End of Part One!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend of crafting. It’s been very busy here for the last few weeks so I’ve been doing a large project that is easy to pick up and put down when I get spare moments. I told you all about it in my previous post here. I have altered the pattern a lot. There is a link to the pattern here as well. Only the basic concept of the design has been used.

I showed you a few of the completed squares before but I’ve now got all 100 squares finished. Here they are in their colour groups.

Pink

Pinks

Purple

Purples

Dark blue

Dark Blues

Turquoise

Turquoises

Dark green

Dark Greens

Light green

Light Greens

Red

Reds

Orange

Oranges

Gold

Golds

Lemon

Lemons

You will probably have spotted that I’ve crocheted a black border around a few of the squares and I need to do that to the rest. I can hear some of you saying “Why didn’t you do that as you completed each one?”. Well, I considered that and quickly dismissed it because I was having so much fun with the colours which are much more vibrant in real life than in any of the photos. I’m happy with my choice and will no doubt be sent to sit on the naughty seat when I start whinging about how boring it is to do the borders 😆

I resisted laying out the completed squares until I had all 100 finished. So this afternoon, I’ve been playing on the floor rearranging them, even though it is going to look different when the black is done.

Here’s what I’ve tried so far. They are much better if you stand back from the screen Smile

Choice 1

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 2

Choice 3

Choice 3

I’ll finish the black and then make a final choice and I wouldn’t be surprised if they all move around again. It’s been very addictive so far and I can’t wait to get it finished.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend Smile

Avis x

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A New Beginning!

Happy weekend to you all!

I thought you might like to see the latest project I’ve embarked upon. It involves these little beauties plus black….except the turquoise one at the bottom left.

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This yarn was a birthday present from my other half way back in February and I’ve been mulling over what to do with it since then. It was going to be another ripple blanket like my other one, then it was going to be a crocheted Klimt style blanket inspired by these but then I saw this one…..and I was bowled over…..completely head over heels!

Here’s my progress so far. Twenty nine squares down, seventy one to go Smile

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I can never resist making changes to patterns (annoying isn’t it?) but there is method in my madness. I’ve decided to knit all of my squares on the diagonal and not to make the black borders by picking up along the edge and knitting as suggested by the pattern. My stitches were uneven and I didn’t like the ridge that formed on the reverse of the finished squares after picking up stitches. I also thought that the back wasn’t looking as tidy as I wanted. I like the back of a project to look as good as the front if at all possible.

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So, I tried a few crochet stitches, with and without chains, one strand of yarn or two, and came up with this method which is the best of a bunch for me.

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I know it’ll take ages to crochet all of the borders but it doesn’t take any brain power so I’ll be able to add the black as and when I wish during spare moments. This is part of the pink set I’ve completed so far.

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Here are the purples.

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These are the blues.

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The pattern is very yarn hungry as it is knitted with two strands at the same time but the squares are lovely and thick and it is going to make a super chunky heavy blanket. I need to buy more yarn to finish the sets but so far I’m really enjoying mixing up the colours and watching the pile of squares grow. You will notice that I haven’t used any orange, yellow or gold yet. Hopefully, when I do get around to knitting those colours they will make the whole thing zing Smile That’s the plan anyway. I’ve no idea which colours are used in the original. I didn’t even look because I already had these colours and wasn’t looking to buy more. 

I wonder what you have all been up to while I’ve had my head in my squares…

Hopefully, you’ve been having fun crafting too!

Avis x

The first finish of 2014!

Hi everyone,

My daughter really does know what I like. She brought me this wool all the way from Stowe, Vermont, USA. As you can see in the photo, the yarn is from an alpaca. Her name is Nessun Dorma and she lives at Sugarbush Alpacas in Stowe. Isn’t it wonderful how we can trace the origin of such wonderful natural products these days, even down to the individual animal that it came from?

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I knitted a neck warmer using this free pattern on Ravelry and added some vintage leather look buttons from my stash. This has to be the warmest and softest wool I have ever used. It’s gorgeous! Just what I need to keep out the chilly winter 🙂

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My crocheted ripple blanket is progressing nicely and I’ve almost got one motif completed in the Cirque des Cercles cross stitch SAL that I’m doing with Claire and Izz. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for a photo update on those.

Last but not least, don’t forget to take part in the Chicken Run over at my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting. You have to agree to do something fun to be eligible to enter so hop across and see what it’s all about before it’s too late!

Thank you for all your lovely comments. Have a wonderful weekend Smile

Avis x

A productive surprise!

Good evening everyone,

A few weeks ago, it was about time a dear friend of mine received a surprise gift. I’d been to my local yarn shop that day and couldn’t resist this sock yarn.  Firstly, because the socks on the label looked lovely and secondly because my friend had already showed me socks that she had made with wool that has some very short colour changes.

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Look what she made!!! Aren’t they gorgeous? I love the way this wool makes the socks look as though they are made with a very complicated pattern using lots of different colours. Starting to knit the second sock at the same point in the colour repeat as the first sock has produced two identical socks as if by magic!

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My friend has told me that she really enjoyed knitting them 🙂 Thanks to her for the photos and for inspiring me to get my double pointed needles back out again! There’s another ball of sock wool waiting in my stash.

I hope you like them as much as I do 🙂

Avis x

Getting ready for 2014!

Hi everyone,

I’ve been busy updating the “2013 Finishes” page above and I couldn’t believe how many projects I managed to complete this year, especially as it has been so busy here Beside the Sea. I’ve enjoyed making every single project as well as reading all of the lovely comments and emails from like minded people along the way. Your blogs have been very inspirational too, so I have many ideas stored up for future projects in 2014.

I hope you like the following gallery of my efforts this year. Some of the projects are from my patchwork blog Oh Sew Tempting. If you’d like to visit any of the posts relating to the pictures in the gallery, just go to the “2013 Finishes” page on either blog and then click on the photo.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have lots of exciting projects lined up for 2014 🙂 I seem to have lost my chocolates! Hmmmm…

Avis x

It’s that time of year again!

Hi everyone,

It’s the time of year when my knitting needles are screaming out to be put to good use. I love those dark winter nights when I can curl up on the sofa under a quilt and knit.

I have no idea what made me park up the car and take a long stroll down our mini high street yesterday. Maybe the knitting magnet pulled me towards the wool shop Winking smile. I found this yarn and had to buy some. I found more colours in this online shop and it is cheaper than the high street store that I went to. I bought one ball of South Downs shade (purple) and one of Glens (blue).

http://www.deramores.com/king-cole-country-tweed?gclid=CKq5ubTKnrsCFUflwgodV1EAiQ

OK, I know I wasn’t compelled to purchase and I had no projects in mind, but by the time I got home, I couldn’t wait to get started. Here’s some photos of my progress.

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Isn’t it lovely how each colour randomly morphs into the next one?

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There’s also little flecks of brighter colours which add a bit of extra interest when you get close up. You have probably guessed that I decided to knit a scarf so here’s where I’m up to now.

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It’s 26 inches long and I’m looking forward to knitting more tonight Smile.

The pattern repeats every 6 rows and the cables are reversible. I’ve always avoided doing cables on a scarf before because the back wouldn’t look great. This pattern solves the problem. The back looks the same as the front except there are 5 cable twists on one side and six on the other. If you want to try the pattern designed by Jan Cullen it is free here http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/caswell-scarf. Thank you for your generosity Jan! The pattern explains that to increase the width of the scarf you just need to add multiples of seven stitches to the cast on stage, which I did. This wool is nice and snuggly, not prickly like some yarns can be.

Before I go, I need to mention Angela who has sent me this from the other side of the world Smile.

CIMG3046

I won a prize!!! Angela of Pretty Little Things in a Box offered to send me something handmade or a shop bought prize and she wanted me to choose BUT I like surprises….so I asked her to choose for me. So this little Christmas Bauble shaped package will be going under my Christmas tree. I have a good idea what it is because I couldn’t resist feeling around the parcel but I’m going to open it on Christmas morning Smile. Thank you so much Angela! There is a little something on its way to you now. I hope Santa can deliver it to you before Christmas!

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you are all finding time to craft if you are preparing for the Festive Season. Have fun!

Avis x

Throwing down the gauntlet!

Happy Saturday everyone and a special warm welcome to my new followers!

You may remember this lovely hand dyed yarn that I bought on the Waternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye from Shilasdair.

CIMG2988Well, it now looks like this Smile

CIMG3003

The pattern was free from Ravelry and it is called Easy Peazy Shawl 2.0, designed by a very generous lady called Megan. It always amazes me that crafters are so willing to share their ideas. Thank you Megan Smile You can visit her blog by clicking here. Megan also has other patterns available and I’m sure I’ll be knitting more of them as this one was really well written. I did change it very slightly at the end because I only had 660 yards of yarn and the pattern requires 770 yards. Basically, I omitted the final repeat pattern and added an extra border. It’s certainly big enough for me. I haven’t knitted with a circular needle before. However, this shawl is knit back and forth rather than in the round. I’m really happy with the result. I haven’t blocked it yet but I don’t think it needs to be so I probably won’t bother.

Here is a closer view of the bottom point. This wool is soooo soft and snuggly.

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Now for your challenge….

My daughter has bought me a little prezzie.

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This lovely little bundle is from Kate Sharp near Edinburgh. She has her own sheep and spins and dyes her wool. Unfortunately, I don’t think she has a web site but she sells wool like this at the Edinburgh Farmer’s Market if you’d like to pop along and buy some of your own.

The only problem is, I only have 30 (yes three zero) grams of this wool. Your challenge is to suggest something I could knit with 30g of double knit (8 ply) yarn. If it helps, there are 90 yards altogether. If you could recommend a particular pattern at the same time, that would be great.

I’m all ears!

Avis x

 

Happy dancing!

Hello to all the lovely crafters around the world. Today, I have a finish to show you.

I have now finished both socks, the first pair I have ever knitted, and I’m so pleased with them. I ummed and aaahed and asked lots of questions about knitting socks on my other blog about a year ago and then never got around to knitting them. Some of you had great suggestions. I signed up for a Craftsy class for knitting toe-up socks (which I still haven’t looked at) and then found this free pattern on Ravelry called Jeck for a cuff-down version. The yarn is Opal brand and it’s made in Germany but mine was purchased in the UK by my daughter at a craft fair. The label says “Pullover & Sockenwolle 100g”.

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As a complete coincidence, my daughter was buying me wool at a craft fair while I was visiting the Isle of Skye buying more wool. We visited a wonderful shop called Shilasdair. It could actually be described as a small visitor centre as there is a video set-up showing all of the different processes of hand-dyeing the wool they sell and I found it very interesting. Shilasdair uses lots of lovely natural dyes and the colours are stunning. How could I leave without buying some?

This is what I bought. Isn’t it similar to the wool my daughter bought for me?

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The lady in the shop explained that the blues are dyed with indigo but the shades are just like the blaeberries on the label.

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My Shilasdair wool is a mix of cashmere, baby camel, angora and merino lambswool so it is very soft. It is labelled as a luxury double knit weight.

Now all I have to decide is, will I be knitting socks or a scarf with this new wool? I’m drawn towards a scarf this time due to the heavier weight of this yarn, maybe something quite lacy……but then I enjoyed knitting the socks so much on four needles. I could always shop for other sock yarn….decisions, decisions.

Happy crafting!

Avis x

 

A lovely surprise and two odd socks!

Hi everyone!

I just have to share my lovely surprise with you all this morning. I had an email from my friend Claire over at Claire93 to say she’d sent me something in the post and was worried it may have gone missing. WELL….it hasn’t! My little parcel was sitting on the doorstep, having just arrived YEY!!! Apparently, as Lewis Carroll penned, it is my un-birthday today 🙂

Here’s what I have 🙂

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A long quarter of gorgeous quality quilting fabric, ideal for stripping 🙂 I already have ideas as to what it might become. Here’s a close up.

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A card from Paris showing a picture of an amazing glass structure. I have to to see that one day! If you have followed my quilting blog Oh Sew Tempting you will know that I’m mad about maths. I love maths and anything remotely mathematical so the glass pyramid, which I now know is outside the Louvre, really appeals to me 🙂 Here is a clearer picture courtesy of http://www.betanews.com.

There’s also a fab blackwork bookmark which is made from Claire’s test piece for the Pentecost blackwork from http://www.practicalblackwork.com that we are sewing together. This is now in my work diary, which for some reason has no ribbon page keeper like they usually do. Scroll down if you want to see the design we are stitching.

So thank you so much Claire! Isn’t it lovely when you get a complete surprise? I think so. I’m feeling very smiley today 😀

I can also share a half finish today. I have completed one knitted sock of a pair 🙂

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If you have read my previous posts you will know that this is the first time I have knitted anything on four needles. I went boldly on, remembering my Mother knitting on four needles when I was small. It couldn’t be that difficult could it?? Well, should I just say, it was fiddly, VERY fiddly! However, it wouldn’t have been quite so fiddly if I’d had the brains to take a look on Youtube to see it it SHOULD be done. I realised, after I got past the heel and onto the foot part of the sock that I had been knitting on four needles INSIDE OUT!!! Honestly, what a numpty. I realised completely by accident after having turned the knitting right side out to have a look at what I’d done so far. I forgot to turn it back inside out again and continued to knit. For some reason, which took me a while to figure out, I could all of a sudden knit much faster. So, in future, I might not be such a clever clogs and have a look to see how things should be done first.  My adventure into knitting on four needles worked well in the end. I can feel a few more pairs of socks coming on but maybe I should finish this pair first 😉

And just as I type, an email has popped in from Witchylin, one of my regular readers, with a photo of her newly finished sock. At least we have a pair between us LOL.

She has kindly given me permission to share her photo with you.

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I immediately got back to her and asked what brand of wool she’d used as I love the speckly bits. It turns out we are using the same Opal brand wool which can be found at The Woolly Brew in Scotland. My daughter bought my wool from this company as a present and Witchylin has just been back to them this morning to order more. She’s got the knitting bug too! So we are two happy customers and I think the lovely ladies at The Woolly Brew deserve a “Shout out”. If you like yarn, go and take a browse. They have something for everyone 🙂

Now, I’m off to make lunch. I can’t wait for the weekend when there is going to be some serious crafting going on here Beside the Sea 🙂

Avis x

It’s time to knit socks!

Hi everyone,

Here’s what I’ve decided to knit with my lovely gift of wool. I haven’t knit anything on four needles before so it is a new challenge for me. I had to restart several times due to making mistakes but once I had a few rounds on the needles it became much less fiddly. I had expected the wool to continue changing colour. However, as you can see, there are longer lengths of blues between groups of mixed colours which have resulted in stripes 🙂

Here is my progress so far….

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The free pattern I am following can be downloaded on Ravelry here. So far I’m managing to follow it but I’ll soon be up to the heel and I haven’t done one of those on two needles before so it could be interesting to say the least.

I hope you all have a wonderful crafty weekend ahead!

Avis x

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