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.

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.

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.

Winding down.

I spent a lot of time figuring out where to pick up this post, and decided the best idea is to write two separate posts. Basically in this one I am going to chatter on about my wedding, my wedding dress etc. my next post will be about my honeymoon and latest finished jumper :).

Right on to wedding chatter. So my husband and me got married last Saturday. I was so very nervous, I find it hard to be in front of lots of people, so was dreading the actual ceremony. Somehow I managed to make it through the ceremony without tripping up over my words. I basically kept telling myself, breath, stand up straight and focus on Sam (my husband). He managed to trip up over my middle name, apparently My middle name is no longer Lucy, it is now Juicy, super funny. Anyhow both my family and his family really loved the ceramony, it was only a simple affair, we decided that our local registry office was the perfect place for our wedding, not too expensive plus easy enough to arrange (though still terrifying). The main thing is that we got through that without any hitches, it is such a relief for that part to be out of the way.

I am so glad I opted for knitting my wedding dress and decided on wearing long sleeves with a knitted shrug over the top, because I have to say I spent a lot of time being freezing cold. I think the only time I wasn’t cold was afterwards when we tottered up to the cathedral for extra photos. I do have to say that despite being incredibly nervous, stressed and cold I really enjoyed my day. I am so happy that I can now call Sam, my Husband.

Now it is time for the photos, we haven’t sorted through all of them, baring in mind we opted to have a member of the family take the photos instead of having a professional wedding photographer. I’ve tried to pick out photos which show of my dress and shrug the best, I’ve not found many good ones of my wedding clutch unfortunately.

I knitted my wedding dress from Fashion Martina’s Knit wedding gown Dream pattern, this can be found on Ravelry, I added in a couple of modifications when making mine. I used Bergère de France Angel yarn instead of the recommended yarn for the pattern. The pattern for shrug I wore with my wedding dress can be found in Vampire Knits, it is called Sidhe Shrug. I knitted it in Eden Cottage Yarns Titus 4ply, the colour way I used was Coal (this yarn is delicious by the way). The pattern for my clutch is called Leafy Knot Clutch, it can be found in Knitting 24/7: 30 Projects to Knit, Wear, and Enjoy, On the Go and Around the Clock by Veronik Avery. I found the pattern for my Lavender flowers in Lesley Stanfield’s 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet: A Collection of Beautiful Blooms for Embellishing Garments, Accessories, and More. You might also notice my lovely boots, they are Doc Martens, and they are super, why, because not only are they Doc Martens, they are floral Doc Martens.

I’ve been wanting to post up finished pictures of my wedding dress and shrug for ages, but knew it was best to wait till after the wedding. I am very happy to be able to show my creations finally. And chatter on about my wedding.

Progress!

Where to being, by that  I mean there isn’t really a beginning to my tales today. One is my current knitting project, which is progressing beautiful and feels super yummy (oh happy days) and the other is in relation to my back/shoulder/neck/arm pain (which is non-fibro related).

I guess I will start with my pain, which despite being on twice daily doses of Naproxen is still as noticeable as ever. One of my problems is that I am sure that my fibromyalgia aggravates the intensity of the pain to an extent. I know I have trouble relaxing at the best of times, but over the last year this pain has increased to a point where at times I can barely stand it. For the last week I have been waiting to hear about a physio appointment, which with any luck will eventually lead to less pain, luckily for me I got a letter today about this. The unfortunately part is that I have to ring them to arrange the appointment, not my forté, so I will be putting it off till tomorrow. I find it hard to psych myself up to make phone calls, I know they shouldn’t be hard, but for me sometimes they can be nearly impossible. So I am currently making a point of listening to a lot of Crüxshadows songs because they usually help me motivate myself in the right direction.or at least make me feel like I can do something that I find hard to do.

In regards to my current knitting project, I am knitting a jumper from Rowan Tweed, the pattern is called Ariene, it recommends using three colours, but I decided to substitute one of the colours with the main colour instead and just work with two colours. I am knitting it in Eden Cottage Yarns Milburn 4ply, the colours I am using are Damson and Grey, I got them in a sale not long before Christmas last year. I’m making it slightly shorter than recommended in the pattern as I want it to go with my 50’s style skirts and dresses. At the moment I’m most of the way through working the back.

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I really do love this yarn. It’s so soft and squishy. For me this is a bit of a treat, usually if I’m knitting with what I class as “luxury” yarn I stick to shawls, but I decided that once in a while it doesn’t hurt to treat myself to a super yummy wool for jumpers.

Anyhow, time to get on with some yoga then housework before I go out in the garden with my hoppy bunny girls.

Super pleased!

I finally cast off the skirt of my wedding dress on Friday afternoon, it took forever, it was the longest period I’ve spent casting off ever. I’ve now washed the dress, dried it and tried it on, it fits perfectly. I am now waiting for the crochet flowers to be finished so I can sew them on. My mum is making them for me because I’m not as skilled at crocheting as I need to be to make these.

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One photo is the dress bodice before I picked up stitches for the skirt, two is the skirt in progress, and three is the finished dress awaiting flowers being sewn on.

The wedding dress was knitted in Bergère De France Angel yarn, the colour is Violette, I love purple so much I had to have a purple wedding dress, and decided the best way for me to get the right colour and shape for me dress was to knit one for myself. I love knitting, and found a lovely pattern which with a few tweaks it has turned out beautifully.

I have started knitting the shrug I’ll be wearing with my wedding shrug, it’s going really well so far. It took me ages to choose the perfect yarn, but in the end I picked a beautiful hand-dyed yarn. I’m knitting it in Eden Cottage Yarns Titus, the colour is Coal, it’s a mix of merino wool and silk.

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Hopefully I will have finished the shrug soon. Will post more pictures when I have made more progress.