yarns Demelza colourway. The shawl is a beautiful simple garter stitch pattern with simple lace eyelets down the middle and with a lace eyelet and picot edging.

Simple Shawl

The second shawl is the Faerly Shawl by Tall Yarns. I bought this pattern at the Knitting and Stitching Show and unfortunately I can’t find them online. It’s knitted in Shetland Spindrift by Jamiesons of Shetland which is a lovely rustic yarn.

Faerly Shawl

I’m really happy with both of my shawls now they are blocked and so happy I can finally wear them both.

I’d love to know how you block your shawls and if you have any tips?

Catherine x

knitting · socks

FO: Simple Socks

Hello there. Popping by to share some socks that I have finished recently.

The pattern is called Simple Socks by Sue Morgan which was a pattern that came free with the purchase of a ball of sock yarn. This was the sock pattern that I used when I first made socks and it is a lovely simple pattern that I have returned to several times.

The yarn is a favourite of mine for sock knitting. I used West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in the colourway Woodpidgeon.

The socks were knitted on 2.5mm needles. I made them with a 2 x 2 rib and then they are knitted in simple stocking stitch with a grafted toe.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out and how well I matched them. I’m very happy with them and they are lovely and cosy.

The link to my Ravelry project page can be found here.

I’d love to know if you have any favourite simple sock patterns that you return to time and time again.

Catherine x

knitting · socks

FO: Lemon Squeezy socks

Hello it’s been a while!

So I have finished some socks. The pattern is the Easy Squeezy socks which is a sock pattern which can be found in Knit Now issue 98.

I made this from yarn in my stash. The yarn is Stylecraft Life DK Vintage Look. I wanted a warm pair of socks to wear around the house and these fit the bill nicely. It is a good stash busting pattern too as the socks only uses 62g.

The link to my project page on Ravelry can be found here.

Its a very simple pattern and as it’s knit in DK it knits up really quickly. I couldn’t believe it though as I made a mistake on the second sock and found out that I had 58 stitches on the needles when I got to the toe instead of 52! The second sock is a bit loose because of this but as I made these for keeping my feet cozy around the house, it’s not too much of a problem.

I’d definitely make these again.

Catherine x

knitting

My Ravelry Queue

I thought I’d share with you the first five patterns I’ve got lined up in my Ravelry queue to make in 2020.

1) Point Edwards Mitts

The Point Edwards Mitts is a free pattern by Fairlight Fibers for cuffed fingerless mitts. I like this pattern as I find this type of mitt ideal for when I’m walking my dog, Loki. They look like a quick and simple knit and I can’t wait to crack on with these while the weather is chilly.

2) January Hat

Next up in my queue is the January Hat. I found this hat recently when doing a quick Ravelry search. It is part of a free collection of 12 hats published in a Year of Hats. I love the ribbing, diamond cables, and the cute bobbles. It should be a relatively fast knit too as it is knit in worsted weight yarn.

3) Raven Beanie DK

The next project I’ve got lined up is another hat – the Raven Beanie DK. It’s a simple knit which uses a 2 row repeat using only knit and purl stitches. Perfect for TV knitting!

4) Lemon Squeezy Socks

These simple socks are were published in Knit Now, January 2019. I kept the pattern as they are for DK socks and I have some DK weight sock yarn in my stash. Think these would be nice thicker socks for my wellies!

5) Stripey Arms

My final pattern is the Stripey Arms by Amoena Online. I love the idea of these arm warmers as I can get quite cold in the winter on my dog walks and also think that they would be good for keeping warm in the house (and saving on central heating bills!)

I suppose I had better get the needles out and crack on. I’d love it if I could finish two or three of these projects in January.

I’d love to hear what you think of the items in my queue or what you’ve got planned to cast on next!

Catherine x

knitting

Back to blogging…

I had brilliant intentions to update this blog regularly but as you can see I have woefully neglected it. Not sure what happened but life just got in the way. I love blogging my makes and have missed posting about them on here.

Anyway I am back and I am hoping to make time to regularly post on here.

I have cast on my first project of 2020 – the Cold Spring Cowl by Edition Knits. You can find all the details on my Ravelry project page which I have linked to above.

I’ve also got a couple of knitting related New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Use up my stash. It’s probably not that big by some people’s standards but I’d like to try to reduce it further in 2020.
  2. Have a go at creating some of my own designs. I have lots of ideas that I would like to try out.
  3. Finally get round to making that podcast I mentioned before!

Let me know if you have set yourself any knitting related New Year’s Resolutions. I’d love to hear from you!

Catherine x

knitting

WIP: Simple Shawl

My little bunny is still not finished 😞. Instead I’ve been working on a 4ply sock yarn shawl.

The pattern is Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter, which is a free download on Ravelry. It’s a simple pattern, mainly garter stitch with some simple eyelets and then a picot edging.

It’s a very popular pattern, and is the perfect pattern to show of a lovely skein of sock yarn.

I’ve using some lovely yarn from Biffsugar Yarns, who you can find on Etsy. She also has a Youtube channel which I recommend watching if you enjoy knitting podcasts, as she comes across as such a lovely lady. She’s only recorded a few episodes so I do hope she makes some more.

The colourway is called Demelza, and is a superwash merino nylon mix. It’s so soft and gorgeous, and lovely to knit with.  I originally planned to make socks with it, and even cast one on but frogged it after completing the rib as I thought it would be better for a shawl.

Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter - Biffsugar Yarns - Demelza

I’m hoping to get this finished by the end of the month, I can’t wait to wear it.

The only thing with shawls and scarves is I still can’t wear them when Loki the dog is about. Anyone else had this problem? I’m hoping he will grow out of it as he is slowly getting more sensible.

Here’s a photo I took of him the other day on one of our muddy walks. Gorgeous boy!

Loki the flatcoat cockapoo

Catherine x

knitting

WIP: Bunny legs!

Last night I settled down to see if I could make some more progress on my girl bunny.  As you can see, she now has two little legs!

I knitted the legs  and shoes with Natura Just Cotton 4ply which, while has a lovely slinky feel, is quite hard to work with as it splits as it is made of 8 strands of combed cotton. I would think it is better suited for crochet.

I also found it quite unforgiving when it came to sewing up  and my seaming is not as neat as I would like.

The legs are probably the most tricky and fiddly part of this bunny and I might be tempted to swop the feet with those of the boy bunny pattern  if I were to make this bunny again.

There is also a cute shoe supplement  which has a pair of bunny slipper or trainers which you could use instead.

Girl bunny - Little Cotton Rabbits

Catherine x

knitting

WIP: Little Cotton Rabbits bunny

I’m trying to get a few of my long-standing WIPs finished off. I started this little bunny some time last year. The knitting was very quick but there are lots of small pieces to join together, which I’ve been putting off.

Last night I started sewing her together. So far I’ve completed the head and face which took me most of an evening!

I had to have a few goes at the embroidery before I was happy with her face. It’s not perfect but not bad for a novice toy maker. Looking at the photo, I may re-do one of her eyes!

She’s knitted in Drops Karisma, which is 100 percent superwash wool. It’s listed on Ravelry as a DK yarn but it is actually a sport weight yarn. It is slightly fuzzy which gives the bunny a nice finish.

Little Cotton Rabbits - bunny girl in a dotty dress

The pattern is Bunny girl in a dotty dress by Julie Williams of  Little Cotton Rabbits, which you can buy on Ravelry. I’ve been a fan of her cute animals for a while now and would recommend you check out her Ravelry Store out if you like making toy animals. They are unbelievably cute.

One thing I will point out though is that the rabbit is knitted on small needles and is knitted all in the flat, so there is a lot of seaming to do. If you don’t like sewing things together you might want to try a different pattern. The pattern however is incredibly detailed and helpful and I think that there is a Ravelry group if you do get stuck.

I’m pretty pleased with my efforts so far. Isn’t she the cutest thing!

Hopefully I’ll have her finished by the end of the week to share with you.

I’ve included a link to my Ravelry project page here.

I’ve love to hear from you if you’ve made any of the Little Cotton Rabbits or perhaps if you can recommend any other cute toy patterns I should check out.

Catherine x

knitting

Nine Knitting Facts About Me

I thought it might be fun to tell you some knitting related facts about myself!

1) When did I learnt to knit

I learnt to knit when I was about five or six.  Both my mother and my grandmother were knitters so it was natural I learnt I suppose. My granny made all my grandad’s socks by hand, and my mum still knits now.  She knits in the northern “armpit” knitting style which I never mastered.  However I am a “thrower” by preference also. I have tried other knitting styles but I find this is the most efficient and fastest way for me to knit, even though “throwing” seems to be frowned on.

2) My first knitted jumper

My first knitted jumper was a green fuzzy mohair monster knitted in the late 1980s. The wool was a Christmas present.  I think my mother still may have the pattern so if I can find it will post an image. Sadly I no longer have the jumper!

3) When did I start knitting again

I put the needles down for a while in my twenties, but I started knitting again properly in 2003 while pregnant with my daughter.  I knitted lots of tiny cardigans and from that moment I was hooked again.

4) Things I like to knit

I like to knit socks, baby garments (so tiny and cute) and garments for myself. Sadly my teenage daughter will no longer wear my knitting, as she has decided that hand knitted garments are not cool.

6) My largest knitting project

I knitted a beautiful lace blanket for my daughter.  It took a long time to knit and there was much ripping back when the lace went wrong! It seemed to take forever to knit but it was certainly worth it. I still have the shawl, so it’s a nice memory.

5) Knitting skills I want to master

I have mainly knit garments flat so would like to try some different construction methods such as knitting from the top down. I’d also like to try knitting socks from the toe up, and maybe knitting them on a circular needle using the magic loop method as I usually use 4 needles.  Also I would like to learn some different methods of casting on and cast offs, and maybe try some fair isle knitting .

7) My favourite knitting books

I have many knitting books but my favourite reference guide is “Knitter’s Handbook” by Montse Stanley.  It looks a bit dated but it is a really comprehensive guide to all the techniques a hand-knitter needs to know.  Buy it!

8) What’s on my needles right now

Among other things a pair of  socks, a simple shawl and a jumper.  I always have too many WIPS on the go…

9) My favourite yarn

I prefer to knit with double knitting or 4ply.  I don’t really like to knit with chunky wool that often. Unfortunately I don’t have a local yarn shop that near to me, so I buy a lot of my yarn online. I have fond memories of the local wool shop growing up, which even had it’s own cat!

If you’d like to share any knitting facts, I’d love to hear from you.

Catherine x

knitting

My new knitting blog!

Happy New Year! So it’s 2019! Did you make any crafty New Year Resolutions?

Mine are as follows:

1. Knit more!

We got a puppy just under a year ago and it’s been impossible to do anything crafty around him. He’s properly gorgeous but he’s totally crazy and finds knitting wool insanely interesting.

I’ve decided I need to find time every day where possible to do a little bit of knitting when he’s not around.  I’m also going to try to knit with the dog in the same room, so will see how that goes! I’m thinking small projects that he can’t easily get hold of to  destroy!

2. Try something new.

Although I consider myself a confident knitter, there are loads of techniques that I’ve never tried before. I’ve never knitted a toe up sock, or top down sweater, or tried fair isle. I always use the same cast on and cast off so it’s time to learn something new.

3. Have a go at podcasting!

I watch loads of knitting podcasts on YouTube and think it might be fun to give it a go myself if I can pluck up the courage!

4. Stash bust.

My crafting funds are quite limited at the moment and I have a large stash that I’d like to use up. It’s probably not that big by some people’s standards but I’d like to try to reduce it in 2019.

With all this in mind I thought I’d start a new blog where I can share my knitting and some of the other random stuff in my life.  I’ve blogged before but fancied a fresh start.

There should be lots of knitting, maybe a bit of crochet, some random book chatter and talk about my various pets.

I hope you enjoy!

Catherine x