Oh right I have a blog!

Hi everyone!

I don’t really like to talk about my work on here as this is more of a creative blog but I think one photo will explain where I have been for the past few months.

I have got some annual leave for the first time since March and am slowly reconnecting with my hobbies.

I finished my Lovely Sweater by Leslie Friend:

It was wonderfully easy and quick to knit once I had some spare time. It is knit with sock weight/ 4 ply yarn held together with mohair. I used crème brûlée 4 ply by Ted Knits held with Scheepjes Mohair Rhythm in white. I loved the 4ply, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Scheepjes. It molted more than any mohair I have used before and covered every surface around me! I am planning to wash the jumper in the hopes this will get rid of a lot of the extra fluff.

The jumper itself is lovely to wear as implied by the name! It’s light due to the loose gauge but very warm. I will most likely wear it in autumn and going into winter. I’m not sure the pattern has been released yet as this was a test knit but I will post here when it is available.

Hope you are all well wherever you are in the world and staying safe.

Knitting · WIP

WIP Wednesday

I have made some progress! Despite two sets of night shifts, straightforward knitting in the round has been very welcome.

This is a test knit for Leslie from A Friend to Knit With – full details in my last post. I finished the body yesterday and am planning to start one of the sleeves tonight.

One thing I particularly like is the border. Instead of the usual ribbing, this jumper has alternative rows of purls and knits which gives a gentler finish I think.

Hope everyone is doing ok and has enough stash for this trying time x

Knitting · WIP

WIP of the week!

I am currently test knitting a jumper for A Friend to Knit With. It requires fingering weight held with mohair and is dreamy to knit! It’s a V neck which I’m a big fan of and knit on larger needles to zooming along nicely.

I’m using Ted Knits 4ply in Créme Caramel held with Scheepjes mohair from Wool Warehouse. I’m really enjoying the speckles of warm caramel and black in the yarn – it really does remind me of crémé caramel! You can find more of Ted Knits yarn here.

I believe Lesley is still looking for test knitters if you’re interested. More info on her Ravelry group here.

Events · Knitting

Unravel Stash!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all knitters are in need of more stash. Regardless of how much yarn you actually have this number is always ‘not enough’ or ‘not the right kind’ for the project that streams across your conscious thoughts as you step into a yarn festival. It is also not in keeping with number of WIPs or planned projects or stash downs, as your mind tells you it’s possible to make a project from each stall and of course you can make them all in the next month, so you might as well buy it all.

Is it just my brain that thinks the above? Fortunately I’m getting better at ignoring it (the fact I have a yarn cupboard that won’t currently close of course had nothing to do with it). So when I went to Unravel last week, the yarn I bought was for specific projects but I have kept the list of vendors for future purchases 🙂 as there were so many beautiful items on display.

Future project 1: sweater for the fiancé

This wonderfully rich red is a sport weight called Ullcentrum from Midwinter Yarns. The colourway is Falu red. I was originally planning to knit a Flax Light jumper by Tin Can Knits but the yarn is a little heavy for that. So instead I found a pattern by Justyna Lorkowska called Anything for Love (pattern here)

Future Project 2: a colourwork jumper for me!

This squishy yarn is from John Arbon based in Devon not far from where I used to live. It’s difficult to appreciate true yarn colours online so I bought a few minis to help plan a colourwork jumper. I have wanted a dark green jumper of some sort for ages and the above yarn fits the bill perfectly. This yarn is the Knit by Numbers 4 ply. They don’t have names, just numbers as shown in the photo and the green is KBN43. It’s so dark that it’s difficult to capture on screen.

Future Project 3: a colourwork hat

This yarn is also from Midwinter Yarns and is a 4ply called Snaedlan. No idea of colour names.

During the Festival I attended a very well run class by Karie Westerman who is known for her designing skills and pattern writing. The class was called ‘Design your own colourwork hat’ and Karie took us through each step of the process during the three hours. We started with a discussion on swatches, gauge and fitting patterns to stitch number. Then we moved to graph paper and putting our own ideas to paper.

And then we knit our design on a swatch. My trees look more like bells which was a good lesson on why a swatch is a good idea!

Inspired by the class, I want to use the above yarn to create my own design.

Unexpected stash!

Although we paid for the class, the yarn provided was sponsored by Garthenor Yarns who produce 100% wool yarns from British sheep. I’ve used their yarn before for a lovely cable hat which sadly went missing a few months ago. I don’t have a good track record for hats. As there were only seven of us we were each given a generous pile of yarn as shown above. Unexpected and very welcome! It’s a surprisingly soft yarn so I’ll have to think of a good use for it. Either a hat or I have had a real urge to knit a rabbit for absolutely no reason at all. We shall see.


Unravel 2020

After a hectic few weeks, I am on annual leave! And what better way to start than with a yarn festival.

Last Saturday I hopped on a train to Farnham in Surrey for the annual Unravel Festival in the south of England. Set in an old mill, now called the Maltings, the festival is arranged in a myriad of rooms in this beautiful building.

Unsurprisingly for an old mill, it sits next to a small river which you walk past to get to the entrance. After all the recent storms, the river was high and fast running.

I loved the display at the front door:

Designed by Uriya Jurik

There were 7 rooms in total and 80 plus stalls (I tried to count but lost track). It was easy to get lost but this added to the fun of discovering different stalls. There were also talks every day sponsored by Garthenor and various classes as well. I tried to keep track of the photos I took while wandering around but honestly I think the yarn fumes put paid to that idea!

From the local Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild
From the latest PomPom Quarterly – my copy is in the post!
Details for the above jumper
PomPom samples to feel and try on
The Grey Sheep Company (I only know this after zooming in on the photo!)

The above gorgeous samples were from a German Dyer – Ovis et cetera who had driven all the way from Germany just for the weekend!

The Sorrel Jumper in real life, very much on my wanted list
So many beautiful beads
The very soft and cuddly Toft animals – I still want to make one of these at some point

I can’t remember the name of the stall but the lady running it had repurposed old wool jumpers back into balls of yarn. Seeing piles of colour coded yarn made me very happy.

The above blanket, cowl and colourwork jumper were all from the same stall. By this point I had spent my budget but I couldn’t help stopping and looking at all the samples. Everything was beautiful. Soft to touch, highly skilled work and I could imagine wearing just about everything or having it in my home. It’s not often that a stall has weaving samples as well as knit and it really appealed to me. I now also really want a more complex loom! Once I have knit up more stash I will definitely be visiting the online shop. The stall was for a company called The Border Mill. The couple running it were chatty, enthusiastic and left you feeling welcomed. If I ever travel that far north I would love to visit.

The Border Mill yarn
The yarn used for the woven blanket

There were so many things to see, yarn to squish and people to talk to. For some reason I get really shy at these events and didn’t talk to nearly as many people as I would have liked. It was also quite crowded which made it harder to chat. Other than that it was a fantastic day and only an hours train journey away.

I’ll make another post on my yarn acquisitions and the class I went to in the next few days 🙂

Did you go to Unravel? If so, I hope you had an amazing time! I’d love to hear how you found it.


Just to say…

I am still here! Wading through long hours at work and then hopefully back to some knitting by Monday! I’ll leave you with a photo from my commute this morning 😊

And some windy moments of Storm Ciara at the sea front

Hope you are all having a fun and slightly less blustery week x

Knitting · WIP

Monday Makes

Continuing the theme of stash busting and WIP finishing! Started last February and hopefully to be finished this February. Just the heel, foot and toe to be completed on the second sock.

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners 4 ply in Pink Flamingo

Pattern: Super Simple Socks by Allison Sarnoff. A free pattern on Ravelry

2020 · Knitting

2020! Knitting ideas for the year

I don’t know about you but for me January has flown by. I have been away for work for three out of four weeks this month and still tried to make time for hobbies. I haven’t done too badly either! So far I have made a hat, a baby jumper and a pair of socks. This makes a total of 679 metres and 241 grams used this year and all from stash. This is a small drop in the stash ocean but creating a great deal of satisfaction. (Only 55970 metres to go…)

So what to make next? Or what to pick up next? And how to keep the creative mojo going?

In one of my previous posts I made a list of my current WIPs (link here) and how much left in each one to complete it. The jumper and socks above were part of this list and I have temporarily frogged the Moorland blanket as, to quote Mary Kondo, it wasn’t exactly sparking joy. That leaves 1 jumper, 2 blankets, 3 shawls and 4 pairs of socks at varying stages of completion.

In addition to this is my very loose plan for Christmas 2020:

  • Socks/ slippers – 2
  • Hats – 10 possible
  • Cowls – 3 possible
  • Jumper – 3, one adult definitely and two childrens

I know, I know – Christmas was only last month! But the above list would take me at least two years so I need to get started about a year ago to finish all of that in time for this year.

Aaand a few themed knits for this year from my Ravelry library

Winter Animals (Photo copyright Amy Gaines)

Did someone say overambitious? Yep! Massively so. Especially with work claiming a lot of time at the moment. Instead of a strict knitting schedule, I am going to use this post as inspiration and a reminder of all the lovely ideas I found at the beginning of the year. I want to continue finishing pre-existing WIPs and use as much yarn from stash as possible. If I spot something I would regret leaving behind, I will buy it but with more thought involved in the process (hopefully… except in moments of yarn overwhelm, then I can’t be blamed).

Do you have any goals or aspirations for this year? How do you decide what to make next? I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂