Luscious LongSocks

You might be forgiven for confusing these with the Beauteous Boot Socks for they are, in fact, enormously similar…

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However, the BBS are rather too thick to continue to wear through the Spring – early Summer and the late Summer – early Autumn seasons.

So!

The Luscious LongSocks are born.

Knitted with Cascade 220 for the solid colour and Lang Yarns Tosca Light for the graded colour, they are soft, light and still snuggly for chillier days under boots or with shoes, or chilly weekend mornings with your jammies πŸ˜‰

If you fancy a go at them, you can find the pattern here.

Hobbit Hat (free pattern)

I find myself here, on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. Wide, sandy beaches, and sunshine that has taken us by surprise.

But… you know… it’s February.

How in the world did someone who knits hats not bring enough?!

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My new moniker is, apparently, “The Wool Psycho”, so it goes without saying that needles and yarn had found their way into my essential packing list.

Quick – cast on!

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This hat fits us all, from Teddy (aged 6, above) to me. Though it might be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) for beloved husband, since his bonce is quite spectacularly large. Probably the brains πŸ˜‰

For this hat, you will need a ball of Rico Creative Melange Chunky (in this case in CurryGreen), a 7mm circular needle and depending on your speed, a couple of movies.

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So without further ado:

Cast on 64 stitches and join in the round without twisting.
Knit 1 round, purl 1 round and knit the 3rd round.
Then begin the Knit2 Purl2 rib for 10 rounds. This gives a hat that is super slouchy without folding up the rim, or nice and snug if you do.

Knit for 34 rounds.

Then K2tog all the way around.

Then knit around.

Then K2tog all the way around again.

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail, then sew the tail through the live stitches and pull tight. Tie off securely and weave in the tail. Sew in the ends, and wear to your heart’s content.

Happy knitting! πŸ™‚

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My Other Half

I got two beautiful skeins of The Yarn Collective’s Pembroke Worsted in Smoky Quartz and Copper Agate.

It’s gorgeous stuff. I mean gorgeous. Beautiful shifting colour, delightfully squishy, and lovely to knit with.

So, what to make with it?

A pair of Valentine’s boot socks for my husband. And, since Valentine’s Day was fast approaching, they needed LOTS of hearts.

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Oh, and in the spirit of different but similar halves of a whole, I thought they’d be rather beautiful mirroring each other: mismatched but matching.

So here they are in all their glory:

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And, as ever, if you fancy a crack at them yourself, you can find the pattern here.

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(Oh, and because he’s a Wool-Widower and such an obliging sock model, I let him keep them early πŸ™‚ )

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Happy knitting! ❀

His & Hers Stripes

Well… it seemed only fair.

I still haven’t finished his crochet blanket.

I still haven’t finished his Christmas jumper.

So isn’t it time I started and finished something for him?!

After the gazillionth pair of Beauteous Boot Socks:

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and using the same yarns (Drops Nepal in White and Drops Big Delight in Marina), my beloved partner-in-crime at last has his own pair: the Beauteous Gents’ Socks

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If you are interested in the patterns, you can click on the links above the pictures, OR, you can find them both together here: the His and Hers Beauteous Socks.

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Happy Knitting and may your toes be ever toasty, and your heels ever cushioned.

❀

Yarndale 2016 – lucky me!!

Yesterday, one of my dreams came true.

And, my life the way it is, it really was a stretch that I might actually make it. But the stars aligned πŸ˜‰ and the world rolled out the red carpet. I mean, hey! Look at my journey:

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To top it all off, I met up with the loveliest friend – a friend for a couple of years now, but geographical distance has made meeting up in person an impossibility until yesterday. Perfection.

Now, keeping that in mind – you know, the meeting-friend-for-first-time-in-real-life – AND bearing in mind the fact that I was quite seriously and completely surrounded by scrumptious squishy wool of pretty much every conceivable blend, variety, hue and weight, you’ll understand that I didn’t get too many pictures. When I wasn’t fondling skeins and oohing at colourways, I was catching up on real, proper conversation with the lovely.

I did manage to get a shot of CoopKnits’ beautiful Socks Yeah! range and managed to meet Rachel in person for the first time.

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I was recently asked to review this very yarn, and her book of sock patterns, which you can find here and which looked like this:

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And I WISH I had jotted down who it was displaying this beautiful miniature clothes line, including mermaid’s tail (if any of you recognise it, please do let me know in the comments) :

And boy, but it flew. A day was not enough. Since returning, I have discovered that there were at least a couple of stalls there that I would have loved to have visited but somehow managed not to see at all (though I did manage to catch up with old friends The Knitting Gift Shop and their new and silkily beautiful yarn range). Mind you, it was heaving. Predominantly ladies, a small number of whom trailed husbands (I’m thinking – possibly stereotyping and horrendously sexist –Β  probably in the guise of packhorse: you can not go to such a place and return empty-handed), many of whom sported the most beautifully assembled handmade garments of the ‘Ooh-do-you-mind-if-I-just-touch-it’ variety. Where else can you go where someone knows the precise yarn from which you knitted your tunic?

Fairly early on I visited the Midwinter Yarns stall. Well, it would be more accurate to say I was pretty much engrossed in conversation when a basket (I love baskets. Don’t you love baskets? I would HOARD baskets if I had the space) of pure loveliness caught my eye. Pure in every sense. Pure wool. From Greenland. In… *gasp*… greys. Man, I love greys.

“Too rich for my blood. I mean, there isn’t even a price on it. It must be beyond my purse” I sighed, already defeated.
“Do you think?” my lovely companion challenged. “It’s in a basket after all, is there not a price?”
Lo and behold, there was! And these fabulous, gorgeous, hulking great 100g hanks of scratchy grey wool (the very BEST kind) were only a fiver apiece.

Six skeins and a plastic bag later, I had my fix for the rest of the day, every so often caught in the act of burying my face in the bag and inhaling the fabulous, authentic sheepy smell, only to be met with a conspiratorial wink, or a knowing look, from people who knew what it was about. Oh, the joy of being amongst your own kind πŸ˜‰

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Needless to say, in spite of the million and one WIPs I already need to finish, I had to cast on, just, you know, to see? You know? I know you know.

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It’s beyond beautiful.

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Oh, and it was definitely a day for making friends:

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Now, where did I put my knitting?

 

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Dog jumpers – the story

Would you believe, I have FOUR to choose from now?

I find it hard to resist, not because I think animals look cute in clothing (though, obviously, I do) but because on a far more practical level, it gets prettyΒ  blooming cold up here in the North of England when winter rolls around.

Juno, our little Jack Russell Princess:

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Well, she gets a bit chilly out there. She’s teeny, wiry, fierce as a T-Rex… but chilly. Her natural state is curled up in a beam of sunlight. Sometimes, I am led to suspect she believes herself a cat. She pokes her nose outside the door and, if it’s too cold, wet, snowy, a flat refusal usually follows: a swift 180, nose in the air, and a trot back to the sofa.

So, in an attempt to coax her dainty paws into the fresh air, I designed her a little sweater, little knowing how popular it would prove to be. I’ve had so much lovely feedback telling me how much people have loved making it. The Juno Jumper was born (click here for link to pattern):

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Hot on the heels of her little sweater, I was thrilled to be asked to design some Christmas sweaters for Simon Cowell’s Yorkies for ITV’s Text Santa (click here for a link to the pattern):

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But… you know? I started to feel a bit guilty. Juno is not, after all, an only dog. She has a much bigger and (to her) unbearably, overwhelmingly cheerful enforced companion, Aphrodite:

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OK, OK, she’s MUCH bigger now, but loooook. Man. Her tag looks like an enormous medallion!

It was time Aphy got a jumper too.Β  She provided a goodly challenge though. She has the most ridiculously long and gangly legs. There is no way on God’s green earth we’re hooking those babies through leg holes. So…. some woolly engineering was called for. Buttons, and flaps, and ribbing. Oooh, it was fun! And look – here it is! (click here for link to pattern):

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Oh, but THEN…. I thought wouldn’t it be gorgeous to have a mini one of these, perhaps reversing the colours, for Juno…? How unutterably adorable would that be, on our wintry walks? So….

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(click here for link to pattern).

You will not believe what’s coming next… I’m giggling as I type.

Off to clack some needles!

How to… floral phone protector

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Y’know? When you’ve sacrificed the security of a fully-protective phone case in favour of one that’s, frankly, a bit of a Cath Kidston knock-off (but she doesn’t do those spots in a Samsung Edge… 😦 ) and you’ve stuffed it in your bag and there are other things in there that might give it a bit of a hard time…

So you decide to make something pretty to keep it in.

Frankly, it’s not going to rescue your phone from your keys in there. But it does look pretty πŸ˜‰

Look no further!

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And if you want to make it, here’s how:
(UK terms:
dc [double crochet] = sc [single crochet] US
tc [treble crochet] = dc [double crochet] US

But it’s all very simple:

I used Drops Safran which is a DK cotton in all sorts of delightful spring colours, and a 3mm crochet hook.

  • ch 21, dc back through chain to beginning.
  • 3dc in first chΒ  and continue to work around in dc to end
  • 3dc in first dc and continue to work around in dc to end.
  • ch 2 and tc around the entire piece, sl st in original ch2.

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  • repeat twice more
  • switch to green, ch2 and 2tc in same tc. [Skip 2, 3tc in next] to end. Sl st in original ch2. {ref point 1}

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  • switch to flower colour. Ch2, make 1tc through middle of the 3 green tc, but leave last loop on hook, make another tc in same green tc, but leave last loop on hook, pull yarn through all loops on hook, ch1. [Skip 2 (always making these flowers in the middle of the three green tc), make 3tc, leaving the last loops on hook, in middle green tc, pull yarn through all loops on hook, ch1] repeat to end.

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  • switch to original blue. Ch2 and make 3tc in each 1ch gap to end. Sl st to original ch2.

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  • Ch 2, tc in each tc around. Sl st to original ch2
  • repeat. {ref point 2}

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  • Repeat from {ref point 1} to {ref point 2} until you have 3 rows of flowers in total. Change flower colours if you like πŸ™‚ After the last flower row:
  • ch1 and 3dc in each 1ch gap. Sl st to original ch1
  • ch1 and dc around. Sl st to original ch1
  • THEN on JUST ONE SIDE (working back and forth and no longer in the round): ch2 and tc to end of side. TURN, repeat.
  • ch1, dc2tog, then dc to half way along row. Ch3 for button loop and sl st into last dc worked, dc to last 2, dc2tog. Cut yarn, fasten and sew in ends
  • sew a button to middle stitch of front.

TADA!

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As ever, if you decide to make it and anything I’ve written doesn’t make sense… just give me a holler ❀

 

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