Purple blanket update 2

Hello everyone,

Just popping in to show you some progress on my purple blanket. I’m really enjoying knitting again.

IMG_20151030_200013 I hope you are getting lots of time to craft this week 🙂

Avis x

A new knitting project

Hello everyone,

It’s starting to get cooler and darker here up north so it’s the perfect time to start knitting a new blanket. I love sitting under the knitting as it grows, keeping me snug on the sofa. This aran weight yarn was purchased a few months ago and I’ve at last decided what to do with it. It’s going to have a moss stitch border all the way around and the centre will be a selection of Aran patterns. I love knitting Aran patterns. Here’s where I’m up to so far.

1 I’m using a 5mm circular needle, knitting back and forth, rather than in the round. There’s no way 252 stitches would have survived on ordinary needles. I found the blue rubber stitch stoppers in my late Aunt Edith’s craft things. They were unopened and probably bought in the 1960s. They’ve already saved my stitches a few times 🙂

Must get back to knitting now,

Avis x

My Second Pair of Socks

Hello everyone,

It’s about time I showed you what I’ve been up to recently. I’ve just finished my second pair of knitted socks. I knitted the first of this pair ages ago and then got side-tracked on knitted squares for a blanket. I wish I had more spare time to knit socks. I love knitting on four needles because there is minimal stitching up to do at the end.

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I used this wool that my sister bought me as a gift. She bought two balls and there’s still a lot left. Three balls would easily make two pairs like the ones I made. I altered a pattern called Jeck which is free on Ravelry.com by missing out the pattern stitches and knitting in rib and stocking stich only. I did start to knit the pattern but it was totally lost in all the colour changes of the wool so I pulled it out and knitted plain.

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I enjoyed knitting with this wool so much that I’ve now treated myself to some purple as well Smile

I hope you’ve had a very crafty time this weekend!

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

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.

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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

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

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