Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sock Success Part Deux

Brrrr it's been chilly in the UK this week! And last week too thinking about it. All the cold weather has left me wanted to do nothing much except curl up under a blanket on the sofa. I think I would do well as an animal that hibernates. A bear perhaps. I haven't even been in the mood to do much of anything crafty, which is a shocker. However, over the past few days it has been getting progressively warmer, and there was a spot of rain last night which melted the last of the snow. Today has been sunny and spring-like, and has brought me out of my winter funk.

Despite the lack of craftyness in these parts of late, I do have something to share with you. I have finally finished sock number two. Yep, I have a pair!

 
 

These socks have been a work in progress for what feels like ever. It was way back in September that I first cast on, and October when I finished sock #1...which means sock #2 has taken 3 months to knit (although this was interrupted by Christmas crafting so i guess it wasn't really 3 months). However, I am really pleased with my finished socks. I feel like I have really learnt a lot! When I first cast on I have never worked with double pointed needles, I had never attempted to knit a sock before and I was terrified of the heel! By the time I finished the socks, I was comfortable knitting with dpns and heel #2 was nowhere near as scary as the first.



The yarn used here was Regia 4 ply self-striping yarn (I realise this is totally cheating, but there is no way I would have had the patience to put each of the stripes in individually!!). This colourway is called Snowflake, which seems appropriate given the recent weather. I got both socks from one 100g ball of yarn, with a tiny bit left over. I love the pattern and I tried my best to match the stripes (if mostly worked, although don't look to closely at the heels....!). I followed this pattern here, which was very well explained even for someone clueless at socks!!


Would I knit socks again? Absolutely! They are the perfect transportable project. However, I think the next thing I cast on is a hat - another first for me. I'm looking for something chunky and easy to knit, but which also looks good. Any suggestions gratefully received, otherwise I will be stalking Ravelry this evening!

Knitters, what's on your knitting needles at the moment?

K xx

Friday, 4 January 2013

FO: Twit Twoo Owl Handwarmers


You may remember that a few weeks ago I shared my excitement about the Owl Awesomeness on the front cover of the November issue of Mollie Makes. And now here they are in the...yarn?! Hopefully you can see the owls peeking out...I love the way that they are there but are quite subtle...blink and you'll miss them (the eyes definitely help!).


Twit Twoo!

I used chunky yarn so these knit up relatively quickly. I managed to get both gloves out of one ball of yarn with plenty to spare.This was my first foray into cable stitch and I was pleased to find it simpler than I imagined, although the rib sections also contain some small-scale cabling which was rather fiddly indeed! 


They just happen to go perfectly with my Minoru jacket...


I wore them out for the first time today and they are just so warm and cosy. Good job it wasn't too chilly though...the problem with fingerless glove-types is the poor exposed fingers (although this is a blessing in disguise as I'm not sure I'm up to the task of 10 whole fingers (or rather 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, if you want to be pedantic...!).

What's on your knitting needles at the moment? I think next for me will have to be one of the gorgeous patterns sent to me by my Sewist's Secret Santa...thanks Santa :)

K xx


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Jumping on the 2012 review bandwagon....

Yes I know I'm a little bit late to the party, but I've really enjoyed reading all the 2012 review posts and I couldn't resist sneaking in with one of my own!

Looking back over my blog posts from the last year I was surprised to discover how many things I made in 2012. In April I started a new job which involves a moderately long commute and cuts down my sewing time considerably. I expected this to have a drastic effect on my stitching, and while it has meant that I have perhaps cut down the number of "big" projects I have completed, I seem to have balanced this out with a fair number of smaller projects. Below I have listed everything I have made this year split in to sewing and knitting:

Sewing

2 Pendrell blouses (here and here)
1 Truffle dress
1 New Look dress
3 Renfrews (only one blogged here)
1 Minoru jacket
1 pyjama bottoms

Sewaholic Minoru jacket - probably my most worn make this year
  
iPad case
4 knitting needle rolls
Childs apron
Tote bag

Knitting

1 snood
2 jumpers (1 currently unblogged)
2 bunnies
Owl cushion
3 meerkats


Knitted meerkats for my friends wedding

In terms of clothing, the vast majority of my makes were from Sewaholic Patterns. I have mentioned my love for Tasia's designs many times on this blog. It is great to have found a series of patterns that I know fit me well with minimal alterations!

At the start of 2012 i set myself a number of goals for the year. So how did I do?

1. Sew more basics
This one I stuck to - sort of. I made a couple of Pendrell blouses and Renfrews which are routinely worn. However I could do with sewing even more basics, in particular for the bottom half!

2. Stashbust
Erm....yeah. Both my yarn and fabric stashes are bigger now than they were at the start of last year. Opps. What can I say, I just cannot resist beautiful things (or a good deal!)

3. Interact more with the blogging community
This one I definitely stuck to! I took part in 2 meet ups, one of which I co-organised, as well as two other sewing gatherings, including one where the fabulous Dibs taught us some milinary skills. I hope to attend more meet-ups this year - there is nothing better than a day of fabric shopping and nattering about stitching with people who understand! I am so grateful for the wonderful people I met last year and cannot wait to do it all again. Who knows, maybe a summer Birmingham meet-up is in order?

Birmingham bloggers meet-up

4. Be more patient
Sort of. My Minoru jacket was a slow burner and I did enjoy the leisurely process. However, I still do tend to set myself stupidly tight deadlines (I may have been finishing up the meerkats in a hotel room on the morning of my friends wedding, for example!) which is something I need to work on. Sewing should not be stressful!

5. Take part in a craft fair
This one did not happen unfortunately, due to starting my new job I just did not have time. However, 2013 is another year!

So I did so-so with my last years goals. But this will not deter me from making new aims for 2013 - no no it will not. However, I will restrict myself to 3:

1. Make more time for stitching
If i don't have time to do the things I want to do, I get grumpy. However, most of the time it is my fault. Instead of waiting until I have hours to spare, I would like to make the most of the time available. 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there - it will soon add up!

2. Take better photos for my blog
Often I am lazy and snap a few shots on my iPhone rather than taking out my camera and doing things properly. This shows on my blog, and I feel guilty about not giving my makes the great presentation they deserve. There are many blogs I admire which have fantastic photography, and I think this really makes a difference. So this year I would like to stop being lazy and make an effort to do my handiwork justice!

3. Make progress on a hand-stitched work wardrobe
When I started my new job I purchased a small number of grown-up work clothes with the aim to add to this number with me-made garments. This never quite happened, aside from a few tops. This year I would like to work on more everyday garments that can become staples of my work wardrobe, in particular dresses which I love but lack!

What are your goals for the year? Does anyone else out there share any of my three? In particular, I am interested in anyone who plans to make more time for stitching this year - it would be great to share tips and follow how everyone gets on as the year progresses!

Happy New Year everyone - I hope 2013 is happy and healthy for you and your loved ones :)

K xx





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