Monday, 22 February 2021

LooseEndsMAL 2021: One week left to enter!

At the start of the year, I launched the #LooseEndsMAL, a MakeALong (MAL) to encourage you to go and unearth some treasured works in progress (WIPs) and turn them into precious finished objects. If you’re not in love with the WIP anymore, now is the time to let it go! You can read all about the MAL here. This week is your final week to enter!

There are three fabulous prizes that you could win by entering this MAL. In the spirit of the MAL, the yarn portion of the prizes is from my stash – I have so much yarn, that it seems only fair to spread the love a bit! There are also some beautiful, beaded stitch markers donated by JensCraftyCharms – I have several of Jen’s stitch markers in my collection, and I use them a lot, so I really hope the winners enjoy theirs! Each of the three winners will also receive one pattern of their choice from my self-published patterns. Winners will be chosen randomly from all entries received, and will be drawn after the closing date. If you want to see all the prizes in detail, read this post.

How have I been getting on?

I haven’t exclusively worked on older projects, but I have finished a jumper, a pair of socks for my sister, a giant pair of socks, and I’ve made great progress on a more reasonably-sized pair. There has been a lot of project unravelling, and I’ve reclaimed many stitch markers! I posted two large bundles of stash off – one to family and one to charity, and I feel much better about my stash now. I think if I concentrate on working only on my Siren Song socks, I might be able to get them done by the end of the month.

Chuck by Andi Satterlund** (heavily modified); knitted in Drops Nepal in Dark Red
 
Arcadia socks** by Jo-Anne Klim; knitted in Stylecraft Head Over Heels in Splash

Giant socks! My own pattern (coming soon). Knitted in King Cole Zig Zag in Humbug and Novita Venla in Charcoal

Siren Song socks** by Vikki Bird. Yarn The Wool Kitchen BFL Bamboo 4ply Fingering in Space Cowboy

Want to browse the #LooseEndsMAL entries? The best way is on Instagram – just search for #LooseEndsMAL and you’ll be able to see everyone’s projects.

 

How to enter?

Use this form to register entries for the #LooseEndsMAL

1. Your entry needs to fit into one of the following categories:A work in progress (WIP) that you have finished

2. A work in progress that you have unravelled, gifted, or disposed of

3. Stash that you have passed on to a new home

4. Something you have repaired to give it a new lease of life

To count as a WIP or stash, you must have started the project/owned the item in or before 2020.

You need to be able to share a link to a photo of the entry - you can host the photo on Ravelry, Instagram, or a photo hosting site, and the photo must be publicly viewable. Alternatively, you may email the photo to me - vikkibirddesigns @ gmail . com (remove the spaces!) By sharing the photo, you agree to me sharing the photo on my Instagram feed and in my Instagram stories (copyright remains with you and credit will be given); if you share the photo by email, let me know whether or not you give permission for me to share the photo.

Entries close at the end of February 28th 2021, all time zones.

 

If you have long-abandoned WIPs that you need a push to get finished, why not join me in the #LooseEndsMAL, either on Instagram or Ravelry,** or let me know in the comments below what WIPs you want to get finished this year. The #LooseEndsMAL runs until the end of February 2021. For full details on how to enter, read this post.

 

*Affiliate link.

**Ravelry link; may cause issues to people with photosensitivity.

Monday, 8 February 2021

#LooseEndsMAL: What could you win?

Last month, I launched the #LooseEndsMAL, a MakeALong (MAL) to encourage you to go and unearth some treasured works in progress (WIPs) and turn them into precious finished objects. If you’re not in love with the WIP anymore, now is the time to let it go! You can read all about the MAL here.

This week I’m going to show you what you could win! In the spirit of the MAL, the yarn portion of the prizes is from my stash – I have so much yarn, that it seems only fair to spread the love a bit! There are also some beautiful, beaded stitch markers donated by JensCraftyCharms – I have several of Jen’s stitch markers in my collection, and I use them a lot, so I really hope the winners enjoy theirs!

 

Here are the full details of the prizes, in no particular order…

Prize one


The first prize for the MAL is three balls of Willow and Lark* Ramble (DK; 175 m per 50 g ball; 50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose; one each in Oxford Navy, Dutchess Blue and Plover Grey). This yarn was donated to me by LoveCrafts a few years ago, but is now discontinued. The yarn would be fantastic for colourwork or stripes, and 150g is a good amount for a matching set, e.g. a hat and pair of mittens. I’ve paired the yarn with the unicorn stitch marker, which will make a great friend to keep you company while you knit!

 

Prize two


The second prize package consists of a skein of yarn by Owl About Yarn and a fairy stitch marker. I bought this yarn at a knitting retreat in 2017, and it hasn’t made it to the needles yet, so it’s time to liberate it. The yarn [Owl About Yarn Cuddly Owl Sock (4ply; 425 m per 100 g skein; 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon; Amethyst Obsidian)] is perfect for socks, if you win, maybe you could try knitting my Siren Song pattern with it? That cable would really pop in this yarn.

 

Prize three


The final prize is one skein of Norah George 80% Superwash Merino 20% Nylon High Twist (4ply; 400 m per 100 g skein; Hedwig). This base is my absolute favourite for socks – the high twist makes really nice plump socks that are lovely and squishy! The yarn has speckles of black, brown, and yellow against a natural background, and when knitted up, should be reminiscent of a snowy owl – my favourite of all the owls! The yarn is paired with a mermaid stitch marker. I love this stitch marker, and it’s a one-off, so if you win, you have something unique!

Each of the three winners will also receive one pattern of their choice from my self-published patterns. Winners will be chosen randomly from all entries received, and will be drawn after the closing date.

 

How to enter?

Use this form to register entries for the #LooseEndsMAL

Your entry needs to fit into one of the following categories:

1.      A work in progress (WIP) that you have finished

2.      A work in progress that you have unravelled, gifted, or disposed of

3.      Stash that you have passed on to a new home

4.      Something you have repaired to give it a new lease of life

To count as a WIP or stash, you must have started the project/owned the item in or before 2020.

You need to be able to share a link to a photo of the entry - you can host the photo on Ravelry, Instagram, or a photo hosting site, and the photo must be publicly viewable. Alternatively, you may email the photo to me - vikkibirddesigns @ gmail . com (remove the spaces!) By sharing the photo, you agree to me sharing the photo on my Instagram feed and in my Instagram stories (copyright remains with you and credit will be given); if you share the photo by email, let me know whether or not you give permission for me to share the photo.

Entries close at the end of February 28th 2021, all time zones.

 

If you have long-abandoned WIPs that you need a push to get finished, why not join me in the #LooseEndsMAL, either on Instagram or Ravelry,** or let me know in the comments below what WIPs you want to get finished this year. The #LooseEndsMAL runs until the end of February 2021. For full details on how to enter, read this post.


*Affiliate link.

**Ravelry link; may cause issues to people with photosensitivity.

Friday, 5 February 2021

Kingfisher Tea Cosy - Knit Now issue 125

Did you know that kingfishers have bright scarlet feet? No, me neither until I started researching my latest pattern: Kingfisher Tea Cosy! 


Brought to you in association with RSPB, and published in the latest issue of Knit Now (issue 125, buy your copy here), the Kingfisher Tea Cosy celebrates the majestic kingfisher. It was a delight to be able to create this kingfisher that you can admire while you enjoy your breakfast.

The Kingfisher tea cosy is knitted flat in two pieces from the bottom up. The Kingfisher motif is worked using the intarsia technique (twist yarns at the colours changes to avoid holes). The pieces are seamed and the i-cord edging and hanging loop added. The tea cosy is lined with cotton fabric and wadding – this only requires basic hand-sewing skills and you use the knitted parts of the tea cosy as the template, so there’s no need for a printer, or to cut up your magazine.

Never made an i-cord before? They’re really easy. You work an i-cord on DPNs, creating a tube of fabric by taking the working yarn behind the work at the end of the row to start the new row, rather than turning the work. They’re really clever, and create an excellent neat finish.

The Kingfisher Tea Cosy is knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab DK,* a fantastic British yarn that comes in a great colour palette. There are quite a lot of small areas of colour in this design, so you might want to work with lengths of yarn approximately 1 m long and untangle them at the end of the row (if you want to use longer lengths of yar, I would definitely suggest using yarn bobbins* – these ones from Pony are my favourites).

Want to knit your own Kingfisher Tea Cosy? The pattern can be found in Knit Now issue 125, which is on sale now! If you can’t make it to the shops, you can order a print copy here.


Looking for the Ravelry pattern page so you can queue and favourite the pattern? You can find it here.**

*Affiliate link.

**Ravelry links may affect people who are photosensitive. Proceed with caution.

Images copyright Practical Publishing.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

#SocksOfFebruary2021 - an IG challenge


Do you like making socks? Are you on Instagram? Then #SocksOfFebruary2021 is for you!

In February, @YarnStreetUK and I (@VikkiBirdDesigns) are hosting a photo prompt challenge over on Instagram. The theme is socks, and the hashtag is #SocksOfFebruary2021

Every day in February has a different theme, and the idea is that you post a photo to Instagram that works for that theme – be as literal or as inventive as you like! Hopefully we’ll all find lots of inspiration and new sock knitting friends to chat to online. I would love you to take part! Don’t worry about posting everyday, just post for the days that inspire you. Obviously I’ll be trying to do the whole month, let’s see if I manage!

In case you want to get ahead of the game, here’s a full list of the prompts for the month:

Day 1. Work in Progress – Say hi, share your current WIP, or go all the way and share your sock journey.

Day 2. My Sock Collection – Let’s show off those woolly socks.

Day 3. Indie Dyed Yarn – Colourful creations in indie dyed yarn, show off your favourites!

Day 4. Lacy Feet – Lacy socks for lazy days.

Day 5. Pattern that Rib – Whether it’s a ribbed cuff or the full sock, show off that ribbing.

Day 6. Toe Up or Top Down – which is your style?

Day 7. Creative Colourwork – Let’s share those colourwork creations.

Day 8. Commercial Yarn – Show some love for your favourite commercial sock yarn.

Day 9. Mismatch – Love them or hate them? It’s time to show off your mismatched pairs!

Day 10. Favourite Sock Base – What’s your favourite sock base?

Day 11. Block Those Socks – To block or not to block? Over to you!

Day 12. Bright and Beautiful - Sunglasses at the ready, let’s share those bright ones.

Day 13. My Favourite Needles – What are your go-to needles? Do you prefer DPNs, circulars, or magic loop?

Day 14. All the Hearts – The ones you love the most.

Day 15. Sock Yarn Stash – Share your stash…

Day 16. Go Pink – Pink in all its glorious shades.

Day 17. Stripes all the Way – It’s stripes day! Show off those stripy socks.

Day 18. Grand Plans – What’s up next?

Day 19. Favourite Pattern – No explanation needed today, simply share…

Day 20. Pastels – All the pastels on show.

Day 21. Gifted - Socks you’ve gifted, or socks you’ve received, today’s all about those gifted socks.

Day 22. Blues – All the tones, let’s go blue.

Day 23. Mark Your Progress – Those progress keepers we love to use.

Day 24. Cables – What’s your favourite cable pattern?

Day 25. Sporty Days – Ready, steady, sporty style! Share those sporty socks.

Day 26. Shorties – Short legs, knee highs, or something in between?

Day 27. Scrappy Socks – We’re almost done, it’s scrappy sock day!

Day 28. Wave Those Toes – Contrast toe? Favourite shape? Let’s wave those toes for our last day.

 

Want to share the prompts on your Instagram? There are six colourful options at the bottom of this post, so you can choose the one that suits your style best!

See you over on Instagram. I cannot wait to see your posts!