Saturday, 27 January 2018

My knitting and crochet week

I am always curious to find out what other crafty friends are making. It is a great way to get inspiration and learn new things.

My friend suggested this post a little while ago but I didn’t feel that I was working on enough sufficiently different projects to make an interesting post. With the luxury of having a break from work I have a little more time and head-space for crafting and so I thought I would share what I have been up to this week.

Sunday was all about finishing a pair of socks for our little boy amidst the calls of “are they nearly done yet?”. I used the trusty Aire Valley DK by West Yorkshire Spinners and a 3.5mm needle.
Hand-knit socks

Buoyed by the success of my Tchaikovsky Mitts I worked these on magic loop and because R only has size 11 (UK child size) feet they actually worked up pretty quickly and I have 45g of yarn left from a 100g ball. I learnt so much making these socks and hope to write up my ‘sock recipe’ sharing these tips as next week’s post. There is now talk of matching hand warmers being required....

We also popped to our local library on Sunday. As well as a heap of bird books for R I borrowed these crafting books.
A knitting and crochet stitch directory

I love spending time looking at different stitch patterns and coming up with different ideas for potential designs.

I might have mentioned in previous posts that I really do not like making Amigurumi crochet toys. I have no patience for endlessly going around in circles and making something you can’t actually wear. But when I left work a lovely colleague asked if I might make her some newborn guinea pigs. I had to get the R’s socks made first and so on Monday I began tackling the guinea pigs. I could have knit another sock for R in the time they took but they do look cute and I hope my friend likes them.

Three crochet guinea pigs

I used scraps of Stylecraft DK and this pattern on Ravelry to work them up. The Stylecraft DK range is a really economical and hard-wearing choice for toys and blankets that might get a lot of use.

I made one more guinea pig on Tuesday because three seemed like a good number and then rewarded myself by casting on a new project - a cowl for my Dad. Both my parents are very knit-worthy and very appreciative of my handmade gifts and I am very happy to make him a cosy cowl.

Simple yet effective cowl by Tin Can Knits

I am knitting up the Simple Yet Effective by Tin Can Knits for the third time. It is a beautiful, simple pattern and a really relaxing make. If you are a beginner looking for a good first project to knit in the round I can’t recommend this highly enough.

I sent my Dad some links to possible DK-weight yarns and he choose the new yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners called Illustrious, a Falkland wool and British alpaca blend. The variegated dye on the yarn is beautiful and the stitch definition really good. It’s £10.95 for a 100g ball which seems like good value to me. I am not particularly sensitive to sheepy yarn so I think the yarn feels very soft, but our little boy recoiled at the touch of it and said it was “too prickly”!! I know that some people are sensitive to Alpaca so it is worth a squish before buying it if you can. In all I am really pleased to have discovered another good workhorse DK-weight yarn from WYS.

I have been on the search for the perfect sock recipe for me. I have made quite a number of socks now and whilst I wear them all, none of them have been exactly perfect. I am determined this time to get it right. These are my most frogged socks; I have tried different stitch counts, patterns, needle sizes and types. I have finally settled on 2.25mm needles, a 68 stitch needle count and magic loop.
Hand-knit socks in progress

I am happy with the feel of the knitted fabric and now I just need to knit, knit, knit and keep trying on at each stage to ensure I have the right fit and the perfect sock.

I spent a happy couple of hours on Thursday morning teaching a friend to knit. She had learnt as a child so it was more a case of remembering rather than starting from scratch but it was so much fun. We used this free pattern, 4mm needles and DK yarn to get started.
Small swatch of garter stitch fabric

B did brilliantly and has now purchased the yarn and needles she needed to knit up the pattern into a chunky baby blanket.

I had some happy post on Thursday with some samples arriving back from Crochet Now. I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my hot water bottles and covers.
Two crochet hot water bottles

I want to make the pattern available via Ravelry if I can get the format and the style of the pattern as I want it - I need to stop procrastinating and actually do this! 

Fridays are all about putting my Saturday morning blog post together. It is also an INSET or teacher training day in our part of the UK and R has two friends to play so I will be hoping to squeeze in a little bit of work on my shawl if they don’t need me. (LATER EDIT: they did need me, no crochet was managed!).
Northmoor Lock crochet shawl

I rediscovered this crochet shawl - Northmoor Lock by Joanne Scrace - last weekend languishing in the bottom of my bag of project bags. I started the project last year having frogged and frogged the original project I had in mind for the yarn. It would be lovely to actually wear this shawl and I am almost at the halfway point so I just need to give it a little attention.... The beautiful yarn is by Helen from The Wool Kitchen.

So that’s my week. Next week I need to crack on with sorting out my craft room, make some stitch markers, order yarn for a sweater and chat to the lovely Tamara (aka crafty escapism) about future plans. I'd love to know what you're working on. Happy Crafting! x


  1. Wow! You’re right, so much variety this week! I love your little guinea pigs and your son’s reaction to the prickly wool for your dad’s cowl! I wonder what you and Tamara are plotting? Another CAL? Can’t wait to find out ...

    Hope you have a woolly weekend,

    Marta xx

  2. Reading this makes me want to make all of the same projects. What a lovely week you've had! Looking forward to chatting about out yarny plans!!

  3. Plugging along on a cowl using the pattern on Ravelry called Orange U Glad to Have A Cowl? Work has been hectic so I haven't been able to work on it very much there so it's taking a while.