October Review – where did it go?

What on earth happened to October? Seriously, I must have lost a fortnight somewhere. I’d blame the new job, but I’m enjoying it too much to start laying blame on it already. It’s so nice to discover that existential dread isn’t actually a standard part of Sunday afternoon/evenings…

Anyway, I want to say “on to craft talk”, but there really isn’t much to talk about for this month. I did finish Changing Staircases and it’s kept me warm a few times.

And I made some progress with my baby Flax Light, but then stalled with re-doing the same 10 rounds over and over to fix mistakes.

And that’s it. I’ve no idea what I’ve been doing for the last 31 days, but apparently it wasn’t making things!

Things never slow down in the run up to Christmas, so I’m setting more of a process goal for November rather than a results goal: I will do some form of crafting every day for the next 30 days. Even if it’s just one stitch or sticking a peel-off on one card, I will do something.

Today’s crafting was some knitting on the way to and from work so that’s day one – done!

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 24.01.18

Current WIP count: 6

I told you there would be some Tunisian WIPs coming up! I’m starting off simple, just a skinny scarf in this pretty blue-green colourway.

The yarn is 60% cotton and 40% acrylic from Hobbycraft.

I don’t know if it’s the slightly stonewashed quality of the colours, but to me it feels like that favourite pair of jeans you wear until they’re moulded to your body and soft as butter. Whenever I’m not working on it, I just end up stroking it.

Still loving the texture, and the fact that it looks a bit like knitting on one side.

For some regular crochet, I’ve also dragged my chevron blanket from the UFO pile. It will be finished this year!

That’s my WIP list for the week. What’s everyone else working on? Having a good week so far? 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

WIP Wednesday 04.10.17

Current WIP count: 6

Progress so far on my commissioned doily:

I’m still suuuper unsure about the colours, but my hope is it’ll look better the more I add in.

This is the current state of the chevron doggy blanket:

Yeah.

I was absolutely positive I had some more of that blue yarn lying around somewhere, but having gone through my entire stash I can’t find one bit of it.

So my plan was to frog back to the first blue section and remove a couple of rows, then the rows removed from each section could be used for the shorter sections later on.

But (of course there’s a but) I got nearly to the end, the final blue section with one short white section either side, and it all went pear-shaped. I made the mistake of putting the thing down, and when I picked it up again I didn’t check which end I was frogging from. I spent half an hour frantically picking at the white row, wondering why it wasn’t just undoing like the rest of the blanket, why this particular row was so sticky and unwilling to frog.

Then I realised I was undoing the foundation row. Face. palm.

I confess, for a couple of hours I seriously considered just throwing every last bit of this nasty, cheap acrylic into the bin. But there is something inside me that just cannot do that to yarn, no matter how awful it is, as well as a mile-wide stubborn streak. So I frogged it all and off I go again.

It’s a good job I like chevrons…

I got a massive ball of Marble Chunky for my birthday in April, and it’s been staring at me since then, begging to be made into something warm and snuggly. So I had a dig round Ravelry for a pattern and found the waffle knit cowl by Cate Carter-Evans.

It’s a really simple repeating pattern so I can work away while watching something on my laptop, it’s chunky so of course it’s growing really quickly, and OH THE SQUISH!! I keep stopping just to squidge it for a bit. I also love the stripes that are forming with the gradual colour changes in the yarn. I think I might struggle to give this one away.

And I’m re-blocking the scarf part of my scoodie in the hope that it’ll straighten out and I won’t have to undo and re-attach every square. Fingers crossed.

That’s my WIPs for this week. What’s everyone else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Things I’m Working On Thursday

Yeah I totally missed WIP Wednesday, so here’s a Things I’m Working On Thursday to make up for it!

Current WIP count: 8

A bit of back story: my salsa friends bought me 3 skeins of sock yarn from Hand Drawn Yarn for my birthday. They are utterly gorgeous, and precious because they’re from my friends, so I wanted to do something special with them.  I decided to use one for my first knitting project since my Nan taught me when I was little; the beautiful Sacre Coeur shawl  by Nim Teasdale

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Looking at it now, I’m really not sure why I thought I could do it when I’ve only ever knitted straight scarves in garter stitch, and that was almost 20 years ago.  It was painfully slow, quite stressful, and not at all what I envisioned for using this lovely yarn.

Then I saw this post about the Seafoam Scarf on I Am Branching Out, and it was love at first sight.  I think it looks utterly perfect in that yarn, but my Hand Drawn yarn is so gorgeous I figured it could look just as good.

So without further ado, this is what I have so far:

 

If knitting works like crochet then I think I’m using needles that are slightly too large, which is why it’s so airy and delicate-looking. But I quite like that look so I’m carrying on with it.

I love this pattern so much, and it’s far easier than I thought it would be. When this one’s finished I might have another go with either thicker yarn or thinner needles.

 

I’ve also made a start on a granny square scoodie from Kristabella’s Hodgepodge, using up some of the 1kg of Bernat Premium yarn I accidentally ordered. Check the skein size before you order, people. Seriously.

So that’s what I’m working on this week! What’s everyone else up to? Got any yarn-ordering stories (please tell me I’m not the only one)? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 16.08.17

Current WIP count:10

I managed to untangle the massive yarn knot, hooray!

And I only had to take my scissors to it once when I realised that I’d somehow pulled the other end into the knot, so no matter which way I pulled I was always tightening it in one direction or the other.

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I make no comment on whether this will be ready for Friday or not.

I’ve also been working on an idea I had a few weeks ago. You can’t tell yet, but it’s going to be a granny square basket!

It will just be a small thing even though I’m using chunky yarn. I imagine it being used as a little gift bag, for a candle maybe, or some chocolates.

And this is the star garland blocking away!

 

That’s all the progress I have for this week. What’s everyone else been working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday

I realised I have an awful lot of WIPs going on at the moment.  So I thought I’d name and shame, and hopefully that’ll motivate me to get some of them finished!

Camper van amigurumi


My mum asked me to make this, so of course it jumped straight to the top of my WIP list. Isn’t it cute! I really hope mine will actually look like the photo…

 

12-pointed star blanket


After frogging this thing almost back to the beginning twice, I can’t wait to get it done and crossed off the list.

 

Oval star doily

Another commission, which I got by crocheting during my choir rehearsals. Craft in public, people; you never know what might come of it! I’ve waited over a month for the yarn to arrive so this is second on the priority list after the camper van.

 

Amigurumi cactus.

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What is this yarn?? It’s terrible! But my cactus is turning out super cute despite my yarny struggles  🙂

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Puff stitch scarf

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I’m still loving the puff stitch, and this scarf is growing super quick. I’ll probably be able to use it as soon as it’s finished if the Scottish weather keeps living up to its reputation.
 

Lacy scarf

Confession: I had completely forgotten about this scarf. I found it at the bottom of my WIP drawer and had an “oh yeah!” moment. Shame.

 

Kindle cosy x2

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These are both nearly done, I’ve just been putting off the finishing touches for some reason.
 

Chevron doggy blanket

It was supposed to be a baby blanket, but this is very old acrylic yarn that squeaks across my hook if I go too fast. You know the type. Nobody would put this anywhere near a baby’s skin.

 

Mystery hook

I had an idea, which I’m still trying to work out. Hopefully there will be a post soon where I can declare it an amazing success!

 

Amigurumi octopod keyring

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Another idea I had, which is proving somewhat successful. I’ve made two so far, tweaking the pattern each time, and this is my third attempt.

 

Celtic knot coaster 

I also forgot about this. More shame.

 

So there’s my list. My looooong list. I think it’s time to implement a new rule: no new WIPs until this lot is finished!

What’s everyone else working on? Got more than one WIP on the go? Let me know in the comments

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: puff stitch 

And also WIP Wednesday. I love a twofer!

I’m making a Puff Scarf, which uses a TON of puff stitches, as the name suggests.  These are the squishiest stitches I have ever squished! I loves them!

Here’s how to make your own squishy goodness (am I saying squish too much??)

Yarn over, go into the space, and pull up a loop to the height of a stitch (dc in this case)

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yarn over again

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go into the same stitch and pull up another loop

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Do it again

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And again

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Now there are 9 loops on the hook. One final yarn over, and pull through all 9 loops

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Then it’s just a chain to secure it, and you’re done!

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Do it enough times and you’ll end up with a super squishy (I just can’t stop saying it!), beautiful scarf. I’m using a Mixed Berry Caron Cake and so far it looks like this

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I’m probably very late to the puff stitch party, what have other people made with it? What do you think of my scarf? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

April review 

Monthly reviews are a really good idea. I didn’t think I’d achieved much in April, what with moving house, having my birthday, and being quite ill for a few days, but looking back at it there’s actually quite a list of makes!

This weekend I started a chevron blanket that will be a surprise flat-warming gift for a friend. I’ve seen the flat (it’s fabulous!) and the colours I’ve chosen will fit right in.

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I created a phone cosy with the kit I got for my birthday, which also got me a commission from my cousin to make her a kindle cosy…

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Which I have almost finished

This isn’t technically a made thing, but I’m including it because it took me nearly 10 days: turning a lovely skein into a massive bundle of knots and untangling it into a not-very-ball-shaped ball.

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I discovered that my muscle memory is pretty darn good and I can still remember how to knit, about 20 years after my Nan taught me

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I learned the beautiful Love Knot stitch and made most of a lacy scarf using it

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I made my first C2C piece; this loooovely scarf

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I finished my first ever star blanket with my first ever Caron Cake

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I made this blue flower when I should have been unpacking. Procrastination for the win!

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I made up the pic-not stitch on my second ever star blanket.

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I started Mr Fox; another kit I got for my birthday

Crochet fox kit

I made a few Sand Swirl cards

I also made a birthday card for my cousin, but didn’t get a photo of it. I was really quite proud of it as well. Sigh.

So that was my April!

I’ve decided to set some goals for May, instead of just meandering from one half-finished project to the next as the fancy takes me:

  1. Finish pic-notting the baby blanket and get it sent to my sister
  2. Finish the kindle cosy and get it sent to my cousin
  3. Finish the lacy scarf and list it in the shop
  4. Finish the chevron blanket and gift it to my friend
  5. Get all my zentangle cards listed in the shop
  6. Make at least one knitted item
  7. Have at least 10 items listed in the shop

I’m determined that this will be the month of finishing things instead of getting distracted by the latest shiny new project. Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

New stitches: Love knot

Okay, I’m in love.

I have to thank  Claire from Once Upon A Yarn for introducing me to this stitch. She said it was beautiful with certain yarn, and she was right!

There was the usual learning curve, of course. On my first try I struggled to get each extended chain stitch the same length, and ended up with this very lumpy foundation row:

 

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I frogged and tried again. This time I managed to get most of the foundation row the same size, but my next rows got progressively bigger and ended up stretching the foundation row.

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More frogging. My third attempt did work and I got a few rows in…

before realising that this beautiful spangly Soukie is actually not the ‘right’ yarn for love knots. It looked stringy and a bit scrappy, which I was really not expecting from such lovely yarn, and the sequins kept catching so it was difficult to get the stitches the same length. So I frogged the lot and chose another skein from my birthday stash.

Enter Lily Sugar ‘n’ Cream in Batik Ombre. Now this is the right yarn for the job. Suddenly the love knot made sense and I whizzed through, whacking out 10 rows in around half an hour. I mean, it helps that it’s 60% gaps. You’ve got to love a stitch that lets you make something up so quickly.

Plus, just look at it:

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Unrelated to the love knot; I adore this yarn. The solid colours are gorgeous all by themselves, but the transitions from one shade to the next are equally beautiful. I find myself wishing the colours would take just a bit longer to change so I can enjoy the intermediate shades some more.

So this is my first attempt to make something more spring/summery for the shop, as stocking nothing but winter hats and scarves will probably not get me very far for the rest of the year. It’s going to be a light, lacy scarf, which I think will look FABULOUS. But then, I am a little biased.

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What do you think of the Love knot? Do you like my scarf too? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx