Sunday, 20 October 2019

A week when you learn about the importance of tension!

So my week has looked a lot like this, with every day spent at the hospital getting daily infusions of immunoglobulin. It's a gold star treatment, costing around £10,000, so I feel very fortunate to be given it. Fingers crossed it will get things under control. Having a cannula made it challenging to knit, but I did manage to do a little. It created much interest amongst the nurses and other patients and they were all intrigued in what I was doing.

At the start of the week, my plain vanilla sock (using one of Stylecraft's Head over Heels sock yarns) looked like this ...

And by Friday it looked like this ...

And then on Saturday, it looked like this ...

I'd had to change the way I knit whilst I had the cannula in, and that affected the tension of my knitting. Having already knit the first sock, the second was for a person with a much smaller foot! So with much cursing, I had to frog the second sock back to the cuff. It's all ready for my trip down to King's College Hospital in London this week - perfect train knitting whilst listening to an audio book. Tension hasn't really been an issue for me until now, so I'm glad it was discovered on something relatively small! Have you had any tension disasters? xxx

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Inverse Striations socks

Hot on the heels of my Good Striations blanket, I'm thrilled to be releasing 'Inverse Striations' today. It's a fun and quirky sock pattern, based on the same stitch pattern as the blanket, and I have to say that I'm just a little bit in love with it! You use one solid colour yarn and one colourful yarn. In the first pair I have used West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in Licourice and Rum Paradise and in the second pair, I've used Opal Uni 4ply in Black and Stylecraft Yarns Head over Heels Allstars yarn in Woldgate

I reversed the colour order in the two socks, creating an inverse pair, and that's how the pattern got its name. They are addictive and quick to knit, and easy too as you only ever use one colour of yarn in a round. I'm already planning my third pair. 

You can buy the pattern from my Ravelry designer pager here. It costs £4.20 but there's a 25% discount until the end of October and I'm donating £1 from each pattern sale to Myositis UK to fund research  into this incurable muscle disease. I'd love it if you decided to knit a pair too. Please share and tag me in on Instagram or Facebook as I'd love to see your socks! Thank you for your support and happy knitting! xxx

Friday, 4 October 2019

Good Striations

Copyright Stylecraft Yarns

You know what it's like when you've got something that you want to share with others, but you're not allowed to? I've been like a child counting down the days until Christmas over the past month; crossing off each day, fit to burst, impatiently waiting for this day to come! And now it's finally here, picture me jumping up and down and turning cartwheels, giddy with excitement!

I am so delighted to be sharing my latest design with you today. Just feast your eyes on all those delicious ripply waves! Believe it or not, 'Good Striations' was inspired by photos of muscle fibres. I've been diagnosed with a rare muscle disease and have spent a lot of time surfing the net to find out as much information as possible about the disease. In this design, the bundles of striated muscle fibres are represented in waves of knitting to create a stylish and contemporary blanket and cushion. I've used Stylecraft Bellissima and Bambino yarns, which are completely interchangeable. The DK yarn is 100% premium acrylic, spun like merino, with beautiful drape and stitch definition. It's soft and cosy, making it perfect for snugly blankets as well as jumpers and accessories. 

The blanket is framed by a moss stitch border in cream, with the waves of colour interspersed with cream throughout, while the cushion has vibrant bands of colour and a striped envelope back. To make both the blanket and cushion, you will need 17 balls of yarn in total, and there is plenty of yarn to make both the blanket and at  least one cushion. The design uses slipped stitches, and knits up quickly. Although it looks complicated, it's actually dead easy, I promise you! It's a relaxing knit. It took me under 6 weeks to make, so if you start now, you'll definitely be finished by Christmas! I wanted to show off the new season's colours in the Bellissima range, and chose others to complement them. There are some absolutely beautiful colours across the Bellissima and Bambino ranges.

I was lucky enough to get the blanket finished in time to be included in the Stylecraft photo shoot and make no apologies for bombarding you with photos!  I keep pinching myself that that this is my blanket! I feel incredibly fortunate to have been asked to become one of the Stylecraft Blogstars. I really like how they styled it. I'm in love with this blanket and it's going to be mine, all mine (and probably Flo's too!)

Copyright Stylecraft Yarns

Copyright Stylecraft Yarns

Copyright Stylecraft Yarns

Copyright Stylecraft Yarns

Copyright Stylecraft Yarns

I decided to make a rectangular cushion and to have the waves of colour going the opposite direction to the blanket. I love how the colours inter-play and make different parts of the pattern stand out. The striped envelope back opening makes it easy to insert the cushion pad and remove it for washing. You can follow my colour order or have fun creating your own colour combinations.

If you haven't yet joined the new Stylecraft Makealong Group over on Facebook, why not pop over there now. There's a friendly bunch of people hanging out there who love to knit and crochet using Stylecraft yarns. The group has been set up to offer friendship and support whilst working on projects using Stylecraft yarn. Hopefully some of you will be inspired to make my blanket and I'll definitely be there to cheer you on and perhaps cast on another blanket myself.

I originally tried out my design using Stylecraft Special DK while I was waiting for the new colours of Bellissima to be released. I chose a rainbow of colours and decided to back it with some soft minky fabric and stitch on a binding. This baby blanket is going to live with little Dottie very soon. 

The pattern is available from my Ravelry page here. It costs £4.20, but you can get 25% off during the whole of October. I'm donating £1 from each pattern sale to the charity Myositis UK to help fund research into muscle disease. I've set up a Just Giving page (there's a link to it at the top of my blog) where I'll be able to add the money I raise.  I would love it if you bought my pattern to help raise some much-needed money for the charity. I hope you like it and have fun knitting it! I'm really proud of it! xxx

PS The blanket will be on the Stylecraft stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Ally Pally next week for you to squish and fondle, and I believe that there will also be yarn packs including the pattern available for you to buy. Squee! Sooooo exciting! Did I say I'm excited?!