Thursday, 19 August 2010

This is just a quick note to say that from now until the end of Sept 2010 I'll be donating 50% of all my pattern sales to aid for Pakistan after their disastrous floods recently. Links to buy the patterns are below, or you can purchase them directly from from my pattern store on Ravelry.

There is a thread on Ravelry about donating pattern proceeds to aid for Pakistan. Other people who have pledged money can be found there. There are calls for a special tag to be added, similar to the Help-for-Haiti tag that was implemented at the beginning of the year. I ask that any of you on Ravelry add your voice to the call for such a tag. There seems to be a distinct lack of interest just now in helping the people of Pakistan in the same way... :( I haven't even seen much about it on internet news feeds that I subscribe to, it's so sad.

Even if you don't want to buy any of my patterns, please donate to whatever charity you want who is helping the people of Pakistan at this disastrous time. The people there desperately need help. I would like to do my own small bit to help, which is why I am donating 50% of my pattern sales.

Links to buy my patterns directly from this page (paypal required):

Hebi socks:

Monet Ellipse socks:

Bias Stripe Cowl:

Plumes Beret:

Ogawa socks:

Mariposa socks:

Spring Stroll socks:

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Knit Camp Day 2

OK, round-up of Day 2's purchases :)

My first purchase took place about 5 minutes after entering the marketplace :) Since I'd already walked around all the stalls twice the day before, I knew was was there, and what I'd be interested in, so I wasn't so concerned about doing a preliminary walk-through. There was a stall right at the front, beside the Vogue Knitting stall, which I assume was DT Crafts from looking at the marketplace map. It looks like they and WhiteLies and Annie Modesitt's stalls were swapped around for some reason. They had a box of yarns that were 5p per gram, and there were these three skeins of the same colourway, so I snapped them up.

Pretty Random Yarn
Pretty Random Yarn

They're very pretty :) A light-fingering weight wool, in lovely pinks and oranges. I've no idea what it'll become yet though.

The next yarns are in random order, since I can't remember exactly what order I bought them all in. It's a bit of a yarn-blur! :D

Pink Panther

This is a 4ply Whitefaced Woodland in the Pink Panther colourway from Freyalyn's Hand-dyed Fibres. Very pretty! I think this might become some actual socks. I know, sock yarn being used for socks! Whatever next!?!

I went back to Wool For Ewe's stall :) I just loved their yarns, they had wonderful Araucania yarns, such as this one:

Araucania Toconao Multy

Araucania Toconao Multy yarn in colour 413. I love the colours. Blues and oranges and Browns, very pretty. It reminds me of a more natural, toned-down version of the IrnBru colours. :D

Noro Cash Island
Noro Cash Island

And more Noro Cash Island :) I do like this yarn. This colourway (No 14) reminds me of tweedy kiltishness for some reason. I seemed to pick very Scottish colours, with the black tartan-y one on the first day as well... Again, this will probably become some sort of simple shawlette/scarf thingy.

The Yarn Yard sock weight yarn
The Yarn Yard sock weight yarn

We went to The Yarn Yard's stall so many times to look at all their pretty yarn! Eventually I picked one (I do remember that this was my last purchase as I ran out of money buying this one!) and bought it. This is a fingering/sock weight yarn in lovely natural brown shades, with a hint of green sometimes (I don't know if you can see that in my crappy pics!) So beautiful!! I don't know what this will become yet.

Artist's Palette Smootherino

One of my goals in going to the marketplace was to buy a yarn to make the World's End Fingerless Gloves by Deborah Gall (of the SavvyGirls podcast) First of all I picked this beautiful variegated grey yarn from the Artist's Palette booth. It's their Smootherino yarn, which has lovely subtle colour variations in it. Then I saw this other yarn, and decided that I wanted to use that instead.

Ba T'at yarn

This was from the Ba T'at stall, which had lovely dyed yarns. This is a smaller skein about 75g, and as that is what is called for in the pattern, I figured there won't be a whole lot left over when I make it. I'm looking forward to making those gloves in this yarn!

BFL/Silk Fibre
BFL/Silk Fibre

I managed to contain myself to buying only one lot of fibre, this Blue-faced Leicester/Silk from Wingham Wool Work. It feels so lovely!! I can't wait to spin it up!

And that's it for my purchases from the Knit Camp marketplace (finally!!) I went a bit overboard, but I love everything I got, and it's not like this kind of event happens round here very often. I really hope there are more events like this in the future, although I'm a bit worried in case people are put off by the organisational "difficulties" that this event had. I'm not going to post about those here, not today anyway, but if you do a quick google or ravelry search, you'll soon find out about what happened, if you don't know already. This post is all about my pretties!!! I'll have more pics and little bits and pieces next post! And you'll get to see what lovely, lovely thing was waiting for me when I got home on the Saturday!!!! (I'm such a tease, lol!)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Knit Camp Day 1

(apologies in advance for the very long post, and the bajillions of photos!) :D

This week the Knit Camp event was held at Stirling University, which was really exciting as Stirling Uni is only a shot distance from where I live. I didn't go to any of the classes, but I went to the marketplace on Friday and Saturday with Blackmagpie, which was totally awesome!!!

The marketplace was filled with so many amazing stalls, I was totally overwhelmed. We made made a plan to walk around first and see what each booth had, then go back round to buy stuff, instead of spending all our money at the first few booths, which could quite easily have happened :)

We managed to go through two of the three rooms before we caved and started buying :) The first booth I bought from was Wild Fire Fibres. This is what I got from Vikki, who I'd met online, but this was the first time meeting her in person, and she was just as nice and lovely and awesome as she is online. And OMG, her yarn!!! It's not really surprising that her booth was the one that made me start buying! Here's what I got:

WFF Laceweight
WFF Laceweight

Tempo 4ply
Tempo 4ply

WFF Hathor Lace in "Atlantic Blue" and Tempo 4ply in "Shadow". My pics really don't do justice to the awesomeness of these colours. I love these yarns. I'm not sure what they're going to become yet, but I had to have them, they're so pretty!


From Wool For Ewe I got these 2 skeins of Noro Cash Island in colour no 13 (descriptive! :) ) It looks a bit like tartan to me with the black and green and red. Wool For Ewe's stall was amazing, they had so much stuff on sale and it was all so pretty. It was hard not to blow my entire budget here as well! I think I'm going to make this into some sort of triangular neck scarf. Just a simple pattern to show off the colours.

Pure Wool DK
Pure Wool DK

I got this pure wool DK from Freylayn's Hand Dyed Yarns - such pretty shades of yellow! Again, it'll probably become a scarflette of some sort, but I don't really know. I just like the colours!

Merino DK
Merino DK
Tiny Ball Of Opally Goodness!

I got yarn in my goody bag - Supersoft Merino DK from Colourmart and a tiny ball of Opal (so cute!) I have no idea what I'll do with the Opal, and the merino is going to be made into wristmarmers or something glovey.

New Spindle

One of my main goals in going to Knit Camp was to get a lighter spindle to spin thinner yarns. I got this 37g spindle from Scottish Fibres. I got 2 fibres from them as well to experiment with, this Soya Bean Fibre

Soya Bean Fibre

and this flax.

Flax Fibre
Flax Fibre

The Soya Bean Fibre is really quite soft to pet, but quite inelastic and it almost has a squeaky feel when pressed. It'll be interesting to try to spin it! :D


I also got this Bluefaced Leicester fibre from Wingham Wool Work. They had so many interesting and colourful fibres and fibre accessories. I kept going back to pet their merino /silk, but didn't get any of that unfortunately.

Shawl Pin

Oh, and I got this shawl pin from Textile Garden. Their stall had a lot of buttons, which I managed to resist, and I just loved their pins.

As for patterns, I got the Serpentine Valentine Socks by Katie Weston from the p-hop stall. P-Hop works on the principle of downloading patterns, and then you pay "pennies per hour of pleasure" and they give the money to Médecins Sans Frontières, which I think is awesome. They had samples of these socks and they were just amazing! I've never tried colourwork socks before, but I'm looking forward to trying this pattern!

I also got the MY Baboo Flower Cushion Cover from the MyBaboo stall. I just loved the sample they had of the giant flower.

I got 2 free patterns in my goody bag - the Frilly Filly Scarf by Gryphen Perkin from Stitch and Bitch Advanced, and the Alpaca Love Cabled Chapeau from Stitch Nation, and my goody bag also had a copy of Knit Simple winter 2009/2010, which has some really cute patterns in it.

Phew, longest post ever!!! And that was just day 1! Next up will be what I got on day 2. Yes, there is more. Much, much more :D

Monday, 9 August 2010

The End Of The Never-Ending Shrug

To The Frog Pond!!

It's time to rip :)

This shrug has been on my needles forever! The pattern is from the Drops website, and is called the "119-29 Bolero in ”Safran” knitted from side to side with flounces along sleeve edges" (nothing like a short, memorable title, eh?) I was knitting it in fingering/sock weight yarn (trekking xll in colourway 341) on 2.75mm needles, and OMG it was taking forever!! I've been knitting on it on and off over the past couple of months (I cast it on at the end of May) and just can't seem to get any more of it done. I think for the past month and a half I've only been knitting two or three rows at a time, then getting really bored. I knit two rows this morning and it was the most boring knitting experience! I finally decided to rip it.

I really like this yarn, and I really like how it looks in k1,p3 rib, but I just can't face knitting any more of it. For this pattern, you knit from the sleeves up to the middle of the back, then do the same again, and graft it together. The thought of knitting all this again is just too much, it has to go!!

The flounces at the ends of the sleeves were actually quite fun to knit. But after that it just became miles and miles of ribbing, which it turns out is not that much fun to knit, even though it can look really pretty. Maybe I can incorporate the flounces into something else...

I don't know what the yarn will become now. Maybe a crocheted shrug as that would go a million times faster, or maybe a shawlette/scarf, or maybe even some socks ;) For now, all I know is that it will not become this shrug.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Stupid Mistake!!! :/


If I ever even think about using the sewn bind-off for the long end of a shawl again, please, please, please tell me not to be such an idiot!!!

Sigh. I'm making the Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West, as I thought this would be a great way to use up some grey wool that I have in my stash. I have a cone of it, and I've used quite a bit making this scarf, and it's going to turn out to be quite a nice, understated scarf in this yarn. I've been knitting diligently and monogamously on this shawl, and I really quite like it.

At the end of the pattern, it says that Stephen used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off and since this is one of my own favourite bind-offs, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to use it also. To cast off around 400 stitches....

Yeah. Not so much. For this bind off, you have to cut the yarn and thread it through the stitches using a darning needle. Did I mention the shawl has ended up with around 400 stitches? That means a looooooooooong piece of yarn being threaded through each stitch twice. It also means a lot of this:


A big knot in the yarn (and this is one of the small ones!), every two or three times that I pull it through the stitches. :( Which I then have to very carefully untangle, because the yarn seems to be a short staple wool, and snaps apart quite easily when any force is applied.

I've done around 40 stitches so far, and needed to take a short computer break before my head exploded. I'm trying to keep zen about it, because the more annoyed I get, the harder I tug on the yarn, and the more likely it is to knot, or even break.

Sigh. Never, ever again. Why didn't I just think to do a lace bind-off instead??? I love the sewn bind-off, but I'm thinking maybe it's not so appropriate for large amounts of stitches.....

Thursday, 5 August 2010

FO: Gray Ribbed Shrug

Gray Ribbed Shrug

Gray Ribbed Shrug

I made this pattern before (Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug by Stephanie Japel, from the book Fitted Knits), and I've practically worn that shrug to death. Apparantly, I haven't blogged about it before (or at least, I can't find the blog post) but the ravelry project page is here. Actually, here's a pic of the black one to compare :)

Black Ribbed Shrug

(Hmm, I appear to have put on a little weight since the last version, lol! But just a little :) )

So I decided to make another one, since the black version is such a stable in my day-to-day wardrobe. I went for gray, since I had two balls of gray yarn in my stash (Robin DK yarn), and I really like this version too!

I changed it a little this time - I used smaller needles, since with the last one I had used 4.5mm needles with the DK/light worsted yarn and while the gauge was correct, the fabric was a little loose, and I think that's partly why it's worn out so much. So of course, by using 4mm needles with the gray version, my gauge was now different. But since I had the old one to measure against, I didn't have to bother doing any complicated maths to change the size :) I just kept increasing till the diagonal raglan line was the same size as on the black shrug, and the width and length ended up being exactly the same as the black one and completely proportional. Yay for the wonders of maths :) Then I just used the directions for the size that I had the stitch count for. And for the arms I just knit until they were the same length as the black version. The neckline ended up being just a little bigger than the other one, but that's OK.

I didn't count this as part of my IntSweMoDo2010, as it hardly took any time at all really, less than a week. I've got kind of a rule going that shrugs only count if they take a long time. I've got one I'm knitting in fingering weight yarn just now that definitely counts, it's neverending!! But it would feel like cheating to me to count such a quick project :)

Next time I go to the yarn store I'm going to buy some more black yarn and make another black one in the same way as this one. I really like this pattern, and it's something I wear a lot, probably the most out of all my knitted garments. It's a great thing to just slip on as I'm going out the door, or if it's just a little chilly but not cold enough for a whole sweater. Or if I just want covered up a little. I totally love it!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

FO: IntSweMoDo#7 Women's Weekly Jumper

Women's Weekly Pullover

Women's Weekly Pullover

This pullover is from an issue of Women's Weekly magazine. I'm not sure which issue - my mum rips all the crafty patterns out from her magazines and saves them up for when I visit her, so I get a whole bunch all in one go. This is the first one I've made. When I saw this one in the pile last time I went down to visit her, I totally loved it.

I used Stylecraft Special 4ply yarn in black, and a 3.5mm hook (I think). I started by making the size I would normally make but then it soon became apparant that it was going to be too small. So I went up a size, but I think really I could have comfortably gone up even another one. The arms are a little tight, but I'm hoping it'll stretch out a little with wear. Maybe even a larger hook would be good as well to open out the lace. I'm kind of thinking of making another one, which is why I'm going over what I would do differently :)

The pattern worked up really easily. It was only written, no charts, but it was totally easy to understand, and there were no errors at all in the size I made. It's kind of sad that the lack of errors in a pattern should be a plus, but there are so many patterns that I've made from magazines where I've had to check errata or just fudge bits because of pattern problems. This one though, was perfect. It was definitely a good experience making this pullover, and I'd definitely use another Women's Weekly pattern.

Monday, 2 August 2010

FO: IntSweMoDo#6 Lace On The Bias

I finally got pics of my FOs!! This is one of my IntSweMoDo2010 projects, so it gets a post all to itself. I've got a feeling there will be quite a few FO posts coming over the next little while ;) (I really need to get better at documenting things as I go, lol!)

Lace On The Bias

Technical details:

Pattern: Lace on the Bias by Sam Shubitz from Crochet Today! magazine Jul/Aug 2010
Yarn: Stylecraft Life DK, Olive colourway

I saw this pattern on Ravelry, and favourited a few people's versions. I didn't think I'd be able to make it as I don't normally see Crochet Today magazine in the shops here, but then I went to WHSmith and there it was! Yay!! So I started it immediately :)

I used this Olive yarn as I figured it would look nice in the open lacework pattern. I'd tried to use it for a cabled vest before, but it didn't really work with my colouring as a solid fabric, so I ripped that and made this instead.

The pattern, once I got into it, was quite easy to work up. The lace pattern was easy to "read" in the fabric, so eventually I wasn't reading the chart, just the fabric. Speaking of charts, the pattern was both charted and written, which is good. The way I tend to work with crochet patterns is to try to read the written instructions as I get confused going straight into the chart. Then I use the chart to verify what's going on in the written directions. By doing it this way, I'm hoping to get better at reading crochet charts. At the moment, when I first look at a chart in a pattern, I get a bit confused with all the symbols going in different directions, even though I know technically what each symbol means by itself. I think it's mostly the placement of each stitch, where you're supposed to work into the in row before. Sometimes that isn't very clear to me in a chart, especially in a magazine where there's limited space and the chart can sometimes be a bit squished up.

This chart was pretty good though, and using both it and the written directions, it was easy to work up the vest, and it went quite quickly too. Yay for the quickness of crochet!! :D

I changed the straps, as the ones in the magazine picture looked quite thin, and like they would stretch out. I just worked 5 stitches in US double crochet back and forth until it was a suitable length, then sewed them onto the back. And this way, if they do stretch, then they're thick enough to sew some grosgrain ribbon on to strengthen them.

I'd definitely recommend this pattern. It's quick, fun, and I just love the diagonal lines in the finished item! I even like the fringe, even though the only time I usually like fringe is on bellydance outfits, not normal garments :)