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Despair! Knitting WIP. Lifelines. More holes than a cheese grater.

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Oh despair! I recently started another new project – yes, I know I told myself and everyone here that I would not start something new until I had more finished projects .. there was a good reason for this one though and I used yarn from my stash which justified it.

I had a five hour car journey ahead of me. I thought I’d stretch myself, try something a little different. ‘What could go wrong?’ Ha! Lots it turns out!

My latest WIP had got to the stage of sewing up. Who can sew up knitting in a car? If there is anyone who can, please give me hints on how to keep pieces straight on my lap and not lose marker pins and sewing needles in the footwell – I am all ears. Note, I’d be the passenger not the driver, of course! I chose a new project over the sewing up this time.

I did about a third on the journey

I hadn’t made anything lacy in a very long time and realised early on it’s probably because I prefer simple knits. I am using a vintage pattern but am not using vintage cotton and I am adjusting size and shaping. The gauge is slightly off (it grows in length but the width seems ok). I am making it longer than the pattern says so I did two borders rather than one. I went wrong a lot, ripped it back, reknit it. I did not mark off some rows as I knitted, I counted wrong. You name it, I did it! The yellow lines are lifelines, thank goodness I knew about those and had spare yarn with me (of course, I never travel with the bare minimum, not only in my craft bag).

I am now onto the armhole shaping. I am a triangle, a lot less wide at the shoulder than Mrs Average (who is Mrs Average, by the way?). Therefore narrowing the shoulder line involves more counting. Whilst the main body lace is easier than the border, knitting when weary means another lifeline after going wrong again, missing out a row, losing a stitch several rows back (how did I not notice? possibly a missed YO somewhere). I think this may be one of those projects that will take a long time.

Note to self, future car journeys, knit small and easy! Our final destination was to our house in France. We had a glorious weekend of sunshine and R&R, despite the knitting calamity on the way.

Since then, we had a wedding to go to back here in the UK. These fairy lights are just a snippet of the day I wanted to share here. Fantastic day, lovely party, love a wedding!

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Knitting and Stitching in London in March

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I was at the Knitting and Stitching Show at London Olympia last Friday and I promised friends I’d do a little summing up of my favourite things. One day just didn’t give me quite enough time to see and do everything! I didn’t get to see any of the Live Theatre or do any Workshops. Next time I will book for two days and plan more.

To start with, I was enthralled by the Quilters Guild exhibition of Modern Samplers . Just a few snaps, only three quilts of many.

I was restrained with my purchases, possibly that’s another reason to go for two days next time! I found a wonderful button maker!

I only bought 2 buttons for projects in mind

I bought beautiful fabric to make a summer dress and a pair of beach pyjamas. You can’t tell here but the the cherry one is cotton and the jade a gorgeous cotton/silk mix. Then there’s a kit to learn how to adjust standard dressmaking patterns. Having struggled to make things fit me perfectly I hope this helps in future. Wish me luck with a lot of reading before the measuring begins. I’m also going to make a little fabric trinket bowl – or maybe two or three!

There were lots of lovely yarn sellers including independent dyers and spinners. I squished and admired and took business cards for future delights. I can hardly believe I had enough self control not to buy from each and every one of them on the day. Yarn is usually my downfall and I often go home with bags full!

There was a sweet knitted display called ‘The Enchanted Wood’, fairies and woodland creatures of all sorts. Donations were being collected for the Louise Hamilton Trust, a charity founded by the family of a young woman who died at an early age from Breast Cancer. The display must have been fun to make, these pictures are a small part just so you can get an idea of what it was all about.

Lastly, and sadly too, the exhibition of Dame Zandra Rhodes knitwear was a little small and poorly located (no pics). It was a shame as she only designed knitwear for the 15 years she had a shop off Bond Street and she is a great admirer of knitting skills. I can’t say what I saw inspired me to knit anything similar – imagine 1980’s picture jumpers in blacks and reds, however I think the exhibition company could have made more of this exhibit.

There was so much more to show you, just wish you could have seen for yourselves. If you did go, please share too!

Knitting and Stitching in London

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The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia is about to begin. I have a trip there this Friday (aka tomorrow!). It promises a plethora of stalls and friends and I intend to browse and ooh and aah at what’s on offer, choose a few purchases carefully, not buy in excess but buy better. I have said this before, in different words, then come home with a lovely pile of yarn/fabric, awash with ideas and then spent a long time admiring my ‘pile’ before diving in or indeed ‘rediscovering’ that same untouched pile months later. I have realised I sometimes haven’t chosen enough of something for a particular project, or have been taken in by bargains or opted for a print that I wouldn’t usually go for as it doesn’t suit me or my home. Today I hope to make plans for what I might actually need or use. Theories are just great!

We aren’t attending any workshops this time but it will be on the agenda for another visit. We were tempted by macrame – that’s one thing never tried but I have memories of my Mum and her Girl Guides making pot holders. I have just been given a lovely macrame book I shall give it a whirl at home one day soon. Whoever knew macrame might come back into fashion?! Take a look on the High Street (if you still have one). There is macrame and crochet everywhere!

Show and tell next time.

Now back to knitting and The GBSB too

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I have been truly wiped out with a heck of a cold for the last couple of weeks so knitting, crafting and blogging has taken a back seat. Sadly this even included my birthday and all the plans I had surrounding it – so things got cancelled and reworked and put off. On top of this hubby has gone off for a two week business trip (after my birthday, he was here for that at least) – so no-one’s been home to make me hot lemon and honey and generally fuss (he might think this a good thing!). Thank goodness for the bolstering of good friends, I thank you, you know who you are.

So at last I am almost back to feeling ticketty-boo (quoting from a 2001 film I caught yesterday!*) and I am almost back to crafting too so you may see more from me on here over the next couple of weeks.

Today I started a child’s sparkly bolero, the yarn sparkles and the sunshine does too. Yarn from my stash.

When unwell knitting patterns and yarn would not play ball. Thank goodness I’d just finished the last hat I was making but it went off to it’s new home without a photo snapped. So today picking needles back up I am not nagging myself that I should be returning to a larger half-done project and using part of my stash means I can restock sooner.

The Great British Sewing Bee is back on TV as well so at least there has been some sewing inspiration albeit no sewing action. Who else has been admiring the contestants progress? Will anyone guess who might win overall? I know it’s early days but … I am already thinking Leah or Jen. It was sad to see Ben go but maybe his talents lie in fabric design rather than fabric manipulation? Just my opinion, I am no expert and enjoy the show as entertainment only.

Happy crafting to all.

*2001 Film, Crush with Andie McDowell, incredibly girly film. I realised I was watching the outfits just as much as the story. How I wish I could sew better and I would love to try a bit of millinery one day.

Knits: One more hat, one WIP, still ‘basket weaving’

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I am still using up my yarn stash making hats BUT at least I am thinking about those other projects and can feel one particular one calling out to be finished. I shall reveal all here over time!

Today it’s another Adriafil yarn called Attimo. It’s lovely to work with apart from the fluff shedding over me and the carpet.

I used to work in a yarn shop that sold Adriafil about six years ago. The Italian rep used to come in and he was so dapper in his sharp suit and his after shave smelt divine! It didn’t take much to make us girls swoon then!

I added Attimo to my stash when it was sold off at end of season. This is leftover from previous projects again. These hats are going to make heads very warm and toasty.

Charity hat making is good for the soul – not quite sparking joy – it’s also a delaying tactic

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Here are two more chunky hats knitted for a local homeless charity I can not donate time to the cause but I can donate craft and a hat is whipped up in two or three knitting sessions. It’s good for the soul to give something back in any way I can. I admire those who do more.

This hat making is helping me clear some of my yarn stash too so it’s a win-win situation. There’s a lot in the media right now about clearing and cleaning your life which seems to involve sorting out and tidying up and getting rid of things that don’t spark joy aka Marie Kondo styling. This yarn is lovely, nice colours, great to knit with (Adriafil Mistero) but it wasn’t making me smile a lot as it’s left from previous projects and there was never enough to do anything bigger. It was languishing in a cupboard. I am so glad to have re-found it and hopefully it will spark joy for someone else in more than one way.

However …. as much as I am enjoying the hat making I know I am putting off other things, including finishing knitting and sewing larger projects. It is very satisfying to see something grow quickly and then be gifted. I am talking about my recent baby knits and quick projects. This morning I looked at a few half done/three quarters done/tangled/mistaken projects in my craft room. I looked, then ‘hid’ them from myself until another day. I am wondering if it’s not just my crafting that is being avoided.

For now, it’s time to cast on again. I am thinking this is almost my own version of ‘taking a basket weaving class’ with a slightly more fulfilling end.

Another baby knit for a weeny newborn

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Just showing and telling ..

I loved making this for the newborn in my extended family. It’s the third time I’ve used this pattern, Sirdar 1817.

It’s still a little big and might be for a while. Look at those rolled up sleeves – her hands are in there somewhere! And the bootees I made too – I knew they’d have growing room …

I love an easy knit sometimes. Do you have favourite baby patterns you’ve made several times?