Sunday, 28 May 2017

5 Tips For Your Summer Holiday Knitting

5 Tips For Your Summer Holiday Knitting
Image source

We’ve had a very hot week here in the UK even though the Bank Holiday weekend, of course, is a bit overcast and we’ve even had some thunderstorms. So instead of enjoying our first ever BBQ of the year with our first ever BBQ grill, I have been thinking about holiday knitting. Not holiday as in Christmas (despite my working on a Christmas project right now), but holiday as in summer, sun and beaches.

I don’t know about you, but I love the seaside and I miss it terribly here in the city. So I am especially excited that we will be going to the south coast again next month and I don’t even really care too much about the weather we may have there. The most important thing is that I can dip my feet into the sea again and, if I am lucky, I may also get to have a swim (unlikely, but you never know).

So with the approaching holiday, I have been thinking about whether to take any knitting with me at all. I will only be away for a few days and I am sure we will have enough to do so I won’t have the energy to knit much. Still, I will be on the train for a few hours there and back and having a knitting project with me just in case is probably a very good idea.

Choosing what to take with you isn’t always easy, so here are 5 tips to help us knitters decide what to take with us on a summer holiday by the sea. Let me know in the comments what else you think should be on the list!

1. Choose portable projects

Unless you’re planning a road trip and have enough space around you on the journey, a small knitting project is the most practical way to go. Nobody likes having to keep their elbows close to them when knitting and seat neighbours on trains, planes and coaches won’t be too happy about being jabbed with needle ends every so often either. So keep this in mind and take a project with you that doesn’t take up too much room. Anything that can be worked on circular needles is even better because you are less likely to drop them and having to crawl around on the floor to find them again.

2. Stay away from chunky knits

Unless it is a very small project such as a hat, it makes sense to not bother with chunky yarn in a warm climate because your hands will get very hot and sweaty very quickly. You won’t want to have something so warm heaped on your lap either, I expect. And that reminds me: Make sure to stay hydrated! We do get so engrossed in our craft that we aren’t aware of how time flies. I can’t even tell you how often I made a pot of tea, sat down with my WIP and totally forgot to drink any of it until it was completely cold. So have a drink within reach (and within sight) so you remember to stay hydrated. Any excuse for a nice cocktail by the pool, I suppose!

3. Leave your treasures at home

It may be tempting to bring one of your most precious yarns with you, but if you are in a salty, sandy environment like a beach it’s probably not the best choice. Take something along that you won’t mind getting a bit of sand on even if you have all intentions of being careful with your knitting. Things happen, you drop something, spill sunscreen on things, a gust of wind blows sand about… You’ll be glad you’ve taken a yarn with you that you can be sure can cope with it and can be washed without fuss. Think a WIP you won’t mind flinging aside for a quick dip in the sea.

4. WIP it

A holiday is the perfect excuse to get on with that WIP you just can’t seem to finish. If you’ve been procrastinating, simply haven’t had the time or haven’t been in the mood to work on something you started, this is the time to take it with you and get it done. To keep you from procrastinating even more, try not to take too many other tempting knits with you or you’ll end up choosing those over your long-term WIP. If all you have with you is that one WIP you’ve been neglecting, you just can’t avoid it any longer.

5. Remember your notions


It’s easy to forget that once you’ve finished the actual knitting part of your project, there’s still some more work to do. There’s the often dreaded weaving in of threads that comes to mind immediately. So if you plan to properly finish your WIP on holiday, remember to at least take scissors and a darning needle along. Your project may also require stitch markers, so make sure you have some with you just in case. Keep them all stored somewhere safe like a box or zipped case that won’t open if you happen to drop it or someone knocks it over. Again, don’t take your best notions along if you can in case you lose them for some reason. 

Happy knitting and enjoy your holidays!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Wedding Countdown: Knitted Ring Cushion

Knitted ring cushion using King Cole Bamboo Cotton

It's only 4 months to the wedding and I, for one, think time is passing far too slowly. I want to marry Mark now! Then again, what are a few more months after 10 years, eh? 

Our wedding preparations are nearly all done. We have the suppliers, the venue, insurance, the registrar, and most decorations. The last few things we need luckily aren't time sensitive, so we can relax now. It's surprising how few of the decorations are handmade, but I decided I'd rather not stress about things. Still, there will be a few handmade touches, of course, including my beautiful wedding shawl.

Mark's mum has also been busy knitting for the wedding and made me a bag for the day. I suggested it because brides tend not to have pockets to keep anything in and I am sure I may need a tissue at some point that evening! 

She also surprised us with this ring cushion in the same colours of the bag and my wedding shawl. Isn't it lovely? It is made from King Cole Bamboo Cotton, finished with a sewn lace border, two ribbons and embroidery. It's hard to tell from the photos, but this cushion is quite big. It will take pride of place at the wedding, though we probably won't be able to use it during the ceremony because we already had something else in mind. (Unless that goes wrong, which it might because it is something I want to add some finishing touches to.)

Did you make anything for your own wedding or a friend's? I'd love to hear about it (and maybe get a few more ideas). 


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Knittin' In Britain: An Infographic

Knitting in Britain YouGov Results Infographic

Welcome to my first ever infographic! I love a good infographic because it can present a lot of information in a concise and visually appealing manner. Knittin' in Britain contains information from YouGov about our favourite hobby. I have to say I was surprise by the very precise conclusion that the average knitter likes a slice of coffee and walnut cake. If that is true, I am not your average knitter - but then again I am also not 55 years old.

I hope you enjoy the infographic! Is there anything in it that surprises you?

Saturday, 6 May 2017

King Cole Zig Zag 4-Ply

King Cole Zig Zag 4-ply Bilberry Pie yarn review

This may be the longest pair of socks I have ever knitted - and by that I don't mean that they are knee socks. It's just taking me a very long time to knit them and I am still on the first sock of the pair! 

I was sent yarn by Laughing Hens who gave me this King Cole Zig Zag 4-ply in the Bilberry Pie colourway. As you can see, it knits up in stripes, some of which are patterned. Unlike the name, you do not get any zig zags, though. The colours go well together, I think, and even though this kind of patterned sock yarn isn't my cup of tea, these socks will make a great present for someone else.

The yarn knits up well and feels like your average sock yarn that will wear well and not cause any trouble. If you like sturdy, reliable sock yarn, this is a good choice. Especially knitters who prefer knitting vanilla socks, but want features to add interest to the plain pattern, should have a look at this yarn. Choose your favourite colour combination and give it a go! 

King Cole Zig Zag 4-ply Bilberry Pie yarn review

I am knitting a pair of socks from this yarn as a Christmas present. You can never start to early! However, I thought I'd have finished them by now. I wish I had more time to knit lately, but you know how it is. Luckily, there is lots of time till Christmas so these socks will get done. I'd love to do a bit more Christmas knitting - and then there is still that jumper I have been wanting to knit for ages.

Let me now if you have used King Cole Zig Zag before and what you think of it. Do you like patterned yarns or do you prefer others?

Disclosure: This yarn was sent to me free of charge by Laughing Hens in exchange for a review. My opinions are impartial and honest and I do not receive monetary compensation for my post.