Oh How Time Flies!!

Well, having looked back through my last posts I found myself shocked to see the last post was in January 2013!! Now I’m sitting here looking out on a very wet & dreary Autumnal almost October day, where has the time gone?

So my babies are now almost 2 (end November) & 4 (beg. August). I always think you can mark the passing of time by the age of children. I honestly can’t believe how fast they are growing. My not so little boy, thanks to his 6ft 3inch daddy, definately no longer resembles a baby bot anymore, and I have to admit shedding a tear or two about this. Yet I am also so very proud of him with the things he’s acheived over the last year, although I could really do without the attitude. Thankfully my baby girl is just about still my baby, for the time being…

Knitting has not been at the forefront over the last year, although I have managed to make a pair of socks

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(not the greatest photo) plus another pair on the needles, a babygrow for my girls’ baby doll plus a cute little dress in the making.

For my socks I took lots of mini skeins & leftovers and hand wound two balls of yarn so I could try ‘magic loop two at a time toe up socks’. I love this technique, it’s really good to see a pair of socks growing together. I used to suffer from ‘second sock syndrome’, but this is no longer the case now. I was suprised how much yarn was left, more than enough for a second pair, which I am currently knitting. There will be more pinks & purples this time. I have to admit not loving the colours in the first pair of socks, but it is nice to have a good fitting pair of socks that I made & they will certainly come in handy when the cold weather hits later in the year. I also learnt to do a very stretchy cast off – Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off – as I have wide feet & a high instep, so a normal cast off will not do.

I am hoping to do some more pattern designing in the coming year, I’m sure as the children grow older it will become easier to get stuff done?! I am slowly reclaiming my evenings, although I find that I barely have the energy to slump into the chair with a bowl of cereal & an episode of Hollyoaks…

Production has started…

I’m so pleased as I finally have some hand made knitted items to sell. I wanted to design & knit a bonnet for a friend who is soon to have a new baby and the result is this pattern; vintage inspired with a stretchy lace pattern and integral neck strap. It is designed to fit from newborn to three months old. I am selling the pattern as a PDF on Ravelry (see buy it now below photo) and Etsy. I am also selling bonnets knitted to order in a variety of colours for those people who don’t knit. I will be adding more items to my Etsy shop in the coming weeks, please take a look here.

Click here Baby bonnet knitting pattern to download the PDF pattern

Travelling socks

Recently I’ve started a new knitting project on my Ravelry swap group called ‘Travelling Socks’. The group consists of 17 knitters, we all started by knitting our toes using the toe-up technique. Well I was learning new techniques right from the start as I’ve never done toe-up before. I’ve only recently started to knit cuff down socks with double point needles. Unfortunately after a few attempts and having to deal with both children teething at the same time, I could not complete my toes in time, but very kindly one of the other members offered to knit mine for me. Then in a round robin fashion each set of toes is posted to the next person on the list to knit the next section in the sock and so on until each completed sock returns to it’s original owner. The picture below shows the first section of knitting that I completed on someone elses sock.

The pattern that we are using is called Travelling Socks by Wendy Gaal of the Knitters Brewing Co. & also Measuring for Custom Socks. Lots of measurements need to be taken and a bit of maths also to work out how much each person has to knit. Every knitter has to put a little bag together with their toes, a small notepad with measurements & other details like colour preferences, allergies etc.

Out of the list of 17 I have so far had 4 pairs of toes/socks to add my bit of knitting to. Each pair of toes/socks I receive is slightly longer than the last. I’m really enjoying seeing the different combinations of colours/yarns. I have learnt a new form of joining in a new thread – I never even knew there were different ways; I tried the Russian join http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIeZCTKWewU and really love it, it definately makes for a seam free join.

The picture above is my last set of toes that I knitted on, I really like these. The colours are darker than in true life; they are a lovely mix of alternate greens & purples. I have a lot of toes/socks to knit on before I get my pair back, I can’t wait, it should be round about time when the weather starts to get cold. Some knitters have asked for ‘spoiler’ photos, but I (so far) have asked not to see mine, as I want it to be a surprise…

At last I've finished something…

Well it’s been a while but I have finally finshed some knitting!!! One of the Knit A Longs (KAL) in my Ravelry sock group is a year long attempt to knit with only stash yarn/work on WIPs (Work In Progress). Finally at the beginning of May I started a shawl using my Alaskan Nancy yarn – this was a yarn chosen from one of the swaps a while back. It’s gorgeous yarn & it was destined to be either socks or a shawl/scarf. I first saw this shawl on one of the members page, I thought it looked lovely but didn’t think I would be able to do it. But she encouraged me to cast on and assured me it wasn’t as difficult as it appeared. Apart from the 361 stitch cast on it was actually pretty easy. I started on the 3rd May & finished on the 31st May. It doesn’t resemble the original in size, but to be honest I prefer the scarf size & the person that recommended it to me said that their’s also did not come out as large. I have yet to block it, I have not done this properly before. I knitted a little scarf with a lace panel last year and instead of blocking it I washed it then pegged it on a clothes dryer using plastic pegs! It worked very well.

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Natural inspiration

While walking past pretty crocuses today inspiration suddenly hit! I often carry some knitting just in case I find myself with some baby free time to get in a few lines. My recent Ravalry yarn swap Christmas bingo win was sitting in my bag destined to become a lovely pair of socks for myself. I spent some very therapeutic time last night winding the skein into a lovely ball, said ball’s colour name is ‘snow crocus’. What a perfect coupling.

Ravelry yarn swap box

Last year I joined up to a yarn swap group on Ravelry. It’s great fun, I’ve taken part in four now – three of which are current, plus Christmas bingo where I won a gorgeous skein from Fleece Maiden.

yarn swap Christmas bingo

Yesterday I received my box first 2012 European box and I chose a beautiful skein of Colinette Jitterbug & some flower buttons that match the yarn really well. I’m waiting for two boxes, due any day now – one from the US & one from Germany. Sometimes there is a theme, like adding yarn with the same initial as your Ravelry name, people add things relevant to knitting like buttons, stitch markers, mini purses, and also little sweet treats or tea and coffee samples. It’s a really lovely thing to do and always interesting to see what everybody chooses from the box as it travels around Europe or the world. I’m really looking forward to receiving my next two boxes.

yarn swap group colinette