Crafty Update

Last year I learned how to crochet with the help of YouTube and in particular Bella Coco’s channel. Being a left-hander I have struggled to learn over the years, so finding video tutorials for left-handed crochet was a revelation and I took to it like the proverbial duck to water. I’ve found that I enjoy the process of crochet more than knitting so can see myself making baby items, toys and blankets etc. However, for grown-up clothing, I still much prefer the look of a knitted piece. It’s very nice to be able to do both and have the choice though.

My first crocheted items were some cute baby shoes from this tutorial on YouTube. I loved making these so much that I made them in lots of different colours. They’ll make a quick baby gift if I’m short of time.

The purple ones in this picture were gifted to a work colleague for his first grandchild.

Here are the others that I’ve made in different colours. I crocheted the green hat with the pink flower to match the shoes with the cute little flower button. The yellow hat was one I had knitted previously. I also made some pretty white ones with a pink bow and a matching hat for a work colleague expecting her first baby but I don’t seem to have taken a photo of them.

I’ve also started making squares for a blanket. The yarn is a light 4-ply with a bit of a halo and it’s going to be a really delicate, lightweight blanket.

The square I’m making is the Victorian lattice and I followed a tutorial from Bella Coco, although the pattern isn’t hers, it is from Destany Wymore.

Next up were scarves, Christmas gifts for my sons Michael and Mason. Some lovely yarn I’d had in stash for yonks. King Cole baby Alpaca. Deliciously soft and snuggly, just perfect for round your neck. For Mason’s scarf I used cream, brown and camel, crocheted lengthways using half-treble stitch into the back loop to create a ribbed effect.

For Michael’s I used black and brown, again lengthways using half-treble stich but just flat creating a kind of woven look.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out considering I made it up as I went along really. More importantly, the boys also liked them. Both immediately trying them on.

I do still have some knitting projects waiting to be finished but couldn’t resist ordering the yarn to start on this lovely crocheted draught excluder. It’s been a learning curve but I’m more than two-thirds into it now and really enjoying making it.

In knitting news, I’ve been sorting out stash and choosing what to knit with it. I really wanted to knit the previously attempted (and frogged) Peplum Jacket in some Stylecraft Ethical Twist, a gorgeous wool/Alpaca blend I’ve had for years but no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t match stitch or row gauge. As both are important for this garment and there is a bloody lot of work involved in knitting it, it’s just not worth risking it being the wrong size like last time, so I’ve scrapped that idea. I’ve sorted a few things into my Ravelry queue but am not allowing myself to start anything new until I’ve finished the draught excluder!

Soon though. Very soon.

A bit more February!

Oh dear!  I’m really not doing well on blogging regularly am I?  What I really want to do is to blog thing just as they’ve happened. You know, so the memories and feelings are fresh in my mind and heart.  With that thought, I’ve remembers a bit of February that I missed from my last post.

Knitting – I completed a cowl for Mason.  A chance to practice my colourwork technique which I’ve been really enjoying.  Just a simple zig-zag pattern but with aran weight yarn, the double thickness fabric makes a lovely cosy cowl for him for walking to work in the cold.

Before the cowl, I had knitted a hat for Joshy, the 6 year old son of a work colleague.  Lucy was telling us how Josh had been to The Deep and loved the penguins, one of which was called Ralphy.  Their surname being Ralph, Josh thought it was super that a penguin had the same name as his.  This little tale gave me the idea of knitting a hat with penguins on.  Josh loved it and apparently wore it all night, including whilst eating his tea!

It was a great project for me because I was able to practice colourwork techniques of knitting with both hands, catching floats and latvian braid.  I felt I had made real progress and enjoyed it enormously.

So, onto March…

More Knitting

I really do have my knitting mojo back at the moment and I’m really enjoying it.  The stranded colourwork was a challenge for me but I finished the first mitten and am reasonably pleased with the result.  Yeah, some of the floats are a bit long and loopy but for a first project, it’s not bad at all.

 

I’ll get around to knitting the second mitt at some point but have found myself distracted by other projects.

I’ve knitted a hat for Patrick in the lovely Paton’s Australia Jet.  I bought lots of this yarn in various colourways from Kemp’s a few years ago and have knitted myself cardigans and jumpers in it.  It’s been one of my favourite yarns to knit with and for the cosy warmth of the finished items.  It is perfect for hats.  This is Helping Hats by canKNITian and I knitted the Cranberry version.  I have knitted this one before in beige Sirdar Hug and it’s been his favourite hat but is well past it’s best now.  Hence the new one.

I found some Jet on Ebay last week and as it’s long since been discontinued, I was rather chuffed about it.  I bought a couple of balls each of black, navy and white and have just cast on a black version of the above.

I’ve cast on some socks for me as part of the Literary Socks KAL in the UK Sock Knitters group on Ravelry.  January’s theme is Beatrix Potter so I’ve chosen a pattern that’s been in my favourites for a while now.  Called ‘Little Roses’ with the link being that Beatrix Potter has a rose named after her and was a keen gardener herself.  I’m using Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4ply in a lovely bright yellow.

It feels good to be enjoying my knitting again after such a long time.  I’m also hoping to get some baby clothes underway soon as another work colleague is having a baby in the summer.  Unusually, the couple don’t want to know what flavour it is until he/she arrives which I think is lovely when it’s your first.  So, I’ll possibly knit a couple of options as I have some lovely girly patterns that I’m dying to knit.

 

New Knitting Challenge

2018 is going to be the year when I finally crack two-handed, stranded colourwork knitting and to that end I’ve started on some lovely mittens, complete with corrugated two-colour rib and a Latvian braid trim…Woooo, get me eh!

After struggling with the technique of knitting with both hands, I got a little carried away when it finally clicked into place and forgot to read the pattern instruction properly.  Therefore, my first mitten will have a thumb that is 5 rows lower than that of the second mitten because I simply ain’t going to frog 5 rows of stranded colourwork.  Now, if these were to be a gift then I’d put this mistake right but as they are pretty much a learning project for me, I’m not going to obsess, just continue and learn from it.

I’m really enjoying the process now I’ve got my fingers to do as they are told!

What did I say about not obsessing and learning and moving on etc.?  I ended up tinking back, I just couldn’t start the thumb knowing it was in the wrong place!  LOL.  Back on track now though and enjoying my knitting for the first time in ages.

Here I am

Back again.  I’ve just been busy with other things and not really had time or motivation to blog recently.  However I do have some news for you.  As you all know, I’m a real ale enthusiast and CAMRA member.  Well for a good few months now I’ve been considering becoming more active in our local branch.  There is currently a core of four or five people who do absolutely everything and I’ve been feeling that I wanted to help out in some capacity. So firstly, I have volunteered to work at our Annual Beer Festival which is being held this week from 19th to 21st, I’ll blog about my experience on both sides of the bar at the weekend hopefully.  Secondly and the main thing, I have joined the Committee as Pubs Officer for Hull.  This actually is quite an undertaking and I’m not entirely sure I thought it through properly before volunteering!!  However, I will give it my best shot.  Basically I have to make contact with licensees of pubs in Hull and report to committee and members of any news or changes, current branch members often report any news to the pubs officer already so that will help.  I also would like to encourage some licensees to become more involved in CAMRA promotional campaigns such as the discount scheme to get more CAMRA members through their doors and other campaigns that run throughout the year.  Previously there just have not been enough people in the committee to do everything needed so I’m hoping to take some of that on.  Now this would take a very confident and self-assured person one would think eh?  Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am neither of those things so this will be a challenge for me.  One I am looking forward to even though I am a little daunted by it.  Wish me luck!  The branch was also missing a proper webmaster due to the previous one having to give up due to work and family committments so Patrick has volunteered in that capacity too.  He has designed a new branch website and I’ll link to that when it goes live.  It’s been many hours of hard work but it’s looking brilliant, we just need people to make decisions now before we can take it further.

In knitting news, my mojo went AWOL for a wee while but I’ve now finished the baby jacket for my work colleague.  I hope she’s having a little ‘un because this has turned out much smaller than I expected. 

I’m also halfway through the second of my Pretty Pink Bubbles socks.  I love these socks, the pattern is so easy and yet pretty.  The yarn which is Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply is a very cosy but I think it will felt easily so it will be hand wash with care for these.  I am also now determined to finish Maude Louise before I allow myself to cast on another thing.