Yarn Diet Progress

Cruise Countdown

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Favorite Needles

Is it just me or does anyone else out there have a favourite needle? I have sampled many brands, I have Pony, Knit Pro, ChiaoGoo, Addi Clicks and others that I have forgotten the names of but I keep coming back to my ChiaoGoo ones. I seem to have a specific adoration to my 3.5mm circular. If only everything could be knitted with that needle I would be in knitting nirvana. Do not ask my what it is for I cannot say with any definition. I just like the way it feels in my hands. Maybe I am odd, who knows? But there you have it, I have a favourite needle.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Conquering Crochet

As long as I have been a knitter I have admired and even envied those who can crochet beautiful patterns seemingly at the speed of light. I have read in many forums that crochet uses more yarn more quickly and that it is easy to do. However when I have on many occasions tried to switch from 2 needles to 1 hook I have ended up in an unholy mess with tangles, very sore hands and wrists and even at one point yarn wrapped around my neck. (Don't ask as I have no idea how it happened either.) Suffice to say every time I gave up pretty quick and put the hook back into the naughty corner.
Last night a strange calm came over me and the thought sprang into my mind, it was time to try the hook again.
I duly prepared my requirements and made myself comfortable with hook, leftover yarn and the obligatory You Tube video. I watched the clip several times, just to be sure, then I picked up the hook. The first two attempts were as previous, a rancid mess of yarn, hook and me but I decided to go for a third try.
EUREKA!!! I think I got it!!
 Well it seems to me to look like the beginnings of a blankie of sorts. I am hoping to add in all my leftovers and just let it grow.
I am so chuffed at mastering this simple square. I may never manage complex patterns and knitting will always be my passion but at least now I have another way of using up the leftovers rather than just the fiddly hexi-puffs. Go me!!

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Sunday, 23 March 2014

I Have a Vision

Yes, I do have a vision. I can see the day where I have only 5 projects on the go at any one time. One large, one shawl, a pair of fancy socks, a pair of plain socks for travel and hexi-puffs. When that day comes I shall be so happy. I shall be in control once again. What shall I do with all the patterns I want to knit? Well I shall put them in my Ravelry queue and work my way through that only allowing myself to cast on a new project when the needles from the last one have been reclaimed. My journey to that point starts here and now. It will take me a long while but at least I have a plan. As I said on Facebook earlier today, every journey requires you to take the first step. Well here I am taking that first step.
Join me on my journey.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Inchkeith - Island 4

As you will have noticed I normally knit shawls or socks. One reason is that I love lace and beads and who doesn't need socks. Another reason is I detest sewing up. It is one thing I have never mastered. I try, oh boy do I try, but it would seem the sewing needle is just not my forte.
However once in a while something comes along that screams KNIT ME! and when that happens needs must. This is what happened when I spotted the Galanthus free pattern on Ravelry. I fell in love and just had to knit it. I adapted it slightly as I had sport weight yarn and I knit the body to the armholes in the round. I knitted the whole tunic in just over a month but as is true to my form it has taken 2 months for me to get it sewn up. I have finally completed it this evening and I am going to so enjoy wearing it.




It is knitted in Ripples Crafts Sport Weight Yarn in the colour Crushed Blackberries which Helen very kindly dyed especially for me last year.

Island link - Inchkeith
This island I see every day from my kitchen window. I am so blessed to have such a beautiful view.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Still Plugging Away

As you know I am knitting a shawl with 1500 beads. It is very slow going but I am still plugging away. I am on to the final clue in the mystery and only have about 30 rows to go. I thought I would just share with you a wee peek at how it is coming along


Not only are there all those beads, it is also my first foray into using linen yarn. 100% linen yarn is rough going but I will persevere. It feels strange but I am sure it will be beautiful once done. Wish me luck.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Monday, 17 March 2014

Back In My Corner and Loving It

Over the last few weeks DH and I have been trying to figure out just how to put our two part corner sofa together in our tiny living room and have space for his riser recliner. We have tried a number of permutations with varying levels of success but I was always left feeling uncomfortable and had started having back pain. I was missing my beloved rocker which was relegated to the bedroom. I had used this chair since we moved here three and a half years ago and it totally suits my knitting needs with pockets in the sides for my bits and bobs and armrests which support me whilst clicking away on the needles. Then yesterday in a flash of inspiration, in the shower of all places, it came to me. We had the sofa round the wrong way. If we put the back along the window instead of the wall my rocker could come back. And so today it happened and here I am happy as Larry back in my rocker in the corner of the room and all is right with the world again.


Do you have a favourite chair? Do you feel uncomfortable having to sit elsewhere or am I just sad in having a preferred spot?

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary 

Keeping One's Eyes Peeled

Every now and again something comes along which takes your breath away. Today was one such day. I was nosing at the Ravelry radar when a post caught my eye. It said that designer Patti Waters was gifting all her patterns freely to celebrate her wedding. Sounded too good to be true but I had a wee look see and yes it was true. What a wonderful generous gift to the knitting community and what an inspiring way to celebrate such an occasion.
I would like to wish Patti and her husband many, many years of happiness and I will be thankful for this gift each time I pick up the needles to knit one of her beautiful patterns.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Beading - The Fleegle Way

It would seem my last post has inspired some readers to try out the Fleegle Beader for themselves. Personally I love the simplicity of the tool, the ability to load up lots of beads at once and off we go. However I do still have issues with getting the angle just right. I still at times, many times, shred the yarn and have to remount and bead again. I am convinced that this is just because of my being a novice and with time I shall become as adept as was shown in the video clip. I hope that the others who have shown an interest enjoy their beaders as much as I am.

Loaded and ready for action.
As a wee side note I have also found a source of beads in the UK which offer a fabulous service and bags of 100g of beads. This will mean that I can buy the full amount required in one bag and be able to over time build up a selection of beads to match or compliment any yarn I shall be using. You can peruse their website here G J Beads . The link takes you to their seed bead choices but they have a wide range of other beads too.

Stay safe and  happy crafting

Mary

Friday, 7 March 2014

Beads, Beads and More Beads

I have just cast on my fourth MKAL shawl for this month. I may be mad but I just love the excitement of a new clue appearing in my inbox. I was explaining to my DH that by having these short clues to work on each week I never get bored with one pattern. The shawls I am working on are all completely different but one thing they do have in common is beads. All four have added bling. This I am delighted with as I cannot wear jewellery so wearing a beaded shawl allows me to express my own style.
Now the thing with beads is how to get them onto the knitting. I had used my tiny trusty crochet hook until last Saturday evening when it went walkabout. I have absolutely no idea where it has gone. I had a spare which I discovered must be a bit bigger as the beads just would not fit over the tip. Eek!!! Out came the superfloss which whilst, for me, is fine in an emergency it is way too fiddly for applying the 1500 beads which one pattern calls for. So what to do? Off to You Tube I went to see if there was a solution for me and lo' and behold there I find a tool called a Fleegle Beader (You Tube link). The clip seemed to say it would be the answer to my dilemma. Now to find it in the UK, that was me next problem. Trusty Google stepped up to the mark and there it was available from a shop in Surrey, http://tallyarns.co.uk/shop-online/knitting-and-other-accessories/fleegle-beader/. Duly ordered I continued with the floss until my beader arrived on Tuesday. What a revelation!! It has changed my life, no longer the slow plod with 4 beads on the hook and then stop and reload, now I have at least 30 beads loaded up at any one time and it is a breeze. All in all I can safely say it was money very well spent.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Tullibody Inch - Island 3


I followed my arrow and it resulted in my first completed shawl this year. The pattern was the first ever MKAL by Ysolda Teague who is a local designer based in Edinburgh and who has a loyal following in the knitting community. I enjoyed knitting this immensely. There was a slightly different format to this mystery as not only did we get one clue each week, we had to choose between 2. The mystery lasted 5 weeks so in total there were 32 permutations. I chose to knit clues B,B,B,B,A which resulted in a slightly asymmetrical shawl. I used some Shetland 4 ply which I had in stash in a very deep maroon colour, (although is shows up brown in the photo).

Island link Tullibody Inch

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Fidra - Island 2

These socks are simple Vanilla socks with a 1x1 rib cuff. They were my first ever attempt at knitting 2 at a time, I can totally see how that appeals but for me I think I much prefer just sticking to doing 1 at a time. They were knitted in Ripplescrafts reliable sock base in the Christmas 2012 colour. Well fitting and comfy everyday socks.

Island link Fidra

I am also getting on with my many MKAL's I currently have 4 on the needles. One of them has 1500 beads in the pattern. I bought some gorgeous Matsuno beads in size 8 to use for this shawl and to my horror discovered that the do not fit on my tiny crochet hook. I resorted to using Super Floss but am finding it way too fiddly for my liking. A little research done and I have ordered a 0.5mm hook to try and my wonderful DH who must listen to my incessant havering about knitting tools has ordered me a Fleegle beader. What a man!! Hopefully both these tools will arrive soon and I can crack on with the mammoth task. Meanwhile I will continue on with some other projects.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary