It’s been a busy week with work, packing to move house and (drum roll) a finished project!
Knit in DK acrylic yarn (no idea of origin) in varying shades of pink and white and used 260g. I originally started it for one baby and ran out of time. Fortunately a friend has recently had a baby girl and I knew it was the perfect time to finish the blanket. The pattern was free on Ravelry (here) and once you have knit the repeat row a few times became easy to remember from memory.
I’m really pleased with the finished blanket and it’s on its way to its future owner!
I have also managed to get one of the knitting machines to work. Well, sort of. I need to learn more about adjusting tension but I did make a little swatch:
My next aim is to get the machine to run more smoothly and hopefully be able to knit larger pieces! The weights in the picture above are attached to the knitting to help weigh it down. You need them at regular intervals along the whole length of the project otherwise stitches tend to unhook themselves from the knitting bed. More are in the post, so once they arrive I’ll try a wider piece.
I’ll leave you with some images from the seafront today 🙂
I am really excited to be joining the Year of Projects group this year! It’s a group based on Ravelry (link here) which encourages you to make a creative plan for the year and then keep track of how you progress through your list. The group normally starts the year from July but you can also start from January if you prefer. So this is my first post for the group – the planning post.
An overarching aim this year will be to continue to use stash I already have, this can either be in a project or by letting go of yarn I won’t use. I’m not expecting to complete everything on the list but it will be fun to see how far I get!
I have two knitting machines which have sat ignored in a corner for ages and I want to get them back in use. So my projects this year will be:
Fix the machines
Practice casting on and understanding tension
How to knit a jumper (using the pattern booklet below)
How to knit a hat
How to use the extra kit that came with the machines such as lace carriages
I am a complete beginner so I want to work my way through two books I received for Christmas – A Little Course in Sewing and A Beginners Guide to Dressmaking. Each one contains lessons culminating in a project. I also found some heatproof wadding so mats for the table or an oven mitt might be fun to make.
Something else I have been meaning to spend more time working on. Again I’ll be basing my projects on a book – Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom. I have an 80cm rigid heddle loom to practice these on, hopefully using more stash yarn in the process!
The only project outside of this book will be a wrap made from lace weight yarn my Mum brought back from Peru. I need more practice before I can complete this and so this will be more towards the end of the year.
Continue practicing with the drop spindle. If I use it enough then I might think about a spinning wheel.
Drawing and Painting
I also received watercolour pencils for my birthday in November. The projects for this will be a bit more fluid as I’ll be using online tutorials to learn how to draw and paint. The overarching project will be to improve my skills and practice as much as possible.
This has always been my main craft hobby so has a few more definite projects! My plan for this year:
Summer flax jumoer
Pink baby blanket
Cardigan for Mum
Finish any socks currently in needles
Green colourwork jumper
Red jumper for Will
Grey alpaca jumper
Mouse kit from Wild and Woolly
Dexter the Dog kit
15 hats for Christmas
Child’s cardigan for Emily
Learn new techniques:
The first four knitting projects are works in progress so hopefully this will encourage me to finish a few.
I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone progresses through their lists and see what everyone makes!
It might not be a typical winter dish but Will loves cooking creme brûlée during the holidays. It creates a wonderful aroma in the kitchen – a mix of vanilla, cream warming on the stove and a hint of burnt sugar by the time they’re ready.
Creme brûlée is surprisingly easy to make. We always use this recipe from the BBC (here) and then once ready place it in an oven dish part filled with warm water.
Fresh out of the oven:
You can then either eat them straight away or put them in the fridge for later. When you’re ready to eat them, sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over each one and place under the grill. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn! If you’re feeling fancy (and don’t really need your eyebrows) you can always use a blowtorch.
Yummy! Do you have any comfort foods for wintertime?
It’s starting to get old saying 2020 was a strange year but it really was! I spent a lot of time away from home for work and to keep my family safe. I moved jobs, met new lovely people there and also somehow found time to finish a few projects!
Total completed items: 6
Metres used: 2636
Metres left in stash: 68433.6 (uh oh… haha)
At my current rate and if I didn’t buy any more yarn it would take me just under 26 years to use all my stash. Might not mention that to the fiancé… Moving swiftly on
So what did I make this year?
Green Stripe Socks
Started: 1st December 2016
Finished: 25th January 2020
Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal 4ply in the colour way Green
Pattern: Basic 4ply socks by Winwick Mum (pattern here)
Metres used: 272
This was the first ever sock I knit all the way back in 2016 and it’s still the sock that fits my foot the best. Definitely an example of second sock-itis.
Another great free pattern from Tin Can Knits which ranges from newborn to 6XL. Multiple tutorials make this a perfect first jumper for anyone to knit. I have knit an adult and three children’s jumpers with this pattern so far and would happily knit it again.
Basket Weave Baby Blanket
Started: 2nd January 2020
Finished: 4th March 2020
Yarn: Stylecraft Special XL Super Chunky
Pattern: Basketweave Baby Blanket by Bernât Design Studio (pattern here)
Metres used: 406
This was meant to be a gift but Will loved it so much for wrapping up warm on the couch that it’s still with us now. As the temperature has plummeted in the last week, it’s been lovely to have while watching tv.
This was yet another free pattern from the Year of Hats by Kelbourne Woolens. There are 12 free hat patterns, one for each month of the year designed for worsted weight yarn. The hat used very little yarn – you can make two from two 50g balls of worsted weight yarn in two contrast colours. Planning to make another hat in the reverse colours. I wear this hat every time I go outside at the moment and yet I don’t have a single photo of me wearing it!
And that’s a wrap! Or rather two jumpers, two hats, a blanket and a pair of socks. What have you made this year? Any creative plans for 2021?
I have joined the Year of Projects group to try and plan ahead for my projects this year. I enjoy crafting and have realized I get the most happiness from a finished project more than anything else. Fingers crossed 2021 will be a better year for all of us and full of joy and crafty goodness ❤️
It’s been a busy 2 weeks! On Friday I moved departments to Intensive Care to help support the current team already there. They are an incredibly welcoming and lovely group of people and I’m looking forward to working with them.
We continue to bubble with my Mum (although this may change with the new Tier 4 rules) and went for a beach walk. The sky was grey but the weather was mild. We managed a quick tuna sandwich before the heavens opened.
The Christmas trees are up and decorated:
Harvey didn’t appear too impressed with our decorating skills…
I am still really enjoying my advent calendars from Botanic Knits and The Knitting Goddess. The muted rainbow continues to develop and feels wonderfully soft, I’m beginning to look for patterns to use this in. The Botanic calendar is a great mix of yarn and little gifts. I need to research the seeds and how to use them.
Both calendars show how individual yarn dyers are and how enjoyable they are in different ways. Looking forward to opening the rest of the advents!
And a lovely rainbow today on the beach 🌈
I hope everyone affected by the Tier changes is doing ok. My thoughts are with everyone at this tough time.
So apparently today is Thursday and yesterday was Wednesday. Oops!
Anyway today’s WIP is the Pastel Rainbow Baby Blanket (Ravelry page here) which is being knit with random DK yarn I found in my stash. It was originally meant for my cousins daughter but she’s very much out of the baby phase – she’s now four and a half. So in true knitters form, I am now knitting it for a baby who is due end of January. The pattern is a straightforward four row repeat which creates a nice wavy blanket.
I’ve just finished repeat 13 and I need 18 in total so nearly there!
The cold weather well and truly arrived on the south coast of England in the last week! Other than occasional frost it has been a fairly mild year. There’s no snow where I live and it’s pretty unlikely as we live so close to the sea but we did have our first hailstorm yesterday. Perfect weather for staying indoors, knitting and enjoying the home. So what’s been happening?
I turned 30 last Saturday and enjoyed the unique experience of a Lockdown birthday. I have never been bothered by birthdays and enjoyed spending time with my fiancé and my Mum and her partner. We are in a bubble with them after my Mum broke her arm – she’s doing well and the cast is finally off!
I had a gorgeous birthday cake – poppy seed sponge with lime syrup. It’s a cake I have many happy memories of when growing up in Australia. Delicious! Will bought me a lockdown mug to remember my birthday. I particularly like the little smiling toilet rolls on it.
Once my birthday is over, I feel like I’m ready for December and Christmas. And that can only mean… advent calendars! I bought two in advance this year, one from Botanical Yarns and one from the Knitting Goddess.
This lovely box contains the Knitting Goddess advent calendar for this year. It smells beautiful and is a perfect way to store yarn. The advent calendar contains 24 minis, a pattern and a colour card to help you use the minis.
I am loving the colours so far!
I am really enjoying each calendar for different reasons. The Botanical Yarns calendar is unique as it started with two plants and some days also include seeds. There was an accompanying email with advice in looking after the plants. The colours are also lovely – now to start planning how to use them!
Wednesday 2nd December was the official change over day for some of the junior doctors in the UK. For the first 2 years of being a doctor, you change specialty every four months. The idea is to give you experience of six specialties before you choose your long term specialty. On Wednesday we welcomed four new lovely juniors to our team and what better way to start a new job than with yummy food! I baked a tray of blondies from the Cookie Book by Rebecca Firth aka The Displaced Housewife. My cousin, who runs a gluten free Instagram (@mimisfreefromlife), recommended it and each recipe looks so tasty. They’re not gluten free but I’m sure they could be edited.
The entire tray of blondies disappeared within the space of the morning! It can be scary starting a new job and I hope our juniors will enjoy the next four month with us.
And last but very much not least – meet Misha. My cousin Emily, of the above Instagram, has got a new kitten! He’s a Norwegian Forrest cat I think? 100% hypoallergenic and 100% adorable. I haven’t met him yet due to social distancing but can’t wait to say hello as soon as I can. For now I’m enjoying videos of him playing with his new toys.
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.