Sunday, 30 December 2012


Well good morning, my lovelies! :) I have a new project to share with you, and it includes lace, melon pink, and perhaps even some sock yarn...

Earlier in the year I bought myself a skein Stylecraft Life 4 ply in Melon, from Deramores. I bought it in the hope to knit myself some socks, but not just any kind of socks, I was planning on making lace socks.

The chosen pattern was Herringbone Lace Socks by Ann Budd, from her (rather awesome) book, "Get Started Knitting Socks". This was my first time knitting a sock with a pattern (I've only ever knitted plain stockinette socks before now), so I was a little apprehensive on whether I'd be able to do it, but it turns out it is dead simple!!

The pattern calls for Sport yarn, and 3.75mm needles, so I changed this around a bit. The yarn I had chosen was Fingering weight, and so I decided to use 3mm needles. This, of course, made things smaller than they were meant to be, so rather than following the instructions for the Adult Small (which I am) I followed the Adult Medium instructions, and everything seemed to fit rather perfectly. I followed the instructions for Adult Medium until I reached the foot, then I just carried on knitting until I had 2 inches less than the length of my foot, then I began decreasing for the toe. This gave me the perfect foot length! (I've never had socks fit so perfectly before!)

My youngest sister, who I now help care for, has done rather well the past week, hardly any seizures and not too much fainting, which meant that I could just sit & knit while I kept an eye on her. So, within a day and half I had a sock, and by the next evening I had a whole pair!

I've kept the writing in this post rather short so that I could bombard you with pictures, so are you ready? Here goes!!

Yarn looks more orange than it really is, think 'melon pink'.

I'm really chuffed with them! I was expecting the top to curl, but it only slightly did, I was also preparing for the fact that they wouldn't stay up (since there is no rib in the cuff), but thanks to the yarns elasticity, the socks stay up.

Want to know what is even better? Ann Budd, author of this pattern, the book it is from, plus countless other publications, commented on them! And look, look what she said...

Click on the picture for it to be enlarged...

I grinned like the Cheshire Cat when I saw that! :D 

So, that is one more Year of Projects project ticked off, hooray! I do have another that is finished, but I don't want to show you until it is blocked, so you can see it in its full glory. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend, I'm off to design a pair of socks...

Sunday, 23 December 2012


Knitting is immediately linked to socks, crazy jumpers and comfy cardigans. I can knit socks, (not very well, but I can do it), I have no intention of knitting crazy jumpers, and I suck and cardigan knitting.

I made my youngest niece, Daisy, the Jacket with Moss Stitch Bands by Debbie Bliss earlier on in the year. I found it a little challenging, as I'm awful at picking up stitches. I managed to fumble my way through it though, and it didn't turn out too bad! But, I swore never to do it again. I decided I was more suited to knitting mittens and hats. 

My very lovely friend Jaz then knitted the Seamless Yoke Baby Sweater by Carole Barenys, which is a top-down raglan baby cardigan. I loved the idea of knitting it all in one, without the need of picking up stitches (you need to pick up a couple of stitches for the underarms, but that's it!), and was determined to give it a go. 

After a lot of 'no, I'm far too dumb to be able to knit it... I'll give it a go in a couple of weeks', I finally casted on. And it turns out, I'm not as thick as I thought! I used the pattern Baby's Raglan Sweater No Seams by Carole Barenys (and yes, I agree that a more creative name could have been used :P), a very simple pattern, perfect if you've never knitted top-down before!

When you knit a top-down raglan, you begin working flat. Once you've finished increasing you separate the sleeves from the body. The pattern didn't explain how to do that, but I found this brilliant tutorial on YouTube by Roxanne Richardson. Once you've moved the sleeves onto waste yarn and cast on the underarm stitches, you just knit flat! 

For some reason that I can't quite recall, I decided to make the cardigan shorter than the pattern requires. A decision I regretted later on. 

Once you've casted off the body, you move onto the sleeves. You knit the sleeves using DPNs, simply diving the stitches between the three needles, then picking up extra stitches for the underarm. 

Once I was finished, I felt the cardigan was a little too plain, and was in need for some decoration! I wanted this to be a very 'different' baby knit, so I decided to do the two things I never see on baby clothes. Pockets, and hashtags.

The pocket was really simple to do, I just picked up a number of stitches, knitted, the sewed the sides down. Then, using duplicate stitch, I put a little heart onto the front of the pocket. 

Hashtags are a big thing these days. You see them all over the internet, and now people even use phrases such as '#awkward' in their daily speech. I have never seen it on clothes, though, so I thought I would give it a go. Using duplicate stitch, I wrote #cute on the bottom of the left front panel. I have to admit, I think it makes the once rather boring cardigan, a modern must have! 

Techincally the cardigan isn't finished, as I have ends to weave in and buttons to sew on, but I have lost my wool needles, so for now this is as finished as it is going to get!

This was going to be given to my youngest niece, Daisy, but I think it is going to be too short :( So, for now its home will be the gift basket! :)

Monday, 3 December 2012

When I Grow Up, I'm Going to Be a Yarn Dyer

There are many things I wish for in my personal life, but when it comes to knitting there is one thing I wish for. Learning to dye yarn.

I was introduced to hand dyed yarn last year by Tami, when she was in the process of opening her (awesome) shop, Candy Skein. Not having to be at the mercy of (ordinary) yarn shops was a revelation to me. I could actually decided what colour(s) I wanted, and whether they would stripe, variegate, ombré, or be in a single block of colour. Plus I could decided the yarn weight and how many skeins I would dye.

A few months later, my Mum found me a yarn dyeing course at a yarn shop close by. The owner was very kind and suggested I do my course in a series of installments over a few days, rather than an all day course (this is due to all my health problems).

Almost a year later, I'm sad to say, I'm still waiting to attend the course. My health has improved recently so much so that I could probably do the course in one day! But with my living situation how it is at the moment it would be impossible for me to go.

My Mistofellees - Merino/Nylon Sock-Superwash in
"Summer Berries", from Black Cat Fibres, which I
reviewed earlier in the year.
This setback hasn't stopped me planning what I'm going to dye, though. My dream is to have my own hand-dyed yarn shop, so I've been sat working on 'yarn series' that I'm quite pleased with. If I ever do have my own yarn shop, it wouldn't be as awesome as Tami's. I wouldn't be able to do a sock club, or custom orders. The reason being that my health can decline very quickly, so I might not be able to fulfill orders. Also, there are some things going on in my life that are not very nice, and could get worse at any time, if that did happen I wouldn't be able to fulfill custom orders or dye the next months sock club.

It'd be a simple, small shop.There wouldn't be one single theme, like Tami's "Candy Skein", mine would be more like Danielle's "A Stash Addict", or Ruth's "Black Cat Fibres", where I cover a whole range of "themes". I have no clue what I'd call my shop. I couldn't call it "An Accidental Knitter", as there is a yarn shop called "The Accidental Knitter". But, this dream is a long way off, so I don't need to worry about shop names quite yet :)

What is your big wish for 2013? :)

in reply to the Day 3 prompt, "What do you really wish for?" If you want to find out more about #reverb12, click this lovely linkie.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


This year, quite a few of the new techniques I've learnt have made an impact. None so big though, as knitting in the round. I found knitting in the round really hard, heck, it took me almost half an hour to learn the Old-Norwegian Cast On. Then there was the problem of arranging the needles. "This one goes here - no wait. Now I've got it. No. Good grief, how do people even manage to make something with these darn things?!"

Cotton Candy Baby Hat 
I couldn't get the hang of it on my own. I tried 5 DPNs, 4 DPNs, circular needles. I even left it in the corner of a room hoping elves would come and do it for me. Nothing worked. But then, my Nan came to stay with us for a while, she showed me how, and it all made sense.

Once I learnt to tame these savage double pointed needles, I made my first pair of socks. I then went onto making berets, hats, and cowls. Heck, I'm even knitting a top-down cardigan now!

As for the project that has had the biggest expenditure of time, that has got to be the Seven Seas Blanket that I'm making for my Mum. Flippin' humongous thing. I was making really good progress on it, and then guess what. My needles broke. I don't know how, since I was being as gentle as I normally am. Anyway... it was taking me 2-3 days to do just one stripe, and before my needles broke I only managed to do 2 1/2 stripes. Only 5 more stripes left to go, so if I work on it solidly (that means no other projects... boohoo) I'll be finished in 12.5 days.

12 and a half days.

9 days of stocking stitch. Then 3 days of moss stitch.

Don't let anyone, ever, bully you into knitting a blanket (almost) as wide as your bed is long. You'll save them money, and you'll stay sane.

So, that was my rather short, crafty twist on Day 2 of the #reverb12 challenge, 'Your Most Significant Spend'. Pop on over tomorrow for another #reverb12 post :)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

How I'm Starting December 2012

This month is all about keeping sane.

There are things going on in my life that is making my day-to-day living very difficult, both physically & emotionally. I'm a complete stress head at the moment, but I'm trying my very hardest to come across "calm".

I don't think its working.

© Sibrikov | Stock Free Images &
Dreamstime Stock Photos
This month, therefore, is all about learning to cope emotionally with my new situation. I'm having my room decorated at the moment, which I think will help a lot. I'll have somewhere peaceful to escape too, and somewhere I can sit and chill out during those lonely hours of the night.

Knitting, I'm afraid to say, isn't helping. I feel awful to say that, since this was the very reason I learnt to knit. I think that it is because it doesn't need all of my attention. It allows my brain to wander, and to dwell on things. At the moment I really need something that focuses my whole attention. Reading, for example, is something I need to get back in to, as it completely transports me to another world. The book, The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw was absolutely amazing. It is a quirky book and is completely different to what I'd normally read, but I completely fell in love with it. I laughed, I cried, and I forgot all my worries. In a way, I felt like the girl with glass feet. I'm fragile, yet I can never let anyone see me like that. I cover myself up, grit my teeth and pretend that everything is OK, when it clearly isn't.

Anyway, that is enough of symbolic chatter.

My older sister and her boyfriend are coming to visit for a couple of weeks this month, and I'm so excited. I can't wait to give her a squeezy hug, watch TV, have our nice long conversations, and just be able to hang out with my much cooler older sister (to any of my three sisters reading, I think you're all just as awesome. I promise. Unless you bake me cookies. Then maybe we'll discuss you going higher up on the list.).

During December I'm also hoping to get out more, so I can just escape for a couple of hours and have some fun!
© Tuulum | Stock Free Images &
 Dreamstime Stock Photos
This month, I believe  will be my most creative. I want to knit things. Sew things. Paint things. I'm even writing a song.

We want to finish decorating the while house this month, as we've lived here for 3 years now and are dying to getting it looking homely. So, this will mean painting walls and furniture, wallpapering wardrobes (sounds bonkers but it looks awesome. I'll be posting a tutorial soon), sewing bunting, and much, much more. I'm going to be a little busy bee.

And don't worry (although, I'm sure you weren't), I'll be sharing all of my crafty escapades with you! I'm hoping to get a few tutorials done for you as well :)

Well, this post certainly isn't what I normally write about, but I'm taking part in #reverb12, and today's prompt is: 'How are you starting?'. I'll be picking and choosing the prompts I take part in, and the rest of the month will be my normal fibre randomness. So, make sure you pop on over every day during this month for a new post!

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