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! ❀

One Hat Two Ways

I thought you might like this…

See, in the spirit of waste not, want not, and not having loads of scrappy bits of yarn left over that you can’t bear to throw away but won’t quite make something else…

The Owl and the Pussycat, remember?

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So, I had one ball of Lang Merino Color+ yarns in colour 9 and one ball of Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran in Camel

The Debbie Bliss provided the base colour for the hat, while the Lang Merino produced a beautifully undulating colour up to the crown.

Well!! I had quite a lot left, so I thought “Why the heck not?” and I reversed the colour scheme.

I completely love the result. What do you think?

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Here they are together:

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I should probably stop knitting these now, but I’ve seriously loved them so don’t be surprised if one or two more sneak in…

(You can find the pattern here if you want some owls and pussycats yourself)

The Owl and the Pussycat

I tried.

I really did.

And it really did start off as a hat for ‘Imself:

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And, I am very happy to report, he tells me it is “the hat he always wanted”. So, TICK that one off the list!

But it has, of course, evolved into something a little more delicate, something a bit more feminine, something a bit less…. big and we now have The Owl and the Pussycat mark II

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Or, if you’d like to see it on:

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And yes, it is actually now, as we speak, beginning its fourth incarnation with the pattern in relief:

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(I’ll post a pic of the completed relief hat when it’s finished πŸ™‚ )

I used 4mm needles for the rib, 5mm for the body of the hat and two varieties of aran-weight wool: solid colour and graduating.

If you fancy a go yourself, you can find the pattern here. After all, it’s still chilly enough to warrant something woolly on your bonce, n’est-ce pas?

Happy knitting!

 

A dog is for ChristmasΒ 

….

No. Wait. Life.

A dog is for life.

But since Christmas is nearly upon us, how about she gets to join in with the festivities?

Juno, ourΒ  little Jack Russell princess, remember? The one who pokes her nose out of the door as a barometer? Then swivels on her heel (so to speak) and hides behind the sofa if conditions are less than perfect?

Well, in an effort to drag her from her grump and into the great outdoors…

… she has a new Christmas jumper.

If you have a petite pooch of your own, who feels the cold and needs some festive cheer, you can find the pattern on the Loveknitting.com blog overΒ hereΒ (and it’s free till 18th December)

Now… back to the Christmas knitting !

(And yes, I gave her the biscuit πŸ˜‚)

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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The Google Tunic

Or maybe the Pinterest Dress.

Call it what you will, it is essentially a sampler. A top-down, in-the-round, seamless yoke fair isle sampler. A project for me to learn about colourwork and fair isle.

As is so often the case in my life knitting, I didn’t really have a set idea about what I was making before I began. Much of what I do is intuitive, experimental and heart-in-mouth-will-it-fit? It is also a smaller gauge and therefore longer knit than I am used to. I like to use Aran or chunky because I get impatient and want to move onto the next thing, as evidenced by the fact that many of my previous posts showcase items I began after this tunic and finished well before it was complete.

This dress began with the optimistic working title “Spring Tunic”. We’re now well on the way through summer. See? πŸ™‚

It began as it usually does: with a clearance section on a wool website. I trawl them too often, looking for the bargains. I have one stipulation: natural fibres. And I usually stick to it πŸ˜‰

I found Sublime baby cotton kapok dk. I don’t usually knit with cotton. But I was working on the premise that knitting (and crochet) being something I love, I don’t want to only do it in the autumn and winter, and there must be pretty knitwear for the rest of the year.

Rather than babbling on about it any more, here is the sampler tunic, finished with crochet around the hem and sleeves: a progression in pictures:

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An example of one of the charts I googled

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Now… Back to the million-and-one other UFOs on my list..!