Wednesday, 17 January 2018

One and Done knitted Scarf

My second version of the One & Done scarf by Casapinka.

This one was made with Drops Alpaca in a colourway called Golden Rod which Christina from Colourful life kindly gave me. Even though it is a thicker yarn than my last one in fingering weight it didn't seem to block out as big so it is a frippery of neck attire which can be worn all day.

You do not embark on this project unless you are prepared to wet block the finished item. It goes from a scrunched up piece of ribbing to this beautiful crescent by using lots of pins and patience.

It is soft and pretty with a texture like lace. I am not done with this pattern, there will be more!

It goes very well with my wool skirt and a few other things I already have so it is definitely a keeper. 

Thanks for looking. I need my next take along project - socks I think.

Jo xxx

Saturday, 13 January 2018

FREE Legwarmer Crochet Pattern

Just what the weather ordered here in the Northern Hemsiphere: stripey crocheted leg warmers.

Here is the pattern if you would like to make a pair. Make them plain or go wild and stash bust. 

4mm Hook
Aran weight yarn
UK terms

Foundation chain: 43 chains. Join with a slip stitch to make a circle. Be careful not to twist the stitches. 

Row 1: Ch3, 1tr in each chain. (43 sts)

Row 2: Ch3, 1tr behind the post of the treble from the previous row. Known as 1fbtr (front post treble video) It should raise the stitch to the front to form a rib. *1tr, 1fptr* to end. join with a ss

Row 3: Ch3, *1fptr,1tr* to end. Join with a ss

Row 4: Repeat row three. £ rows of rib complete. This is the ankle end of your leg warmer because the foundation chain makes it less stretchy than the final row.

Row 5: Change to main leg yarn or first colour. Ch3, 1tr in each stitch to end. (43 sts)

Repeat rows of trebles changing yarn for stripes or adding rows of double crochet for darker colours. When you have the desired length repeat 3 rib rows for the top of your leg warmer.

Don't forget to allow enough yarn runs for two!

Wear with long boots with them coming out of the top as boot cuffs or ruched with ankle boots.

I can't stop wearing them.

You can save the link to these on ravelry.
Happy Crochet!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Knitting decisions, decisions...

Listen up folks, I am on to the gorgeous yarn in my stash but I can't find the right patterns for the right yarn and now I am in a right muddle. 

I have this blue cotton yarn in a hand dye that needs some thought especially as it has no details on it so gauge wise I have no idea. Yardage is a bit shaky too. I am thinking this cuff to cuff knit would be forgiving for the dye variation but have the feeling 100% cotton might go baggy.

I also have some Drops Nepal in camel in a limited amount but I can get more. I know this is lovely because my mum knit me my favourite Aftur jumper in this last January for my birthday. It hand washes well and is so cosy to wear. 

Finally, I have heaps of 4ply Aruacania in a variegated colourway, 14 100g balls in fact but, can't match the right pattern to the yarn requirements.

On the pattern horizon I have singled out these lovelies from my Ravelry favourite list as well as the cuff to cuff sweater from the magazine.

Ankers Sweater  - This uses DK or fingering held double so I could use the Aruacania held double but not sure on gauge if I do that.
So Faded top down sweater - Aruacania would work here too I think but again need to check gauge. This pattern is for 4ply 
Beatnik - For the Drops Nepal but I just don't know if my knitting sessions in the evenings can hold concentration enough to make it but I really love this sweater. I don't have enough yarn for it but it is still on the list because I could get more.

Teal Colourblock Sweater - This is also on my list for the drops camel but I need to get a couple of balls of cream to make it and I want something to knit right now.

Two nights later.....

Finally, after a few nights of swatching I have found out that if I hold the 4ply Aruacania double I get a spot on gauge for the Ankers Sweater. After making tension squares I tie knots in the cast off tail to show the whole mm and knots in the cast on tail for increments of 0.25 then, that way, if it is a while between when I made the swatch to casting on I can remember what needles to use. 

 Welcome to my latest knitting WIP.

Added to my pick up and go knit.

Along with my latest crochet make.

Really enjoying yarn work at the moment. Will you be rhythmically tangling wool this week?

Jo xxx

Sunday, 7 January 2018


This weekend was a good balance of family time and fun. On Sunday we went for a woodland lunch with some new friends from Bodgers, a wood working group Andy attends once a month. I hunkered down in the -1 degree weather with some knitting by the fire.

But I didn't last long it was so cold on my fingers. We took lunch to share - I took a mahoosive pot of sausage and broccoli pasta which was well appreciated by everyone. I learnt a great tip: if you smear the outside of your pan with washing up liquid before putting it on the fire, it doesn't go black and if it does, it washes off like magic.

I guess these ones have been used too many times now!

The children ran off and played on a rope swing and ran around the trees to keep warm while the adults looked for wood for their next woodworking projects.

It was great to talk to so many knitters and makers of all kinds.

I was particularly impressed with one boys confidence in spitting a piece of wood to make a spatula.

Andy made this rustic cheese board as a wedding gift for me back in November. It was used a great deal over Christmas. He also found this amber brooch in an antique shop which I love too.

I knitted more more on Sunday afternoon after a warm bath; I have some new knitting plans to show you. Hope you all had a good weekend. 
Jo xx

Friday, 5 January 2018

Making for my Man

This was made before Christmas as a present. 

While working my way through my donated fabric, I felt this super thick satin lining as I thumbed through the diminishing pile in the cupboard. I decided to use it to line a new waistcoat for Andy.

The brown wool and lining was donated stash so I was pretty free and easy on the waste in order to get the pattern matching correct.I invite you to swoon at the lined up and fully balanced pattern...

My new Brother machine has automatic buttonholes which makes every one the same after you have set the first one. Those sorts of tricks turn sewing from looking handmade to bought in an instant. 

On his last waist coat I chickened out on pockets because the wool/tweed was too thick to make the welts but this was a little finer so I went for it. Beautifully lined pockets ensued - for what, I have no idea - what do men put in those tiny pockets?!

It looks really rather dapper.

Thanks for dropping in. 
Have you ever made anything for a man in your life?

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

2018 Resolutions

Happy New Year!
OK folks, I have had a little think about my crafting resolutions for 2018 and they are:

1. To learn to use all the sewing machine feet in my little pot. What are they all for? Do you have some of these? Are they a help or hindrance? Are they even all for my machine, I am wondering!

2. To knit a pair of socks with a pattern on. I am hoping to knit a pair of these from Christina's pattern on A colourful life. I have got the hang of plain socks now so I want to 'dip my toe' into some other patterns.
A photo from her blog - these are Christina's feet!

3. To make a Dresden star quilt for Andy and I - a whopping big double bed one!

I have made a little start over the holidays in the moments when I didn't feel like talking to anyone. I have been making the templates and collecting some starter fabrics from my cupboard. I need 252 of them... I have 37!

At present, they are all stored in my new HUGE cake tin.

I treated myself to some primary colours which had varying dark/light values for the contrasting star shape. They have lifted my scraps to a new level and I'd say there is no harm in polishing a turd.

Finally, as a side dish, I have made most of my Vintage pattern collection now so I want to try out a few more indie pattern houses. I am not sure I am going to like all of them but I would like to do a few reviews - are they worth the extra money, what is the sizing like, what are the instructions like, that kind of thing. Any recommendations?

Wish me Luck. 
What are you endeavouring to do this year? Do tell.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Winter Rainbow Knitting Ta Dah!

Thank you for reading my year end round up. I am still thinking about 2018 but in the meantime, holiday hours at home have helped me produce this gossamer beauty.

This yarn is called Winter Rainbow. I have been stroking it and admiring it since August. It is a 'single' meaning the dyer only made one which enables it to be sold more cheaply rather than a yarn dyed in multiples that can be bought to make bigger items. I think £16 is an awesome price for such loveliness...and I chose it!

I broke my stash diet embargo at the Shrewsbury Folk festival to buy it from a lovely lady at felt fusion. The hunt was on to find a one skein wonder pattern and I chose to knit One and Done from Casapinka on Ravelry. It will showcase the beautiful fusion of rainbow colours but will probably be more of a Spring item than a cosy winter wrap.

I cast on and looked forward to some restorative knitting. All in all it took me about two weeks of evening knitting. The rows got so long eventually that I could only do about three a night but I tried to 'knit in the moment' and enjoy the process. 

From the bunched up knitting on my needles, I came to the end of the border row. The pattern called for 400m and my skein was 366m so I did a few less rows of the rib section. In the end, there was plenty left over but with the cast off row taking me a full two hours I did not want to play chicken. Andy came into the room after I had blocked it and said 'Wow! it gone from a lumpy caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly' 

The pattern is well worth the purchase. The only muddy area was the picot cast off which I did but my bobbles appeared a little small so maybe I didn't do that quite right but at least it was a good stretchy bind off.

The ends have a beautiful drape with a cobweb quality. Wet blocking is essential to gain this effect.

The drop stitch section is immensely satisfying. You drop a stitch and then run it all the way back to the knit edge. This means the knitting unfurls and creates the fan shape before your very eyes. It was like magic. A fluffy yarn would have been a nuisance but this merino silk mix was just perfect.

I am going to wear it in the summer with my white linen top. 

This is how I like to wear my shawls but the image below shows the yarn off with aplomb.

I LOVE this shawl. It is called One & Done but seriously, I could knit ten of them. 

I will no longer be frightened of buying that special skein of yarn in an independent wool shop now that I know I will always have the perfect pattern to enjoy knitting them with. Thank you for encouraging me to treat myself and use my best merino. 

Jo xxx