Friday, 7 August 2020

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 19

 

The days are certainly rushing past as it certainly doesn't feel like a week since I was here, shouting from the rooftops about the Fibre 4 Fibres raffles starting up again! Here's the prizes that are up for grabs this week if you decide to buy a virtual raffle ticket or two in aid of Myositis UK.

The prize includes a beautiful large size drawstring project bag with a stunning nature themed print which has been sewn and donated by SarahJoMakes which comes with a co-ordinating lavender bag, a skein of self-striping 4ply yarn in donated by The Yarn Badger, three miniskeins donated by Blue Fern Yarns, a set of progress keepers donated by Betty Arthur Creations and a fun badge and pencil donated by Lana Bou. Thank you so much to everyone for their generous donations!









I love this week's prize and really wish that I could enter to win it! I can't, but YOU CAN! You have a chance to win all these gorgeous prizes for a minimum donation of £2 - less than the price of a cup of coffee! Are you tempted to try your luck? Here's everything you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 9th August, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my JustGiving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box to share your details with me when you make your donation, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. All your donations go the Myositis UK to help fund research into this incurable muscle disease, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. Every single donation is important. Let's see how much we can raise this weekend! xxx

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Still shielding ...


I know that officially the government's shielding programme has been paused, but I'm having to continue to shield because last Friday, this happened...


I had a phone call from the hospital on Thursday asking me if I could come in the following day for the first in a 12 week cycle of chemotherapy. So of course, it's going to suppress my immune system even more. I'm relieved that the treatment has finally started, as it's been in the pipeline for a while now, but of course COVID has given the doctors different priorities for the last few months. I didn't feel too bad over the weekend, thanks to anti-nausea meds that I was give, along with a load more pills to take to counteract the side effects of the chemo drug!! So roll on 12 weeks! Flo is making sure that I have lots of rest and I'm enjoying knitting and listening to lots of audiobooks.

The week before, I finished knitting the Stillness shawl designed by Curious Handmade. It was a mystery KAL and I joined in with a lovely group of ladies on Instagram. Once blocked, the shawl was massive. It's a semi-circular shawl; not a shape I would usually knit, but as it was a mystery KAL, I didn't know what it was going to be like! I think I will wear it back to front draped around my neck. The yarn is some that I bought from Loop in London when I was there taking a shawl design class with Melanie Berg. It's Lichen and Lace and is gorgeous. Flo was naturally investigating it as a possibility for a new blanket!


I'm also playing around with ideas for a sweater using the Good Striations stitch pattern. It's at an early stage but I'm pleased with how it looks so far. I'm using Stylecraft Batik yarn as I like both the softness of the yarn and its stonewashed colours. I'm not sure that it will ever become a pattern for anyone but me as I've never written and graded a garment pattern for multiple sizes. I'll just have to wait and see once it's done. I'll keep you posted. Stay safe everyone. xxx









Friday, 31 July 2020

Fibre 4 Fibres Giveaway preview 18


It's so good to be back with these fundraising raffles. I've really missed sorting out the prizes each week and I know that the charity has definitely missed the fundraising. Here's what you could win if you decide to buy a virtual raffle ticket or two in this week's Fibre 4 Fibres giveaway in aid of Myositis UK.

The prize includes a beautiful poppy print project bag from Three Bags Full and a Miss Babs gradient set of Yummy 2-ply yarn in shades of pink. It's a fingering weight yarn and there's over 700 metres to use up so you could make something pretty spectacular! There's also a ball of Stylecraft Head over Heels Boho sock yarn, a set of HiyaHiya stitch markers, a cute kitty wallet (sewn by me) that you could keep your stitch markers in and a blank greetings card with a woven textile print on it.









There's over £100 of gorgeous yarny goodness here and I really hope that you'll be tempted to buy a raffle ticket or two. You have the chance to win all this for a minimum donation of £2! Less than the price of a cup of coffee. Are you tempted to enter? Here's what you need to know. This giveaway will run this coming Sunday 2nd August, closing at 23:55. To enter, go to my Just Giving page here and buy your virtual raffle tickets by donating £2 or more. £2 gets you 2 tickets, £3 gets you 3 tickets, £5 gets you 5 tickets and so on. You will need to leave your Instagram or Ravelry name, or tick the box that shares your details with me so that I can contact you if you're the winner. Your donations have helped me to raise vital funds for Myositis UK which will be used to fund research projects so huge thanks for your support! During lockdown, I've continued to donate £1 from each of my pattern sales and the total is now over £3000! Woohoo! The next milestone is £5000 which is halfway to my target. xxx 

Monday, 27 July 2020

Shoreland - a review




I have the most gorgeous book to share with you today. 'Shoreland - socks suited for scrabbling over rocks, splashing through tide pools, staring at the sea or whatever else tickles your fancy' is a beautiful book of socks designed by Hunter Hammersen. Hunter has used her coastal surroundings as inspiration to create seven stunning sock patterns. 

I have followed Hunter through her blog and other social media for some time, and am fascinated by the intricacy of her designs and the meticulous process she goes through when creating a new design. Her designs frequently feature incredible textures and stitch patterns and unusual constructions.




The patterns are set out in paragraphs, with both written and charted instructions. A variety of yarns can be used for each pattern as the gauge is given for both 4 ply and DK yarn, and there are three or four sizes for each pattern. This does mean that the knitter will have to swatch in order to determine the correct needle size for the yarn that they are choosing.




It's definitely a book for more experienced knitters, with cables, twisted stitches and some other unusual stitch patterns. Beautiful photography and sumptuous yarns almost make it a coffee table book. It's quite an expensive purchase, but if you compare it with the cost of buying the individual patterns on Ravelry, then it's worthwhile, especially if you plan to knit several of the patterns.




There is a useful reference on the inside front cover - a chart with sock size suggestions, and space for you to add the measurements of your nearest and dearest should you choose to knit a pair for someone other than yourself! I think I would find it very difficult to part with any of the socks! At the back of the book there is a code so you can download an electronic version of the book too.

Shoreland is a lovely book for a sock knitter who enjoys a challenge. It would make a lovely gift paired up with a skein of yarn for yourself or a fellow knitter.

Shoreland by Hunter Hammersen is published by Pantsville Press and is available from Search Press.

ISBN: 978-1-7325229-1-6

RRP: £19.99





Monday, 20 July 2020

Squeezebox socks




I'm pleased to be able to tell you that my Squeezebox socks pattern is now available to buy from Ravelry. It appeared in Simply Knitting magazine issue 194 in January this year and so I haven't been able to release the pattern myself for the last six months. It's a lovely, comfortable sock; perfect for lazing around in your pjs on having a chilled out day at home. I used a Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxury sock yarn for these, but the pattern would work well with any gradient yarn, or a speckled or tonal too. Rounds of knit and purl stitches create a lovely squishy texture. The pattern is in three sizes, knit top down in the round. It's a simple pattern to memorise so it's great for new sock knitters or those who want some easy TV knitting. You can buy the pattern from my Ravelry page here and I am donating £1 from each pattern sold to Myositis UK. If you are having difficulty accessing Ravelry, then please get in touch with me and I will do my best to help you. I'll leave you with a few more photos of the socks. Looking at them is making me look forward to the cooler autumn days! xxx













Sunday, 12 July 2020

Fibre4Fibres news




I'm delighted to be able to tell you that my weekly fundraising raffles in aid of Myositis UK will be starting again next month. As you know, I've been shielding now for 17 weeks, but shielding is due to stop at the end of July. While I won't be in a hurry to go out and about to busy places, I'm fortunate that we have a mobile post office van which visits the village each week, so I won't have to brave the shops quite yet. I've really missed putting these raffles together and can't wait to start sharing all the lovely yarny things I've got to give away. I've kept donating money from my pattern sales and my Just Giving page is nearly at £3000. My target is £10,000 and as I'm not going to hit that before the end of 2020, I will keep the weekly raffles going until I have! I'll be sharing the first prize the week before the raffles start so keep checking in! xxx

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Nine challenges for June - an update


I realised that I had forgotten to update you with how I'd got on with the 9 challenges I set myself for June in an attempt to keep focused. I've found it very hard to keep track of what day it is. Staying at home, the days all merge into one. Hard to believe that this is week 16 of lockdown for me and I've only left my home once to go for a blood test! Shielding is due to be paused at the end of July, although my consultant has already told me that I will still need to observe stringent social distancing. At least being able to go out and have a change of scenery will be something! Anyhow, I digress! Back to the 9 challenges I set myself for June.




*** Challenge 1 ***
Crocheted temperature blanket

I've managed to keep this up to date, and it's now halfway to being finished. There were a few hot days in June which introduced a new colour into the high squares. I'm already wondering about what kind of border to do on the blanket. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.




*** Challenge 2 ***
Over the Rainbow socks

When I was at the Suffolk Socks knitting retreat earlier this year, I bought a sock set from Ellie. I'm a sucker for any kind of rainbow yarn and this one appealed to me because it was a pastel one. Ellie sells her yarn and lots of other lovely things on her website Craft House Magic, so pop over and take a look. I'm getting quite a collection of new socks to wear once it starts to get cooler.




*** Challenge 3 ***
Bunting

My friend Philippa has just got a summer house in her garden so I offered to make some bunting to decorate it. She wanted grey/white/silver colours and it looks very sophisticated. I want to make some to brighten up my back garden now.




*** Challenge 4 ***
Love Note sweater

I'm not quite sure why it has taken me such a long time to get round to knitting one of these gorgeous sweaters. The pattern is from Tin Can Knits and it's been around a while now. I used yarn from Truly Hooked and knit the body longer than the pattern suggested. It's so soft and light, I absolutely love it and am already planning my second and third! I want one in All The Colours!




*** Challenge 5 ***
Crochet Now article

The Stylecraft Blogstars take it in turn to write an article for Crochet Now. Mine has been submitted and will be in issue 59, which goes on sale on August 20th!


*** Challenge 6 ***
Design submission

I've submitted a design to be considered for publication in a knitting magazine later this year. I've not heard anything yet, so don't know if I've been successful or not. As it's all secret, I'd better not share anything with you, even the yarn! Shhhhh!


*** Challenge 7 ***
Give and Take sock pattern

My Give and Take sock pattern has been published and there's a knitalong going on right now in the Stylecraft Make Along group on Facebook. It only started on Thursday so you've got plenty of time to join in. You can buy the pattern from my Ravelry designer page here. If you're having difficulties accessing Ravelry since the changes that have been made to the website, then please email me and I'll do my best to help you. (josiekitten123atgmaildotcom)




*** Challenge 8 ***
Baby knits

A friend of mine recently became a grandma to premature twin boys so I offered to make a couple of little tops for them. Another friend also asked me to knit a gift for a new baby, so I used the same pattern. It's called Lil Kimonos (Ravelry link) and it is a very sweet pattern. I used Stylecraft Bambino and Bambino Prints yarn and it was perfect for the baby knits.





*** Challenge 9 ***
Poppy Treffry embroidery club

I still haven't got round to doing any work on these unfortunately. Hopefully I will make a start in July. I've told myself that I'm not allowed to join the Christmas embroidery club if I haven't made the summer projects yet, so hopefully that will spur me on. I'm not quite sure why I'm procrastinating so much, as I love free motion stitching.

Despite not finishing all of June's challenges, it won't come as a surprise to know that I managed to reward myself with a yarn purchase or two!  A new discovery for me is Ring a Rosie and Barbara dyes the most beautiful speckled yarns. Take a look and see if you can resist! I'm having a month off from specific challenges in July, but still hope to get a few old projects cast off as well as cast on a new one or two! I'll be back tomorrow with some exciting news so stay tuned! xxx