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 🙂 )

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Happy knitting! ❤

Whoosh! Catch-up!

I have been horribly remiss keeping this blog going of late. I notice with horror that September was my last post. And it isn’t as though I haven’t been busy! I’m buried under works in progress (*hangs head in shame*) and full of new ideas. I seem to have a discipline problem – must finish one of my eleventy-six WIPs before starting the next!

So, in a mad scramble to bring myself up to date here, I am going to post a few pictures of works completed and works in progress and give myself a round telling off, coupled with threats of disciplinary measures if I don’t try to keep up a bit better.

I have, however, been far more efficient at keeping my Instagram and Facebook pages more current, so if you fancy checking either out, I’d be delighted to see you there.

So… first up, a commissioned Snuggle Bunny for my dear friend Clare. He is HUGE and contains a handmade wheat and lavender sack for microwave heating. Actually, come to think of it, he’s a she 🙂

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And I finally got around to making one for me, too. A slightly smaller cat, mine, with a flower granny square embellishment:

me1 me2 me4 me5My thanks to Bertie for modelling them ❤
These can be commissioned at cuddlecats.co.uk if you felt so inclined.

It’s winter, so bobble hats have been flying off hooks and needles.

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And I have finally got around to starting a long-promised blanket for my beloved:

Square-flowers Valentine's-blanket Valentine's-blanket-3It still has a way to go and I’m hoping to complete it by Valentine’s Day (gulp)…

This little chap was fun to make – he’s a travelling sized version, still with wheat sack, in wool and bamboo:

Travelling-4 Travelling-3 Travelling-2-insta Travelling-2And I’m designing a jumper. It’s a little short for my liking, so I’m going to have to get inventive about lengthening it, and I’m onto the sleeves, but prevaricating… I’ll get there:

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Et voila! A selection of the latest.

I will, I hope, see you again much sooner ❤

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? 🙂

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 😉

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

pinterest-tunic3pinterest-tunic5pinterest-tunic9pinterest-tunic10pinterest-tunic-11pinterest-tunic12pinterest-tunic-2-squarepinterest-tunic4Pinterest-Tunic

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

 

Intrepid Adventures… or … a Leap of Faith

I have long coveted the Sara Lund jumper. Do you know the one? From the hit Danish TV series “The Killing”. It’s gorgeous (though she also has a very trim figure, which showcases the sweater perfectly) and has had knitters and non-knitters alike hankering for it or how to make it. The sweater is made by a company called Gudrun & Gudrun for an inordinate amount of money, and they are closely guarding the pattern, too, but over on Ravelry you can find many different and highly successful versions of it.

Sara Lund in her sweater.
Sara Lund in her sweater.

First, though, you need to be able to knit a sweater. And with confidence. Oh, and with that Nordic fair isle pattern.

Hmmmm.

Well, as you know from a recent post, I have not long finished my first jumper. It was knitted from the bottom up, joined at the yoke. The Three Movies Sweater. And it was just a fraction too small. I may (horror of horrors) end up frogging it. Too much good yarn to waste and a little too feminine for my boys, sadly.

I have had two projects (oh, of so many) on the go which may help me reach my ultimate Sara Lund goal. The first, as yet unfinished, is a bottom-up sweater in gorgeous Ardalanish wool (a most exciting Christmas present), which is proving to be a bit of a fair isle sampler. I hadn’t tried fair isle before, and I’m LOVING it. I adore the way the pattern emerges, after blood, sweat and tears through stitch counting… 😉

This is as far as it has got:

Ardalanish fair isle sampler jumper *beams*
Ardalanish fair isle sampler jumper
*beams*

In the meantime, and with the Sarah Lund sweater still firmly in mind, I bought a book. This one, to be precise:

bookThe name of this style of knitting always makes me snigger. I guess my inner twelve-year old is not so inner…

I embarked, using the yarn I had bought with the intention of a larger Three Movies Sweater, on a top-down seamless yoke, hoping against hope that this one would fit.

Two tricks I picked up along the way, one from a friend on my new Instagram account: Transfer the live stitches onto scrap yarn periodically, to reassure yourself it fits (and, if you’re anything like me, to get ridiculously over-excited when it does).

The second I picked up from Pinterest many moons ago and had never tried out. I’ll endeavour to explain. When you come to the end of a yarn ball, and need to introduce the next, loop the two ends around each other and, using a yarn needle, sew each yarn end back into itself. I may try to produce pictures of this at some stage. It’s brilliant. Of course, I may be preaching to the converted, but just in case you hadn’t heard of it – try it!

OK, so without further ado, here, in pictures, is the end result. Given the fact that I often finish things at night and am at work during the day, they are a little on the grainy side. But I’m thrilled. It’s warm, snuggly and I have worn it every day since I made it. Can I get a whoop whoop? 😉

From ribbed polo into the first part of the pattern on the seamless yoke
From ribbed polo into the first part of the pattern on the seamless yoke
Pattern complete, the sleeve stitches have just been separated from the body and are on stitch holders / scrap yarn
Pattern complete, the sleeve stitches have just been separated from the body and are on stitch holders / scrap yarn
Working the sleeves and the body
Working the sleeves and the body
Sleeves complete, body near as dammit
Sleeves complete, body near as dammit
My second jumper. HUZZAH!
My second jumper.
HUZZAH!

I am, obviously, plotting the next. Oh, and of course I have an Ardalanish fair isle to complete… Eek!

Squares and Hearts and…

It may not surprise you enormously, even at this early stage, to hear that there is another blanket in the works that I haven’t mentioned yet 🙂 It is also of the granny square variety, but using a much heavier weight yarn than the waistcoat. This yarn is Sublime chunky merino tweed – 80% merino wool.

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It’ll be much quicker to make a blanket with this, given the difference in size. I took a picture of the two types of square it feels like I’m mass-producing at the moment:

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which, since it takes roughly the same amount of time to make them (15-20 mins depending on the number of children at home and the number of interruptions from start to finish), illustrates the point doesn’t it?

I embellished another little hat when I went to bed last night. I love these little crochet hearts. I found them while cruising for crochet on Pinterest, and it’s only fair that I share the tutorial here.

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My baby jacket is coming on quickly, in spite of the near disaster it encountered yesterday. My unsupervised toddler managed in the few moments I was out of the room, to remove the needles. Suppressing the inclination to flap and panic, I threaded each stitch back onto the needle as slowly and calmly as possible. Note to self: never leave littl’un and work-in-progress alone in the same room 🙂

I have some birthday cards to make and have found another fabulous use for those hearts

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In other news, Norfolk Beard Oil co-founder, Marek Duchnowski has been bigging up my chunky-rib masculine Rowan Big Wool neckwarmers as his neckwear of choice:

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But perhaps most excitingly of all…. Tomorrow I pick up my spinning wheel!! Hard to express quite how excited I am 😉

TTFN