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which buttons do I choose???

28 May

Ive been knitting Blue Bird by Valerie Morris for my neice Annabelle and although I’ve now finished knitting, have sewn in my ends (althought there wasnt many as the cute little jumper is knit all in one piece) and have blocked it out, I just cant decide on what buttons to pick!!!!!!

Here are my options

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green mottled buttons

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pink and purple mix

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three solid purple buttons

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multi pinks

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baby blue for the purple Blue Bird

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Or creamy white circle buttons

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I need some help!!!!!!

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stash busting Paulie

8 May

So I’ve finally finished my stash busting Paulie cardigan and I love it!

Well, it is minus buttons but that can wait until the perfect buttons show their face, and a lack of buttons has never stopped me wearing anything in the past!

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I decided to do this project to use up a chunk of my left over sock yarn as well as having a new summer cardigan!
I gathered together a bunch of colours that I thought worked well together a basically worked the colours until they ran out,
you can see in the pictures the change in colour stripes as I went along but as I kept to a strick colour pattern I think it works.
Using the same three colours for the thinner stripes helped keep the pattern together.
I decided to do rib cuffs and bottom band as I personally prefer the rib to the garter stitch for the way it sits but I kept the garter stitch for the collar section.

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I really wanted it to include a hood so I worked a bunch more short rows in garter stitch after the collar until I go my desired shape!

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I think it will be well worn and my stash is tidy and organised with will a few remaining left overs to work those little baby booties and socks that are akways needed at short notice!

The best thing is that whenever I wear it I can look at the different yarn colours and fibres and think about the projects I made originally!!!!!!!

twist collective spring 2013

16 Apr

What a delight to switch on my laptop Sunday morning and discover that there was a brand new edition of Twist Collective to peruse over my birthday breakfast! Patter-wise this issue is a bit thin on the ground for me. There are a few things I find interesting, but nothing I’m gagging to knit. Article-wise, this one was fascinating. Spring and summer are difficult times to design for, but well-written articles are year-round.

To begin with the patterns, I really like the looks of Rebecca Blair’s Eliza jumper and Emmy Petersson’s Alvinda cardigan. They both take advantage of the breeziness of a simple lace pattern in a light sport-weight yarn. I also think both would be adorable converted into henleys. Don’t you think Eliza would be super-cute with a little column of buttons?

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I also enamored by Iris Wildsmith’s Galliera tam. Not only does she have the best name ever (she’s a smithy of the wild!) but she has great aesthetic.

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Finally, Michaela Moores’s Castanea is amazing! The stole is beautiful, but the giant circular shawl is spectacular. I love the yarns chosen for the sample patterns; the colours really make the stitch pattern sing.

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On to the articles: I really recommend taking a look at Robin Melanson’s feature, ‘The Error of Our Ways: A Knitter’s Guide to Fixing Mistakes‘. It offers both excellent solutions to common problems and a great pictorial guide that demonstrates clearly what these issues look like and how to fix them. I’ve always been fairly fearless when it comes to dropping down and fixing things in situ rather than ripping back six rows to sort a mistake out.

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All you really need to be able to do it without damaging your work is to follow one of the best tips she gives: learn to read your knitting. This tip is repeated in Sandi Rosner’s article on lace, but it is well worth learning how-to whatever your project. It’s a bit tricky in the first repeat of a new pattern or chart, but it saves endless heartache in the end if you sit back, spread out your work and read the stitches after every few rows/rounds. You catch errors much more quickly, plus it’s really lovely to just be able to admire the results of all that effort you’ve put into your work!

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The other article that really caught my attention is Leslie Petrovski’s essay on plant-based fibres, ‘In the Weeds‘, which gives both a historical perspective of how these fibres have developed in human hands and their advantages/disadvantages over animal fibres. It’s a very interesting read. I’ve never been particularly into plant-based yarns, as I find the inelasticity of cotton yarns difficult on my hands (and the very thought of hemp and linen gives me arthritis). As I get deeper into working with colour and knitting jumpers and cardigans, I’ve got deeper into exploring how different sheep breeds and other animal-based yarns react to different stitches and contours. Plus sweaters and cardigans designed in cotton or linen always seem to be too tunicy and mother-earthy or just somehow less agile than those designed for wools. But this has made me reconsider some of my prejudices and has made me really keen to get my hands on some linen. It might open up a whole new world for me.

Does anyone have any recommendations for plant-based yarns?

All images taken from Ravelry and the Twist Collective site.

fo: larch cardigan

11 Apr

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After a mere nine weeks, my Larch cardigan is ready to wear! This project actually started way back in the depths of last year when I contacted Lyndsey from Countess Ablaze to ask her if she could custom dye me some of her DK-weight blue-faced Leicester, Bluefaced Baron DK. We back-and-forthed over the colour for a few weeks until she hit upon the single most amazing emerald you have ever seen.

This is the emerald that makes you think of rolling hills and mythical creatures and burial sites full of untold riches. It is lush.

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I knew almost immediately that it had to be a Larch cardigan. Larch, for the uninitiated, is an Amy Christoffers design. Amy occupies a place of deep affection in my heart. She is an incredible designer. (I’ve heard several people say that it’s like Amy designs just for them, but they’re wrong. She designs just for me.) Her cardigans are exactly my aesthetic.

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I did a few small mods that others might find helpful.

  1. I tend to find long, loose cardigans gape around the small of my back (because my bum sticks out and I have little natural waist), so I spread the decrease stitches evenly rather than at the sides where they would traditionally fall (every 50 sts for the first set and then immediately above [i.e. so they’re stacked] following Amy’s row count). This seems to have worked very well.
  2. As usual, I knit my sleeves until I thought they were long enough and then added an extra inch and then added ten rows. This seems to be the only way I ever manage to get sleeves that fit. NOTE: I did NOT do this for my Acer or my Tinder and my sleeves for both projects are definitely a bit too short. I think it works rather well with the vintage feel of the Acer, but I have a good mind to hack into the Tinder and add some rows.
  3. I extended the sleeve caps and arm holes by about 6 rows. Amy’s main criticism is that her sleeves tend towards the tight side, which I noticed in my Acer. These sleeves fit perfectly. They are deep enough to be able to comfortably wear a couple of layers underneath (which is totally necessary at the moment! When will it be spring?!).
  4. Amy suggests using a double-knit BO around the shawl part of the collar, which is super stretchy but looked very unfinished and amateurish when I attempted it. I stuck to my regular BO (k2, sl 1st st over 2nd, * k1, sl 1st st on right needle over 2nd, repeat from *), but looser than normal.

I am very pleased with the result.

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On the needles now: not another Amy (I just couldn’t decide!), but my long-awaited Perfect Christmas Jumper! About time, no? Lou finished her’s years ago.

Bo Peep Edition Three

20 Mar

Thanks to a new piece of errata pointed out to me today by Jen, I’ve edited Bo Peep Edition Two to be Bo Peep Edition Three with the new findings!

I really hope that I have managed to include all of the previous errata in this version but I’m also aware that we make errors all the time and possibly have not caught everything.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has knit this pattern using the previous two editions as you are obviously a complete genius!!

Me and Emmms write our patterns on the side of living our normal lives and jobs and don’t have a pattern editor so from time to time we get emails from amazing knitters pointing out things we’ve missed or typed wrong, we are very grateful for you doing so!!

For anyone who still wants to work off the previous two editions:  ERRATA FOR BO PEEP 18/10/11 AND BEFORE

 

too many shawls?? – never!!

17 Mar

When I decided to knit my sister a shawl for her 30th birthday I didn’t think it would take me this long to pick one!

Her birthday was on 28th Feb!!

I knew I was leaving it late as I still hadn’t finished my brothers socks, (due 19th Jan! Still waiting to be posted!) but even though I’m never normally on time with knitted gifts, this is even late for me!

The first point I was stuck at was picking the yarn. I gave Jen six options and she got it down to two……

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Wollmeise Pure in Petite Poison

And

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Madeleine Tosh, Tosh Sock in Moss

Eventually I decided to go with the Wollmeise as Amethyst is her birth stone and I wanted a shawl with more delicate drape than comfort squish.

Other than finishing Adams socks and picking a yarn, my main issue was that I couldn’t decide on a pattern. I had a few ideas in my head but wanted it to be special and perfect for her. So I took to Ravelry to see if it would help.

Looking through Ravelry just made it harder, there are so many amazing shawls out there, all pulling me in different directions!

So I decided to put together my favourite five shawls and compare them all together to help me decide.

The greatest thing about Ravelry is having the ability to see many knitters versions of patterns, it different yarns, weights and colours.

The pics shown are a mixture of the designers own and other Ravelry knitters projects.

I love the bold, determined style of Trilinear designed by Cindy Garland, but the thought of having to make another decision for the second colour has put me off this but has also put this at number eight in my Ravelry queue!

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© Wild Prairie Knits

The delicate draping leaves of The Lonely Tree Shawl designed by Sylvia Bo Bilvia are just gorgeous and the border adds such a pretty finish but I didn’t want a block lace pattern for the entire shawl. (I think this would be awesome in another yarn in my stash too)

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© Sylvia Bo Bilvia

The shape of Lazy Katie has me obsessed! Brigit Freyer has designed a work of art in this shawl but it needs a bold, colourful, variegated yarn to create the brilliant effect.

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© BonnieRed

Semele Shawl designed by Asa Tricosa is practically perfect, it has a delicate drape a base of stockinette stitch and pretty lace border, I think it has made the final cut….

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Knittimo

Whenever I think to knit a shawl my default designer will always be Susanna IC and Oslo Walk is fantastic. I love the dangling ice crystals and the yo’s breaking up the main section of the shawl. Susanna’s construction is always a winner for me so into the final it goes…

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© OrangeLauren

The final decision has been hard but due to the weather at the moment being so cold and so icy I’ve made my choice…..

The winner is Oslo Walk!!

lots of love and stuff

15 Feb

Following on from all the love that was Valentines Day yesterday, I decided to share pics of a couple of things that I’m loving loads at the moment!!

First up are these fab fabric prints I’ve ordered from FabricWorm
Can’t wait till they arrive as I have big plans for home furnishings!

Monster Mash – Robert Kaufman

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Jacqueline Savage McFee – Hot Chocolate

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Unfortunately this little beauty was out of stock

Joel Dewberry – Primrose Midnight

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Since we moved house last year we have been gathering together bits of furniture and this bookshelf has been on the wish list for a while

From Etsy seller A Little House in the Country

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I would also love a pair of these sofa legs from Pretty Pegs to give our Ikea couch the final touch but just can’t decide which colour

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I’ve been knitting my brother some birthday socks with this amazing skein of Wollmeise yarn. It’s a Nobody’s Perfect skein of Twin in Grapes for Sheri.

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I’m excited to finish the socks however so I can cast on the Inspira Cowl by Celery Stalk as I’m in love with it’s depth of warmth and cosiness.

This final item only made my love list yesterday and unfortunately isn’t for sale as its an Ikea Hack!

Ikea Hackers – A Tertial Chandelier

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