End of the shawl aversion?

There has always been something that’s puzzled me about knitters/Ravelry…the insane predilection they seem to have for knitting shawls.

 

I have never worn a shawl. I don’t know many people who do. I thought they were frumpy and about as useful as a chocolate teapot to be honest.

 

But in recent months I’ve found myself admiring certain shawls more and more…even adding them to my favourites (shock!). Here are some of my recent picks…

Drachenfels by Melanie Berg on Ravelry – I love the colours and stripes – I can even forgive it for being a triangle!

 

IMG_7773-001_small2

 

Claire’s Shawl Wrap by Handsty on Etsy – This looks sooooo cosy and fabulous.

 

b8d8dbc36aafce1f21a4c6f6fc44f5af

 

And Textured Laguna Wrap by Chandi Agee on Ravelry – this is such a beautiful colour and texture.

 

textured-laguna-wrap-knitted-pattern_1957_copy_small2

 

I’ve also realised that a shawl is a fine thing to sit and wrap yourself in when it’s not wintery anymore but there’s still a wee nip in the air.

 

I’m still not convinced by the floaty, lacy, triangular/crescent/scalloped edge things that a lot of ravellers seem to lap up…but I am officially coming out as a shawl fan.

 

Confession: I have actually knit a shawl/wrap type thing and am sitting cosily wrapped in it as I type…more of that another day!

 

Magical magic loop

I thought I would write up a quick explanation of how to knit using the magic loop method. This lets you knit smaller circumference projects like socks, gloves or mittens in the round without using double pointed needles (dpns). Instead you use a circular needle and manipulate the stitches on the cable to enable you to knit around.

 

I much prefer using magic loop to dpns as I find it easier and quicker to knit this way and I get less ‘laddering’ which I could never get rid of when using dpns.

 

Here’s how to do it:

DSC_0667
Cast on the amount of stitches you need and push them down onto the cable.
Find the halfway point of your stitches and pull the cable between the stitches at this point.
Find the halfway point of your stitches and pull the cable between the stitches at this point to form a loop.
Slide both sets of stitches onto both needles. With the needles facing right the working yarn will be attached to the back set of stitches.
Slide both sets of stitches onto both needles. With the needles facing right the working yarn will be attached to the back set of stitches.

Pull the needle holding the back set of stitches until they slide onto the cable.

Pull the needle holding the back set of stitches until they slide onto the cable.

Making sure the stitches don't twist, use the freed back needle to knit the stitches on the front needle.
Making sure the stitches don’t twist, use the freed back needle to knit the stitches on the front needle.

Once this half of the round is knit, slide the second set of stitches onto the free needle and the first set off the other needle and knit these in the same way. You have completed one round.

Keep knitting round, slipping the next set of stitches onto the left needle when you have finished knitting the previous set.

Try it, it’s not as complicated as it looks!

Happy magic looping…

Noodles of knitting

I’m having a knitting problem. Too many projects…too little time. This isn’t a new problem but I don’t think I’ve ever had so many designs on the go before.

 

I’ve almost finished a couple of simple wee ones…

 

DSC_0580

 

This is a headband – only problem – I might have to find a neater way to do the edges. It looks fine when it’s on a head but a bit wavy when off…

 

Here is my latest wrist warmer design – also almost done:

 

DSC_0585

 

There were two reasons this design was left for a bit – I ran out of one of the colours and couldn’t find my tapestry needle for weaving in the ends!

 

Next is a design for a spring/summer top so I’ve got a bit of time to finish that:

 

DSC_0584

 

I’m almost done with a more wintery top in yummy chunky undyed wool:

 

DSC_0583

 

I’ve either got to finish it pronto or keep it on the backburner until Autumn. This one was left for a bit because I needed more wool for it and it wasn’t cheap…

 

And last but most importantly I’ve started designing something specially for my Mum who is very unwell at the moment. I’m hoping to finish it soon and sell the pattern through Just Giving to raise money for Cancer Research UK. It’s a scarf/shawl knit on the bias:

 

DSC_0588

 

Hopefully I can finish at least a couple of these over the weekend and I won’t feel like I’ve got quite so many balls (of wool) in the air!

 

Anybody else overwhelmed with too much knitting?

 

Lossie Mitts

Fingerless Mitts. My favourite. I can’t help going back to them again and again.

 

I have some new ones and I think these might be my favourite ones yet…

 

ASW_3412 ASW_3391 ASW_3386 ASW_3370 DSC_0378

 

If you like them and you can knit you can download the pattern for free from my Ravelry store, or if you don’t knit (why not??!) you can always ask me to knit them for you in my Etsy or Folksy shops. I canna do that for free though I’m afraid…

 

I got a lovely bundle of new wool from the postie today so I’m off to fondle it!

 

Bye for now! x

Christmas!

It’s crazy making time!

 

First up – Elf shoes of course. The wee man has to be an elf for his school Christmas performance. I made the outfit okay but wasn’t sure how to do the shoes until I saw these on Pinterest. I used red felt and adapted them a bit – I wasn’t sure they’d stretch over his shoes so I just put a button at the heel instead of sewing them up. They worked a treat! Now he tells me he’s standing at the back for the performance…

 

DSC_0413

 

In other crazy crafting news…

 

Paper angels! I love making these. They are going to be given as wee gifts this year. I saw some of these on Red Ted Art (a great site for making stuff with wee people.) I just adapted them to the way I wanted again. I added cotton hair and a net ruff and I used Christmas paper for some, but some I’ve printed pages covered with ‘Merry Christmas …’ and the recipient’s name.

 

DSC_0415 DSC_0417 DSC_0419

 

I love these so much, I’m going to have to make some for us to keep too. I’ll be busy…

 

xxx

‘Not good enough for Pinterest’ advent calendar

As an avid Pinterester, (mainly “Oooh”s and “Wow”s and never getting round to making any of the things) I have been meaning to make my own advent calendar for a few years now. But December 1st just seems to creep up so quickly. Then I quickly rush out and buy a cheap chocolate thing. Our one from last year (Peppa Pig) is actually still sitting behind the wine rack in the kitchen. With chocolate still in. That’s how rubbish cheap advent calendar chocolate is. And also how rubbish I am at tidying up but never mind that.

 

Somehow I managed to (almost completely…) make one this year – before December! Hooray! It’s a bit rubbish in places but we’re quite happy to have it up on the wall! (Just not the Pinterest wall – because that’s more important obviously.)

 

The almost good advent calendar!

The almost good advent calendar!

 

Jumbly numbery
Jumbly numbery

 

17! (This is my favourite - don't know why)
17! (This is my favourite – don’t know why)

 

December 1st!
December 1st!

 

Take the picture already so I can have my treat
Take the picture already so I can have my treat

 

You may have noticed not all the days of the month are represented… yes, I ran out of bags. Got 20 more days to add the last few though eh?

 

Final word of warning if you’re thinking of making your own advent calendar (Quick! It’s December already!) – you will find yourself searching around for small toys/treats/something other than chocolate for every bag…and end up spending even more than you would on one of those expensive Playmobile things that you shake your head at for being an expensive luxury…

Scotland, Halloween and more MITTS

I took The Wee Man to visit relatives in Scotland recently, mainly my Mum as she has been a bit poorly and hasn’t managed to visit us this year. The Wee Man had a great time seeing all his cousins and being thoroughly spoiled by Nana…

We searched for Nessie at Loch Ness. (Didn't find her)
We searched for Nessie at Loch Ness. (Didn’t find her)
DSC_0490
We ran from the waves…
DSC_0498
At Lossiemouth’s West Beach
DSC_0415
We climbed and played at Carrbridge’s Landmark Centre
DSC_0448
And we were very spooky at Halloween
DSC_0453
(Yep, another home-made costume – just can’t bring myself to buy one…)
DSC_0474
We had great fun dookin for apples at Granny’s house

But it’s back to school, work and the old knitting grind now…here’s my latest pattern.

DSC_0442 DSC_0432

They’re Gabla Mitts and you can buy the pattern in my Ravelry Store. Or have them made to order for you from my Etsy or Folksy shops.

Happy knitting everyone!