It’s been a while

I can’t remember when I last posted, I know it was not long after I started my current job, so probably October 2015. I’ve been quite busy since then. But I thought it would be nice to try posting the odd entry again, after all I used to find it useful to write things down.

So since my last entry I have knitted a fair few things, I’ve learnt how to use my sewing machine, I’ve sewn dresses, I’ve made new friends in the knitting and crafting community. There is quite a list.

Of course not everything that has happened has been happy, the sad news is Echo became poorly in April, very very poorly and me and my hubby, Sam, had to make the hard choice of having her put to sleep. I miss her, it’s been hard but we’re managing.

Other sad news is that not long after I started my current job, in November 2015 my nanny had a stroke and is pretty much paralysed on her left side, because of this she is bed ridden. Unfortunately this means my mum and her sisters have to care for my nanny and grandad. It’s very hard on my mum, she’s very tired and barely knits anymore. 

In happy news, we have two new bunny additions. Peanut and Pebbles, two boy bunnies. Needless to say Freya is delighted when she hops round the garden and can smell boy bunnies. 

Other good news is that Freya is still happy and hoppy. She is affectionate as always and loves to go up and say hello to her bunny boyfriends.

I’ve been trying to work out ways to stop my garden from being entirely eaten by the naughty bunnies. So far it seems that is easier said than done. But the good thing is that they are learning not to eat tomato plants and are avoiding the herbs I planted up.

I’ll hopefully return with another post soon, maybe with a finished object or two, I have several on the go right now. So until next time.

Owl and Lavender

Todays post is about my latest finished projects. I don’t think I’ve really stopped knitting gifts since the first couple of months after Xmas, which is all well and good. So this post is about another knitted gift, and also about something for me. So since I cast off the maple leaf shawl I knitted for my best friend I instantly cast on a shawl for my mum as it was her birthday at the start of this month. I find it helpful to have to projects on the go at the same time, basically if anyone asks what I’m knitting and they are the person the gift knit is for then I don’t really want to be showing off what I’m knitting for them if I intend it to be a surprise, so I like to have something for me on the go at the same time, yes sneaky I know, but it works, plus I get something for me.

Anyhow, this year I decided to knit my mum an entrelac shawl with a lavender theme, now if you’ve read any of my previous posts you may recall that I have knitted entrelac shawls before not only for myself (as in Finally complete!), but also for one of my aunts (the pink shawl in Not more knitted gifts!?and also my best friend (the storm grey shawl in  More than just knitted gifts.). So baring in mind how much I adore yarn by Eden Cottage Yarn, I knew I had to knit my mum’s birthday gift in their beautiful yarn. It just so happened that I had two skeins of BFL Sock in two different shades of purple (Wisteria and Damson) and two skeins of Milburn 4ply in Steel in my stash, which I was having trouble picking out a project for, mainly because I wanted to knit something with all three colours.

Now two of the entrelac shawls I’ve knitted were knitted in Eden Cottage Yarns BFL sock, which knits up into a gorgeous fabric, so I knew what to expect with those two skeins. But I’ve only ever knitted with the original Milburn 4ply and that was just a sweater and fingerless mitts, so knitting a shawl with the relaunched Milburn 4ply would be something different and interesting. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed, I mean I loved the original Milburn, but the new Milburn is even softer and the colour stands out so much more. When comparing the steel colour of the new Milburn with the grey of the original Milburn, you can see the difference. The steel colour stands out so much more and yarn has much more of a sheen which adds to the colour. I am really pleased with the how the shawl I knitted turned out. I was extremely surprised with how large it turned out to be, the other entrelac shawls I’ve knitted only had 400 metres of yarn go into them, so basically one skein, where as my mums one had about 500 metres of yarn knitted into it, and wow its so big. Even better is I still have half a skein of each of the BFL sock skeins and more of the Milburn left so I can knit something else with those (maybe something for me :D).

So thats the gift knit that I finished recently. Now for the knit for me. At Xmas a friend gave me a super knitting pattern book called Knitting Wizardry: 27 Spellbinding Projects. I’d been wanting this book for ages, mainly because there is a cardigan in it which I’ve been wanting to knit for myself since I saw it on Ravelry. This cardigan is called Ginny’s Cardigan on Ravelry but is called Owl Cardigan in the book, which could be a little confusing. Anyhow, I decided at the start of June as a birthday gift to myself that I needed wool to knit this cardigan, and really really wanted British wool to knit it with. Luckily for me the most wonderful new online shop dedicated to British yarn opened at the start of June. So this saw me ogling loads of DK on their site trying to work out what would work best with this Owl Cardigan, and after much uming and arring I decided on West Yorkshire Spinners Jacobs DK in Brown/Black. So after finishing my fingerless mitts I knew I had to cast this cardigan on, the wool is so yummy, so sheepy and it smells delicious (OK OK, I love the smell of wool, yum). Now I have to say that I really do recommend popping by Brityarn, the lovely online shop I purchased this yarn from, the owner, Isla is super and the yarn is delicious.

I did add a few little mods to my cardigan, I made the sleeves longer, not because I have long arms (I really don’t) but because I like my wrists and tops of my hands to be cosy. I eliminated the pockets, I really didn’t see the need for them. And I chose to eliminate the button holes from the button band, why I hear you ask, well I wasn’t really in the mood to be making buttonholes and then having to sew round them and all that, and I like to back my button bands with ribbon and I find it awkward doing that around buttonholes. So I chose to use snap fastenings along with backing the button bands with ribbon.

So those are my latest finished objects, I’m so happy with all of them.

I’m currently working on Xmas gifts, a new top for myself, altering a bunch of my clothes (well I have to start using my sewing machine for something), and I’m also working on a semi secret project (so watch this space).

Happy crafting all :D.

Yarn love

I need to do another post of finished objects, but I need to collect together the photos of then first, so I’ll wait till tomorrow. I’m running on empty at the moment, but I wanted to do a quick post about yarns that I love. And I have to say most of my favourite yarns are by Eden Cottage Yarns. I have so much love for them. My first experience of hand dyed yarn was their Titus 4ply. I wanted a special yarn to knit my wedding shrug from, and just had to have their Titus 4ply. So fair I’ve only knitted with their 4ply yarns (Milburn 4ply, BFL sock, Askham 4ply and Titus 4ply). But I can safely say the quality is wonderful and the colours and great. Probably why I keep finding excuses to buy more of their lovely yarn to knit with. Out of all their yarn that I’ve tried I would say I can’t really choose a favourite.
My other favourite yarns, well I love Shilasdair’s Luxury 4ply and Dk yarns, they are super and I love the colours.
Now although I’ve not got round to knitting with the Jamieson and smith 2ply jumper weight thats in my stash I have to say it feels wonderful and the colours are great.
Other yarns, well my latest love is West Yorkshire Spinners Jacob DK, its great to knit with and is lovely and sheepy.
Now on that note I’m off to dream of yarn. Wishing you all happy crafting.

Forgetfulness

I am so forgetful sometimes. I can’t believe I forgot to post a completed project. Especially something I was really pleased to have finished.

So here are the Stevenson mitts I completed last month. The pattern is called Stevenson Gauntlets and is by Kate Davies it can be found in her Colours of Shetland book. I love these mitts, I call them mitts because their shorter than the pattern suggests you make them, this is due to my being a little short of of colour, but wanting to use up that particular colour. I knitted them in Eden Cottage Yarns BFL Sock and Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4ply. The BLF Sock colourway I used was Wild Raspberry and the Milburn 4ply colours I used were Damson and Grey.

I knitted these as a side project while I was making the maple leaf shawl for my best friend.

In other news, I will be writing up another post soon as I have a finished project to post up, but as it is a birthday gift (yes another one) I want to wait till the person in question has received her gift.

And Finally!

Looking back to my last post about finished projects which I couldn’t post at the time as they were gifts, well today I can post up pictures of them as they have been gifted to the birthday girl (technically its her birthday tomorrow, however I got to see her today and won’t see her tomorrow). I figured my best friend deserved some lovely handmade goodness for her birthday. So here goes, this is the Autumnal Leaf I knitted for her.

The pattern for this shawl is on Ravelry and is called Maple Leaf Knit Shawl it is by Natalia @ Elfmoda. I really love this pattern I found it very easy to follow and I really enjoyed knitting this shawl. I love how it has turned out and also I love how happy my best friend is with it. I knitted this shawl in Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball the colourway I picked is Kleiner fuchs and I purchased it at Tangled Yarn UK. The yarn is lovely and I am extremely pleased with how it knitted up.

Additionally I decided that my friend needed a convertible Yarn Bucket/bowl, so I used some leftover Creative Cotton Aran by Rico Design which I used to crochet my My little Lenny bunny. instead of trying to find a pattern which suited what I was intending to make I chose to improvise. So I worked out how many increases I would need to make while crocheting in the round to make a circular bag, then I had to work out how I wanted the handles to look.

This is the end result:

I am very happy with how this little bag has turned out. I’m even happier with it because I made it up as I went along and wasn’t sure it would look how I imagined it to until I had finished it.

This week I’ve been organising my Ravelry queue in preparation for starting to make Christmas gifts (yes its that time of year again), I like to get ahead so that I have time to make at least one handmade giftie each for my friends and family.

I will leave you with pictures of a couple of naughty bunny rabbits trying to be cute.

So Many Patterns So Little Time!

I have a tendency to get distracted by different knitting patterns while I am still knitting other things. Which is why I usually have at least two projects going on at the same time. My problem lately is that I am also getting distracted by really good books, and awesome games. But another reason my knitting is progressing less quickly than I would like is that I am in the middle of a fibro (fibromyalgia) flare, and which is increasing the problem I have with my left arm/shoulder/neck/back. So having extra pain leads to me not really being able to knit for as long as I would like, so instead of knitting out in the garden lately I immerse myself in a book. Then when I start to get too painful while knitting inside and I end up gaming.

The problem I find with my flares is that although I really want to get on and do housework, or go out for walks (because getting out of the house can be a good thing) I haven’t got the energy to do this as much as I want to. I’ve been meaning to vacuum all week and due to my fibro and a super draining period I haven’t got round to it. I feel bad for spending time knitting, reading or gaming instead, but I know if I do too much while feeling like hell then I will suffer for it, so it benefits me in the long term to not over do it.

I have however managed to finish some lovely knitting and crochet projects lately, I’m really pleased with them. As some of the finished items are gifts, I will not be posting them up until after I have done the whole gifting them to the people they are for thing. As I don’t want to risk them seeing them until they actually receive them. But when I see the finished items I have made I feel really happy with myself and super happy that I decided that I should try knitting. Its been 3 years and 6 months since I seriously started knitting, and a year and 6 months since I started crocheting. Admittedly if I had stuck with trying to learn to knit when my mum tried teaching me when I was 8 or 9 I might be even better, but never mind, I am glad I picked it up again. I am even happier that my best friend recently took it upon herself to learn to crochet, I had been encouraging her to learn a craft, as I thought it would give her something to focus on that would also benefit her in the long run.

Anyhow, enough of me chattering on. I will be back later in the month with finished project photos, and other pictures. I have been lazy lately and keep forgetting to blog. So I will keep reminding myself I need to come back and post stuff.

Finished Objects and Other News

I will start with the other new (as of the title), mainly because it is far more boring and if I don’t write about it first I will forget that I meant to write about it at all. Due to my fibromyalgia and the shoulder/neck problem I have which may be related to my fibro, I left my previous job nearly a month before my wedding (boring). I am in the process of trying to find a new job at the moment (less knitting time for me then), so happy news is I have three job interviews coming up. It seems I sell well on paper, however I am terrible at interviews, so fingers crossed they don’t mind that.

Now on to less boring things, like finished projects, Three knitted things, wooo, and one crocheted thing, equally woo.

A little while after my wedding I decided it was high time I knit myself the stranded rabbit jumper I had been promising myself, and a couple of weeks ago, I finished it, and I have concluded that stranded knitting isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Who’d have thought, I can knit with yarn held in both hands, that was a slightly scary idea before I tried it, now, I am super pleased with myself.

So here is William of mine the pattern is William by Ann Kingstone, and it is wonderful, I love her Stranded Knits book, it really has made me want to try more stranded knits.

And on to my other finished objects, the next two are shawls I designed as I was knitting. I wanted to use up some of my stash and see if I could create something pretty, and these are the result.

The Stashbusting Shawlette is knitted from Mirasol Hasa in two shades and I think looks quite pretty. And the Shades of Lila Shawl is knitted from various different yarns, I think if I knitted it again I would stick to one type of yarn, but in different shades.

I am not yet sure what to do with these little creations, I am debating whether they should be gifts, or if I should attempt to sell them. If I make any more random creations I’m unsure about I might end up trying to sell them, at least then they will be used.

Finally, the crochet project I finished recently is My little Lenny, the pattern is Lenny the Bunny by Rico Design and can be found in Rico Häkelidee 024, Patchworkfamily. My husband got it the book and made up a kit for me a couple of Christmas’s ago, I just never got round to finishing this super bunny until now because I got distracted by other projects (yes I’m terrible).

I still can’t believe I made this myself, I’m not the best crocheter ever, I’m actually just a beginner, so I’m really pleased that I managed to make this toy without too much trouble.

And to finish with here are my own beautiful hoppy bunnies, Freya and Echo.