April week 15

The curse of the garter stitch returns

Week 15 – 8th to 14th April

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 7
    Hours knitting = 22 hours

Nothing new was started this week and sadly nothing has been finished either… but I’ve made great progress on my new scarf AND I’ve done another week of knitting 7 days running so I’m feeling really great!

Diagonal Drift

I’ve continued to be addicted to the Diagonal Drift scarf this week and have once again turned to monogamous knitting to make progress. Similar to the baby blanket from a few weeks ago it’s actually been really relaxing to churn out row after row of knit stitch, it’s also perfect for TV knitting which is good as we’ve been on a Game of Thrones catch up!

This is a really simple pattern as there are only two pattern sections, one has the short rows and one is a straight section.

The short rows have been worked as German Short Rows which is definitely my new preferred way to do these, they’re so neat and there’s no awkward wraps to pick up.

Look how cool they are those diagonal stripes are!

The scarf/shawl curve has really started to show and I’m now on the final section which is a mighty 43 repeats so approximately 172 rows! This is going to take some time but is in my plan to finish this week especially with a BH weekend coming up.

The edging detail is really pretty too as you can see here.

Overall this has been a great project to work on and I think it’s the start of a Stephen West addiction…

And finally…

Like any good knitter before I’ve finished one project of course I’m lining up my next one – and yes you guessed it, it’s another Stephen West design! Hopefully I’ll have cast it on for the next blog but I picked the wool up from Ammonite Yarns this week – any ideas as to which design this will be?

Until next week, happy crafting!

April week 14

Staycation = perfect for crafting!

Week 14 – 1st to 7th April

    Projects cast-on = 2
    Projects finished = 1
    Days knit = 7
    Hours knitting = 28 hours

Two new projects started this week and one finished too! It’s been a great week of rest at home which has led to lots of knitting and crochet!

Meet Bridget

With the baby blanket finished a few weeks ago I wanted to crochet something from the Toft Ed’s Menagerie, as our friends are having a wild animal themed nursery I chose to make Bridget the elephant.

To give more of an impact in the nursery I chose to make this toy in Aran wool instead of DK weight. I’m so pleased with how she turned out and crocheting with a size 5mm hook instead of the usual 3mm meant it whipped up really quickly and is so much easier to work as the stitches are larger.

As both Bridget and the blanket are a gift, Mark suggested making her a little scarf to match them together so using some leftover wool and size 3mm needles I knitted a little scarf – and I think she looks perfect!

Diagonal Drift scarf

My second project this week is the Stephen West diagonal drift scarf where I picked up the wool whilst at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival a few weeks ago. The wool is from Stephen’s new self-titled range – West Wool – and Mark chose the colours for our version.

Once again the pattern calls for ‘turns’ in the work so I’m using my new favourite German Short Rows and as you can see from the pictures, the way the pattern changes direction is great.

I’m totally addicted to this project as it’s simple to remember the sequence and the wool is lovely to work with. I cast this on, on Friday, and I’m about half way through already! Whilst I’m back to work next week I really hope I can plan to finish this week!

And finally

My ‘and finally’ this week is a shout out to my lovely crochet teacher and friend Gaëlle. I met Gaëlle a year ago at Ammonite Yarns where I’d booked myself onto a crochet course after many failed YouTube attempts to teach myself – and without sounding corny, I was hooked!

Gaëlle drops into the weekly craft nights each Tuesday at Ammonite when she’s not teaching and it’s been great to keep in touch and share my crochet progress.

Well this week I was knitting away when a notification popped up on my phone for Twitter and Instagram, Gaëlle had written the most lovely post about me! Why would someone write about little old me? Gaëlle used me as her ‘follow friday’ this week to share my blog and journey with her followers about my blog, my planning and my (very organised) Ravelry page.

I want to give a public thanks to Gaëlle for reading my blog each week, for being so patient and a genuinely lovely person – being able to share my progress with just one person has made it all worthwhile!

Check out Gaëlle’s website and sign up to her newsletter if you’re into crochet, it’s a great monthly read.

Until next week, happy crafting.

March week 13

What a difference a week makes with a bit of focus and direction!

Three finished projects this week – yes that’s right, three!

Week 13 – 25th to 31st March

    Projects cast-on = 1
    Projects finished = 3
    Days knit = 6
    Hours knitting = 13 hours

Three official ‘finished objects’ all blocked and sewn up ready for their recipients. I’ve now got a week off work and we’re planning a ‘staycation’ which involves lots of rest and lots of knitting!

Garter Ripple Squish

I’m formally claiming the Garter Ripple Squish blanket as a finished object this week as the ends have finally been sewn in. Plus it’s a great excuse to share another photo of those lovely ripples. The new arrival isn’t due until early May but we’re seeing our friends in a few weeks time so I’m glad it’s done.

Maya‘ cardigan

Another project I’ve previously shared was this lovely cardigan from West Yorkshire Spinners with a little fair isle motif. Its now been blocked and had some wooden buttons added and I’m so happy with the finish. I made this project in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft which is 100% British, 100% wool and very squishy. Best of all it’s machine washable which is probably needed as it’s for #niece1 who is only 4!

Spotlight‘ jumper

This is my first project knit ‘in the round’ which means you start at the bottom on a circular needle and work up in a tube. The benefit of this technique is that there’s no setting in sleeves or sewing the fronts and backs together, I can see how this speeds up the overall project and it’s also given me a nicer finish!

The jumper was made using Rowan Pure Wool Worsted which means it’s 100% wool so nice and warm, but it’s also machine washable which will be perfect for a baby!

This pattern is from Tin Can Knits and I’ve already got my eye on a couple of other projects both for myself and the nieces. I thought this would take me a long time to knit the fair isle motif in the round so I made aged 18-24 months… niece 2 is 12 months in a few weeks so she’s definitely got some growing room in this!

Morag is going to join my menagerie…

Fresh from my EYF inspiration last week I cracked on with Morag and have made good progress this week… starting to take shape Morag now has a body, head and a leg and should be finished this week I hope.

And finally!

With a week off I’m planning lots of knitting and I’m going to make a start on the Stephen West ‘diagonal drift’ project that I brought the wool for last week in Edinburgh. I’m putting it in the blog this week to hold myself to account…

Watch this space… until next week, happy crafting!

March week 11 and 12

Life got in the way… I missed a week of blogging…

I was out all day last Sunday so had planned to blog on Monday, but then that became Tuesday, which became Wednesday… (you get the picture!) so sit back and read this weeks bumper edition!

Week 11 – 11th to 17th March

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 3
    Hours knitting = 5 hours

Week 12 – 18th to 24th March

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 1
    Days knit = 5
    Hours knitting = 11 hours

So all in all it’s not been the most productive two weeks. I had so much on at work and home knitting and crochet dropped down the to-do list. That’s going to be corrected this week as I’m currently writing this blog in Edinburgh having visited the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF) yesterday, I’m massively motivated to get cracking on with some projects this week!

Meet Geraldine (and Kerry, Morag and Dougal)

I finished Geraldine last week and introduced her to my menagerie. Geraldine is a level 1 skill pattern and whipped up really quickly, the vibrant yellow is really lovely!

One of my favourite bits at the EYF was visiting the Toft stand which was so buzzy! This year Toft created a new giant animal as an exclusive for EYF, and it was the perfect photo opportunity to get a selfie with Dougal! If you’ve read previous blogs you’ll know I’m a massive fan of the brand and the Edwards Menagerie collection, so being able to meet founder Kerry Lord yesterday (who is the loveliest person you could hope to chat with!) was a bonus for me.

My haul of goodies obviously had to include some Toft and I’m really pleased to have got my hands on a kit for both Dougie and last years exclusive Morag! I’m really looking forward to introducing them to my collection!

Tin Can knit’s jumper

Back to my knitting I made great progress last week on my Tin Can Knits Spotlight jumper by finishing the coloured yolk. I’ve just got the arm holes to graft together then it needs to be blocked to smooth out some of the lumps and bumps.

I still need to work on my tension when doing fair isle but practice makes perfect so they say and I’ll definitely make another one of these, it’s such a quick knit!

The rest of my EYF haul

I had a great time at the yarn festival and you can tell why (and how) it gets it’s name as the premier yarn show. There were also so many amazing knits being worn by visitors it was difficult sometimes not to stare at people! We saw Stephen West (of Stephen & Penelope fame) who is as quirky in real like as he comes across on Instagram. Mark was taken with a scarf/shawl that had just been designed and released for the show so of course we brought some of Stephen’s yummy new yarn West Wool in ‘Tandem’. Mark chose the colours and I think this is going to be my next knitting project to cast on.

I also met the famous Countess and couldn’t resist asking for a selfie! I brought a skein of her new show yarn ‘Brexshit’ which is going to become some fingerless gloves for me!

So that’s it, it’s been a crazy few weeks of slow progress but I’m excited about what’s to come next… until next time, happy crafting!

March week 10

A new cast on, nothing finished!

After the success of week 9 being the first week where I knit/crochet for 7 days, sadly it’s back down to 6 days this week……

Week 10 – 4th to 10th March

    Projects cast-on = 1
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 6
    Hours knitting = 18 hours

2019 objective – a knitted yolk!

One of my objectives for 2019 is to make a jumper with a knitted yolk. There are so many lovely patterns I want to make I added it to my challenge list, and this week I cast a project on! I’m going to make a jumper for #niece2 as it’s easier to learn a new technique on a smaller project before I start an adult piece.

I’ve seen lots of fellow knitters regularly rave about Tin Can Knits and their wonderful patterns, well I saw a pattern and decided #niece2 would look lovely in it. So I’ve made great progress this week with their Spotlight jumper.

Knitting in the round may be my new favourite way to create a jumper – yes ok the DPNs are a bit fiddly to start off with just 13 stitches but making a continuous tube with no seaming definitely seems the way to go.

I started this on Tuesday at Ammonite Yarns knit/crochet club and I’ve worked on nothing else all week!

I read ahead on the pattern on Tuesday night and realised in horror that I needed to do a Wrap & Turn (W&T) for some short rows… it’s a shame I wasn’t blogging last year when I attempted W&T on a sock heel and swore I’d never do it again… Ruth is one of the owners at Ammonite Yarns and joked that there is no such thing as the knitting police and that I don’t need to W&T and could use German Short Rows instead – no one will tell me off!

Jenny (the other owner) then gave me a quick demo of the technique and look readers… short row shaping using the German Short a row technique!

This further proves for me the value of a bricks and mortar yarn shop, I didn’t ask for help we were just chatting over a coffee about what I was working on, and hearing me aghast at the W&T technique they offered up advice to a novice knitter which made my life so much easier!

So by the end of Sunday night I’ve successfully joined the sleeves to the main body and I’m ready to start the coloured yolk! Watch this space for progress next week…

Until next time, happy crafting!

February and March Week 9

I’ve done it!

Another week has past and I’ve finally done it… week 9 of 2019 and I’ve crafted everyday!

I’ve had a week at home with no work travel and despite a pretty crazy week I’ve made sure I found at least 30 minutes each day for a little crafting. Let’s see if I can carry it on for another week…

Week 9 – 25th Feb to 3rd March

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 7 (!!)
    Hours knitting = 21 hours

By knitting or crocheting a little each day I’ve made some great progress this week! It just goes to show that when you put some time aside you can get a lot done!

Oswald the owl

The front is done… I set myself a target to finish the front of the cushion this week and I cast him off on Friday. I’m pleased with how he’s turned out, however I’m not sure what’s happened with my tension as he’s taller than he is wider.

I’ve always been a knitter who knits “just right” I’m neither too loose (creating bigger sized projects) nor too tight (creating smaller sized projects). Having worked on fairisle pieces in the past my tension has been exact so I can only put this down to the combination of fairisle and intarsia techniques being used together. Ultimately Oswald is a cushion so it won’t matter that the finished size is bigger than the pattern says (unlike a jumper where incorrect tension can result in the finished object being too big or small to wear!) but I will need to bear the size difference in mind when it comes to creating the back piece, as that will need to be slightly longer to ensure it matches. I also need to think about the filling nas the project was meant to be 46x46cm but now I’ll need to find a cushion centre that takes a 52cm cover – I might stuff it with filling rather than an actual cushion but more on that in future weeks!

Of course blocking will help to even it all out and hopefully I’ll find time to pin him out this week.

It feels great to have a project finished that I can actually talk about, rather than just update you on my weekly progress.

Geraldine the duck

The other project I’ve worked on this week has been to continue with Geraldine. With Oswald reaching a critical conclusion early in the week I took Geraldine to my weekly knit/crochet club as well as working on her for a little train crochet to and from London as I had a weekend away.

All the crochet is finished now, she just needs to be sewn up to bring her to life and Geraldine will join my menagerie in time for next week’s blog.

Until next time… happy crafting!

February week 8

Finally… it’s cast-off!

It’s been a great week and I’ve finally cast-off the baby blanket!

Week 8 – 18th Feb to 24th Feb

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 5
    Hours knitting = 19 hours

A week of knitting for 7 days still alludes me, but some focus at the start of last week means the baby blanket is finally off the needles and I’m so pleased! I’ve worked on two other projects this week too which has been great to focus on something different!

Garter stitch finished! Ends still to go…

On Tuesday night I had a warm feeling as I cast the last stitch off on the garter ripple squish blanket – after literally weeks of endless knit stitch it’s finally done. And readers, I couldn’t be more chuffed! It’s squishy as the name implies and the West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep yarn not only has a nice softness that’s going to be perfect for a newborn baby, the colours go great together too.

I’ve still got to sew the ends in and am taking a tip from Ruth at my LYS to try and sew 5 or 6 each time I sit down to knit. This is a great tip for me to do a little and often, and I’ve got until end of April before the little one is due so plenty of time.

My menagerie

Geraldine made an appearance again this week with leg 1 being complete and leg 2 underway. I still love the vibrancy of the Toft yellow and can’t wait to see her finished.

Oswald the Owl

With the blanket finished I grabbed my project bag with Oswald the Owl and made some more progress as we now creep closer to his head. It’s going to need to be blocked to flatten some of the floats out from the fairisle but I’ve enjoyed dusting this project off! Oswald is probably going to be my main project this week so hopefully I’ll get the motif finished by the weekend.

Until next week… happy crafting!

February week 7

Still not quite close enough… but nearly there!

Not many of you read last weeks blog and to be honest you’re all probably as sick as me at hearing about the progress of the baby blanket… but this week in summary…

Week 7 – 11th Feb to 17th Feb

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 5
    Hours knitting = 21 hours

A really productive week of knitting including some great time on Sunday catching up with family over a big roast and knitting the day away! Still only 5 out of 7 days knit/crochet but some good hours put in on the needles.

Nearly there…

I set myself a target of finishing the knitting on the baby blanket this week and despite me saying this in previous weeks I am very nearly there… one grey stripe followed by the final white stripe and I’m casting off… so watch this space! The garter ripple squish will be done this week!

I really love the stitch pattern and I’m so glad I chose to knit this ripple rather than the usual crochet ripple.

And when I cast off we all know what’s coming next….. yes… sewing in the ends!

So that’s it for this week… a shorter than usual blog post as there’s not much to tell over and above continued knit stitches!

EDIT: I wrote the beginning of the blog on Sunday but held off posting as I was convinced I was going to finish the blanket, then work got in the way on Monday so I hope you enjoy a delayed Tuesday blog!

Until next week… happy crafting!

February week 6

Close, but not quite close enough…

So that’s another week passed and we’re nearly there on the garter ripple stitch blanket! I’ve had to work on something else this week too though, boredom crept in…

Week 6 – 4th Feb to 10th Feb

    Projects cast-on = 1
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 4
    Hours knitting = 9 hours

Last week was so busy at work that I struggled to fit in any real knitting or crochet time, which ultimately means a shorter than usual blog!

Spring sprung?

As I posted on Instagram on Saturday, when the colours are that vibrant and the sun is shining there’s no need for a filter, check this lovely picture out!

Desperately in need of a break from row after row of garter stitch I grabbed some wonderful Toft yarn including this bright yellow which I’d ordered to make Geraldine the Duck for my menagerie. It was lovely to spend a few hours on Saturday morning starting something new, I also found that working on something completely different refreshed me and I spent Sunday working again on the blanket.

The picture of the blooming daffodils was a welcome sight to wake up to on the weekend and I hope it’s the first sign that spring is on its way.

As you can see, Geraldine is far from finished but I took a little satisfaction finishing the head and body combo and I can definitely see an improvement in the speed with which I can crochet!

Garter, garter, garter…

The blanket is making great progress despite a lack of knitting last week. I set out to blog my progress with the aim of trying to find a little time each day to work on my projects – this blog is called #knit365 after all!

But life well and truly got in the way last week and I dropped down to only knitting on 4 days. I’ve still not found the ability to get up early and knit/crochet a little before I head to work which I think is the key to unlocking my crafting time. Work is very busy at the moment and three nights last week I came home feeling drained and just lay on the sofa watching TV. As my needles taunted me from my project bag I felt a pang of guilt at not using that time to craft but I just couldn’t face it.

The irony is that I know deep down the benefits of mindfulness and how knitting helps me relax! Still, I’m not beating myself up, I do what I can and know progress will follow.

With only two colour repeats left I know I’m on the home straight with the blanket and at roughly an hour a colour my aim is to finish the blanket this week – watch this space readers!

Until next week… happy crafting!

January and February – week 5

I’m (still) a monogamous knitter…

Yes that’s right, another week has passed and I’ve still only worked on the same item…

Week 5 – 28th Jan to 3 Feb

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 1
    Days knit = 5
    Hours knitting = 17 hours

Another week with only 5 days of knitting/crocheting and I’m determined to get a full week in soon! Whilst I’ve only worked on the baby blanket again this week I have finished an Ed’s Menagerie animal and I’ve 95% finished the cardigan for niece #1 – progress shared below!

First finished object for 2019 (#FO)

Everyone, meet Bradlee! Bradlee is a squirrel from the Toft Ed’s Menagerie collection. The Toft animals were the reason I learnt to crochet last year, I love the style and branding of the collection and I really enjoyed working on Bradlee. All the crochet was done last year, I’ve just not found the time to sew him up!

The tail was an interesting piece to work on, loop stitches all the way with a bit of a colour change at the tip. Bradlee now joins the rest of my menagerie – Noel, Emma, Piotr and Rory (left to right in the picture). I think there will be a separate blog post on my love of Toft in future weeks.

Maya cardigan

There’s been no progress on the cardigan for #niece1 for the last few weeks as I found myself addicted to the new baby blanket. But a weekend at home has allowed me time to finally sew it up. I’m not claiming this as a #FO this week as I still need to block it and add buttons, but hopefully I’ll get that done this week.

I’m really pleased though, what do you think so far?

And finally…

Another week where all my efforts have gone into the baby blanket! It’s such a fun pattern where I’m now working on it from memory and ratting through it at pace, it’s perfect for watching TV which is great as we’re binge watching Game of Thrones for a 2nd time.

I’m over half way through now and will definitely be finished in February, little babba isn’t due until May so I’m well ahead of schedule.

Have a great week – happy crafting!