Saturday 23 December 2023

 Best Wishes to you all. My last 'ing' post of the year. There has been a little snow flurry earlier in the month with lots of special treats to eat.

Snowing - on the hill, just a bit on a couple of days. Not enough to cause mayhem for us but enough for my girls to have an hour sledging on our steep fields.

Treating - ourselves to some chocolate. I love florentines but the rest of my family don't so we compromise and have melted chocolate with just a sprinkling of almonds and cranberries.

Making - White millionaires shortbread and getting all the parts right. Sometimes the caramel doesn't set, sometimes the base is too crumbly, I often don't melt enough chocolate for the top (because I am not a millionaire!) but today my big girl made a tray and it was spot on. 

Cooking up - the contents of the fridge to make way for Christmas dinner ingredients. This chicken, pepper, chorizo and chickpea one pot was a good combination and loved by all.

Leaving - out the icing. We don't enjoy it and adding things you don't like just because you think you should is silly. This cake is a metaphor for my preparations this Christmas.

Casting - on a new pair of socks. We are going skiing on New Years eve and I like to have a portable knitting project for holidays so that I can pass the time at the airport and in the evenings. I am having another go at a toe up sock with an afterthought heel from the socktacular book.

Finishing - another pair of Christmas socks for gifting. I have used this colourway before and it feels just right for this time of year.

Printing - off a little wrap for hand knits. It is a lovely way to finish off a gift and give the recipient some washing instructions which are written on the back!

Sewing - up a Lyra Dress in a fabric I have had for ages. It really does lift the mood.

Buying - a few new baubles. The cones were £1 but the others weren't! I usually wait until the sales but I loved these ones so much I just went for it. 

Decorating - the tree. I didn't do it this year, my girls took charge and I sat in the chair with a cuppa and enjoyed being a spectator.

Crocheting - a new cardigan. It is a bit boring now that I am on the sleeves but perfect for watching TV in the evenings in front of the fire. 

Anyway, I am signing off now to get on with some jobs and possibly a bit of sewing. I cut out lots of things to choose from over the break. If I get a few moments, I will sew a seam here and there.

Happy Christmas to you all! Jo xxxxx

Thursday 7 December 2023

Ta Dah! Asbury Cardigan

Hello folks! I thought my new cardy project deserved its very own post. It is a real corker which I have, on the whole, really enjoyed making. It was a go slow cardy which I started back at the end of August. I fully expected it to take me until Christmas - I finished it on the 1st December!

First up in this narrative is the yarn. A selection of 4ply yarns mostly from Wonderwool. The pink and ivory solid colours were a bargain but as such, a mystery. Huge hanks for £10 but no ball band! The green one is a hand painted 4ply sock yarn which was also in a bargain bin at Wonderwool. The variegated one is from a local Christmas fayre last year and was also £10. I purchased the 2 small balls of Jamieson and Smith especially for this project as the dark tone to hold the hole colour palette down. So I started off with round about £50 of yarn but I did get two garments.


In order to continue the story I have to go back one project. I wanted to know how much left over pink I would have for the cardy idea so I firstly made a simple sweater from this pattern on ravelry. I ran the pink double and made a super cosy sweater. After making this I knew whether pink could be my main colour or if it needed to be ivory which in all honesty would be my second choice (I am a bit messy you see!)

The project started and this strip of fair isle was the most difficult to follow. Every time it came up, I didn't look forward to this segment. In fact I had to buy some more stitch markers to help me do it. I had to pattern on the purl side too which I always seemed to get wrong. Sectioning it up with stitch markers did reduce the amount of times I had to go back and try again.

The floats are great. I am good at this now so my cardy has a nice amount of stretch and is really warm because of the extra yarn on the reverse. The reverse photo hits all of my knitting geek buttons at once.

I had enough yarn to do fair isle on the sleeves but I didn't have enough motivation to keep doing that patterned strip that was so tricky so I knit them plain and added the dreaded segment at the wrist to tie the whole thing in. The cardigan is called Asbury and is designed by Martin Storey. The best bit is the pattern was free on ravelry! OK so I changed up the shape a bit to make it less fitted but I absolutely love wearing it with my dark green cords.

It has a real Autumn/winter feel and is really cosy. The sleeves are a compromise but one I am happy with to have a completed cardy not one shoved in a bag for a couple of years. I am all about the finish. 

I need a little basic crochet in my life right now for a brain rest. More on that later.....

Thanks for stopping by. Jo xxxxxx