Speckles

These beautiful orchids made me think of knitting today – speckles are “in”!

They are amazing, aren’t they?

What has reminded you of knitting today? I’d love to hear about it!

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Easter egg decorations

I got a bit carried away with my Easter egg decorations this year …
At least they are calorie-free!

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Have you made any spring decorations this year? I’d love to hear about them!

Happy Easter!
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Finally finished and ready to wear

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Knitting (print) bag

Yes, even my non-knitting friends are constantly on the look-out forย knitting themes for me!

This fold-up shopping bag was a perfect gift …

Cute dogs, cheerful colours, a practical purpose AND a knitting print. I love it!

This will certainly make me think of knitting whenever I use it ๐Ÿ˜€

What has made you think of knitting while you’ve been out and about this week?

I’d love to hear about it!

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And now the successes!

Myย recent review of my WIPs and UFOs may have led to some unravelling, but I’m pleased to say it did also lead to some Finished Objects …

Firstly, some plainย socksย in Zwerger-Garn-Opal 4-ply, purchased in Switzerland in November 2013, and started shortly afterwards. Set aside and neglected in favour of socks for family members, they are now finished and ready for me – yes me! – to wear.

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I also managed to do some intensive knitting on another Hitchhiker shawlette, using a super-soft, hand-dyed yarn by The Old Piggery, bought fromย La Mercerie in Cowbridge. A meditative, rewarding garter-stitch pattern, producing a useful and easy-to-wear shawlette.

Two more projects cast off means two more project bags now empty, ready and waiting ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you finished a project this week? I’d love to hear about it!
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St Fagans Stencil

I squeezed a lot into a recent short trip to Cardiff, including a few hours atย St Fagans, a living history museum of Welsh life.

The museum is set in extensive grounds, taking visitors on a journey from Celtic times to the present day, and offering an insight into social history across the ages.

True to form, I found lots of crafting inspiration, not only in the woollen mill and tailor’s shop, but also in the structures and decoration in the buildings and gardens.

Here is a selection to whet your appetite!

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St Fagans Stencil

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See the small window in the red wall? That’s where the stencil is!

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The church surrounded by a fabulous wall

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Colourful window in the Workers’ Institute

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Yarn preparation in the Woollen Mill

With free entry (see the museum website for car parking charges), if you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit!

Have you been inspired on your travels lately? I’d love to hear about it!

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Pick of the bunch

Inspired by the early spring sunshine, and the bright oddments in my stash bag, I couldn’t resist having a go at this sweet, rustic flower pattern from Val Pierce’s Love Knitting book.

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In the book, the original flowers were sewn onto a peg bag, but I attached a brooch pin to make the little posy more versatile. I think it would look cheerful on a lapel, on a bag, on a hat …

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So many possible colour combinations – so I made a few more!

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Have you made any flowers or brooches recently? I’d love to hear about them!

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WIPs and UFOs

When does a WIP (work in progress) become a UFO (unfinished object)? Is there a certain length of time that has to elapse without any knitting activity? Or is there a special corner or cupboard that WIPs go to, to become UFOs?

Gradually, over a few months, I’ve been reviewing my WIPs and UFOs and working out what to do with them. Rip, hibernate, or carry on.

Some decisions are harder than others.

Somewhat surprisingly, only one has gone into temporary hibernation. It’s a small zigzag scarf-cum-cowl made with 2 strands of Lang, bought at last year’s Wonderwool Wales.

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The early days of the scarf-cum-cowl

It gets picked up every now and then, and still holds some promise, although I’m not really enjoying the process. It’s about 45 cm long now, so I’ve definitely passed halfway. Maybe it’s timing, so I’ll give it another chance.

This week’s WIP decision involved a raspberry red Wensleydale Longwool 4-ply which is already in its third incarnation. Two fronts, the back and a sleeve … almost finished … so why was it still a WIP? I had invested so much time, but knew I wasn’t happy with it and what use was the yarn if it was stuck in a project bag for months, not seeing the light of day? If I loved it, I would have finished it by now, wouldn’t I?

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So near, so far …

Deep breath. Pull that thread and … yes, it’s definitely quicker to unravel than to knit!

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Another one bites the dust!

There aren’t many WIPs left now, and it feels good! One more tough decision to face – my two-tone mosaic shawl which seems to be using more wool than anticipated, leaving me concerned that I won’t have enough to finish it.

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An early shot of the mosaic progress

I’ll leave that decision to another day – one UFO at a time. And then I’ll have space and a clear conscience to cast on something new! Yay!

Have you ripped out any unloved WIPs or UFOs recently? What made you decide to bite the bullet and rip? I’d love to hear about it!

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Upcycled

Hello!

Do you want to see what I made from myย inadvertently felted cardigan a couple of weeks ago?

A few hours with scissors and sewing machine produced this little shoulder bag, lined with floral poly cotton fabric to lift the colour and help the bag to keep its shape.

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The finished bag

I decided to top stitch the main seams, as the fabric was dense and traditional seams may have been too bulky. I hand-stitched the contrast fabric into place, and added an iron-on interface to the lining to make it strong enough to take a magnetic clasp.

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A magnetic clasp

The handles are plaited using one strip of fabric and 2 strips of corded wool, left over from the original cardigan project (it pays to keep oddments in your stash!).

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Hand-stitched contrast fabric and plaited straps

There’s a pocket on one side, while the other side takes advantage of the original cable pattern.

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Cables on one side

For extra decoration, I added a crocheted brooch which I had made a couple of years ago, and which seemed to pick up the colour of the lining fabric perfectly.

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A crocheted brooch adds extra colour

So, my felted cardigan lives on!

Have you upcycled anything recently? How did it go? I’d love to hear about it!

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And the winner is …

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Drum roll please …

Thank you to everyone who entered my 100th blogpost competition – it was lovely to hear from you all – I’m sorry there could only be one winner.

And the winner is …

Fiona J ๐Ÿ˜€

Congratulations Fiona! Thank you for entering and sharing the Yarnsmithery page. Your prize will be on its way to you very soon!

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