Thursday 31 December 2015

Finishing off the Year

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas.  It was wonderful having the girls back home, catching up and doing all the things we love doing together.  Eve has gone back to London now, but Grace and her boyfriend are still here for a few more days.

It's been a lazy few weeks and I've enjoyed plenty of knitting and crocheting time.

I knitted these mittens for the girls for Christmas.  They're lovely and snug.

Full details of the pattern (which is a free one) and the yarn used can be found here.

I also made some socks for my husband.

Full details of these, here.

I finished the crochet shawl I was making myself - another hot pink one!  I need to branch out into some new colours.

The yarn is gorgeous and soft and the pattern a nice easy one to work with.  Full details on Ravelry, here.

Grace and I cast on some socks on Christmas Eve.  I wanted to try something different than the usual recipe I use, so I made these toe up, using Judy's Magic Cast On, Fish Lips Kiss Heel and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off for the cuff.

I love the colours in this yarn and I particularly enjoyed the toe up construction of the socks.  I will be using this recipe again when I cast on for January socks.  Full details of my socks can be seen here.

And my final project for 2015 was some more fingerless mittens.  No particular reason for making them apart from I love the colours in the yarn which was leftover from some socks Grace knitted me earlier in the year.

Full details of the project are here.

We have nothing planned for tonight.  A few beers and a cosy evening with hubby looking back over the year.

It has been a very good year.  Nothing sensational happened to me,  but I've been happy and busy and I finish this year on a contented note - the best way to end the year.

I have my jar crammed full of happy memories of the year and I'm looking forward to reading through them all this evening and reliving the happy times.

Whatever celebrations you have planned for tonight, I wish you a very happy New Year.  Here's to another jar full of memories for 2016.

Thursday 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas

I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.

May your days to merry and bright.
Love Janet x

Saturday 19 December 2015

Time to Unwind

Well I don't know about you, but I've reached that stage where I feel that if it isn't done now, I just don't care.  Today Eve arrives home, her first visit since she left in August - my decorating blitz will mean there are quite a few changes for her to see.  Grace comes home tomorrow, so as far as I'm concerned, Christmas has arrived - I've got my girls back.

I finished knitting the socks for my husband on Thursday (no photos yet).  So now I can relax and knit something fun for me.

Prior to starting my new knitting project, I was very disciplined and finished my Swallowtail Shawl.

Isn't it a beauty.

I just love the colours in the yarn.

The shawl is so soft and light, a mix of blue faced Leicester and silk - a treat bought at Yarndale this year.

I'm glad it's finished and I've made a mental note not to knit with lace weight yarn for a while - it just doesn't seem to flow as easily as knitting with other weight yarns.

Anyway, I'm now back with some good old 4 ply Fair Isle knitting.  The pile of leftovers of Rowan Fine Tweed I was contemplating the other day, are now on their way to becoming a cardigan.

Because some of the colours have only very small amounts left, I've decided to knit the sleeves and body concurrently, to make sure I don't run out of any colour.

I'm using the chart from a Debbie Bliss v-necked jumper pattern, but working to my own measurements for a cardigan.

I'm making the colour choices up as I go along - I want it to be a riot of colour.  Maybe not as bright as the Debbie Bliss version, but plenty of colour changes nevertheless.

Let's hope it works.  But I'm enjoying the process - and that's what it's all about.

The Darts World Championship has started, so I've got plenty of time to sit and knit - it's going to be just a perfect Christmas.

I hope you're feeling relaxed and prepared.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Right Now...

Right now, I'm enjoying a nice strong cup of Assam tea...

I'm knitting some blue socks for my husband for Christmas...

I'm listening to this lovely music...

And I'm staring at a pile of wool that is calling me to make it into a Fair Isle cardigan.

But I will not be distracted.

What are you up to?

Friday 4 December 2015


Today I've been very productive.  I've fitted the new carpet in the bathroom, I've built a new chest of drawers for Eve's bedroom (wardrobe still to be done) and I've loaded up the car with the old dismantled furniture and cardboard boxes, ready to take it to the tip tomorrow.

I'm even making good progress on my various knitting projects.  I've finished the jumper I was knitting - a long-line aran weight jumper, with raglan sleeves.  I was using up yarn leftover from a previous cardigan project (there was a lot leftover as I'd misjudged the amount I needed!).  As I was knitting it, I just had that feeling that I wasn't going to like it, but I kept going and now that it's finished - I still don't like it.

This is the problem - I feel compelled to use all my leftover yarn, but then I end up just knitting things for the sake of it, rather than knitting with new yarn and making something I really want.  So I haven't taken any photos of the jumper yet - I will do at some point - and may be I'll get some wear from the jumper - but I think it's best to move on and forget about it.

Fortunately, I have also finished something that I do like.

This is the third time I've knitted up this pattern for fingerless mittens - it's such a perfect fit and ideal for sock yarn.

This particular sock yarn is leftover (yes - more leftovers!) from my Very Berry socks ( my October socks).  I love the colours in this yarn.  This time I actually managed to get the stripes lined up correctly on each mitten.  Full details of this project are on my Ravelry project page, here.

So far, with this lovely sock yarn, I have made socks, the mittens and a little mini sweater.  I still have about 10 grammes leftover.

The little ball of yarn is sitting, staring at me accusingly - "Use me!" it says - Stash busting is so stressful.

On a different note, I had a lovely message from Judy in sunny Australia who has crocheted these sweet mini Christmas wreaths from my pattern.

She has made them for gifts for her friends in her sewing group.  Judy says -

"We are a smocking & needlework group; we supply 27 Sydney hospital's with smocked gowns, knitted rugs, booties & caps for preemie & still born babies.  Sadly this work is on going.  We supplied 1,000 gowns this year with all the other items.  
Our website is Smocking Arts Guild of NSW Inc.  We are also on Facebook."

What fantastic work the group does, and how lovely of Judy to make the gifts for her friends.  It is always wonderful to hear how my patterns are being used.  It makes me feel so humble.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Christmas is Coming - faster than I can deal with it

Christmas is coming - whether I'm ready or not.  I've been playing my Christmas music to get me in the mood and I've got the decorations out from storage - just need to get them out of the boxes and actually up now.

I have made a new decoration for Christmas this year.

A crochet Christmas Tree.  It's quite big - about 12 inches tall and the plan is to use it as a centre piece for the table.

I'll maybe decorate it with beads or some fancy yarn.

I had hoped to be able to write up the pattern but I'm that short of time, I don't think it's going to happen this year.  If I start in the New Year I may be ready for next Christmas!

I'm nearing the end on a few projects, which is so encouraging. I need to get these done to feel like I'm moving forward.

In terms of projects actually finished, I had 3 grammes of sock yarn leftover from previous projects and I can't bear the thought of just throwing it out, so I made a miniature shawl - modelled here for us by one of my plastic polar bears.

So, it's probably cheating to count this as a finished object - but at the moment, getting anything finished seems to be a challenge.

I'm in decorating mode at the moment. Having finished the hall and stairs, I set to work on the bathroom.  It's gone from lime green to pink - and looking good.  I've got to fit the carpet tomorrow - and then it'll be done.  I've got my eye on Eve's bedroom next ! - no wonder I'm not getting any Christmas stuff done.

And finally, on my morning walk, look who I spotted, watching me walk by.

I stopped and chatted before continuing on my way.