Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Little Box of Crochet - Hook Roll.

I opened up my first Little Box of Crochet and started the hook roll. I meant only to start it in order to try out the new pattern (new to me) and the next thing I knew I just had the border to do. It would have been rude not to finish it which I did this morning.

This monthly club is organised by a lady called Amanda. If you follow Amanda on Instagram you will already know of Amanda and her daughter's story. She is a special and strong lady and I have admired her strength from afar.

Each month Amanda organises a box of crochet goodies which include a pattern by a designer, the yarn to make the pattern and a crochet hook. The hook roll was from one month in the summer which Amanda designed herself. She was over enthusiastic with box numbers and so was selling them as a once off box on her etsy page. Which is how I was lucky enough to get a hold of one.

The instructions were in the form of a little booklet and were easy to follow. It contained photographs too which I always find helpful. I got to learn a stitch that I had always wanted to try and I loved the end results. The cotton yarn provided was of good quality and I love the end result. My non-crochet sister was impressed and has asked me to teach her.

I showed you the box on What's New post and it's a solid box which you could store your bits and bobs in. My sister is now using this one for her hair clips.

The little extras surprised me. I would have been happy with the yarn and the pattern. I certainly wasn't expecting the crochet hook and darning needle. The back of the booklet contained space to write notes but it also came with a little notebook and pen. There was also a cute little stitch marker (I love my stitch markers) which I sadly forgot to photograph.

I wish I had thought to photograph the inside of the box with the product but I will rectify that for next time. It sounds like I am raving but I am 100% impressed by this. The quality of the box and the instruction booklet as well as the yarn inside was worth the money alone. I can't stress enough how much this little monthly club has exceeded my expectations. If you have been thinking of joining do it. I linked Amanda's pages before but I'll link them again.


Friday, 25 November 2016

November Socks - New England

For November I went back to knitting a pattern. Instead of trying a new pattern I went to one of my favourites. It's called New England by Nancy Bush. I have knitted this so many times I can practically fly through it.

For the yarn I picked out one that had been in my stash for a while now. I was originally going to use this lovely yellow and white in October as I thought it would be the perfect autumn shade. Actually, it felt more summer like which was perfect for a cold November. The yarn is called Golden Eyes and is of course by the lovely Lisa of For the Love of Yarn.

I love the striping of the yarn and how the yellow is framed by stripes of grey. Even round the ankle the pooling is perfect.

My favourite part of this pattern is the diamonds travelling up the centre of the sock. The pattern should finish at the end of the diamond which means that the sock is a little long for me. This just makes them all the more cosy. Since it is freezing outside I will love putting these on when I come home from work.

I show this part of the pattern every time I knit these socks. As it is another aspect of the pattern that I love. These twists up the back of the sock give it that little stretch which means you don't need to knit a cuff and it's pretty too.

So far I have managed 11 months of socks. That's more than I managed the last time I started this challenge. For my final pair I have chosen a yarn I have never used before that has been matched to a pattern. The colours are among my favourite and they have a wintery feel which is fitting since they will be my December socks.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

What's New in November

Monthly boxed items is a bit of a hit just now. I did do Birchbox for a while but stopped when the products became very similar each month. I still recommend it but I got a little bored with it. I also started a new one called bookishly. Each month I am sent a classic book along with some tea. None of these are craft related and so not really relevant here. Little Box of Crochet is another that I have just recently joined. I have been a follower of this product and the person behind it both on Instagram and facebook. I'm not the most confident when it comes to crochet which put me off joining. Then an opportunity came up to purchase one of her boxes as a one off on etsy and I took it. As soon as it arrived I signed up for the monthly club. If you like little fun projects then this is most definitely for you. You can sign up via her website here.

I have also started a bullet journal. Good way for organising everything for an organise freak like me. I have been aware of bullet journals for quite a while now thanks to pinterest but only started it myself the last few months. The good thing about this is that it can be as basic or as decorative as you like and it can be adapted for whatever you need it for. As a result I have two, one for work and study and another for everything else. The originator has a website with some videos which are worth watching if you are interested. You can find this here but I will be doing a full post on it at some point in the future.

This is one of those things that I had meant to post long ago and well, forgot. As a result, I'm afraid it's too late for people to sign up for this although perhaps not for next year. I love an advent calendar and I have always admired those ones that contained something other than a chocolate. Last year I got my sister a lego calendar (I got her Lindt chocolate one this year as she said she would prefer chocolate). I was tempted to get the yankee candle calendar but I didn't like most of the scents within it. Would have been a waste of money. So this year one of my favourite crafting people (Lisa of For the Love of Yarn) had sent out a sign up for her advent calendar. A yarny one! I of course signed up and it is here on my mantlepiece patiently waiting. I'm afraid Lisa's isn't the only one I signed up for. Bluebell yarn is another indie dyer and I signed up for hers too. The hard part will be to not open each of the little parcels up ahead of time.  Will power is needed here.

I have also bought my first Christmas decorations in my new flat. I got these from another seller on etsy, Designosaur Yeah. As the title may suggest all of her makes are dinosaurs. I bought a bracelet from her for my sister and she loved it. These little dinosaur Christmas baubles are now a favourite of mine.

Lastly I have started using this book. It was a gift from my mum one Christmas and I have only now put it to use. I've tried out a few recipes and I plan to review it in the next week or two. So look out for that. If you can't wait you can get your copy here.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Mum's Garden - November

A surprise post and sadly only the one photo. On Saturday I paid a visit to my dad. I took him out for a coffee and I planned to do some work on the garden weather permitting. The last visit I pruned all the shrubs at the front but there was still a lot of dead plants and pruning to do. This time my dad wanted to help. I removed all the dead plants from the summer. I trimmed down a few more plants while my dad trimmed down the plants in the rock garden (thankfully he waited for my advice before starting this time so they may survive). I also trimmed down the small tree at the back.

While dad tidied I planted the spring bulbs as we went. I planted the tulips I saved from last year. I think this may be the last year we get anything from them. Might have to have a trip to Amsterdam just to replace them. I also planted some daffodils and lots of tulips. Lots of red flowers and some spring flowers for the bees. The only bulbs that weren't planted were crocuses but I plan to do that tomorrow. Spring next year should be more colourful than this year. I think my mum would be pleased.

Believe it or not there were still a couple of flowers in bloom. The roses each have a flower about to bloom. There was also a poppy and some kind of orange flower on display but I had to remove them to tidy the garden. Sadly, I wasn't able to take photo's. We didn't have time before the light began to fade and I think my dad just wanted it done. Will save it for next year.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Birthday Daimonds Socks 2

I knitted up my birthday diamond sock pattern for my sister. I used the same number of stitches but did fewer repeats of the pattern on the foot which worked. They fit my sister perfectly. Last post I showed you that I had started the final practise of the sock pattern before I write it up and publish it. I am hoping to do that before Christmas.

Once I again I used a yarn by Lisa of For the Love of Yarn. This time I picked out a solid colour from my stash as I wanted to see what it looked like without the variegated yarn. I chose the red and I loved how it turned out. Sadly, I didn't take a photo of the yarn before I started knitting with it as I assumed I had done that when I purchased it. Never assume. I do have a group photo from my Red post and you can see it on the far left. It deserves more limelight than that and I apologise for that (sorry Lisa).

I took more photos of the socks while my sister was wearing them. Sadly this was the only one that turned out. I need to practise that. She loves them though which is the main thing.

Friday, 4 November 2016

November WIP

It has been quite a while since I did a work in progress post. Mainly due to the fact that recently I've been doing the sensible thing and working on only one thing at a time. I'm back to multiple projects now that I am able to manage my time. This might seem like a boring image to start with but I love it. I love the crisp cleanness of it. This is the Heritage Cascade sock yarn I showed you in my last post. As I mentioned then it is being used for the final images for my birthday diamonds pattern. I love how it is knitting up. I very rarely knit with white on it's on but it's lovely to work with. This is the cuff completed and I am about to start on the pattern.

I have also made a start on this months socks. The yarn is from For the Love of Yarn. It's a complete change in colourway for me and I love it. I thought it would be very autumnal but it's actually brightening up my mood as we move into winter. I am also using my favourite pattern New England from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. It's knitting up fast.

Just to prove I am not just knitting or just working on socks. This is the stylecraft yarn I showed you in the last post. As mentioned then I am using it to work on a blanket for my living room. I went with the African flower pattern as it's been one that I have been wanting to try for a long time. I'm also joining as I go which will save one big headache later.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

November Stash

All of these yarns in my stash are for a specific purpose which I will be using in the next month or two. Hence my breaking my yarn buying embargo. This beautiful yarn I saw on an instagram photo from one of my favourite knitting designers. I came across Ysolda through reading Clara Parkes book (which I reviewed a while ago). I have followed her since and loved all of her images. The image of this yarn was related to a sock pattern she was releasing and this yarn by La Bien Aimee was dyed especially for it. I also purchased the collection, Knitworthy 3, which contained the sock pattern. This yarn is just my colour and I thought I would end the year with it. So this will be my December socks. I'm looking forward to combining a skein of yarn with a mini skein. I've added Ysolda's website to my craft shopping page.

I am hoping to write out my first sock knitting pattern soon. For that I wanted to knit the pattern for a third time and this will be used for the images in the pattern. I wanted a colour that would suit the title which is Birthday Diamonds. I was initially thinking ice blue but changed it to white. I wanted to pick a yarn that most people would be able to have access to. Initially I was going to use Lorna's Laces but there was no white and so I went with Heritage Cascade sock yarn. I've used it before and liked knitting with it. I picked this up from Wool Warehouse.

I also decided that I needed a blanket to pull over myself in my living room when I want to snuggle up watching TV or reading a book. I picked these colours as it matches my living room and I've got to work on it already. You'll get to see that on Friday. The yarn is by Stylecraft and again I got it from Wool Warehouse.

Last but not least I thought I would show off this months mini skeins from Lisa's mini skein club (For the Love of Yarn). I like the variety in the selection. My favourite is right in the middle there in white, blues and purple. Although, I also love the yellow and purples next to it. Thank you Lisa.