Monday, 25 April 2016

Bath Fashion Week Yarn Bombing 2016

It's happened again: Bath Fashion Week also means more yarn bombing by Emma Leith. I forgot it was still there, but I managed to take a few snaps while in town today.

Even the bollards got some yarn love this time around and there was more on a few lamp posts in the area, too. It was a busy day and not ideal for stopping and taking snaps amidst tourists and shoppers, but these photos came out quite well.

This detail is a perfect example of this year's floral theme. And, yes, that is actual blue sky and sunshine! 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Knitting Inspiration: For the Love of Socks

Winter has gone (even though I recently heard reports of snow near the south of England) and we will soon be able to put away the woolly jumpers and knit smaller, lighter things again. No better time to think about the next sock project, then! I have once again scoured the depths of Ravelry for you to find interesting socks just waiting for you to cast them on.

1. Cookie A made her name with wonderful sock patterns and it was thanks to one of her designs that i finally gave top-down socks a try. Her Socktopod Socks are quite minimalist, but the intricately cabled details are eye-catching. If you like cables and always wanted to give socks a try, these may be the ones for you.

2. Rachel Coopey's Brighton Socks are part of her Coop Knits Socks collection, available in print and as a digital download. I was fortunate enough to see her socks and 2 books in person at the Edinburgh Yarn Fest and they all looked lovely. I like her Brighton Socks because of the colour work and simplicity.

3. If you are looking for a free sock knitting pattern, give Sock Around the Clock a try. Natalia Vasilieva has created these pretty socks and her pattern is charted, so you will need to be able to work with them. If you haven't dared to knit with charts yet, this could be a great opportunity to give it a go for free.

4. If you need more colour work than the Brighton Socks offer you, there's always Stephanie van der Linden's pair of Harika Socks! I especially like how a gradient yarn has been used together with a solid yarn, which makes the colour work even more interesting and lively.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Bunny for Baby

There is nothing quite as nerve wracking as last-minute knitting, am I right?

My manager went on maternity leave last week and I decided to knit her one of my Sleepy Bunny toys for the baby the night before her last day. After some struggling with gauge because I wanted to use two colours - one for the back and another for the front in a different yarn -, I finally resorted to using the same yarn in green and yellow instead. Much easier.

The toy was knitted in no time, but I wish my finishing was neater. Sewing the seams really isn't my forte, but the bunny still turned out nicely and was well received. In fact, My manager said it is the first toy for baby. No pressure, then!

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Such a Slow Knitter

I am such a slow knitter lately. No wonder I haven't even finished my first Inglis Mitt yet! I only have the thumb left to do on the first of the pair and haven't knitted a stitch in over a week now. This is an appalling state of affairs, I have to say. And I don't even have any decent photos... I am ashamed.

That said, I enjoyed knitting this one and I do love the yarn. I am hoping it will bloom a little after a soak, as it says on the band. The fabric is a little too loose for my liking at present. 

I did have some trouble with the pattern and had to rip back an inexcusable number of times because I often miss out on instructions like these: they require you to read a chart alongside written instructions. So the first time around I was nearly done with the whole cable stitch pattern - and thus the whole mitt - when I realised I missed the thumb increases because they are in the written portion only. Argh! I really hated having to switch between the two all the time and having the pattern in the Wool Tribe magazine made it worse because I had to turn pages to do so. Our printer/copier is broken so I couldn't just photocopy the pages and I can't seem to open the PDF file of the magazine on my iPad either. Technology, you've let me down.

However, as I said, I really like the yarn. It is undyed and consists of mainly white and grey fibres with a few dark strands in it. Normally, that would bother me, but the darker individual strands give it character. Also, this yarn is unbelievably soft. No surprise there! The yarn contains white Merino, Polwarth and Zwartbels. I hadn't used Zwartbels before and who can resist that name anyway?

What's on your needles right now? And how is your knitting mojo?

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Bath to Edinburgh Hat - Finished!

This is not a joke! I said I would knit a hat on the train journey from Bath to Edinburgh and that is exactly what I did. I finished with a good two hours to spare and the hat came in handy immediately, as you can see. It was a bit chilly o the first two days, but all in all I have never been in Edinburgh at a milder time than this year, so I am certainly not complaining.

I did make a mistake after frogging the decreases, which you can see in the first photo. I failed to use a strand of yarn when picking up my stitches! Oops. Now there is a lonely strand running across one rib. I shall think of it as a design feature.