Sunday, 30 April 2017

Knitting & Crochet Inspiration: Sweet Treats

Knitting and crochet inspiration

After some very mild weeks we have suddenly had a few colder days again, but this doesn't stop me from looking forward to sunshine and proper spring weather. It does make me hesitate to leave the house without a scarf and hat, though. Time for an edition of knitting and crochet inspiration that is full of sweet treats!

1. Luckily, the cool temperatures don't mean you need to stay away from ice cream. Thanks to Melanie Berg's Ice Cream and Soda Mitts, you can enjoy them all you want without your hands freezing. The great thing is they're easy to knit and ideal for beginners. Give them a go!

2. If you are as much of a fan of ice cream as I am, but need to pace yourself, perhaps crocheting some ice cream cones in lots of flavours will keep away the cravings for a little bit longer. This free pattern is perfect for crocheters wanting to use up leftover yarn in a variety of colours. 

3. Aren't these little cotton candy buddies the sweetest you've ever seen? Just ignore that they are described as Christmas decorations - they are perfect for anything you may have in mind for them. I especially love how fluffy they are, an effect created by brushing the finished crocheted form.

4. Your Ice Cream Shawl will keep away the cool wind sweeping through our parts lately. Lace lovers will enjoy the delicate pattern and as far as I can see, the repeats should be easily memorised after a few rows. Like many of today's patterns, this one is free.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Making of a Unicorn

Unicorns are everywhere these days and as I work with a unicorn-mad colleague, I often hear about the latest unicorn-themed recipes, smoothies and other weird products. In turn, I send her the latest info on unicorn products from Germany and translate recipes she might like. "It's all happening in Germany," she keeps saying because there seems to be no end to unicorn chocolates, drinks and even, as I recently discovered, sweet-scented toilet paper with unicorn print. Why we need any of that, I don't know, but it's fun!

So when I heard that Simply Knitting published its latest issue with a unicorn knitting kit, of course I had to buy it for her. Over Easter I kept my needles busy with a creature that actually came out looking the way it should. (Apart from a problem with different lengths of hair, but that sorted itself out in the end.) It worked so well that I plan to knit another one for myself sometime.

I was really excited to give the toy to my colleague, but I had to wait for three very long days because problems with the trains meant she couldn't get to work till the end of the week. I placed the unicorn on her desk while she was away and fashioned a little diary for it, complete with entries about how it was looking forward to meet her.

And of course she loved it! She'd been feeling down lately, which I didn't even know, so the unicorn came just at the right time. As I said, it's a magical creature. It comes to you just when you need it. Feed it Skittles and it will keep you company for a long time.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter! Have a Unicorn

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter break! 

Do you get crafty over Easter and paint eggs, too? This is a tradition I have kept up so every year I colour some eggs, usually with dyes from Germany. There is quite a variety of dyes and I like to have a little stash ready for the next few years. 

This year I used pastel dyes you dissolve in a mug with water and vinegar. Just drop the boiled egg in carefully, wait till it has the desired colour, and remove it. I wanted to try something different this time and decided to turn my eggs into unicorns. I was inspired by these beauties. Once I located the glue gun I only ever use once in a blue moon, I was ready to give it a go.

I used tin foil to make the horns, a leafy gold ribbon to make ears, scrap yarn in various colours to make the hair, and some colouring pens for the faces (felt tip for the eyes and pencils for the cheeks). 

I have to admit I absolutely love them! This could have gone disastrously wrong! My favourite is the blue one with pink hair. There are six of these unicorns in total and I am very proud of them.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Giveaway: British Wool Show 2017

Are you itching to visit the British Wool Show this year? This is your chance! I'm giving away ten tickets - yes, 10! - to Absoknittinglutely followers.

A few years ago I had a great time at the show. Back then it took place in York, but the show has moved a little further north in Yorkshire. It's still the same show with a variety of vendors selling everything for your woolly needs and the Sheep Show Man is back, too. I highly recommend seeing him and his dancing sheep.

There will be a shuttle bus to pick up visitors from Thirsk railway station and Market Square, so don't worry if you don't have a car. I used the shuttle bus service last time and it was very convenient. It was a lovely day out.

The details

Saturday, 8 July 2017 from 10:00-17:00
Sunday, 9 July from 10:00-16:00

Thirsk Rural Business Centre
Blakely Lane, Thirsk
North Yorkshire

Further information:
(This is also where you can buy tickets if you prefer not to join in this giveaway.)

You can find the British Wool Show on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date.

Win the tickets

Tickets are valid for a day of your choice. In order to win tickets for the British Wool Show 2017, you need to do one of the following:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post and let me know how many tickets you would like and why. Please also let me know how I can contact you if you win (such as social media handle or your own blog). Do not leave your phone number or email address as they will be visible to everyone.


2. Follow me on Twitter and reply to one of my tweets to let me know how many tickets you would like.


3. Reply to my giveaway post on Facebook and let me know how many tickets you would like.


4. Comment on my Instagram post about this giveaway and let me know how many tickets you would like.

Please note

You will get only one entry, no matter how often or where you take part in this giveaway.

The giveaway will run till 30 April 2017. I will notify the winners via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or your blog, depending on how they entered.

Good luck, everyone!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Samite Silk Blend (AKA: Of Course There's Room In My Stash)

Blacker Yarns Samite Silk Blend

And here I thought I was safe from impulsive yarn purchases. (Cue hysterical laughter from knitters around the world.)

Blacker Yarns have tempted me with their brand new Samite Silk Blend which impressed me not only with the fact that it contains silk, one of my favourite materials to knit with, but with its pre-Raphaelite colours. The yarn consists of 30% Blue-faced Leicester, 40% Shetland, cruelty-free 20% Ahimsa silk, and 10% fibre from Blacker’s own Gotland flock.

I had a difficult time choosing colours and had to think hard about what I would use the yarn for. I have lots of single or double skeins for shawls in my stash, so I didn't want to add to them. In the end I decided I could use Samite to knit a short-sleeved top for spring and autumn (and possibly cooler summer days). Wisely, I did not think about when I would actually get around to knitting it. (Ignore the half-finished first jumper of mine, please.) This 3-ply yarn should be ideal for a light top: it has drape, feels cool to the touch, and the silk keeps it from being too woolly. To me it feels like a summer yarn, actually.

Blacker Samite 3-ply yarn

In the end, I chose colours that deviate from my usual choice. I picked Peacock's Neck (blue), Swallow's Soar (light blue) and Tide of Dreams (sage green). Admittedly, the colours looked a bit more vibrant to me on the site, so I was a little disapointed with them. Maybe I should have stuck with my favourite colours after all, but these will knit up nicely into a multicoloured top. 

Even though I know I want to knit a top, I don't actually have a suitable pattern. I scoured Ravelry and couldn't find anything I liked in my size, so I may improvise a bit. I would like to add some chevrons to the design, using the light blue and sage green on a blue background. This could get interesting! 

Stick around for a few years and I am sure you will see the results. Well, okay, I shall try to hurry, but there's still that jumper to finish first.

Blacker Yarns Samite in three shades

Did you get your hands on Samite, too? What do you think of it and, most of all, what will you knit? Let me know in the comments.