Finished objects and WIPs

Wow it’s been two months since I last posted an entry. I hadn’t realised it had been so long, but I think I know why I have been so laxed in writing entries.

At the end of August I started a new full time job as a temp, which is quite stressful and not quite what I was looking for, but I suppose it’s a job at the end of the day. Although I don’t feel comfortable in this position and I feel that I am really not that good at parts of it, I know that if I don’t make the effort to try to do these things then I will not get any better at them. So as much as it isn’t an ideal job for me, partly because there is far too much interaction with people for my tastes, I know there are worse jobs out there.

Since my last post I have started getting on with Christmas gift knitting, and have already finished on gift. I am working on two gifts at the moment, and on a top for myself. I am also doing as much drop spindle spinning as I can fit in, I may have a slight obsession with hand spinning and fiber.

As I said before, I have finished knitting one Christmas gift since my last post, I have also finished three other projects, two of them were for me, and one was a made to order commission.

Firstly the commission, my mum asked me if I would knit a shawl similar to one I had made for her, but in pinks, because she wanted to give one of her sisters a gift. It took me a little while to pick out the shades of pink which I thought my aunt would like, and which also worked well together, but weren’t too similar. And this is the result, an entrelac shawl (English Rose), knitted in two shades of Old Maiden Aunt Shetland 4ply, Twu Wuv and Last Nights Red Dress, with the addition of Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4ply in Blossom.

My next finished object to share is a lace and twisted stitches top (Tea for me.) knitted in Malabrigo Yarn Sock, the colourway is call African Violet. The pattern for this top is by Emma Vining and is called Time For Tea. The pattern can be found in The Knitter, Issue 87.

And finally, I knitted a shawl for myself, however, I decided that I needed to write down the pattern for this shawl, once I have finished writing out the pattern I will write another post. I just need to get some better photographes of this shawl and then I’ll be nearly finished with the shawl pattern. I will be posting it on Ravelry for download when it is finished.

Watch this space, and happy crafting.

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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.

Honeymoon & Calm

Well that’s the wedding natter nearly over with, there might be little added into my honeymoon and finished object chatter, but I will try to keep it to a minimum.

First things first, I need to back track to two days before my wedding. Not only was it the day I saw my favourite band (The Cruxshadows) with my best friend. But it was the day I could say that I had finally finished my Ariene jumper, the pattern for this is in Rowan Tweed Collection, and is lovely. it is a shame however that it is knitted flat, this is something I dislike, but when I started it I didn’t have the correct needles or the energy to engineer knitting it in the round, plus I am not entirely sure it would have worked out terribly well if I had knitted it in the round. However long story short, knitting a jumper, admittedly a slightly shorter jumper than the pattern recommends, flat is no mean feat, in fact I would go so far as to say it is a little tedious. I would say that it was made even more tedious by the fact that it was knitted on 2.75 mm & 3.25 mm needles (not my favourite needle size). But I have to say that it was worth all the effort, because damned, even if I do say so myself, it looks good. I love the yarn I chose to knit this jumper with, it is absolutely lovely. The yarn I used is Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4ply, I chose Damson and Grey, and I think they look lovely together. the pattern is for three colours, but I subbed the second colour with Damson.

I would have liked some better pictures of this jumper, but I had already waited over a week before getting photos of it so, these will have to do.

Now on to my honeymoon natter, so after a brief reception at our house, both me and my husband left to go to London on the train. I have to say I really love the journey down to London, it is slightly therapeutic. As with every other journey I made sure to take a knitting project, as you never know when you will get the opportunity to knit, and although I love buying yarn and looking and knitting patterns I wanted our honeymoon to be about us and not just me. I had already made a lot of our honeymoon about me and things that I love, for example my best friend had bought us tickets to go and see my favourite band (The Cruxshadows) at the Garage in Highbury on the Sunday.

I have to say that the hotel we stayed at was wonderful, I was astonished to find fruit in our room when we arrived, plus I hadn’t expected for there to be a bath in the bathroom, every hotel I’ve ever stayed in has only had a shower in the bathroom, so me being me, I had to make the most of a nice bath every morning (like you do).

On the Sunday (the day after our wedding), before seeing my favourite band live, we decided to go and have a wander around The British Museum, I’ve been wanting to do that for ages. I have to say it is well worth visiting. Admittedly the only reason I wanted to go there was to see all the Egyptian artifacts, especially the mummies, having had a thing for mummies and Egyptian history since I was about 8 it was kind of a big deal to me. I really enjoyed looking around the museum. I could have spent a lot longer looking at the mummies, but they did freak out my husband a bit so I thought it only fair that we spend a while looking around parts of the museum he wanted to see as well.

As for the concert on Sunday night, it was absolutely fantastic. I would happily see all of the support bands again. One of the supports, Bad Pollyanna, also supported The Cruxshadows at their Manchester gig, so I knew they would be amazing (and I wasn’t disappointed), but I didn’t know what to expect from Bella Morte and Among the Echoes. I have to say I was nicely surprised by both of them, I really enjoyed seeing them live. My husband like Among the Echoes so much that he bought their album, he had expected to not really like much of them music as we both have slightly different tastes. One thing that I really didn’t expect during the Cruxshadows performance was for Rogue to congratulate me and my husband on our recent marriage, my best friend had been very sneaky and asked him if he would do that, so surprised and very happy. I am again reminded of how awesome and lovely the Cruxshadows and Rogue are.

On Monday we tried to have a slow relaxing day, we went to Camden down the tow path, it was peaceful and made me love London more. I did get frustrated in Cyberdog and Saisai though, I couldn’t decided on weather or not to buy various things, so decided to wait till after food, but ended up not going back as we were getting tired by then. I did however get to try an amazing Cookie sandwich from Cookies and Scream (there is a reason I would love to live closer to Camden), it was so tasty.

Although we only spent two days pottering around London, I had an amazing time, I love our trips down there. and I love spending quality time with my husband (I also love being able to call him my husband).

I am happy to say that over a week on we are still happy to have got married :D.

More finished projects to appear in my next post, I have now finished the project I started on my honeymoon plus I knitted my first pair of socks, But I will post about these separately.