2019 review

Well look at that, another whole year gone by. Once again I’m so glad I have my blog to remind me of all I’ve achieved over the last 365 days.

For a start, there were a lot more FOs than I thought.

Baby poncho x2

Kalinda shawl

Caron cupcake hat x2

Caron cake folded bag (I’ve still got this lying around. I really must give it away)

The teeny tiny llama, and a somewhat creepy amigurumi tooth

There were a few bits and pieces for myself

Flax Light for me

A scrappy neck warmer

Changing Staircases

But I think I’m most pleased with my blanket output this year.

Not one, but two full-sized Lego blankets!

Changing Tides, my first ever CAL

A baby Lego blanket with spare bricks

The super chunky green and purple baby blanket

A more traditionally coloured baby blanket

There was also a Mothers day card with crochet elements, which I know I can do better this year.

Outside of knitting and crochet, I tried my hand at both needle felting and beading.

Then for christmas I whipped up my Dad’s hat and a final headband.

That’s 24 total FOs, which I’m pretty darn pleased with.

With all these projects I also learned a thing or two:

Continental knitting

Foundation crochet stitches

Magic loop for knitting

Stretchy bind off

Needle felting

Crochet loop stitch

So I’ve had a great year and I’m hoping to make 2020 just as good, if not better!

I’m determined that this will be the year I finally jump in to sock knitting. I’m also planning to make a big dent in my stash and make a bit of a difference in the world by focussing on some charity yarnery.

I hope everyone had a lovely new years eve, and that 2020 is so much better to you than 2019 was (whatever kind of year you had).

Hannah

xXx

Pressure off

Current WIP count: 9

The thing about going down to see family at Christmas is that I have to get all my Glasgow presents sorted well before the big day. There’s nothing like extra, shorter deadlines for piling on the pressure!

But my plan to only make presents for certain special people paid off. My WIP list is now back down to single figures, and only 3 of those are presents for other people.

The black present I started last week was a headband/ear warmer and I absolutely MUST recommend this pattern; It’s Gemma by A Knack For Knots and I started and finished the whole thing in less than 3 hours. It’s black so obviously impossible to get a good photo of, but here is my attempt.

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I also finished my beady project, which was a couple of sets of mala beads for my boyfriend.

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A full set is 108 beads (which I am going to make him one day), and smaller ones tend to be some division of 108. The green one has 27 beads and the purple one 54.

My dad’s hat now looks like this:

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I’m just about to switch to DPNs for the top so it will be done in plenty of time.

All in all I’m rounding up the Christmas making season pretty relaxed 🙂

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

September Review

My plan for September was to finally get some WIPs off my list so I could knock it down from eight WIPs to four.

I managed one of those things.

After what felt like forever with nothing, I managed four fairly big finishes:

There was my boyfriend’s Lego blanket.

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A baby blanket made with the leftover bricks.

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My Changing Tides blanket (nope, I still haven’t sewn the ends in).

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And FINALLY my beautiful Flax Light

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The baby blanket was a new addition so that got my WIP list down to five, but…then I got a bit of start-itis after being inspired by BonnyKnits, and cast on something new.

20190930_170825-1.jpgThis is Changing Staircases by Dragon Hoard Designs, it’s free on Ravelry, and the yarn is Leaf Green Rainbow by Mothy and the Squid. I regret nothing.

So now my WIP list is sitting at six, which is an improvement so I’ll take it.

I think for October I’ll aim for getting it down to four again. A few of the projects are close to finished and should be easy to cross off, but I’m also going to start making for Christmas so I know there will be more added on.  I just have to resist all the Halloween crafts that are popping up everywhere!

Hannah

xXx

Drumrolls and fanfares

It’s FINIIIIIIISHED!!

Almost 9 months after casting on I finally have a complete Flax Light!

It’s kind of hard to tell with my rubbish camera, but this thing is gorgeous! And, more importantly, IT FITS!

This is my ill-but-still-super-happy face

Maybe one day soon I’ll make a friend so I can get a full-length photo of me wearing it…

The pattern is Flax Light, which is a free pattern by Tin Can Knits. I made the Large size, which used up less than 2 skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners Exquisite yarn. I chose the Emerald colourway because…well, look at it!

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This is my first ever knitted garment for myself so I’m pleased (and more than a little surprised) that it actually fits me really well.  I learned so many new skills making this; how to put the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn, the backwards loop cast on, how to pick up stitches, how to sew up the massive underarm holes left after picking up stitches, how to recognise whether the previous round was knit or purled, how to undo a cast off, and finally how to cast off loosely.

Undoing the cast off isn’t part of the pattern, I just discovered that my usual cast off is no match for my hips and had to redo it. You live and learn.

I would definitely recommend this as a first jumper for anyone (although maybe go for regular Flax rather than Light if you want it to go a bit faster) – I am not a confident knitter but I managed this with very few problems, it’s easy, it’s comfy, and it looks really good.

I can see this becoming my favourite jumper, and I’m already itching to cast on another one!

Hannah

xXx

Leftovers

In my rush to get the Lego blanket finished on time I left out the ring of bricks around the edge that I had planned.

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But that decision was made after I’d finished making all the bricks, plus a few extras because apparently I can’t count, so I had 48 Lego bricks all stacked up on the sofa with nowhere to go. What to do with them?

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The stacks were actually slightly smaller than this

There was always frogging, but I couldn’t bear the thought of 1. undoing all my work and 2. adding 48 little scrap balls back into my stash. I had to use them for something. So of course I made a baby Lego blanket!

It was a bit on the small side with just a sc border so I went for an extension of the bobble stitches again, which had the added bonus of using up some of the extra Rose Red I ordered after my yarn mix-up.

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Now it’s just the right size, and I have to decide what to do with it. It’s far too pretty to go to the cat charity (and I don’t know if they’d accept the bobbles), but I can’t think of any friends having a baby any time soon. Any suggestions?

Hannah

xXx

I’m on a roll

I finished the final rounds of Changing Tides last night. That’s two WIPs off my list in one week, and it feels goooood!

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Yes, I’m ignoring all the ends. Since this is a blanket just for myself there’s a high possibility the ends will never get sewn in. I’m okay with that.

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Look at all that texture

In the beginning I wasn’t sure about the mish mash of colours, but they actually seem to work okay, plus I’ve used up a good chunk of the acrylic in my stash so I’m doubly happy.  I’m looking forward to snuggling up under this now we’re in pre-Winter (those outside of Scotland may know it as Autumn), as it’s really toasty and has a nice weight to it. I’ve always wanted a weighted blanket!

Now on to Flax Light and hopefully I can get that finished as well before too long.

Hannah

xXx

At last!

A WIP crossed off my list!!

I found myself with some unexpected free time on Saturday, so I decided to simplify my plan for the Lego blanket and just get it finished.

As you can see it doesn’t have a ring of bricks around the edge as I planned, and the border is just two rounds of single crochet rather than a continuation of the bobble stitches, so it’s not quite what I envisioned.

BUT it is undeniably a Lego blanket, I managed to hand it over on my friend’s actual birthday, and most importantly he loved it! I’m counting it as a success.

Man it feels good to get something finished at last. Let’s see what else I can cross off this week.

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 07.06.19

I have another finish WOO HOOOO!

This poncho has taken me far too long, but it’s done now and looking pretty good if I do say so myself.

It just needs a quick wash to soften it up and then I can hand it over on Monday.

A question for everyone: what would you charge for this? The yarn is all acrylic that I had hanging around in my stash, and I spent about 4-5 hours (ish) making it. My initial thought was £30, but is that too much? Not enough? Let me know what you think!

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 31.05.19

Wow it’s been a while, but I finally have an FO to share!

This little tooth is done and ready to be sent off to my Mum so she can give it to her dentist. Hopefully they’ll like it.

I used this pattern, which is great except for one liiiiiittle thing. At the start of the body it says to work with the right side facing ‘out’. Dunno about you, but I take ‘out’ to mean ‘away from me’ so the first couple of rounds on the body are actually the wrong way round and you can see the back side of the stitches.

By the time I realised the mistake I couldn’t be bothered frogging so I just turned and started working back the other way, and left that slightly awkward line as is. I don’t think it’s massively noticeable!

When it comes to the roots, I had a similar problem to the one I encountered with the teeny tiny llama; the join at the middle of the four points is a bit of a mess.

I mean it’s less of a mess than the llama, but I clearly still need some practice.

So there we go – one little tooth all finished! What do you think?

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 12.04.19

Last weekend I took a wee break from all my massive projects to make something teeny tiny.

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It’s a llama!

The pattern is by Ravencraft Designs, who I follow on Instagram. I followed along with every post as Jess worked out the process, and as soon as I saw that the pattern was released I jumped over to Ravelry and bought a copy. Then I made a start with a little scrap ball that just happened to be in front of me at the time.

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I can’t get over how small she is, and I’m the one who made her!

The number of ends created a bit of a mess when it came to sewing the legs together, but maybe that was only an issue because I made mine so small, using a thin DK yarn instead of worsted. What a shame, I’ll have to make another one in a thicker yarn and see if I get the same result.

What do you think I should call my little llama? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx