Saturday, 9 December 2017

New design: Unicorn cushion

Unicorns have been everywhere for the past few years, and I have finally embraced the trend with my latest design, a unicorn cushion.

rainbow unicorn cushion

The cushion features a rainbow striped unicorn head on a neutral background. The rainbow stripes are created using a single ball of self-striping yarn (West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley Aran*), which results in a striking effect for little effort. To maintain the stripes throughout the design, the yarn is stranded across the central blank areas. If you'd prefer a non-rainbow striped unicorn, simply chose one of the non-striping shades of the yarn.

The cushion cover is knitted in one piece, seamed at the edges and fastened with 6 buttons. I had a little fun with the buttons and used rainbow shades to match the rainbow stripes!

Want to knit your own? The design is included in the latest edition (issue 4) of Essential Knits, which is available now in newsagents and supermarkets, or you can order a copy online.

It even made the cover!

As ever, I would love to see your finished knits, so why not add a project on Ravelry**, tag me on Instagram (@vikkibirddesigns), or send me a message (use the contact me link)?

*Sometimes called West Yorkshire Spinners Essential Aran. Affiliate link. You'll need three balls for the background colour and one for the unicorn.

**You need to be a member of Ravelry to add a project.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Yarning Along: Scrappy socks and slow shawls

So, last weekend's sleet and cold became SNOW! I always get a little excited about snow, but only when I don't have to go out in it. Unfortunately, as the snow fell during the week, I did still have to chauffeur the kids about and get on with all the usual activities. The kids loved it though. It was daughter's first time seeing it, and she was in her element. It's warmed up again now, but I think we're all hoping for a bit of snow later in the month...

This weekend we started our Christmas activities with our visit to Santa. Both the kids were really excited, and it was lovely and festive. I'm not totally sure we're going to manage to keep the festive feeling carrying on for the whole of December, but I am aiming to spread our festive activities out over the month so we don't all get burnt out. This week I'm taking my daughter to the under-5s show at our local theatre, and I'm at least as excited about it as she is! And this weekend we're off to Newcastle to see Fenwick's Christmas window (a North East tradition). This year's window is Paddington-themed, so we're going to make a day of it and see the new Paddington film at the same time.

We are now well into Advent, and this year I have an extra special advent calendar. A friend on Instagram organised an Advent swap, so I put together a parcel for someone and they put a parcel together for me. Every morning I get to open a tiny package containing 5 g of sock yarn and some little extras. I had originally planned to add the yarn to my sock yarn blanket, but had a last minute change of plan and cast on some scrappy socks. I am not totally ok with scrappy socks though, so have striped the yarn with a cream to minimise the risk of major clashes. I am up to Day 4 on one sock and Day 3 with the other, and have turned one heel, and so far have beautifully coordinated socks. I am now a little behind (mostly because of the extra knitting required for the heels) and am not keen on the yarns from Days 5 and 6 with what I have already knitted, so I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do next. I suspect I'll make a second pair of socks and everything else will end up in the sock yarn blanket. Do you have a yarn advent calendar? What are you doing with your yarn?

My other major work in progress is my Red Katana shawl and it is SO SLOW! I have no idea why. The pattern is pretty straight forward, but I have had to write myself a cheat sheet and cross off each row as I work it (having pulled the whole thing out twice already). I think I am starting to get a little faster, but I don't see myself finishing any time soon! I'm knitting my Red Katana shawl as part of the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, a knit and crochet along that is running on Ravelry until the end of the year. For more details and to take part, head to the Ravelry group.*

Last week I asked if anyone had any recommendations for Christmas books. Well, on Friday I went to Waterstones and browsed their festive reads table and came home with The Christmasaurus. Yes it's a children's book, but I am a third of the way through and am enjoying every second. So much so that my son and I are reading it together too. A definite Christmas book recommendation!

As ever, linking up with Rachel for Yarning Along.

*Ravelry link. You need to be logged into Ravelry for this link to work.