crafting · Knitting

Colour work and me – On the Fence Socks

I started making the socks quite long time ago now I think it might have been last year (or maybe even the year before) when Ciasbod podcast was doing her free sock year long knit long using free sock patterns and this was the first pair. The pattern is called On the Fence by Anna Lange and it is available on Ravelry.

I thought I’d give them a go because I’ve never made colour work socks before, to be honest it has never really appealed, it just seems too fiddly and I was a bit intimidated. But then again as the knitalong name says – they’re a free sock pattern so I thought why not dip my toe in (excuse the lame pun there) and have a go.

I cast on using yarn I had in stash, the navy was a full ball that I picked up in the Rag Market market in Birmingham quite a long time ago and pink was left over West Yorkshire Spinners’ Florist range from my Hermione socks. Basically what I’m saying here is I didn’t invest heavily.

I don’t really enjoy using charts so I have found that part a bit difficult and on the first sock I made a few mistakes but only I know about them and really who is going to look at my socks that closely? So it doesn’t really matter if there are some wobbles.

Turns out colour work’s not so bad after all. I’m not saying I’m going to rush do it again, it wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it. The placement of the colour work is a bit lost on me because that’s never going to be on show up there near the cuff and I moved up by about 10 to 15 rows the colourwork band that is supposed to join up with the contrast toe so I could have it peeking out of where the gap starts of my maryjane shoes. They do look a bit odd seeing them like this, I know.

I’m on the foot of the second sock now so not doing too badly with second sock syndrome, even though these have been on my needles for over a year, that’s no big deal for me. I’m not really a monogamous knitter so projects can hang around with me for a very, very long time and that that never really bothers me. Let’s see – perhaps I will make more colourwork socks in the future perhaps I won’t but at least I’m not intimidated by them now.

crafting · Knitting

Today I’m Making…. everything

I’m in for the rest of the day today and avoiding cleaning the bathroom. So I’m making everything.

First of all I need to make this snood for a customer, it’s not far off being done so I’ll be able to post it on Tuesday when the post office reopens. I really like this cream version, it looks so fresh.

When I’ve finished that I’ll put this sparkly Gin Poodle together. Considering my shop is called Gin Poodle I’ve been very slack in actually making them recently so I’m trying to make one in between snood orders whenever I can.

Then I have this vintage jumper to knit for the most adorable customer, I’m not sure to start this until June but I’ve had a bit of capacity so I’m trying to get ahead of myself while I can. I made one of these in magenta for another customer so I’ve bought my own copy of the pattern from the excellent 1940s Patterns on Etsy because quite a few people asked me about it. I won’t make another magenta one though so please don’t all. I want my original customer to be the only one. If you’re thinking about knitting a vintage pattern yourself I cannot recommend 1940s Patterns enough as a source.

Then this will be a rather classy eau de nil Gin Poodle at some point. What on earth will I call a classy Gin Poodle?

crafting · Knitting

Today I’m Making… Fireflies Rising Shawl

This year for the first time I’ve managed to remember to buy a ticket for Yarn in the City’s Great London Yarn Crawl, this is their fifth year anniversary so I’m counting myself as double-lucky for bagging a ticket on the Metropolitan route.  Do have a look, it is going to be fantastic and I’m not just telling you this because I’m so pleased with myself, sometimes they get a cancellation so keep an eye on their Ravelry thread for ticket swaps.

Yarn in the City have a KAL for the yarn crawl, its the gorgeous Fireflies Rising shawlette by Helen Stewart, and at the time I bought it she was donating money to the charity Refuge which pretty much decided it for me.  One of the things I love about this pattern is she has a column showing in percentages how far you are along, I’ve just passed the 55% mark, I’m on 107 with 321 stitches on the needle!

img_0333.jpg

A row is taking a fair old while to complete now so I’m not knitting this on the train to work anymore. Though thinking about it I travel in to Waterloo and with the huge engineering works in August I might well have time to do 3 rows per journey and read 50 pages of my book.  If I get a seat.

My yarn is from Once Upon a Time Skeins, who is a local indie dyer based in Basingstoke which isn’t that far from me but I don’t think she sells in any local shops.  I bought my skeins directly from her (she’s lovely) at the Yarnporium.  There is only one more skein left of the colour I’m on now and I had been wishing I’d made the shawlette just from this colour because its all lovely gingerish shades and knits so beautifully.  I’m going back to my natural red hair too so I think its going to look really nice on. The thing is, I’ve just spotted someone else has finished one in a very similar colour and it looks incredible, but, that means mine is still unique so I’m happy to stick with what I have now.

This pattern is such a joy to knit I’m very tempted to cast on another one straight after finishing this one. The fireflies are some very easy and satisfying yarn overs and double decreases, though having said that when I did the first set I made an almighty mess of it through trying to do it late at night after wine.  I pulled it back and redid it and just look how great it looks even before blocking, its a bit cableish looking while its on the needles.

img_0334

 

I’m still trying to match my nails to my knitting and doing pretty well I think. I’m all up to date with snood orders too so no sudden nail colour changes to contend with.

 

I really want to wear mine on the day so please keep your fingers crossed for me that it doesn’t rain on 9th September and if you’re on the same route as me I am looking forward to meet you on the 9th and dying to hit the shops.

img_0313

 

 

 

crafting · Knitting · vintage

Today I’m making… 1970’s beret

I fancied making a new beret but wanted something that looks more like a classic beret than the 1960’s version I usually make. I knew I had a few beret patterns in my huge vintage pattern archive but I’m not really in the mood to take on fairisle or cable. I’m in a plain as possible mood so when I came across this 1970s pattern I knew it was ‘the one’.

Its double-knit which is unusual for me, I’m a 4-ply knitter.

img_0319-1I’d like to make the whole set really but I’ve done a bit of a work in progress audit this afternoon and the result is that I have tons of work showing very little progress.  I don’t know. I have this lovely variegated sparkly green, brown and cream yarn to use on something and I’ve cast on with it but the more I look at it the more I want to make the whole set in one colour.

I’m off to Blackpool at the start of February for a weekend of knitting, theatre and opera and did want to make myself a jumper but I’ve realised I don’t have enough of the yarn I was intending to use for that but it would be enough to do this.  Maybe I’ll take the jumper pattern with me and buy some yarn while I’m there….

But I’m wandering off topic, I’m making this beret in this yarn and yes I am going to make the most enormous pom-pom I can to go on top.

 

 

crafting

Work in Progress – how much is too much?

If you are a crafter I am pretty confident we have one big thing in common, even if we do entirely different crafts – I bet you have several projects on the go at once.

This is not a bad thing, not always, but there must be a tipping point where you have so many projects on the go that you never finish anything. I think I’m at that stage, I’ve just had a rough count up and I think I have around about 27 projects waiting to be finished.  Some of them are things I really want to finish but I’m not in the mood for, some things I’ve got bored with or aren’t working out as well I imagined they would. Some of those will be unpicked and ditched but some of them just need a bit of rework but those are the hardest ones to deal with. Once a project has started going off key its really hard to keep my interest in it.

The problem is I’m always thinking of something new to start and then I’m full of enthusiasm for that for a day or so… Obviously work gets in the way of really concentrating on fiddle-faddling about but I’d rather have a job than an empty project basket and bailiffs at the door.

For a while I decided I’d just concentrate on one project at at time to get on top of things and frankly to stop my home looking so messy but in the end I just couldn’t do it. I just wasn’t in the mood to knit a 1930’s cardigan for weeks on end and now I haven’t touched that poor cardi in weeks.

So what to do? Am I stressing over nothing or do you think its better to finish something off properly before starting on something new? Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but I do worry that it looks messy here with all my half finished projects and maybe not finishing things is holding me back, because the second attempt is always better than the first and if you never finish the first…

Then again the longer that something hangs around unfinished the less appealing it becomes.

Anyway thats killed 20 minutes when I should have been working on my lap blanket.