Spring

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I am so glad spring is here…the light has returned.

 

 

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As well as trying to bring a breath of spring air into our home, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting lately. Another sweater finished, and a new one on the go straight away…really enjoying the pleasure of simple stitching.

Sunday

 

White

 

Copperberry

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January 2017

escape

January. It’s all about planning…

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……….getting into new habits (keeping a journal)

Thinkning about new hobbies and skills to learn – doing more sewing and embroidery for me this year…

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But not forgetting the old faithful stand-bys that get me through the days – knitting, crochet, and lots of tea!

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calm

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Taking stock

Autumn is the time of year when we all tend to turn our thoughts inwards – to our homes, our jobs and our studies. It’s back to school, back to work…back to being a bit more serious after the slightly more relaxed atmosphere of summer.

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I’ve certainly been feeling that. There has been a lot of life stuff going on, which is partly why things have been quiet here for the last few weeks. But this isn’t really a place where I want to talk about that kind of thing. There are times when I’m afraid to say things out loud because I can’t believe them – can’t believe my luck. This is one of those times, so I’ll keep my lips sealed on the life-stuff for the time being. To be honest it probably wouldn’t seem that big a deal to a lot of people, but to me it is. Anyway, enough said.

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Apart from dealing with the life-stuff I’ve been taking stock of my crafty life. I seem to have amassed masses or yarn suddenly. This time last year I felt I wasn’t doing too bad as I’d made a few things which had used up some of my stash. Well, like ivy growing up a tree, the yarn stash seems to have returned with a vengeance. Of course I admit no responsibility for this fact…

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So I’ve been trying to weed through it all. I’m not chucking any out, but I’m determined to use at least some of the stuff which I feel like I have had hanging around for ages. I’m going to try and be better at planning – plan a few projects ahead so that I don’t finish one project and then end up casting around for something new, not having time to sort through my stash to use some of what I already have and then yet again buying new stuff that I really, really don’t need.

Trouble is, I seem to have quite a few odd skeins knocking around. I’m not very good at making things from odd skeins. With knitting I tend to gravitate towards garments and scarves, which at least take 3 skeins or 6 balls. So having 1 skein kinda creates an issue for me. However, I have been mulling it over and I think hats may be one solution to this. Either that or trying to come up with creative projects that combine things in different weights.

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I’m trying to use my Ravelry profile to help me with this, for once really using the stash and favourites facility to help me remember what I have, and remind of patterns I have seen and would like to make.

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I have at least finished by Ashburn shawl – hurrah! Now just need the weather to wear it. I am sure it will be along soon!

Autumn knitting

Happy Friday.

Yes, you can guess by the title what this is about. We’re in the middle of the first heat wave of the summer, it’s sunny and sultry outside and I’ve already started knitting for Autumn!

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It can take me a while to finish a project these days, what with life being so busy as it is, so I just thought I’d get a head start!

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I don’t know why it is, but every year I seem to only get round to knitting cosy things like scarves, shawls and jumpers in January, which, despite the length of time which winter can drag on for in this country, kinda feels a little late. So this year I am starting a whole season early!

I had this vision of having a gorgeous, cosy, textured shawl the colour of autumn leaves to wear, knitted in a fabulously soft luxury yarn. Mmmmm! So I have set about making my vision a reality! All it took was a little skim back over my Pinterest boards, where I absolutely hoard and hoard patterns for knitted things – I probably already have way too may saved for one lifetime, and a little visit to Loop.

An appropriately cosy looking pattern (Ashburn by Melanie Berg) was soon found, luxury yarn in the perfect shades, just as I had imagined was purchased and off I went! I’m only about a third of the way through this pattern, but it’s going ok.

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The textured stitch is an interesting one, unlike anything I’ve tried before. It involves slipping and wrapping stitches and alternating with garter stitch. I do love textured stitches, but don’t tend to actually knit them very much, so it’s good to learn a different take on it. Moss stitch and garter stitch are usually my favourite for textures, but this one is growing on me.

Hope you have a lovely weekend and manage to stay cool!

Water

Cornwallis sweater

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Hi everyone, I have a fairly quick show and tell today, as having spent all day at work, and then worked on my Ph.D. and various other things since getting home I am really feeling like I have spent too much time in front of a computer screen today! Plus I am craving to go pick up my needles and squeeze some knitting time into my evening!

So, you may remember seeing the snaps of my Cornwallis sweater a little while ago back in May. I finished knitting this whilst on holiday last week, but have just gotten around to uploading the pics to share with you.

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I love a stripey sweater or top at any time of year, and especially in summer. This was generally speaking a pleasure to knit up, and fairly quick too. It’s simple stocking stitch stripes with a garter stitch yoke are knitted in a contrasting colour. It was that colour blocking that really drew me to this design and first made me want to knit it, and I still love that about it. I have to say I did struggle with the making up a little. I knitted the smallest size, and with the sleeve shaping as set out in the pattern, I found it a little difficult to see actually where I should pick up and knit stitches across the top of the sleeves when working the neck band. At one point I did despair of ever getting it right and was tempted to chuck the whole thing (I know, it was bad!). However, I persevered and some how it does all seem to have worked out looking fairly even.

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I really loved the yarn used, which is Rowan Summerlite DK. It has a great drape when knitted up and feels wonderfully soft without making you feel like it’s going to pull or snag as soon as you put it on. It also washes well, being machine washable at 40 degrees (thought I stuck to 30 when washing this to be on the safe side – Summerlite is pure cotton and cotton can shrink in the wash).

So there you are, summer in stripes! I’m sure you’ve had enough stripey show and tell now. What are you knitting this summer? I have to say I am already planning my autumn knits, but more on that next time.

p.s. the sweater pattern is by Martin Storey and you can find the Ravelry page here

Staying afloat

It feels like that’s what I’ve been trying to do in May. In my last post I did a little stock take of all my UFOs, and felt a bit pants for not having achieve much in May. I think I’ve just been trying to keep on top of other things more in the last few weeks (mainly housework and cleaning), and as a result something had to give.

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With both of us working and me also doing a Ph.D. in my spare time (hah, spare time!) to be honest S and I struggle to stay on top of the things that need doing around the house and garden. We’re both naturally fairly tidy, clean people so there isn’t a huge amount of mess around, but nevertheless, once a week someone has to find time to clean the bathroom, vacuum, wash etc. – and of course that someone is me.

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Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a tirade against S, or a complaint about the fact that in many homes most of the chores still fall to women. I actually like doing cleaning and making the house nice. Possibly this is simply because I never have much time to do it – I suspect if I had all day, five days a week to clean, the bloom would soon be off the rose so to speak. I do like cleaning, I like things to be tidy, but at the end of a day/week at work and studying, I just don’t have the time or energy. S, bless him would do more if I asked him I know, but his job is pretty demanding too, so I don’t like to ask.

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My sudden surge in attempting to get on top of chores was brought on by our having a discussion about whether we should get a cleaner. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people having cleaners and fully understand why those who can do. But in the end, we decided it wasn’t something we felt comfortable spending the money on when we could just make a little more effort ourselves. This of course resulting in the guilt button in my brain being pushed, catapulting me into housework mode for a week or so. So craftiness has suffered a little as a result. And now I still feel guilty because it’s a new week, and there are a new set of chores to do and once again, I don’t have the energy. Ah well, sometimes you can’t win!

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What I have been doing to cheer myself up is knitting! Yes, this is really going to contribute to the completion of household tasks (yeah, right!). But at least I’ll have something to show for myself at the end of it.

I’ve started knitting Cornwallis from the Rowan Summerlite DK book, and it’s so addictive. I love the colour blocking and stripes combo. It’s knitting up really fast too. If I like the finished garment enough I might tackle this again with another colourway or two!

May 2016

 

So that was May. Wow, looking back at these images I feel like I’ve hardly achieved anything! One tiny squares cushion started and then put aside in favour of a ripple blanket which has now in turn been cast aside in favour of some knitting…but more on that another time. Squeeze in between a few doilies, and there you have it – that was my crafty May. Hmm, must do better in June… seriously, it never does make me feel good to think about all the unfinished projects I have lying around. But maybe it does me good to think about them in that it might motivate me a little to finish some of them.

What do you do when you have umpteen UFOs hanging about and can’t muster the will to complete them? Do you have a day of amnesty where you rip back some of them and store the yarn for re-use on something else. Hmmm, can’t see me ever ripping back the tiny squares – but  will finish that one, come what may…Should I place a prohibition on myself from starting anything else until I finish at least 2 of them? That could work…then again…maybe not!