Category Archives: Yarn

Moving on, new ideas…

There’s nothing like climbing out of a rut with a flash of inspiration and some new ideas.

And I’ve had to work hard to get into the right frame of mind, but I’m getting there! A lot of the problem has been the ‘swimming through treacle’ effect of mountains of STUFF.  I’m really bad at parting with things, and my little cottage is filling up rapidly with all the things I can’t bear to part with from my mum’s home, not just yet anyway.  (I’m also filling my studio, my shed, the veranda…)

So you can see that with all that going on, there hasn’t been much room to be creative and have any new ideas at all.

However, here’s the first one, a Planet Penny Newsletter.  I wanted to be able to add a little something extra to what goes on in my woolly world so I investigated MailChimp and found it was actually jolly good fun finding out just what I can do.  If you would like to find out more the sign up is on the sidebar, it’s a work in progress!

Planet Penny Products photo practice digital SLR camera

I’ve had some new ideas about the Planet Penny Cotton Colours yarn too.  So many people have commented on how lovely it is to work with but I know those gorgeous rainbow brights aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I can do subtle as well, you know!

So this is the first proposed set, delicate pastels which work beautifully together and also with the white ‘Snowdrop’ yarn.  I can really see these as a baby blanket or something cuddly for the cot.

New ideas Planet Penny CottonAnd the other collection is this…new ideas - Planet Penny yarnI think it’s just scrumptious,and I can’t wait to try out some new ideas with these soft colours!

It’s all in the planning at the moment so I’d love to know what you think.  And maybe I will be able to do some limited editions via the newsletter.

I’ll be back soon…x

Clever Crafter’s Guide to Wool

In the interests of all things woolly I’m sharing this great infographic, the Clever Crafter’s Guide to Wool from Clippers Ireland.  It’s amazing to think that when you snuggle under your wool blanket you are actually covered by seven sheep!

I think I’ve knitted and crocheted with wool from four out of the five animals below, I’ve never tried rabbit though,  how about you?

clever-crafters-guide-to-wool (1)

I don’t think I’ll be needlefelting with Vicuna any time soon!

Crochet Eggs for Easter

I’ve been putting all my crochet eggs in one basket this week!

crochet eggs in a basketI’ve had the whole rainbow of Planet Penny yarns in play and twiddled around until I perfected a pattern for these colourful eggs.  (I can just about do them with my eyes closed now!)   I’ve written a pattern,  which is here…Crochet eggs close up… and played around to my heart’s content arranging the eggs in jolly ways as Easter decorations.  Would you like to see?

 

crochet eggs on ringcrochet eggs on treetree full of crochet eggsThese are the smallest flowers I’ve made and they work really well with a french knot or a bead in the centre when you stitch them on.  I think they will now turn up all over the place!

Don’t forget, you can buy the whole rainbow of colours to make these crochet eggs at the Planet Penny Etsy shop, and there are other patterns there too.  (Made with this yarn the eggs are about 5cm/2″ long. If you use your own choice of yarn make sure you use the appropriately sized hook, the size will vary accordingly.)

See you soon…x

Knit for Winter with Sunrise Senior Living

A while ago I was invited to join a virtual Knitting Circle, helping to raise funds and awareness for the plight of the elderly in the winter months with Sunrise Senior Living’s Knit for Winter campaign.

We are all knitting hats, scarfs, gloves and mitts which will be donated to various charities to be sold in their stores so they can deal with issues such as people not being able to afford to run their heating in cold weather.

I was sent some pretty pink yarn and a pattern for Peekaboo Mitts, and I’m just about to pack them up ready to send off.  They are extremely cosy!

Peekaboo Mitts for Knit for Winter

#KnitforWinter - peekaboo Mitts

Sunrise Senior Living are planning to extend the Knit for Winter campaign next winter, so if you would like to join in with this very worthwhile project, head over to their blog where you can find out more, meet some of my fellow knitters and explore some new blogs!

Will you be joining me to Knit for Winter this year?  I do hope so…

Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine – A Bit More..

Back in November I reviewed a new part work series, Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine which I was very impressed by.

Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine

Unfortunately it seems it was a victim of it’s own success, selling out quickly and having to go to reprint.  I know there were a lot of disappointed people because I followed the story via the Simple Stylish Knitting Facebook Page. However, it’s now back and available via subscription and very happily I received a bulky parcel in the post containing the next 4 issues and a folder in which to keep them.  I really like that sort of mail, don’t you?

Each issue comes with a new stitch to learn and a ball of yarn with which to knit a sample square so eventually  these can be sewn together to make a blanket.

This couldn’t have come at a better time because I have just persuaded my mother to try knitting again.  As I’ve mentioned, my poor mum has had health problems over quite a few years, but once upon a time she was never without some knitting on the go, complicated fair isle and aran, baby clothes, a cobweb shawl… nothing fazed her.  But once she was ill this all seemed to fall by the wayside, and when she couldn’t sit and knit for hours at a time, she just stopped all together, and then said she couldn’t do it any more…

So sad…

But I’ve just taken round a pair of needles with cast on stitches, handed them to her and said, go on, give it a go, and it worked!   I’m really, really hoping that she’ll get back into it, even if she has to do a few rows at a time and then rest…all my fingers and toes are crossed, knitted squares could be perfect for her.

I’m sort of overwhelmed with projects I want to make having four issues arriving at once (so many things, so little time!) but I’ll share some now and some in another post.  I love the moss stitch cushion, but I’d have the Planet Penny Moth to contend with…

Simple Stylish Knitting Cover 2

I really wish I had pink wellies, but I don’t think they’d go well with Norfolk mud…

Simple Stylish Knitting Boot Toppers

and there are no baby girls on the horizon at the moment but when there are…

Simple Stylish Knitting Baby Slippers

Adorable!

Issue 3 with it’s ball of golden yarn has these jolly little egg hats…

Simple Stylish Knitting Cover 3

…and a fabulously cosy cowl…

Simple Stylish Knitting Cowl

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to take the Simple Stylish Knitting Magazine  folder round to my mum very soon and see if she having a go at something a bit more adventurous than the garter stitch I’ve started her off on.  Wish me luck, I’ll let you know!

See you soon…x

Knitting as Therapy – The Joy of Socks…

socks knitting

I’ve rediscovered the joy of knitting socks…hooray!

I don’t know why I stopped, but I started again over the Christmas holiday when the seasonal cold germ dropped in, uninvited, and ground everything else to a halt.

I was rummaging pathetically around in the studio looking for something to do which required no flash of inspiration, no tracking down of supplies, no complicated instructions to follow and there in a little bag I found…the yarn…the pattern…the needles…and one completed sock just waiting for it’s mate to be knitted up – perfect!

I’m embarrassed to say that just now whilst looking through the archives to find past sock adventures I discovered when I made the first one of the pair…2011! We were taking Aimee to Uni when I made the first sock and in the time it’s taken for me not to finish the second one she’s graduated and is well on the way to being a qualified teacher! Oh dear…

Anyway, not only has this lone sock been matched with it pair, but I whizzed out for more yarn when I was feeling better and I’ve just completed a second pair.   To add to the mix my friend Kit arrived with a little cheer up bag containing…pink and green socks, so I’m well on the way to replacing all the ones which have succumbed over the years to the four legged sausage shaped ‘moth’ which makes holes in soft furnishing and garments willy nilly.

mini dachshund asleep

The Planet Penny Moth!

...and the socks he has chewed!

…and the socks he has chewed!

So what’s so good about knitting socks?

Well, the little pattern I use is probably the most basic one you can find, it came free with a ball of sock yarn a while ago.  And when you’ve used it a few times it sort of lodges in your head, and you can trundle away, following the plot of Broadchurch or The Killing (with subtitles) without getting flustered.

It’s a bit fiddly to start off with, casting on 60 stitches and dividing them between three DP needles and getting that first rib row set up, but then you are off.  Once the rib is done you’ve got rows and rows of straight knitting, and because you are in the round, every row is a knit row and you still get stocking stitch!

I like to use the self striping sock yarn because seeing what colour is coming next gives you something to aim for, ‘I’ll just finish the blue, or the pink, or the green’…

knitting socks - yarn

Turning the heel is an event, (you should have seen the first one I ever did!) but once you see the logic of where you are going it’s a little challenge in the middle of the project to keep you on your toes. and then you are off again, round and round until the toe arrives, a simple little decrease which makes an elegant seam each side.

And then…the wonder that is Kitchener Stitch!  It’s a fabby way to end your sock, weaving in and out of the stitches with your needle to make new knitting stitches so you can’t see the join.  It took me ages to get to grips with it so don’t shudder and turn away at this point, it can be done, believe me.  I can be heard muttering ‘Front – Purl off, Knit. Back – Knit off, Purl’ a little mantra to keep me on the straight and narrow.

And then, when you’ve finished, and tenderly pressed them (about the only time I like to get the ironing board out!) you’ve got something warm and delightful to enjoy yourself or to give as a very special present.  What a joy!

If you feel like joining in with a little relaxing sock knitting therapy one of my favourite online ports of call is The Sock Yarn Shop, where the most difficult thing is choosing! This what I’m hankering after at the moment…

sock yarn knittingIt’s like a spring sunrise, something to dream about just at the moment!

Are you a sock knitting fan, or have I inspired you to have a go?  I do hope so… If you are looking for some help, the Sock Yarn Shop recommends this set of tutorials.

I’ll be back soon with Happy Friday.  I’m going to try and get it posted on Thursday evening to give more people a chance to join in so look out your happy photos or jolly moments and get ready to link up…see you soon…x

 

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