Friday, 17 January 2020

The December 2019 FO-down!

I completed a lot of projects in December, all of them presents, so I couldn't share them as I finished them. To make up for this, here are all the projects I finished in December!*

1. A Christmas pudding hat


Years ago, I made a Christmas pudding hat for my friend's son. I think I made it when he was 18 months old, and he's now 8. He has worn the hat every December since then. At the start of December, his mum sent me a photo of him wearing his (now rather snug) hat, saying he still enjoyed wearing it, and that he shared it with his younger sister. This is clearly a very knitworthy child, so I immediately offered to knit a new, larger hat that he can wear for future Christmases.

I didn't manage to get the hat finished in time to be worn this Christmas, but I did put it in the post earlier in the week having finished it just before New Year. Obviously I did this (a) so that hat could be appreciated and admired, and (b) so that I was no longer responsible for having to locate that hat in November and making sure it can be worn in December. I know that hat has now arrived at its destination and is much appreciated by its owner.

Christmas pudding hat Ravelry project page

2. Rainbow Puerperium, mark II
 

In Spring last year, one of my friends had a baby boy. She already had two boys, but I decided that I would like to knit something for the new arrival that could be his, rather than a hand me down. While she was pregnant, she didn't know the sex of the baby, so I challenged myself to knit something gender-neutral, and went for a modification of one of my old favourites, the Beyond Puerperium.

Beyond Puerperium is a basic cardigan, with buttons down one edge of the front, rather than down the centre. This allows lots of opportunity for customisation. I decided to knit the cardigan in navy blue, with some cream garter ridges and a little crocheted rainbow motif. The finished cardigan went down so well, that when the baby had grown out of the first cardigan, his mum asked (very nicely) if I would consider making a larger one for him. Obviously I obliged!

The second cardigan is bigger, and the buttons are more widely-spaced. I used a larger crochet hook for the motif than I did for the first cardigan to make the rainbow a tiny bit bigger. I also used a different navy blue yarn, but this was completely down to what I had to hand rather than any preference, and the new cardigan is a little darker than the first. The cream and rainbow yarns were leftovers from assorted baby blankets, and I had about a metre of cream yarn at the end of the cardigan, which was cutting it finer than I had planned! I do like it when I can use up a whole scrap of yarn though.

Beyond Puerperium, mark II Ravelry project page

3. Two Granny's Favourites




Granny's Favourite is one of my most knitted patterns. It's by Australian designer Georgie Nicholson and it is excellent, ranging from baby sizes to age 12, and having lots of different length options for both the body and the sleeves, and as it's knitted from the top down, you can use every last scrap of yarn you have. A friend requested matching cardigans as Christmas presents for her twin nieces, so I decided to knit two Granny's Favourites. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Aspen for one and Lavender for the other, and the cardigans turned out really cute.

I did make one fairly major modification: I removed the lace from the bottoms of the sleeves and tapered the sleeves instead, as I find the cuffs rather loose as written.

I shared these on Instagram a couple of weeks ago to lots of positive reception, and a hint from my sister that my twin nieces would love some matching cardigans, so I fully expect to be returning to this pattern in the near future.

Granny's Favourite 1 Ravelry project page
Granny's Favourite 2 Ravelry project page

4. A Triangulation hat


I made my first Triangulation hat just before my youngest was born, and, as often happens, I shared some preview photos with my friend Amy. Amy said she loved it, so I offered to make one for her. Bearing in mind my daughter has already had her first birthday, this project was a little overdue!

I had intended having this hat ready for Christmas, and the knitting was complete, but we got waylaid by assorted illnesses, and the hat became a New Year present instead.

The hat has gone down well, with Amy's partner borrowing it too, so I'm going to make one for him when he gets back to me with the colours he'd like me to use!

Triangulaton hat Ravelry project page

5. A Ravenclaw scarf


In October or November, I had lunch with a friend who was telling me that her son was really enjoying reading the Harry Potter books. Somehow I found myself offering to knit her son a house scarf, even though I hate knitting scarves!

I didn't follow a pattern for the scarf, instead I grabbed a scarf I'd made for my husband years ago and copied that. 6 feet of 2 x 2 ribbing isn't really my idea of fun, but the stripes made it feel like the scarf was growing quite quickly, and the scarf was finished in under two weeks. While the finished scarf looks great (and is getting a lot of wear), I shan't be offering to knit another in the near future!

Ravenclaw scarf Ravelry project page

What did you knit in December? Were you cracking on with gift knitting, or did you knit something fabulous for yourself?

*If you want to know more about the patterns and yarns used, etc. I've put links to the Ravelry project pages at the end of each description. You can find full details by following the links.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Cloud along... update

In October, I started the Cloud along..., a knit and crochet along for my Fluffy white clouds patterns. The Cloud along... was meant to run until the end of 2019, but life got in the way and I didn't finish my blanket. Oops.

Rather than close the Cloud along... with no finished blankets, I have decided to grant it an extension. The Cloud along... will now finish on February 14th 2020, which gives you roughly six extra weeks to finish your blanket! Perfect if you have a new baby, or nephling arriving in the near future, or if you want a new project that will brighten up your day while you wait for Spring to arrive.


Until I cast off my blanket, you can get 20% off either the knitted or crochet designs with the code CLOUDALONG

Both options can be found here: https://www.ravelry.com/bundles/cloud-along

Head to my Ravelry group to find out more and to join in.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

One (two) for the chenille lovers...

As a teenager, I owned a beautiful red chenille sweater. It was cropped and had full length sleeves, and was like wearing a hug. I have no idea what happened to that jumper (I vaguely recall that it was handed down to my sister at some point), but while I had it, I wore it to death. Last year, I Like Knitting magazine* put out a call for designs using chenille yarns, and I leapt at the chance to recreate that original jumper.


The Junie chenille sweater takes its inspiration from the jumper of my teenage years, updated for 2020: a sweater made of chenille is like wearing a hug! Junie is written for two lengths – the shorter of the two is designed to be quite cropped, while the longer version offers a little more coverage. Both options are cosy and cute!


This sweater is worked in the round from the bottom up as far as the armholes, then the work is split and the front and back worked separately before joining again at the shoulder seams, after which the neckband is worked from stitches that were placed on hold during the shaping of the neckline. The neckline and hem are shaped using short rows. The stitches for the sleeves are picked up around the armholes and knitted from the top down.


Junie is knitted in Premier Yarns Retro Velvet,** which is a super-chunky weight yarn, making for really speedy knitting. The pattern is written for finished bust sizes 36.5 (44.25, 52.5, 60.25, 68.5)” in short and long lengths. I recommend choosing a size with 4-8” positive ease for a relaxed fit.

I'm really sad that the sample for this one is not in my size, as I really wanted to wear the sample as soon as it came off the needles!

Full details of the pattern can be found on the Ravelry page, which can be found here.

Not content with designing just one chenille piece, I also designed the Billie chenille hat.


Billie utilises the lightweight but cosy texture of chenille with a braided cable for a look that is perfect for winter. It’s a beanie style hat with a slight slouch and a faux fur pom to top it off. The pattern is worked in the round from the bottom up.


Billie is knitted in James C. Brett Flutterby Chunky,** making this hat a project you can knit up in just an evening.


Full details for the Billie hat can be found on the Ravelry page.

Want to see my other designs in I Like Knitting magazine? You can see them all here.**


*I Like Knitting is an electronic magazine that can be viewed online via a subscription model. Full details can be found here.**

**Affiliate link.

All images copyright I Like Knitting magazine.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Welcome to 2020!

Hello! Welcome to 2020! A new year and a new decade.


I was filled with New Year optimism, but that was rather dampened by my youngest getting chicken pox earlier this week (her big sister had it over the Christmas holidays). January is already feeling like a long month, and we're only a little over a week in... Only one child left to catch the pox, then hopefully we won't have to deal with it again (I am reposnding with a 'la la la, I'm not listening' to anyone who is telling me their child has had the dreaded pox more than once).


I think there's probably time to fit in Happy New Year before it becomes seasoally-inappropriate, so Happy New Year to you! Do you have any resolutions? I've decided not to, as I fail at them alarmingly quickly. I do have a crafting-word of the year though, and that word is SUSTAINABLE. I have lots of ideas to do with that theme, which I'll tell you about in due course, but for now I am starting with keeping better track of all the works in progress (WIPs), of which there are many. Surely there is nothing more sustainable than finishing something that you've already started rather than casting on something new? Hopefully I might be able to share some finished objects (FOs) in the very near future...


Hope 2020 is good to you. Happy crafting.


Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Love texture, you'll love the Tilted cushion!

Hello! I’m back today to show you the second pattern* I have in issue 110 of Knit Now, which is on sale now.



My Tilted cushion is a gorgeously squishy textured cushion cover, fastened with big buttons across the back. The texture is created using offset garter ridges on a stocking stitch background, so the cushion is easy enough for even a beginner to complete.

The Tilted cushion is knitted as a single strip, which is seamed at the end and fastened with buttons and buttonholes that are knitted at the start and end of the main body of the cushion.

The cushion is knitted using Deramores Studio Chunky, which I hadn’t used before, but will definitely be using again. The yarn is 100% acrylic, machine washable and has a fantastic plump rounded structure that really makes the stitches pop.

The great thing about knitting with chunky weight yarn is that it knits up really fast - you could cast this on today and you’ll definitely have time to make a few before Christmas. The pattern is printed in the supplement that comes with issue 110 of Knit Now magazine, which features plenty of patterns knitted in chunky weight yarn, so even if this pattern isn’t your cup of tea, then there are plenty of other quick and easy options to choose from.



The pattern is available in issue 110 of Knit Now, which is available now. If you live outside the U.K., or can’t find a copy can buy one online, or you can purchase a digital edition.

Want to queue or favourite the pattern on Ravelry? The pattern page can be found here.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Looking for super-cozy socks? The Spinnaker socks might be just what you're after!

I have not one, but two, new patterns in latest issue of Knit Now, which is in stores today.


Knitted in sport-DK weight, these socks are a lovely quick gift knit, or you could whip some up for yourself to wear by the fireside.

The pattern on the socks is created using simple slipped-stitch and garter stitch on a stocking stitch background. The stitches create little triangles that make me think of sails, so I named these socks after the Spinnaker Tower in Southampton, which is designed to look like a sail.

The socks are knitted from the top down with a slipped stitch heel flap, a Dutch (round) heel turn and a traditional gusset.

The socks are knitted in Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo,* which is lovely and cosy, with a slightly rustic slubby texture. If you want to use something a bit smoother, try a DK weight wool/nylon blend sock yarn instead.

The pattern is available in issue 110 of Knit Now, which is available now. If you live outside the U.K., or can’t find a copy can buy one online, or you can purchase a digital edition.

Want to queue or favourite the pattern on Ravelry? The pattern page can be found here.

Check back tomorrow to find out what the second pattern is...**

*Affiliate link.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Snowflake infinity scarf: available now in my Ravery store!

Hello! I'm getting December off to a great start by republishing a design that had its debut at the start of 2017 in I Like Knitting magazine: the Snowflake infinity scarf.


The Snowflake infinity scarf features a tessellating snowflake design based on traditional Scandinavian knitting. The infinity scarf is designed to be long enough to wrap round the neck twice for extra warmth, and is knitted as a long tube in the round with the pattern being incorporated using stranded colourwork. The tube is seamed at the end after blocking.


The Snowflake pattern is provided as both a chart and as written instructions.

The sample is knitted in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran,* which is a beautiful soft yarn, perfect for wearing next to the skin.

From now until the end of the year, you can use the code SNOWFLAKE to get the Snowflake infinity scarf for a special introductory price: 50% off until 11.59pm GMT December 7th; then 25% off until the end of December (all time zones).


Want to cast on straight away? You can find full details below, and on the Ravelry pattern page, which can be found here.

********

Sizes
One size: 33 cm tube circumference x 155.5 cm length circumference (13.25 in tube circumference x 62 in length circumference)

Tension
20 sts and 17 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in pattern worked in the rnd on 5 mm (US 8) needle(s) after wet blocking, or size needed to obtain correct tension gauge before blocking is 20 sts and 20 rnds to 10 cm (4 in)

Yarn
Aran-weight yarn in the following colours and amounts:
Colour A: 370 m (405 yds)
Colour B: 350 m (385 yds)

Needles
5 mm (US 8) circular needle 30 cm (12 in) in length
or
Set of four 5 mm (US 8) DPNs at least 20 cm (8 in) in length

Notions
3 stitch markers, of which one should be a different colour to mark the beginning of the round
Tapestry needle

Skill Level
Intermediate

Pattern notes
The sample is knitted in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran, 100 m (109 yds) per 50 g ball, 100% virgin wool in 028 Jeans (Colour A) and 060 Natural (Colour B).

This pattern was first published in the February 2017 issue of I Like Knitting Magazine.

*Affiliate link.