I started this on Sunday 10 April and had it finished the day after.
It helps when you use chunky yarn and a large hook of course, though!
The yarn is Marble Chunky by James C. Brett in MC9.
It comes in 200g balls and is 100%acrylic
You can get the yarn here from The Knitting Network. It comes in so many beautiful shades, I’ve used the red/ pink and the dark purple colours before. And there used to be a really dark brown one that they stopped doing that I loved. So much yarn goodness to choose from!
I’ve always loved the Marble Chunky range, for years and years it’s been one of my favourites and it’s only in the last month or so that I bought some more of it as it was on sale in my local yarn store (£2 instead of £6…come on I just HAD to buy 3 balls of it!).
This cowl is just for me. I have one and a half balls of it leftover so I’m not sure what to do with it…maybe a matching hat? Hmmm….one to ponder!
I figured out how to make a square pattern into a rectangular one as I went along and I really love how the colours have striped up. I think you’d miss the stripes if you made a blanket or something much larger than this.
I’m really pleased to have a finished object to show (even though it wasn’t on any of my crafty to-do lists) and that I completed it the second week after surgery so it means I’m feeling better if I can craft something super quick!
Hope you all had a great weekend and managed to get lots of crafting done! 🙂
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I don’t normally measure my life or crafting life in quarters…but why not for the sake of keeping count?!
What have I made or done so far in January, February and March 2022? Let’s take a look and see!
I have cast on a LOT of things, but don’t have many finished objects yet. Here is what I actually managed to finish:-
I made a baby hat using up neon yarn I had spare from previous projects and donated it to charity (no pic)
Not finished, but I’ve done a few more rows on my sock yarn shawl. It’s taking ages coz it’s 4-ply!
Again, not finished, but I’ve done some more of my lone sock!
What have I cast on this year so far?
Grey fisherman’s rib tunic
Chunky grey cabled sweater
Green tunic top
I’ve been loving getting back into crochet, which sort of got put on the back burner for the last few years apart from the odd granny square or two.
Finished objects include:-
Pink and purple granny square blanket
Baby blanket in yellows and greens
Orange baby blanket
Pumpkin colours granny square blanket
Blue and green blanket for a friend (C2C)
Cowl for me using up neon yarn
And I’ve also cast on a few projects here too…
Pink and blue granny square blanket to use up scraps
C2C cowl with brown James C. Brett yarn
The thing with both knitting and crochet this year, is that instead of just looking at patterns, I’ve also been buying them!
A v-neck sweater by Petite Knits.
A few patterns by Jennifer Steingass on Ravelry. I decided that her Dreyma sweater was going to be my ‘Fair Isle’ top down sweater that I wanted to use my natural aran weight undyed wool for. So, once I have a top or two out of the way, this will get cast on pretty quick!
And I’ve noticed on every single knitting podcast that I come across on Youtube they mention the Ranunculus sweater. I looked at it and I looked some more and eventually I left it at just looking. But if the pattern comes in different weight options…well, Aran weight is my favourite and I might have to try it as a thicker version (instead of the thinner lacier version).
Not that I have to follow other people’s trends…but I can totally see why people do more than one option.
LOL…so many plans and so little motivation to set up all the million pieces I seem to need to just sew a bag or two! I just haven’t been bothered is the short answer here.
But I’m sure, like Austin Powers, I’ll get my mojo back somehow!
I’ve not been as prolific this year with reading as with other years, but I’ve managed a book or two.
What have I read so far?
The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
Happy by Fearne Cotton
Make It Happen by Jordanna Levin
I’m in the middle of Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.
On my to read list are:
On Writing Well by William Zinsnerr
The Stars, Like Dust by Isaac Asimov
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
As you can see, not an exhaustive list. And I’ve been saving On Writing Well for when I feel like I have more mental headspace to process it. I’ve been so tired in the last few months that I’ve just left things to one side if I can’t find the will to tackle it head on. It seems like one of those books you have to process and make notes on! Or at the very least highlight some passages!
As for Walden…the idea of someone just leaving modern life behind and upping sticks to live in a cabin you built in the woods for a year or two is incredibly modern and almost ‘hippyish’. Is that the word? It’s alternative and whilst most people nowadays wouldn’t bat an eyelid at someone trying something like that, I’m pretty sure they would have in the 1800’s which is when it was written.
I just find it fascinating that people would choose the ‘oddball life’ in the 1800’s as they would now!!
I haven’t really done much else to be honest. I haven’t done much baking and the other odd bits on ly lists still to do are, well, still to do!
Like my leather handbag which needs finishing or the ice dying fabric kit that a friend got me for Christmas…I just haven’t had the time!
I also haven’t written much on Medium, which is a shame because I love it over there.
As for print on demand?
I made a couple of alphabets and a few other tiny designs, I’m around 250 designs on RedBubble now. That’s going well. People in Australia seem to like a particular cushion design of mine, I sold a couple whilst I was off work last week.
And I’m wanting to get back to that quite soon. It’s spurred me on to get to 300 designs!!
I want to do more crafty designs for knitting and crochet. Just simple ones. I am not a graphic designer after all and it probably shows!
I’d like to do more along these lines:
There’s a few other things regarding online creations and ideas but for now I’ll leave it there otherwise this post will be hours long to read!
Q1 could be summed up with the fact that I’ve suddenly started casting on like crazy and wanting to get back into things that have been put aside for a while over winter.
Spring is here along with the brighter days and I want to get stuck into things.
My goals for the next quarter is to finish one of 4 tops I have on the go with my knitting and crochet before I cast on another (yeah, we’ll see how that goes!) and to try to finish that damned knitted sock! 🙂
We’ll see. No rush or pressure for anything though…
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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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!
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! 🙂
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.
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 finished this knitted scarf this time last year, but I haven’t worn it much or at all really. I’m using a green one I loom knitted last year as this one here is a little stiff from being made from a wool-mix yarn (I can’t remember the brand oops).
The pattern was from a book called Knitted Scarves and Cowls: 30 Stylish Designs to Knit by Jody Long.
I used the scarf pattern from page 90 and turned it into a cowl using some buttons I had going spare (I only had two balls of yarn and didn’t want to buy any more to make a longer scarf).
It looks very autumnal and was the first wavy knitting I’ve ever done. The pattern was so easy, it was one of those that once it’s in your head, you don’t need to check the book very much so it seems to go a bit faster.
I have always loved James C. Brett, especially their Marble Chunky range – I have made so many things for both myself and other people from it. It knits up really well and fast and is chunky and warm.
I have used quite a few different yarns from both King Cole and Stylecraft. Usually the cheap acrylic ones – either 100% acrylic or a mix with either polyester or wool.
I tend to shy away from 100% wool as it can be a bit itchy and scratchy for me.
A brand I have only recently started to use is Hayfield. I like their aran yarn which I used for my Christmas stockings. It’s bright and soft.
So…I would say I don’t go for the expensive or luxury brands!!
The trouble I find with most brands, including the ones above, are that most of them are made in other countries like Turkey, and the fact that the material is acrylic and not the most eco-friendly. No-one has forced me to buy acrylic and I don’t want to sound like a yarn snob, I like the feel of acrylic yarns and the fact that they usually wear well, like they stand up well to a washing machine in my experience.
In the future I definitely want to use more British spun and dyed yarns and more natural fibres such as wool or alpaca. I have never tried a bamboo yarn before, so that is on my list.