January week 4

I’m a monogamous knitter (well for this week at least!)

Yes that’s right readers… I’ve only knit a single item this week … but it’s been great progress!

Week 4 – 21st to 27th Jan

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 5
    Hours knitting = 23 hours.

No new cast-ons, no finished objects… but I’ve knit 5 out of 7 days and managed some serious hours of progress! We’re approaching the end of the month now and I’m behind target if I want to hit my 31 finished objects by the end of the year…

I’m not worried though, I’ve got a plan…

Introducing the garter ripple squish blanket!

I cast this project on last Sunday and have quickly become addicted with this pattern from Louise Tilbrook!

A simple garter stitch pattern with shaping by increasing and decreasing, this is such a quick knit and I’ve really become addicted to it’s simplicity.

I mentioned last week that friends are having a baby, we met up on the weekend and I was pleased to hear that the new arrival isn’t due until May, (I thought it was April!) so whilst I’ve got more time I’m still ploughing on to get this finished!

I’ve definitely taken a step back this week to consider whether I’ll make more progress knitting one item or multiple items… I’ve always been a knitter with multiple WIPs on the go, telling myself that I needed a different project depending on what I was doing.

I’ve had a sock project, a TV knitting project, an ‘out and about’ project, a really complicated project, you get the picture dear readers…

But by looking at how much progress I’ve made on this blanket in just one week I’m now wondering whether I should focus on one project at a time, and whether this is a better way to help me achieve my goal!

In the back of my mind I keep telling myself that whether I have more than one project on the go at once, at the end of the year I’ve still had the same amount of time to knit and therefore the outcome will be the same… But in reality perhaps motivation is linked to finishing projects and therefore focusing on one at a time will mean I finish more quickly and in turn I’m then more motivated to knit more?

What do you all think? Monogamous or multi project? I’d love to know what you think, leave me a comment and tune in next week to find out whether I stuck with the blanket…

January week 3

What a difference a week makes!

As I start to feel more human after last weeks flu, I’ve picked those needles back up and have been cracking on with my projects.

Week 3 – 14th to 20th Jan

    Projects cast-on = 1
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 5
    Hours knitting = 18 hours.

It’s been a pretty good week where I’ve been able to knit 5 out of 7 days and as I write this blog I’ve nearly got my first finished object (#FO) of 2019! Next week includes a long bus ride on Saturday so I’m hoping to squeeze in at least 8 hours of knitting just on Saturday – watch this space!

Oswald continues to take shape and we’re over half way with the colourwork now. The pattern advises to use a combination of fair isle and intarsia and this is how I started. But the further up the wing I get I’ve switched to only using fair isle as the pattern is a bit busier and I can easily carry the colours along the back. I’ll definitely need to switch back to intarsia when I get to his head but for now I’m happy with just fair isle and it’s less ends to sew in at the end!

My tension seems to be ok and the floats look relaxed so I’m feeling pleased with the progress!

There’s been some great progress this week with the Maya cardigan for #niece1 and I just need to set in the sleeves and sew up the sides – this will definitely be my first #FO for 2019 and it might happen later today… as I write this blog post #niece1 is on her way over so I’ll have to hide the project and finish it when she’s gone!

My next project is now on the needles… some very good friends are having a baby who is due in April. They’re totally knit worthy and I know they’ll appreciate a little project… so I popped up to Ammonite this week and picked up some lovely yarn to make a blanket for the new arrival. The pattern I’ve chosen is the Ripple Garter Blanket by Louise Tilbrook. I really love Louise’s designs and this looks squishy and a quick little knit!

I think these colours fit well together (we know they’re having a boy!) and I’ve chosen some soft baby yarn from the West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep DK range.

And finally…

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival takes place again this year for its 6th year at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. The EYF features lots of my favourite designers and craft brands including Brooklyn Tweed, Countess Ablaze, Toft, The Little Grey Girl and La Bien Aimée I can’t wait to visit the show and see what the UK’s premier yarn show is all about – apparently I’ll need a big budget!

Is anyone else making a trip to Scotland this year? Or to any other shows in fact?

Until next week… happy knitting!

January week 2

ILLNESS STRIKES!

Yes that’s right… I got the flu… and not the mythical man-flu either… proper flu! Talk about bad timing for my 2019 crafting plans!

The aches and pains of flu combined with a hacking cough and running nose are hardly well suited to crafting, so I’ve sadly spent four days in bed without a knitting needle or crochet hook in sight.

But fear not dear reader, as I regained some strength towards the end of the week there’s progress to share with you as well as an update on a sustainability workshop I attended at my local yarn shop.

Week 2 – 7th to 13th Jan

    Projects cast-on = 0
    Projects finished = 0
    Days knit = 3
    Hours knitting = 11 hours.

Despite my forced bed rest I’ve actually had a pretty good week in terms of hours spent knitting as I felt more human to knit through the weekend (and will continue through Sunday!). Sadly my work trip got cancelled due to ill health which meant the nine hours of train knitting I had planned didn’t materialise. But I’m back to full strength now so lets hope for a happy week of knitting!

So what did I work on this week?

Some progress has been made with Oswald the owl… I’ve reached the bottom of the wing and despite the pattern looking a little more complicated at this point, it’s actually a bit easier to knit as I’m in a groove now with the bobbins!

I’m going to try to knit a little on him every week and hopefully he’ll be done in no time at all!

The cardigan for #niece1 has benefitted most from my time this week as I enjoyed working on something simple that didn’t need too much concentration while I built myself back up. I finished both fronts this week and cast on the sleeves so I’m hoping that this will be the first item I finish in 2019. Watch this space.

Last week I included a great little coffee place that I found in Manchester to sit and knit, so this week here’s another recommendation. The difference this week is this is one of my favourite places in Cardiff to visit Brød the Danish Bakery in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff is amazing. Pastries to die for, excellent coffee and a European/Scandinavia vibe that is perfect for knitting, it’s a definite recommendation from me if you’re local and have never been, or a ‘must visit’ if you come to Cardiff.

And finally…

My local yarn shop – Ammonite Yarns – is based just outside of Cardiff in a little village called Pontyclun. Ammonite is jointly run by the lovely Jenny and Ruth and they have a yarn club which I’m a member – the Fibonacci Fibre club! The Fibonacci name is in reference to the Fibonacci sequence of which the ammonite shell is a naturally occurring example. On Saturday they held the first workshop of 2019 for members on the subject of sustainability.

There were various sessions throughout the afternoon including felting and repurposing T-shirt’s. I took part in the wash cloth session making cotton face cloths and pads to remove the need for the sponges or face wipes, and also the wax wrap session to remove the need for cling film or foil!

I’ve heard so many knitters extol the virtues of dish/face cloths as easy projects to whip up but it’s always been something I’ve walked past… but taking a step back to think about the ease with which a cotton project could be whipped up as well the environmental benefits we could get from just a little change in attitude it’s definitely something I’ll be considering again. Here’s a little face pad I crocheted up!

Wax wraps were something I’d never heard of but seems very Victorian Kitchen (and who didn’t love a bit Downton Abbey – #teamservant!). Used instead of cling film or tin foil these are a great way to create something sustainable to cover jars or wrap up food to keep in the fridge.

We took a piece of cotton, applied a small amount of coconut oil (for flexibility) then covered in grated wax. Some heat from a moderate iron and voila – a wax wrap! This is definitely something I can see a benefit in using at home to create reusable covers for sandwiches for the office and cheese in the fridge!

This was a workshop run for the club members but I hope Jenny and Ruth consider running it again in the future for the general public, sustainability is such a hot topic at the moment I imagine there will be a demand from others to learn some simple tricks to help do your bit at home!

Well that’s it for this week… over 60 of you interacted with my first blog which was more than I ever expected so thank you! If you’ve any thoughts or questions especially on the sustainability front as a crafter then please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think!

January week 1

Well here we are then, a new month with a brand new page to fill with all sorts of crafty things!

If you’ve found your way here and you don’t know what it’s all about, then check out the background to my #knit365 project.

Each week (or maybe more if I’ve got something interesting to share) I’ll update on my progress, post some useful stats to how my week has been along with a couple of photos from the things I’m working on.

Week 1 – 1st to 6th Jan

  • Projects cast-on = 2
  • Projects finished = 0
  • Days knit = 5 (6 day week!)
  • Hours knitting = 9 hours.

In summary, week 1 was pretty good despite falling at the first hurdle and doing no knitting at all on New Years Day… too much refreshment to see out 2018 hampered progress so like any good resolution it started with gusto on Jan 2nd!

So what did I work on this week?

I cast on two projects this week, the first is an intarsia cushion for our flat knit in Rowan Hemp tweed which is a Martin Storey design for Rowan.  I really love Martin’s designs (despite him spelling his name wrong haha) and the colour work used to create the owl will look great when it’s finished. It’s constructed using a mix of intarsia and fair isle, so for my skill level it’s not one to work on while watching TV!

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The second project I cast on this week is a cardigan for #niece1 and is knit in West Yorkshire Spinners Croft, the pattern is from their Shetland Colours range by Sarah Hatton. Using an Aran weight yarn means it’s a quick knit and the back was finished over two nights while binge watching Game of Thrones.

I really like the simple fair isle motif that takes you through a gradual colour change from the cream to the brown. I’ve got a long return train trip coming up next week so hope to get a lot of this cardigan done then – watch this space…

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I also had a trip to Manchester this weekend to watch the musical Wicked with my other half and found some time before the matinee on Saturday to do some quiet knitting in a coffee shop – if you’re in Manchester and a coffee lover I would definitely recommend checking out Coffee Foundation!

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And finally… of course no trip to Manchester would be complete without a visit to Countess Ablaze, an indi yarn dyer based in the Northern Quarter. My other half visited the shop a few months ago on a work trip to Manchester and picked me up a couple of skeins of chunky yarn which I’ve turned into cowls but this was my first time visiting.  Lovely friendly staff, wall to wall of amazing yarn in some fantastic colours!  As I was in Manchester to see Wicked it would be remiss of me to not buy a skein of this emerald city inspired yarn! Now to find a pattern…….

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So that’s it for blog 1 – I don’t know if this is short or long, I guess time will tell!

If you’ve enjoyed reading please give me a like or a comment, I’d love to know what you think!