knitting

Norrland Hat and Future Socks

I have a FO to show you…

My finished Norrland Hat!

Norrland Hat

I am so pleased with the way this turned out and it was a fun knit too. The pattern is by Sara Huntington Burch and is charted and easy to follow (although I did keep having to frequently stop to untwist the yarns). For the sky I used Knit Pick’s Stroll Fingering weight yarn in the colourway Deep Waters, it varies from a dark plum purple to rich royal blue to navy. And for the trees I used Knit Picks superwash nylon in Bare.

I love it! And it’s a perfect fit too 🙂

…which is more than I can say for Mr. A’s Farm Beanie hat, I am now on my 3rd attempt at getting a good fit on this. I have changed up the yarns and am now using Cascade 220 in a worsted weight and have gone down a pattern size and needle size.

Cascade Yarns

Here is a progress shot taken at the weekend.

Farmers Beanie

I’m pleased to say I am now on the decreases. I tried it on Mr. A last night and it’s looking like a much better fit, fingers crossed it should be off the needles by the time we head for Iceland!

In my last post I showed the Helix socks that I had started, but was having a few problems with the increase method used in the pattern. The pattern wanted me to use half hitch increases but I just couldn’t get on with these and the stitches were coming out too sloppy.

Sock increases

So I frogged them and started again. Thank you to those who kindly suggested different increase methods to use. I did try the increase made by knitting into the stitch below, but because the increases are made on every round for the first few rounds I got confused with which were the ‘real’ stitches when I arrived back at the point of increase and had to pick up. I can see how this would work if there was a knit row between every increase row, it would make it a lot easier! It’s a useful one to know though and I will try it on another pattern.

I ended up reverting back to my usual increase method of kfb and the stitches looked so much neater than they did with the half hitches. I have so far knit up to the beginning of the yarn colour change…

Socks

But this project has been put on the back burner this week while I crack on with the Farm Beanie.

And I know I have only just started with the socks but it hasn’t stopped me planning my next pair from the same Two at a Time Toe Up book by  Melissa Morgan-Oakes…the pattern is called Ballet – aren’t they just beautiful?

Sock pattern

I may get round to them before the year is out!

 

knitting

Hats and Socks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the needles. One of my projects has been making the Farm Beanie hat for M. A ahead of our upcoming trip to Iceland.

It’s a nice pattern and easy to memorise which meant it was great for train knitting. It was also relatively quick to make, which was a good job as I ended up making it twice!

I made the largest size at first, but it was sooo big and baggy that one gust of wind would have whipped it clean off the head!

Farm beanie v1

You can see from the crown here how loose it was, and the ribbed section was just not pulling in at all. So frogged it I did and made the smaller size.

Farm Beanie v2

It’s a little bit better but it’s still really loose. I think it’s down to the yarn… I used a DK weight as the pattern suggested but it’s just too soft and doesn’t hold the shape, and it became even more saggy after blocking. It would be great for something that required a drape and it’s super soft, but for a ‘manly and robust’ hat it’s just not cutting the mustard. I’ve still got time to make another one in a different yarn as I do like the pattern….3rd time lucky maybe?

And hot off the heels (if you’ll excuse the pun!) of my first pair of socks, came another.

I was browsing through Instagram at exactly the right time as Countessablaze was updating her shop, and this yarn stopped me in my tracks. Firstly I was grabbed by the colours but when I saw the name ‘Urbex’ it just had to fall in my basket… If you are a returning reader you might have seen my previous post on my current obsession with urban explorers and abandoned buildings, so it was fate right?

Countess Ablaze - Urbex

Following the same pattern for aran weight socks as the previous pair I was quick to cast on – and cast off these little lovelies…

Urbex socks.JPG

I love them 🙂

Being new to sock knitting I am not overly familiar with the kitchener stitch required to close the toe and I was constantly having to refer to the internet for guidance. That is until I found the most handy little thing ever, a kitchener stitch key ring! How useful is this? It’s from the Rosie’s Moments Etsy store.

Kitchener stitch

I have also cast on the gorgeous Norrland Hat by Sara Burch. It’s an absolutely beautiful pattern and I am really enjoying making it, although as it’s stranded knitting it’s quite slow progress for me. I cast on last weekend and I just couldn’t put it down, it’s so addictive just waiting to see what the next row will add to the pattern…here is a candlelight shot taken at 2am…

Norrland Hat Progress

And here is a more recent shot. I’m on the decreases now so it should be off the needles by tomorrow 🙂

Norrland Hat

I have also cast on the Helix socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes using the two at a time toe up method. It took me a few attempts to get the cast on, it’s the Judy’s Magic Cast on and it looks ok, however I am not overly happy with the increases. The book suggests using half hitch increases but for some reason I just can’t seem to get the hang of these…

Toe up socks

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for the best increases to use for toe up socks? If so I would love to hear them…

Happy knitting! x

 

Shenanigans, The Month That...

January: The month that…

There is a great weekly blog series called ‘Sunday Seven’s’ devised by Threads and Bobbins. The objective is to write a weekly post on things that wouldn’t always warrant a full blog post, such as going for a nice walk, buying something special or spending time with friends and family. The series is a great way to share these little moments by posting 7 pictures of your week and letting people know what you have been up to. I really enjoy reading other blogger’s Sunday Sevens and would very much like to participate but I know what I am like and I’m just not disciplined enough for scheduled blogging. As much as I try!

So I am going to do a monthly round up instead, just of little things that fall outside of my normal knitty posts.

So here we go with January: the month that…

We Went Vinyl

I bought Mr. A a record player for Christmas (secretly it was for me too but don’t tell him that, haha!) I had some old vinyl records stashed in the loft from when I was a teenager so it was great to dust them off re-live my youth by dancing round the living room to The Smiths and Pearl Jam! A few days later on Facebook we spotted a house-clearance ad offering 3 boxes of vinyl for £35, but the only record we could make out from the picture was Queen’s Greatest Hits. So we took a gamble…

And it paid off…in amongst the soul and disco compilation albums I found these Abba 7″ singles. And I LOVE Abba 🙂

Abba

And there was even Dancing Queen – my favourite song ever… it never fails to get me up on the dancefloor! I have so many happy memories attached to this record. I felt like I had struck gold!

Dancing Queen

I went Urban Exploring

If you have read this blog before you may remember me saying about a photography course I was due to go on that got cancelled. So I made the most of my free day and headed out to practice using the camera anyway.

There is a house by the side of a road that captures my imagination every time we drive past it. To me it looks like a life size Doll’s House as it’s facade has completely crumbled away.

Urban

I have to admit to being a bit obsessed with abandoned buildings. I love watching youtube videos of urban explorers who explore forgotten sites and buildings and imagining the lives of people who lived or worked there in a time gone by.

One of my absolute favourite urban explorers is the super talented film-maker ThisisDanBell. Dan Bell has a number of series on his channel that are truly captivating such as the Dead Mall Series where he explores the most depressing shopping centres, and the Dead Motel Series which documents abandoned hotels, motels and resorts. But perhaps my favourite are the Forgotten Pocono’s films in which he explores a forgotten holiday resort in the mountains. There is one scene where he enters an old arabian themed nightclub that has remained largely untouched since the day it closed, it’s so rare to see something like that that hasn’t been vandalized. His films are truly fascinating, and I love that amongst all of the decay he will always find something beautiful or interesting to share. He is far, far braver than I will EVER be in my explorations so I am more than content to get my urbex fix by watching his films from the comfort of my armchair….just not this one!

Urban Chair

I Got Organised

For me, there is only one thing better than new yarn, and that’s new stationery 🙂 When I am working from London I love to pop into Paperchase and lust over new notepads and journals…I picked up this gorgeous To Do pad to help keep organised with projects.

To do

And a new project bag too!

Project bag

We Went to Birmingham

Every year Mr. A’s company holds an annual awards night in Birmingham. It’s something we look forward to every year as it always promises to be a great event, and this year was no exception. We travelled up on Friday night after work and met up for a few drinks with some of his colleagues and their other halves at the hotel. This then turned into going for dinner at TGI Friday’s. And the funniest thing happened…one of our party told the waitress it was Mr. A’s birthday. And not just any birthday, that it was his 50th! So the next thing we knew he was being presented with a large slab of cake, a birthday balloon and he was being sung to by the TGI crew! His little 38 year old face was a picture, haha!!

At least he got some cake out of it 😉

Cake

That night ended up being a bit of a late one that saw us crashing into bed at 4am. Oops!

On Saturday Mr. A had an all day meeting so I was left to my own devices and went for a relaxing spa, which was much needed after the previous night’s shenanigans, and I even found time for some tea and knitting in the afternoon.

Hotel knitting

Before I knew it Mr A was out of his meeting, it was time to get dolled up for the main event and head down for the cocktail reception…

Cocktails.JPG

Before taking our seats for dinner

Awards

It was a brilliant night and much fun was had by all. I think it’s such a lovely thing that his company does to hold these events, and as a ‘plus one’ I feel so lucky to be a part of such a great weekend.

Here’s a parting shot of Mr A and I having fun in the photobooth, hehe!

D&J Photobooth

This weekend is going to be a rather sedate affair in comparison, but I’m not complaining as I have lots and lots of lovely knitting to do 🙂

Until next time xx