Acquisitions and Ideas

New Wool

Last week at work I was so good!

I gave away 2 free knitting kits (that you get with knitting magazines and which I always end up throwing away) and 4 balls of wool to a colleague.

I was slowly making some room in my stash tub.

NOPE!

I instantly bought 2 balls of sock yarn to replace some of the old!

Both are technically Christmas themed sock yarns – 1 by Stylecraft and the other by West Yorkshire Spinners (the left one).

But the one by West Yorkshire Spinners looks more autumn-y to me rather than the ‘gingerbread’ it’s supposed to be.

I also bought a pair of tiny circular needles to have a go using instead of the DPNs. We’ll see if it works!

You can get the orange one here from The Knitting Network, one of my favourite places to buy wool online. I’ve shopped with them a few times before, they’re quick to dispatch and quick and all of their products come in eco-friendly packaging!

And the fabric in the picture above is a gift from a friend (thanks Lizzie!). I’m not sure what to do with it…a bag of some sort maybe? But I also like the idea of making a cushion too…


Ideas For Future Projects

I have 1 1/2 balls of some chunky James C. Brett yarn leftover that I want out of my stash (they’re huge 200g balls so take up a lot of room!) and I was thinking of doing another chunky knitted hat in the round.

I knitted my first hat in the round earlier this year (usually I just do them flat and seam them up) and now I have all the right size circular needles for that!

Also, I’m making another baby blanket out of some scraps of aran baby wool I had leftover. I’m desperate for the room!

I sent off a load of stuff to Knit For Peace today and I still have the main box to go! I think I’ll do a few smaller things such as hats and maybe a cowl or two just to fill the box. There’s already a shawl, baby blanket, baby hats and cardigan as well as an adult hat.

I have the yarn for 2 summer vest tops and the patterns bought and ready to go.

The thing is, I have 5 tops, 2 blankets and a hat on the go already. I guess it’s never to late to start a project, but I want to knit woolly warm things now it’s autumn. And it’s getting cold so it’s definitely autumn now!

I have enough sock yarn for 6 pairs of socks!

I have DK yarn for a pink and cream jumper which I have yet to find the perfect pattern for.

I have some single balls of hand dyed yarn which need to be made up into something.

And lots of single cotton balls that I had an idea to make into lots of dishcloths.

So many ideas and not enough time, energy or money to do them all!

And then, after making a concentrated effort to get my stash down to a manageable amount…I saw the pattern below in a knitting magazine and I want to have a go at it.

Even though colour work makes me want to jump screaming out of a window…

The pattern is by Jenny Watson for West Yorkshire Spinners and was in the magazine Knit Now Issue 146, but I’ve seen it other places online. I bet if you googled WYS Festive blanket you could find it!

But seriously, look at those dark traditional colours.

I might have to quickly try and finish as many little projects as I can, so that I have a spare project bag or 2 for this!

But I really don’t need another blanket!

Ah such terrible decisions to be made, haha!


Christmas is nearly here, and I have a lot to do to get ready for it this year.

There’s the blanket above I want to make and a pair of festive socks too.

I would love to make a Christmas jumper, but I just don’t think I’ll have the time this year.

A few years back I made a load of decorations, so at least that’s one thing done…although I might make a few more baubles as they’re pretty quick to make.

And a Santa hat, too, maybe?

I’m working on a crocheted chunky Halloween blanket right now, but I think I might keep that one for myself.

Anyhoo, that’s a lil catch up. It’s late and I’m tired and I want to go lie on the bed and read a book.


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Organising My Crafty Life

In the past month or so I’ve suddenly got my knitting mojo back after about 3 or 4 months of not really being bothered.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that I have so much stuff that it’s getting me down! Too many knitting or crochet projects I started that I don’t love anymore and aren’t likely to get finished any time soon.

So, I did a ruthless thing and did a purge!

I threw out 2 projects I started ages ago and just haven’t had the motivation to get back into them; the knitted shawl in amazing lovely autumn colours and the knitted socks which I couldn’t even finish the ribbing for!

They’ve gone!

I frogged them and saved the yarn…but no more working on them ever again!!

And, looking through my photos for the 2 above, I realised I threw out another project too. A knitted blanket in squares, which I’d only knitted the first square.

I frogged that too and made a crochet blanket last week! Wool used up…great!

Why did I take a picture of this ages ago from the back again?!

I did a big clear out and got rid of half used skeins of wool, scraps of fabric and things like that, that I’ll never use! I have so much more room in my craft drawers now.

I’ve also been trying to use up yarn that I’ve bought over the years without a project in mind. Such as these cute coloured pastel balls of yarn, but I never used because I don’t wear pastel garments!

So…I made a couple of baby hats, I’m knitting a baby cardigan with funky dark green and pink yarn and I started a shawl with the baby pastel yarn I had lying around.

And then with yarn leftover from those projects, I started a granny square cushion!

So, I’ve started a few projects lately with the aim of using up my stash.

A lot of my stash is acrylic and I want to start getting away from that. Acrylic is plastic basically, isn’t it? I want to use more natural fibres, but I don’t just want to chuck out everything I have…so I’m going to use it all up first.

I do love the colours of this yarn – the pics don’t do it justice and it is so soft and snuggly. But I only bought 1 or 2 balls of each colourway, so the projects are small that I’m doing to use it up!

It’s Baby Twinkle Prints DK by James C. Brett. You can grab it here from The Knitting Network if you want to have a look. I like The Knitting Network as they use paper not plastic packaging!


I’ve made a little bit of room so far…although I have about 10 tote bags with my knitting and crochet projects in them lying about!

I have 4 knitted jumpers and 1 crochet top I’m working on, with the yarn for a summer cotton vest (which won’t get finished before the winter comes lol!) and a lot of sock yarn still to work on. I also have 9 balls (!) of DK yarn to use up for a jumper as it was on offer!

And then there’s a few odd aran weight balls which I thought to make a baby blanket from, some cream and pink yarn for a jumper, and some chunky yarn for a cowl.

So, even when I finish the current projects, I have enough yarn to be using up until the end of this year without buying anything new!!

I’m gong Cold Sheep for the time being!

Well, I’m going to try to anyway!!!


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Scrap busting…dishcloths, blankets and more!

I have a lot of wool.

A LOT OF WOOL!

And frankly, some of it is old and boring.

I maybe bought it for projects that never materialised or simply just bought it on impulse. Whatever the reason for it all being in my gigantic yarn stash, it needs to be used up…so I can find the room to fit more yarn in of course.

So, in the past week or so, I’ve done a few short projects to use up some leftovers.

Knitted Dishcloths

First, I made a few dishcloths with some 100% cotton I had leftover. I don’t normally like knitting with cotton as I find I have to hold it quite tightly and it hurts my hands after a little while.

And in full disclosure (I really wanted to write dish-closure here!), I don’t even use these kinds of dishcloths haha!

I know a few people who do, so they might get a few as a random gift the next time I see them.

I really like this yarn though, for all that I might whinge about cotton, this feels really nice and comes in some vibrant sunny colours.

It’s by James C. Brett and I believe it’s called It’s 100% Pure Cotton. I’m using shade IC08 below.

So far, I’ve done a waffle stitch pattern and a simple garter stitch one. Since I don’t use them, I’m not really sure how big to make them, so I’ll do a variety and see what works.

The waffle stitch

Cast on an even number of stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Knit

Row 3: K1, P1

Row 4: K1, P1

Repeat those 4 rows for as long as you want it. The front looks like squares and the back is textured too, so I quite like this simple stitch!

Below on the left is the back of the dishcloth and the front on the right.

The back looks pretty cool too, though doesn’t it?!


Knitted Blanket

I’ve had a pattern for a knitted blanket that I ripped out of a magazine years ago. There are 9 large squares and 3 patterns.

A complicated cabled centre square, 4 stocking stitch squares and 4 other cabled squares (with a simpler cable pattern).

I’ve done one square in aran leftovers so far, just a simple stocking stitch one that I can sit out in the garden with and not have to keep looking at a pattern. It’s not as big as I thought it would turn out to be, so I might have to do more squares or a huge border. Not sure yet. Maybe I’ll just see what it looks like stretched out and sewn together!

I’m using darker, maybe more autumnal colours, like orange and grey instead of the pastel colours of the pattern.

I’m not really a pastel person, you know?!

And since I didn’t think 4 balls were going to enough as the square below used up more than half a ball…I went and bought 2 more balls of a beautiful blue/ green colour.

Just in case.

The yarn is Stylecraft Special Aran and I’m using the following 3 colours: 1062 Teal, 1063 Graphite and 1029 Copper.

You can get the same yarn from The Knitting Network here.

I’m looking at the photo below and I’m wondering if I took the photo of the back by mistake. I was so sure it was the front. Ooops!


That’s just a couple of things I’m doing to use up my stash. I have quite a few other projects on the go at the moment and it’s getting to the point where I need to finish something before I cast on anything else!

I have a few half balls of chunky yarn, a couple of DK weight yarn and a few odd bits in either 4ply or aran, so I can’t use all my scraps in one blanket project…more the pity.

I’ve seen a few patterns for chunky hats, so I might have a go at that. We’ll see. I have one bag of leftovers left, so it’s not too dire at the moment.

What’s dire is the fact that my drawers and boxes are overflowing with full balls and hanks of yarn ready to be knitted up into projects, hahaha!


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C2C Crochet Cowl

Look at that title for some awesome alliteration!

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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Q1 Makes and Creations

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!

Knitting

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
  • Pink cowl

Crochet

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…

  • Crochet top
  • 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.


Sewing

Nope!

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!


Books

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!!


Miscellaneous

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.

Here’s my shop if you’re nosy!

And I’m wanting to get back to that quite soon. It’s spurred me on to get to 300 designs!!

This is what people have been loving lately! It’s such a simple design too…

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…

Green Knitted Tunic Progress

I’ve actually done some knitting on my top!

I know, I know, you were worrying about it only being cast on and no stitches done for quite a while now, but rest assured, you can breathe easy now! I’ve actually done some more on it!

I finished the moss stitch border at the bottom and am now on the main pattern part, which aside from the moss stitch sides is all stocking stitch on 4mm needles so is going a lot faster.

I wasn’t in the mood for much knitting or anything at all last week, all things considered (I spent the time recuperating after surgery) but this week I feel awake and much more mobile so I’ve been working away at the green top and even started a new crochet project!

But I’ll show that in another post. For now, here is what I have so far and a pic of what it is supposed to look like when finished…

Yes, it’s not a huge amount done, but it’s something! And there is absolutely no rush for it to get finished.

I’m finding that after a good six months of hardly any projects on the go at the same time, I’m really liking casting on a lot of things at once!

I could never be a truly monogamous knitter. I guess it’s shiny new object syndrome!

C2C Blanket

You know when you have a list a mile long of WIPs to finish but something else comes along that just HAVE to start working on immediately? This is one of those times!

I met up with a friend a couple of Saturdays ago and went to York for the day which was nice to catch up as I haven’t seen her for ages.

I made her a lap blanket years ago which I always thought was a little on the small side but she says it’s the perfect size to put on her lap whilst watching TV. Well that got me thinking…

And now I started a larger C2C (Corner To Corner) blanket for her in chunky yarn.

I’m on the decreases now (when you crochet a C2C blanket you basically make a triangle to the length and width you want the finished size to be and then decrease to make a square if that makes any sense?!). So, I have about 2/3 of a gorgeous chunky blanket done!

This project just pushed its way in front of all the others on my hooks and needles!

It’s not massive or a large bed blanket by any means, but I’m confident that it’s a lot bigger than the first one I made years ago. Also that other old blanket was a plain old granny square and this one looks a little bit more complicated if I do say so myself, so it even looks like my skills have grown!

It’s James C. Brett Marble Chunky yarn which is one of my all time favourite yarns! And the colours look more varied and richer in real life…they look quite cool colours on the photos.

[Edit: I managed to finish it completely and send it off last week so it’s all good. Of course, I forgot to take a photo…but you get the idea of how it looked from the pics below!]

WIPS and Bits!

It’s back! The crafting bug that is!

After a couple of months of not doing much at all, now I’m doing EVERYTHING!

Last week I even started and completed a finished object (a crochet cowl I began on my lunch break at work!).

I’ve got 2 knitted jumpers on the go, a pair of socks and a shawl.

And for crochet there are 2 blankets and a top. Yes, I’ve started a crochet top!

So, here’s what I’m working on currently.


Grey Fisherman’s Rib

Thought I’d taken a better photo than the one below but oh well!

I’m doing the version on the right which is longer and has a rollover collar. It’s aran yarn, so it’s knitting up quite quick when I work on it, I just haven’t had much time lately to have a go at it in earnest.

I love the look of Fisherman’s Rib, it’s a surprisingly simple pattern by King Cole (Tabards 5657).

What I’m not so sure of is the bottom of the piece. It’s a normal rib worked on smaller needles and then you start the fisherman’s rib properly with larger needles. But, the thing is you have a border of 5 garter stitches on both sides.

I think it would have looked better if there was a garter stitch border on the bottom instead of a normal rib if that makes any sense?!

If you look at the picture below, it looks like there’s 3 different stitches and it looks a little strange to me…but I’m going to finish it!

The yarn is lovely. It’s a wool and acrylic mix so it feels soft and squishy and it’s by Hayfield.

Hayfield Bonus Aran.

Shade 0051 FORGE

You can get the yarn from The Knitting Network here (affiliate link).

I’m only on the front and have still got the back to do, but it’s one I’m working on whenever I have a spare few minutes. I don’t feel the rush for this one!

Green Jumper

I have literally just cast on the front. Not even done any stitches!

It’s a pattern from Let’s Knit magazine on page 22 of issue 180 Feb 2022. It’s by Susie Johns.

Not much more to say as I haven’t properly started it, but I guess I’ll just say there is more to come with this one!

Sock Yarn Shawl

I’ve done a couple more rows of this ongoing WIP, but it’s starting to get long which means each row takes ages. Also, it’s in sock yarn…which is really thin! So it’s a marathon not a sprint for this one.

But I’m still in love with the colours. They seem almost too autumnal for this time of year!

Socks

I’ve done maybe 2 or 3 more rows of the ribbing for the cuff since I showed it last. I want to make this a priority once I finish my crochet blankets.

lol not much done! But I forgot how fiddly DPNs can be. No, don’t tell me about other methods of sock knitting…I’m determined to finish this the way I started it!

Scrap Yarn Crochet Blanket

Possibly one of the best colours I’ve ever used for a blanket!

I had 6 balls of yarn in 3 colours to use up. One of which I used for testing a baby cardigan which I didn’t like and the others were going to be for a jumper which I never ended up casting on.

2 are plain and 1 is variegated.

They go together perfectly!

I’ve been doing 2 rounds of each colour in a set pattern, but now I’m on the last bits of the last balls I’m almost playing yarn chicken. I think I’m going to have to do single rounds to finish as I really don’t want to buy any more yarn! Totally defeats the object of making a stash buster blanket if you have to buy more yarn, doesn’t it?!

I think I might either give it away or donate it to charity once I’m finished with it. I have too many blankets as it is. The same applies for the one below!

Blue and Pink Crochet Blanket

Literally another plain old Granny Square blanket in blue and pink. The light is really bad today, so I’ll just have to leave you wondering about what it looks like. Also it’s only about 10 rounds big so it’s not massive at the moment. I started this one at work as well.

Who knew breaks were such a good crafting opportunity?!

I’m not really actively working on this one apart from at work, so it might take a while to build up.

Crochet Top

With all the crocheting I’ve been doing lately, I felt inspired to make a crochet top. This came out of nowhere.

I’m making it in the yarn below which is Pebble Chunky. It’s sold in Yorkshire Trading (which is what I call a ‘cheap shop‘ in my mind. I guess something like Dollar Tree in the states? Not somewhere you’d think of immediately for yarn anyway!).

It’s 200g and I got 2 balls. I have to remind myself how much crochet eats the wool, so I’ll probably have to get at least 1 more ball.

The pattern does the sleeves and the yoke all in one long piece so it looks like I’m crocheting a massively long scarf. Hopefully it’ll all shrink a bit when I come to join pieces and seam it up at the end.

Again, I’ve not done much, but the yarn looks a million times better in real life than the picture below!


So, those are my knitting and crochet WIPS. Quite a bit to be getting on with.

I’ve also been buying a few craft related books lately too.

I found a couple of bargains which I snatched up right away.

The first is a cross stitch book by Emma Congden (I’ve done some of her designs in previous posts last year).

You can get it here from Waterstones (affiliate link) if you want to have a look yourself.

Since I’ve used up all my threads, it’ll be fun picking a design and getting the materials for it. I think I have enough Aida fabric left from previous projects so it’s just the threads I need. But, more stitching ahead!

And I bought a beginner knitting book. I know, I know, I’m an intermediate to advanced knitter…but I quite liked the look of some of the patterns in the back of the book.

And for inspiration which is (kind of) nothing to do with crafting I bought THIS BOOK!

I love flicking through the pages and dreaming of my own crafty homestead!

I’m also reading a few books at the moment as well as just looking at pretty pictures.

These 2 classics about writing.

And this one below about manifestation. It’s kind of an ‘alternative’ read if you know what I mean. Whilst it does address manifesting things etc. there is also a few mentions of Tarot Cards and crystals which honestly, just makes me sigh a bit. Not the book I was expecting exactly, but still a good read.

I like the fact she talks about manifestation as utterly pointless unless you put in the action as well as the thought and feeling, though.

So, yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to!

And I want to get back into sewing again soon too. But knitting comes first!


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Current Knitting WIP

I made a list of the things I wanted to make this year. Things I wanted to knit and sew and I was pretty specific with the projects I had in mind.

And then, in true me style, I threw that out the window and decided to start something else completely.

I opened one of my recent-ish knitting magazines, saw a pattern and thought ‘I’m doing that!’. I bought the wool for it a few days ago!

Here is a pic of what I have in mind…

The pattern can be found in issue 180 Feb 2022 of Let’s Knit magazine. It’s by Susie Johns and is on page 22.

I’m using a forest green DK weight yarn by Stylecraft. It’s Highland Heathers shade 7228.

You can get it here from The Knitting Network.

You knit the bottom parts of the back and the front and then you join them to knit in the round before splitting again for the the front and back yokes, which I think is really interesting. I’ve never tried a jumper in the round before so this is a good in-between project!

It looks ‘easy’ and seems to be one of those projects where you can just knit without having to look at the pattern instructions every five minutes.

I’ve got all the bits and bobs ready, I’ve marked the sizing on the pattern. I’m all ready to go!

This will be the 3rd jumper I’ve ever knitted after my first 2 last year.

I’ve almost lost my knitting mojo recently, so this feels good to be planning and almost casting on a completely brand new project! I wrote this yesterday and as of today, I’ve just cast on the stitches for it…but it’s getting late, so I’ll have to continue with it tomorrow!

So, I make that to be a jumper (sweater? I never know whether to use UK or US terms on here…) and a pair of socks on the go. Along with a sock yarn shawl which will take literal YEARS to finish at this rate!!

3 knitting WIPS is kind of manageable I think!

Have a crafty day x


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LATEST POSTS

Crochet Baby Blanket- Finished Object

This is my first finished piece of the year. And it’s just a simple Granny Square blanket!

I was trying to use up some spare baby wool I had lying about and I used 2 colours of the same type of yarn. You can’t really tell though as it’s all variegated. It looks alright, if I do say so myself!

But everyone I know who has a baby has already received a blanket from me! So, this one is going to charity I think.

I started it and did most of it (until it got too big) at work on my break! So, I feel like I’ve done something productive in otherwise wasted hours…I know, I know, it’s not all about the productivity, but this was something to keep me sat at the table and feel like I was doing something, rather than just scrolling on my phone all the time!

Anyway…here it is draped over my desk chair!

I used a 4mm hook and maybe 5 1/2 balls of wool? I can’t remember the exact amount but it was about that and I lobe how it turned out!

Now, I just need to find a local baby donation centre to give it to, but I think I’m going to hold on to it a while and make a few other things with spare yarn too!

It’s been living in my knitting projects bag for the last few weeks (oh the irony-it’s not knitting, it’s crochet!) which incidentally you can get here in my Society 6 shop or the same design here in my RedBubble shop.

I think I might make a separate post about print on demand products I’ve designed and bought to do with crafting because there’s quite a few!

But that’s it for now, just a quick show and tell! Hope you’re all having a great weekend and getting lots of crafting done!


This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission on that purchase with no extra cost to you.

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.

Christmas Crochet Blanket Done!

Christmas Crochet Blanket

A finished object – woo hoo!

It is done. Finished. Completed. All the ends woven in and everything!

I started this at the end of last year with the last scraps of 2020’s Christmas knits.

Typically, there wasn’t quite enough to finish it in one go, so I waited until now to buy a couple more balls of yarn to finish it off.

It’s not the biggest blanket I’ve ever made, but it’s certainly one of the prettier ones! And so festive!

It’s a simple Granny Square pattern. The old ones are the best!

I really like the colours of this one. But, as I have loads of homemade blankets already, I think I’m going to donate this one to charity somewhere. I’ve already donated to Knit For Peace in the past, so this time I think I’ll have a look at Woolly Hugs.

They send blankets to UK hospitals, both to maternity wards and for older children and teenagers too.

Here is what it looks like as a finished object.

It’s difficult to get an idea of the true size, but I’d say it was just over a metre squared.

I really love it and it’s not immediately obvious that I used two different kinds of red yarn!

You can get the yarn from The Knitting Network here:

https://tidd.ly/2Wsp5Ls


[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!]


Some of my latest posts on Medium this week:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/does-it-matter-when-you-post-an-article-8703739844d2

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/redbubble-vs-society-6-f164509c276a

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/what-youtube-has-taught-me-about-homesteading-in-the-usa-f821d0e2c728

Sign up to join Medium here (if you use this link I’ll receive a portion of your membership fee at no extra cost to you).


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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?!

[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!]


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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!! 🙂

Craft Badges

I got my button badge maker out today for the first time in 2 years.

I thought I’d try and use Canva to make a template for the designs (in circles) and I just about managed it.

The text ones I had to shrink down a bit once I figured out they were just a smidgeon too big.

But I just used old designs/ patterns I had already made on Canva previously.

They’re a bit naff but I was more bothered about the size of the templates and whether I’d measured them right.

I like the marbled ones the best!

I’m annoyed that I have to use the white plastic backing bits that came with the badge maker. I bought a little pack of the metal ones and they look and feel much better, but they don’t fit properly in the maker…even though they’re technically the same size!

But, I shall use up the plastic ones I suppose!

I think I need to design some more with crafting in mind.

Like My Fabric Stash, My Knitting Stash, My Wool Stash etc.

I’m still playing around with getting the sizing right for them. But it’s fun for something different.

It took an embarrassingly long time yesterday to figure it out though. I forgot which way to put the metal pieces!