Folksy have teamed up with Moo online printing to offer Folksy shop owners a set of 50 free business cards and so today I received this in the post:
I was so excited to open the package, I’ve never had business cards for anything before. It seems so grown up and professional! And my grown up and professional reaction was, of course, to exclaim ‘Yey!’ which coincidentally was the word on the sticker holding the box together. I’m really happy with them, the picture looks a little dark to me but that’s more my fledgling photography skills than the printing. They’re printed on their eco green paper with a matt finish to make it easy to write on.
I’m planning on using them both as business cards and as tags for my knitwear as the blank space on the back is perfect for writing a short message or the care instructions.
Visit my Folksy shop to see my gloves and accessories, or if you’re a knitter keep an eye out for some exciting news about patterns over the next few days.
I have a pretty finished project to show off today so this is a rather photo heavy post. The Kernel scarf I’ve been working on for the past week is finished, blocked and now draped around my neck! I really enjoyed the pattern, it’s very clearly written so anyone who can do basic lace stitches will be able to cope with this. The only mods I made were to cast on fewer stitches (39st) and do two extra repeats of the Kernel lace chart. I was concerned about yardage as I only had 360m (100g) of yarn but I finished with ~26g to spare (which will go into my sock blanket now!) :)
Pre-blocking, my ugly duckling measured 6″ wide and 45″ long:
I didn’t block it too hard, I wanted to open up the lace but also ensure it had enough density to be warm. I blocked it out to 6.5″ wide and 67″ long:
Then I had some fun with my camera. :)
It snowed a little last night and is still snowing on and off today but in between the showers it’s lovely and bright and I managed to get a couple of good pictures.
Yes, I know. There’s no snow on the beach tree leaves, it had already melted by the time I got outside, but look here’s some snow!
Finally, for those on Ravelry who are interested, my Ravelry project page is here.
My new sock design:
Is now in the hands of the test knitters. :)
Also, I’m working on writing up the pattern for this:
Sizing this for anyone with less than wide feet is a challenge due to the width of the design, but I think I’ve worked it out. I’ll be looking for test knitters for this one soon, probably sometime next week but I don’t want to promise anything. I still need to figure out how to do cabled charts…
And I’m nearly finished with the pattern for my hot water bottle cover (which needs a better and shorter name than that one). I’m on a writing streak! Which also means a testing streak… any volunteers? :)
My plan to finish some WIP’s in January had a bit of a set back when I started on the Clothilde (Ravelry page here) shawl last week. I’d blame the ‘Guilt Free January’ thread on Ravelry for encouraging me to cast on without guilt at my number of WIP’s but it would be a bit unfair as it really didn’t take much encouragement at all. I bought the yarn a while ago and decided not too long after that it would be perfect for Clothilde so this project had been patiently waiting for too long anyway.
I really enjoyed the pattern, it was quick to knit and easily memorable (not to mention pretty). I was also impressed that the designer had gone to the effort of both charting and writing out the lace pattern. It’s not something that is done all that often these days and although I now find charts easier to use than written instructions I know there will be plenty of people who will appreciate them.
Now for the pictures!
The yarn (YarnAddict Yarns Superwash Merino in Caramel) was a joy to work with, so soft and with a beautiful variation in the colour too. I’m thinking the left over yarn might be used for contrasting cuff and heels in a pair of socks, maybe with a nice dark chocolate colour… caramel and chocolate without the calories? Gotta be a winner! :)
When I added my project to Ravelry I made a note about how I hoped I would have enough yarn to do an extra repeat of the edge lace. I was happy to muddle through with lifelines and see what I could get out of the yarn but I’d barely done one repeat before I received a comment from the designer that I should be fine as her original gauge was very different compared to other yarns used. Brilliant! I love how Ravelry lets you connect with designers and vice versa!
After 4 repeats of the Gull Wing Lace and 3 repeats of the Spearhead Lace, it grew into this:
Which blocked out into this:
1. Write up and publish a pattern for sale. Also, spend more time writing up patterns in general.
2. Laceweight shawl. I can cope with 4ply shawls no problem but for some reason 2ply yarn is that much harder for me. Maybe bamboo needles will help? Anyone have any other advice?
3. Blog regularly(ish).
5. Learn to use my sewing machine.
6. Double knitting.
7. Dye yarn.
8. Steeking something.
I was going for 10 resolutions because that’s a nice round number, but I couldn’t remember anymore things I’d put on my mental ‘to-do’ list and to be honest, 8 is enough for now. I’ll see come June how many I’ve ticked off and re-assess.
I think I might also do a monthly theme. January’s will be ”Finish Your WIP’s”, which will tie in nicely with my pledge to not buy more yarn for at least a month (a result of taking advantage of the John Lewis sales). This may be a rather unrealistic challenge but I’ll give it a go. I’ve finished one thing (almost) already and cast on two others but that’s neither here nor there…
My festive footsies are all done. :)
It’s my own pattern and I’m rather proud of them. They were perfect for this month, the stitch pattern was interesting but not so complicated that it wasn’t easily memorable and they knit up quickly.
Although the socks look great on blockers they don’t really show off the pattern that runs up the top of the foot and leg so here’s a picture of one on a foot.
I wanted to keep the leg simple and focus on the design running all the way up the sock, but I couldn’t resist putting a little bit of detail at the back:
All in all, I really like how they’ve come out. I’m not sure if I’ll end up writing up the pattern, the stitch pattern is quite wide which is perfect for my feet but probably not so much for everyone else! :)
Socks don’t really need blocking. That’s what feet are for. However, few socks will need it, especially lace ones and if something squiffy happened while being knit that needs to be straightened out via blocking. Sock blockers aren’t too expensive, I’ve seen some at £14 and for a pair of lovely wooden blockers that’s a good price. My problem is that my budget isn’t grand and I could also spend that £14 on yarn and when the choice is between blockers that I can manage without and yarn well, yarn will win every time!
Now, however, I won’t need to manage without or buy less yarn!
I made my DIY Sock Blockers using the instructions found at CyberSeams: How to Make Your Own Sock Blockers.
Foam sheets are recommended, however, I was foamless so I used cardboard (but I figure with enough cling film they too will be waterproof enough for damp socks). There are templates for a variety of different sizes and handy lines to indicate where you can either lengthen or shorten the blockers (mine are lengthened to 10″ which is why they look a little long in the picture!). Despite the range of diameters I still had to adjust the diameter slightly to get the perfect fit for my socks but that was easily done.
All I need do is finish the sock below and I can take my blockers on a test run. :)
These pretty yarns are going to be my palette for my hot water bottle cover. They’re Rowan Pure Wool DK with a Classic Yarns Cashsoft Baby DK perched on the top. I can’t wait to get started!
The only thing stopping me is my WIP’s. I don’t know the exact number of my unfinished projects on the needles; I stopped counting at 8. Although I refuse to feel guilty about casting on even when I have many projects already on the go, I do love the satisfaction of finishing a project and being able to use it. I finished a sock last week (I’m about to turn the heel of the second too!) and I’ve almost finished my Ribby Baktus Scarf (Ravelry link), so surely that counts as finishing enough projects to cast on for a new one? Swatching doesn’t count as starting a project, does it?
No, I didn’t think so either. ;)
Stitch dictionaries are a staple for any knitters library whether you want to create your own designs or simply substitute one stitch pattern for another in an existing pattern. In my opinion, the Harmony Guides series is one of the best around. Good, clear photos, nicely compiled with easy to follow instructions. The 4 titles in the series are: ‘Knit and Purl’, ‘Cable and Aran’, ‘Lace and Eyelet’ and ‘Colourwork’. I’ve had two of them on loan from the library and thanks to Border’s Sale I now have my own copy of the Knit and Purl stitches but I plan on owning them all eventually. :)
Whenever I’m working on a new design but not too sure what stitch pattern I want to use I flick through these and mark with sticky pads the ones that catch my interest. This often results in a book with a fringe of colourful bits of paper! I found lots of stitch patterns in the Knit and Purl book that I’ve earmarked for future designs:
I’ve also got ‘Colourwork Stitches’ out of the library again as I’ve dug out my hot water bottle from the bottom of the drawer and decided that it definitely needs a new cover. I know what I’m trying to achieve and I’ve managed to whittle it down to three designs. The only problem is I should really finish a few things before I start swatching, but it’s all so new and shiny and exciting that the only thing I want to do right now is cast on for the cover!
Only 25p each! They were a part of a mangled, jumbled up heap at the bottom of a bin but with a bit of gentle TLC they were returned to their bauble shape. Currently, they’re adding a bit of sparkly colour to my bedroom as there are no trees in the house yet (but they might just stay here anyway!)
On a similar festive note I watched ‘Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas‘ last night which is also on again tonight and tomorrow. I loved ‘Kirstie’s Homemade House’ so I’ve been looking forward to this and it didn’t let me down. From blowing your own glass baubles to making Christmas wreaths to making salt dough ornaments with children. It doesn’t show you step-by-step how to do something but will inspire you to have a go, find a class or google a craft.
I find it annoying that the show portrays the idea of homemade being cheap (it can be sometimes but not often). But I love Kirstie’s quirky character, her enthusiasm is contagious and I find the show full of inspiration. :)
My knitting is fairly monogamous at the moment which means the sock from my last post is nearly finished. I’m really pleased with how well it’s turned out, photos will be coming soon!