Saturday, 25 June 2022

Time for a catch up!

Goodness, I hadn't realised quite how long it's been since my last post! It takes me about a week to recover from my week of infusions, and I also had my 5th Covid vaccination which left me needing afternoon naps all last week. But here I am, better late than never, to share what I've been up to since my last post. 

My week of infusions went pretty well and I managed to keep a cannula in for FOUR WHOLE DAYS! Plus it was positioned in the back of my hand so I was able to knit too! So I was pretty happy as you can probably imagine. Rather than socks, I was knitting on a new cast on - the Bubbly sweater by Isabell Kraemer (Ravelry link) - and having got past the colourwork, it was easy knitting on the body so I could listen to an audiobook too. I do like Isabell Kraemer's designs very much and have a few in my Ravelry library. She often has some colourwork in her designs and I thought that this jumper would be the perfect introduction to colourwork for me. I managed to knit using both hands to hold the yarn which meant that I wasn't having to drop and pick up the yarns, and there was no tangling either. I'm using some Rowan Felted Tweed that was in my stash, bought quite a while ago in a John Lewis sale. I'm already planning my next colourwork jumper as I really enjoyed that part of the knitting. And of course, Flo has already tested it out and deems it snuggleworthy!

I also knitted a couple more pairs of socks for my Rheumatology team and they were very well received. The first pair were knit using a West Yorkshire Spinners Christmas yarn, Candy Cane, and the second used an Opal yarn in the Schafpate range. I must start thinking about what to make for Christmas gifts - perhaps I'll make a mixture of hats, mitts, cowls and socks so that they can choose. What do you think?

Talking of socks, a pattern that I designed for Stylecraft a few years ago, Tiptoe, has just been reknitted in one of the colourways in a relatively new range of sock yarn from Stylecraft and can be found in the latest edition of Simply Knitting magazine. The yarn is Head over Heels 'Colours of the World' and has been created by Stylecraft's newest Blogstar, Stuart Hillard. You might recognise Stuart if you are a fan of The Great British Sewing Bee as he was in the very first series. He seems like he is full of fun so I am very much looking forward to meeting him at one of our Blogstar meetups. The last photo shows how the socks look in a less busy yarn and you can see the little rows of tulips very easily. This pair were knitted in another Head over Heels yarn from the All Stars range (now discontinued) in the Woldgate colourway which I created.

I have started to tidy up my craft room as it has become a bit of a dumping ground over the last few months and came across a box of my hand spun yarn. I was actually fairly impressed with the skeins as they looked a lot better than I remembered them to be! It's made me want to use them and also to start spinning again. It would also be good physiotherapy for me with all that treadling!

I dusted off my spinning wheel this week and gave it an oil. It won't come as any surprise to you that Flo took an interest straight away! For some reason, she loves sitting on my lap while I'm spinning, despite the fact that it must be quite uncomfortable as my legs are moving up and down all the time. Perhaps it's the cat equivalent of a rollercoaster and Flo is a secret thrill-seeker! She plonked herself on the chair before I even had a chance to sit down! I am practising with some undyed fibre at the moment, just to get back into the swing of things. But I was reminded by someone on Instagram that the Tour de France, and therefore the Tour de Fleece, starts on July 1st, so I'm very tempted to go rummaging through my box(es) of fibre to select some pretties so that I can join in. When I've taken part before, my spinning has come on in leaps and bounds so I think that it would be a really great thing to do. Not sure if I'll be able to spin with a cannula in but I'll give it a try! The Shifty jumper by Andrea Mowry (Ravelry link)  would be fun to knit using handspun yarn don't you think? 

I'll be sock knitting this week as I have to go down to London to see my consultants so need a portable project. I'm hoping that all my test results will show that I've made enough progress for them to apply for more IVIg infusions or for it to become my permanent treatment. That will need approval from various panels so I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait to find out. Fingers crossed that there won't be any delays! xxx

Sunday, 5 June 2022

Socks inspired by van Gogh

I discovered a range of sock yarn from Opal that has been inspired by some of the artwork of Vincent van Gogh. My friend's son, who is taking Art for one of his GCSEs, loves van Gogh's work and has a poster of his favourite - Cafe Terrace at Night - on his bedroom wall. I was intrigued by the yarn and bought two balls - one of his favourite and the other Sunflowers - they really are so clever how they create these, aren't they?

Picture from Google

Plain vanilla socks were the obvious choice as the yarn was doing all the hard work. It's the first time I've knitted such large socks - size 11 feet! But I managed to get a pair out of one ball without the need for contrast cuff/heel/toe and still have some left over for a scrappy pair. 

Flo's tail is pointing out the socks! She is such a helpful girl! The socks were very well received by my friend's son and he has worn them loads! It's lovely when your knitted gifts are appreciated isn't it? xxx


Thursday, 2 June 2022

Repose Socks

Do you fancy casting on something new this Bank Holiday weekend? If so, I have the perfect pattern for you! My Repose socks are a cuff down, easy lace pattern. Knit them using a sock set or just one colour yarn. The pastel coloured socks were knitted using a superwash merino and nylon sock set that I bought from Lay Family Yarn a couple of years ago, but Kelly always has lots of pretty sock sets that would work equally well. The others were knitted using Kelly's Yak sock yarn and it was the Saffron Spice and 1969 colourway duo that featured in issue 170 of The Knitter last year. The pattern is available to purchase from my Ravelry designer page here for £4 but using the code 'jubilee' will give you a £1 discount until the end of the long weekend this Sunday! As ever, all proceeds from pattern sales are being donated to my Fibre4Fibres fundraising page for Myositis UK. Hope you have a lovely weekend and happy knitting! xxx


Sunday, 29 May 2022

Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party - a round up

The Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party has come to an end and I hope that we have inspired you with some ideas to use for a party of your own. I have really enjoyed seeing all the different designs that have been created and thought it would be nice to see them all together in one final big TA-DAH! Thank you so much to Stylecraft for taking such wonderful photos. (All photos copyright Stylecraft except for the tea cosy copyright Hand Knitted Things.) I have linked each design to the relevant blogpost where you will find links to the pattern. Some of the patterns are free to download while others are raising money for charity so do please support us if you are able to. Thank you.

*** Day 1 ***

*** Day 2 ***
Hand Knitted Things - Trellis Tea Cosy and Bunting

*** Day 3 ***

*** Day 4 ***
The Loopy Stitch - A Posy of Dreams Mobile

*** Day 5 ***
Emma Varnam - Lovely Jubbly Cakes

*** Day 6 ***
josiekitten - Macaron cushion

*** Day 7 ***
Crochet Between Worlds - Twisted Ribbon Bargello Table Runner

*** Day 8 ***
Jane Crowfoot - Julie's Bunting

*** Day 9 ***


My Macaron cushion is raising money for Myositis UK and I am donating all proceeds from pattern sales to my fundraising page, Fibre4Fibres. The pattern costs £4 but the code 'gardenparty' will get you a discount until the end of May so you've not got long if you want to take advantage of the discount! You can buy my pattern from my Ravelry designer page here. Thank you so much if you have already bought a copy. xxx

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party - Lilibet Placemat and Coaster

It's the final day of the Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party and Helen Shrimpton, who is Crystals and Crochet, is bringing the party to a close. Helen has designed a pretty placemat and coaster for you. Helen says:

'Lilibet is an elegant placemat and coaster, to add a touch of class to any summer garden party. Made with Stylecraft Naturals Organic Cotton in Bone, Blossom and Peppermint, using a 4mm G hook. As an alternative, the placemat or coaster can be mounted in a hoop and used as a hanging mandala.'

The Naturals Organic Cotton comes in a fabulous range of colours and I'm tempted to make some rto go with my new Macaron cushions that I've made using the cotton yarn. The pattern will be available from Helen's website here for £2.

Stylecraft are  giving away  the yarn to make  this project for  one lucky person  and a friend. Check out Stylecraft on Facebook and Instagram to find out how to enter.

Copyright Stylecraft

Copyright Stylecraft


Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party - Julie's Bunting

It's Day 8 of the Stylecraft Blogstars Garden Party and today's project is brought to you by the lovely Jane Crowfoot. Janie has designed some beautiful crocheted bunting; it really is exquisite and the beads add a wonderful sparkle. If you look at the last photo, you can see all the details. Janie says:

'My amazing sister-in-law, Julie, adored bunting. Any excuse for a party and Julie would be there with a stepladder and loads of bunting to decorate the room! We lost Julie after a courageous battle with cancer, so I wanted to design something in her memory. A pretty, floral bunting that features yellow, her favourite colour, was the obvious choice. The pattern will be £6.95 with a donation from the sale of each pattern going to Bowel Cancer UK.'

I can definitely see this bunting gracing any wedding reception too as it is so pretty. The pattern is available from Janie's website, and I'm definitely going to buy a copy so I can make some.

Stylecraft are  giving away  the yarn to make  this project for  one lucky person  and a friend. Check out Stylecraft on Facebook and Instagram to find out how to enter.

Copyright Stylecraft

Copyright Stylecraft

Copyright Stylecraft

Copyright Jane Crowfoot

Copyright Jane Crowfoot

Monday, 23 May 2022

More Macarons!

I've been busy making more Macaron cushions to go with my new garden furniture. Instead of using Stylecraft Special DK, this time I used Stylecraft's Naturals Organic Cotton yarn as it has a lovely range of colours. So far I've made one crocheted cushion and one knitted cushion and I have enough yarn to make at least one more. These are smaller cushions than those I made for the Garden Party, so I didn't do as many rounds in each colour. I decided not to add any flowers to these but I did do a crocheted picot edging on both of them.

You can see the picot edging better in these photos. I joined the front and back of the knitted cushion covers by doing a double crochet round through the cast off stitches before adding the picot round and I think it looks pretty. 

Here are the yarns that I used. I picked them specifically to match the lap quilt that I made a few years ago. Going clockwise from 12 o'clock, the colours are Sea Green, Cardoon, Artichoke, Bone, Blossom, Flamingo, Plum, Indigo Wash, Azure, Faded Denim and Blue Lagoon. I decided to leave Bone out of the colour scheme once I'd made a start on them. 

If you'd like to make your own version of the Macaron cushions, the pattern comes with instructions for both knitted and crocheted versions. You can find the pattern here in my Ravelry designer page and the code 'gardenparty' will get you a discount until the end of May. I am donating all proceeds from pattern sales to my Fibre4Fibres fundraising for Myositis UK. Happy Macaron making! xxx