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Purples are done…yes!

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Lovely purples, I just want to grab one, ball it up and think of a project to begin !

The Sheepwalk Fiber Arts Studio™

Note: That I spent the afternoon winding skeins but have not yet named most the purples.

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I fancied a bit of sewing time

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Imageng, I have a stash of fabric as well as a stash of yarn. I’ve always dabbled with making things. Watching the Great British Sewing Bee recently has really spurred me on to get the sewing machine out again. The programme’s participants skill and knowledge astound me but I also love that they get it ‘wrong’ sometimes too.  It is so real!  I wouldn’t say sewing comes to me as easily as knitting does but I learn more techniques as I make different things. Perhaps other people make things quicker but I am enjoying what I am doing and that’s important to me.  If I look back at some of my ‘disasters’ I can still laugh at myself !  I remember a cotton summer top I made about 4 years ago. It was always too long and didn’t fit properly as the facing was too stiff.  It lived in a drawer for a whole year, then the next summer I jiggled with it and loved wearing it so much that the colour faded and it look quite jaded by the end of just one season.

My mother was a dressmaker when I was a very little girl.  When us children went to bed mum would sew for her customers. I guess we just got in the way and we lived in a little house so there wasn’t much space for cutting out when we were up and about. She was very skilled and passed on a little knowledge to me, though I don’t think I was really interested at the time.  Oh, what I would give to have her here now. It now seems a shame to have lived my teens through the 1980’s when it was more ‘fashionable’ to buy cheap foreign imports and not make my own garments.  I have memories of my mum fingering ready made clothes, saying ‘look at that price, you could make it for a lot less!’, whilst I grimaced and dreamed of owning something not homemade!  I hated my homemade school uniform in particular, but I think I got off lightly compared to my sister who definitely had more than me.

So, here’s just a little pic showing things I made this week. I am on a bit of a pincushion frenzy! 

Knitted Wristies

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wristies

I just thought I’d pop a little knitting pattern on here.  These wristies were a little project from 2013 – I made several pairs for myself, a good friend and my sister in law.  I feel the cold a lot – so I love to keep my hands toastie, especially when driving and gloves with fingers get in the way. My good friend Jess was working at a primary school and needed a pair to keep her hands warm during winter playground duty, so gratefully received her pair.  And my sis in law commutes to London by train – BR trains aren’t always warm so gloves/wristies can be absolute necessity on board some days.  All in all fairly quick projects, gratefully received. 

 

The wristies have a scallop 4 row pattern, are knitted on straight needles , then sewn together with buttons for show only and a hole for your thumb to pop through.  I used a British 100% pure wool – Woolyknit Diggle DK.  These are very warm and cosy, practical for keeping your arm warm without compromising grip when your fingertips are needed.

 

Materials:  50g/122m Double knit yarn – I used Woolyknit Diggle DK, Pair of 4mm knitting needles,  10 small buttons,   Sewing Up Needle

                                               

 

Abbreviations/Special Notes:

K= knit

P = purl

K2tog = knit two stitches together

YO = bring yarn over before working next stitch (towards the knitter, not away from her/him)

St = stitches

 

Left Hand

** Break off 1m of yarn and keep it safe for future use. You will need this when making thumb hole halfway through wristie.

Working from the main ball of yarn, using appropriate needle size to yarn gauge, cast on 52 st

 

Pattern :

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2, *(K2tog,) x 2, (yo, k1) x 4), (k2tog) x 2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2

Row 4: Knit

 

Work 27 rows of pattern  finishing on a Row 3.  **

Now you make the hole for the thumb.  Knit 6st.  Cast off 9 sts . Knit to end.

Next Row: Knit to cast off stitches. Using spare yarn (first instruction for each Wristie!), cast on and knit 9 sts. Knit to end of row.

 

Continue as before in pattern, starting with a Row 2. Work 27 rows of pattern for double knit, ending on a Row 4.

Work 6 rows in knit stitch only.  Cast off loosely.

 

 

Right Hand

** Break off 1m of of yarn and keep it safe for future use .  You will need this when making thumb hole halfway through wristie.

Working from the main ball of yarn, cast on 52 st

 

Pattern :

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2, *(K2tog,) x 2, (yo, k1) x 4), (k2tog) x 2; repeat from * to last 2 sts, k2

Row 4: Knit

 

Work 27 rows of pattern finishing on a Row 3.  **

 

Now thumbhole row.  Knit to last 15st. Cast off Cast off 9 sts. Knit to end (6 st.)

 

Next row: Knit to cast off stitches. Using spare yarn (first instruction for each Wristie!), cast on and knit 9 sts .  Knit to end of row.

 

Continue as before in pattern, starting with a Row 2. Work 27 rows of pattern, ending on a Row 4.

Work 6 rows in knit stitch only.  Cast off loosely.

 

Finishing your wristies

Fold each wristie into a ‘tube’ (imagine it on your arm/hand), cast on edge overlaps cast off edge (the 6 rows of knit only are on the underside).  Pin to help you mark button positions. Sew a button on each scallop through both layers to hold the wristie together.   5 buttons per wristie.

Aside Posted on

ImageI had to cease knitting of the green top temporarily having discovered what looked like an error on the pattern.  Grumble, grumps, darn, etc …..  However, I emailed the pattern publisher, who came back to me very quickly and I’ve now been reassured it’s not an error and it will work out if I just keep on knitting.  My knowledge of garment structure is being tested and I hope to enjoy a new experience here, revealing the finished garment soon(ish). Today it’s time to get back to ‘the green’ project (I decided to give it a name, it means it differentiates what knitting bag I pick up when I move from knitting venue to knitting venue).  That’s an hour planned to myself in the car this afternoon whilst waiting for my son at his tutor’s house.

So, having had a little break from ‘the green project’ this week what jumped upon new needles was a ‘baby pink project’, photo here.  This was supposed to be a very simple quick knit, which it is, but it has made me review how neat my garter stitch only style is (or isn’t).  I am hoping with completion and blocking I shall be more impressed with it than I am now.  I have not made anything solely garter for a long time. It was reminiscent of early knitting and the yellow teddy I made when I was 7 years old.  I hope my style has got a lot better since then. Oh how I wish I had kept that first knitting project. If only we knew which things would seem important in years to come.  I don’t even have a photo of it. 

Apart from the knitting, life is incredibly busy, although I did pop a lovely relaxing book club meeting in to my schedule last night.  It was great to meet up with the other members, chat about books and other stuff.  I think the one male member of our group was very patient when we set off at a tangent briefly (he may say not so briefly!) and talked about knitting and sewing, bless him, we did steer back round to things we all have in common eventually.

Work, well for me, yesterday was the penultimate day there.  Friday is my last session.  Getting slightly concerned now about the future, but pleased the month is almost over.  I feel I need to plan my time properly, and need time in which to do the planning!  Anyone else feel like that?  

Creating in wool ….

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ImageI’m just back from a 4 day break in France.  OOh all that lovely time to knit.  I knit in the car (3 hours on the French roads each way, so glad hubby’s happy to drive!), I knit in our house in front of the fire, I knit on the sofa with the sun streaming through the window whilst my menfolk play football in the garden.  The intention was to actually finish a smallish top by the end of next week – to show off a particular yarn I admire – and to hopefully get a few wears of it before the warmer weather comes along.  It’s a variety of green shades with a sparkly silver thread runny through. I think I’ll get more than a few wears of it this winter/spring – I usually wear woolies right through to May and it’s only February.  Mind you, we’ve had the most glorious sunshine for two whole days – I even went out for a long walk yesterday to make the most of it. Everyone else out and about seemed smiley too so I don’t think I was the only one enjoying the weather.

So piccy is of the top mentioned, my latest WIP, although I have to admit and incy wincy baby top has been started too …… Hope to finish both by end of next week!

Happy knitting to you all.

Two weeks notice and the ups and downs of waiting to leave work (all whilst knitting)

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matineesparkle

Nearly 2 weeks into working my notice at the knit shop and counting down.  First of all I had the initial ‘nervousness’ that came with planning to resign which continued for a day or so after I’d done it. Then I moved on to ‘excited anticipation’ accepting I had done the right thing.  The first day back into work I threw myself into working hard and tried to convince myself I’d be missed in future, which led to feelings of ‘have I done the right thing?’.  Then back to ‘excited anticipation’ since then for a few days!  There are more ups and downs to working a notice period than I was ever aware of.  I think this must be as I have no firm plan to what happens next at this time of my life.  My vague ideas for 2014 post February are a little scary but if I didn’t jump ship now I am not sure how/when I could have done it.  I left former jobs with very different emotions. One job move was from a local job to a London job – I couldn’t wait to start that new journey.  Another was to leave a job for maternity leave – I couldn’t wait for that one either and I was obviously on a time limit!  This time, my plans are my own and loose.  I am hoping once I am not formerly employed then I shall move on in leaps and bounds.

Meanwhile, knitting should be therapy – but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere too fast.  I have finished one item, a matinee jacket, and half of another baby set. I should have used my time better and made more.  Oops, again!   Pic is matinee jacket – all sparkly and fun!

What a couple of weeks! No longer at a knitting store.

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lanastopgreen1I had a major decision to make this month and I finally made it.  I resigned yesterday.  I soul-searched and soul-searched and finally decided if I didn’t do it now I could drift on for a lot longer in the same place doing the same things.  I have many plans, they are just in my head at the moment and need acting on.  So, after February 2014 I no longer work in the knitting store! This will not discourage me from knitting, of course, I have a huge stash of yarn and it will not stop me adding to it or searching out new projects to begin.  The one thing it will stop me from doing is daydreaming constantly about what project to do – I shall hopefully be a little more selective. I used to spend much of my day looking at the stacked shelves, squishing yarn (nothing wrong with either of those things!) yet would then purchase more yarn to take home, to look at there and start/stop/start another project constantly.

Knitting a little at home has definitely calmed me down during this decision making process.  Husband cannot see how knitting at work and knitting at home then knitting as therapy works and I have no medical analysis to back it up, however, the gentle rhythm of winding that wool around those needles and slowly creating something beautiful has been cathartic. I’ve popped a little pic onto this blog post of one of my recent projects.  Again, a hat.  Many baby items are on the go, camera not in the same room as me so more will follow next time.

I hope I can encourage those readers today to make those decisions.  I truly feel a weight has lifted this morning.  I recommend trying to work out anything that’s wrong and to try to make it right!