Sock it to me Monday 33

Have I mentioned that Diagon Ally is addictive? I started a pair for myself last week and so far I’ve knitted them on the sofa, in bed, in the car, on a park bench, and in a cafe!  All this work means I’m already halfway through the first foot.

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I’m using the Schoppel Boots yarn bought in Dunoon, just to see how the cotton content plays along. So far I can’t tell much difference from my usual wool/nylon yarn except that this feels ever so slightly rougher on my fingers as I work with it. It’ll be interesting to see what effect soaking/blocking will have when I’m done.

As for the shortie sock, that has been frogged. I hadn’t worked a stitch on it for weeks and it was on the verge of becoming a UFO so I bit the bullet and pulled it all out. Part of me is sad that my plan for the socks didn’t work out, but mainly I’m relieved that I don’t have to keep working on something that wasn’t making me happy at all.

So that’s my sock news for this week. What’s everyone else working on?

Hannah

xXx

Helpful FOs

You’ve got to love the crafting community. The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (link here) has received so many donations for Australia that there’s currently a stop on sending any more, to give them time to take stock and work out what’s still needed. What an excellent ‘problem’ to have!

So there’s been no crafting for Australia for me just yet, and I’ve been finishing up my other charity projects instead.

I now have four bears to go to Simba.

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Still not looking like twinsies.

And two hats to go to Knit For Peace.

I was going to block both hats, but I tried on the rolled one and I actually really like the look of it so that’s staying as it is.

I’m still hooked on the charity-crafting thing so now I’m making a pair of large bears for Simba. Once they’re finished that will be a full set of sizes and hopefully my crojo will let me get on with some of these WIPs that have been lying around for months.

Hannah

xXx

An FO and a big “NOPE” to magic loop

Only one month late, the baby Flax Light is finally finished and blocking!

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Thankfully, baby is on the petite side so she hasn’t already outgrown it before it even gets to her.

Now, those sleeves.

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I tried. I really tried. But magic loop (the knitting version) is just not for me. I don’t understand the argument that it’s easier/better than using DPNs, with all the to-ing and fro-ing of the cable, dealing with two massive ladders in your work, or constantly changing where the cable pops out to avoid said ladders. So. much. FAFF!

It’s good to know what my strengths and weaknesses are though, and it’s much better to not use magic loop because I don’t like it rather than because I’m scared of it, as used to be the case.  I’ll take that sort-of-win.

I should hopefully see my friend at some point this month so fingers crossed for some photos of baby wearing her new jumper. I hope she likes it!

Hannah

xXx

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

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