knitting

The Big Felt!

So about 18 months ago I decided I needed a new laptop bag in my life. I wanted something, big and cablely and fabulous to transport my laptop, notebooks, stationary, documents, books, magazines, lunch, phone….and everything else I always try and cram into my existing one!

With a vague idea of what I wanted I started the Ravelry search and came upon this lovely design Quinn Cabled Bag by Yvonne Kao. Next stop was Hobbycraft to purchase some lovey yarn. After much hmmming and ahhhhing I settled on this – 100% merino Rowan Big Wool in the shade Champion (065)

DSC05381 (2)

And here is the end result.

DSC05368

The plan was to line it all with a heavyweight cotton and I designed the strap so I could find one of those things that makes it adjustable.

And then I just lost all heart…I don’t know why. Maybe it was the thought of sewing all the lining in, or maybe I realised that I was going to need a centre division to separate the laptop from all my books and files, plus extra pockets for the charger and everything else and it just didn’t seem so practical anymore 😦

So it’s been sitting at the bottom of my yarn box for the last year and a half. Every now and then I take it out, sigh, think what a waste and then hide it away again in the hope that one day I will be inspired to finally finish what I started!

And then today, as I was rifling through my yarn box I had a brainwave – why not try and felt it? I have never felted anything before, this was a perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Made from 100% wool, check. Big bag that could do with being smaller, check. Washing machine, check.

Next stop – internet ‘How to felt wool in a front loading washing machine’. Do you ever wish you hadn’t asked something? This is just some of the advice I found – Don’t felt in a front loading washing machine, use a toploader. Don’t add detergent, use wool wash instead. Don’t add anything at all. Use towels. Never use towels but you can use jeans. Put in with rest of washing. Put in on it’s own. Aaaggh! So I am winging it.

I laid the bag out to take the ‘before’ measurements and trotted upstairs to find an old pillowcase. Guess who found himself a comfy spot as soon as my back was turned….Hello Pea!

unnamed

The machine is now set on hot wash and I am waiting with baited breath.

Oh, and I added a little cube of wool wash, 1 big bath towel and 2 tea towels that needed washing anyway 😉

I’ll let you know how it goes…..

knitting

Introducing Rubin’s Vase & the Cafe Wall!

So I have FINALLY got round to publishing my first ever patterns on Ravelry – yay!!

They are two cushion covers inspired by popular optical illusions.

First up we have ‘Rubins Vase‘ – the illusion of 2 faces or a vase, depending on which way you look at it.

DSC05323 (2)

And secondly ‘Cafe Wall‘ – the illusion in which straight lines appear to be bent!

DSC05318

These designs can be used together  to make up 1 cushion cover or the back of each can be knitted in stockinette to the measurements given.

Both designs came about when I was researching into designers as part of the C&G course. I chose to write my report on Pat Ashforth and Steve Plummer of Woolly Thoughts as I was fascinated by their illusion knitting – a process whereby raised stitches are used to create hidden images when viewed at an angle. From there I started look at other well known optical illusions and that’s how these 2 designs came about 🙂

knitting

Shiny New Things!

So this years Halloween party has been postponed so I don’t have my finished costume to show just yet…bah!

So in other news, it was my birthday not so long ago and I was lucky enough to receive some vouchers and cash to spend on some lovely knitting goodies so I have been having fun shopping 🙂 Here are some of my favourite purchases.

First  off my lovely new knitting notebook. I found this in Paperchase and I couldn’t resist it, and it’s perfect handbag size too!

DSC05325

Not that I need ANY new yarn whatsover, but this one was an absolute bargain in a Wednesday flash sale at Made by Ewe. Its a gorgeous Jillybean Yarn in the Misty Moor colourway of blues, turquoise, heather and purple. 60% Bluefaced Leicester and 40% seacell. Not sure what I am going to make out of it yet but am very excited to have it in my stash to think about!

DSC05328

This next squishy beauty is from Great British Yarns and it’s a Nunoco yarn in the Rose colourway. In a previous post I shared a photo of some pretty pink flowers as I loved the combination of the pinks and greens – this yarn will be perfect for a summer project…I am thinking a shawl or wrap for holiday next year…

DSC05329

Next is the purchase I am over the moon with – a complete set of Knitpro Interchangable needles!! Hot from the Post Office this morning these have been on my wish list for soooo long. I can’t wait to cast on with these later 🙂

DSC05330

I also treated myself to some pretty new stitch markers.

DSC05335 (2)

 

And my final purchase was a book. I was a bit skeptical about this one as I have so many knitting books already, did I really need another one? But after reading the rave reviews on Amazon and hearing others recommend it also I tool the plunge and placed my order for this:

DSC05333 (2)

 

And I am so pleased I did! This book is absolutely brilliant, full of clear photograhs and step-by-step explanations it covers pretty much everything you would ever need to know about knitting from beginner to advanced – there are 23 cast-on methods explained alone! It’s official – I have found my new knitting bible 🙂