Knitted Baby Cardigan Done

I just finished knitting the button bands for a test pattern. I wanted to have a go at knitting a raglan cardigan for a friend who is having a baby in December.

It’s taken a while as I was finishing a jumper for myself, but now that huge project is over and down with, I can concentrate on other smaller projects.

This pattern was by James C. Brett and it’s pattern number JB012. I did the bottom cardigan in the picture, in the same yarn as the pattern but in a different colour way to what was suggested.

I mostly decided to do a test as I’ve only ever tried a raglan once and it didn’t work out well for me. I knitted a chunky jumper years ago which looked OK, but I hadn’t quite mastered mattress stitch back then. Also I messed up the pattern anyway…so I thought I’d see what the actual process of raglan knitting was like, but on a smaller scale.

In a previous post I wrote how I had some trouble with the back of this one as the raglan edges looked really wonky. Remember this pic below?

Well, I’m pleased to announce it was all an optical illusion! And even if it really is a bit wonky, at least you can’t tell when it’s all stitched together!

I think I’ve sewn the seams together quite well on this, I’m definitely improving on my mattress stitch.

This is the back of it:

And a close up of the front:

Obviously I have still got to add the buttons.

Here’s my thoughts about the pattern.

In general it was really easy. I had to adjust the second front side as I think the pattern didn’t take into account the mirror image part of the raglan decreases at the top, but I managed (I could have knitted it wrong, but I don’t think so).

Overall it was a simple pattern. The pattern is raised on the front but it’s smooth on the inside, which I like.

I’m not so sure about the arms in stocking stitch though. If you look at the jumper option in the first picture (the middle one) you’ll see that the main pattern is continued on the sleeves which I think looks better.

The neckline was simple to do.

What I have issues with is the button band. The white coloured button band was picked up and knitted perfectly. The other one, with the button holes looks a right mess. It’s because you had to decrease and increase in a rib pattern to make the button holes which I found so frustrating and difficult. It could have explained that part in a tiny bit more detail. So, I had to just make up part of it – some of the rib bits have only 1 stitch!

Also, when doing the neckline and the button bands, you picked up and knitted the stitches and then did a row of knitting before starting the rib which to me gives a bit of a raised and bulky line running between where you picked up stitches and the main pieces. Does that make sense? I don’t know, maybe only I can see it because I know it’s there!

But overall, it wasn’t too difficult to do and looks OK.

As it was a test knit, I only used what yarn I had. I don’t think it works well in a variegated yarn. I think if I did this pattern again I would use one colour all the way through.

But honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll do this pattern again. I have another leaflet with another cardigan in and I think I might try that instead. I could still donate this one or give it to a friend for her child’s dolls!

I believe I got the pattern from Deramores online shop if you wanted to try it yourself.

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Current Knitting WIPs

After finishing my orange knitted jumper last week, I now have more time to concentrate on knitting other items. Here’s a list of what’s on my needles at the moment.

Sock Yarn Shawl

I’m doing a simple garter stitch shawl in 4ply sock yarn. I started this at the end of last year, and I’ve only just picked it up again, but honestly, there’s no rush for this, so it’s my ‘do a few rows here and there’ kind of project. I love the colours and I’ve only done about 30 rows. Slow going but fun going!

The yarn is by West Yorkshire Spinners (Passionfruit Cooler colour)and you can get it here from The Knitting Network:

https://tidd.ly/3F8P23Y

Socks

I cast on the first sock yesterday and I’ve just done a rows of ribbing so far. I hate using DPNs but I’m determined to get the hang of socks. I have so much sock yarn to use up!

I’m doing a basic vanilla sock yarn pattern by Winwick Mum and it’s going well so far.

I’ve done a lone, single sock before many years ago. That took me 3 weeks to do and put me off doing the other one! So, I’m starting all over again, with a different pattern and yarn and we’ll try and make it to 2 socks this time, shall we?!

Baby Cardigan Test Knit

A friend is having a baby in December and I wanted to try a raglan cardigan pattern. I really hate raglan patterns, but I like the look of the finished object! I tried to knit myself a raglan jumper a few years ago and struggled with sewing it together as I found the sleeves really awkward!

This is just a quick knit in a newborn size and so far I’ve done the fronts and back pieces and 1 sleeve, with the 2nd sleeve rib done and now I’m working on the main part of it. Then I just need to sew it all together and do the button bands and neck edgings.

If I like the look of it and think it wasn’t too bad to sew up, then I’ll cast on another one in a different colour yarn! With matching hat, mitts and bootees of course!

Baby Blanket

I think quite a few posts ago I said I wanted to knit the same friend an entrelac blanket. Well, that’s been changed slightly as I think that would take me AGES to make and 2 months isn’t enough time! So, I’m doing a different lace pattern blanket and that’s going to be quite small, so ideal for a pram. And I’m also making a squishy crochet blanket (see below) which will be bigger and have more uses.

I chose a dark pink and purple held double as I’m sure she’ll be getting a lot of baby pink items (for a girl) and I thought this was a different option to stand out. We’ll see what it looks like finished.

I tried to hold it up against the light so you could see the pattern, not sure if you can but it looks good so far.

Crochet Baby Blanket

A simple corner to corner crochet blanket. I have 3 balls of chunky yarn, I might see if I can do 2 for the increases and 2 for the decreases (obviously I need to get another ball of yarn).

So, that’s it for now.

Christmas is coming up and I wanted to knit a few small baubles and things, but honestly, I knitted so much Christmas stuff last year, that it isn’t even a priority right now. The baby things first and then I might see if I can cast on a tank top (sweater vest) for my Dad…I might get it started before Christmas, but I probably won’t get it finished!

And Christmas socks for me with Christmas sock yarn…and I have lots of spare DK yarn, so something to do with that…and neon yarn…

So many things I want to start, but I have 5 things on the go for definite now!

I think that’s enough to be getting on with…


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Knitted Orange Jumper Finally Finished!

It is the post you’ve all been desperately waiting on tenterhooks for! Don’t panic for it is here!

The Knitted Orange Jumper…is DONE!

Several years, 2 summers and mentioned in almost every blog post as that orange knitted jumper. I can’t believe it’s finally getting crossed off the list!

I still need to block it, which I’ll do this week sometime, but it looks like it is supposed to…which if you’ve ever seen some of my other attempts at following patterns, then you’ll know that’s not always a foregone conclusion.

And although I made a couple of silly mistakes on the back piece, the front is perfect and overall, there isn’t much actually wrong with the finished piece. I’ve actually sewn it together quite well too.

Can you tell how happy I am to have this finally finished?!

It fits, it’s snug and tight for a few reasons. Mainly I chose my size from the options instead of measuring myself. I think in future I’ll knit up a size or two as I prefer baggy/ slouchy sweaters to tighter fitting ones. It’s also a little shorter than I thought it would be when finished but again, I know for next time. But overall, it’s a success!

The pictures below show the neckline, the sleeve edging and the side seam, which I did using mattress stitch. I’ve always struggled with seaming and sewing items up neatly, but I’m chuffed with this! And the neckline I picked up in the right way so it all looks neat! 🙂

The pattern was from a magazine compendium and it was by Pat Menchini. Possibly called Cinnamon Spice, but I’m not sure.

I used 4 1/2 balls of wool. I bought 7, even though it suggested 5 or 6 balls. So, I have 2 1/2 leftover for another project later.

And the wool was really cheap from my local yarn shop. I used a different yarn to the pattern (in a similar shade) as my local yarn shop didn’t stock the one from the pattern and I was impatient!

I used King Cole Big Value Tweed DK in shade Rust (3029).

You can buy it here from The Knitting Network if you like the look of it (they might not have the exact shade but the other shades are pretty good too!). 🙂

So…yeah, I’m pleased it’s finally ticked off my list! That makes 2 jumpers completed this year (my first 2 ever!). I’m moving onto other things now, but next year a knitting goal is to try a top down sweater. I’m knitting baby clothes and blankets now, as well as a sock yarn shawl for me and I just cast on a pair of socks yesterday.

I’ll make a post with all my current WIPs together as I actually just took some photos today in the right light!

Hope you’re all having a happy and productive Monday! 🙂


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Argh…Orange Jumper Is In One Piece Now!

After almost a year of writing variations of “...and still on the list is the Knitted Orange Jumper” I can now say that the front AND back are done and…wait for it…no, still wait for it…

THEY’RE IN ONE PIECE NOW!

YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!

Progress has finally been made, I’ve made a bit of a mega push lately to try and get it done and yesterday I FINALLY managed to finish the front.

Today I’ve sewn up the left shoulder and done the ribbing for the neckband, hopefully I’ll be able to sew up the right shoulder tonight (it’s almost 9pm now) and then do the sleeve edges and finish sewing up the sides tomorrow, and then it’s done.

The sleeve bits might take a day or two longer, but I’m so pleased to be able to say that the end is most definitely in sight.

I’ve had a bad cold over the weekend, I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting at a computer and writing, but sitting in bed and knitting? That I could do!

I started this on 2018!!! Did a few rows of ribbing and put it down until summer last year when I picked it up and did the back. I picked it up in August this year and have basically spent 2 months on and off working on the front.

I took the picture below yesterday before I finished the front. I’ll wait until tomorrow for more pics but yay! It’s almost done!

August Goals Update

Craft goals:

  1. Try and get the front of my orange jumper finished, or at the very least a lot of progress made.
  2. Try and finish the sample baby cardigan I’m knitting. So far got the back and one side done.
  3. Do a few more rows on my sock yarn shawl.
  4. Do more on crochet baby blanket.
  5. Cast on large heirloom knitted blanket, I think I’m going to go for entrelac! :O
  6. Finish sewing together fabric baby dress.
  7. Find a simple sock pattern for beginners and cast on.

The only one of those I’ve made much progress with is the first one. I’ve done so much with the orange jumper, only about 10cm to go before I start to shape the neckline. But I also picked up another crochet project not listed here and worked on that this month as well as finishing a cross stitch project.

And I sorted my craft boxes out yesterday…I had a big hoover and clear out and did a spring clean. Which meant I found my sock yarn shawl and did a few more rows.

The picture below is an old one from January, but it shows the yarn which is my favourite colour way EVER in yarn! It’s West Yorkshire Spinners I think. Sock yarn in wool and nylon so it’s not soft and snuggly, but it’ll feel better once it’s a lot bigger. I’ve only done about 10 more rows after what I have here…oh dear!

So, 1 and 3 had a bit more work done on them but that was pretty much it. There was crafting, just not the stuff I put on the list!


Work goals:

  1. I am opening my Etsy shop this month regardless of how many listings there are.
  2. I am publishing my book regardless of how finished it is!!!
  3. I want to post an article on Medium every day. Make a push for it!
  4. Join Fiverr.
  5. Join Substack.
  6. Spoonflower have 10 designs up.

These were my August goals.

I did manage to get about 20 posts written and published on Medium. And I joined Substack. But, the last week or 2 I’ve felt a bit bleurgh so I’ve slowed down with creating and uploading content and writing and everything.

I’ve uploaded several notebook designs to Amazon KDP. And to RedBubble too.

There are a few Halloween-ish black and orange designs on RedBubble and a few Back To School ones. I need to re-do the branding of the shop as it’s a bit random at the moment!

I love the chalk font for this simple design!

But I haven’t done much on RedBubble in the last two weeks to be honest.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

Most importantly with work stuff, I’ve started work on the printables book again. And although the Etsy shop isn’t open, it soon will be!


So, there has been progress, just not the sort that I can actually show a lot of here!

I guess what I didn’t manage here will roll over to September. But it’s Q4 nearly…gotta think about Halloween, Autumn, Christmas, New Year…

I might make a September goals post in a few days once I’ve had time to think about priorities for this month.


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Knitted Jumper Progress

I sat down and knitted over the weekend. Now that the cross stitch project and the Christmas crochet blanket are all but finished apart from sewing in ends and some last stitches, I’ve focussed on my knitted orange jumper.

And I’ve managed to complete over 70 rows! I’m making a note of the rows as it’s a 24 row pattern repeat, so I’ve done 3 and a bit repeats since Friday…the most I’ve done in one go so far!

I just started the shoulder shaping so it’s going quite fast now that I’ve decided to work on it.

I did most of it this time last year, then basically stopped to knit a load of Christmas things. I actually started the jumper in 2018!!!! But I only did a few rows of the rib and shoved it in my wardrobe until lockdown last year forced me to do some more of it. I did the back last year and started the rib of the front. Now I’m about a third of the way done with the front.

The sleeves aren’t very long and even though the pattern panels have lace and cables, the pattern is actually really easy to follow.

Here’s what I have so far:

This weekend I’ve done from roughly where the blue cable needle is.

I’m glad it’s going a bit faster now. Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have the main part done and be working on the neckline.

Knitting Books On My Shelf

I have a whole shelf full of knitting, crochet, sewing, soap making, baking and other craft books. Everything from jewellery to macrame!

I like flicking through them occasionally and being inspired by the pretty pictures and amazing designs. There is not enough time in the world (or in the rest of my life!) to knit everything that I see and want to knit.

So, you really have to be strategic with your knitting project choices!

Here’s a few of my knitting books that I can recommend.


The Knitter’s Handy Book Of Top Down Sweaters by Ann Budd

I’ve only tried bottom up sweaters do far, but I’d love to have a go at the top down ones. Lots of people have said they’re easier than bottom up ones, as well as the fact that there are fewer seams to sew up at the end!

This book has a LOT of charts and tables to help you design your own sweaters. Sizing charts and the like, which I actually love. I don’t normally like charts and maths! But this book is telling you how to make your own patterns as well as giving you some ready made patterns to try first.

It’s split into sections such as making Raglan sweaters, Saddle-Shoulder sweaters etc.

Although I haven’t used this yet as I’m still knitting my way through my second ever sweater, I’m going to seriously look at this book for inspiration for my next one after that!

You can find it from Waterstones here:

https://tidd.ly/3ADd58e


The Ultimate Knit Stitch Bible by Collins and Brown

This book is an amazing reference book for when you need to know how to do a stitch or pattern, or if you’re designing your own knits, this is a really good source of inspiration and ideas as to things like lace and cable patterns, as well as variations of knit and purl stitches.

I flick through this book when I’m doing simple projects like scarves and dishcloths, that kind of thing. But if I ever decided to design a sweater from scratch, I would definitely look here for pattern ideas.

I never swatch projects (shock horror!) so this is like looking at pre-made swatches! 🙂

You can find it from Waterstones here:

https://tidd.ly/3CTN6Ly


100 Little Knitted Projects by Sarah Keen

The previous 2 books are regarding to big projects, this one to tiny ones!

Tiny toys and makes such as a strawberry, a fried egg, a plane, a helicopter, a rainbow, a whale, a sunflower etc.

Little makes that would be perfect for using up your leftover scraps of yarn. I don’t think many of the makes would take more than an hour if you know what you’re doing. An absolute beginner maybe a little bit longer!

You can use them as tiny presents, put them on your keyring, make a stretch of bunting from them, use them as decoration for gift tags on presents…lots of ways to use these little makes.

You can find it from Waterstones here:

https://tidd.ly/3k0paxn


The first 2 books were either Birthday or Christmas presents and I honestly can’t remember about the third. I have a feeling I bought it when I was looking for knitted leaves and autumn things like pumpkins and acorns for an autumn wreath I once did…but I can’t remember!

To be honest, as a knitter, you’d be happy getting any of those 3 books as a present, right?!

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I Found Cheap Yarn!

The Knitting Network

I was looking for a few balls of Christmas yarn to finish off a Christmas crochet Granny Square blanket that I started at the end of last year.

I was just using up scraps of what I already in my stash, but I didn’t have enough to finish the blanket in one go.

So, I left it and was on the lookout for more of the same yarn as my local yarn shop, where I got the original few balls, didn’t stock it anymore.

King Cole Glitz DK

It’s usually around £3.49/ £3.59 in other places. I found it for £2.99 at The Knitting Network (it did say it was on sale from £4.29 though). I don’t know how long it’s on sale for…but if you want some really nice Christmas yarn then I would have a look here to see what’s in the sale.

I got 2 balls of the Christmas colour way and 1 just plain red.

I ordered them on Tuesday evening and they arrived on Friday morning, so the shipping was pretty quick. And I got a tracking number for Royal Mail, even though I used the cheapest shipping option.

And I love the fact they came in a PAPER BAG! NO PLASTIC AT ALL!

Well done Knitting Network!

I’m glad I found a new place to buy wool! I usually go to Deramores or Wool Warehouse, but they can be out of stock in what I want a lot of the time.

If you want Christmas yarns start looking now before everyone else does too!

Here is the link to the yarn I bought if you want to have a look yourself:

https://tidd.ly/3CKUVTN

[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]


One of my recent posts from Medium if you’re interested in seeing how my writing style changes from platform to platform!

Having A Writing Schedule Is Important…And It’s Not!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/having-a-writing-schedule-is-important-and-its-not-eb5a29107df8


My Pinterest feed if you want to see what I’ve been looking at and saving over there:


And here are some of my latest posts here on WordPress:


Here’s an affiliate link to Deramores which is an online shop that also sells the Christmas yarn if The knitting Network is out of stock…but it’s not on sale though!! 🙂

Knitted Coffee Pot Cosy

If the people that you knit for are sick and tired of you knitting them scarves then this is a really quick and easy idea for a knitted Christmas Present!

I made this last December and I think it only took me a couple of evenings to knit.

It’s in an Aran weight yarn with 5mm needles so it does knit up quite quickly and the pattern was a simple diamond one using just knit and purl stitches.

I found the pattern in my Knitting Pattern Folder. Yes, that holy binder of pages ripped from knitting and crochet magazines merits capital letters!

I pulled it out of a magazine a while ago and liked the look of it. It’s one of the few patterns in there I’ve actually done! Usually I just flick through the pages and try to find some inspiration.

I just double checked and it’s by Sian Brown and from Let’s Knit Magazine but I have no idea what issue number!

It’s a bit loose and fluffy because it’s been in use for nearly 8 months!

I’m sure if you were to do a quick Google search you could find a good pattern for a coffee pot/ cafetière!

I did find one on Ravelry for a really cool Dalek one by Coryna Blasko…

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/caffeinate-press-style-coffee-maker-cozy

Or, if Dr Who isn’t your thing, how about this cabled one by Ruth Churchman? (also on Ravelry)

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cabled-cafetiere–tea-cosy

Or…just freestyle your own. Make a rectangle and add buttons! 🙂


You can find my most recent post on Medium below.

7 Non-Fiction Book To Help You Live A Better Life!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/7-non-fiction-books-to-help-you-live-a-better-life-89e146c3fad6


Blog Challenge blogging book books canva christmas knitting craft crafting craft projects crafts crafts and hobbies creativity crochet crochet blanket crochet granny square cross-stitch cross stitch digital art digital artwork digital download digital drawing embroidery Etsy fabric fibre fibre crafts Goals handmade hobbies homemade knitted jumper knitted sweater knitting Medium Print On Demand reading RedBubble sewing stash stitching stylecraft textile crafts wool writing yarn

Next in my Knitting Queue

I’ve talked about my orange jumper a lot that I’m currently knitting and I also have a knitted baby cardigan and a sock yarn shawl on the go and am about to cast on an entrelac heirloom baby blanket.

What else have I been saving lately?

I’ve been looking at shrugs and boleros, something light to put over a top as the weather gets a little bit warmer and I came across this bad boy on Ravelry.

173-40 Grey Whisper pattern by Drops Design.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/173-40-grey-whisper

I even looked at other people’s projects of this design and they look really pretty, especially in a deep purples and wine colours. Although the light and dark grey look good too.

The pattern says to use a lace weight yarn and a 4 ply yarn held together, which to my count makes a 6 ply yarn.

I was thinking of using a DK weight yarn, which is 8 ply and see how that goes.

If I followed the pattern I might go for a XL size, if I’m using thicker yarn then I think just a large? I’m not sure about yarn substitutions and sizing, but I love the look of this pattern so much, I’m willing to have a mess around with it.

The pattern says to use a 5mm needle and a 4.5mm for the rib so I’m sure DK would OK with that size…if not I’ll change needle size.

And since it’s only a shrug, it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit too loose or doesn’t have an amazing fit!

I’m not keen that you have to follow a chart, and I think the pattern could definitely be laid out a lot better to follow it. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out where to put the chart in my head in the pattern before seeing a tiny A1 slipped into the pattern paragraph. That being said, I’ve queued this on Ravelry, which is a feature I don’t use on there very much.

I think I’ll have a go at this pattern in the winter sometime once my current WIP’s are WIP’s no more!

I have some DK yarn going spare, so I think I’m going to earmark that for this project.

Please excuse the shoddy pics, but what I have going spare is a couple of balls of the Hayfield Bonus DK or a ball each of Stylecraft Special DK. I like the Hayfield one for this project.

Incidentally, if you want to say hello, my username on Ravelry is @chronicleofellen (my old blog name which I closed down ages ago). I admit I’m not on Ravelry an awful lot, but I am trying to find autumn and winter potential makes at the moment, so I’m on it a bit more than usual!


Here’s my latest Medium article on Affiliate Links.

It’s a whopper at 2799 words!

Fun to write though…and my writing has definitely improved compared to the first article on there!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/affiliate-links-and-some-practical-ways-to-use-them-2f72cbd45789

3 Favourite Yarn Shops

I love to look at yarn. And squish it if possible!

Since there are a lot of creative people following this blog (and I know a lot of you either knit, crochet or sew) I thought I’d share a few yarn shops that I like and maybe you will too!

I love seeing what independent small businesses can come up with, with their hand-dyed yarn colour combinations. I wish I had the space to create my own hand-dyed yarn…alas I do not!

I don’t think the shops I’ve followed for a while hand spin their yarns (please correct me if I’m wrong!) but they do hand dye them.

  1. The Camels Yarn (Find them on Etsy and Instagram @thecamelsyarn)

This shop makes the most amazing seaside inspired yarn combinations. Sand and sea colours, natural colours and inspiration, gradients, speckles. I love their dark green hank, I think it’s called Evergreen.

https://tidd.ly/3BAJCwU

2. Woolly Mama Yarns (Find them on Etsy and Instagram @woollymamayarns)

NEON! Need I say more?! The brightest and most vibrant hand-dyed yarns I’ve seen. They remind me of 80’s inspired colour combinations. Carnival, Disco Inferno and Samba colour ways are ones to look out for! I would love to make some neon, bright cowls or wrist warmers with these hanks…or just put them on my wall and gaze longingly at the NEON!

https://tidd.ly/3iNcREf

3. The Lonely Knitter (Find them on Instagram @thelonelyknitter or Ravelry @TheLonelyKnitter2 or their website Crafter’s Balm)

I followed this Instagram account for the self striping sock yarn club, but if you look on the website there are other hand-dyed yarns too. It’s difficult to describe the colours of the yarns from this account, but I’d say lots of self striping yarns named after TV shows and Books – The Fellowship of the Ring/ The Walking Dead inspired colour ways. Brights, pastels, natural colours. I love the purple colours and greens.

https://craftersbalm.co.uk

When I win the lottery, I will empty these yarn shops!

Also, I’ll have a room just for yarn which you’ll enter through a secret bookcase via my craft room. It’ll be like the library from Beauty and the Beast except instead of ceiling to floor books, there will be ceiling to floor WOOL on every wall, with a ladder to reach the top! But that’s a story for another day..

[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]

Bread and Knitting

I’ve made a lot of bread the past 2 years, but since December 2020 I’ve hardly made any. Until today.

It’s a cottage loaf recipe (using butter instead of oils) and I added a mix of seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, linseed etc to the white flour.

I had to use up the flour by next month so it was good to get back into it again, even if I was a little slow getting all the bowls and ingredients out!

Did you know it was Lammas/ Lughnasadh this weekend just gone?

I’m not a Pagan at all, but the Wheel of the Year (all the Pagan celebrations like Spring and Autumn Equinox, Samhain (Halloween), Yule, Imbolg…) does make a certain sort of sense to me.

Lammas is a time to celebrate the harvest coming in, people make corn/wheat dollies, bake bread, have feasts, preserve food, have bonfires…

So, here is my Lammas (short for Loaf Mass) bread complete with plait and everything!

I like the feel of late summer when the fields start to turn from green to gold. I’ve heard the farmers in the nearby fields getting the harvest in for the last couple of weeks or so.

And really, I just wanted to make a loaf of bread!

I had some seeds leftover, so instead of finding them a plastic bag or somewhere to put them and forgetting to use them, I just threw them to the birds and filled up the bird bath with water, so the birds can have a mini Lammas feast too!

I saw about 15 House Sparrows in the garden after I did that. They’re very sweet birds -some even nested in our roof this year. They’ve stopped cheeping now, so I think they’ve all left the nest!

Here’s a pic of the finished loaf.

I’ve struggled with making crispy loaves and I think I know the secret now…put a bowl of hot water under it when it’s cooking so the oven gets all steamy.

Bread

The smell of fresh bread has gone through the whole house now…Yum!

(Can you believe the plait looked perfect before it was baked…now it looks wonky!).


As well as getting a few jobs done today like shredding papers, tidying up etc. I also did a spot of knitting. This is where I am on my orange jumper:

I’ve done just over the first pattern repeat. You can’t see it properly I don’t think, but there are 2 bits of stocking stitch on each end, 2 cable and lace panels and then a section of stocking stitch in the middle.

It’s a beginner friendly pattern and it was in one of those knitting magazine books where it’s just patterns and they take patterns you’ve seen in other magazines a few times before, but bring it into one place. Does that make sense?!!

Like a more expensive and thicker version of a knitting magazine, by the same editors and publishers, just no articles and very few ads.

I know what I mean! It’s from a few years ago, and I did the back last year, about this time actually, so it feels a bit like deja vu!

I’m on the front now and then sew it together, do some short sleeves and neckline once it’s sewn up and then it’s done. Hopefully I can finish it this year…I started the rib of the back piece in 2018 I believe, then put it away for ages before picking it up again last year.

I love it still, but I’m sick of seeing it on my needles. I want to wear it!

The yarn was really cheap, less than £2 I think, it’s King Cole Big Value Double Knitting in Shade 3029 Rust.

The pattern was by Pat Menchini, I can’t see a name for it. There is an optional cowl to go with it, but I’m just doing the jumper!

Yes, the rib at the bottom is HUGE!

Sometimes I can have a real go at it and get a whole pattern repeat done in one go (that’s 24 rows) and other times I lucky if I manage 2 rows!

But I love the pattern on the cable panels on each side.


And look what came in the post today from Deramores…my Christmas sock yarn!

I only got one ball…I’ve only ever made 1 sock in my life (that’s not 1 pair…I mean 1 sock!) and I guess I had half a ball left for the other one. Hopefully I have enough to make a pair out of one ball…although I have some orange sock yarn to use for the heels or toes if not.

If you want to have a look for yourself, I’ll pop an affiliate link here (for The Knitting Network). There are other lovely Christmas colour ways in this range too. I really like the Fairy Lights colour too…

Now all I need is an easy beginner sock pattern…and the patience of a Saint since it took me 3 weeks to make my first ever sock a few years ago (no wonder I only made one!!). Hahaha!


Also, on a completely unrelated topic…look at that sunset last night – it’s on my iPhone which just doesn’t do the sky justice at all!


[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]

Happy 6 Months!

I started this little blog 6 months ago this week and thought I’d share a few things with you.

The stats and boring stuff

Projects

This year I’ve done a variety of crafts, mostly knitting or sewing. I’ve had periods of not doing anything at all, I’ve been ill, I’ve lost my mojo, or just got fed up with a particular project and put it down for a month or two.

So far I have finished:

Knitting
  • A Neon Fair Isle Bag
  • Bauble, 3 mini stockings and a toy mouse, using up scraps of free yarn from knitting magazines
  • Knitted headband
  • Hand knitted woolly hat
  • Loom knitted woolly hat
  • Loom knitted cowl
  • Finished a Christmas jumper (my first one EVER!) I started late 2020
  • Done more on my orange jumper, I’m about a quarter of the way finished with the front.

Crochet
  • Granny Square Shawl
  • Started Baby Blanket for a friend
  • Started Christmas Granny Square blanket…will finish nearer December this year as I was only using up yarn

Sewing
  • 2 x zipper bags
  • Denim Rucksack
  • Denim Tote Bag
  • Yellow headband
  • Yellow skirt
  • Yellow pj bottoms (still need to redo the waistline)
  • I cut out the pieces for a practice baby dress, I’ll sew that up in a few weeks – I’m all sewn out for a bit!

Books
  • Prelude to Foundation
  • Robots and Empire
  • The Complete Robot
  • The Naked Sun
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich [spoiler alert: the book did not!]
  • War and Peace
Cross- stitch
  • Started a rectangle placemat to use up old threads
  • Fortune Favours the Bold sampler
  • Make the Days Count sampler
  • Birthday card

Miscellaneous
  • Tall candle and candles in jars to use up wax
  • Tried out new techniques – Entrelac knitting, changed sewing machine needle, Sewed with Denim, Made pockets – both inner and outer, sewed webbing, used belt buckles, created repeating patterns and had a large sample of a pattern made up on fabric, made my own Procreate brushes
  • Digital ‘Art’ – figured out Procreate, Photoshop and Canva properly
  • Joined RedBubble, Medium, Spoonflower, Patreon and all the sites
  • Joined Etsy as a seller and my digital download shop is coming soon
  • Joined Amazon as an author and my first book will be coming soon

A Random Waffly Roundup

I had a similar blog a few years ago which I closed down and I realised this year how much I missed writing and posting. I don’t think I follow trends or whatever, I just generally tend to post what I’m doing. Mostly, it’s crafty stuff like knitting, crochet or sewing, with the odd life post.

I try to post a couple of times a week, but if a month goes by with nothing, I won’t apologise for it! Sometimes life happens and that’s that.

Photography is always going to be my downfall, but I’m actually OK with that! I’ll try and take a nice picture, but if I can’t I’m not going to beat myself up about it!

I love to write. I might not be the best writer in the world, but hopefully I can communicate my thoughts in an easy to read way! This blog is mostly about my crafting and my life to a certain extent. Although, since it’s my blog, I reserve the right to talk about whatever I want. That being said, I did start to write on Medium about a different topic as I thought it wasn’t a great fit here (although some people might find it interesting and relevant if they have a small crafty business).

On Medium I write about making Passive Income online, and to be honest I have struggled writing there somewhat. I feel like I have to up my game and the articles, whilst OK, aren’t the best. So, I’m trying to improve my longer form writing over there. The difficulty is trying to write without every article sounding like it’s a listicle – you know, the clickbait sounding ones…3 Things You Didn’t Know You Needed (and they’re not what you expect them to be) or 5 Ways To Make A Living Online With This 1 Thing

I hate that kind of content…it’s so Buzzfeed-ish (if that doesn’t sound TOO snobbish!). I prefer to just write whatever is in my head and I find it quite hard to organise my thoughts sometimes. Maybe it’s the adding value part of writing for money?

Speaking of money…my best month ever on Medium this month – 6 cents! I’m rich! [Although I haven’t posted much at all over there with being sick for most of June]

And the post that made most of that was this one where I talked about Low/ No Content Books on Amazon:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/lowlow-content-books-on-amazon-kdp-low-quality-books-acec85abf1aa

I’m using Canva to make Pinterest pins and I’m adding a pins to each article on Medium, which is something I haven’t been doing here. BUT, I’ve started to try and start using affiliate links on this blog, but not all the time as I don’t want to spam everyone. Incidentally, you CAN use affiliate links on a free WordPress site, as long as the site doesn’t exist solely for that purpose and you’re creating content around the links.

Am I getting off topic now? Feel like I am…

So, what’s to come?

The projects I want to finish or at least make a lot of headway with in the next few months are:

  • Knitted orange jumper
  • Knitted sock yarn shawl
  • Crochet Baby blanket
  • Cast on knitted baby cardigan and entrelac heirloom blanket
  • cast on pair of knitted socks
  • Sew together baby dress that I have already cut out the pieces for
  • Read The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (then ALL of the books on my bookshelf will have been read!)

I want to make some bread as I did a bit in the last couple of years, but I’ve got out of the habit lately. And I want to try more vegetarian recipes…I’m NOT a vegetarian not at all. But I think eating one or two veggie meals a week is not only better for my dodgy digestive system but the planet too, so I’m going to try and start cutting out fat and sugar (she says drinking a full fat Coke on the hottest day of the year). So, I want to post a few more recipes on here too.

I also want to use my stashes of, well, everything. I have lots of wool to use, some fabric (although with the week of sewing last week, the drawers are looking a little bit emptier) and other random things like shea butter and ingredients for homemade beauty products, paints, things like that.

I have a leather handbag that is all ready to be saddle stitched together.

I also want to write more often on Medium, have 200 designs on Redbubble, and open my Etsy shop in the next few weeks.

So, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, a lot of plans and most of all dreams. It does seem like I post on here something I want to do and a week later I’m like, Nah! Forget that! I’m doing this instead!

Well, that was the last 6 months, here’s to the next!

Entrelac is FINALLY happening!

Yes. I know you are, how could you not be? Excited as I am, that is!

Because after years of wanting to have a go at it and not understanding the process or having a good pattern for it…I HAVE STARTED AN ENTRELAC KNITTED SCARF PROJECT.

I know, you can barely contain your excitement about it either.

Entrelac knitting looks like it has a woven basketweave kind of effect. It looks a lot more complicated than it is.

I’m using up some of the leftover neon DK yarn from my Fair Isle Knitted Bag. And I thought I’d just do a small pattern to have a go and see if it’s something I could make into a baby blanket for a friend.

So far, it looks pretty good. And the idea of picking up stitches and creating triangles and rectangle isn’t a difficult one in the slightest once you wrap your head around the method.

I will add here that the pattern calls for aran weight yarn and I’m trying it out in Double Knitting so mine will be smaller than the pattern and maybe a little odd looking, but it’s just a test to see how easy this technique is and most of all, how long each row takes me to do!

I like the finished look of the fabric and the bumpy/ textured sort of feel to it. And it could look really effective if you used the right colour combination.

There is only one thing putting me off and it is the fact that is the speed – it’s slow going!

I have to use a crochet hook to help me pick up stitches and it takes me forever (literally just minutes but you know…FOREVER!). And this is only with a pattern that had 3 base triangles.

I imagine that doing this pattern but with more repeats could take me AGES. Although I have time until my friend’s baby gets here, but still! I’m an impatient knitter and this has caused a debate in my mind.

Do I cast on a large project and use it as my on the go project because I like the finished look?

Or do I do another pattern that I could finish quicker?

So, I’m not sure what to do! I think I might have to cast on the full length of the blanket and see how long it takes me to do the few rows of the pattern. And go from there.

I bought a book a few days ago with a baby blanket pattern in which I might alter.

The scarf pattern that I’m trying at the moment was a free one from Ravelry which you can find the pattern for here:

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/entrelac-scarf

So far, I’m finding the instructions for this pattern really easy to follow. I would definitely recommend it if you want to have a go at entrelac knitting.

Just ignore the terrible lighting…life is too short to spend hours on taking a picture!

Who knew yarn could be so bright?

Knitting Progress and a Freebie

Today (Sunday) has been a day of little progressions.

First, I cut out the lining fabric for a denim backpack which I’m going to start sewing tomorrow. Then, I cut out the paper patterns for a couple of other sewing projects I want to do so that they’re all ready to go.

Then, I finished the bottom rib for my knitted orange jumper, which has taken me months to do because the rib needles were a lot smaller than the main pattern needles. Also, I put it aside in October last year and pretty much left it alone, apart from doing the odd row here and there.

But recently I’ve been having a push to try and finish it, and today I FINALLY managed to change to the bigger needles and start on the main pattern. Yay!

It’s still going to take a while to finish but at least I can go a lot quicker with this part. The main pattern is stocking stitch and a couple of cable panels with a tiny bit of lace (k2tog and yfd) so it’s relatively straightforward.

I’m so happy I’ve made some progress!

I’ll post a picture the next time as the light just isn’t great at the moment…I think it’s going to rain again soon!

The pattern I’m doing is a 24 row repeat so I usually scribble down where I’m at on a piece of paper. I thought I’d whip up a quick printable and see if this helps me keep all of my notes and stuff all together.

The picture I filled in as an example, but the PDF is blank!

As usual this is for your personal use only – do not share, sell or redistribute this in any way!