I’ve finally finally FINALLY finished my nemesis socks and handed them over so quickly I didn’t have time to take a photo. Such a relief to have them done. So moving happily on I’ve started a new pair of trainer socks with the yarn I bought last week in Alnwick. I’m working my way down the heel flap at the moment but I think I’ll put a pattern on this pair. This is a Collinette yarn, the first of theirs I’ve knitted with and I’m loving it. The colours are fab and it’s giving great stitch definition. I’m sure this pair will be a joy to knit and be finished really quickly as result
Ok so it’s time to show and tell…… What did I buy at Fibre East?
Well I simply fell in love with these guys. I mean how SSSWWEEEEEEEEEETTTTT!!!!!!
I especially loved this guy. Look at those horns, just fabulous! There was a bit of a squee moment when I discovered that you could buy a kit to make them. They’re from Manfield Crafts and the wonderful ladies on the stall managed to contain their laughter at my reaction to these little fellas.
Yarn wise my main purchase was some beautiful silk from Copperfield Yarns. Unfortunately I can’t find a website for this yummy yarn but if anyone knows one then please point me in the right direction. I was drawn to the copper tones and colours. At the moment my hair is predominantly black but my natural colour is coppery blonde. Since I’m planning on going back to my natural colour this seemed the perfect yarn to make myself a shawl.
I also bought some more dpns for sock production. I normally use knit pros but the helpful lady at the Crossways Patch / Tall Yarns stand showed me the HiyaHiya ones. These were of great interest as I have quite a loose tension when knitting and so I’m always on smaller needles than my friends. The HiyaHiya’s actually go down to less than a millimetre which is much smaller than the smallest knit pros. In the end I bought 2 packs of 2mm’s (one Knit Pro and one HiyaHiya) and a pack of 3.25 Knit Pros for some DK socks.
Speaking of DK socks I also picked up a couple of balls of pure wool in a dk weight but without ball bands. I can’t tell you the stall as I didn’t clock their name. These aren’t really ‘me’ colours but the socks are destined for my mother and they are very much her colours. I have to say that I was delighted at how much faster dk socks knit up compared to sock weight yarn socks. I also had a little bit of yarn left over from these which I’ve used to make a sat nav pouch.
Then lastly I bought some buttons.
Yes, I know they will probably just sit in my sewing box but they were so pretty… and cute… and shiny… and I just had to have a few……
Last weekend Maytheweed and I made a little baby road trip to Lavenham to visit Knit Cafe and play with our cameras. Naturally we headed straight for tea and knitting.
As we arrived it was difficult to decide what to concentrate on first – tea or yarn shopping! What a fabulous idea to combine a cafe and a yarn shop. They didn’t carry the worlds greatest selection but it was all lovely yarn, and the atmosphere was very friendly.
I was really tempted by some of the Manos but in the end I was seduced by some Araucania sock and Debbie Bliss dk. I’ve been a little despondent by the selections of sock yarn available recently with nothing really catching my eye – this little beauty sorted that! I’m resisting the urge to immediately cast one with it though as I need to finish the socks currently on my needles.
The Debbie Bliss cashmerino dk has been combined with some more Araucania sock yarn to make another set of fingerless mittens. I love the pair I made from the Manos yarn but it’s simply not hard wearing enough. I’ve finished the first mitten and I’m about half way through the second (I’m hoping to get them finished for next weekend) and I’ll take some shots and post them next week.
Above is the horrid socks I’m currently working. I didn’t get that yarn at the knit cafe and I’m resisting the urge to bin it in favour of some of the loveliness I got there. After our tea and yarn shopping we wandered around the town with our cameras and I’ll post up about that later as well. However, if you’re ever in the area I strongly recommend calling into the Knit Cafe for a cuppa and some cake.
Unfortunately between work and a photography project I’m working on I’ve just not been knitting much overly exciting. Unless you count trainer socks of course. My December, January and February socks are all trainer socks, which as per usual are difficult to photograph on my feet. Must remember to pester someone to help me with that one day. Anyway here are a few piccys taken on my phone of socks in progress.
This was the December socks while still in progress. It’s the Regia hand dyed effect yarn and it’s a so-and-so to knit with as it splits something chronic. That said I love the socks and they’re hardly ever off my feet.
And here are the February socks still in progress. You can see the yarn is Hot Socks Spectra and it’s even worse to knit with than the Regia. Splits like you wouldn’t believe and I dare say it’s going to pill when washed and worn as well. That said I am loving the colours and can’t wait to see how they look when finished. I doubt there is even a remote chance of them matching but hey ho, who says socks have to match….
January’s socks really do need to be photographed on so I’ll have to motivate myself to do just that when they emerge from the laundry.
Photography wise I’ve been very busy and I’ll post some more images up soon. I guess I feel my blog is being a little neglected especially from a crafting point of view and I hope you’ll all forgive me. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to share the photography project I’m working on which is taking up so much of my time.
I’ve been intrigued with this extreme knitting for a while now. It always makes me think of people jumping out of helicopters shouting Geronimo, needles in hand or some such…
In case you’ve not come across this before it actually refers to knitting on humongous size needles. When I bought these there was speculation that they should really belong to Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Well I finally got around to putting them to the intended purpose (mainly cos I couldn’t find any vampires) and so far I’m not sure how much I like it.
I decided not to be too adventurous and just go with plain ole stocking and garter stitch. The first problem was casting on. These things are so big it’s practically impossible to hold the yarn for my normal cast on (long tail). But I persevered and managed it.
The next problem came in the form of my yarn tangling with balls going all over the place. For the record I’m knitting with 8 strands of various aran and dk weights. The solution to the wandering yarn turned out to be a large plastic box…
I suppose I’m sort of knitting a throw, but to be honest I really don’t know how big this is going to end up.
However, I am liking the effect of all these yarns together. Half the strands are variegated so it should be interesting to see what happens as this project grows.
Have you tried this form of knitting? Any advice? (or better still any funny stories?)
During the summer I was inspired by some hat designs which popped into my head. They just wouldn’t leave me alone and, after some encouragement from friends, I wrote them up as patterns. Two of these are already up on Ravelry as free downloads. Alchemilla and the Pebbles Walking Hat. I’ve been so shocked by the warm welcome they’ve received and the wonderful compliments have really encouraged me to continue.
Next up is Daisy May.
This one was a bit trickier. It’s a more complicated/involved pattern and I really struggled for a while to work out the best way to explain what was in my head. I could knit it no problem but changing it into a pattern gave me a headache, but eventually with the aid of some very patient test knitters it’s ready.
I’m rather proud of this one and I’ve knit several as gifts and yes matching mittens (and possibly a scarf) are in the pipeline. Well I’ve procrastinated and stomped my foot like a little child out of nerves but today I’ve finally uploaded it to Ravelry. It’s now available to purchase for £2.00 as a pdf download. It’s my first pattern that I’m charging for and I’d welcome feedback on it. (Now goes and sits nervously in the corner hoping people like it).
Daisy May can be made out of dk or aran weight yarns (I’ve done both with great success) and I’ve never needed more than a single 100g ball. I’ve also used both solid and variegated yarns and loved them both. Because of how the band is knitted it adjusts to your individual head size.
Like so many people at this time of year my bank balance is groaning at the thought of the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, with the entire event being referred to as ‘Ally Pally’. Those two words have been on everyone’s lips for a few weeks now and this year myself and Maytheweed were planning on a visit together. In the end were were also accompanied by Mr H, self designated bag carrier and smirker when we needed to use elbows to get where we wanted to go.
As expected it was busy and many parts had signs up saying ‘No Photography’. I’d seen this on my visit last year so decided to only take my mobile phone with me and use the camera on that. Anyone not wanting photography is bound to spot of hulking DSLR camera being swung about the place and get a little funny with you even if you’re not taking photos. I know people who would ignore these signs but in this case I have far to much respect for the exhibitors involved to do that. So anyway all photos are off my phone so please forgive them…..
‘Octopussy’ by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga – It had a Best in Show notice beside it which is hardly surprising. This photos doesn’t even start to do it justice.
‘Hearts Desire’ by Deborah Kemball. The sign said ‘Winner – Traditional Quilts’
‘Mere Kats’ – ‘Winner – group Quilts’ so I guess this was made by a group. Parts of it did make us laugh out loud.
I didn’t spot a name or anything on this one as the flow of people pushed me past.
Over on the ‘Coats’ stand I did get a bit confused as it seemed to say Coats everywhere but there was Amy Butler, Regia, Rowan etc…..
A recurring theme in the conversation as we looked round was how it’s very easy to appreciate something, admire the skill and take inspiration, yet not actually want to own anything like it.
I also spent lots of money although I still stayed within budget, well sort of, but I’ll explain all of that in another post. My life is very topsey turvey at the moment with all sorts of things going on, some just keeping me busy, but others are making life very difficult. It was good to spend a day in such a lovely friendly atmosphere, even if it only helped me forget for a little while it was a very welcome relief. I’m not sure how much I’ll post about what is going on, some I’m not comfortable with sharing in such a public forum as the blog-o-sphere, and other things are not really my story to tell.
These jumbo ‘extreme’ knitting needles didn’t come from Fibre East but a local Summer Fete. I’m looking forward to some stash busting with them!
The garden is in that in-between phase where one set of plants have gone over, but the next haven’t flowered yet. You can probably guess I’m not very good at succession planning. That said, there are still some flowers about and in one I found this bee. He was covered in pollen and happily zipping form flower to flower. Obviously hard at work.
Some of the roses were also just clinging onto their blooms. I resisted roses for many years as I just couldn’t get past the memories of how difficult they were for my grandfather in the 70’s. Fortunately there are loads of wonderful varieties about now that are much easier to grow. This one came from Cants in Colchester, but I’m afraid I don’t remember the variety…
I'm Mara and this is the main spot for all my ramblings, musings and occasional rants about whatever crosses my mind. It's mainly crafting oriented but I can't promise that other things won't crop up as well....
There will definitely be stuff on knitting, sewing, photography, gardening, spinning and furry beasts. Probably a lot of spelling mistakes as well....