Monday, 29 January 2018

Busy on the Needles

Hello! I have had a flurry of new followers so welcome if you are new to this corner of blogland. Today I am teasing you with lots of unfinished by very enjoyable knitting. 

First up my new patterned socks. What was I so frightened of?

Secondly, my Ankers sweater which is coming along slowly. I probably do about two or three rounds a night. I knit this one in continental style with the yarn on the left. I am getting quicker as the muscle memory for this technique develops. Not quite at the stage of watching TV and knitting without looking with this style of knitting yet but it gives my shoulder a rest from doing the same style all the time.

Finally, the cutest little socks you ever did see for one of the mums in my family group. She doesn't have small feet, she is having a baby soon.

The bigger the size the more cables you add but with these teeny ones I was only allowed two twists. I somehow think they will look even better on a baby foot but I don't have one available for modelling!

Happily knitting. What are you making?
 Jo xxx

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Winter Trews

Thanks for buoying me up this week, you are a lovely lot.
It is that time of the month where I share some fabric from Minerva Crafts.I made these a while ago but let me just say, it is pretty difficult to photograph a pair of conker brown trousers in the January light but I have done my best.

They are sailor trousers from the Simple Sew 4 in 1 pattern named The Shannon collection but you could use this pattern here or here for a similar flat front, side zip and high waisted trouser.

Even thought they are high waisted in style, I still took some out of the depth because I am short waisted. In fact, the whole pattern was a bit of a gamble for me to try in the first place but I have been so lucky that the body part fits really well without any adjustments. I cut a UK 14 to allow plenty of hip and thigh room but had to take the waist in.

I used the buttons on the pockets not only as decor but I stitched straight through the top ones to stop the pockets gaping when I sit down. It works well like this. I remembered to measure my hand to check I could still get in them!

The bottoms were far too wide and large for me so I took them in and hemmed them according to the shoes I will be wearing with them. The fabric is really good and looks very smart. 

The fit on the back is brilliant considering I didn't make any crotch seam mods. They are easy to move around in (as shown!)

They make great work trousers for Winter. I have worn them quite a few times since making them over the Christmas holidays.

Here are the details. The fabric pressed really well and has a fuss free mat finish. It comes in so many other colours. I cut the fabric with pinking shears because it does fray quite quickly but other than that, a great winter fabric.

Do you know, I didn't have high hopes for these half way through making them but now they are finished, I totally love them. 

Thanks for looking. Jo xxxx

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Sewing Straight Lines

 This week I have mostly been sewing straight lines: it provides both thinking time and a distraction.

Depending on my mood, I either have an hour of cutting out and matching pieces into families of three or...

I sew straight lines. I don't have the resilience to make a garment at the moment, this is just what I want from my crafting right now.

When I have a little pile of them, I sort them into groups so that there are four blocks but no repeating fabrics. Then I make another set of four and pin them together. My big girl likes doing this with me.

So far I have nine sets of eight making 72. I encourage her to do the maths as we make them. I need 252 so plenty of playing to go. 

Then I pack it all away in a huge cake tin until the next time.

I did trust myself with this. My Mathilde blouse has been in the sin bin for a long time. The sleeves were too billowy to wear a cardigan on top of it and I found that when the weather was warmer I didn't want to wear long sleeves: I need the vitamin D here in the UK! So I chopped the sleeves off and it is much better. I can wear a cardigan over it for now and if the sun comes out in a few months time so can my elbows.

Furthermore, two more gorgeous liberty scraps went into the cake tin for quilt cutting. Win, Win.

Helping to look after my dad at the moment is really hard but sewing straight lines helps a lot. Thanks for dropping by. This post is inspired by this one.

Jo xxxx

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

One and Done knitted Scarf

My second version of the One & Done scarf by Casapinka.

This one was made with Drops Alpaca in a colourway called Golden Rod which Christina from Colourful life kindly gave me. Even though it is a thicker yarn than my last one in fingering weight it didn't seem to block out as big so it is a frippery of neck attire which can be worn all day.

You do not embark on this project unless you are prepared to wet block the finished item. It goes from a scrunched up piece of ribbing to this beautiful crescent by using lots of pins and patience.

It is soft and pretty with a texture like lace. I am not done with this pattern, there will be more!

It goes very well with my wool skirt and a few other things I already have so it is definitely a keeper. 

Thanks for looking. I need my next take along project - socks I think.

Jo xxx

Saturday, 13 January 2018

FREE Legwarmer Crochet Pattern

Just what the weather ordered here in the Northern Hemsiphere: stripey crocheted leg warmers.

Here is the pattern if you would like to make a pair. Make them plain or go wild and stash bust. 

4mm Hook
Aran weight yarn
UK terms

Foundation chain: 43 chains. Join with a slip stitch to make a circle. Be careful not to twist the stitches. 

Row 1: Ch3, 1tr in each chain. (43 sts)

Row 2: Ch3, 1tr behind the post of the treble from the previous row. Known as 1fbtr (front post treble video) It should raise the stitch to the front to form a rib. *1tr, 1fptr* to end. join with a ss

Row 3: Ch3, *1fptr,1tr* to end. Join with a ss

Row 4: Repeat row three. £ rows of rib complete. This is the ankle end of your leg warmer because the foundation chain makes it less stretchy than the final row.

Row 5: Change to main leg yarn or first colour. Ch3, 1tr in each stitch to end. (43 sts)

Repeat rows of trebles changing yarn for stripes or adding rows of double crochet for darker colours. When you have the desired length repeat 3 rib rows for the top of your leg warmer.

Don't forget to allow enough yarn runs for two!

Wear with long boots with them coming out of the top as boot cuffs or ruched with ankle boots.

I can't stop wearing them.

You can save the link to these on ravelry.
Happy Crochet!

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Knitting decisions, decisions...

Listen up folks, I am on to the gorgeous yarn in my stash but I can't find the right patterns for the right yarn and now I am in a right muddle. 

I have this blue cotton yarn in a hand dye that needs some thought especially as it has no details on it so gauge wise I have no idea. Yardage is a bit shaky too. I am thinking this cuff to cuff knit would be forgiving for the dye variation but have the feeling 100% cotton might go baggy.

I also have some Drops Nepal in camel in a limited amount but I can get more. I know this is lovely because my mum knit me my favourite Aftur jumper in this last January for my birthday. It hand washes well and is so cosy to wear. 

Finally, I have heaps of 4ply Aruacania in a variegated colourway, 14 100g balls in fact but, can't match the right pattern to the yarn requirements.

On the pattern horizon I have singled out these lovelies from my Ravelry favourite list as well as the cuff to cuff sweater from the magazine.

Ankers Sweater  - This uses DK or fingering held double so I could use the Aruacania held double but not sure on gauge if I do that.
So Faded top down sweater - Aruacania would work here too I think but again need to check gauge. This pattern is for 4ply 
Beatnik - For the Drops Nepal but I just don't know if my knitting sessions in the evenings can hold concentration enough to make it but I really love this sweater. I don't have enough yarn for it but it is still on the list because I could get more.

Teal Colourblock Sweater - This is also on my list for the drops camel but I need to get a couple of balls of cream to make it and I want something to knit right now.

Two nights later.....

Finally, after a few nights of swatching I have found out that if I hold the 4ply Aruacania double I get a spot on gauge for the Ankers Sweater. After making tension squares I tie knots in the cast off tail to show the whole mm and knots in the cast on tail for increments of 0.25 then, that way, if it is a while between when I made the swatch to casting on I can remember what needles to use. 

 Welcome to my latest knitting WIP.

Added to my pick up and go knit.

Along with my latest crochet make.

Really enjoying yarn work at the moment. Will you be rhythmically tangling wool this week?

Jo xxx

Sunday, 7 January 2018


This weekend was a good balance of family time and fun. On Sunday we went for a woodland lunch with some new friends from Bodgers, a wood working group Andy attends once a month. I hunkered down in the -1 degree weather with some knitting by the fire.

But I didn't last long it was so cold on my fingers. We took lunch to share - I took a mahoosive pot of sausage and broccoli pasta which was well appreciated by everyone. I learnt a great tip: if you smear the outside of your pan with washing up liquid before putting it on the fire, it doesn't go black and if it does, it washes off like magic.

I guess these ones have been used too many times now!

The children ran off and played on a rope swing and ran around the trees to keep warm while the adults looked for wood for their next woodworking projects.

It was great to talk to so many knitters and makers of all kinds.

I was particularly impressed with one boys confidence in spitting a piece of wood to make a spatula.

Andy made this rustic cheese board as a wedding gift for me back in November. It was used a great deal over Christmas. He also found this amber brooch in an antique shop which I love too.

I knitted more more on Sunday afternoon after a warm bath; I have some new knitting plans to show you. Hope you all had a good weekend. 
Jo xx