Sunday, 19 November 2017

Nottingham Yarn Expo.........

Hello there, this time last week I was travelling to Nottingham for the very first Nottingham Yarn Expo to meet my friend Dani who I don't get to see often enough so this was a real treat to spend the day with her.

I was lucky enough to win some tickets from Amy of Stranded Dyeworks who was giving away tickets on Instagram. So when we arrived and walked through the entrance gate we were immediately hit by the large, open, extremely light, airy venue which was being held at the Nottingham Conference Centre.

There were 100 plus exhibitors, some new to me indie dyers, some of my favourites including Moel View YarnsNorah George and Walcott Yarns.

In the above photo, you can see the Meerdaal Scarf that I sample knit for Moel View Yarns using their stunning Ethical DK.

There were so many wonderful booths filled with gorgeous yarn so we decided to do a full lap of the show to get a feel and what we might purchase. The idea was that we look first then buy but as expected that didn't happen, there was far too much temptation.

Here's my haul, I didn't go with a shopping list as such but I did want more DK as I don't have much in my stash.

Also, after trying Dani's Addi Crasy Trio's, the new small circumference knitting needles, I had to get some of those too. It's a great alternative from DPN's, you have your stitches on two needles and knit with the third so in theory, it should be much quicker than magic loop or DPN's.

One of my first purchases was this pretty pink yarn from a new to me dyer, Dusty Dimples. The colour is Call Me Baby on her DK Sparkle base, I couldn't capture the sparkle in the photo but it is gorgeous. I'm sure this will become a hat!

Though I said to myself that I wasn't going to buy any single skein sock yarn, I could resist this sock set from another new to me dyer, Beehive Yarns. She was such a lovely lady, so was her mom who was helping out and her booth was full of beautiful yarn and colour.

This is on her Audrey base in Hoggle and the mini is Fox Tales. Hoggle is a reference to the character from the film Labyrinth. I haven't seen this film for years so this set has made me want to watch it again.

I also bought some minis to add to my collection, I got some more tonal shades from River Knit Yarn who have the most amazing wall of rainbow colours, perfect for heel and toes.

The other set of minis were from Ovis Et Cetera, naturally dyed yarn from Holland, though it was milled in England. She had the most amazing yarn and could have bought so much more but I was restrained.

Last but not least, I went back to Moel View Yarn, I had a voucher to spend so bought some stunning DK on the BFL/Silk base, naturally dyed with Logwood. I also bought a double stranded sock blank and a yarn bundle to knit the Leighton House Handwarmers by Ella Austin, a pretty colourwork pattern.

The day went so quick but it was lovely to catch up with Dani, we both said we'd definitely go back next year if they do it again.

Have a great week and I'll be back on Thursday with the third pattern from Knitvent 2017.

Happy Knitting

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Tulle Shawl........Knitvent 2017.

 Hello my friends, I hope you've all had a good week. I've updated the look of my blog since last week, it has stayed the same for many years so thought it could do with a change. I really like it and think it suits my style more now that I'm more of a knitting blog, I hope you agree.

I'm back to tell you that the second window from Knitvent 2017 is now open, it is a stunning one skein shawl with the most perfect name, the Tulle Shawl.

I used The Wool Barn in Ballet Slipper, I knew straight away that  I'd be using this for the Tulle Shawl, with the colourway name and The Nutcracker theme, it had to be done. There is also the option of adding beads, just for that extra sparkle over the holiday season.

This shawl was such a pleasure to knit with a simple garter stitch body and then a delicate lace border. A little tip, when knitting on the garter stitch section, use a progress keeper just so you know which is the right side of your work. I used this gorgeous, beaded Christmas tree from Eva Faith Etsy shop. She has so many beautiful handmade stitch markers and progress keepers, each one perfectly handcrafted and the quality is superb.

I did add the beads to my shawl, I used clear so it's very understated but still has that bit of sparkle. I used size 6 beads with a 1mm crochet hook. Helen gives a very clear explanation on how to add beads so don't be intimidated with beadwork.

How pretty is the border? The lace isn't too complicated and is very intuitive, after the first row you will know if you've made a mistake before getting too far as it all lines up. I think this would be a perfect first project for those who want to give lace and bead knitting a go.

I think this will make the prettiest accessory over the Christmas festivities, it would also make a great gift for someone special.

Last week, Helen Stewart released this amazing Nutcracker kit with a bag from Louleigh, a skein of yarn from the The Wool Kitchen and a progress keeper from Eva Faith.

The kit sold out within minutes but there are pre-orders over at The Wool Kitchen for this delightful yarn, also Eva Faith has some of the toy soldier progress keepers and coordinating stitch markers in her shop update on Friday 17th. Both are them are perfect for this shawl project.

Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Land of Sweets..........Knitvent 2017

Today's the day that the much anticipated Knitvent 2017-The Nutcracker has been released and it was well worth the wait. If you've not heard of Knitvent before, it is a mix of advent calendar and mystery knit-along. It contains six accessories and each week you will receive a new pattern in your Ravelry library. They are perfect designs for quick, hand knitted gifts or as a little treat to yourself.

The first pattern in this wonderful collection is the Land of Sweets Cowl, a stunning design that utilises all those mini's that we have or the yarn advent calendars that we'll be eagerly opening through December.

This fun design is perfect for those cold, winter days worn with a cosy jumper indoors or tucked inside your winter coat when you go for a crisp, winter walk.

With twenty-four sections of lace, rib and stockinette, you won't lose interest in this pretty design, you will always want to get to the next colour. Such a brilliant design for using up all that leftover yarn that we don't know what to do with.

 If you haven't got that many mini skeins or leftovers, not a problem. This pattern is very versatile, find two skeins of yarn and colour block or stripe them, maybe one skein and five minis, knit a fade that is so popular at the minute or even just one colour. You could use fewer colours and make it shorter, whatever you decide, it will look fabulous.

I picked out twenty-four mini skeins weighing approximately 8g each and put them in a project bag, randomly pulling out the next colour. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this knit, when I had some knitting time through the day, this is what I wanted to knit on. I was always really excited to get to the next section and loved each stitch I knit on my cowl.

Some of the sections did use nearly all of the 8g but I mostly used between 5-7g. Each section took me about 30-45 minutes so even during this busy season, you can take some time out for yourself with a cuppa and knit a section or two.

I just think this design is amazing, most of us love these scrappy yarn projects, the most popular being a blanket. I love that this a fairly quick knit and we get this beautiful cowl to wear.

So how will you knit yours? Are you casting on straight away or waiting until December and use your advent calendar? I will definitely be casting on another one using my "yarny" advent calendar, I'd love to hear what you decide to do.

Thank you for stopping by and happy knitting.


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Fibre Co Foundations - Road to China Light....Cable Wristwarmers and Giveaway Winner.

The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping quickly, there is a definite nip in the air.

It's time to pull out my needles and some soft, cosy yarn and knit myself a pair of mitts and a hat. The Fibre Co have recently released a collection of patterns using the luxurious Road to China Light, this sport weight yarn is a mix of baby alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere and has the most sumptuous colour palette.

The ebook is called The Fibre Co Foundations - Road to China Light, with a collection of four accessories, two hats, a pair of wristwarmers and a cowl. The patterns are ideal for knitters of all abilities but perfect for beginner knitters who want to expand their skills.

The first project on my needles from the collection is the Cable Wristwarmers in a beautiful, rich garnet colour called Rhodolite. There are two different lengths to chose from with a couple of simple cable stitches, they are a joy to knit with the combination of the yarn and design. I can't wait to have them finished and on my hands!

They have recently released the second design collection using Tundra, an extremely warm, squishy, bulky yarn, perfect for the cold winter months. The Foundation-Tundra has the most gorgeous colourwork hat called the Flurry Hat which I'm very excited to cast on once the mitts are off the needles. This design would be perfect for a first colourwork project with only two colours and a simple one stitch colour change.

Talking about cold days and cosy knitwear, I thought I'd also share my hot drink of choice at the moment, a Vanilla Chai Latte. I have them occasionally from the big chain coffee shops but I'm never very satisfied with them. I thought I'd try making my own as I love the flavour of chai tea. 

I don't do anything fancy, I just add a Pukka Vanilla Chai teabag into a mug of almond milk.  I then warm the milk in the microwave for two minutes, take out the teabag and froth the milk with a handheld milk frother. Sprinkle on some nutmeg and voila, a quick, delicious Vanilla Chai Latte.

Thank you to everyone who entered the Knitvent 2017 giveaway, I have picked a winner by numbering the comments in the order they were written and asked Siri to pick a number between 1-16.

The lucky winner is................... LettyB.

Congratulations, I will let Helen know and she'll send it to your Ravelry library.

I'll be back tomorrow to share my first Knitvnt 2017 project.

Happy Knitting
Deb xxx

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Knitvent 2017 Giveaway......The Nutcracker.

It's that time of year again when Helen Stewart of  Curious Handmade releases the very popular Knitvent. The buzz and excitement is already strong on the Ravelry group, all awaiting in anticipation for the first pattern to be released.

"The unmistakable strains of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker conjures up dreamy images and heartfelt emotion for children and adults alike: the sparkle of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the boundless energy of the gallant Nutcracker, Clara’s wistful journey and final triumph. Each of the six mystery patterns this season draw from the spirit of the Nutcracker’s enchanted dreamworld, dancing between the elegant beauty of a prima ballerina and the wide-eyed wonder of a child lost in the Land of Sweets."

How could we resist, I'm especially excited this year with the theme, The Nutcracker, which never loses it's magic however many times you watch this wonderful ballet. Knitters from all over the world will gather together to share their love of knitting with plenty encouragement, sharing their work and a helping hand if needed.

If you're not familiar with Knitvent, it is a collection of six patterns that is a mix between an advent calendar and a mystery knitalong. Each week you will receive a pattern in your Ravelry library, the patterns will be a fairly quick knit, ideal for gifting or a little something for yourself.

There is an Early Bird price of £7.85 until the 9th November when the first pattern is released, it will then go up to the regular price of £9.80, (note: Prices do not include any VAT applicable in your country).
Helen has very kindly given me a copy to giveaway to one lucky person, so if you want to leave a comment and tell me which is you favourite Helen Stewart pattern. If you could also leave me your IG name or Ravelry name so I can contact you if you're the winner.

Good luck and I will draw a winner on Wednesday so you will receive the first pattern on Thursday.

Happy Knitting
Deb x


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It's All About the Socks..... Box o' Sox KAL

This year has been all about the socks, it's my favourite project to knit on at the moment, I have finished three pairs so far this year and have another three pairs on the needles. I cast the first pair of the year on the 1st January, they were the Pomeranssi Socks by Marianne Heikkinen using  The Wool Barn Alpaca Sock. Oh my gosh, this yarn is soft and makes the most cosy, luxurious socks, perfect for keeping your feet extra warm during these long winter months. I absolutely love Marianne's designs, they have such a pretty aesthetic 




The second pair of the year were the Mercury Socks by Kim Drotar, these are very popular socks which I first saw on Instagram, it's one of my favourite places to find new patterns.


These were knit in Fine Fish Yarns Core Sock in The Nicest Faun I Ever Met, isn't this the most perfect colourway? It's a simple, five row lace pattern which is easy to memorize after a few rows. I added contrast heels and toes in some leftover sock yarn that I had in my stash.


I always like to have a plain pair of vanilla socks on the needle, just so I can pick them up without having to think about where I'd got to in the pattern, perfect to relax and knit with a cuppa.


I used Beregere de France Goomy 50 in Imprim Rose, a self patterning yarn in many different colours and patterns, it's one of my favourite commercial sock yarns.

These are my finished socks so far, which will go in my Box o' Sox, this is a KAL run by Kristin, the idea is to knit at least 12 pairs of socks over the coming year and store them in a preetty box so you'll have a whole box of socks to ready to wear. I completed 12 pairs last year, it was so much fun to see everybody else's socks on the thread so decided to take part again.

I think I'll wrap up for today and I'll share my other socks in a seperate post. I'm linking to Nicole's Keep Calm Craft On and Ginny's Yarn Along. This week I have been reading through The Language of Flowers, a book I picked up at the charity shop that gives you meanings of different flowers and wonderful illustrations. I've used the illustration of the roses in the photo of my finished Imprim Rose socks, I love the vintage feel of this book.

Happy knitting until next time.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Quick Baby Knit.......Rocket Pop Baby Mitts.

How are you all? I've been busy knitting lots of things including test knitting the Snowmelt MKAL Shawl by Helen Stewart which has now been released. Today, I wanted to share a super quick baby knit that only uses small amounts of  worsted weight yarn, so great for using up leftover yarn.


These were small 20g cakes of  leftover Drops Nepal from another project, I still have most of it left and could probably knit at least another two pairs. I really like Drops Nepal and use it a lot for worsted weight projects, it's very affordable, knits up beautifully and once soaked and blocked is very soft.


The pattern is Rocket Pop Baby Knits by Andrea Mowry and is a free pattern on Ravelry, they are perfect if you need a quick baby gift, it took me just over an hour to finish one mitt. It's a very simple colourwork pattern and would be a great project for your first colourwork. 


There are two sizes, 0-6 months and 6-12 months, I love how they turned out and little Darcie was very proud of her new mitts, showing everyone. I think I might add an I-cord to make mitts on a string so she's less likely to lose them. I'm linking this project to this week's Keep Calm Craft On.


I'm also linking to Yarn Along, I've finished The Muse by Jessie Burton which I highly recommend, I couldn't put it down, it had an excellent storyline and an ending I wasn't expecting. I'm now reading I'm Travelling Alone by Samuel Bjork, it's a gripping thriller but quite dark so maybe not everyone's cup of tea, I really enjoy Scandinavian authors from when I first read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Have a great week crafting.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Down The Crochet Rabbit Hole.....Granny Stripe Blanket.


I resisted for a while but I eventually fell down the crochet hole and cast on a scrappy blanket! I have so many leftover sock yarns and mini skeins and wanted to use them. I'd never been tempted by the knitted scrap yarn blankets before and was waiting for the right project, I found it when I met up with Dani at the Curious Handmade Christmas Party. We met at the Patenoster pub in London, which was so much fun  meeting up with everyone, it is very near to the First Dates restaurant, we both love this t.v. show so we took a walk to have a look. Anyway, I digress, Dani had just started a scrappy granny stripe blanket and had bought it with her to work on whilst we had a natter. Oh my, it was stunning and that was the moment I knew what I was going to use all my minis on.


I'm calling mine the Cosy Nana Stripe Blanket, as my two gorgeous grandkids are picking the yarn for each stripe and the blanket will be for us to snuggle under. I'm not following the instructions for a traditional granny stripe as I use one colour for each row rather than two rows so each row is a different colour. I made a chain of 300+2, you can make it as big or as small as you want with multiples of 3 chains plus the 2 stitches, this is Attic 24's Granny Stripe tutorial. 


I've got all my minis in a basket and I get Caiden and Darcie to pick 5 or 6 balls and put them in my project bag to used for the next few rows. So far I've loved how all the colours have worked together, though the yarn i buy are all very soft colours which tend to work together.


This is how far I've got with the blanket and I've got to say this is one of my all time favourite projects. It's such a therapeutic project and not easy to put down as I want to get to the next colour. One thing I am doing is magic knotting the yarn together so I don't have lots of ends to sew in which was another reason I love this project, here's a good tutorial by Jane Richmomd for Magic Knot. 


I thought I'd share what I'm reading today for Ginny's Yarn Along, it's The Muse by Jessie Burton. I've been reading a lot of thrillers lately so this is a nice change of pace, it flits from Spain 1930's to London 1960's and is a compelling read. I'm also linking to Nicole's Keep Calm and Craft On.

Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting/crocheting

Nottingham Yarn Expo.........

Hello there, this time last week I was travelling to Nottingham for the very first  Nottingham Yarn Expo  to meet my friend  Dani  who...