Velcro update

A while ago, I was bemoaning the incompatibility of wool and Velcro. Although I love the ingenuity and efficiency of Velcro, I love my knitted accessories more!

Having looked for alternative solutions, it seemed there was nothing for it but to take the Velcro off my rain jacket if I wanted to save my knitted accessories from being snagged to pieces.

Out came the scissors …

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The first piece came off relatively easily, but the second was less straightforward, as the coat’s top stitching had gone over the Velcro, so I had to risk cutting into the top stitching too. Gulp.

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Tah-dah! Although you can still see where the Velcro had been, and I wouldn’t like to risk it on a more expensive garment, I’m pleased with the result – no more Velcro and no more snags!

Have you modified any clothing to accommodate your yarny accessories? I’d love to hear about it!

🙂

 

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Impromptu Mitts

I needed a simple travel project at short notice, so headed to my stash and looked for inspiration.

I found it in the form of a 50g ball of Drops Fabel, a variegated 4 ply in a range of blues and greens, a lovely present from a thoughtful friend a couple of months ago.

Teamed with a 50g ball of Patons Diploma Gold 4 ply in cream, I planned to use a crafty little technique to maximise the colour effect while also speeding up the knitting time … using the yarn held double on 4.5 mm needles … And here’s the result!

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I can recommend the technique – it’s my tip of the day!

Have you made any impromptu projects recently? I’d love to hear about them!

😀

 

 

 

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Coastal Colours

Don’t you just love it when your knitting matches the colours of the coast?

This was my recent holiday knitting, accompanying me out and about on my travels in Wales.

It didn’t match every location, but hey, that’s ok 😉

The yarn is Opal Zwerger 4 ply, in ‘Der Kleine Prinz – Auf der Flucht’ colourway, and I’m making a sock … Watch this space!

Does your knitting match the colours around you this week? I’d love to hear all about it!

🙂

 

 

 

 

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Semi-circle in Stone

On a recent flying visit to Berrington Hall near Leominster I noticed this stonework on the side of the mansion outbuildings and it made me think of a semi-circular shawl … Those geometric shapes would be perfect to knit, and the centre flower-head detail adds a special touch. The design even has a border pattern, to complete the shawl analogy.

I love the visible repairs too – honest craftsmanship, carried out with such skill and care.

Here’s larger photo to show you the context …

Impressive, eh?

Have you seen anything that has reminded you of knitting this week?

I’d love to hear about it!

🙂

 

 

 

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Update on the Zigzag

It survived the recent WIP/UFO review and in the last couple of weeks I’ve been making an effort to make progress with it … Here’s the latest status of the so-called Zigzag Cowl with only a few metres of yarn left to knit …

Being open-ended, it’s more a short scarf than a cowl. It’s almost 100 cm long, and – according to the pattern – was meant to have a buttonhole 6 cm from the end, in the middle of the row, but I didn’t like the look of it, so decided to continue without a hole and I will use a shawl pin to secure it instead, if needed.

Almost there … I’ll keep you posted!

Have you made good progress on a WIP this week? I’d love to hear all about it!

🙂

 

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Gates

On a recent trip, I noticed several gates that made me think of knitting – a travelling cable pattern overlaying a rhythmical base or perhaps a geometric shape defined by colour or texture.

This was the entrance to our holiday cottage.

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This stunning view was at Abermawr

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These two designs enclosed a stretch of grazing land along the coastal path between Little Haven and Broad Haven …

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And this metal version with its circular decoration caught my eye at Colby Woodland Garden …

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What patterns do you see around you? Please share your inspiration – I’d love to hear all about it!

🙂

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Stripes and more stripes

Back in 2012, I bought some yarn to make the “in” project of the moment, the Color Affection shawl by Veera Välimäki.

With hindsight, I now recognise that I had reservations about the colour choices and yarn composition from the outset, and I’d like to think that – with 5 years’ additional experience behind me – I would now resist the “enabling” from my fellow shoppers if I were faced with the situation again 😉 In reality, there’s a good chance I would still get swept along with the excitement and possibilities of all that wool but that’s another matter …

I was left with 3 disparate skeins that did not become a Color Affection shawl, and their presence in my stash seemed to bar me from making the shawl in other yarn. So, over time, I gifted one and made another into a shawlette, while the third skein is languishing – albeit prettily – in my stash. I’m beginning to acknowledge that laceweight may not be “my” thing.

Then recently, by chance, 2 random balls of yarn found themselves on the table at the same time and I realised that they had the potential to work together … Just that week I had given up on the shawl I was knitting, as I had lost the “yarn chicken” game, and the cream contrast yarn was fresh in my mind. Hmmm, I wonder if I’d have enough? The three together might just make that long-awaited Color Affection shawl …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many, many garter stitches later, I cast off with just 3 grams of the cream wool left over … It was my turn to win at yarn chicken – yay!

   

The wool, in case you’re curious, was sock yarn – no laceweight to be seen. The turquoise was Time for Teal BFL and Bamboo, created by Lyn Roberts in support of  Target Ovarian Cancer. The variegated yarn was the Peacock colourway of West Yorkshire Spinners’ Signature 4 ply. The cream was Smoothie Sock by Juliet Brown.

A much better combination than the original yarn plan … and the curse of the Color Affection shawl has finally been broken!

Have you had any patterns or stash that have held you back for some reason? How did you tackle it? I’d love to hear about it!

🙂

 

 

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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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