Monday make

Despite having to tink and redo the final section THREE TIMES, I finished my Changing Staircases at the weekend and it’s now looking beautiful on my blocking mat.

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Also slightly weird because I ran out of pins, but never mind.

I’m looking forward to wearing this baby soon. Although with it being scarf weather in Scotland right now, it might take a while to dry out.

This project taught me that I still have no concept of how knitting uses up yarn. I was sad because I thought it would have to end on a lacy section, which I didn’t want because I can just see it catching on everything. But then I got to the end of that section and still seemed to have a bit of yarn left.

I figured it was better to have a row or two of stockinette than nothing so I skipped the ‘cast off stitches’ step and knit across. Then purled. Then knit. Then purled. I was 6 rows in before realising that the yarn was going much further than I expected and I could get a-whole-nother plain section out of it. So I tinked back, cast off the stitches and did the section again.

And after all that I still had enough left to cast off, with this long a tail to sew in.

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I never would have called that in a million years! It seems I need to do a LOT more knitting so I can start to get a feel for these things.

 

ETA: this is Changing Staircases, a free pattern by Dragon Hoard Designs on Ravelry.

Hannah

xXx

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WIP Wednesday 24.04.19

Current WIP count: 6

As I added in more colours to my Changing Tides blanket, I started to worry that maybe it wasn’t working. I generally live by the idea “why have one colour when you can have seventeen?” but for some reason this time it was making me twitchy.

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Then I laid it out and stepped back for a proper look, and somehow it works. I mean it’s not a vision of beauty like some people have managed to make with their perfectly curated colourways, but I’m happy with it. And it’s for me so that’s all that matters!

I’ve seen a few posts saying that people are sewing the ends in to fill time until the next part is released. I am not one of those people. I know full well I’m going to regret it come the end of the CAL when I have a million ends to sew at once, but I just can’t make myself do it! Brain is weird.

It’s not exactly square at the moment so I might give it a wee block one evening, before it gets too big to fit on my blocking mats. We shall see.

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 20.03.19

Current WIP count: 6

I finally got time at the weekend to start joining some Lego bricks together. And ran into trouble almost immediately, as all these ‘chunky’ yarns are vastly different when it comes to thickness so my bricks aren’t all the same size.

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I’m making do, but it definitely doesn’t look quite as I imagined and I’m not sure there’s enough blocking in the world to fix it. At least this is for my dad so he’s contractually obligated to love it 😉

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This is almost 2/3 done, not including the border. Saturday is the deadline and I’ve got another 3-hour train journey on Friday night that I can dedicate to it, so I’m pretty confident I’ll have a finished blanket ready to go on time. Still, keep your fingers crossed for me!

All the other WIPs are calling to me so I’m looking forward to getting this blanket done and dusted and getting back to them. I admit I did knit a few stitches of my Flax Light on Sunday – after a whole day of sewing bricks together I just needed to do something different for a wee bit!

What’s everyone else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 22.02.19

Man I love chunky yarn. This baby blanket was started, finished, and on the blocking mats in about 5 hours, and it would’ve been even quicker if I had a less sticky 12mm hook!

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I used the Irish Wave pattern by Elizabeth Mareno, which is free on lovecrochet.com and includes instructions for both a baby blanket and a scarf. It’s designed for a much thinner yarn so I fiddled with the starting chain numbers to make it work.

This was very nearly a continuation of my purple-and-cream phase, but then I remembered I had some of the same yarn in green. And my mum said the person she has in mind for the blanket wouldn’t be put off by non-traditional colour combos so I went with it. Personally I love it; the more colour the better.

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Plus this stuff is ultra soft and squidgy so I think it’s perfect for baby things.

The blanket used 3 skeins of super chunky yarn, which cleared quite a big space in my stash so now I can rearrange the yarn drawers and it won’t be so crammed. Double win.

The other blanket is nowhere near finished so I’d better crack on. I’ve got a week left and I’m determined to finish on time.

Hannah

xXx

Yarn review: Caron Cupcake

When my brother sent me this photo while on holiday in America,

I messaged him back saying PLEASE BUY SOME IMMEDIATELY!!! I’d seen Cupcakes on Instagram and Facebook for months, but never managed to get hold of any, so you can understand my excitement.

Suitcase limitations meant he could only bring back one for me (and one for mum because he’s smart), but that’s one more than I had to start with so I was happy!

It’s a 100% acrylic DK yarn that comes in a cake with a pompom. The colourway I got is called Peach Sorbet.

I’ve mentioned before that I thought the whole point of these Cupcakes is to have just enough yarn to make one hat, which you can then top with the pompom. But I managed to get two whole hats out of my cake. Two whole adult hats at that.

It seems strange to be disappointed with MORE yarn than expected, but I do so love the idea of essentially buying a deconstructed hat and making it up with no (or at least very few) scraps.

The ball band includes a pattern for various hat sizes, although they’re all children’s sizes, which I now find a bit odd considering how much yarn there is to play with. “You can make hats for all three of your children, and we take no responsibility for the ensuing battle over the single pompom!”.

I followed the instructions up to a point, but then carried on increasing to make both hats adult sized. In the first one I also went with back loop only stitches because I really like that line they make.

I’ve used a lot of Caron Cakes over the last couple of years so I thought I knew what to expect from the yarn itself, but this stuff is unlike any Caron I’ve ever used.

It’s really, REALLY scratchy. Like, making-the-skin-of-my-tensioning-finger-sore kind of scratchy.

I blocked the first hat with some Eucalan and that helped a bit. I’m going to try putting the second through the washing machine to see if that has better results. Either way, it’s really not much fun to play with pre-blocking. Unless you like scratchy yarn of course. To each their own.

On the plus side it frogs really easily and the colours are all super pretty.

So overall my first encounter with Caron Cupcakes was a fairly disappointing one. It’s possible that this was just an off batch with the scratchiness so I am willing to give them a second chance, if I ever manage to get my hands on some more. I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

Stats

  • 100% Acrylic
  • DK weight
  • 223m
  • 85g
  • Suggested hook size 4mm (although I used 4.5mm)

Have you used a cupcake before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Blocking magic

You may remember from aaaages ago that I finished my Whimsy Cowl and it was in need of blocking.

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Lookit those wibbly wobbly edges, just dying to curl up into a yarny burrito.

Well I dithered for a long time, having never blocked 100% alpaca before and knowing how fragile it can be. I was also worried about blocking it doubled up, in case I couldn’t pin the two layers properly or the bottom layer didn’t get chance to dry and I ended up spoiling it.

But then I had a thought: my blocking mats lock together like jigsaw pieces, so I could make a 3D shape with them and they should hold it.

Turns out I was right!

I pinned out my cowl and sprayed it with water til it was properly wet, then left it for a few days to dry out.

And this is the final result:

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The top before and after
The bottom before and after

I love how the spaces have opened up, and how neat the edges are now. It’s just magic.

I’m almost looking forward to winter so I can wear it! Almost…

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 27.06.18

After an easy Saturday and a ‘recovery’ Monday booked off work, I feel like I have some real progress to show this week.

Although I didn’t realise quite how many fiddly little parts my amigurumi dragon had. I’ve still got four horns and another wing shape to make yet, not to mention the dreaded sewing together.

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The biggie for today is my Tunisian jumper. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to just go for it and attach the sleeves, it was (of course) nowhere near as scary as I thought it would be.

I confess at first I had a complete brain fail and had to read the pattern at least 10 times before I understood what I was supposed to do (why are there no diagrams??), but I got there eventually and now my sleeves are attached and I’m working away at the yoke.

I’ve even tried it on! Which is when I noticed the increases in the sleeves have created these bumps.

It’s not a major issue really, I’m guessing nobody will be looking that closely once I’m wearing it, but I’m still hoping those bumps will ease out a bit with some blocking.

It seems unlikely that I’ll finish this week, but I can see me having my first handmade item ready to wear in the not too distant future. Ooh it’s exciting!

What’s everyone else working on? Or are you finding it too hot for fibre right now? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 11.05.18

Ooh just sneaking in before midnight.

Here’s a picture of my finished Whimsy Cowl, although I do still need to block it:

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I am loving the two colours together, that was definitely the right choice to make. It might look a wee bit of a messy transition right now, but I’m hoping that blocking will make it show up properly. We shall see.

Any tips on blocking 100% alpaca? I’m very scared of spoiling it!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 09.02.18

I managed to finish two goodies this week, neither of which are much use today as it’s gloriously sunny in Glasgow!

First up, I finally finished my swirl hat

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I’d been putting it off for a wee while because I’d reached the point where there were too few stitches for my circular needles and I needed to switch to DPNs. I’ve never used DPNs before. But if you don’t try, you never learn, and the hat is just for me so totally messing it up wouldn’t have been a disaster.

I think my DPNs were too big (they aren’t labelled) because there were some pretty big gaps between my stitches when I finished. But I fixed them as best I could when sewing in the end and they’re not too noticeable. Aside from that it was really quite simple, I should have just picked them up sooner!

The other item is my lovely Tunisian scarf. I must say I was a little worried when I finished and had the most curled-up scarf ever, but of course blocking did it’s magic thing.

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You can see that the end really wants to keep curling though. I did find a solution to this for future makes, which I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

I got a wee bit cross with the yarn when this one un-dyed section appeared halfway through the skein.

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But it’s grown on me and now I just see it as a unique feature of this particular scarf.

Would that one odd stripe put you off the scarf? Who else has some FOs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 06.10.17 (nearly)

As soon as you think you’ve got this scheduling thing figured out, along comes WordPress to prove you wrong!

Better late than never, here is my FO Friday post.

Only one FO this week, and you’ll have to excuse the photos as I’m both model and photographer and my arms are not quite long enough!

I finally finished up my scoodie and I’m loving it.

Blocking did straighten out the scarf part a very little, but in future I think I’ll just avoid the granny joining stitch and go for something straighter.

I particularly like the fit of the hood

Usually they barely fit over my head and keep sliding back so my ears are exposed (I must have a big noggin!) but this one has more than enough room.

I’d want something a bit brighter for myself, so this is going into the shop just as soon as my mannequin head arrives so I can get some decent photos. This thing does not look good flat.

Not quite as productive as last week, but then I have been taking my iron tablets and feeling quite a bit better.

What do you think of the scoodie? Anyone else got some FOs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

The great FO Friday post

Being ill sucks. It does. But then look at this lovely long list of FOs!

My first, single-strand Seafoam scarf is done and blocked.

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Here it is next to the second one to show the difference.

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Both kindle cosies are finished, although I clearly mis-measured one of them so that’ll be a phone cosy instead. I also can’t find it right now to take a photo….

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This is the dragon scale cosy

I finished Charmander and Bubasaur this week, so my brother’s Christmas presents are ready to go.

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And I may never make another Bulbasaur again, he was so awkward. One of those legs has been sewn on 4 times, the left ear twice, and don’t even ask about the bulb.

I can barely believe it – this brings my WIP count down to 5! But I have so many ideas whirling round my mind at the moment that I’m sure it won’t stay down there for very long.

So there we go, sometimes being ill isn’t all bad. Anyone else sick, so we can commiserate together (I’m looking at you, Tami!)? Got some FOs this week? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 27.09.17

Current WIP count: 8

Lookit me, right down into single figures again! Although it’s slightly less good knowing that’s only because I’ve been too ill to do anything but crochet.

Sewing amigurumi together has become a hundred times easier and less stressful since discovering this method. I’m currently using it to sew together my brother’s third and final Christmas present; Bulbasaur.

I find it easier, and it looks so much neater than the method I was using before. I’m actually considering keeping my first squirtle and making another with this stitching for my brother, so they’ll all be as neat as each other.

There’s also the doily that I’ve been putting off for months, but have finally forced myself to work on. I really hope it’s eventually going to look half as good as I’m imagining. No photos, because it doesn’t look much like anything yet.

There are also a few things blocking so they’ll be ready in time for Friday. This might be the most productive FO Friday post I ever make! At least something useful has come of this flippin everlasting virus.

What’s everyone else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx