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!

20190930_071128-1.jpg

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

It’s new hobby time again!

Alternative title: I love stabbing things.

A while ago one of my choir friends gifted me some needle felting goodies so I could give it a try. For some reason I built it up in my mind so much that I couldn’t even try in case I got it ‘wrong’, so the whole bag just sat in my crafty drawer unused. But I still really wanted to try needle felting, so when I saw that I Sew 2 was hosting a workshop I signed up straight away.

The workshop was taught by Lynn McGill of Lin Pin (go check out her page) and five of us showed up despite Storm Gareth raging outside. The others had all been before, but they were so friendly and welcoming and I didn’t feel like the odd one out at all.

Most of us decided to make Easter bunnies so Lin gave a quick tutorial on how to make one. The way she explained it is quite like amigurumi; it’s much easier if you break down what you want to make into simple shapes. A sphere for the head, an egg for the body, cylinders for the front legs and so on. She also showed us different ways to roll and fold the wool, and how to neaten up the edges.

Then it was our turn. I briefly considered making a psychedelic rabbit because 1. I loves colour and 2. Look at all the beautiful options!

20190313_183302-1.jpg

But just this once I decided to be sensible and stick with one colour. I chose this hank of grey because of the flecks of light and dark, just like you’d get in a real rabbit’s fur.

20190313_194512-1-1.jpg

At first I was a bit too gentle, scared of breaking the needle or stabbing myself or that dreaded getting it ‘wrong’, but Lin gave me some pointers and a big scoop of encouragement and I went for it.

20190313_195720-1.jpg

Funny thing is, I did break a needle.

20190313_201940-1.jpg

And I did stab myself. Several times.

20190313_201948-1.jpg

But it wasn’t the end of the world, and after 2.5 hours I had created something that I’m so proud of.

I made that!!

At the end of the workshop I was chatting with Lin and I mentioned that it might be nice to add some flowers to the grass base, at which point she started loading me up with various colours to take away with me! If this is what all I Sew 2 workshops are like then I will most definitely be going back for more.

So now I know that needle felting is really very easy and I can actually do it, I’m going to dig out that bag of bits my friend gave me and get some pretties made. Watch this space!

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: Broomstick lace crochet

Ages and ages ago I saw a post on Yolanda’s blog that mentioned broomstick lace crochet and I desperately wanted to try it straight away. But when I got home that day, I checked my broom and found it had a non-removable cap on the end, which made it useless (for crochet anyway). Nor could I find anything else in my flat thick enough to work, so I put it on hold and then kind of forgot about it.

UNTIL I was wandering round Asda during a rainy lunch break and spotted Crochet Now sitting on the shelf, with a free broomstick crochet set. That’s the quickest I’ve ever put anything in my basket. It contained three ‘broomsticks’ and a crochet hook to use with them.

Broomstick lace crochet set

Looking at them now I realise I probably could have used one of the many plastic rulers I have lying about the flat, but I was so fixated on finding something round that the thought never occurred. At least now I have a back up plan if I lose these!

I got stuck in that evening and, as usual with new things, it involved a bit of trial and error. My first error was forgetting that I use US crochet terms and I was reading a UK magazine. It took a wee while to figure out why mine didn’t look like the photos. Plus I found parts of the step-by-step instructions lacking and had to figure out a couple of things for myself.

My first proper practice attempt wasn’t completely terrible

IMG-20180815-WA0000.jpg

So I jumped in and started making the first pattern in the booklet: an easy cowl. The pattern calls for Cygnet yarn in bright pink, which just so happens to be part of the swap yarn I got from Rebecca! I still wanted it combined with the grey yarn she also sent me, so I held the two together and went for the largest broomstick.

It’s turning out exactly as I imagined, and I love it.

Screenshot_2018-08-15-09-00-26-1.png

Has anyone else tried broomstick lace? Tempted to give it a go now? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Tangle of the week: Tipple

A super tutorial on some of the different ways you can use Tipple can be found here.

I tend to use pebble-style Tipple, where none of the lines overlap and I fill in the gaps with smaller and smaller circles. I also quite like the idea of weighted, where my ‘pebbles’ fall like they’re affected by gravity. Although, like most things, I still need more practice.

20180219_092956-1.jpg

Rather than a background, I use this tangle as a filler for smaller areas.

I could use it as a little corner highlight on my cards if it would fit the theme, but I need to do some experimenting first to see if it works out.

So what do you think of Tipple? Which versions do you like? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: knitted cables

 

I have noticed an issue with a lot of cable tutorial videos. They’ll tell you how to read charts or instructions for those 4, 6, 8 etc stitches. They show you how to cable left or right, placing the 2, 3, 4 stitches to the front or back. They can even show you how to do fancy stag head or owl cables, as many stitches as the cables need. And that’s it.

My first attempt looked a right mess because I did the cabling on every single row, when not one of those videos explained knitting straight rows in between.  My ‘cables’ also looked camouflaged, because none of them mentioned that cables stand out better against purl stitches. These seem like vital parts of cabling to me, so I don’t understand why they’re not included in cable tutorials!

Luckily, I found this video here, which explains it fully (if a bit waffle-y) and I saw where I’d been going wrong.  I also used this one to see how I could do it without a cable needle. Which is of course the method I use, as I’m too stingy to pay for a cable needle, and too lazy to dig out a thinner knitting needle when it can work perfectly well without.

At first I tried using some red yarn that was just sitting beside me on the sofa, forgetting that red is a terribly difficult colour to photograph!

So I just had to try again with a better colour

After figuring out the issues, I can’t believe how simple cabling is! I’ve always thought of them as a super advanced skill that I can only dream of one day mastering, and now I’m messing around making up my own (very simple) pattern with them.

So if anyone else is a bit scared of cables my advice is to just give it a go using a good tutorial. There’s nothing to lose, and an awesome new skill to gain!

Hannah

xXx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New hobbies

My name’s Hannah and I’m addicted to new hobbies.

Last week I tried archery, and I’m so in love that I went for an extra session on Monday.

20180329_203821.jpg

During the week my winnings arrived from Julia’s giveaway.

There are several super cute things I want to make (mainly the cat on the cover!), but I decided to start with a pretty patchwork star because it looked relatively simple. So I headed to Hobbycraft to pick up some fat quarters and had my first go at patchwork sewing

Of course I was hooked, and just had to try another one

The second definitely turned out better. There’s still room for improvement though!

While shopping for fabric, I found a tatting shuttle for £1 in the clearance section. This one is going to take a loooooot of practice, but I’m still loving it. I know how beautiful tatted pieces can be and I’m determined to reach that level one day.

The problem is I don’t stop my old hobbies to make room for the new ones; my long bank holiday weekend was a cycle of sewing, crochet, Tunisian, knitting, and tatting on repeat. With one break for archery and another for running. If I were paid for my hobbies they could be a full time job!

I clearly need to win the lottery I never play, so there’s time enough for all these pastimes. Plus the new ones I know I’m going to pick up in the future.

Does anyone have any tips on juggling all these different crafts? Or maybe new ones I could add to my repertoire (there’s no such thing as too many)? Let me know in the comments!

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

20180209_075852-1.jpg

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.

20180208_210405-1.jpg

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.

20180209_075747.jpg

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

WIP Wednesday 06.09.17

Current WIP  count: 9

I’m making super progress on my Seafoam Scarf, sooooo glad I dropped Sacre Coeur for this!

Still dithering about how long to make it. If I carry on until the yarn is all gone then I think it’ll end up massively long, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Or I could make it a more regular length and find some other use for the remaining yarn. I’m really not sure.

There’s also a solid beginning on the first bit of my brother’s Christmas present:

20170906_172533-1
The blue is actually nowhere near this dark

 

 

 

Can you tell what it is yet?

Screenshot_2017-09-05-14-08-13-1

I’m using 53Stitches’ pattern and hoping mine turns out even half as cute. I’m still an amigurumi novice so I’m not expecting it to be perfect, but if it’s recognisably a squirtle then I’ll be happy!

All the small granny squares for my scoodie are blocking, and I’ve made a start on the big square for the hood. This involves adding stitches to only 3 of the 4 sides, which I’ve not done before. Yay for new skills!

What’s everyone else working on? Made a start on any Christmas presents yet? Let me know in the comments! 

Hannah 

xXx