A round up and saying goodbye to 2017

Handmade by Caroline Label

These last few months of 2017 have flown by and come the 1st of December I had to make a very big effort to slow time right down. Christmas is my very favourite season of the year and I wanted to soak up every last little drop of the festivities.

In October I started a Christmas gift blanket and finished in good time to get it wrapped and under the tree leaving me to enjoy slow and relaxed stitching during December.

We organised a village Halloween party which was a fabulous success and such fun. I'll try put a post together with decorating, catering and games ideas in plenty time for next Halloween.

I also hosted a trick or treat with hot dogs and wine (for the adults!) at home on the 3rd of November for my lovely neighbour who wasn't able to bring her boys on the 31st.
We attended a fireworks night at a friend, and although I have a love/hate for fireworks, it was pretty spectacular.

At the end of November, Stuart and I took the train up to Edinburgh for a long weekend and my mums birthday. We had the most beautiful weather, and treated ourselves to afternoon tea in Edinburgh Castle, mum to birthday shoes and a coat, and a day in the Christmas market.

December has been pretty busy and I have been following along with Ali Edwards, December Daily project to record our festive adventures.

And now I'm looking at closing the book on 2017. Thinking about the holidays and trips we've taken, the memories we've made and so importantly, the memories I have recorded in my Carpe Diem memory planner. This method of memory recording has worked so well for me!

I will share my 2017 projects over the remaining days of this year and what's happening in 2018.

C xx


Frog it

Frogging post

When I removed the Winter Whispers cardigan from the blocking board I knew straight away that I was going to frog it. In fact I should have done it when I joined the arms to the body. Before the 40 odd yolk pattern rows. I knew then already.

Knitting and crochet is not a cheap hobby, not if you use small batch 100% hand dyed wool. Wool for a cardigan like this one can set you back in the region of £160.00. So getting it right is absolutely key!

I'm pretty sure that everyone coming across my blog is already a member of Ravelry (cause you probably came here from Ravelry!), and know the benefits of the magical resource that it is. And this resource can save you time and money if you just use it. This of course I should know having found wonderful advise while knitting Dear Husbands Ranger Cardigan (see previous post). But for some reason I didn't trust the notes people had written on their project pages for this Winter Whispers cardigan. For that I apologise. Whole heartedly. Because of course here I now sit, re knitting a cardigan that WAS ALREADY BLOCKED, and ready to wear.

So, why did I frog it? Well it was pretty unfortunate that the photo of the cardigan on the lovely model was in fact 2 sizes too big and I thought that this was the fit of the cardigan. ie you knit it in your size and the ease is built in. Now normally a pattern does talk about ease, this one didn't. Assumption = frogging a cardigan that WAS ALREADY BLOCKED, and ready to wear.

Having two skeins of yarn left when you've finished knitting is normally a sign that something in WRONG. Being on top of your yarn usage {as you knit} is kinda important.

Taking the time to measure and check the cardigan schematic before you settle on a size, saves time and money. Laziness = frogging a cardigan that WAS ALREADY BLOCKED, and ready to wear. 

Are you getting the picture?

Now I don't mind making mistakes, when it doesn't cost me too much time and no money. This one cost me a bit of time but really in the grand scheme of things it's really not a biggy. No money was lost as I have rewound the yarn and have started again. Did I learn a lesson? YES.

In fact I learnt a few and am pretty proud at how my knitting ability (the actual knitting) has come a long was in the past year and a half. And sometimes those wins over shadow the mess ups that we occasionally make.

I'm so looking forward to adding this lovely cardigan to my wardrobe. I'll be sure to share when it's done.

Thanks for stopping by.

C xx


Ranger cardigan for darling husband

Ranger cardi 6
Ranger cardi 6
Ranger cardi 6
Ranger cardi 6
Ranger cardi 6
Ranger cardi 6

In May, just in time for the warm weather to arrive, I finished darling husbands Ranger Cardigan. This was such a great knit with lots of learning. I'll admit to being very nervous about making a garment for DH, I was worried about fit and if he would even like the finished article.

So here are the details:
Ranger cardigan is from Brooklyn Tweed and can be bought from Ravelry or the BT website.
I used Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn, in colour Truffle Hunt bought from Loop London.
Gauge was set by the pattern and I used the recommended needle sizes, without making any changes to the numbers of stitches or advised measurements.
Top tip: Read the whole pattern including the notes on the last page before starting your cardigan. I had a tough time figuring out how to keep the pattern when increasing the sleeves and abandoned sleeve one to work on the body having only knit about 10 rows.
On my Ravelry project page I have referenced a lovely knitter, who has the most comprehensive notes, without whom I might not have finish this project.

I'm so thrilled with how this cardigan turned out and it has given me a good sizing reference for future projects.

C xx


Another happy hippopotamus

Happy hippo 2
 Happy hippo 2
Happy hippo 2

It's been ages since I last blogged! I've not stopped creating over the summer though so i'll share what I finished over the next few weeks.

Starting with this cutie pie! I made one last year and only managed to take one photo of it, so this time I was sure to get more.

A few details:
He's made with Scheepjes sunkissed cotton. I chose six colours for the flower part of the shape, using a dark grey for the last joining round.
I used a 2.5mm hook.
It's the hippy happypotamus pattern from ravelry. This is a very well written pattern with loads of step by step photos.
The toy stuffing is from hobbycraft.
I chose to just shape his eyes rather than use button or safety eyes.

This is such a fun make, really did enjoy it!

C xx


A field Bag

Fringe field bag 2
Fringe field bag 2
Fringe field bag 2

I bought my field bag from Fringe Supply Co last year and have been meaning to share it here on the blog for months. This is such a great on the move project bag. The perfect size for a shawl or pair of socks that you can work on while out and about. Mine is always set up to grab and go at a moments notice.

Inside there are pockets. On one side the pocket is a good size for holding a pattern, this pocket has eyelets too. The other side is separated into 4 pockets. Three slim, for a pen, scissors and needle holder and one larger. The bag comfortably holds two or three balls of yarn and your working project. The leather handle will soften with use as will the rope tie pulls.

I have a little collection of pins on mine. One from Brooklyn Tweed (from EYF2017), two little wooden MAKER pins from Beyond Measure (from EYF2017) and two pins that I bought years ago from I can't remember where.

Fringe are based in the US, so if you're ordering from the UK (or anywhere else in the world) there are a few things to consider. Shipping as we know can double your order value so have a good look around and perhaps save your pennies until you can afford to buy everything you want at once. There is a (UK) custom charge which will add £20ish to your order too. These are annoying facts about ordering overseas but at least you can factor them in before ordering so it's not a surprise.
Edited to add: Before this post went live I discovered that YAK in Brighton is a supplier of some of Fringe's bags!! YIPPEE

This really is my favourite project bag.

these opinions are my own and I have not received anything from Fringe for this post

Thank for visiting.

C xx


A tropical theme for summer 2017

Flamingo party 1

Flamingo party 2

 

Flamingo party 4

Flamingo party 5

Flamingo party 6

Flamingo party 7

Flamingo party 8

Flamingo party 9

Oh I do love a summer BBQ and I do love to decorate for a summer BBQ. And this year there are SO many great Flamingo themed accessories to really make your party fun!

In March we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and decided to have a BBQ, we're South African so there is no BBQ season in our house! Thankfully we were blessed with a sunny and warm weekend just like our wedding day 10 years ago.

eBay is bursting with Festival Party Supplies and Pinterest is full of great décor ideas.

The best bit about this party theme is the mix of colour, textures and styles. I used a lot of coloured glass, vases, tealight holders and some tall coloured glass shot glasses for displaying straws and cocktail stirrers. I mixed linen napkins with paper napkins because I try hard to reduce my waste but I couldn't resist these flamingo ones!!

There are a few bits that you can't reuse, like the paper napkins or straws, but I do wash and reuse cocktail stirrers and I save photo booth props from landing up on the floor or in the bin. But I'm certainly not precious about little bits that go home in someone's handbag. After all if they want a memento of the day, it's been a SUCCESSFUL day!

Top Tip:
If you are lucky enough to have a glue gun then use it to adhere the sticks of your photo booth props. They last much longer that way!

I'm so looking forward to many more Tropical themed parties in 2017 and I'll be sharing some fun BBQ food ideas as we move through spring!

C xx


Sock mania

And joining Craft On with Frontier Dreams

Craft on 20 04 17

On Monday I finished the second pair of Marlee Socks and cast on pair 3 which are for darling husband. He is getting contrast colour toes on his.

I think this could be the year of the sock!

In the evenings though I am working on the ranger cardigan and it's now knitting up pretty quickly. It may even be done by the end of April!

Happy day!

C xx


Two different projects

And crafting on with Frontier Dreams

Yarnalong 06 04 17

I have been working on two very different projects. A ranger cardigan for dear husband and socks (for me). I have never managed to knit two different things as once. Normally if I cast on something new the first project is abandoned until the new project is finished and then (hopefully) I pick it up again. But I needed a more portable project while I tackle the looooong rows of the ranger cardi now that the sleeves have been joined to the body.

I also like to keep a project together, ie all the yarn, the working piece and a bag of notions. So carrying the cardi into work each day (I'm a lunch time knitter) was getting rather tedious. Now it stays at home and it's my evening TV knitting project and the socks travel with me. This is another pair of Marlee Socks, I shared pair one on the blog last week.

My lovely husband gifted me a $200 voucher for Brooklyn Tweed last week and I am itching to spend it! What a great gift :)

C xx


Marlee Socks Voila

Marlee socks 2
Marlee socks 2
Marlee socks 2
Marlee socks 2

Love, love, love, these super soft and slouchy socks by CabinFour called Marlee socks. I took the yarn and needles with me to Edinburgh Yarn Fest and although I was too distracted looking at everyone else's beautiful knit wear at the fest to knit even a single stitch, I did make good progress on the train home.

This is the third pair of socks I have knit. I'm a fan of plain socks in plain colours, although I think the effect of self striping sock yarn is pretty cool, I'm not keen on the multicolour yarn. But I do like mis-matched socks so I'll need to give that a try soon.

A few details:
These knit up quickly with Quince & Co Chickadee yarn on 3.25mm needles.
The pattern is easy to follow, well written and there is a row count for the rib cuff and leg. I found the rows very easy to count with this yarn. I always prefer a row count to an inch/cm length reference.
I did make a note of the row count for the foot of my sock so I can refer back. If I make some for dear husband (who incidentally has already asked for a pair) I will note the row count for his size too.

Please note, opinions here are my own and I have not received anything for these comments

Always on the hunt for sock patterns :)

C xx


knit then unknit

and joining Crafting On

Yarnalong 29 03 17

I finally managed to get a better 'natural light' photograph of darling husbands Ranger cardigan. We had a little hiccup this week, when I knit 10 rows of 'short row' pattern and then made a mistake and couldn't fix it (I did try!) and had to unknit (then rip out) the 10 rows and start again.

Anyway, last night I got to the point where I join the sleeves to the body and as it was nearly 10pm (and close to my bed time) I decided to leave that for another day. I will life line all three pieces before I start. Just in case!

In between, I'm knitting another pair of Marlee Socks. There is a Voila post coming next week of pair number 1. This is a nice portable project and one that I can knit as few as 16 stitches in a spare moment :)

Looking forward to another inspiring day following yarn crafters.

C xx