Not done as much as I had planned on the crafting front, but, I have made good headway on my Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket from 2016. Out of the seven strips and 4 borders , I have managed to complete, 4 strips, 1 border and a few squares. To save my arms from the weight of the completed blanket when doing the borders I am knitting the side borders on the strip before I sew them together.
So far I have sewn two sets of strips together and am feeling a sense of completion. What I like about Debbies Blankets are the range of techniques , colours and yarn choices. The 2016 one has beading, bobbles, cables, lace, intarsia, swiss darning and stranded knitting. Each square feels like one has actually completed an item, which I guess one has. I am on track to complete this by the end of June.
I started a Dust of Snow last year, a lovely wrap designed by Helen Stewart of Curiously Handmade. In the last post I mentioned my dust of snow wrap and how I managed to use a lot of stash. What I didn’t mention was that when knitting the first half of this, I lost my knitting mojo. The wrap uses two yarns knitted together changing colour every few rows. I started with the pastels and Kidsilk Haze Night in a white with silver, When the white ran out I continued with the pastels and a pale green Kidsilk Haze. I wasn’t sure if losing my knitting mojo was the pattern, or just me, so I put this to one side and started a few other projects.
Around the same time I found some mini Knitting Goddess sock yarn skeins, I’d already wound into balls. These were mini balls of multi coloured lusciousness. I love colour and these inspired me, invigorated me. When the pattern called for a new colour instead of using the original 4 colours I started using the mini skeins. After the pale green KSH ran out I used another ball of Kidsilk Haze night in a deep grey blue with Silver. Now the wrap was flying off the needles. It was enjoyable to knit again and I wanted to keep going. Whilst knitting I would stop and look at the myriad of colours worked so far and feel so happy.
For the last section I am currently using Kidsilk Haze in lime green. I am loving how the different colours of Kidsilk haze creates a different effect giving the wrap an amazing riot of colour. Whilst enjoying this knit and observing the colours, it occurred to me this week that the reason I lost my knitting mojo was my colour choice. I love colour, strong, vibrant, jewel toned colours. I’ve never met a colour I didn’t like, although I am not a fan of pastel colours. As soon as I started knitting with the vibrancy of the sock yarn my mojo returned. This is a lesson learnt, when knitting for myself stick to the bright colours.
This year has been a case of starting new projects. On the needles currently are: Laura Frost Flower Poncho in red yarn with sequins, I bought the yarn for Harry but didn’t realise it had sequins in it so Evalyn lucked out, Incunabula cardigan for me in a beautifully soft olive green, Rowan Alpaca DK, Epic Scarf in another beautifully soft yarn, this time Rowan Alpaca Colour in a grey. I have started another garter squish blanket, and am still working on my Dust of Snow wrap. All of these have been knitted from stash which I am very happy about. Shopping the stash has made me knit in colours I may not have used if I had bought new yarn. For the epic scarf and Incunabula it was a case of what yarn do I have enough of for these patterns.
For my dust of snow wrap I did a big stash bust. I used left over bits from other projects, mini skeins and a 3 different colour ways of Rowan Kidsilk haze, where the mini skeins didn’t last for the pattern repeat I have used the blue for the remainder of each repeat. It has resulted in a beautiful colours of the rainbow wrap, which I am sure will be on of my go to wraps to wear. I cannot recommend Curious Handmade her patterns enough. Each pattern is written line by line so you can tick it off as you go and this helped an elderly lady I know who suffered from dementia, she was able to pick it up when suffering from an episode and when she was not.
I have been listening to a lot of audio books lately, when I walk, can’t sleep and for crafting too. After watching A Discovery of Witches on Sky I wanted to read the books, I decided to go for the unabridged version of the audio books. it became something of an obsession, every waking moment where possible. The books are slightly different to the show, which is as to be expected, and I found them more compelling then the show. Having always been a bookworm, if I get into a book whether audio or print that’s it I am in the zone. It drives my husband mad as I will be so into the book that I literally do not hear him talking to me. He doesn’t understand how I can’t hear him, I have explained that I am so immersed in the book that I am in another world. Book fan Karina Westerman is also a fabulous knitwear designer. Late 2017 her book This Thing of Paper was released. I have decided that 2019 will be the year I knit through the book. so far I have knitted Letterpress Cowl , Majuscule hat picture below and the Minuscule fingerless mitts all from stash. I have cast on Incunabula in alpaca dk from stash in a green, this will probably be a year long knit alongside other things.
Whilst I have been bad and not update this blog for a while, I have been productive in my creativity. It’s been a hectic start to the second half of the year and I truly believe that if I hadn’t had my crafts I would not be a good place mentally.
According to my Ravelry Projects Page for 2018 I have made a total of 34 items with another 3 still WIPs using a massive 15,768 yards of yarn. The year hasn’t gone yet and I am sure that I will surpass the 16,000 yard mark. I have also donated and sold another 25,000 yards of yarn, which has made me very happy.
That’s the knitting and yarn accounted for and on the fabric and sewing front I have made plenty of clothes for Evalyn, and a lap quilt for both Harry and Evalyn. I have so much planned for Christmas but as usual has left it until the last minute so not many sewn or knitted handmade gifts apart from those made earlier in the year.
I have been continuing to shop from stash and trying unsuccessfully not to buy or download any more patterns. As I write this I have an Emoji vest top in red and blue, the addition by subtraction shawl and the Mayhem shawl part of the Shawl Society III on the needles. I also had Vellum from This Thing of Paper on the needles. I had carefully chosen my colours, looked at my wardrobe seen what colour I needed, kitted up and cast on. I had chosen from my Felted Tweed stash. I cast on and would normally be full throttle on the rib but it just didn’t seem to get going. It was on my third row when I realised, it was the yarn. I didn’t like knitting with it. As I have 6 boxes of Rowan felted tweed destined for a variety of colour work projects, I wasn’t very happy. I have knitted with it before with other yarns in smaller projects so I didn’t notice it too much. Knitting with it this time I found the yarn rough and it made my hands dry. The felted tweed chunky and Aran I have knitted many an item with and love them both so whilst feeling slightly perplexed I have come to the tough decision that I am going to sell all my Felted Tweed DK. I am using two balls on another project but as it’s not every row I am persevering
I loved doing the yarnlovechallenge , it encouraged me to think about my yarn and knitting and inspired me. It was almost like an online knitting group with the show and tell. It was nice to see everyone elses projects and prompts. This inspired me to think about my sewing and in the spirit of and inspired by it, I am going to do my own #sewinglovechallenge2018 in April. I searched social media to see if there was something similar for sewists but I could not find any that fitted the profile exactly or closely enough. I have done the prep work, brainstormed ideas for daily subjects with friends and written them all on small pieces of paper , these are being put into a Jar and pulled out at random to choose the subjects. There will still be an intro for the first day but the rest are up for choosing, my Instagram
This month I have been one of many taking part in the #YarnLoveChallenge on Instagram. Check my posts on my instagram feed Some of my posts here
Everyday there is a different prompt for to interpret and upload a picture. I have found this really inspiring and it has prompted me to do something similar in April to get me sewing. More of this next post.
It is with a heavy heart I am writing this post. This weekend a dear colleague and friend was killed by a hit and run driver. He cycled for two hours every day to and from work and was always positive for other people. Often, we asked him to go for coffee or a drink with us after work but sadly it never happened. Nick was a character and when he wasn’t in he was missed. He was a true English eccentric, always had a small cuddly toy and a hat on his desk, He loved his music and told lots of jokes, a lot of DAD jokes. He was a true sportsman, loved his golf and could have given Steve Davis a run for his money on the pool table. Nick had his own style and a very distinctive walk and manner. When conversations would take a more serious tone he would say “well it is what it is, hey”. He was always the first to ask anyone how they were and had an interesting full life. Nick had off days too but we would have long chats and both feel better for them. Nick was a mine of information and was regularly telling us random bits of information, usually followed by a joke or two. He excelled at his job and no one had a bad word to say about him. On the night he was killed he left work on a real high as he wiped the floor with everyone at pool and that is how I will remember him with a mug of tea, holding a pool cue grinning. God bless you Nick, Be at peace.
Another year closes and everyone starts their new year resolutions. Mine are more or less the same as last, to reduce my fabric and yarn stash. To make more memories with the grandchildren and enjoy life. I would also like to be tidier- but don’t tell any one.
Last year I managed to donate/sell/gift over half of my yarn stash. I also donated/gifted 50 metres of fabric so that is going well. In 2017 I managed to knit 22 items which equated to 7543 metres of yarn, Thats 7 hats, 6 shawls/scarves, 3 items of clothing and a few cowls.
The other designer I knitted more than one item from this year was Jo Storie. I finally finished my Cove Cardigan which if I was to make again I would make a little shorter. I also knitted a Cove Snood and another Suffolk Hat making this the third one. I need to knit another Cove Snood in the same yarn as my cardigan and I may knit the hat this year too.
As usual the year has been one of ups and downs, I prefer to focus on the ups as all in all it’s been a great 2017. I was lucky enough to spend lots of time and days out with Harry and Evalyn and 2018 I plan to do the same again.
Happy New year everyone, remember, Every Cloud has a Silver Lining