Archives for posts with tag: winter

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A glance at this blog would have you believing that I don’t knit anymore.

Whilst it’s true I have taken it easy over the summer months, as I can’t bear the sweaty squeakiness of hot yarn, knitting is still something of a daily occurrence in my life. I have rattled out quite a few items recently: baby bits for new arrivals, a couple of pairs of vanilla socks, and hats. Lots and lots of hats.

My home is a hat Bermuda Triangle. My Ravelry project page tells me I have completed lots of hats, a handful of which are very wearable, but since casting off they have just disappeared. I imagine there is a bag in my scary, spider-ridden loft containing all manner of winter woolly goodness. As least I hope so, otherwise Borrowers are getting bigger these days. I’ve decided I need a few more hats, but I’ve not only been knitting for me. Also included in my endeavours are a couple of birthday gifts for friends, a family set for a Secret Santa swap, and lots of the little buggers for the Innocent Big Knit project (but more on that later).

The first FO I have to share is my favourite of the bunch. I chose Ripon by Rachel Coopey to tie in with The Knitting Goddess Ravelry Group’s Movie Star KAL, and blogged about my intentions here. April (was it really so long ago?!) was the month of Maggie Smith, and Coopknit’s Toasty collection featured Yorkshire town names, the county where Downton Abbey is set. Ms Smith plays the inimitable Dowager Countess of course. I scoured t’internet for a pithy quote of hers to title my projects, but they were all too long. Eventually I settled for Being Defeatist Is So Middle Class, which turned out to be depressingly prophetic.

I have made no secret of how challenging I find Coopknit patterns, but bloody hell they are impressive. I am not an amateur knitter by any stretch, but there is something about intricate cabling and travelling stitches which stalls me. I struggled to get started on this one at all, twisting my joining in the round three times before opting to knit 4 rows straight before trying again. This gives my hat a customised slightly rolled brim, which works I think.

I was also up against it with the yarn. The Titus is a beautiful and complicated mistress, by turns soft yet prickly. She’s not easy, but you wouldn’t love her if she were. Some things are worth trying that little bit harder for. She is very, very splitty (I should say here that I HATE it when people complain on Ravelry about yarn being ‘splitty’. If its a plied yarn I just think people should get over themselves and stop moaning, its so common a whinge. That said, this really is something else!). Even with sharpy sharp Knit Pros, the fuzzy halo combined with constantly travelling stitches and my general lack of patience made this hat quite the undertaking.

Frogging is nigh on impossible, so when I spotted I’d knitted a couple of rows incorrectly, I packed this away until I had the energy to tink. A couple of weeks ago I dug it out, and as always seems to happen after a hiatus, it flew along!

You like?

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It’s so warm and cosy, and the buttery yellow colour is really very pretty. I love the colours in this pic, they seem to sum up our Indian summer and encroaching early Autumn perfectly. This one will get a lot of wear.

Until I lose it.

In other hat news, I will share briefly the hats I’ve been knitting for my Secret Santa family. The lady likes bright colours, so I’ve made a Berkeley Hat in an wool/acrylic mix frim Sirdar. I’ve learnt the hard way not to give complicated yarns as gifts. No modelled pics here, as these are really not my colours! This was a fun knit though, the travelling simple cable creating a spiral in this one-piece knit

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I used the leftovers to knit a Poppy for her daughter

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She has two sons, and I have completed the hat for her oldest. The Dead Fish Hat is one of those patterns that I can’t believe I haven’t knitted already. It’s fun, it’s free, it’s easy………….what’s not to love? This was the perfect way to use up some leftovers, and I’ll definitely being making more. This one still needs eyes, but I didn’t want to freak out the delicate sensibilities of my beautiful boy, who models it here.

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I need hat pattern suggestions for a baby boy now. Something that might work in colours similar to the fish. What have you enjoyed making?

Another recent pattern discovery has been Ysolda’s Gretel. I knitted one in haste for my boss’ leaving present last month. In so much haste I didn’t get a good pic, but it was in Dream in Colour’s Classy (my all time fave) and flew off the needles to great effect and a warm reception. I’ve already started knitting another, for a pal’s birthday later this week. I had an odd ball of Classy in November Muse, and figured whilst it was too close to the hue of my barnet, it would look great against her red hair. Tres Autumnal. Plus, I just want to knit with Classy some more. I love it so, but its like hen’s teeth here in the UK, I can’t find it! If anyone wants to send me some, it’s be very gratefully received and knitted up very, very quickly.

Is that a bit cheeky? Probably.

Until next time, knitfans.

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It doesn’t happen often, but last week I met a yarn that made me want to cry.

Rowan’s Alpaca Colour is softer than a kitten’s backside, and snuggling up to it in House of Fraser bought an impromptu lump to my throat.

I know, I’m odd. Of course, being Rowan, I wanted to cry even harder when I saw the price. £7.95! Although reasonable given the quality and fibre content of this yarn, 100% baby alpaca, I knew I was destined for a project of the accessory rather than garment variety. That’s fine by me though. I love alpaca fibre but it is tremendously warm. Despite living in chilly Britain, I spend most of my time either inside or outside walking, and find I get hot fairly quickly. I found a beautiful project by Dayana on Ravelry which was almost enough to convince me that a jumper would be a good idea, but for now I thought a little pair of mittens would suffice.

 


These took slightly less than a whole skein, I have maybe 2 metres left so it was tight! The yarn has a very subtle long colour repeat. This was more obvious on certain shades in the shop, but on the green was not very noticeable, so I decided to disregard it when knitting, given my yardage restrictions. It shows up much more on this photo than it does in real life, actually. The Café Au Lait pattern was fab; intuitive and clearly written. This was going to be my first entry into the Ravellenic games, but given the hideous weather, I decided I couldn’t wait! They took just two evenings to complete.

As for wearability, they are DIVINE! The yarn is a single and only lightly spun for softness, so I’m not sure about wear and tear, as the halo is already pretty impressive. But it feels like I am wearing CLOUDS ON MY HANDS, and certainly made my half hour wait for the bus this morning more pleasant. Now planning a second mini project with this stuff. Maybe a Calorimetry?

 

Very happy bunny.

 

 

 

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As reports of howling gales and torrential rain fill the radio and TV, I sit in my cosy living room trying not to think about the squally commute which awaits me in just 9 short hours.

I have also made a decision. I’ve felt it coming for a few weeks now, nagging at the edge of my mind as I sit down to yet another evening of crappy TV (Sleepy Hollow and Bates Motel excluded, natch); it’s time to crack open Game of Thrones again.

I started reading these books at the beginning of year, despite my initial reservations. Having considered the wise words of a good friend who advised avoiding any tome with ‘either a family tree or a map in the beginning’, I nevertheless embarked on what I knew would be a reading marathon, as I had watched my husband consume all 8 volumes previously. I wasn’t expecting much, I was the girl put off LOTR by too many battles and beards for goodness sake, but I was gripped from the start.

I’ve enjoyed historical literature in the past, and this had just enough quasi-queens and castles to keep me going, and I found I could overlook some of the extended battle sequences in favour of the strategic game playing that led to them. I enjoyed the characterisation and the way the action moved throughout different parts of the created world. Plus, it had dragons in. So, win.

I’m not expert enough to wax lyrical about the plot or world George RR Martin creates at length, this is the wrong blog for that, although I am sure there are very many out there. Indeed, I often consider it a curse that throughout life I have been geeky enough to be a fan of stuff like this, but never geeky enough for my passion to come out the other side of cool.

But enjoy it I do, and the point of this post was just to say I am re-commencing reading; at the start of volume 3. I stopped fairly abruptly in May when the sun came out, it just didn’t feel right reading this without a onesie on, or a whisky at my side. Or indeed, without the wind howling outside.

It’s seems I have all those ingredients ready once again. So in I go……………