Category Archives: Knitting

Never-ending Knitting and other random updates!

Firstly a big Happy Birthday to two very important ladies in my life, Mum and Step-Mum!

Secondly, yesterday was very exciting as the Photographer fiancé and I both went along to the registry office to officially ‘give notice’ that we plan to get married. We met a lovely lady and probably gossiped far too much about irrelevant things but finally signed our pieces of paper (pink for me and blue for him colour co-ordinated for filing and kind of cute). I also booked one appointment at a wedding dress shop. Woo!

Liberty Print Wedding Scrapbook

‘Homemade’ Liberty Print Wedding Scrapbook

This is pretty good progress as apart from booking the venue I haven’t done much planning unless you count starting a wedding scrapbook which I covered with some pretty Liberty cotton and watching lots of episodes of Don’t Tell The Bride (highly entertaining UK show where the groom plans the wedding).

As a nice segue into my next topic I’d like to say thank you to everyone for your encouraging and insightful comments on my last post about blogging principles. It seems many of you don’t mind or indeed actively enjoy a bit of random personal stuff on a blog. Not sure about how interested you are in knitting but you only have yourselves to blame, and I do promise to put some bookish updates on over the next few days!

You may or may not remember that I started knitting a rather ambitious jumper way back in Autumn 2011, full of confidence after completing my first cardigan.

Debbie Bliss Cable Knit Cardigan

The cardigan of doom…

What with being distracted Christmas knits, spring coming around and it generally being a huge, never-ending project I lost my momentum. I did make some progress:

Cable knit up close

Pretty cable and moss-stitch in 100% merino wool

The back – with A4 knitting pattern book for scale

Left front panel

Work in progress…

So now the nights are closing in and there are episodes of Downton and The Paradise for me to catch up on plus the first series of Homeland (yes I’m letting TV steal my reading time but at least it’s not TOWIE!), I’ve decided to crack on.

Oh, only eleven-and-a-half balls of wool to go!

Anyone want to guess when I’ll be finished?

Christmas Knits

In this previous post I mentioned that my knitting energy had been diverted in December to knitting gifts. Now that they’ve been gifted I can reveal what they are…

Sparkly sequinned wristwarmers in soft and cosy (Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran) 100% merino wool:

A pair of socks in a soft yet sturdy cashmere / merino / acrylic mix (Rowan Cashsoft 4 ply) for toasty feet:

(a little too big even for my feet!)

And a tea cosy, knitted in a lovely shade of teal (Rowan Felted Tweed Chunky) Merino / Alpaca / Viscose mix, which I wanted to keep.

And here they are all together:

Thanks OH for your photographic skills. All patterns are from Jenny Lord’s excellent book Purls of Wisdom – reviewed here.

Everyone needs a bit of granny-chic in their lives surely?!

Did you give / receive any handmade presents this Christmas?

My first cardigan!

Ok, so it is not my first cardigan ever owned, but it is my first cardigan made by my own fair hands! I’m so excited I have to share. Here are some cheesy pics …

The pattern is from Rowan Studio Knit edition 10, and I substituted the yarn suggested with Lenpur Linen in ‘incense’ shade 568 with help from the wonderful ladies at Liberty (because it was in the sale and I do love a bargain!). Mother of pearl button from John Lewis haberdashery.

At first it was quite a challenge to get the hang of the shaping as I’ve never followed such a detailed pattern before and some of the instructions baffled me (especially about ‘alt rows’) until I did some searches on the internet and found out that it wasn’t just me and there were plenty of answers out there! I also kept my trusty copy of Purls of Wisdom handy for looking up tips. The stitches were simple (stocking and rib), and the yarn was silky smooth. Because it’s quite a loosely twisted yarn it tends to split so I had to be careful not to accidentally add stitches or ruin the texture.  I’m glad I chose the yarn in the end though as it gives a lovely sheen and seems to adapt to the climate I’m in well, keeping me warm when it’s cool and cool when it’s warmer. Making up required quite a lot of concentration but I’m learning that patience and measured progress is key in getting a good result – looks like I’m learning a bonus life-skill along with the knitting!

This little cardigan was really a prototype of sorts for a more ambitious project. This beautiful hooded cardigan with cable and moss stitch detail from Debbie Bliss. I’ve already begun, and despite quite a few moments of furrowed-brow and head-scratching it seems to be going quite well (fingers crossed!).

I’m so, so enjoying my little knitting projects. Although I have to admit that I’m a sucker for cheap clothing when I need a fashion-fix, making items myself really makes an item personal and special. I really have to think before I start a pattern, am I going to love this when it’s done? I also find it wonderfully therapeutic sitting in front of the telly clacking away and so rewarding when I’ve completed a project.

Have you been making things recently, or planning to do so for Christmas? Do you prefer a visit to the shops? 🙂

(N.B. Thanks to my kind bf photographer for taking pictures for this post.)