Saturday 28 February 2015

Cardigan Work-in-Progress

I feel like I've been knitting this cardigan forever.

It isn't the cardigan's fault.  I've actually only been knitting this cardigan for just over two weeks, it's the wool I've been knitting forever.

You will recall, I started knitting with the Rowan Worsted in the guise of Miette way back in January.  I flirted with knitting Searing.  I abandoned them both and embarked on Que Sera.
I have now completed the body and one sleeve.  Excellent progress.

A lovely lacy pattern, great fun to knit.

I am, however, extremely anxious.  You will notice that the knitting is very textured.

It looks very small when knitted but should flattered out when blocked. I've swatched it over and over again to be certain of how it behaves after soaking but it's difficult to judge the right length, especially for the sleeves.  I have a dread that it's either going to be too big or too small - at this stage I'm still not certain which way it will.go.  Time will tell.

All I can do is get it done and hope for the best.

As an incentive to finish the cardigan, I treated myself to some lovely new yarn from Abakhans in Chester.

I'm in a sock and shawl knitting frame of mind, so can't wait to get started.

I also treated myself to some more dress fabric.  I seem to be accumulating quite a bit now.

When the weather gets a bit warmer, I'm going to make me some lovely summer dresses.

So in the, meantime, it's on with the cardigan and fingers crossed.  Hopefully I'll have something wonderful to show you soon.

Thursday 26 February 2015

A Bobble on Top

I seem to be coming to the end of all the projects I cast on recently.

Apart from the dreaded cardigan, the only other project I have is for a hat.

When we were in Sheffield with Grace, she had made a lovely snug hat, so I decided to copy her.

The pattern is called Bankhead by Susie Gourlay, it's a freebie.

I've knitted it in Aran weight yarn , although the pattern calls for worsted weight.  I used some Aran I had recycled from a frogged project.  It's knitted in the round and it's a very easy pattern.

It's very cosy, just right for the cold wind that's blowing at the moment.

And I added a bobble on top.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Back to the Eighties

Hello to all the new followers who have found this blog.  I hope that you enjoy your visits here.  It's good to have you along.

Yesterday, a cold but sunny day, I made it to Chester for a lovely day full of treats.

I love searching all the charity shops for goodies.  Chester has a good selection of these shops in Frodsham Street and I like to work my way methodically along them.

I didn't manage to find many exciting goodies this time, my haul was rather light but amongst my "treasures" I bought this book.


It's called Rowan's Designer Collection, Summer & Winter Knitting.

It features designs by lots of famous designers.

The book was published in 1987, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of designs that would be laughed at if you wore them now.

Ruched Panel Cardigan by Bodymap

Hunt Sweater by Martin Kidman
You could fit the whole family in this one

Target Jacket by Muir and Osborne

Windows Coat by Kaffe Fassett

However there are a few designs that would be wearable.

Guernsey by Artwork

Arabesque by Angela King
Lovely lace pattern

Venetian Tile Cardigan by Sarah Duckworth

Floral Sweater by Lena Stengard

Bellmanear Sweater by Jean Moss
Just lovely Fair Isle

Lumberjack by Christopher Fischer
Interesting use of colour patterns

Some may need a bit of a pattern rewrite to lose some of the six inches of positive ease!   I particularly like the Fair Isle design of this over-sized sweater.

Fair Isle by Edina Ronay
Love the colours yellow, pink and grey

I think there are quite a lot of patterns with potential for an up-date. Something to think about.

Have a good day.

Saturday 21 February 2015

One of Those Days

The loss of my camera has put me out of sorts the last few days.  I don't know why it should but I don't seem to be able to get myself organised.

Thankfully, my darling husband has now picked up a lovely new camera for me.  Same make as the last one but a more up-to-date model.  I should be back on form again soon.

On Thursday, I had planned on a day out to Chester, as part of my birthday treat days.  I arrived at the train station, bought my ticket, and then found out that the train had been cancelled and subsequent trains were subject to delay!  Then it started pouring down with rain!

I got a refund on my ticket and went home - I thought I'd have a leisurely day at home instead.

Half an hour after returning home the rain stopped and it started to brighten up!  I then spent the next two hours cursing myself for giving into the weather so easily.

But you can't sit around feeling sorry for yourself and I needed to go to the bank, so I thought a walk would do me good.  It's a mile walk to the bank branch - a nice brisk energetic walk to blow away the cobwebs.  As soon as I arrived at the bank it started to pour with rain again!  I had a miserable walk back that didn't feel in the least bit brisk or energetic, just soggy!

Nothing for it but to grab a crochet hook and some zingy colours of yarn and make something to cheer me up.

So this is what I made, a lovely juicy-coloured liner for a basket that I can use for my works-in-progress.

I used Stylecraft Special DK in Pomegranate, Saffron, Cloud Blue, Turquoise and Shrimp.

I love the colour combination - it really cheered me up.

Now I have a jolly new basket for my WIPs and I still have a trip to Chester to look forward to - I'm going this coming week, whatever the weather!

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Death of a Camera

Yesterday my camera ceased to work.  You don't realise how much you use something until it's no longer there.  I feel like I've lost a limb!

I use my camera every day.  It's not a fancy camera, just a very nice compact one.  It's been with me for a long time now (it was actually Grace's camera but I seem to have acquired it some years ago).

I can't function without my camera.  My only alternative is the Kindle I got for Christmas - and the quality on that is a bit iffy, especially as I tend to shake quite a bit.

It'll have to do for now, until I get a replacement.

Farewell dear camera - you were so loved!

Sunday 15 February 2015

Warm and Cosy

Last weekend at Grace's, I knitted a sock.  Grace is a recent convert to sock knitting and I love what she has been making, and especially the lovely sock yarns she has been buying.

I would have made the other sock straight after, but I got distracted with cardigan issues and the cast on party.

However, being a conscientious knitter (!), after the rush of excitement of casting on so many nice new things, I did cast on for the second sock.

And today it's finished.  These will be house socks, for lounging in!

The wool is worsted weight, leftover from the skirt I knitted a few months back.  The lovely thick yarn makes these socks lovely and toasty.

The thick yarn also made them a quick knit which is definitely good in my books.

The pattern is called Traveler Socks and it's by Diana Gates, a freebie download on Ravelry.  The sock is knitted toe-up, which I found quite interesting (I've only ever knitted one sock pattern before and that was quite some time ago).  You can read all about this project on my Ravelry page, here.

I followed the pattern as written, but I found the cast off stitches around the leg were rather tight.  I re-did the cast off using a sewn cast off.  This gave a much more elastic opening, but doesn't look very pretty.  I'll have to research sock knitting techniques.

I've so enjoyed knitting up these socks that I think I'll make some more.  I'd like to use proper sock yarn, there is so much choice available and the hand dyed yarns are so lovely.

I've already started browsing the yarn shops.  But before then, I've got rather a lot of unfinished wips to be getting on with.  Bye for now.

Saturday 14 February 2015

Bob the Bunny

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.  I hope you are having a good day.

Here's a little something I knitted up the other day.

His name is Bob and I think he's really cute.  He's three and a half inches from the top of his ears to his toes.

The pattern is a freebie, called Little Baby Bunny and it's by Justyna Kacprzak.  You can download the pattern,  here.

He didn't take long to make.  I used a small amount of Rowan fine tweed 4 ply for the Bunny, this gives a lovely tweedy fabric.  The jumper isn't part of the pattern but I thought he would nice with something to wear.  I knitted his jumper with a small amount of wool left over from my latest shawl.

I think he would make a lovely little gift for someone, just to say hello.

Friday 13 February 2015

BAMCAL2015 February Squares

I had a lovely day yesterday, starting so many new projects.  Some will be fairly quick ones, others are going to take some time.  I'll show you the projects over the next few posts.

Today, I finally finished my February Squares for the Block-a-month crochet-a-long.

Last month I only joined this Ravelry group part way through the month, so I was not able to participate in the voting for the filler square.  This month I greatly enjoyed being part of the process.

The main square for February is this one.

It's called  Happy Hearts and it's by Chris Simon.  Very appropriate for Valentine's Day.

The filler square was this one.

Quite an interesting pattern to make.  It's called Fall Blossom and it's by Aurora Suominen

Finally the smaller square is called Corner Cluster 6" Square  by Lois Everett

As I did last month, I made four of these to equate in size to the large squares.

My squares are approximately ten inches in size.  I now have the equivalent of six large squares, so I already feel as though I'm well on my way to a finished blanket.

I can't wait for next month's squares.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Treats For Me

I've just got back in from a walk to the local charity shop, to drop off a bag of unwanteds.  Typically, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, I then bought a bagful of other people's unwanteds.

Fortunately, the bag coming home with me was smaller than the one I left with, so overall I managed to reduce the junk in our home.

Amongst my finds from the charity shop, I was lucky to pick up some vintage Ladybird books for only £2 each.

The garden flowers book dates back to 1960.

They really are gorgeous.

A trip to the charity shop, especially if I find some lovelies always puts me in a good mood.  Now that I'm happy knitting with the cardigan, I'm feeling especially jolly.  Another reason for jolliness is my approaching birthday.

Anyone who has been reading my blog over the years, will know that my birthday is the most important date in the entire year.  I start planning treats for myself as soon as Christmas is out of the way.  Now it is less than four weeks to my birthday, so the countdown steps up a gear.  I'll be putting myself on light duties soon, so that I can indulge myself!

In addition, I have nominated Thursday as an official day of rest for me, starting today.  Thursday is my favourite day of the week, I was born on a Thursday and nice things always seem to happen on that day of the week.  As a Thursday's child, I should have far to go, but as a home-loving introvert, it doesn't apply to me.

I've made some scrumptious cakes.

They're called doffins, a cross between a donut and a muffin!  I found the recipe in an old Asda magazine when I was decluttering my recipes.  I was unsure how they would turn out, but they are lovely, quite a pleasant surprise.

Anyway, as a treat this afternoon, and as the knitting is going well, I'm going to have a cast-on party.  I'm going to go wild and cast on all the projects I've been wanting to make in the last few weeks.

It's going to be a fun afternoon - am I a little strange in finding this exciting?

I'll let you know how it goes.  Happy knitting to you.

Wednesday 11 February 2015


I'm sitting in the pub with the football on the television.

Chelsea have just beaten Everton 1 - 0.  Why didn't I bring my knitting?

Que Sera Sera

Having had such a great weekend in Sheffield with Grace, knitting away to our hearts content, I came away with plenty more patterns I want to make.  So being keen to get started but also applying the discipline of finish first, start second, I picked up the needles on my Miette cardigan again.

I spent a productive evening on the sleeves, feeling that I was making excellent progress.

Then, the next day, I tried on what I had knitted so far and I knew, I just knew, I was never going to love the Miette cardigan.

I tried so hard to love it, I've been wanting to knit this for so long.  I've really appreciated all the encouraging comments you have posted.  I'd especially like to thank Caz for her one woman cheerleading.  But sadly,  I have to be honest with myself, there is no point in persevering with the project because it'll never be right.

Here's a final couple of photos of the ill fated cardigan before it is frogged.

It was tempting to put the wool to one side and do something entirely different, but I can't work like that.  I so want to make a cardigan with this wool, and sooner rather than later.

So, the good news is, I've found another pattern and I'm loving knitting it up and it's growing nicely.

Here's the pattern picture.

The pattern is called, rather appropriately, Que Sera, and it's by Kirsten Kapur.

Here's what I've knitted so far.

The textured pattern makes it lovely and squidgy.  This cardigan will be a looser fit than the Miette would have been.  It's also a much longer length.

So, in future I'm making sure I feel totally happy with my projects rather than putting myself under pressure to try something new.  I'm off now to do some happy knitting.  Be back soon.

Monday 9 February 2015

knitting and Nattering

We had a lovely weekend in Sheffield with Grace.  I do so enjoy our knit and natter meet ups.


I knitted up the sweater for Mr Bakery Bear and so he is all finished.

We took a photo of three bears, my two and Grace's, before we made the sweaters together.

And here they all are, fully dressed.

As always Grace didn't need much help mastering the cables pattern.  In return she instructed me on Kitchener stitch.  I came away with a diagram of how it's done so hopefully I'll get it right next time I try.

We had a great day out at Weston Park, visiting the museum.

Me with Snowy the polar bear

Here in Liverpool we haven't had any significant snow (I think it snowed for about quarter of an hour once but didn't stick) so, on our journey to Sheffield, it was quite a sight to see the Penines looking so wintery.

Grace and I got plenty of knitting done over the course of the weekend.  We knitted together whilst watching an old favourite film, Van Helsing!  I've started some socks, more portable than taking the cardigan with me.  I'll have to put them to one side for now whilst I finish the Miette cardigan, I've fallen out of love with it again but I'm hoping our love - hate relationship will reverse again when it's done.

I hope you all had a good weekend.   Bye for now.