Knitting around the world

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Could it be Spring at Last?

Hello and welcome to The Sunday Sock.
After a long an mostly grim winter we are slowly seeing signs of spring finally emerging here in East Lothian and what a welcome sight it is. I am sure you all agree that when it is brighter you feel just that wee bit better inside.

As I have already mentioned East Lothian let me start this week by talking about naming projects. If you are a Ravelry user you will know that for your projects there is a space for naming them. You can always name them after the pattern and that is fine until if like me you sometimes want to knit the pattern again. You may also have noticed that this year there is a challenge tab where you can, if you wish, challenge yourself to complete a set number of projects. Being me I decided to combine the two and chose to complete 45 named projects. Why 45? You may be asking, well I looked on Wikipedia and there are 45 towns and villages listed for my county of East Lothian and I decided to name my projects after them. Going alphabetically I have finished with the E's so am getting there.

Now on to the knitting itself.
I have one new cast on this week and one finished object.
Let us start with the FO


This is the Nougat cowl which is for a friend's daughter's birthday. I have knitted a complete set of cowl, hat, handwarmers and socks for her and will show you the complete set after her birthday.

Now to the new. With the promise of spring an summer just around the corner I wanted something light to wear. I remembered tat when I visited Ripples Crafts dye shed in October I had been smitten by the Virgil sweater and had bought the yarn for it.


This is a beautiful lightweight short sleeved sweater in fingering yarn. It is a paid pattern with about 8 or 9 sizes to choose so there is something for everyone. The yarn I am using is the Burras base from Helen in the colours A Cerise Which Demands Attention (main) and Turquoise Delight and Soft Lilac as contrast. It is knitting up quite quickly although my colourwork sections are slow due to being somewhat of a one handed knitter. I just cannot get to grips with holding yarn in my left hand.

Also still in the basket are

my Burntisland socks with just 39 rounds to go. Blueberry Waffle socks with 5 rounds of rib to complete on first sock and Batik shawl with part 2 complete and ready to start part 3.

Nothing new came in this week for once but I do want to ask your views on something. Have any of you tried the Addi Crasy Trio? Being a sock knitter I feel I ought to try them out but the price is a bit off putting. I would love to know your thoughts either here in the comments or over in the Ravelry group. Speaking of which I will put all the pattern links in a post in the group.

I think that is all for this week and I look forward to chatting with you all again next Sunday.

Happy crafting
Mary

Monday, 9 April 2018

Oops it's Monday

Hello everyone welcome to The Sunday Sock. Yes I know it is Monday and I am a day late. It was back to work for me this week as Easter heralds the start of our season at the Museum and time just seemed to run away from me. However here I am know to share all in my wee world on and off the needles.
This last couple of weeks I have heard of a great way that us knitters can help Marie Curie Cancer Care a wonderful charity which helps cancer patients have support and care at the most difficult time in their lives. I have personal experience of this care as my Granddad spent the last 3 weeks of his life in a local Marie Curie hospice where both he and the wider family were supported and cared for with compassion and love. The Flower Power Fund on Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry has got together with 12 different yarn dyers and each month one is offering a limited edition colour with part of the proceeds going to Marie Curie. Sadly I missed out on Jan and Feb but I was lucky I found out in time to snag a March skein.

Vintage Daffodil by Beehive Yarns
The photo does not really do the yarn justice, it is just beautiful, so soft and vibrant. I am sure I will just love knitting with it and if I knit socks my feet will love me.
There are also regular raffles held to further support the charity with great yarnie prizes on offer. Go and check it out, I am sure you wont be disappointed.


Now to the Knitting


This weeks cast on is not a sock but a shawl. I have had the pattern for Batik by Kitman Figueroa in my Ravelry queue and library for a number of years and finally I decided the time had come to cast on.


This is a bottom up shawl with pattern on both sides but the pattern is so well written and charted that it is not hard for a knitter with some experience. As you can see I am using Drops Fabel yarn in the Grand Canyon colour and will have to buy some more as I have decided to knit the large size shawl.

Also in the small basket I have

Top right - Burntisland socks,
Bottom left - Nougat Cowl
Bottom right - Blueberry Waffle socks

All have had some progress since last week and the Blueberry Waffle sock just seem to knit themselves when I pick up the needles.

In the big basket I still have my Firenze sweater but have also made some progress as I have started the second sleeve.



FO


Yes, this week I have a FO to show you,


These socks were truly my nemesis as it took me 4 attempts to get them right for me. The yarn is designed to be knit top down to create a pair of perfectly matching socks but I just could not manage to get them right. Finally with a little manipulation of the yarn I went back to my favourite Milkshake toe up pattern and got a result that works for me. I am more than delighted to have these finished.

Finally this week I have some new needles to show you. I am sure like most of you I have way too many needles but when it comes to start that new project the right size just cannot be found as they are in a long forgotten hibernating project. I was perusing Amazon and discovered this set at a really reasonable price.




They came next day and although I have not tried them yet I have had similar before and I am sure they will be fine for future sweater knitting.

I think that is all I have to tell you this week and hopefully I will be back on Sunday with some more progress to share and a new cast on to show you.

Remember to come and join me for a chat and a cuppa on  Ravelry in our own wee group I would love to see you there and for you to show me what is on your needles and hooks.

Happy Crafting

Mary

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Happy Easter

News

Hello everyone and a very Happy Easter. I do hope you have all had a great week.
I have sent many happy hours this week watching a new to me podcast about knitting which I can highly recommend. I stumbled across it whilst perusing people's hauls and blogs from this year's Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Sadly I did not make it along this year as we were on holiday on the beautiful island of Mull so I have been living vicariously through other folk. The podcast is
Hawthorn Cottage Craft by the lovely Kate who can also be found on Ravelry as A Runner Bean. She is so easy to listen to and has such great enthusiasm for all things knitting, well worth checking out if you have some time to spare.

The Sunday Sock now has it's very own Ravelry group so come along and join me for a cuppa and a blether about what's on your needles and hooks or just whatever you wish to talk about.



In the Small Basket


I still have my Milkshake socks, my Burntisland Socks and my Nougat Cowl, links in last weeks post.
A little progress has been accomplished and hopefully soon I will have a FO to show you. 



In the Big Basket


I have my Firenze sweater. This is shown as a man's sweater but I have knitted previously one for hubby, one for me and one for my Mum and we all love it. This time I am using Caron Cakes in the Funfetti colour and I have the body and 1 sleeve completed. I just have the second sleeve and yoke to do.

Hot Off the Needles

In the early hours of this morning I cast off my Op Art Shawl . This is a free pattern on Ravelry and was a very easy pattern to follow. It has some short rows and a little charted lace work but if you can knit, purl, yo, k2tog and ssk you can make this. I knitted it in Ripples Crafts Merino Sport weight yarn which is the softest and squishiest yarn to work with. The shawl is designed to be knit in 2 colours but I used 3 as my yardage was short.
The colours I used were, Syringa, A Cerise Which Demands Attention and Maiden Loch. All very much my colours.
Unblocked as yet but I love it.




Stash Enhancement

Through the door this week came this most gorgeous ball of yarn. 


It is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply sock yarn which I bought from Wool Warehouse costing £7.29. The yarn is 75%Wool 25%Nylon (containing 35% Blue Faced Leicester) has 437 yards and is in the colour 806 English Rose. It feels gorgeous in the ball and I am sure will make for some beautiful socks.


This Week's Sock

The pattern I have chosen to start today is Blueberry Waffle Socks , a free pattern by Sandy Turner available from Ravelry. The pattern is written for DK yarn but it can be easily adapted to knit with any weight and I shall be using Drops Fabel sock yarn in 655 the Wooden Rose colour and 2.5mm needles.



The pattern is for top down socks but I will be adapting it to my preferred way of knitting socks from the toe- up.

Perth Festival of Yarn


As I said earlier I missed EYF for the first time ever this year so I very tactfully asked my darling hubby if he may be willing to have a day out in Perth in September and he most wonderfully said yes. So it's all systems saving for a great day out.
Perth Festival of Yarn is to be held on Sat 8th and Sun 9th September at the Dewars Center, Glover Street, Perth. More details and an exciting list of vendors can be found here.

Other Stuff

I went out to a new place this week. Hubby dropped me and came back for me but I went into the building my self and met my friends. This was a major step along my personal road and I feel so chuffed that I managed it.

Have a great week

Happy  crafting

Mary

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Mostly About Socks

Hello. sorry I am a couple of days late, I had issues with loading the photos. Anyway I am here now and better late than never.
This week I have been knitting mostly socks along with a few other bits and pieces. I learned to knit socks about 6 years ago and I always have at least one pair on the go. I first learned to knit them cuff down but quickly realised that I did not like picking up the stitches down the side of the heel flap and switched to toe-up. I find this method suits me perfectly and there has been no stopping me since. Firstly here are the socks I have on the needles.


This yarn is Regia Pairfect which is specially designed to be knit top down to create a perfect pair of matching socks. This is my fourth attempt with this yarn and I have given up trying and just gone with my go to Vanilla sock pattern which is Milkshake by my lovely friend Fiona Tulloch. This is a great free pattern which assuming you have some knitting skills allows you to make perfect toe-up socks with no stress at all.

Next up is another pattern from Fiona.


This is Burntisland, a paid for pattern, which costs £3.60. It is the third pattern in her Regatta series and is a joy to knit. Once again it is a toe-up pattern with no heel stitches to pick up.


I am knitting this in KnitPicks Stroll Tonal yarn in the Queen Anne colour (discontinued) which I was given many years ago in a swap package. This is a beautifully soft yarn to knit with and it is showing the pattern well.

Now on to some finished socks.


Once again I used the Milkshake pattern for the foot but instead of a stocking stitch leg I went straight on to the cuff and did 80 rounds of 2x2 rib for cosy ankles. This time I used RipplesCrafts reliable sock yarn in Hubble Bubble RS350. This is my go to hand dyed sock yarn as it knits up great and wears like iron. I was very lucky to visit the dye shed last year and picked up this yarn whilst there.


Now on to something different. I also completed some Bon Bons Mitts to go with the hat and socks previously done for a friend's daughters's birthday.


I also cast on the neck warmer to go with the set. This is knitted in Drops Fabel 604 Ocean View Long Print which I bought from Wool Warehouse.


Finally I dug out my sock yarn Blanket which I started in Sept 2015 and added a few squares.


This is a long term project with a long way to go as I need to knit loads of socks to get the leftovers.

The stash was slightly enhanced this week with 8 more balls of the Drops Fabel as there is a sale on until March 31st and the balls are reduced by 30%.


This is my go to mass produced sock yarn as it is very well priced and will generally be here just a couple of days after ordering. I like how it knits up and there is a great range of colours.

See you next Sunday

Happy crafting

Mary



Sunday, 18 March 2018

Let's Talk About Knitting

Knitting, what is it? Well, in it's most basic form it is taking two sticks and some string and making some knotted stitches to form a fabric. In reality it is a most relaxing hobby which ends with the participant having a work of art and engineering to be proud of.
Whether it be a pair of cosy socks, a jumper, an intricate lacy shawl, a blanket or a simple square the art of knitting is a lifelong skill which once you have learned you will never forget.






Some like me will have learned to knit as a child and have taken time away, thinking it was just for old folks, to come back in later life and learn techniques that we wish we had learned years ago. We then realise that we have missed out so much on new developments, yarns and tools and we can then spend many pleasurable hours playing catch-up and finding out once again everything that is exciting about sticks and string.

Learning to knit can be daunting and difficult but with perseverance it can become a truly relaxing part of your life where you can produce garments and art of which you can be truly proud of and wear with a sense of achievement which you cannot get from shop bought products. You can develop your own style and use the colours of your choosing rather than those which others have chosen. You are in charge, be unique and use the sheep rather than be a sheep.

Knitting can be viewed as a very solitary hobby however in recent years I have found it to be the exact opposite. The internet has made the world a very small place and the wonderful social network site Ravelry has brought millions of knitters around the world together. I have made many friends from all over the world and we all chat and share our projects like we were in the same room. There are yarn festivals springing up everywhere where you can meet fellow addicts and see all that is new in the world of knitting and of course there may just be a local group where people meet up and have a cuppa and a blether.

So I have convinced you now that this is a skill you want. Where can you learn? Ask around, do any friends knit and are they willing to teach you? Find out if there is a local group or turn to YouTube. There are thousands of videos out there which will take you through step by step. Go on, try something new today, you know you want to!

Happy crafting 😍

Friday, 9 February 2018

Knitting around the World

Hello, I'm back.
After taking a year out during which I finally learned to crochet I am here again with a new challenge for myself. I found a great site last year which converts your daily steps into virtual walks around cities, countries and even the world. This is a most enjoyable way to motivate yourself to put in our daily steps. The site is worldwalking.org . I have decided to take the steps required for around the world and put them in a ticker, above this post, as stitches in an attempt to knit my way around the world. Wish me luck.

Happy crafting

Friday, 14 October 2016

Review: Last Bus to Woodstock

Last Bus to Woodstock Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have watched and loved the Morse TV series over and over for many years but to my shame this is the first time I have read one of the books.
I was sucked right into the story. Dexter is a master storyteller. His way of setting you and Morse off on the wrong track then bringing you back makes for a wonderful reading experience.
I have the whole box set of these books and am looking forward to many pleasurable hours in the company of Morse and Lewis.

View all my reviews