Monday, 21 October 2013

End of An Era//Knit Life

I made the change, I've gone over to Wordpress. If you want to come follow me over there then please do. I hope to blog more regularly and get myself organised.
Thanks for visiting.
V xo

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Candy Skein Yarn//Review

I've been an avid follower of Tami's blog for almost 2 years; I follow her on twitter, I play along with WIP Wednesday and FO Friday so it was only a matter of time that I would have to buy some of her beautiful yarn, Candy Skein. And of course where beautiful hand dyed yarns are, reviews should be provided!!!
I knit this little lovely last year, and of course Candy Skein yarn in Yummy DK Merino was the yarn I chose to knit him in. And of course I was hooked - this yarn is so nice to knit with, the colour changes are lovely and not weird (IYKWIM???) - this yarn shouted soft toy at me. And of course it's the perfect yarn for a baby too.
 Forward to spring of this year and I was looking for some special yarn for socks.... for me. I haven't cast them on yet (don't judge - I have too many WIP's already) but this yarn has been cuddled and stroked - and it's gorgeous. The colourway is pumpkin and it's a fingering weight yarn AND Tami very kindly wound it into a cake for me:
Of course when you buy yummy yarn for yourself, you have to buy it for your wife too - so I bought some yarn for Jay using the Bananas Foster colourway - and I've cast on the very pretty Hermione's Everyday Socks (which I shared last week):
I like to photograph variegated yarns in Black and White so I can judge whether the colours work and Candy Skein yarns, well they work!!! The colour are just perfect.
I will definitely be buying more of this yarn in the future, I'm hoping to knit a shawl with some one day - maybe in a slightly thicker weight.
Thanks for stopping by, I'll be posting more regularly soon but things are crazy busy with the October break right now.
V xo

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Startitis?//WIP Wednesday

You probably remember me sharing my new sweater last week? Well I've finished all of the ribbing and started on the cabling section - the cables are going to be beautiful and the yarn is knitting up really well, Red Riding Hoodie:

I have to admit that I've had a little case of startitis, because not only did I start the new sweater, I also cast on for a pair of socks. These are Hermione's Everyday Socks, or as I've named them Sweet Banana Socks. Why the name? Well I'm knitting them with yarn from Candy Skein - I know I've changed my photo to black and white, it's only because I'm going to do a separate post to review the yarn - and I'll share the colour with you then. I've finished the ribbing on sock 1, read through the instructions for the leg and I'm confident going to forward:
It's been crazy busy here since last Wednesday, hence the lack of blog posts. We had our Macmillan Coffee Morning and raised an awesome £529.84. I spent the weekend babysitting my nephews and now I have a sick child at home. Next week the schools are on holiday for the October break (for 2 whole weeks!!!) so it's scheduled hectic.
As always I'm playing along with Tami and Ginny. What are you working on this week?
V xo

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Casting On//WIP Wednesday

 In all honesty I did not mean to become such a bad blogger - but it's been a hectic couple of week. 2 weeks ago, Jay and I went up to Aberdeen for a funeral; it was a really sad day but the service was beautiful. Then last week I was planning for our Macmillan Cancer Care coffee morning (which is this Friday) so really blogging went a little out of the window. However I am back now and I have a new knit to share. I got a little bit casting on happy; I've made up 4 projects to start but (thankfully) I only actually cast on 1!!! This will be/is my Red Riding Hoodie (do you see what you I did there??); the pattern for this is lovely, I just started on the cable section of the back. I've never actually knit a garment in pieces, so keep you fingers crossed. The yarn is a beautiful Rowan Tweed, made from silk and lambswool - the silk makes it so soft where the lambswool makes it sturdy AND the colour is so pretty:
I'm really happy with how this knit up; I had to knit the rib on a slightly smaller needle than the pattern stated because my ribbing was too loose. What are you working on this week? As always I'm blogging along with Tami and Ginny.
V xo 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Foxy//Knit Knit Knit-A-Long

I have to admit that I've always been a little nervous about KAL's; mainly because I don't want to take on something too complicated with too short of a deadline. However I never say never; and when Lisa and Tanya's Foxy KAL came along, I knew it was perfect.
I already had the yarn left over from my fox purse (are you sensing a theme?); but the knit version of the hat (there is a crochet version too) called for bulky yarn - so I made a few alterations and I cast-on:
I'm really pleased with this so far, I'm excited to get it finished as it's starting to get a little bit chilly and we're heading up North this weekend.
Have you ever taken part in a KAL (or CAL)?
V xo

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Fibre vs Fleece//Spinny News

Being a new spinner is a little complicated - especially if you have no clue what you are talking about. For example I asked on Ravelry last week about Fleece when in actual fact I meant Fibre - I didn't know the 2 were completely different things and in all honesty I felt a little silly having not researched it all.
I have a small but very nice selection of fibres, that were kindly donated by some lovely people over on Ravelry. I have to admit that I've taken to looking at sheep a little more lovingly these past few weeks. During this past week I spent a day on a coach trip with my MIL, we went to a gorgeous place on the west coast (of Scotland) called Callander but on the way up there we stopped in Aberfoyle.
Aberfoyle has a small petting zoo type area, and I spotted this lovely:
Don't you think that fleece would make gorgeous yarn? And he's pretty cute too. I have to admit that I inquired about the sheep - hoping they might sell fibre but alas it was not meant to be. The lovely lady I spoke to did offer me a whole fleece (for just £12) but I'm not sure the other people on the coach would have enjoyed that.

I'm really starting to figure out the different types of sheep; the different fibres available. I love to learn!!!
What have you learned this week?
V xo

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Oooh//Spinny News

I bought a spindle, yup you read that right - I BOUGHT A SPINDLE. She's a beautiful ashford, finished in Walnut and I already love her. I haven't had time to get a practice in yet because I went to a little party last night and may have gotten a tiny bit drunk (I said may have, don't judge me!!). Anyways I bought my spindle (who really needs a name, any ideas?) preloved, in knitting I bought most of my straight needles from charity shops - I like things that have a past - with a sense of history. So here she is:    
 The lovely lady who sold me beautiful Miss Spindle, sent me a bunch of fibers, including Merino and Shetland - I'm so excited to play with these, I can't figure out which one is my favourite - or which one to spin first:
I also asked on Ravelry if anybody had any fiber they would be willing to sell - just small amounts so I could play with a variety of different things. Well I had someone contact me who was willing to send me a RAK (random act of kindness) of fibres. She very kindly put labels on all of them - which really helps and she sent me loads!!! Here is a bunch of pretties:
 And then she popped some of the fluffier fibres in separate envelopes - and they are beautiful. This Honey Soya is so soft and the colour is stunning:
 Angora (a bit sneezy) is definitely sneezy - I might be allergic but I will still attempt to spin it after taking a antihistamine. The colour is so pretty - this would make something nice and wintery:
 This is silk hanky..... and is also very beautiful - I need to google what exactly I need to do with this but I'm excited:
 This is my favourite (I think) of all the fibers, Tussah (wild) Silk - it is unbelievably soft and the colour is yummy. What do you think this will be?
 I am super looking forward to having a play - maybe tomorrow? Do you spin? Do you have a wheel or a spindle? And do you have advice for a newbie? Also if you spin, are in the UK and you're on Ravelry make sure you join the UK Spindlers and UK Spinners groups.
Have a fibery weekend!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Owl Fetchings//FO Friday and Year of Projects

You know when you find a pattern that you love, and it takes just a week to knit, bead and block the item? Yeah that. These mitts took me just 8 days to complete, I could have finished them quicker but I've been doing a little bit of designing and some painting. I absolutely loved knitting these AND I made a few modifications to the pattern:
I purchased the yarn for these mitts back in April; it's Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran and I used about 1.25 balls. I cast on using a 3.75mm needle instead of a 4mm just to get a tighter knit:

 I made appropriate modifications for the length as I have quite long hands, and I wanted these to sit just past my wrists - so I added in some ribbing rows both before and after the thumb:
 I found these owls super easy to cable, and in actual fact the whole pattern was easy to memorize and just knit up - I love when you find an easy, fun knit that looks awesome:
 I had to pick up stitches for the thumb, and to be honest that was the only place I found a slight issue with the pattern - if I knit them again (which I probably will), I will pick up extra stitches as I had to reinforce the base stitches. However the thumb did come out well after those minor technical issues:
I chose to put just 2 beads on each mitt, because these beads really stand out and I wanted the owl pattern to show but to be quite strong. This last photo shows both the mitts, and our cat Bilbo who wanted attention!!!
I am super happy with my first autumn/winter project this year; I am hoping for chilly weather to come soon so I can wear them!!!
This post is part of my year of projects as I've used 2 of the techniques I wanted to have a go at - modification and picking up stitches. I'm also playing along with FO Friday and Tami.
What have you finished this week?
V xo

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

What Will It Be?//WIP Wednesday

This week I am working on a secret design project; even my Ravelry project page gives nothing away (except the yarn, needle size and the fact that they are mitts and have cables..... mmm that's maybe too much???):
My lovely wife, Jay decided she wanted a pair of fetching mitts (after seeing my owl fetchings - see them this Friday btw!) so I figured why not design a pair? I will share the pattern once they are finished, if anyone wants to make some. This is a very quick post as I have PTA (parent council at school) this morning, my 30 minute Wii fit exercise and then a tour around the new library with my reading group this afternoon - it's a very hectic day!!!
As always I am playing along with Tami and Ginny. What are you knitting (or crocheting) this week?
V xo 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

On Stash Dieting//Knit Life

Back in April, when I was still playing along with Knit the Queue (I'm so much happier knitting what I want, when I want) - I started my stash diet. I bought yarn for the projects I knew I wanted to work on like yesterday!!! Here are some of those beautiful yarns:
Candy Skein Yummy in Pumpkin:
 Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in Green:
 Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift in Sholmit:
I think overall I bought around 10 different yarns, for varying projects. I didn't want to be caught short and NOT manage my stash diet. Of course, with every stash diet there has to be a little bit of wiggle room -which for me comes in the form of gifts!!! If I'm knitting a gift and I don't have the right yarn in my stash, I am allowed to buy it - that sounds fair right? Anyways a good friend of ours is having a baby at the end of the year, a little girl so I'm planning on knitting a few bits for her. I don't own any yarn that's really baby friendly or in the right colourways so I'm going shopping. I'm actually very excited to buy some new yarn. I think that's definitely one of the positives of being on a stash diet. I only have just over 4 more months of the year, then I can shop for me!!!
Have you been trying to stash diet? How's it working out for you?
V xo

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty//WIP Wednesday

 At the beginning of 2013 I promised myself that I wouldn't cast on more than 2 projects at any time; that kind of went out the window very quickly. Then I promised myself I would only have 4 projects at any given time; but now, to be honest, I just want to knit what I want and when I feel like it. At the end of the day knitting ceases to be fun if you put too many rules on it. I think having knitting aspirations is fun, I like to move forward which is why I take part in Year of Projects.
Anyway basically what I'm trying to say is I've cast on a new project - and I'm so glad I did. I was gifted the Owlings pattern on Ravelry and in April I bought some pretty yarn for it (remember, when I bought yarn for several projects before putting myself on a stash diet? I'll do a wee post about that later in the week!). Debbie Bliss' yarn is one of my favourites, it's so soft and the colour palettes are fabulous. So I cast on my first mitt just 3 days ago and I finished last night:
I've cast on the 2nd one; I've also made some small modifications in this pattern which I will share as part of a Year of Projects post. This is the first pattern I've felt comfortable changing things on!!! Now all I have to do is decide on eyes - buttons, beads or French knots? And then what colour? I'm hoping to get a grey winter coat. 
I'm also making good progress on my first vanilla socktopus sock; I finished the gusset and heel (I am extremely happy with how it looks thus far) and I'm ready to knit the foot. I'm off out today and have some waiting time so I might do a little sock knitting then:
I'm very happy with both of these knits; I know I need to get back to my dinosaur, my cardigan and of course my Hogwarts ball shawl..... but all in good time.
That's all from me for today; what have you been working on this past week? I'm playing along with Ginny and Tami (as always).
V xo 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Tales of a Sock//WIP Wednesday

So there I was knitting on my very pretty Aqua Vanilla socks (this was yesterday); I had been working on them for a few days and I was very proud of my progress - I even managed to pick up my gusset stitches neatly:
 Then last night disaster struck; one of my beautiful knit pro needles snapped - the needle that was holding the instep stitches. I could have cried, stitches started slipping and the whole sock was a mess:
Sadly some of the stitches unravelled several rows down; and I've never actually fixed a piece of knitting - so I decided I would wait for a few days and then rip back to my lifelines: 
Thankfully at some point last night I felt brave enough to have a look at a tutorial on you tube about picking up stitches. And it gave it a go - and guess what? It actually worked - I fixed my first sock. I actually still feel really proud of this, it worked pretty well. I went to bed very happy last night. I'm hoping to get my sock finished  in the next day or so. So I shall have to move straight on with sock 2, I don't want to get second sock syndrome.

 Lastly my beautiful boys went back to school this morning so I had to share this gorgeous picture of them this morning, I am definitely feeling like a proud mummy this morning:
Today's plan's include getting back to my Wii fit, going to my reading group and definitely knitting!!! Sounds like my kind of day. What are you working on just now? I'm playing along with Tami and Ginny as always.
Have a knitty Wednesday!!!
V xo

Friday, 9 August 2013

Fabulous Mr Fox//FO Friday

My Fabulous Mr Fox purse is finally finished!!! I think I could have finished him in under a week but then I got sick and I have to admit I was completely stressed out about the finishing. I've never lined anything - and I don't know much about our sewing machine, so it had to be hand sewn. Anyway I'm feeling much better now; medication changes make all the difference. But it's also meant that I have finally finished my purse.
Here he is in all his lovely glory; I think he's super cute. I decided to put a clicky button under the nose so I could close it; I'm not really sure how to fit zips next but I think when I knit my next purse I shall give that a go:
I've had some super pretty fabric tucked away for a couple of years - since we bought our sewing machine (I really must use that), so I decided that something with a woodland theme would be perfect for this purse. I drew around the purse, then cut the fabric just a little bigger. I then sewed the 3 sides together, fit it onto the purse and sewed it all in place:
 I wanted to share a little close up of the purse, you can still see some of the stitch definition in the purse, which I really love:
I absolutely loved knitting this purse, it's super cute and very easy. I'm excited to make another one - as I have plenty of yarn left. I love finishing something and feeling completely proud of it. What have you finished this week?
V xo 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

My Pretty Sewing Box//Knitllections

I had my 31st birthday at the beginning of July; and my MIL was kind enough to buy me a vintage sewing box from a little thrift store in our local town centre. I don't sew; however I thought I could use it as a knitting toolbox - great idea huh? So here it is:
It made sense to me to put my pens/pencils, needle ends, row counters and scissors right in the very top - these are the things that I use regularly: 
The top of the other side contains all of the threads that came in the box - I figured I might want to keep them for sewing on buttons etc; the section below that holds things like my needle gauge and a pompom maker:
 The bottom holds my DPNS; giant pins, some wool soack and a hand cream - basically all the things that were too big to go in the smaller sections:
So here endeth my first post of my new topic; Knitllections - I will aim to share a knitty collection at least once a month - I do have quite a few collections to share. Do you want to play along? Just post when you can and link back to me.
V x 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Round Up//Year of Projects

If you've been following along with my previous planner posts (1,2,3 & 4); you'll have an idea of what I'm planning to do for my Year of Projects. I've split my year; doing 6 projects and 6 techniques - theoretically these won't overlap to much but it doesn't really matter if it does. This also means I have somewhere around a month for each project/technique - which is great!!!

Here is my plan for the year:

Feathered Mitts
French Press Felted Slippers
Snawheid (and Paws)
Afternoon Tea
Henri the Knitted Bear
Monster Chunks

Picking up Stitches
Complex Cables
Short Rows
Sewing Up

Have you decided on your plan for the year?
V xo

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

New//WIP Wednesday

 On my last WIP Wednesday post I shared my Abalone Cardigan - I had frogged this several times and eventually decided that I didn't like the yarn/pattern combination so it went to the frog pond permanently, it was a good decision to make and I felt positive coming away from it. So what happens to that beautiful green tweed? Well I think it will make a shawl/hat/gloves combo for winter - I have 10 skeins so the world is my very green oyster.
Obviously right now I'm working on some socks, a dinosaur and of course my Hogwarts ball shawl - I didn't really need to cast something else on but somehow I just did. I was really excited to be knitting my first cardigan (the abalone) so I decided to have a look at other patterns - and came across the Garter Stitch Swingy Sweater. I fell in love with the asymmetrical front right away; did some stash diving and came up with this:
I'm about another 10 or so rows off splitting for the sleeves; it's a lovely easy knit - I personally love garter stitch (I know it's not a huge favourite of most but hey ho). It's just a nice potato chippy knit and I'm excited to continue on.
What are you working on this week? I'm playing along with Tami and Ginny once again. Pop by tomorrow and Saturday; I'm actually blogging this week!!
V xo 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Techniques 2//Year of Projects

This is the 2nd part of my techniques for Year of Projects (next week I will do a round up post of all of my plans). The other 3 techniques I would love to learn this year are:

-Short Rows: I have done short rows in my Owl's sweater, but I know they weren't perfect so I would
                     like to try some more.
- Sewing up: I know that sewing up is the least favourite thing of alot of knitters, and I think I'm kind
                     of with you all on that. It is something I need to get better with!!!
- Lace: not necessarily in lace weight, but something with a lace border.

V xo

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Projects 2//Year of Projects

Obviously I have alot more than just 6 projects that I will complete in the next year; however I only really want to be strict about those 6. 3 of which I shared a couple of weeks ago and 3 which I will share today. So here they are:

Afternoon Tea is a simply beautiful shawl; I have a dream in colour smooshy skein in mind for this - I'm so excited to have this knit up for Spring 2014:
 Henri the Knitted Bear is just a wee project; but I'm positive that my older sister would fall in love with him!!! He's super cute and she loves bears:
 Monster Chunks is going to be one of my bigger projects for nearer Christmas. I plan to make these for teacher gifts - which means one for Kristofer but around 6 for Robbie as he is in a class that has extra support teachers. I also plan to make some for our house as bunting to hang from our wooden beams:
I think this is a nice mixture of 6 projects; I'm excited. How are you getting on with your year of projects so far?
V xo

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Heatwave//WIP Wednesday

 It is so hot here right now, we're in the middle of a heatwave so really my knitting has taken a back seat!!! Cuddles (the dinosaur) and my Abalone cardigan are both knitted in a chunkier yarn - so they've been put away for now. However my Hogwarts Ball shawl is really growing, I'm loving the colours and I want to get it finished really soon - it will be perfect for late summer/early autumn.
My other project is my 3rd attempt at Aqua Vanilla Socks; I've only done a little bit of the ribbing (which is 3x2) but I'm hoping to get a good amount done in the next week. 
Are you feeling too hot to knit? What are you working on this week? As always I am playing along with Ginny and Tami.
V xo 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Techniques 1//Year of Projects

Last week I shared the beginning of my projects list for Year of Projects; this week I am sharing Techniques 1 - this is the start of my list of techniques for 2013/2014.

I always want to learn lots but I want to try and remain sensible - I don't want to put any pressure on myself so here we go:

- picking up stitches: I can do this on yarn thicker than DK but I have not learned it on 4-ply which is
                                  obviously important for socks.
- complex cables: By complex I mean a piece that uses more than one type of cable
- modifications: I really want to knit something that requires me to make some kind of modification, I
                          do have something in mind for this already but we'll see if it works out!!!!

V xo

Friday, 5 July 2013

Happy New Year//Year of Projects

In the 2012/2013 Year of Projects, I focussed mostly on techniques rather than projects - and I think (as a newer knitter) that my decision was fairly sensible. I learned alot of new techniques -from cabling, to basic fairisle and beyond. This Year of Projects 2013/2014 I am choosing to learn some new techniques but also to choose some projects that I really want to try. It feels like having a nice baseline of projects - it will keep me busy and I still get to learn. If you've followed me through my first year of blogging (from March 2012), you'll know that I am the kind of person who likes to learn through being creative.

Over the next month of YOP posts I will be sharing some of the things I want to knit this coming year - some are already in my Ravelry queue; most of those are already paired with yarn. For example I really want to knit these 3 projects:

Feathered Mitts just look really pretty, and you can do the feathered lace detail in 2 colours. These will be perfect for Autumn so I'm planning on knitting these next month:
 French Press Felted Slippers have been in my queue for such a long time; and someone kindly gifted me the pattern for my birthday. I'm going to make these very soon - they are really beautiful and I have a berry coloured yarn for knitting them:
 Snawheid is one of my favourite hats; I have already bought the patterns for the hat and for snawpaws AND I have the yarn. I'm excited to get on with knitting these for December/January time when it's super cold!!!
So that's the start of my project list; next week I will share the start of my techniques list!!!
V xo