Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!

The plan was to post all of this years knitted socks as my last post of 2016. My next post would then be about some of my plans for 2017. Last night though I had a chat with my sister about a project and got too excited not to share it. So my planned posts went right out the window.

As you know I treated myself to two advent calendars. Yarny advent calendars. The one from Lisa of For the Love of Yarn I used to crochet up a granny square lap blanket or  lapghan.

My sister has been loving watching the blanket. She loves colour and loves unusual combinations. Including combinations that has me questioning her tastes. I think she is just more playful and open to colour than I am and that's probably helpful considering what she does for a living. So she has been enjoying this blanket as I work on it. I have too I confess. It's given me the opportunity to let go of my controlling nature or rather need for order.

I gave my sister a choice last night. I offered her this blanket once finished or the chance to have her own but done in a granny stripe. I warned her that this would take a while as I have other things I want to do so it was up to her. She opted for the striped blanket. I pulled out all of my mini skeins from Lisa's mini skein club which I have yet to use for anything other than admiring. I thought she would want to pick out random colours much like the laphan. She started with a beautiful turquoise and went from there. The results are that first image of blues and purples. I can't wait to get started on it. I think it's going to make a beautiful blanket. Any mini skeins I receive in the future which will fit in I will automatically add to the pile. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

In the mean time, I picked out left over yarn from my socks and have added them to the blanket. I am almost finished the pink and have just one left after that. It's made a fairly decent sized lapblanket. Not looking forward to sewing in all the ends but I am looking forward to seeing it finished.

I haven't forgotten the socks I have been knitting with my Bluebell yarns advent calendar. I may finish those this weekend.

Meanwhile, I hope that you all have a lovely Hogmanay and that 2017 is a yarntastic year for you.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Christmas Crafting Goodies

I hope the rest of you were as lucky as I was. Failing that, I hope that you all had a nice relaxing Christmas. I came off night shift and was ran round after by my dad and my sister. I even managed to win a game of monopoly in my fatigued state without stealing from the bank (which I would obviously never ever do).  It was a nice few days and I am now finishing off another week of night shift before I get to have time off for Hogmanay.

As every year, I was spoiled rotten but I got a lot of crafting goodies. It was extra special because they were picked out by people who clearly put a lot of thought into it. This first was not a Christmas gift. In the countdown to Christmas Homemaker Magazine were hosting daily giveaways of books that won their Arts and Crafts book awards 2016. When I see these things I always put my name down with absolutely no expectation of winning and usually forget I have even done it. So I was pleasantly surprised when Homemaker got in touch via twitter to say that I had won. I am now the proud owner of this lovely embroidery book. As you know I love a craft book and I can't wait to read through it on my time off. I promise to review it for you soon. They also sent me this months Homemaker which was very kind of them. I already have this edition so I will pass it on to my sister.

My sister's gift was mainly yarny related. Lorraine, as you know, is an artist and while she has tried her hand at yarn crafts it's not her thing. She picked out this lovely merino wool by DMC because it matched my room. The yarn is lovely and soft and I can't wait to work with it. I have plans for a cushion and I think I'll try out the pattern I learned from the hook role kit. Or I might use bobbles, I haven't 100% decided.

Now I have talked about Wool and the Gang before and how much I would love to try their product. I follow the company on Instagram and Facebook and I am always salivating (lovely image for you) over their images. Lorraine was completely unaware of this and she not only got me two balls of their cotton yarn but she got them in my favourite colours. Very generous of her as these yarns can be expensive. I can't wait to work with them.

She also noticed that I have been doing a lot of crochet of late and so I also got this lovely little book. It has some lovely quick crochet projects in it. I have earmarked the wool and the gang yarn for one of the hats within it.  This will be another book for me to review for you.

My dad also got my sister and I a colouring book. This was a surprise as I didn't think he approved of spending time colouring. I love Johanna Basford colouring books and I don't have this one. I have a thing for greens and blues and the moment and I plan to go made with them in this.

I equally got my sister some creative gifts in the form of art supplies. I got her some water colour pens that I knew she had never tried before and some lovely travel sketch books and pastels. I actually had a little gift envy as I picked them out for her. Can't wait to see what she does with them and I will encourage her to blow the cobwebs off her blog with a post on it.

I hope that you all were able to have some creative outlets in the festive period and I hope that you enjoy your New Year. I am planning on a final post for 2016 but if I don't manage all the best for 2017.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sister's Birthday Diamond Socks

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and that you got some lovely crafting goodies. I did and can't wait to show them to you. In the meantime I thought I would show you some socks that I designed for my sister's birthday. I meant to get some photo's of her wearing them but we were too busy enjoying her day and I didn't want to wait until the new year until I posted this.

I decided on a basic diamond pattern for her socks which I think you can see here. My sister loves her ankle books and likes her socks to have a ruffle hanging over them. I attempted that here and I think it worked although I would really like to see them on. It took a few attempts to get that right but I am fairly happy with it now. I think that when I get round to publishing the pattern I will give it a picot cuff rather than a ruffle. It will make my sister's birthday socks that little bit more special.

I did it again. I assumed I had a photo of the yarn on it's own before I photographed it. It was part of a surprise bundle I bought from Lisa of For The Love of Yarn. As soon as I saw the pink I knew I would be using it for my sister. It's a lovely deep pink with a bit of a sparkle. Lovely to knit with as always and Lorraine loved it.

I was still knitting these the day before my sister's birthday but since they are ankle socks and my sister has tiny feet I managed to finish them on time. I'm glad they worked out and my sister loved them.

Next year I am hoping to try my hand at more designs and to make the two that I have done this year available.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

December Stash

You have no idea how tempted I have been to buy festive related yarn. I have spotted so many lovely ones on instagram but have held strong. A few months ago I did sign up Lisa's Christmas box. For the Love of Yarn does this every year and I always sign up. This time I completely forgot and so it was a surprise when it came through my door. I was ecstatic with the colours. They are among my favourites. I also love the little stocking button and stitch marker and of course another hook to add to my collection. I have a few ideas as to what I am going to do with the yarn.

I also received my monthly mini skeins from Lisa. I have a fair collection of these. I am going to start a granny stripe blanket with them as I am loving the blanket I am making with the advent calendar mini skeins.

There were lots of goodies with this months Little Box of Crochet club. The pattern is for little cuffs which aren't to my taste but I think I will enjoy making. It also came with a fab stitch marker and some lovely scissors, not to mention tea, a hook and some labels. This club will be on hold next month as the owner wants to take some time to work on her ideas and of course to recoup with her daughter. It will be back in February though if you fancy joining.

As for me, other than the mini skein club I plan on buying no stash. Taking some time out myself to plan.

This will be my last post before Christmas. So I hope that you all have a lovely time. Think of us poor nurses who are working.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

December WIP

This months WIP is a sockfest. While I haven't been blogging I have been crafting away. In November's What's New post I mentioned that I had two yarny advent calendars. Both from indie dyers and both sock yarn based. The one from Bluebell yarn I decided to use the yarn to knit up some socks. This is out of my comfort zone as I have no control of how the colours create the sock. My sister believes this exercise will be good for me. Initially I planned to work on one sock at a time but the stripes were too large so I decided to make the socks match. I knitted both socks alongside each other and counted used 15 rounds per stripe. The result is the socks above and I have photographed it with the yarn that will be the toe. By the time you read this my socks will be finished and all the ends sewn in. Today's yarn will start a pair for my sister. I worked out that I will have enough for her since she has much smaller feet.

I also made a start on December's socks. I haven't had as much time to spend on them and I am hoping that I will not fail my monthly sock project at the last hurdle. This yarn is so lovely to knit with and the pattern is fairly simple and addictive. If it wasn't for my other projects I am sure I would be almost finished by now. Although I will be doing a new heal (new for me) and I am slightly worried about managing it.

For my third and final pair of socks I am working on my sisters birthday socks. I designed the pattern myself and had to do a bit of tweaking and started again a couple of times. I have one sock down and I am a good way into the second. Lorraine's birthday is in two days and she has been spending a lot of time over at mine so I'm not sure I will meet the deadline. Thankfully I have my sisters small feet and the fact that they are ankle socks on my side.

Lastly, I thought I would show you what I am doing with the second advent calendar. Another activity which takes me out of my comfort zone. This one is from Lisa of For the Love of Yarn. Lisa sent a pattern for a shawl along with her calendar. I had planned on using it but struggled to follow it. My excuse was that I had little time between work and studying and so I went for another option. I decided to use each mini skein as they came to create a granny square lap blanket. I'm really not used to not planning out my colours but I'm enjoying it. This is the blanket up to date. Today's colour is a red which I will look forward to adding. I don't think the yarn will make the blanket as big as I would like which is okay. I have plenty of mini skeins in my collection which I can use to add to it. Think I will have to put them into a bag and use pot luck to pick them out so that I continue with the random colour theme.