Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Old vs New//WIP Wednesday

Guess What???? Ribbed baby jacket is almost finished *squeals*, it's so close it's actually slightly painful as the rows are really long and I decided, instead of rib, to do a garter stitch border instead.......
 I started a new knit, this is a cute little test knit - it's so lovely and I'm enjoying working with the yarn so much:
 And lastly I haven't started work on this yet but it's in a project bag and I've got everything I need - it's called This is Spinal Wrap (love it) and it's gorgeous. I got gifted some Mirasol Miski yarn this week and it's just perfect for this wrap - I'm going to do the centre spine in the blue and the rest all in purple (I think):

What are you working on this week? I am playing along with Tami and Ginny once again - go check out what everyone else is working on.
I did a review of Knit Now magazine just the other day, so go check that out (if you want LOL)!!!
V xo

Monday, 25 June 2012

Knit Now//Review

I have been reading Knit Now magazine since issue 6 and subscribing since issue 7 - and I have to say I was immediately hooked. There are new designers to meet each month and loads content including trends, interviews and tons of gorgeous patterns. Issue 10 has just come out so I've decided to do a wee review:
 When you open the magazine you are automatically introduced to the lovely Kate, who writes her own personal editors letter each month - I love to read this, she always shares a little bit of the magazine with her own personal experience. Kate also does a feature called kate's blog where she shares a little bit about her own life and her yarny experiences from the month - this month she has been learning to crochet (there is a free crochet set with this month's magazine) and talks passionately about tackling patterns - she has certainly put me a little more at ease.
 Each issue of Knit Now has a feature with a known knitter, this month is Arne and Carlos who knit all kinds of cute dolls - a few of their patterns are included in the magazine. Alongside this, in the inspiration section of the magazine, there is a look book section (which this month is festival chic), some mini book reviews and a feature called The Grapevine. After this section we launch straight into the patterns - this month many of the patterns are heavily inspired by festivals, I particularly love Titania's Dream especially for a dreamy summer's day.
The magazine ends with an ask the expert portion, where members of the public write in with a problem and have it solved by the lovely Debbie Tomkies. There is also a few pages of knitting stitches, and basic knitting knowledge. And finally the last page gives a sneak peek into the next issue - I have to say I am excited for issue 11 already.

What magazines do you like to read and why? Share your favourites on your blog!!!
V xo

*all photographs published in this post are copyright of TIM BRADLEY for Practical Publishing

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Winner//Knit Nerds

So the winner of the lovely photography gloves by Faye is........... ERIN KATE. Congratulations Erin, I will contact you on Ravelry tonight - enjoy your pattern.

This week I have no knit nerd :( BUT I will have a magazine review, a knit life post and hopefully a WIP Wednesday - how does that sound?

V xo

Friday, 22 June 2012

Elefante//FO Friday

After staying up very late a couple of nights this week, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Florence/Elefante is FINISHED!!!! Yes that is right, I have a finished object *bows* I am feeling just a tiny bit pleased of myself.
The head and trunk were the hardest I think, it took me a while to get the hang of it but I think she's pretty perfect.
 I crocheted her tiny ears, and I did an i-cord for the first time!!! I've learned so much just from this tiny elefante!!!
What do you think? Isn't she just cute? I'm glad I went just for one solid colour instead of stripes, it make my first attempt at DPN's just that little bit easier. I think everyone should make one of these - I loved it so much I've been asked to do another one - for a baby boy this

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ravelympics//Knit Life

For those of you who are member on Ravelry, you will have already heard of the going-ons regarding the Ravelympics. I personally think it's ridiculous for anybody to get on their high horse and complain about people with yarn and sticks.........
I am not usually all that interested in the olympics, however this year because of Ravelympics (and of course London), I was taking a little bit more interest in it. I'm just not sure how much I want to do with it - when the Olympics are making money from hundreds of sponsors and the olympic logo is on EVERYTHING, what harm are we?
What are your thoughts??? Are we denigrating the athletes or supporting them?
V xo
PS - i have a little pink finished object for you tomorrow.........

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Elefante//WIP Wednesday

I've been working on several projects this past week but Elefante (or Florence as she is known) has made the most obvious progress so I thought I'd do a post just to share her. Florence will go in a basket with the cute little booties and a hat as a baby gift for some friends of ours - I can hardly wait to get it all finished and sent off. So far the body is done, and all 4 feet are attached:
 I've given all of the feet a good tug just to make sure they can withstand a baby pulling at them, they seem really strong!!!! I have now started knitting on the trunk and head:
Working on DPN's is completely new to me, but I'm definitely a convert - it's so much fun and it's not as difficult as I thought it would be!!! It was on my list of things to learn this half of the year and I've done it so I'm really pleased.
Once again I'm playing along with Ginny and Tami; go check out what everyone else is working on.
V xo

PS - there is a giveaway on my blog right now, so go leave a comment and you could win!!!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Faye Perriam//Knit Nerds

This week's lovely knit nerd is Faye, or Buttons and Beeswax as she is known on Ravelry. Faye is a lovely designer, and she bakes - she has an awesome recipe for nutella cupcakes on her blog right now - go check it out. Here she is:

How long have you been knitting and who taught you?
My mum taught me to knit when I was about 5 – I used to make clothes for my Barbies from simple patterns she had. I suppose I got disinterested, until I went to a party about 10 years ago and thought it was so cool that one of my friends had a bag of knitting! I made her teach me there and then, and then scoured old books I’d been given by my Mum the next day while nursing a hangover. I was interested by the whole process and knitted swatch after swatch in different stitch patterns, practicing increasing, decreasing and picking up dropped stitches, and haven’t really stopped since.
 What is your favourite thing to knit?
At the moment I’m really enjoying lace stitch patterns, I love how they don’t take shape until a few rows in and how they can really affect the drape of the garment. I really love making cardigans, but I’ve got a few and haven’t made myself one for a while. I might combine the two sometime and make a nice summery lacy number.

Who is your biggest knitting inspiration?
This is a tough one! Recently I’ve been doing some work with Erika Knight, who has given me some great encouragement and advice, and I’m really inspired by how she keeps creating, coming up with new ideas and always seems to be on the go! However I’ve met so many other designers through Ravelry, I love this community of people who are all quite happy to share their experience and help in some way, no matter how big or small they are in the industry. I find that more of an inspiration more than any set one person.
 What is your favourite finished object of your own?
It would have to be the cardigan I made called ‘Lichen’which is an adapted version of a pattern by Lisa Richardson, or my ‘Owls’jumper designed by Kate Davies. I started designing a cardigan for myself which I know will become a firm favourite, but it’ll be a while before I get time to finish that one off as my process can be a bit slow.

What has been your favourite thing to design so far?
I’m quite a small fry, so I don’t have many designs out yet, but I’d say the one I wear the most would have to be my Nordic Lace Hat. It was the first design I published and I love it every time a new photo pops up on Ravelry. I had the yarn sat in my stash for 2 years before I knew what to do with it, and then a hat, cowl and mittens set appeared within a few weeks!
 What led you to start designing your own pieces?
It would probably be a mixture of the natural transgression from heavily adapting other patterns, and the encouragement from Erika to get on and give it a go! I haven’t followed a pattern for some time now and I often miss the simplicity of following something that has already been worked out, however I like the challenge too much to give up designing things!
If you could give 3 pieces of knitting advice, what would they be?
Learn how to pick up dropped stitches. The amount of people I know who can knit, but need help fixing their mistakes is silly – it helps you to understand how everything fits together.

It might be a bit obvious to some, but until someone pointed out to me that you can use the long tail cast on method (my favourite) with two balls, I was forever guessing how long to make the tail, which is especially frustrating when you’ve a lot to cast on and you guess wrong!

Don’t be too scared to go out of your comfort zone and try new things, you might surprise yourself!

This time around I have chosen the prize for the giveaway, you could win the pattern for Dad's Photographers Gloves, these gloves are excellent for those winter photoshoots, if you would like to win just leave a little comment and I'll draw next Sunday evening after 6pm BST.
You can also find Faye in these places:

Make sure you stop by Faye's blog and Rav page and give her some love, she really is wonderful. Thanks again Faye for the awesome interview and giveaway.
V xo

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Winner//Knit Nerds

The winner of the lovely pattern prize from Joy is............
.......Sheree Ashapa. Sheree please contact me either through Ravelry or by email and we'll get your pattern out to you.

Thanks again to all who entered and left some love for Joy's lovely patterns. I have another knit nerd for you tomorrow and a wee giveaway!!!!

V xo

Friday, 15 June 2012

Accessories//Knit Stuff

Another friday goes by with NO finished objects - the blue sweater is so close to finished it's painful, but it will be done for next Friday so check in then. In the meantime I have a knit stuff post for you, sharing just some of my cute little knitting accessories. You all know how much I love bags, well I just happen to love pencil cases too, and when I spotted this one in a sale I had to have it:
 And guess what? It happens to fit all of my accessories in perfectly, it was meant to be; obviously.
So what do I keep in this pencil case, firstly some small headed pins, stitch markers and several cable needles - I do have about 8 but you don't really need to see ALL of those:
 Secondly my giant safety pins - again I have several, a row counter (the rest are on projects) and my cute purple pen although with patterns I prefer to use a pencil:
 And lastly the real priorities my little scissors, a tape measure and some sewing needles - the things you REALLY need to knit or to crochet:
What accessories do you have? Do you like to have more than 1 of everything or are you happy with everything in singular? And of course what do you keep all of your accessories in? Remember if you share on your blog, make sure you link back to me so I can come by and have a look.
V xo

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

In Progress//WIP Wednesday

Can you believe it's Wednesday again? I swear the weeks are just going faster!!! I'm working on a few things this week............

I went to the library and got a book on crochet, so I'm learning using some normal red aran weight yarn and a size 5.5mm hook - so far I've learned a slip stitch, double crochet, treble crochet and triple treble crochet - I'm thinking I could probably make something more substantial than a tiny bag:
 My ribbed baby jacket is nearly finished, I'm on the ribbed part but I'm not actually doing it ribbed, I'm just doing garter stitch, I think another couple of inches or so and then it will be done:
 My pink Elefante is going well so far, I had never used DPN's before so that was an adventure but I made the first foot - although I messed up the 2nd one and had to frog it. Isn't the 1st one cute?:
I have a lovely pattern giveaway by Joy Gerdardt going on right now, all you have to do is leave a wee comment on THIS post and you could win a pattern of your choice. Later in the week I have a knit stuff post coming up, and then another knit nerds on Monday - and who knows what inbetween? Once again I am playing along with Ginny and Tami - go check them out and see what everyone else is working on.
V xo

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tiny Bag//Journey into Crochet

I have actually started to, slowly, master crochet. I'm a little confused as to the names of all the stitches as they appear to be different in the UK from the US. I thought I was learning single crochet (slip stitch) when in actual fact I was learning double crochet - it's all very confusing. I'm going to stick with the UK versions for the moment I think!!!

Anyway I made a little bag for Luna, my blythe doll:
 What do you think? I love getting the chance to style her and I think this bag works well with the outfit. I had such fun crocheting the bag - and it hardly took anytime at all!!!!
I am loving learning new things and trying my hand at new techniques, what are you learning right now? What do you hope to learn next? I'm hoping to make a circular placemat using crochet, and learn a bit more about cables in knitting.
V xo

PS - there is a  lovely giveaway going on right now, go leave a comment for the chance to win!!!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Joy Gerhardt//Knit Nerds

This week I have the lovely Joy joining the knit nerds; Joy has designed some amazing patterns and is one of my favourite designers of the moment. Here she is:
 How long have you been knitting and who taught you?
I learned to knit about 5 years ago, completely on a lark - I was at Michaels (a US craft store) with some friends who were picking up art supplies, and I wandered into the yarn section. I grabbed some colourful yarn and big needles and a friend taught me to cast on and knit. Virtually everything else - including binding off that very first, very holey scarf - has been self-taught with the help of websites and YouTube.
What is your favourite thing to knit?
Socks and shawls! I'm nuts about accessories, but I just can't get enough socks and shawls in particular. While a woolly hat or pair of mitts might languish in my cupboard for months at a time, socks and shawls can be worn in all seasons. I also like that they're relatively quick projects, and great for using beautiful skeins of hand-dyed yarn.
 Who is your biggest knitting inspiration?
My all-time knitting hero is Cat Bordhi. From her seamless knitted moebius to her dozens of sock innovations, I am constantly staggered by her ability to come up with new ideas and techniques. I hope one day to be half as creative a knitter as she is.
What is your favourite finished object of your own?
That's tough, because my favourite FO is usually the one I've finished most recently ;) But one that I get a lot of wear out of is my Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark - - It's bigger and heavier than most of the other shawls I've made, which makes is nice and cosy for wrapping myself up when I'm cold. The alpaca yarn was a gift from a friend at university, and I think of her every time I wear it.
 What has been your favourite thing to design so far?
Well, I had a whole lot of fun with something I've just recently finished -- but I can't tell you about it because it won't be released until autumn ;) Sorry!
But I'm particularly proud of the Interwoven Hat - - It was my first pattern published in a magazine, and I first had the idea for it back before I even started designing. It's seamless and utilises a technique I 'unvented' for cables that go both horizontally and vertically.
What led you to start designing your own pieces?
I'm notoriously unable to follow a pattern. Whether it's adjusting a sweater for fit, converting cuff-down socks to toe-up, swapping stitch patterns or using a different weight yarn -- I've always changed things around as I knit. So, it wasn't such a huge leap from doing that to knitting things up that were entirely my own (and then to writing them down).
 If you could give 3 pieces of knitting advice, what would they be?
- If you have a knitting problem, there is a very good chance that someone else has had the same problem. We are so lucky to have a wealth of information available to us through the internet - take advantage of it! I have solved many a dire issue with the help of Ravelry, YouTube and/or Google.

- Knit what you want to knit, and don't let anyone (even yourself) tell you that you can't do it because it's 'too advanced'.

- If you don't like doing something, you don't have to do it! Knitting should be fun. Hate seams? Knit seamlessly. Don't like scarves? Don't make scarves. On the other hand, don't swear off of anything entirely - every once in a while, try something out again that you didn't think you liked. You may find that you enjoy it!

Joy is giving away one pattern from her collection over on Ravelry; all you have to do is check out the patterns, come back here and let me know which one you would like if you were to win.

You can also find Joy on her:
Thank you so much to Joy for her lovely interview. If you would like to become a knit nerd please feel free to contact me - I will interview anyone and everyone!!! I've got people organised for June, and then a special 30th birthday interview from me (July 2nd) with a little giveaway.

V xo

Friday, 8 June 2012

Wedding Slippers//FO Friday

My little sister is getting married in the summer (I'm her maid of honour); and so I decided to knit her some wedding slippers to wear the night before. We get to have the bridal suite to ourselves, with breakfast in bed so we're feeling pretty special!!!
 I used the pattern, Ridiculously Easy Mary Jane Slippers, but made a few modifications. I needed them smaller as Clare has teeny feet and I didn't particularly want the band - so I just knit a little higher up the front and they fit like a dream.
She really loves them and can't wait to wear them - I love knitting things for people who truly appreciate the work that's gone into it. I'm in the middle of a few gift knits right now, what are you gift knitting?
V xo

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Lusts//Knit Life

This week I am lusting after loads of knits for babies and children - some of the patterns out there are just so cute, so I thought I'd share a few of my favourites:

Aviatrix Hat:
Isn't this just the cutest hat? Or is it the baby? You can knit this right up to aged 4+ but I think it just looks gorgeous on little ones. It's on my list to knit for a friend's baby.
 Basil the Boogie-Woogie Brontosaurus:
This pattern by Rebecca Danger makes me smile; I have one of her other dinosaur patterns and I have plans to get this one too. My boys, Robbie and Kris would just love these - and the best part? You can knit them in any weight yarn!!!!
 Easy Baby Blanket:
Yup that's right it's a crochet blanket, and it's on my list..... I can't even crochet that well yet but somehow I fell in love with this!!!

I want to knit this for my youngest, it's so cute and would really suit him. He actually ASKED me to make him a cardigan - he's not quite 5 yet; I'll ask him again when he's 15!!!!
 Gansey Booties:
These are just too cute, I can see them in other colours too - these are also on my knit now list.
What's on your lust list? What do you want to knit RIGHT now?
V xo

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Normal Service//WIP Wednesday

Back to normal service today, a proper WIP Wednesday - are you glad?? I'm really happy to be back, I'm not promising major posting right now but I'm getting there. The medication is starting to work, it's making me tired but that will pass. I want to take this chance to say thank you to all of you for your kind messages and comments - they've really kept me going through all of this. Anyways I shall stop rambling and show you my WIP's (that sounds weird!!! hehe).
Ribbed Baby Jacket
I've made quite huge progress on this in the past 3 or 4 days; I'm really pleased with how it looks and I'm falling in love with the colour more each day:

Come Josephine
I started my own version of an afghan last night, 2.5 squares done, just 97.5 to go. What's with the name? I was watching Titanic and I just love the song:

And of course it wouldn't be WIP Wednesday without the illusive Owl-Cho; it hasn't grown much as the rows are SOOOOOOOOOO long but it's growing:

And finally, I have been learning to crochet - I have no pictures to share but I will have some for next week. I love it so much, my tension is not great and it's incredibly squint but I'm getting there - I learned single crochet this week so onwards and upwards to double crochet - wish me luck!!!

I'm hoping to get a pinterest sunday out this week and maybe a knit stuff post...... lets see how it goes. I'm playing along with Tami and Ginny this week - check them both out for some fabulous WIP's.

V xo

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Sunshine Award//Knit Life

I recently got nominated for the Sunshine award from the lovely Danielle at A Stash Addict. Thank you so much Danielle, this award made me smile.

On to the Sunshine Award Rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 10 questions on your favourite things.
3. Nominate 10 blogs to receive the Sunshine Award and let them know they've been nominated.

  1. Favourite animal: Giraffes, always has been, always will be!!!
  2. Favourite number: 7
  3. Favourite non-alcoholic drink: diet coke 
  4. Facebook or Twitter: Twitter, definitely.
  5. My passion:  art, I love to make things
  6. Getting or giving: Giving (although who doesn't love receiving)
  7. Favourite Pattern: the Hogwarts Express Shawl - I loved knitting it!!!
  8. Favourite day of the week: Friday
  9. Favourite flower: Orchids 
  10. Favourite country: Scotland - I havent' travelled much outside of Scotland but everytime I travel around our country I fall in love a little more!!!
So my 10 bloggers who I feel bring a little sunshine to my blog life:

Myrtle of Truly Myrtle
Charlotte of An Accidental Knitter
Ginny of Small Things
Compositions of Wool
A Playful Day
Meredith of One Sheepish Girl
Pumpkin of Pumpkin Spins
Evelyn of Project Stash
Lynn of Fidlstix

Enjoy your award ladies, and have a knitty day.
V xo

Monday, 4 June 2012

Charley Dunning//Knit Nerds

Before jumping into another knit nerds interview, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has commented here and left me lovely messages over on Ravelry - it has been truly appreciated. I am slowly starting to feel better, and I'm taking time to get things done a small step at a time. So who have we got today on knit nerds? I met Charley through ravelry over the course of knit and crochet blog week - and I have to say I loved her down-to-earthness and her knitting is pretty perfect (not to mention she has the sweetest niece). So here she is:

How long have you been knitting, and who taught you?
When I was about 9 or 10, my Great Grandmother taught me to cast on and knit, she was partially blind so I have no idea how she managed to teach me. I didn't end up picking up the needles again until I was almost 17, when I became housebound with my M.E & Fibromylagia. My Mum showed me the basics, but I've had to teach myself from that point on. I've been knitting a year now, and I love it!
What is your favourite thing to knit?
Well, I have just started knitting socks, and I can't seem to stop! So I would have to say socks, but before them I was obsessed with knitting fingerless mittens.

Who is your biggest knitting inspiration?
I would have to say my Mum. Although she doesn't knit (she can do that basics, but that is as far as she ever learnt), she is always interested in what I'm making. She asks questions about what I'm knitting and what yarn I'm using, and what mix it is (her favourite is merino/cashmere mix). She gives me ideas for patterns, and as she is an artist she always has a billion ideas about yarn colours for when I start dyeing. So yes, my Mum is my biggest inspiration!
What is your favourite finished object of your own?
I would have to say my first pair of socks. I loved, loved, loved, knitting them. I used the pattern 8 Stitches per Inch by Ann Budd. I had a total fangirl moment when Ann commented on my sock project page on Ravelry!

What has been your favourite thing to design so far?
I would have to say my Pixie Mitts. Slip Stitch colourwork is one of my favourite techniques, so incorporating it with Rib (another favourite) was a sure winner for me!

What led you to designing your own pieces?
I had only been knitting about 3 months, but already I had so many ideas for patterns that I thought knitters should create. No one was interested in taking my ideas and making them into patterns, so I decided to do it myself. I just create things that I personally would knit, and I try to make the designs as simple as possible. I hate when patterns are overly complicated! I've designed 10 patterns so far, but I have 4 more designs I have releasing during May and many more I'll be creating over the next couple of months.
If you could give three pieces of knitting advice, what would they be?
1. Always challenge yourself!
2. Don't make knitting stressful by setting loads of deadlines, knitting is meant to be fun remember?
3. Make sure you knit for yourself every once in a while.
Thank you so much to Charlotte for her lovely interview; you can leave her some love here or pop over to her blog, An Accidental Knitter. You can also find her on Ravelry and check out her free patterns on her Rav Designers page.
I'm hoping to get back to posting a little more regularly now - so look out for a WIP Wednesday post from me in a few days. Also check back next Monday as I have another fabby interview to look out for.
V xo