Sunday 26 January 2014

Here Comes The Bride!

When a friend of mine wanted to invite me to her wedding, I was thrilled. Except for one thing. For reasons beyond my control I am unable to go. But that did not stop me from wanting to do something special since I can't be there. I know that bridal shawls are far from the norm here, but I offered, and she said she would love it. So I said I would, as my wedding gift. I would make her a shawl in any shape she liked. So I showed her different shapes and patterns until we found one that she loved and said 'that's the one'. I bought some lovely lambswool/angora bunny blend yarn which would be light, warm and luxurious, and got to work.

The pattern she chose was the Japanese Feather and Fan shawl by IzzyKnits. A lovely pattern, but one I wanted to enlarge some, and spent some time scratching my head about how to do it. But I did figure it out, and if anyone wants to know how, I made notes on my project in Ravelry. Feel free to use my adaptations!

It was a lovely pattern to work, quite easy compared to some I have work, but amazingly effective. Though by the time I had enlarged it and got to the border I had nearly 770 stitches on the needle! The  rows took some time to complete then. But totally worth it. I cast off a few days ago, then to blocking.

Blocking is an interesting process, as it really makes lace shine when you hard block. Though soaking your knit then stretching it out to within an inch of its life takes some courage the first time you do it. Here's the shawl on the blocking mats:

Not the best view of it, but perhaps this before and after will give an idea of the difference the process makes.


All bumpy, curly and bunched up


And in close up, before:

and after:

It makes a huge difference and makes it look so much more polished.

I am immensely pleased with it, and about to send it off to my bride to be very soon, and I really hope she loves it and it keeps her warm on her special day. Its been knit with love in every stitch, and hope for a long and happy marriage. A great big hug from me when I can't be there! So there it is finally, the special big shawl I have been working on.

Now onto the next project, a dress for my little miss!

Till next time!

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Little things!

Hey guys, been a bit slow on the old blog, and you can blame the flu. I am still sick with it, but its been a rough few days. I meant to blog mid last week, but with the man falling with it, then me, and then my little miss falling ill Saturday... its been a rough few days. Now the man is on the mend, I am... coping, I think, and the miss is doing better, I can sit and have a type!

I have a couple of crafty bits I have been up to while working on my big and special project. Firstly I got around to finishing my headphones/earbuds/whatever you wish to name them. I have a habit of managing to wreck a pair in mere months and the good Bose ones I bought tangled to high heaven. Here I have proof that you really can knit anything, and the best part? NO TANGLES! That and I will never lose them when they are this colour!

I have also been doing a bit of spinning. I have had wanted something easy that I don't need to think about to be honest. So I sat down to do an experiment. I blogged about my new hand carders and the rolags I made from them a while back:

Well I got a new pattern book for christmas and I really want to knit myself a large cardigan/jacket for next winter and I want to spin for it. But I need aran weight yarn. Not a weight that me and my wheel do a lot of. This was going to be an experiment to attempt to spin the right thickness, and whether I liked these rolags as a yarn. So spin away I did, then n-plied them into a 3-ply. The colour is a bit washed out, but here is the final skein.

Its brighter in the flesh and really quite lovely I find. And.... yes, I got aran weight, first try. I really should have more faith in my spinning.

So that is what I have been up to when not full of flu or working on the big shawl! Which is soon to be finished too, so watch this space!

What have you all been up to?

Till next time...

Saturday 11 January 2014

Secret Santa

Now we are in the new year, I figure I had best talk about christmas before we get too deep into the month!

So every year I do only ONE Secret Santa, mainly because its all I have spare funds for. And for the last few years I have made it a craft based one, as its a way of guaranteeing I will get something I adore. Its something I very much enjoy doing too. The stalking of the person you are putting a gift together for, planning, getting bits together etc. Also these last few years I have participated in the one run by the Yummy Yarns UK group on Ravelry. I have even been the one to run it in previous years, I have simply been too busy to the last couple. Especially the year before last when I had a newborn on my hands. But my fellow moderators all chipped in and got it organised.

I love the excitement of being told who your partner is. We are an international group and my parcel had to make it to the USA so I got started early. As she was a fellow spinner I chose some gorgeous supper fluffy batts in soft fibres in the purples she loved, and packed them up with some ginger chocolate that she likes, and a set of felt tree decorations I had made especially for her. She is Wiccan so celebrates Yule, not Christmas, so I made some hearts for her tree rather than the traditional 'Christmas' themed ones. Then I sent it off in November. I was very pleased when Yule came that she loved what I sent.

So come late December, MY parcel arrived from another group member. And I had to be good and not open all the things, which was hard when is smelled so good! I could smell very yummy things in there. I was so eager to open it come Christmas, and was ecstatic at what I had been sent.

The fibre is beautiful Wenseleydale fibre in the colour 'Lily Pond'. Looks so scrummy colour wise, definitely thinking socks for me!

This gorgeous tree decoration is made of buttons! And came with a tag stating that it had been made for me before my santa saw the felt ones I made. I think its gorgeous and will definitely be used in years to come. By next Christmas missy should be less chewy!

And this seriously lovely  hand crocheted hair tie! Not only is it gorgeous and just my colour, its also one of the best hair ties I have ever had for my hair! Win all round!

And lastly the scrummy things I could smell!

I LOVE hot chocolate, but a lot of hot chocs lack in actual chocolate content. These are the perfect solution. You can even just warm some milk and melt these in for deliciousness. Absolutely perfect and so very me!

It was a wonderful parcel and this is why I keep doing it every year. Fabulous yarn or fibre from a shop I love, from wonderful people, and the little touches make me smile every time!

What did you all get that was crafty for Christmas?

Till next time.

Monday 6 January 2014

New Year, New Sweater!

Happy New Year everyone!

Yes, the blog has been quiet, but I am pretty sure all of you lovely people who actually read my little ramblings were as busy as I was. Christmas time is a very hectic time of year, so crafting wise, everything dialled down a lot for me. Though I had one project I picked up whenever I had some quiet and wanted something for my hands to do.

My previous post was about swatching for a sweater. Over Christmas I was knitting that sweater. A very basic raglan sweater from a recipe, nice and easy stockinette for something I could pick up, put down and not get lost with while the endless procession of events, guests, dinners and gifts went on for a couple of weeks. And then, on the first day of the New Year, I finished it. I even managed to give it a travel through the washer and dryer overnight.

So here it is. Deliberately made on the roomy side to hopefully get more than one winter from it, my boy's new sweater:

As you can see, he rather likes his new sweater! But seeing as he asked me for it, I am not surprised. I am very pleased with it, and glad he likes it as much as I do. 

I may be quiet for a little while going forward as well. Partly because sleep is rather scarce at the moment as we are weaning the miss off her dummy / pacifier and its proving tough, but we are sticking with it. Partly because I am investing a LOT of time in my current project. Because it deserves it, and its important. Seeing as it will be needed for March the 15th, I had best get a move on right?

More to come on that in time. 

Till next time