Saturday, 25 May 2019

The sale continues...

To celebrate being back to work after maternity leave, I'm hosting a sale in my Ravelry store.

Patterns shown: (top left) Waddle; (top right) Can't Catch Me!; (bottom left) Unicorn of the Sea; (bottom right) From Breton with Love

From now until 11.59pm BST, May 31st 2019, all the patterns in my Ravelry store have 50% off with the code BACKTOWORK


Happy knitting!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Back to work SALE!

Hello!

Pattern shown is Fluffy White Clouds

After nine months of baby snuggles, I am back! To celebrate, I am hosting a sale in my Ravelry store. All my self-published patterns (both single patterns and ebooks) will be available with 50% off until the end of May 2019 (11.59pm BST, May 31st 2019) using the code BACKTOWORK, so if you fancy stocking up on my patterns, now is the time.

I have patterns for adults, patterns for kids, intarsia patterns and more, so why not head over to my Ravelry store now to take a look?

Happy knitting.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Welcome to the sock parade!

For the past few weeks I have knitted little but socks. To me they really are the perfect portable project: small enough to be popped into a bag for a day out, easy enough to work on while feeding a baby or holding a conversation, and quick enough that you can get to the end of the project before you lose interest. Somehow, I have finished 10 pairs of socks so far this year,* which has surprised me! So here they are, 10 pairs of socks in all their glory.

1. Fabulous Felici socks
I started these socks a long time ago (2016 to be precise), whizzed through all the sock knitting and stalled at adding the heels. I had planned on these being my first afterthought heel socks, but got intimidated and put them to one side. I've now knitted several pairs with true afterthought heels, so once I stay down to work on them, knitting the heels only took an evening or so.


2. My Christmas Eve 2018 cast-on socks
Every year I cast on a pair of socks on (or around) Christmas Eve to work on over the festive period. Last year's cast-on was a pair of sport-weight socks in yarn from the December 2018 sock crate from Knit Crate. The yarn came as a colour-blocked yarn, which I broke down into its constituent colours and knitted up as tonal stripes with contrast heels and toes. I wasn't certain I'd have enough yarn to make full-length socks, so knitted these from the toe-up having split each shade of yarn into two balls that weighed the same. The socks are the perfect length, and I had just enough of the contrast yarn left for the cast-off.


3. Little rainbow socks
I can't resist a rainbow yarn, and this lovely bright rainbow yarn is no exception, it's just beautiful! My daughter (aged 4) saw it and requested socks for her in it. She has small feet, so in theory these socks should have been quick, but I got sidetracked after I started them last summer once I had knitted the first sock, so they were finished long after they should have been! Fortunately they still fitted when I finally finished them.


4. These socks make me think of cake...
I was given the yarn for these socks in my knitting-group Secret Santa last year, and I love it! There's something so cheery and bright about it, and the combination of pink and sprinkles makes me think of cake. I hadn't used King Cole Zig Zag before, and was pleasantly surprised - the yarn is inexpensive but nice to work with and I think it'll wear really well.


5. Another pair of Felici socks
Felici sock yarn is definitely one of my favourites: it comes in lots of bright, striped colours and is wonderfully soft. Unfortunately Knit Picks release the yarn in batches, and they usually sell out pretty quickly, so I always make sure to stock up when they have some available. I bought this colourway a few years ago, and had been hoarding it. The pink and green seemed perfect for spring, and I really enjoyed knitting these socks. It took me a few attempts to get the heel to look exactly how I wanted it to - the first time I misjudged how much yarn the heel turn would take, the second I used a pink that was just wrong, but I was really pleased with the final choice of green yarn for the heel turn: unobtrusive, and it kept the stripes in order.


6. From the deeper recesses of the WIP pile
I have a collection of long-abandoned sock works in progress (WIPs), and this spring I have been focusing on clearing some of them off the needles. These socks were cast on in 2016, on cheap circulars that I kept arguing with. Inevitably I abandoned the project, and when I picked it up again I switched to some nicer needles. Having looked at the socks, I decided that I needed them to have a few more stitches, so unravelled them and started again. Obviously I was more successful this time, and the finished pair have been sent to my brother.


7. Socks for a knitworthy uncle
I knitted my uncle some socks as a surprise birthday present a couple of years ago; he liked them so much he requested another pair, and this is what I came up with. The colours are more muted than I usually choose, but I enjoyed watching the gentle, soothing stripes appear.


8. I cast on the right number of stitches this time...
Sometimes when I knit socks, I underestimate how much attention I need to pay. Last year, I was knitting these socks to go to Marie Curie to be donated to a cancer patient over the festive period. I knitted the first sock, then ploughed on with the second. I did briefly wonder why the two socks were pooling differently, and it was only when I got to the heel that I realised I had cast on the wrong number of stitches for the second sock. Just before Christmas is not the best time to add extra things to my to-do list, so I put these to one side and came back to them earlier this month. I knitted a good portion of the second sock while watching Avengers: Endgame at the cinema, and these socks seemed to knit themselves once I got past the heel.


9. I weighed the yarn, and yet...
I cast on a pair of socks for my aunt at the same time as I was knitting socks for my uncle. I thought I'd be clever and use up the leftovers from another pair of socks. I weighed the yarn and got knitting. By the time I got to the heel of the first sock, I realised that I was definitely going to run out of yarn. Oops. Rather than unravel them and start again with something else, I made some slightly smaller socks, and sent them to my sister in law instead.


10. My aunt did get socks in the end!
Having passed the socks for my aunt on to my sister in law, I had to cast on a different pair for my aunt. This Stylecraft Head Over Heels was a yarn I was quite excited about knitting up, but was a little disappointed when it was actually on the needles. The colour changes are a little messy, and there are dye splashes on some of the stripes. Not the end of the world, but not quite what I was aiming for. The finished socks do look nice though, and I didn't run out before the end.


Here's to many more pairs of socks! I'm going to carry on working through the pile of old WIPs, and start knitting through my stash of special yarns - there are quite a lot and they deserve to become socks. Remember, I'll be hosting the Marathon Sock KAL from July 1st if you fancy joining me on a sock adventure.

*Ok, I didn't start them all this year...

Details of the yarns and patterns used can be found via the Ravelry project pages for each project, which are linked in the headings for each pair of socks.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Tips for working with fluffy yarn


On Friday I shared my latest design, a Shaun the Sheep jumper knitted in King Cole Tufty,* a super-chunky weight fluffy yarn.

Image copyright Practical Publishing

If you haven't knitted with King Cole Tufty or similar yarns before, then they might be a little intimidating, so today I'm sharing some tips and hints that might help.

What's special about these fluffy yarns?
King Cole Tufty* and other eyelash yarns are made up of a central core that has strands coming off it to make the yarn fluffy. This means that the central core is quite thin, even though the knitted fabric looks quite dense.


When you're working with the yarn...
Choosing a pattern
  • Simplicity is key with fluffy yarns; you won't be able to see any increases and decreases under the fluff, so choose simple ones, like backward loop increases and knit two together decreases, rather than anything more involved.
  • Avoid patterns that require picking up stitches as it can be hard to make sure you catch the central cord.
  • Try short rows for shaping - any holes from changing direction can be hidden by slipping the first stitch on the return journey.

Swatching
  • It can be tricky to count the number of stitches and rows you've knitted in a fluffy yarn, so cast on a specific number of stitches, then work a specific number of rows before casting off (ideally twice the number of stitches/rows the gauge is given over in the pattern). Measure the piece that you've knitted and compare the measurements to those given rather than trying to count stitches.

Knitting
  • Slow down! I found I needed to knit very deliberately with this yarn, making sure I caught the central cord every time I knitted a stitch.
  • These yarns are usually worked on larger needles, so you might find you don't have any stitch markers that are large enough. Try using a loop of smooth waste yarn as a stitch marker instead.
  • With fluffy yarns, it can be hard to tell the front of the work from the back, so place a removable stitch marker on the front of the work after you've worked a few rows.
  • Before you start knitting, write a list of the rows you need to work and check them off as you knit them.

Placing stitches on hold

  • If you need to place stitches on hold, work the whole item on interchangeable needles, and place the stitches you need to hold onto spare cables. This avoids having to thread stitches on and off needles.

Looking for the perfect finish?
Weaving in ends
I came up with two options for weaving in the ends of the fluffy yarn:
  • Catch the ends in place using sewing thread the same colour as the fabric you've created.
  • Trim the fluff off the central core to create a smoother yarn that is easier to thread through the eye of the needle and weave in.

Seaming
  • Use oddments of thinner yarn, e.g. DK weight yarn, for seaming.
That's it! It's really not hard to knit with fluffy yarns if you take it slowly. If you found these tips helpful, comment below, or share this post via social media.

Happy knitting.


Image copyright Practical Publishing

*Affiliate link.
**Other yarns with a  similar construction include Stylecraft Eskimo* and Rico Creative Bubble*. Mohair yarns often have a similar construction as well.

Friday, 10 May 2019

New design: Shaun the Sheep jumper

You may recall that when Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace from Wallace and Gromit, died, I wrote a post about the role Wallace and Gromit had played in my childhood. I adored Wallace and Gromit, and still do as an adult, so imagine my excitement when Kate, the editor for Knit Now Magazine, contacted me to ask if I would like to design a Shaun the Sheep jumper for kids! Of course I leapt at the chance, and the pattern is available now in issue 102 of Knit Now Magazine.


The jumper isn't my usual intarsia, instead it's a really playful appliqu├ęd design, with Shaun's head and ears sewn onto a jumper that is knitted in fluffy yarn. The ear tips are left loose so that the child can play with them while they're wearing the jumper; this is a super-tactile knit!

The basic jumper is knitted flat from the top down in one piece with minimal seaming. Simple short rows are used to create the neckline shaping. Only basic increases and decreases are required to create the face and ear pieces, and Shaun's eyes and nostrils are embroidered at the end. The whole thing is knitted in super chunky weight yarn, making for a really quick knit.


The jumper uses a combination of King Cole Tufty* for the textured sections and King Cole Big Value Super Chunky* for the hems, cuffs, neckline and face details.

The pattern is written for 6 sizes from ages 2 to 12, and covers chest sizes 59 to 84 cm.


I really enjoyed knitting the Shaun the Sheep jumper, and hope that you do too. Both my older kids were fascinated by the fluffy yarn, and have each asked me to knit something init for them, so I may be revisiting King Cole Tufty in the future...

If you haven't worked with fluffy yarn before and are unsure where to begin, I've put together some helpful hints in a blog post that will go live early next week.

Want to knit your own Shaun the Sheep jumper? The pattern can be found in issue 102 of Knit Now Magazine, which is in UK shops now. Alternatively you can get a print copy delivered to your door, or purchase the digital edition.


All images copyright Practical Publishing.

*Affiliate link.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The Marathon Sock KAL 2019: coming soon...

You may remember that last year, I hosted the Marathon Sock KAL - a KAL that involved a collective effort to knit a marathon's worth of yarn.* Well, it will be back this year!


Rather than start the KAL alongside the London Marathon, which was the original inspiration for the KAL, the KAL will start on July 1st 2019, and run through the summer (prime sock-knitting season) or until we have knitted the full 26 miles of yarn.

Do I have to knit the full 26 miles by myself? No, of course not! All you have to do is knit a pair of adult-sized socks, and add a photo of them to the finished object thread when they're done, noting the amount of yarn used. I'll add up all the yarn lengths from each entry, and we should quite quickly have knitted a marathon's worth of yarn.

I've opened a chatter thread in my Ravelry group, where you can start chatting about your plans for the KAL.

Until then, happy knitting.

********

Aim
Knit a Marathon's worth of socks: 26.219 miles of sock yarn converted into socks.

Rules
  • Socks be cast-on on or after July 1st 2019
  • Socks can be knitted or crocheted in any yarn weight
  • All socks must have a proper heel (no yoga or tube socks)
  • The KAL will close once the full 26 miles of yarn have been knitted
  • You must post a photo of your pair of socks to the KAL FO thread, including the exact number of metres of yarn you used (to the nearest metre)
  • I'll keep a running total for the group
  • To be eligible for a prize, you must be a member of the Ravelry group
  • If you're on Instagram, use the hashtag #marathonsockkal2019


Prizes
  • One prize drawn from #marathonsockkal2019 on Instagram
  • One prize drawn from the chatter thread
  • One prize drawn from the FO thread

*26.219 miles = 42 195 m; each of my pairs of socks uses approximately 300 m of yarn (assuming sock weight yarn at 400 m per 100 g)

Saturday, 4 May 2019

New design: Palm-tastic Pillow

I have a new pattern to share with you today, and this one is full-on summer!


Fancy adding a taste of the tropics to your living room? Then this is the project for you! The Palm-tastic Pillow features a large, bold palm leaf design, and will have you dreaming of exotic locations from the comfort of your own sofa.


The pillow is knitted flat as a single strip with ribbed sections at either end; the strip is folded back on itself and seamed to create a simple pillow cover that is fastened with buttons. The palm motif is incorporated using the intarsia technique. I knitted the sample in Paintbox Yarns Wool Mix Aran* (50% Wool, 50% Acrylic; 196 yards [180 meters]/100 grams) in shades 849 Candyfloss Pink (MC, 3 balls) and 830 Evergreen (CC, 1 ball).** The pillow outer fits an 18 inch square pillow form.


The Palm-tastic Pillow is available in the June issue of I Like Knitting magazine,which is available now. I Like Knitting is an e-magazine, which is available via a subscription model. Full details can be found here.*


Want add the pattern to your Ravelry favourites or queue? You can find the pattern page here.

*Affiliate link.
**Yarn kindly supplied by Love Knitting.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

All about the socks (Yarn Along: May 2019)

Hello May! Where did a third of a year go? I have no idea, but somehow we're here.

I am in the midst of the magnificent sock-kick. I cast off a DK-weight pair earlier in the week, and have made significant progress on two 4-ply pairs since then: The Battle of Winterfell (Game of Thrones) and Avengers: Endgame both contributed significantly, even though I had to knit in the dark for both. I've also had a poorly baby this week - she's wanted nothing but cuddles on my knee for days - so have been knitting round her. I'm back to work in a couple of weeks, so the sock knitting will slow down significantly, but, until then, you'll probably find me with socks at various stages of completion on the needles.



Alongside the sock knitting, I am reading The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris. The story is told from the perspective of Jasper, a 13 year old boy with synaethesia, who paints what he hears. Bee Larkham is new to area, and Jasper wants her to be his friend, so he can see the parakeets that live in the trees in her garden; Bee Larkham is missing, and Jasper thinks he killed her... This book is beautifully written, and I can't wait to see how the story is concluded. 


Next on my to-read pile is The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton. I've loved everything previously written by Kate Morton, so I'm really looking forward to reading this one (even though it's massive!).

What are you currently crafting on? Read anything good lately?

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along, a monthly celebration of crafting and reading.

Project details can be found on my Ravelry project pages:

Monday, 15 April 2019

Stepping in to Spring (Yarn Along April 2019)

This month I have been embracing a slower pace of life, partly because it's the school Easter holidays, so I have all three children with me every day for two weeks (which makes it a little harder to get things done), and partly because I am about to enter the final month of maternity leave, so want to make the most of the time I have at home with my still-small baby. I have been enjoying watching Spring emerge, starting with delightful purple crocuses on verges, swiftly followed by bright and bold daffodils everywhere, and now we're moving on to blossom; Spring really is my favourite time of year.*

With so much life stuff happening this month, my knitting has very much taken a back seat. A couple of weeks ago, I spent an afternoon rummaging through the deeper recesses of my stash and found a fair number of unfinished sock projects. Rather than hiding them all back where they came from, I am determined to finish at least a few pairs before casting on any more socks. The current pair that's getting my attention are DK weight, in some stripy Regia yarn; I'm knitting these for my brother as a slightly belated birthday present. Is a work in progress (WIP) still a WIP if you unravel the whole thing and start again? I don't know, but I'm counting this pair as a WIP even though I unravelled them before doing any more knitting as I decided I wanted to knit them from the top down rather than the toe up,** and that they needed a few more stitches.


I have allowed myself a new cast on this month: the Pond Street shawlette, which I bought the kit for at Yarndale in 2017. The shawl uses short rows (one of my favourite techniques) to create a chevron border, then more short rows to make the body of the shawl. The colours in this project are perfect for me: navy, turquoise and deep pink. The yarn (Baa Ram Ewe Titus) does have alpaca in it though, so ultimately I may have to give the shawl away at the end if it turns out to be too itchy against my neck (silly sensitive skin), but I'm enjoying the process so much that I'm fine with that.


One thing I have been enjoying in the past couple of weeks is dedicating some time to reading. I have just finished Notes from a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig, which I bought on a whim from a bestseller-shelf in a supermarket. The book is a collection of Haig's thoughts on mental health in the modern age, interspersed with short narratives about things that have happened to him; it's engagingly written, and made me think a lot about how I, and wider society, use social media in a way that is not necessarily good for us. Throughout the book there are lists about all sorts of topics, and one point on a list about being kinder to yourself was 'Do something in the day that isn't work or duty or internet'; the quote really resonated with me, and reminded me that in spending all our time doing the things we think we have to do, we sometimes lose ourselves along the way.


I've just started reading The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris. The book is about Jasper, a boy with synaesthesia (Jasper senses the world around him as colours), who has somehow become involved in a police investigation to do with the disappearance of Bee Larkham. I'm two chapters in and definitely hooked!

What have you been reading and crafting on in April? Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.

*It's also my birthday this month, which obviously makes Spring even more significant to me.

**I used to knit all my socks from the toe up, but have recently had a change of heart and currently prefer to knit them from the top down.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

How not to finish a jumper (Yarn Along March 2019)

Last month I wrote excitedly about my Edinburgh Yarn Festival jumper - Bright Above Me. After I posted, I sat down and knitted a few more rounds, and with each stitch I fell more and more out of love with the project. I found the combination of increases and long floats really tiring, so I wasn’t picking the project up enough to make any significant progress. There was also the small issue that while I can knit colourwork with a baby on my knee, this colourwork was just too complicated. So I unravelled it, with precisely no regrets.


Once I had unravelled the star jumper, I looked through my Ravelry queue to choose something new to cast on. I knew I wanted to knit a colourwork sweater, ideally from the top-down (I have issues getting the length right when knitting from the bottom up). I had quite a lot of jumpers by Jennifer Steingass in my queue, but my favourite was Starfall, which has a beautiful colourwork yoke that makes me think of jewels. The pattern is written from the bottom-up, and I did briefly consider knitting the jumper as written, before having a revelation: I could cast on the yoke provisionally, then knit the whole yoke before picking up the held stitches and knitting the rest of the jumper from the top down.


A bit of knitting later, I have a completed yoke. It is glorious! I enjoyed the colourwork so much more than the stars, even with the three-colour rounds (those rounds had to wait for uninterrupted knitting time - I couldn’t do them while feeding the baby). I’ve also realised that I much prefer working decreases when knitting colourwork than increases - if I’m working increases I find my floats end up a little tight.


While I won’t be wearing my jumper at Edinburgh this weekend,* I hope to have the yoke back on the needles by then, ready to work the body and sleeves. If I’m really organised I might be on the body, ready for some mindless stocking stitch rounds on the train journey.

I’ve dedicated more time than usual to reading this month. Partly for a rest, and partly because I’ve really enjoyed the book I’ve just finished: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. This is a beautifully written autobiography, written by a self-confessed party girl, covering her years of partying, then her years recovering (she’s only 30 now), all within the framework of ‘love’. I don’t have a lot in common with Dolly (we’re both tall, and some aspects of her struggle with being seen as different as a child and teenager resonated), but I loved her writing style, and her depictions of non-romantic love were very emotive at times. Definitely worth a read.


Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along, a monthly crafting and reading link-up.

*I’ll be there on Saturday. Say hello if you see me.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Lots of Socks KAL update!

Thank you to everyone who bought patterns last month on my Lots of Socks sale day. All proceeds from sales of my sock patterns on that day were donated to Down Syndrome International, and we raised a phenomenal £710! Between all the designers, we were able to donate $18,175.67 directly to Down Syndrome International, which is just staggering.


The Lots of Socks KAL runs in the Paper Daisy Creations Ravelry group until March 21st, which is this Thursday, so don't forget to finish off your socks and post a photo of them to the finished objects thread.* I've finshed one pair of socks and three lone ones, so shall be posting them to the thread once I've published this post!


Don't forget to wear your mismatched socks on March 21st (World Down Syndrome Day) to help raise awareness about Down Syndrome. Follow this link for more information.

*Ravelry link. You'll need to be logged in to follow this link. Membership is free.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Another chance to get your hands on my Sooty children's jumper pattern!

I'm sure many of you recognise Sooty, the distinctive yellow hand puppet who has starred in various incarnations of his own show over many years (apparently he first appeared on TV in 1952!). Several years ago, I was asked by Knit Now magazine to create a children's jumper pattern featuring the character, and the pattern appeared in the Baby Knits supplement included with issue 57. Obviously, that was quite a long time ago (February 2016), but if you missed the pattern then, you have another chance to get your hands on a copy as the pattern has been republished in Issue 99 of Knit Now, which is on sale now.


The jumper is knitted flat and seamed, with the Sooty motif knitted in to the front using the intarsia technique. There are quite a lot of fine details in the picture, and I added a lot of these at the end using duplicate stitch, so feel free to combine intarsia and embroidery if that makes it easier for you to work. The collar is knitted in the round at the end after the jumper has been seamed.

The pattern is written for 4 sizes: 2, 4, 6 and 8 years, with finished chest sizes of 60, 68, 72 and 74 cm. I recommend choosing a size approximately 7.5 cm larger than the recipient's chest measurement.

The original sample is knitted in Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK,* which is lovely and soft and real treat to work with. If you fancy using something a little more budget-friendly, why not try Stylecraft Special DK,* or Paintbox Yarns Simply DK,* both of which are 100% acrylic and come in a fabulous array of colours. You'll only need very small amounts of the contrast colours, so this could be an excellent opportunity to use up some of those oddments of yarn you might have lying around.


Want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern? You'll need to pick up a copy of Knit Now issue 99, which is available now in the UK, or can be ordered online via the More Mags website. The pattern is also avaiable in digital copies of the magazine.

*Affiliate link.

Images copyright Practical Publishing.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Fashionably late (Yarn Along February 2019)

Last weekend I went to visit my sister, and for a 60 hour weekend away, with a baby, I packed one sock project, a jumper project, a spare 150 g of yarn for the jumper and an extra 100 g of sock yarn *just in case*. I’m pretty sure that makes me an optimist, even if only about the amount I can knit while (1) driving, (2) feeding a baby, (3) sleeping, and (4) entertaining three babies and a preschooler. Perhaps predictably, I didn’t get that much knitting done. I did however, spend a lovely couple of evenings sat feeding my baby in a hotel room and getting into a good book, which was such a treat - I feel like it’s been ages since I last sat down with the specific intention of reading for an evening. With all that in mind, here’s this month’s Yarn Along post, better late than never!

So, what's on my needles? This month I've been joining in with the Lots of Socks KAL in aid of Down Syndrome International (full details can be found here,* but the prize list is amazing and you only have to knit one sock to enter) so have two pairs of socks on the needles. The first pair are three-quarters done and are fabulously pink! The yarn is King Cole Zig Zag, in the colourway Pinks. The colour is not one I would typically go for, but is so marvellously cheery that it's perfect for February.  I'm using a pattern from Kate Atherley's Custom Socks - Basic Ribbed Socks - and am planning on knitting several pairs of socks to this pattern over the next few months for a project I'll talk about once I have the first few pairs off the needles.


The second pair of socks is a bit slower as the pattern (Galiano Socks by Tracie Millar) is a tiny bit more complicated (though not that complicated in the scheme of things - there is some texture and a cable or lace round for two rounds out of eight). I'm knitting the socks in a sparkly brown sock yarn from a Knit Crate from November. Again, not my usual colour, but the shades and tones are so rich that I'm enjoying every stitch.



The jumper I mentioned is for the This One's for Me KAL* that I'm running in my Ravelry group, and is a Bright Above Me jumper in Drops Karisma. It's my first top-down colourwork-yoked jumper and I will confess to finding the pattern a challenge: the floats are looooooong, and that combined with the increases is hard work. I think that’s why I gave up at the weekend and opted for reading over knitting, but once the colourwork is done the rest of the jumper is rounds and rounds of stocking stitch, which I can do while feeding, so I’m quietly optimistic I might get this done in time to wear to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.**



The book that grabbed my attention at the weekend was Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher. Liz has been with Ian for 10 years, and is expecting him to propose while they're on holiday in Dubai. Instead he tells her the relationship is over, and she embarks on a quest to find out who she is now she is no longer 'Liz and Ian'. Yes, it's an easy read, but that seems to be what I need at the minute!

Are you favouring knitting or reading at the minute? Any recommendations for reading for tired eyes?

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.

*Ravelry link. You need to be a member of Ravelry for this link to work. Membership is free.


**I’ll be there on the Saturday. I don’t have an advance ticket, so you might see me in the queue! If I’m not wearing a jumper with stars round the yoke, assume I didn’t finish it, and that sleep won over knitting...

Monday, 11 February 2019

For one day only: all sock patterns have 50% off!

I hope you're all enjoying the Lots of Socks KAL! Today is my promotion day, and I'm offering 50% off all my self-published sock patterns on Ravelry, just add the patterns you'd like to the basket and use the code LOTSOFSOCKS. The code is valid from 12 midnight until 11.59pm on Monday 11th February 2019 Eastern Time (GMT -5, i.e. 5am Monday 11th February to 4.59am Tuesday 12th February UK time). As the KAL is in aid of Down Syndrome International, all profits* from any sock pattern sold during the sale period will be donated to Down Syndrome International.  


Amy socks

Haven't heard about the Lots of Socks KAL? Then read on... 

I'm very excited to announce that I am a participating designer in the Lots of Socks knitalong (KAL)** being organised by Lisa Ross of Paper Daisy Creations, and running from February 1st until March 21st 2019.  

Have you heard of the #lotsofsocks initiative? On March 21st every year, people are encouraged to wear two different brightly coloured socks to highlight the uniqueness of individuals with Down syndrome and to show their support for the Down syndrome community. Why March 21st? People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21, so the date 3/21 was selected. Lisa designed the Lots of Socks KAL to create LOTS of socks, and at the same time generate support and awareness for a great cause!  

Lynda socks

What does the KAL involve?  
Starting on February 1st, cast-on ANY sock design from ANY of the participating designers (no works in progress, sorry! The list of desiogners can be found here.). For each single sock that gets knitted (this might be the perfect opportunity to finish up some lonely socks...), you will get an entry for prizes. If you use yarn from one of the sponsors (a list of sponsors can be found here**), you will get an extra entry. When you finish your sock, post a photo of it in the FO thread, remembering to include the pattern name, designer, and yarn used. If you used sponsor yarn, include a photo of the ball band or tag to get a bonus entry.  

Lisa will keep a running list of sock entries in the prize thread. After the KAL has ended (on March 21st), prizes will be drawn based on the entries listed (if you've finished some socks but they haven't been included on the list of entries, send a message to Lisa before the end of the KAL).  

On March 21, 2019 (World Down Syndrome Day), be sure to wear your socks and spread the word! You can post your socks on Instagram using the following three hashtags #lotsofsocksKAL, #lotsofsocks, and #WorldDownSyndromeDay AND tag @paperdaisycreations. You might also want to tag the designer and include hashtags #WDSD19 and #LeaveNoOneBehind.  

When you're knitting your socks for the KAL, feel free to make the socks your own: you're allowed to modify patterns from toe-up to cuff-down and vice versa, switch out heels and toes to your favourites, or to make modifications for fit. However, you must use the minimum stitch count listed in the pattern and at least 25g of sock yarn for a single sock.  

Sara Elin socks

What could I win? 
Lisa has done an amazing job of sourcing prizes for the KAL, and you could win all sorts of amazing yarn-related goodies and patterns, including a £100 gift card to Countess Ablaze, project bags and special skeins galore! The full list of prizes can be found here.**  

Siren song socks

Where should I head for more details and to join in?  
The KAL is being hosted in Lisa's Ravelry group,** so go there to join the chat and to show off your projects. Of course, it's always possible that you might already own all the sock patterns you want. If you'd like to donate directly to Down Syndrome International, you can do so via their website.  

Susurration socks
Click here to see all the designs on offer today!
Remember to use the code LOTSOFSOCKS

*Sale price minus fees and taxes.  

**Ravelry link; you need to be a member of Ravelry to open this link. Membership is free.