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February 2016

January 2016

Patchwork throw update

29 01 Jolie
29 01 jolie knit and chat
29 01 patchwork throw
29 01 patchwork throw book
29 01 Bag of blocks

On Tuesday I visited Jolie in Walkern for a very long overdue knit and chat with some lovely ladies. I discovered Jolie in 2008 after my love of yarn craft was reignited and I had made 4 granny square blankets in 6 months.

I get to knit and chat as often as can manage without using all my holidays. When I was with John Lewis and my contract changed to allow for a day off each month, I chose a Tuesday. When I was off for two months post redundancy and pre 'get back to work', I went every week. I loved my Tuesdays with like minded folk.

There is always lots to look at in the shop as well as cake and biscuits, delicious coffee and oodles of inspiration!

I took a better photograph of the patchwork throw and also a photograph of the book, which is now out of print, as a few people have asked which one it is. I have found the pattern on ebay (a quality reproduction, laminated) but it didn't feel right paying someone other than Debbie Bliss for the pattern.

I have made 12 of the 40 blocks and each one gets easier. As well as understanding cables I am getting into a good rhythm and learning to match the row below when i'm on a wrong side row. With only 40 blocks i'm not fretting about putting it together at the end, in fact i'm looking forward to it! I get two blocks from each ball of yarn so if I swop and change colours and pattern I'm always doing something different.

Looking forward to getting back to it after the bed socks!!

Ciao xx


A little break from blocks

and joining Ginny for a Yarnalong

Yarnalong 27 01

My goal for 2016 was to not have more than one WIP on the go at once and I didn't even manage to make one month!

Last night I finished block 12 of 40 and although I am LOVING the knitted blocks I was desperate to try some bed socks from the newly released book, Simply Knitted With Love, written by the very talented and lovely ladies from Jolie in Walkern. If you're local to Hertfordshire or find yourself in the area, this shop is worth a visit!

The bed socks are knitted on 6mm needles in Rowan cocoon yarn. I'm thinking Christmas gifts (Is it too soon!)

I finished WILD last night. I feel like i've been reading it for months (I think I have been) and have enjoyed every step of the journey. She was a brave girl to head out into the wilderness on her own and I do truely believe that it saved her life. 5 stars!

Tonight I will start Go Set a Watchman. I've tried not to read too many reviews or hear too many opinions of the book as I know some loved and some were so dissapointed in it. I also tried to steer clear of the hype which is why I didn't dive right in the day I brought it home.

Happy day!

Ciao xx


Growing pile of squares

and joining Ginny on a yarnalong

Yarnalong 20 01 16

A nice, neat little pile of knitted blocks is slowing growing for my patchwork throw. I am loving the learning and methodical reading of a pattern. I will block each square for better pattern definition and to get them all the same size for joining, although that is still a way off! 8 down 32 to go. I feel that this project will be on my yarnalong for many weeks to come.

As is WILD. I'm managing about 5/6 pages a night before my tired eyelids can stay open no longer. I would love to just read until the end but I know I will regret it in the morning and i'll be so sorry that I rushed the story.

I think dear husband has settled on a pattern for his cardigan so I am going to have a lovely little yarn shop this month!

Looking forward to lots of shared inspiration this week.

Ciao xx


Already making progress

Basket of yarn to make list 15 01 15

I love a basket of yarn!

My TO MAKE list has changed shape since I last reviewed it on the 6th of January. I thought it was a good idea to add some structure to the order I want to make things in, taking into account the change of season.
This nice, neatly ordered plan went swiftly in the bin when it came to selecting my next project. You see even though I have a nice neat TO MAKE list, I may not be inspired to make the next thing on it. I might still need to work out what i'm in the mood to make at the time.
And you would think that with such a long list I would be inspired by a few, eh? Well no, nope, not at all. In fact I sat in my craft room um'ing and ahh'ing for a good 45 minutes! Taking a project bag out it's storage box, stroking the yarn for 5 minutes then putting it back. Deciding that the pattern I chose for my cardigan isn't quite right and I need to look again. Thinking that I really must get Stuart to choose a pattern and colour for his jumper/cardigan so I can buy the yarn. Wondering if making lap blankets is the best use of yarn after all.

Oh the messy ponderings of a yarn crafter. Anyway here is what the list looks like now. Did you notice I added one two things at the bottom!

Lap blanket - in Debbie Bliss and Rowan hand knit cotton. The pattern for this is from an out of print book, and is beautiful knitted squares with cable detail and intarsia. Had the yarn for ages!! Lots of learning on this blanket! ON THE NEEDLES
Beanie/hat - For me using what's left of my merino/possum blend New Zealand yarn. Using this pattern inspired by the one Soulemama made with yarn from her own sheep. (How frickin cool is that!) (have yarn, need a short circular needle)
Cardigan/Jumper for darling husband - Looking for a pattern on Brooklyn Tweed. I am longing to use their beautiful yarns. (need to buy yarn and pattern)
Granny poncho - in Scheepjes invicta extra. Going to make this poncho with squares, just need to find the right square. (have yarn)
Lap blanket - stylish squares pattern in Debbie Bliss baby cash yarn, dark grey. (have yarn)
Lap Blanket - Willow block from Jan Eatons 200 crochet blocks book in Origins Lait yarn. (have yarn)
Yolk pleat top - this one from Debbie Bliss. I have done it in pink and have the yarn to do a grey one. (have yarn)
Pebble Beach shawl - In yellow, for me, for summer. (have yarn)
Cardigan - Artesano Alpaca yarn, looking at this pattern. (have yarn)
Little Cotton Rabbits - I bought the boy cat pattern. (need yarn, although I have so many odds that i'm sure I have everything I need!)
Posie Gets Cosy rabbit - From kit which I bought a few years back. (have everything to make this)

Besides dear husbands cardigan/jumper, I really don't need to buy yarn for at least a year. Shit did I just say that out loud!

I've created a page (see the side bar) to keep a running list of projects completed (but not necessarily started) in 2016. I love to see FINISHED next to a project but I really can't keep them on my TO MAKE list. And it's going to be a great reference at the end of the year.

Ciao xx


Always learning

and joining Ginny for yarnalong

Yarnalong 13 01 15

I've had a busy week, finishing dear husbands beanie (yet to be photographed) and a cowl for myself, which has been blogged here. Next on the needles is a knitted pathwork throw, with cables and intarsia so lots of new things and plenty learning on this project.

On the finish straight with Wild. Great read, just great! I love this passage.....
"How fabulous down was for those first minutes! Down, down, down I'd go until down too became impossible and punishing and so relentless that I'd pray for the trail to go back up. Going down, I realized, was like taking hold of the loose strand of yarn on a sweater you'd just spent hours knitting and pulling it until the entire sweater unraveled into a pile of string. Hiking the PCT was the maddening effort of knitting that sweater and unraveling it over and over again. As if everything gained was inevitably lost."

Ciao xx


A simple cowl

 Cowl 1

I bought this yarn at Festiwool last year and had an idea that I wanted a cowl. Just something simple that I could pull on as an extra layer of warmth.

The yarn is Ananuca, from Chile, and is dyed using locally collected plants. It's homespun and delightfully uneven. I bought three skeins, 2 grey and one black.
I knitted using a 5mm circular needle in the round.
The pattern is simple. 120 cast on stitches, joined, careful not to twist. A few rounds 2/2 rib, then moss stitch, changing colour very sporadically. I had no plan, just changed colour when I felt like it. Then more rib when you have about half a ball of yarn left. My rib sections are different sizes so the thicker rib works better/is tighter around the nose!

I like a cowl, because it stays where it's put on a windy day.

Ciao xx


The yarn craft year ahead

And joining Ginny with yarnalong

Yarnalong 06 01 16

2016 got off to a flying start with the Rosewater shawl coming off the needles on January 1st. It is yet to be blocked and i'm not sure if it's one for me or a gift as I think it will suit one of my nieces who has a birthday in April.

I didn't think twice about casting on a new project using some lovely yarn that my step mom sent me from New Zealand. It's 75% NZ merino and 25% possum, and super soft and snuggly. I started a 2/2 rib beanie that was for me but will likely go to darling husband. I have 3 skeins so there is plently to knit another one although I will look for something a little more patterned for me.
This is a stash busting project as I have had the yarn for over 18 months - feeling virtuous!
He likes a long beanie so it can be slouchy or turned up. A bit more knitting to be done then.

Still reading Wild. I had hoped to be finished by now, but deep down I think I will be sad when it's over. She was incredibly brave to make that journey on her own, although when you're young you don't look at danger in the same way.

My TO MAKE list looks like this right now:
Lap blanket - stylish squares pattern in Debbie Bliss baby cash yarn, dark grey.
Lap Blanket - Willow block from Jan Eatons 200 crochet blocks book in Origins Lait yarn.
Cardigan - Artesano Alpaca yarn, looking at this pattern.
Yolk pleat top - this one from Debbie Bliss. I have done it in pink and have the yarn to do a grey one.
Lap blanket - in Debbie Bliss and Rowan hand knit cotton. The pattern for this comes out of an out of print book, and is beautiful knitted squares with cable detail and intarsia. Had the yarn for ages!! Lots of learning on this blanket!
Granny poncho - in Scheepjes invicta extra. Going to make this poncho with squares, just need to find the right square.
Rosewater Shawl - This one from Ravelry. I bought yarn for it at Festiwool, from the Native Yarns stall. FINISHED
Cardigan/Jumper for darling husband - Looking for a pattern on Brooklyn Tweed. I am longing to use their beautiful yarns.
Cowl - No pattern found yet and not sure if I want to knit or crochet. The yarn, also bought at Festiwool is from Ananuca, and is delicious.
Pebble Beach shawl - In yellow, for me, for summer.
Beanie - For darling husband in NZ merino/possum blend (a late addition to the list) ON THE NEEDLES

The plan is to NOT add anything new until I get down to two items left. You know that saying about best laid plans!! I'm really excited about all the items on my list and making a dent in my yarn stash. I know that I will just fill it again but that's the fun part isn't it??

Hoping there is some beanie inspiration on todays yarnalong :)

Ciao xx