Thursday, 28 February 2013

Banana Bread//12 Breads

Ok so technically banana bread isn't bread; but hey who cares about technicalities? It's been a kind of hectic month so I decided to go with something easy - plus with Kris and his chicken pox this was something he could help with.
I got a google nexus 7 from my lovely wife for Valentine's Day; so I downloaded the allthecooks app - and it's awesome. The original recipe was in cups (U.S) but pressing one little button changed it to metric, so no more fussing about with conversions:
 I found a recipe that's called Banana Bread 3 and it was nice and easy to make; and fun:
 Here is Kris squishing one of the bananas; we bake together alot - I hope one day he'll bake for his own family (and maybe knit too - one can hope):
 I changed out the white flour and used wholemeal; and I put in almond slivers:
 Here they are after baking; I baked mine in 2 small tins for 30 minutes - although the recipe calls for one large tin for an hour:
This banana bread is gorgeous; it's even really nice the next day - it's tasty and very light!!! Super yummy and I think everyone should make it.
Next month I plan to make bagels...... fun times. What are you baking right now?
V xo

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bit More Cadbury//WIP Wednesday

The sweater is nearly finished, it's so close!!! I've knit all the owls (22 of them) and they are super cute, I haven't found buttons yet but I'll take the sweater to a store once it's finished to figure something out - I'm stuck on the colour though, white or brown? Ideas??
 What do you think of the short sleeves? I'm really happy with them. My MIL has bought me the yarn to make another owl's sweater later in the year:
It's quite a quick post from me today; Robbie moved to special education this week so I'm taking Holly (our pygmy hedgehog) into his class this morning. Plus Kris has chicken pox, so we're trying to keep him as busy as possible!!
As usual I'm playing along with Ginny and Tami; what are you working on this week?
V xo

PS - I won't be sharing the sweater on FO Friday this week; I'm dog-sitting and working on a very special design project.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Alison//Knit Nerds

So it's been a few weeks since I last posted a knit nerd; this week I have the lovely Alison of Tales from an Old Stone House, Alison knits the most beautiful shawls and has also started spinning her own yarn. Alison can be found over on Ravelry as AliInPerth, so here she is:

1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting and who taught you?
I suppose that depends when you start counting. I learned to knit the first time when I was seven years old. My mother taught me and thought it would be really cute for me to make a bonnet for a new cousin. So I learned basic skills and knit the little hat. My mum sewed it up and put the ribbon ties on it. I can’t really remember what colour it was (yellow? With a white fleck in the yarn?), but I remember it being a very simple thing. If we count from here that puts it at 35 years.
I knit sporadically after that, but never for a long stretch of time. I remember doing a vest when I was in my teens. We had just moved and this was something creative to keep my hands busy. I completed the vest and didn’t knit anything after that. Until I was pregnant. All of a sudden I wanted to knit for my baby and when I found myself unemployed – well; it certainly helped to pass the time. Problem was, it had been so long since I had done any knitting so I bought a small booklet called “How to Knit”and a ball of cotton and knit squares and ripped them out and knit them again. Then I knit a little tiny baseball style sweater, then a sweater for me, then one for my husband and I've been knitting pretty constantly ever since. If we count from here, it’s 12 years which is a more realistic number.
 2. What is your favourite yarny thing to make?
Socks. I’m happy to knit just about anything, but I like the instant gratification of socks.
I’m also a very new spinner. I learned to spin two years ago with a drop spindle and about a year ago I learned to use a wheel. I can see this leading me way down a
garden path of fleece preparation and dying. But for now, I’m just working on being a better spinner.
 3. Who is your biggest yarny inspiration?
In terms of garment construction and pattern reading I think I have to say Elizabeth Zimmermann. The first time I read “Knitting Without Tears” was a revelation. I like her chatty style and like the idea of using a pattern as a rough guideline rather than a rigid set of rules.
In terms of colour, it’s Felicia Lo from SweetGeorgia Yarns. I've never seen a colour from her studio I didn't like.
 4. What is your favourite completed object?
My favourite completed object is my newly finished scarf called Pirouette. This is a heavily modified design so I think of it as mine. It’s also the first time I've used beads in a knitting project. I love the sparkle and glamour the beads give to what is essentially a very plain scarf.
 5. What inspired you to start your blog?
I was inspired to start the blog by two things. I like to write, and I wanted a forum to show off my knitting to people who would appreciate it. I have a Facebook page though I rarely update it and frankly, a great number of my friends aren't much interested in my knitting, spinning or garden – the primary topics on my blog. I’m slowly expanded my reader base and always happy to have more people stop by to see what I’m working on.
 6. If you could give 3 pieces of yarny advice, what would they be?
1. There is no such thing as a‘hard’ pattern. All knitting, no matter how complicated it appears is made up of knit, purl, increases and decreases and variations on those four items. Nothing else.
2. If you discover a mistake in your work, correct it as soon as you find it. I figure if you’re going to put this much effort into something, do it right.
3. Swatch, swatch, swatch. Many people are so eager to cast on and start knitting their new item but for something large such as a sweater, you will want to know how the yarn feels in your hands and on the needles. You’ll want to see the drape of the fabric, the density and if it really looks how you want it to.
Oh – and wash the swatch the same way you plan to wash the finished item. Make sure you like how it looks after its been washed.
Such a lovely interview from a lovely lady; I've only known Alison for a short time through Ravelry but she's so nice and really kind. Go over to her blog or her ravelry page and say hi!!!
If you want to be a knit nerd, contact me as knittingv on ravelry and I'll drop you an email.
V xo

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Nearly There//WIP Wednesday

I cast on for my Cadbury Owls sweater just 13 short days ago; I took a break of 2 days to work on my hearts for the sheepish heart bomb (check out the results from around the world!!) and I'm now past the sleeves. I've joined the sleeves and body in the round; and now I'm just 2 rows from starting THE OWLS!!!!
 I like my layers so I decided to knit some short sleeves, I found inspiration on Ravelry and just got on with it. I was most nervous about the sleeves, but in actual fact they worked up so quickly (just 8 rounds) I just didn't get much time to feel the nerves.
I have to admit now I'm mostly worried about the short rows, wrapping and turning?? I'm confused but I'm sure I will figure out with some help from Ravelry.
What are you working on this week? I am playing along with Ginny and Tami, as always. Have a knitty wednesday.
Vicki xo

Saturday, 16 February 2013

All Sorts//Year Of Projects

So my year of projects list looks like this:

- yarn bomb something
- fair isle
- socks
- cables
- lace shawl
- cardigan for me
- gloves with fingers
- knit in public as much as possible
- knit a giant bag
- knit a hat in the round

I have made some progress, even if it's not alot.
I yarn bombed just this week for valentine's day:
I have attempted both knitting a hat in the round AND cabling, in the same project:
I have signed up to do a fair isle class with The Woolly Brew next month; I am very much looking forward to learning a new skill.
I knit in public every week when I go to pick up my wife from work; I just don't have many photos of me doing so - maybe I'll try to knit in places where I can get photos.
I've attempted socks but failed because of needle size; however I have the right DPN's now so it's just a matter of bravery. I haven't attempted gloves with fingers yet. I have a bag pattern that I love so hopefully sometime soon. I haven't started a cardigan for me yet BUT I am knitting my Cadbury Owl sweater!!!
So really alot of progress, I'm really pleased with how my list is going. If you're not playing along with Year of Projects yet, come check us out on Ravelry.
V xo

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sheepish Heart Bomb//Year of Projects

Yay it's Sheepish Heart Bomb day; or Valentine's Day if you like. I went out and about yesterday with my 4 hearts (which I attached love quotes too because I'm cute like that). I really enjoyed my first experience at yarn bombing, it was alot of fun and it is something I will do again (plus I fulfilled one of my year of projects, um projects!!) - I've actually done more of my projects than I thought but I will update very soon!!! So the weather thrawted (excellent word) my actual bombing plans, in the morning it snowed (yay) but then it rained the rest of the day so I had to find sheltered places for my hearts. Anyway's enough ramblings, here they are:
Heart #1 went on a bus, I attached it to one of the railings; a lady sitting on the other side of the aisle stared, like, alot!!! 
 Heart #2 went in Costa's (which is a coffee place for my international friends); I just popped it on a shelf:
 Heart #3 I attached to a gate railing at the bus station, under a shelter - I went past it a few hours later and it was still there; my wife goes back into town on Saturday so we'll see if it's still there then:
 And heart #4 went on a seat in a bus shelter coming home; I hope it make someone smile:
It looks like most of my hearts went in and around bus places; it was the easiest place to put it and I wasn't feeling hugely brave - I really wanted to attach a heart to a shop mannequin; maybe next time?

Remember to go check out Meredith's blog, One Sheepish Girl for other heart bombing's today..... I'm so excited to see what other people are doing.

I will be back in a day or so with some year of projects updates. Also I've updated my about me (knit life//a story) tab and I've added a connection's tab - places you can find me (twitter, rav etc) so come visit.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of my readers; remember someone, somewhere loves you!!!
V xo

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cadbury Owls//WIP Wednesday

This past week I got to start my Cadbury Owls sweater; why Cadbury's? It's my favourite chocolate and the yarn is the colour of a dairy milk wrapper!! I've made really good progress on the sweater so far, I've done the ribbing (I did 4 inches instead of 2), I've done the back decreases and I'm now on the back increases:
I have to say I was nervous to start such a big project; I've only been seriously knitting for about a year, I only learned how to purl a year ago, and I've just learned M1 and KFB - so hardly the experienced knitter. However I chatted about it on Ravelry and so many people were supportive; I decided to just go for it - at the end of day if it doesn't work out I can frog it and if it does work out then I have a cute sweater to wear. I plan to give this sweater short sleeves too as I like layers.

Today I am out and about heart bombing, in the snow!! I'm so excited to see how the hearts look against the snow.

As usual I am playing along with Ginny and Tami; and I'm excited to see what everyone else is working on. Have a knitty week.
V xo

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Winner Winner//Knit Nerds

It feels like a double winner kind of day, what do you think? So drum roll please...........
The winner of Eskimimi Makes Hats is.........

And the winner of Eskimimi Makes More Hats is.........
......the wishful tinker!

Congratualations ladies, I shall contact you both on Ravelry and so will Mimi with your prizes.

In other news I am taking part in Sheepish Yarn Bombing Valentine's Day..... hosted by Meredith of one sheepish girl. I'm super excited to play along with this and I've started knitting my hearts already. Also yarn bombing is part of my year of projects, so it's all very exciting right now.

I'll be back tomorrow with some sweater photos!!!
V xo

Friday, 8 February 2013

Blue Fudge Plains; 100th Post//FO Friday

That's right, it's finished AND it's my 100th post!!! I can't believe I've managed to get to 100 posts already; I've had a great time blogging here - and I've made some awesome friends along the way. I have to say a huge thank you to all my followers and commentors - you've made this journey really fun and I've felt supported during the tough times too!!!
Anyways onto my finished object!! This is Blue Fudge Plains, it took me 4 months to finish although I suspect I could have done it in a month had I worked more solidly over christmas. So here are some pics (taken by my lovely wife).
This is me wearing the shawl, I love this picture and it's made me more determined to knit one for myself (this is going to a close friend):
 One from the back, I'm really pleased with how the rows worked out - I've never done stripes before so it felt good to try something new:
 And of course a glamour shot!!! I love the fact that this shawl is asymmetrical - it's not a traditional shawl at all!!!
Of course having a finished object means..... I've cast on OWLS!!! At last - and I'm loving it so far. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has finished this week!!!
V xo
PS - remember I have a giveaway with Eskimimi on my blog right now, go leave a comment for a chance to win!!!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Long Rows//WIP Wednesday

This is how my blue fudge plains looks right now:
Yup that's right, it is nearly finished!!! I'm on the last stripe, so literally this should be finished for FO Friday - so excited!!! I'm still enjoying this knit, although the rows are LONG..... so each row is taking around 20 minutes or so (not that I've timed it LOL!). Next week I will have a new WIP on the needles - it will be my OWLS sweater that I've been waiting patiently (sort of) to start.
As usual I am playing along with Tami and Ginny; and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is working on.
Lastly I have a giveaway on my blog right now, the lovely Mimi from Eskimimi Knits has offered up copies of her 2 lovely hat ebooks...... so if you want to win go check it out!!!

V xo

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Mimi Hill//Knit Nerds

Sometimes you follow a blog that you absolutely love; the FO's are gorgeous and the knitting tips are fantastic..... so who am I talking about? Mimi of Eskimimi Makes; author of The Knitting Pocket Bible (I own this - it's a must buy) and to top it all of she is a designer and amazing knitter!!! So here she is:
1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting and who taught you?
I’ve been knitting for four years now, and I learned to crochet a little at around the same time. I’d like to get more proficient at crochet in time, when I find the perfect project.
Nobody taught me to knit. I started with a book called ‘I Love Knitting’ which wasn’t a very good book on the subject but gave me enough information to form the basic knit and purl stitches, but then I treated myself to a copy of Stitch & Bitch and worked upwards from there.
2. What is your favourite yarny thing to make?
I don’t really have a favourite, though I do tend to knit a lot of hats and socks, though I think this is perhaps at least partly due to my yarn stash being mostly made up of one or two balls of any random yarn, so I will sometimes just grab some yarn and knit a hat.
 3. Who is your biggest yarny inspiration?

Mostly my online friends. Those that I keep in contact with on Ravelry, twitter and my blog provide me with the biggest and widest ranging sources of inspiration. I have never really followed anyone that might be considered a ‘big name’ knitter, partly because the popularity of some designers and their patterns means that I tend to see a lot of the same projects knit many times, and I prefer the variety that my friends and the wider knitting community are constantly amazing me with.
4. What is your favourite completed object?
Probably my Simple City Shawlette. It’s the most wearable thing in my wardrobe and keeps me warm as well as jazzing up any simple outfit, so it’s the piece that I turn to most often.
 5. What inspired you to start your blog?

I just wanted a place to call my own – my own little spot of the internet where I could share my thoughts, record my successes and mark my progress. Plus it gave me the beginnings of ideas to improve my craft and also my photography skills, and to expand my horizons in case I ever found an audience.

6. You wrote your own book, The Knitting Pocket Bible, what inspired you to do so?

I was contacted by the publisher. It wasn’t something I had considered, simply because I didn’t ever think I would be given the chance. But I loved writing the book. It was an absolutely wonderful experience and one that I would love to enjoy again, whether in book or magazine form. I love being able to put my thoughts into words and finding the best, most expressive and clearest way of communicating ideas with fun.

7. If you could give 3 pieces of yarny advice, what would they be?

Never decide against a possible project because you don’t know a technique. It is the best possible time to learn that new skill.
Don’t be scared to rip back. If you notice a mistake and think that you will keep on noticing it and think it might bother you, it’s worth fixing – you’ve already put the hours in, so spend that bit of extra time to make it as good as you can.
Use a lifeline. The ‘zen-like you’ in the future that is not tearing their hair out over ripping back acres of lace will love you for it.
Mimi has kindly offered 2 prizes for my lovely readers..... you could win a copy of either Eskimimi Makes Hats or Eskimimi Makes More Hats. All you have to do is leave a comment with some love for Mimi; let me know which prize you would prefer and why AND lastly please leave a ravelry name so I can contact you.
A huge thank you to the lovely Mimi for this wonderful interview, I have really enjoyed it and I hope all of you do too.
V xo

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Knit the Queue//Knit Life

So there's a new group over on Ravelry called Knit The Queue; where you aim to knit all of the items in your queue (you can check mine out HERE). I have 24 items in my queue so maybe do able.... I have yarn for all of the projects so I'm quite excited to get started!!! Here are a few of the projects I want to work on:
This sweater has been in my library for ages because I've been nervous to just START, but now I'm just feeling like if I don't then I never will:

 Hitchhiker by Martina Behm
I love the shape of this shawl, it's super cute and I have the perfect yarn for it:
 Rebecca's Mittens by Katja Ottosson
I saw these mittens while they were still in test knitting stage and I just fell in love; so they went straight in my queue as soon as the pattern was released:
 Memory Vest by Vera Sanon
I decided I definitely wanted to try knitting some garments this year, move on from accessories a little, and I just fell in love with all the little details on this:
So there you have it, what are you planning to knit this year?
V xo

Friday, 1 February 2013

Blog//FO Friday

So a few weeks ago I changed my blog header, you remember that right? Well I didn't like it - infact I hated it!! I know I'm a little bit fickle but I need my blog to feel like MINE, so I've changed it again:
I needed something new and fresh; I'm still a newbie knitter but maybe not as much as I was when I started this blog - it's nearly been a year (can you believe it?) and sometimes a change is a good thing. So what do you think? I will probably update the photos throughout the year just as my FO list gets longer - I will hopefully have an actual yarny FO next week (so I cheated a little this time). The blue fudge plains shawl continues to go well - the stripes are really pretty (in my opinion).

Anyways that's me for now, I hope you've enjoyed this week's blog posts - next week I have a new knit nerd with an extra special giveaway AND who knows, my 100th post might fall next week - we'll see!! I'm close.

V xo