Saturday, 8 December 2018

Northern Skies

I haven't been up north at this time of year for so long that I've forgotten just how dark it gets up here. It hardly get light before the sun is hovering over the horizon waiting to go to bed again, if it even bothers to surface at all. I went to see the sea earlier this week and noticed that, even in the early afternoon, night time doesn't feel like it's very far away as heavy shades of blue fill both the sky and the sea.

The fairy lights and Christmas decorations have popped up everywhere over the past week or so and I can't believe that we're only a couple of weeks away from the shortest day. I love getting to that point in the year as that's when I tell myself that it's getting lighter and we're heading towards Spring again, albeit very slowly at first.

In the meantime we've got to get through the darkest time of the year and I'm jollying myself along with thoughts of Christmas and the hope that I might see the northern lights if I'm lucky some time. That really would be a treat.

On the craft front, I've got a few things on the go at the moment and once they're finished I've decided to devote the bulk of my time to a block a month blanket using squares from the BAMCAL group over on Ravelry. I've already made a start by crocheting a square called Kinnedy Nichelle by Pam Knighton-Haener.

I spent ages trying to pick colours for this square and then decided that those in the pattern are so lovely that I copied them as closely as I could. It's a happy coincidence that they match the northern skies and coastline that I've seen this week, maybe subconsciously that's what drew me to them in the first place.

If you'd like to make this square you can find Pam's free pattern here. The colours that I used are silver, sherbet, violet and turquoise from the Stylecraft Special double knitting yarn range. 

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Autumn Splendour

I didn't get around to posting any summery pictures this year because I was too busy cleaning and decluttering in order to put our home up for sale. Throughout all the exceptional heat during the Summer months I went through every nook and cranny and made countless trips to the dump and charity shops to get rid of stuff that's no longer going to be required. I've just about caught up with all that as we wait to exchange contracts, fingers crossed and double crossed that it happens soon.

In the lull of activity connected with moving home during the past week or so I've managed to get out and take in the time of year before the splendour of Autumn vanishes and the dormant landscape of Winter coupled with the whirlwind that is Christmas takes over once more.

When I've moved I won't have the same amount of time available to spend on yarny crafts so I may decide to discontinue this blog, or just post here and there. When I first started blogging at roughly this time of year four years ago it was just an experiment for me and then I discovered Ravelry shortly afterwards. I nearly stopped blogging back then but something has kept me going until now. Anyway whatever happens I'll still post my projects over on Ravelry so I'm not disappearing altogether.

Farewell, maybe...

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Millefiori Blanket

I've already written about this blanket in its earlier development when it was just a pile of squares, then when I'd worked out the colour combinations that I've used and finally when I posted the free pattern for the Millefiori square.

Now that I've finished putting it together using Buttermilk coloured Stylecraft Special double knitting yarn, a fancy braided join and Edie Eckman's #93 border design, there's not much more to say so how about some pictures instead to show off the final blanket :-)

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Mini Knitted Makes

My mini knitted makes begin with mock cables, inspired by a little sample of these stitches that I found in the bottom of one of my project bags. I stretched it about and wondered what I could make incorporating these stitches and decided that I could use my basic glove pattern with a panel of little cables on the front for decoration.

The first glove didn't go too well as I underestimated how many cable repeats to include so they ran out on my ring finger rather than around the side at the edge of my little finger. It didn't look good I can tell you. I had also miscalculated where to start the round so the transition between stocking stitch and the mock cable section was quite ugly.

Once I'd sorted out these problems the pair of gloves looked perfect, well perfect enough for me given that it's the first time I've tried to make gloves any more complicated than plain stocking stitch. I intend to make them again and I might even attempt to write the pattern out too.

The second thing that I've knitted recently is another, yes another, poppy cardigan designed by Georgie Nicolson.

It would seem that no stuffed animal in my home is safe at the moment without a little knitted cardy to keep it warm. Perhaps I've scratched that itch for now, we'll see...

Finally I found a book gifted to me years ago, Knitted Cakes by Susan Penny, and I just had to make my own little piece of creative nonsense.

I spent ages deciding which one to make and finally settled on the doughnut because I knew that I'd got some beads somewhere which would be great to sprinkle over the icing once it was knitted.

It's very pretty to look at and I've since decided that it could be used as a pin cushion so perhaps it's not as useless as it first appears, well that's my justification for it.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Golden Celebration

The Summer of 2018 has certainly been golden, with the heat turned up to max for weeks and weeks on end, so much so that it was virtually impossible to crochet anything on a grand scale. 

I reached for smaller items to make here and there during all that heat and this cotton doily was just perfect to satisfy the need to make something.

I've made this pattern before as you can see in this older post. It's Vintage-style Vase Coaster, designed by Nicki Trench, which can be found in her book titled Cute & Easy Crochet with Flowers.

I used the same yarn as last time, Drops Safran, but I chose a different set of colours to celebrate our golden Summer.

I think that the two doilies will look pretty together and I'm sure that I'll return to this pattern again to make many more beautiful, colourful doilies.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Woodland Creatures - The Hare

I posted here about my early progress with this cross stitch kit back in May when the poppies were just coming out.

Since then we've had an absolutely baking hot Summer which has been too hot to do anything involving  much yarn, so I've had the perfect excuse to leave crochet and knitting alone whilst I've worked on this instead.

The kit is the hare which is one of the woodland creatures designs by Karen Carter, designed and produced by Heritage Crafts.

All of the threads are included and there are two really good sized charts, one for the cross stitching and one for the back stitching, so it's really clear what to stitch where.

I particularly enjoyed working on the grasses and flowers, or are they weeds? The additional back stitching really brings the whole thing to life.

I'm tempted to make one of the other designs in this series too, maybe the fox or mouse, to accompany the hare once it's framed. For now I'm just pleased that I managed to pick up a kit and both start and finish it in the same year, I don't often do that.