Friday, 29 August 2014

FO Friday: Socks and more socks

This week my FOs are all about socks it would seem.
A combination of a family holiday (we visited the Lake District and had a lovely time - thank you) and school holidays has meant a lot of busy days and brain-frying activity. Some days I didn't manage to knit a single stitch - and my DH rapidly realised that a 'mummy-day' was needed in order to preserve my sanity. 
The saintly man occupied the boys singlehandedly in wet woodland for over 6 hrs whilst I climbed my first solo Wainwright peak - Whin Rigg - and then spent a happy few hours by myself in front of a log fire, happily sock knitting.
(For the record, the males of the family erected a tarp for shelter, made hot soup and noodles on the camping stove, ate marshmallows and made a bow and arrow set)
Thankfully, before we went away I found my long-lost project bag and my one-and-a-half socks in the Golden Skein yarn  - from Desert Vista Dyeworks.
I opted for an afterthought heel (using this tutorial) in order to preserve the stripes and I love the way they turned out.
In addition I also packed a skein of The Knitting Goddess yarn in Ducks Ditty - a fabulously cheery colourway which was instantly claimed by my DS1. Indeed, so smitten was he with the yarn that he took to sleeping with it under his pillow at night hoping that the tooth fairy's sister would work her magic and leave him with a lovely pair of toe-up, mid-calf socks.

The sock knitting fairy took slightly longer to produce the socks than he would like, but she got there in the end.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Stash Dash - the final tally

This year was the first time I have partcipated in the venerable instituition known as the Stash Dash. Hosted by the KnitGirllls and promoted by many knitting podcasters - I heard about it via The Knitmore Girls - the aims are simple, straightforward and fun.
The goal is to knit 5 km of yarn from your stash. That's it. Simple.
No quibbles about what counts as stash or how long it has to have been there. "If it's in your house it counts as stash".
Projects which have been started before the challenge begins can count, spinning can count, knitting something which has been previously frogged counts, knitting part of a modular item (eg blanket squares). In short, anything that you have knitted on during the challenge period counts. Weavers, crocheters....anything goes.
Given my day job, designing and Pinterest addicition I knew I would be unlikely to achieve the goal, and indeed I didn't disappoint, but I had real fun trying and I did surprise myself with how much I did manage to knit over 400m during the 6-week challenge. Who knew I had that much knitting time? And more, to the point, just think how much more I could achieve if I stopped Pinning quite so much :)
ProjectYardageTo go
Velvet Rose480m4520m
Kittie blanket680m2637
Honey Cowl337m2300
Autumn Crocus486m1814
Fairy Snowcap112m1702


Friday, 1 August 2014

Autumn Crocus

Following on from the excitement of last weeks SKA Sockdown voting (and thank you all very much for your votes and support) I am pleased to announce this week the launch of my first shawl design.
Autumn Crocus is a fun and relaxing knit with lots of stocking stitch interspersed with panels of lace and garter stitch to add interest and texture.
The shawl came about through a Craft-a-Long hosted by Chrissie of the Stitched-Together podcast. Called 'Where I Live' the idea was to work on a project that in some way reminded you of, or was inspired by the area you live in. Living in Saffron Walden, one thing which immediately sprang to mind was crocuses. Many years ago, as a bustling medieval market town, Saffron Walden was named for it's brisk trade in Saffron and the fields surrounding the village were reportedly a blaze of colour as crocuses were grown all around.
Not much is grown here today - although some still is - but the emblem of a crocus appears on many old buildings and official signs in the area.
When I received my wonderful Golden Skein package last quarter and this yarn from Sparkleduck fell into my lap I knew it was a match made in heaven. A new yarn base - Nimbus (a blend of merino, yak and silk) and the luscious colour (Plumbleberry Compote) spoke to me of rich autumn tones, blackberries and yes, crocuses.
And so, the Autumn Crocus shawl came about and I enjoyed the process so much I am planning a small collection based on 'Where I Live'. Once I started looking around me I realised there is beauty and inspiration in even the most mundane objects and have been having fun translating these into knitting ideas. The Maze as a blanket pattern, pargetting on buildings as a textured sock - the possibilities are endless.