Wednesday Pattern Share: Hyannis Pullover

Hello!

Apologies about missing the last two Wednesday Pattern Shares! Bad stomach bugs and busy weeks have kept me away, but thankfully I’m on the ball now to share my favourite pattern for this week.

I actually came across this pattern whilst I was looking for the summer knit for the last Wednesday Pattern Share and I’ve fallen completely in love with it!

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Wednesday Pattern Share: Knitted Farmyard Pencil Toppers

 

 

Farmyard_Pencil_Toppers_IMG_5323_medium2
Photo borrowed from Ravelry

 

I often need some inspiration on a Wednesday so I thought I’d start a new blog series ‘Wednesday Pattern Share’. Every Wednesday I’ll be sharing with you a pattern I have recently found which I really love, and I hope that you like them too!

To start with I wanted to share these lovely knitted Farmyard Pencil Toppers from Amanda Berry.

I have written before about how much I love Amanda Berry’s patterns so it’s no surprise that I’ve completely fallen in love with these pencil toppers I found on Ravelry.

They’re sooo cute! I love their little googly eyes and I could definitely see me with a pig on the end of my pencil at work!

I’m holding a craft event at my house this weekend (more about that later) so if I can find some spare pink wool I think I’ll be having a go at one of these!

Happy Wednesday people!

 

 

Christmas Jumper, Yey!

A while ago I blogged about some patterns I had found in a charity shop (Charity Shop Pattern Finds). One of these was a set of Raymond Briggs Santa patterns. These caught the eye of J, and a request was made for me to knit a face-palming Santa in time for Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.

Ally Pally Haul

I bought the wool (Bonus DK) from the Sirdar stall at the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show. The staff at the Sirdar stall were REALLY lovely and helped me select the best colours for the patterns, which I really appreciated, as I was feeling a little overwhelmed after a day at the show! I wouldn’t normally choose pure acrylic yarn to knit with, but I was really impressed with how soft it was, and how well it knitted up. When I wore it to work before Christmas, I was also impressed (and surprised!) with how warm it was, and it wasn’t sweaty at all!

I had done a really small piece of colour work before and at that time had researched how to change colours etc, but I’d never worked from a chart, and as the yarn was DK and with the deadline of Christmas Jumper Day on the 12th, I knew I had to get a wriggle on so started straight away (literally that night when we got back from the show! I’m such an addict!!)! Part way through I did a brief calculation on how long it would take me to knit the jumper, and realised I needed to increase production, so ended up knitting on my commute to and from work. I was dreading this in case it prompted awkward conversation, but apart from a briefly embarrassing episode when I had to rush off the train to catch my stop and then almost got my trailing ball of wool stuck in the doors (fastest way to rip knitting??) my knitting commute was without comment, phew!

I was fairly pleased with the progress of the pattern, but I noticed a definite decrease in speed as the number of coloured sections increased. The pattern gave the advice that each different section should have a new strand of yarn, and I wish I’d stuck to that more rigidly. For some areas, such as around the ear, I tried to ‘borrow’ a black strand from a different section, which didn’t really work, and ended up with the fabric looking puckered. I noticed a similar effect around the cheek bone. I don’t think its too noticeable to the untrained eye, but I wont be making that mistake again!

Rolled Neck BandFor the neck band the pattern instructed to knit about 3 inches and then fold it down to the inside of the jumper and sew to the edge of the neck band. I wasn’t too sure about this, but one of the lovely ladies from the crafty group at work advised that she had finished an item in a similar way and that it looked really good, so I decided to persevere, and I’m so glad I did!! It looks fab, and it made the neck a bit smaller, as it was quite large without this! I tied in the ends as I went along, which I don’t normally do, but in this case I felt it was a necessity! I didn’t think I could have coped with tying them all in at the end!

Overall I’m really pleased with the jumper and I’ve learnt some really valuable lessons, not least of which was working form a chart!! My lessons learnt were:

  • Always add new strands for new sections, regardless of how tedious tying in all the ends might seem!
  • Never carry strands across more than 4 or five stitches.
  • Routinely count how many stitches you have in each section and don’t just rely on the number of stitches around them! Ripping colour work is annoying and I don’t want to have to do it again!
  • ALWAYS check the finished sizes before committing to a pattern size!

I have mentioned this last point sooo many times and I never seem to learn! The jumper has ended up way too big. In part this is due to the 90’s styling and batwing sleeves, but it is also because I picked the wrong size to knit. I’m very slowly beginning to understand how important sizing is to the finished look of a garment. This probably seems very obvious, but for some reason its taken a while to sink in!

Anyway, I hope you like it as much as I do! Happy knitting!!!

#KnittingandStitchingShow

Wooo! I was so excited for The Knitting and Stitching Show 2014. Not only because its awesome, but also because this year I was taking mum and was thoroughly looking forward to spending the time with her!

My experiences from last year had taught me to be prepared with a list, but I still felt completely daunted when we walked in the door and had to do some serious ma herding to get her to stick to the ‘up and down the aisles’ plan!

With a stop in the middle for lunch we were there for 6 hours and by the end I was seriously flagging. I loved that mum maintained her enthusiasm and energy throughout the whole day, spending time to speak with loads of the exhibitors, something which I mostly feel too self-conscious to do.

Mum’s favourite was the Baa Ram Ewe stand, which we made a second visit to so she could buy the Titus wool for her chosen hat from Coop Knits Toasty Volume 1.

One of my favourite stands was the Toft Alpaca stand. I have completely fallen in love with the crocheted animals in the book Edward’s Menagerie by the designer and founder of the TOFT Alpaca Shop, Kerry Lord. The book comprises of 40 crocheted soft toy patterns which were on display at the show. They are sooooo cute!! I love that the book teaches you how to create the patterns, which are split into three different levels of ability, and the book assumes that you have no crochet ability, which is perfect for me and my limited crochet skills. This will DEFINITELY be on my Christmas list!

My bargain of the day was the Woolie Bat knitting kit from Black Bat yarns. They specialise in British rare breed wool and the mittens were a barganous £5, I can’t wait to start them! This will unfortunately have to wait until I have finished J’s santa jumper for Christmas Jumper day, for which I’m using one of the Charity Knitting Patterns I blogged about previously. The Stylecraft yarn for this I also bought at the Knitting and Stitching Show and have dutifully started. Lets see if I get it finished!

Our collective haul from the day included denim fabric, earrings, several patterns, hand dyed embroidery thread and lovely knitting themed Christmas cards from the charity Knit For Peace. Marvellous!

We saw so many amazing things, its difficult to talk about them all! I love the knitting and stitching show for the atmosphere, the lovely people and also for the chance to be surrounded and introduced to so many lovely products!

I’m already looking forward to next year, and hopefully I’ve converted mum so she will come again too!