Stranded – in a good way

At last year’s Wonderwool Wales event, I was over the moon to find some hand-spun, hand-dyed wool on the stand of the Ceredigion Guild of Weavers and Spinners. It found an appreciative home with me!

40-50g per skein, DK hand spun

Although it is lovely, the rustic texture proved to be unsuitable for the honeycomb cowl that I had in mind, so I was on the look-out for suitable patterns. As always, I was initially hampered by my desire to use all three colourways in a project. “What? Only use 2? But I have 3!”

In the end, it came down to ‘what did I want to knit?’. I fancied doing some stranded knitting, and that helped me to focus. When I saw this fingerless mitten pattern by Crafty Cathy, a lightbulb went on and I knew the hand-spun yarn would be perfect.

The (free) pattern is written so that the mitten is worked flat and then sewn up. I wanted to work it in the round, so I made a few changes (you can find them here on my Ravelry page) and in next-to-no-time these mittens took shape …

I’d like to think that the talented hand-spinning Guild members would approve!

And I still have enough for another project … when I decide what that should be 😉

Any suggestions?


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Red Reinvented

I’m making a concerted effort to use my stash yarn this year. Although there are some special single skeins on the shelves, a surprisingly large proportion of the stash has a chequered history and a dubious future. My intention is to work through it, make what I can with what’s there, and – gulp – let go of 50% of the remainder at the end of the year.

Keeping to my resolution, I have been working on two stash projects – a shawl and a cardigan. The cardigan is a particular challenge, because the wool has already had at least 3 false starts over the past 3 years, and has been close to eviction several times!

I’m in two minds about sharing this new project with you, in case I jinx it … But I feel it’s going well so far, and I’m much more optimistic about it than its previous incarnations, so here goes …

It’s a top-down, edge-to-edge cardigan, which starts with the collar, as shown above. I’m working the raglans and will soon be setting some stitches aside for the armholes.

The pattern is Water and Stone by Veera Mäkiväli and the yarn is Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop 4 ply.

Watch this space !

Have you made anything from your stash this week? I’d love to hear about it!





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Spoiler alert! The moths were innocent!

Every knitter is on constant alert for the dreaded clothes moth – the tiny creatures can wreak havoc in your precious stash and can leave your hand knitted treasures in tatters 😦

So when I saw holes in several t-shirts recently, I began to panic and immediately looked for signs of moth life in all the likely places.

I’m pleased to report (touch wood) that – apart from the holes in my t-shirts – there were no obvious signs of unwanted guests or large-scale destruction. Phew.

To be on the safe side, I’ve increased the number of cedar blocks in my stash boxes, and have refreshed the lavender bags in my cupboards.

So what caused the holes?

With a little detective work, I have now identified the true culprits … my double pointed knitting needles! 😉 The holes are all in the same place, just where I rest my DPNs, particularly when working on sock projects.

I’ll be more careful in future!

Have you had a lightbulb moment this week? I’d love to hear about it!




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From frogged to feet

When I acknowledged, reluctantly, that my yarn didn’t want to be a crocheted shawl after all, I set it aside while I decided what to make instead.

Fast forward a few weeks, and a need for some simple, compact travel knitting prompted me to rescue the frogged yarn from my stash and to cast on a sock. Not a ground-breaking project, but exactly what I needed to see me through so much waiting around.

And here’s the result!

The wool is Zwerger Garn Opal Schafpate, in Heidekraut colourway, purchased at Harry and Floss in Alcester, Warwickshire.

Sometimes the yarn knows best!

Have you knitted something from frogged yarn this week? I’d love to hear about it!


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Half a shawl = finished project!

This project was loitering in the UFO basket pending a decision about its future … Having gone up half a needle size to achieve a squishy texture, my yardage was affected and it gradually dawned on me that I would not have enough of the Rock Lobster colourway to complete the Italian Job shawl.

Reluctant to rip out all that work, I set it aside for a couple of weeks, to mull over my options.

I’m so glad I did!

It occurred to me that the incomplete shawl was roughly the size of a Hitchhiker, and as such could be a useful accessory in its own right, just not an Italian Job per se.

I decided to knit the remaining Rock Lobster yarn without any further contrast patterning, leaving enough to complete a picot edge, and – now I’ve got used to the idea that the design isn’t what it was meant to be – I’m very pleased with the result!

So half-finished is finished after all!

Have you been pleasantly surprised by the way an unpromising project has turned out? I’d love to hear about it!





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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!


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

Continue reading

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Knitting (print) bag

Yes, even my non-knitting friends are constantly on the look-out for 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 😀

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!

My 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 plain socks 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.


I also managed to do some intensive knitting on another Hitchhiker shawlette, using a super-soft, hand-dyed yarn by The Old Piggery, bought from 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 🙂

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


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