Yarn haul

For several months I was absolutely certain I was going to Loch Ness Knit Fest this weekend. I had a free weekend, a friend in Inverness who offered their spare room, and a nice pot of money saved up so I could really treat myself to some special yarn goodies.

But then I realised it’s on at the same time as my choir’s annual weekend away, which I’d already booked and paid for. So I couldn’t go.

Cue a major sulk!

To make myself feel slightly less terrible, I decided to use my pot of money anyway and treat myself to some more generic yarn goodies. Any yarn is better than no yarn, right?

So first I went back to Hobbii, who seem to always have a sale on one thing or another, and found that Cotton Kings Twirls were still on sale and they had added lots of new colourways. I bought these beauties:

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Then I had a look at Hobbycraft and decided to get something a bit fancy all for myself. This here is West Yorkshire Spinners Exquisite, which is 80% wool 20% silk, in the most gorgeous forest green colour.

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I’m pretty excited to finally have some WYS yarn! The hope is to knit it into a Flax by Tin Can Knits for myslf.

I also got a couple of DPN sets, and another needle size for my KnitPro interchangeable cables.

So that’s my haul. It made me feel slightly better, but I’m totally still sulking. Next year I’ll stick it in my diary the second the dates are released so I can’t double book myself again. On the bright side, I now have a whole year to start saving again so by the time I get there I can have loads of yarn money to spend! I already can’t wait.

Is anyone going to LNKF? Or any other awesome yarny events? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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FO Tuesday 09.10.18

So I finished my hitchhiker last week, hooray!

And I have some thoughts.

I love the pattern and I’m definitely going to make another one for myself at some point. It’s simple enough to memorise the pattern and work on it while watching something on my laptop, but with just enough interest that I never got bored.

However, I don’t think it was the right pattern for a slow fade yarn cake like the Twirl.

It ended up with this big long tail of the same colour, then it eventually starts to fade and suddenly it’s in long, thin, horizontal stripes.

I don’t hate it, and I’m still going to give it to my friend as I planned all along. But next time I make one, I’ll use either a solid colour or a variegated yarn.

What do you think? Any suggestions for a better use of slow fade cakes? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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Yarn review: Cotton Kings Twirl

Apologies for being so quiet the last couple of weeks. I’ve been moved to a new position at work, which feels kind of like being dropped headfirst into the deep end of a pool, having never even come across the concept of swimming.

I’m beginning to get the hang of it so hopefully normal service can resume soon. And now, on with the post:

In the greatest feat of restraint ever shown, I only bought one item during Hobbii‘s grand opening sale!

(A wee side review of Hobbii itself: I ordered on a Thursday, got notification the next day that my order had been dispatched, and the box arrived on Tuesday. Pretty darn good, coming all the way from Denmark. Plus all their emails and newsletters are super friendly and personable. I think they could become a favourite of mine.)

This is a Twirl from Cotton Kings. They contain about 800 metres of 100% cotton yarn in a gradual gradient cake, coming in at £11.90 per cake. It’s described as “4 thin unspun threads” on Hobbii’s website, and the pencil test puts it at fingering/sport weight.

There are a few…interesting colour options to choose from, but most of them are beautiful. (Since starting this draft they’ve added 12 new colourways, most of which I love). I spent a good 10 minutes swithering between Emerald, Amethyst, and Rhodolite, wishing that payday were closer so I could just buy all of them. In the end Amethyst won.

When the yarn arrived, the inner end had been pulled out about 5cm and laid across the top so there was none of the usual digging around and yarn vomit trying to find it; I just cast on and started knitting away, and so far it’s been a perfectly smooth centre-pull cake.

The site description also includes the tip “Before you start working the Twirl cake, run all 4 threads through a small bead to help the threads stay together throughout the project“, which made me a bit wary. More than one ball of cotton has been ejected from my stash because of disobedient strands!

However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Somehow these unspun strands just stick together, and the only splitting has been my fault for poking the needle in the wrong place during particularly tense moments of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

The colour changes happen one strand at a time, with the new colour being tied to the old, so there are teeny tiny knots at those points. I’ve been giving them a good tug and wiggle around, and so far they’ve all held up really well so I don’t think you’d need to worry about the knots coming undone.

Of course I only bought the one cake so I can’t comment on how consistent a brand this is (yet. There will be more Twirls in my future), but if the rest are like this one then I’m totally sold. It’s lovely smooth, non-splitty cotton in some gorgeous colours, all set up for a centre-pull, with enough in this dinky little cake to make a whole scarf/shawl. Plus from Hobbii it’s excellent value for money. The only thing I would change is a few more colour options.

Stats

  • 100% cotton
  • Fingering weight
  • 800m
  • 200g
  • Suggested hook size 2.5mm

Would definitely use again!

Hannah

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WIP Wednesday 05.09.18

Current WIP count: 6

It’s all Emily at FogKnits‘ fault. She’s knit so many beautiful Hithchikers and shared them so often that I just had to give it a go.

I bought my first ever 100% cotton cake and I knew straight away that I wanted to make a Hitchhiker with it.

There were a few false starts with the wrong size needles and losing track of which row I was on, so it’s been cast on and frogged a few times, but then everything settled into place and it started chugging along quite nicely.

This is the result of a couple of hours so it’s going to take me a while.

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But I’ve got the pattern memorised, and a handy dandy row counter, so it can be a semi-mindless knit while I ‘watch’ Agents of SHIELD.

I’ve had a couple of train journeys with nothing to do, so there’s been some progress on my skirt.

I might have to start measuring it, just to prove to myself that I am actually getting somewhere. At the moment one row takes around 30 minutes so it needs a good long session to make a visible difference. There are some simpler rows coming up, and the lower part of the pattern is more meshy, so I’m hoping it won’t take the 50+ hours I just calculated…

The allure of new yarn means that Roses for Grandma has only had a couple of leaf rounds added this week.

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But there’s no rush.

And that’s all I’ve done this week. I think it might be time to start something smaller as well, just to get a quick FO under my belt. What’s everyone else working on? Got any news to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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WIP Wednesday 15.08.18

Current WIP count: 7

I’ve already mentioned the broomstick lace cowl I started at the weekend, but here’s a slightly better photo of it.

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Wow my camera is struggling to focus on this thing!

There’s been a wee bit of progress with Roses for Grandma, the most of exciting of which (to me) was the discovery of a more suitable yellow in the depths of my stash.

Mum told me that Grandma loved yellow roses so I had to include at least one. Mum also sent me this photo of the last china set Grandma bought.

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Using that as inspiration I’m going to add in a few roses using this colour:

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And possibly a pale blue one. Forget-me-nots are mine and Grandma’s favourite wild flowers, I love that we had that in common, but I’m not sure it’s possible to work those into the blanket so I might just go for a forget-me-not-coloured rose.

The only other progress I’ve made this week is caking yarn to better fit into the new storage I got. It’s so much handier than the six different cardboard boxes I had before.

So that’s what I’m working on. What WIPs has everyone else got going at the moment? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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Yarn swap

Remember I decluttered my blanket yarn to Rebecca? Well she sent me some super AWESOME yarn in return, and I finally had time to collect it from the Post Office, so I thought I’d have a wee unboxing.

First up, a couple of skeins in this really interesting colourway.

It makes me think of Autumn evenings all snuggled up to keep warm, so these cakes will probably end up as a cowl or scarf.

Then there’s this lovely blue grey purple skein.

No plans for that one yet.

Some spangles

And then these two.

As soon as I pulled these from the box I knew they were destined to be together. The grey is just too neutral for my liking, and the pink kind of burns my eyes, but if I put them together they balance each other out perfectly.

It’s really interesting to me; if I had seen most of these colourways in a shop I don’t think I would have gone for them (I tend to be distracted by bright, jewel colours), but looking at them now I actually really like them.

It’ll be fun to work outside of my usual colour palette, which never would have happened if I hadn’t gone for swapsies. It really is good to try new things sometimes!

Hannah

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I don’t have a yarn problem, I have a lack of storage problem.

So I mentioned that I had a sort of my stash last weekend. What I should have said is that I started a sort of my stash.

Three times I thought I was finished, and three times I found another box/bag/drawer full of even more yarn. It’s never ending!

The problem is the last time I thought I was finished, every box was full. So that bag of yarn I just found has nowhere to go.

In the spirit of my decluttering goal this year I’ve decided to get rid of some that I know I’ll never use, and I’m going to be ruthless. I’ve already set aside all the fluffy skeins for Rebecca, because I cannot use that stuff and I know she can. I’ve caked a few skeins of old acrylic that might go to a charity shop, and I’m considering selling on some of my natural fibre skeins too.

But it still won’t all fit in the boxes I have, so clearly the answer is a trip to Ikea this weekend for more storage! There’s no such thing as too much yarn; only insufficient storage space.

I also have about 20 more projects I want to start. Just seeing some of the yarn I forgot I even had makes me want to get on and make something with it, like NOW. We shall see how long I can resist.

So does anyone have any tips for maximising yarn storage? Just in case I’ve missed something that could make this a bit easier. Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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WIP Wednesday 30.05.18

Current WIP count: 6

This weekend I decided to have an overhaul of my stash, and it was a bank holiday so I went to my favourite island for a day, which are my two excuses for not having a great deal of progress to show this week!

I finished the ‘sleeves’ for my blue top and attached them, as well as sewing in all the ends.

I have to say I’m not pleased with the length at the moment so a lot is resting on the lacy border. If I still don’t like it once that’s added then I’ll just give it away.

Not much movement on my Tunisian jumper because I realised I’d added in an extra increase to one sleeve and not the other, so I had to frog a bit and redo it. Now they match and I can start attaching them to the body.

Aside from that all I have to show is a pile of yarn cakes. All wound by hand, I might add. It’s quite therapeutic when I get going.

So that’s my week so far. How is your week going? What you working on now? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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WIP Wednesday 23.05.18

Current WIP count:7

The sunhat is neeeeearly finished, but the last few days I’ve been focusing on the blue top. You might even say obsessing over it.

Last time I had just started the front section, and today the front and back are done and sewn together, and I’ve made one of the sleeve caps!

Front
Back
It’s a sleeve, honest.

It seems the meterage on Ravelry was for the smaller sizes, as I finished the entire cake of yarn and had to go stash diving for more blues so I could complete the back. I’ve still got another sleeve and the pretty edging to do yet so it was way off. But yay for stash-busting, I suppose!

It’s much less portable now it’s sewn together so I shall go back to the sun hat at work and hopefully get that finished for Friday.

See, nearly there!

What’s everyone else working on? Having a good week? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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WIP Wednesday 16.05.18

Current WIP count: 7

I think it’s time to accept that I will never completely clear my WIP list. As soon as I cast off my Whimsy Cowl I started on a crochet top, then after a lunchtime walk in the sunshine I decided I absolutely must make a sun hat. And of course I’ll need another knitting project to give my crocheting muscles a break…

It’s okay though, as long as I can keep my WIPs in single figures it doesn’t feel too overwhelming.

The Tunisian jumper is still rolling along. Just 3 more rounds and it’ll be time to join the sleeves on!

I did manage a wee bit of shaping at the back, but not a great deal so I don’t know how much of a difference it will make to the fit. I can’t be bothered frogging back to add more in so it’ll just have to do!

Here’s the beginning of my top:

The yarn is just a generic cake in shades of blue that I wanted to get used up and out of my stash, and the pattern is one from Ravelry that I can’t find right now. Of course I can’t just leave it alone and I’ve already made some adjustments, mainly making it longer and using hdc instead of dc for some of the bust section. I really don’t require a roomy bust (sadly).

My sunhat is also blue, just because I bought a lot of blue cotton in various shades last year and I need to start making a dent in it. I’m dithering between making it all in one colour, or with a stripe or two of turquoise.

This one is a Country Girl hat, which is turning out lovely and floppy at the moment. I love big, floppy sunhats 🙂

So that’s what I’m working on this week, in between basking in the sunshine while I can. How’s your week going? Working on something fun? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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