Today I’m Making… Fireflies Rising Shawl

This year for the first time I’ve managed to remember to buy a ticket for Yarn in the City’s Great London Yarn Crawl, this is their fifth year anniversary so I’m counting myself as double-lucky for bagging a ticket on the Metropolitan route.  Do have a look, it is going to be fantastic and I’m not just telling you this because I’m so pleased with myself, sometimes they get a cancellation so keep an eye on their Ravelry thread for ticket swaps.

Yarn in the City have a KAL for the yarn crawl, its the gorgeous Fireflies Rising shawlette by Helen Stewart, and at the time I bought it she was donating money to the charity Refuge which pretty much decided it for me.  One of the things I love about this pattern is she has a column showing in percentages how far you are along, I’ve just passed the 55% mark, I’m on 107 with 321 stitches on the needle!

img_0333.jpg

A row is taking a fair old while to complete now so I’m not knitting this on the train to work anymore. Though thinking about it I travel in to Waterloo and with the huge engineering works in August I might well have time to do 3 rows per journey and read 50 pages of my book.  If I get a seat.

My yarn is from Once Upon a Time Skeins, who is a local indie dyer based in Basingstoke which isn’t that far from me but I don’t think she sells in any local shops.  I bought my skeins directly from her (she’s lovely) at the Yarnporium.  There is only one more skein left of the colour I’m on now and I had been wishing I’d made the shawlette just from this colour because its all lovely gingerish shades and knits so beautifully.  I’m going back to my natural red hair too so I think its going to look really nice on. The thing is, I’ve just spotted someone else has finished one in a very similar colour and it looks incredible, but, that means mine is still unique so I’m happy to stick with what I have now.

This pattern is such a joy to knit I’m very tempted to cast on another one straight after finishing this one. The fireflies are some very easy and satisfying yarn overs and double decreases, though having said that when I did the first set I made an almighty mess of it through trying to do it late at night after wine.  I pulled it back and redid it and just look how great it looks even before blocking, its a bit cableish looking while its on the needles.

img_0334

 

I’m still trying to match my nails to my knitting and doing pretty well I think. I’m all up to date with snood orders too so no sudden nail colour changes to contend with.

 

I really want to wear mine on the day so please keep your fingers crossed for me that it doesn’t rain on 9th September and if you’re on the same route as me I am looking forward to meet you on the 9th and dying to hit the shops.

img_0313

 

 

 

Chickyducks for charity

This is it! My final contribution to the chick/duck charity knitting project.  I think I like the stripey one best.  If you are in my area (Fleet in Hampshire) you have ONE day left to make one and bring it to More Than Coffee in the Hart Centre on the high street.

We have the March Sunday afternoon get-together there tomorrow, and Roxanne will be collecting up the last of them and will share a picture of them all together on our Fleet Crafters Facebook page.

I think I explained in a previous post but these are going to an 11 year old local girl whose family support Great Ormond Street Hospital.  She is going to sell them outside one of the supermarkets in Fleet, with each one stuffed with a creme egg donated by the shopkeepers of Fleet.  She had intended to make them all herself but the shops were so generous with the chocolate eggs she ended up needing to make more than 200!

The Fleet Crafters  were only too happy to help out, I’m looking forward to buying my stripey one back!

Fleet Crafters have changed our name from Fleet Knit, Stitch and Crochet – it was a bit of a mouthful.  Our next charity project is Project Linus – so blankets for babies, children and teens that are sewn, knitted or crocheted. Can’t wait to get started once I’ve finished a few Etsy orders.

Today I’m Making… a duck a day

Last year me and another local woman took over the admin of a Facebook page for local knitter and crocheters when the owner decided she wanted to step down.  We changed it to include all crafts and if you’re interested and close to Fleet in Hampshire you’ll find us here.

It has been fantastic, we have set up meet ups on Sunday afternoons, Friday evenings and now one of the members has started one on Wednesday afternoons too. We’ve just over 100 members and we also have impromptu meet-ups and excursions.As well as an excuse to eat cake and craft in public we support charities as a group.  We’ve just finished making hats for Innocent Smoothies’ The Big Knit (119 hats between us) and our official charity for this year is Project Linus.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t jump in when help is needed!  A local young girl has done something fantastic, she decided to make 200+ ducklings that hold a Creme Egg and sell them for a charity that is close to her family’s hearts – Great Ormand Street Hospital.  Anyway if that wasn’t enough she contacted all the local supermarkets and they’ve all offered her creme eggs as a donation.  How great is that? She’s 11.

So one of the supermarkets has promised her the whole 200 eggs so now she’s got the potential to sell an awful lot of them, but its a lot of knitting for her to do on her own so our group is going to pitch in and make some for her.  This is my first one.  I really liked knitting it, it was such an easy and cute knit so I’m going to aim for making one duck a day until the deadline in mid February.  I’m so impressed with her, what a great girl to take on something like this and and to do it so well too.

When she has confirmation of the date she’s selling them I’ll let you know, and if you’re nearby please drop by and buy one. They’ll need good homes.

 

Today I’m Making – Lurgy blanket (no-sew blanket update)

I have the galloping lurgy. I’ve had it since Monday and I’m hoping this is my last day of it because frankly I’m fed up with not being able to do anything.  Everything I do totally wipes me out including standing up long enough to make a Lemsip.

I know I’m really ill when I can’t even concentrate on knitting. I’ve been up since six today (its nearly half ten now) and I’ve managed to knit 2 rows. (About 120 stitches).

I have far too many projects on the go at once but I like working on whatever I’m in the mood for so today’s project is my lurgy blanket.  Its a big lap blanket for when you’re not feeling well or just need a big snuggle.  I’m making it predominantly in white DK with scraps of grey DK so it will take quite a long time to finish because it does really depend on me knitting grey things and not using up all the yarn.  I’ve written about this blanket before, so this post is really an update on my No-Sew Blanket post from  a year ago.

img_1012img_1013

img_1014img_1015

Yeah so no great progress…. I’ve added probably a couple of squares since then so this could take a while.  Let’s set a deadline of finishing sometime in my lifetime. A literal deadline.

Happy? I will be if I finish this

With the weather finally turning autumny in the UK its surely time to crack on with this scarf, except it’s not a scarf really is it, it’s a shawl. We don’t really make traditional long scarves anymore do we? I’m going to ditch shawl knitting and get back into scarves.

img_0992img_0985

After this one though of course. This is the third project I’ve attempted with the ironically named Wendy Happy self-striping sock yarn.  This yarn has not made me at all happy, its quite nice to knit with until you hit all the joins.  Now I know its supposed to be acceptable to find knots in your yarn these days but it bloody isn’t when there are a ton of them and there has been no attempt to join the yarn with the right colour.  Actually I don’t think it is acceptable to find joins in a ball of yarn at all let alone several of them.

Anyway I’m wandering off the track.  I pulled back the socks because it was absolutely lousy as a sock yarn but I think it will be fine for a shawl.  I went for a very forgiving easy shawl pattern – Knit Night by Louise Zass-Bangham.  LZ-B is one of my favourite knitting designers because her patterns are so simple they’re great for showing off nice yarn.  img_0989

Course that was went wrong, because this isn’t nice yarn is it? I think a self striping yarn worked against the pattern so I pulled this one back too.  Its not been going well has it?

The longer the rows got the less well the garter stitch stripes worked. So I started again using the Knit Night pattern as a basis to do something a bit different.  I’ve added purl to lessen the colour clash and when that got boring I started adding in some randomly placed eyelets.  I am placing them randomly because I like the effect of a shawl looking a bit like a Victorian heirloom full of moth holes.  Its quite hard to explain a random pattern but here goes…img_0990

I purl when I’m on a wrong side row and the row below is a different colour to the one I’m knitting with (otherwise its all garter stitch).  Eyelets can only go in on a right side row (always garter stitch) and they can only go in when the row below was purl of the same colour as you’re currently knitting with and only when a car passes my flat if I’m 10sts or more into the row.

I really like it. I might try to make my own pattern with my random techniques. I might.

Today I’m Making… Le Moelleux shawl

I have been trying to make a shawl using these two yarns for most of this year, I think it was back in February at a Knitaway at the Westcliffe Knitting Hotel that I cast on a Knit Night  shawl but didn’t really like it, can’t really put my finger on why but it didn’t work somehow with these colours so I pulled it back and put it to one side.

imageIts not  obvious in this picture but the white yarn is an I Knit London Ziggy Stardust so it has silver running through that gives it the most gorgeous subtle shimmer and its as soft as anything so I’ve been dying to use it for something really nice.

Gerard, the owner of I Knit London made the most gorgeous Le Moelleux shawl that I’ve been mooning over for ages but I thought brioche stitch would be really hard so never seriously thought of making one.  Until one day an IKL newsletter popped up advertising new brioche workshops.  Well, I was on it like free cake. I was in on the first one and you know something? Brioche is easy. I would recommend a workshop if you can get to one but its not a lot more difficult than doing yarn overs.  I finished my workshop project  and that was it, I was straight to Ravelry to buy the Le Moelleux pattern.

image

I made one false start on my second trip to the fabulous Westcliffe Knitting Hotel when I misunderstood the pattern when it said tension didn’t matter.  What I was thinking I do not know but I took that to mean knit with any old tension anywhere in a row or rows.  Of course it looked hideous so I ripped that back too. I do wish I had dropped a needle size too but now I’ve started knitting with a more even tension its a delight.

I have a terrible problem with starting tons of projects and not finishing any of them so I’ve signed up (late) to the I Knit London Ravellenics team in the Shawl Sailing category to give me the impetus to finish it.

Right now I’m on repeat 16 so just about halfway and the deadline is the weekend so a pretty good chance I’m on the DNF podium.

So this is where I am now, the picture on the left is mainly to show my lovely moonstone ring that I’m very pleased with and that my manicure tones with my slippers beautifully.

The picture on the right is where I am tonight, now all I need is to do 5 repeats a day (= 2 hours to knit 80 rows) until Sunday and I’ll be able to cast off before the closing ceremony. Today I managed 2 repeats…