Ginny’s baby shower

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Ginny Sheller is just about one of my favourite people so it is a real pleasure to be knitting something special for her new baby to be. Ginny was the driving force behind my motivation to learn to knit. She nudged me over the finish line when I was procrastinating about casting on my first proper project, a Milo, with encouraging words that made me believe I could do it. I did it. Her blog is the one I always turn to when I need a lift. Her words have the power to raise my spirits in laughter and also to make me cry. She has an inner wisdom that she so generously shares with us all. A gentle humbleness which is a leveler. A sense of humour that has me in giggling stitches. I want to thank Ginny for sharing her life and to tell her that she really has made a huge difference so many times when I needed it most. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Ginny.

I am knitting a little Pilot Cap in Colinette Art yarn java plum (79% wool, 21% bamboo). I did a trial run last week for another little girl and there is a picture of it here in my last post. I want this to be perfect for Ginny and Jonny’s girl. I love this yarn so much, it has a soft lilac base with blue and coral variegated highlights.  I know Ginny likes this pattern as she has knitted it herself. I think that the hat will probably fit at around the 5-6 month mark, hopefully making it a late Fall / Winter knit.

So here is my holding place at the Baby Shower! Ginny, I will get this to you over the coming weeks and I promise every single stitch will be so full of love for you, Jonny and the baby. I cannot wait to see her and I am holding you in my heart in these last few weeks. Sending love, always.

Knitting hats

I’ve been a woeful blogger and knitter of late. That actually isn’t strictly true. I have completed a couple of projects but not blogged about them. I haven’t been a woeful blogger ‘of late’ either. Let’s face it I am hit and miss at the best of times.

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I knit my husband a Seaman’s Cap to replace the nightmare Beanie I knit him (remember the one with the ribbing? OH THE RIBBING!!). I’m not over the moon, he has to kind of adjust the band to sit right on his head which means it doesn’t look so pretty on. He seems happy enough with it but I am just not. At least it isn’t saggy like the nightmare beanie though. Maybe I’ll be fourth time lucky knitting him a hat. If the socks don’t get me first*

The second hat was another Pilot Cap bonnet for my friend’s baby girl who outgrew the newborn one I did for her. I love the way it turned out and it fits, with growing room. Knitting success.

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Next up…I’m undecidedly decided. I want to try *socks for Chris. He’d dearly love a pair. The ever lovely Sarah suggested a pattern which is perhaps too ribbing rich for my liking (!!!) although I think they look lovely. My dear friend and knitting guru, Valerie has also suggested the Rye socks and another pattern by Susan Anderson. They call for worsted weight (I balked at fingering and whimpered at DK, wimp that I am at the moment. I call it sleep deprivation)…but what worsted weight yarn would have a bit of nylon to make them wear better? So I’m floundering. ^his husband of mine is HARD on his socks. I need to research more. That means knitting less. So maybe I will cast on something for my little darling whilst I work out the details. Maybe I will procrastinate a while over what to knit him too, after all Summer is coming with it’s promise (ha! who am I kidding, I live in ENGLAND!) of warm weather… should I consider slippery cotton or a blend of cotton/wool…or get ahead for winter and stick with wool?

So there I leave you, my mind all unmade up.  I’ll be back with knitting news when I have something more interesting to share than indecision! Have a lovely week ahead friends.

I’m hooking up with Ginny and Nicole and look forward to catching up with your knitting adventures too.

Love and comfort

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I’ve been working on a couple of little cloths for a very special gift. I have a remarkable friend, Meg, who is expecting a baby girl in a couple of weeks. Emerald will be born with a congenital heart defect and will require assistance pretty much immediately from birth. Her mama is so strong and courageous and a true advocate of the attachment parenting philosophy. She and her husband have been communicating with and influencing their medical care team to ensure their daughter will not be deprived of essential skin to skin, breastfeeding and cosleeping. These tiny, insignificant cloths could be popped in Meg’s nursing top and, should Meg and Emerald have to be parted, hopefully Emerald will be comforted by the scent of her mama on these cloths.

It’s such a small thing but getting these right has been very important to me. I live many miles from Meg, although we are both in the same country, and this feels like a physical way to be connected with both her and her baby. What a gift knitting is to the knitter as well as the recipient when love can be literally knit in with each stitch worked.

I posted these today and hope the love pours out of the parcel when it is opened.

Joining Nicole and Ginny

 

Natural habitat

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The natural habitat of any Woodland Savage is, of course, the woods. A local home education group pointed me in the direction of a little toddler group for savages like Robin and today we ventured forth.

It was mighty chilly but that never puts off a savage. We discovered dumper trucks hard at work moving leaves, a mud pie kitchen, a cosy fire pit and a number of animals who were delighted to be hand fed.

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Robin and I are looking forward to heading back to play among the trees again soon.

Selkie Shawl

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Selkie is off the needles and I am so happy with how this turned out. It is my first shawl and it was an utter joy to knit. I was so lucky to knit along slde Valerie and Michaela in our mini KAL. The three of us each have a very beautiful shawl and have become real knitting buddies, I feel sad to think we won’t be in daily contact, sharing progress, sharing tips (well, they shared their tips with me!)

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The shawl features a triangular section knit in garter stitch, so perfect for knitting in front of the TV and ensuring your husband doesn’t feel totally neglected! My husband is totally neglected! The shawl is then bound off and stitches picked up at the edge. This was the only part that I found unnerving as I hadn’t done this technique before. It was absolutely fine but a bit of a confidence game as I wasn’t sure what it should look like and, whilst the ladies reassured me, I was convinced I had got it wrong! After the Latvian Braid, which is a very straightforward, there is a simple but effective lace repeat pattern, broken up by a knit braid section, where the third colour creates the effect.

I think I will be getting lots of wear from this pretty shawl. I just wish the weather would perk up so I can get some nicer pictures.

I’ve been a hopeless blog friend as I’ve been so busy these last few weeks but I’m happy to be Joining you all and Ginny and Nicole.

 

 

The first stitches

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Robin has been helping (re)arrange the props to show off my early progress on the Selkie shawl. I am fast thinking my studio assistant is my signature photography style.

I’m really enjoying this stage of the shawl. It’s the ultimate slow knitting, all garter stitch (I am the ultimate slow knitter, after all!). The analytical part of my brain couldn’t help wonder what proportion of this centre panel I have knit. A quick calculation and I have 40% complete. By my reckoning I might have completed this central part by next week’s post, not that I want to ruin the surprise of where I may be up to! I am not sure how many of you will rush back to see a bigger beige triangle!

I am loving being part of a KAL. Valerie, Michaela and I have a little Instagram group set up and we can share progress, questions and generally catch up as often as we like. I must admit I feel particularly blessed to be able to turn to them for advice. I think I may be the weakest link!

Thank you all for your lovely comments last week on the Owlet. I so appreciated them all. I can report that it has flown to it’s new home. The blocking had me on the edge of my seat – it grew then contracted. As it turns out I think the size will be good for Thali. It is in the mail and I reckon Helen will receive it tomorrow….actually this is the thing that has me on the edge of my seat. Please keep everything crossed for me that it fits (and she loves it).

Okay, indulge me with this one…! I shall post a ‘proper’ completed Owlet pic i.e none photo bombed, over on Instagram when Helen has received it.

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I am also looking into patterns and yarns for a very special baby knit. A dear, none knitting friend is having a baby in April, The baby will be in hospital for the first few weeks if not months of her life. I want to knit something useful and am aware a baby in intensive care may just be in a nappy. A mutual friend suggested cloths that could be held in the mother’s nursing top to get her scent that then could be left with the baby when they are apart. I have found a couple of small cloth patterns that I like but am wondering what the best yarn would be. I certainly want it to be natural but should it be wool or cotton or a blend? If any of you have experience of babies in intensive care please let me know if you have any thoughts.

Joining you all, along with Ginny and Nicole. Have a happy knitting week!

Also known as Owling

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Verb: owling
To knit the cables on an Owl or Owlet

This week’s owling progress has been rather slow, merely down to not having as much knitting time as usual. I’ve got the sleeves finished, joined in the round and am two thirds through the cable work.

My lovely partner in craft swop, Helen, has finished Robin’s little crochet cardigan. I am so ridiculously excited to see it and to see Robin wearing a cardigan which I know was created, not only with yarn, but also love. My world since becoming Robin’s mama has changed hugely (for the better in every single way). Back in the old days I was responsible for negotiating and implementing trading agreements for the supermarket giants, aka flogging stuff. I wonder if the way forward is simply trading stuff.

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My little photo bombing studio assistant’s birthday gift to me arrived this week. My boy has such amazing taste! I am delighted with these three skeins of Ginny Yarn, dyed with sumac and indigo. I have no idea what project I will use them for. Hmmm, I wonder if Robin was dropping a big hint, after all, that grey-blue would look gorgeous with his colouring.

When the Owlet is finished I will be starting on the Selkie, along with my Sister in Shawl, Valerie. I’m really pleased with the colours I have picked out, shown in the top picture, and am so looking forward to casting this on. I’d better get back to my owling…

Hoping to get a bit more time this week to catch up on all your projects, along with Ginny and Nicole.

Have a wonderful week of knitting and crafting.

How Now Brown Owl

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My studio assistant has been helping me set up my photo shoots again. He is very good at adjusting the props and unwinding any balls of wool.

I am currently working on my third Owlet. This one is for a very special little girl. I connected with the beautiful Helen (in all senses) after following her on Instagram and seeing she has a little Etsy shop where she sells her beautiful knitted and crocheted children’s clothes. We thought it would be fun to do a craft swop, a gorgeous fair isle cardigan for Robin and an Owlet for Thali. I love this Cascade Ecological wool she picked out. It feels so rustic and the colour is, I think, perfect for an Owlet.

When, when will I learn? I was so excited to get knitting that I threw aside the swatch, reckoning that because I’d worked with other Cascade Yarns and got gauge, there or there abouts, I’d be just fine. Well, this Owlet is coming up small. A quick message to someone I know has worked with Ecological has kind of eased my concerns. Apparently this yarn grows A LOT! No doubt I’ll be stressing again at the blocking stage. I just want this to be perfect for Helen and Thali’s. Yeah, so I should have swatched, right?!

Linking late with Ginny and Nicole….have you seen Nicole’s darling baby? Swoon.

Celtic dreaming

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I completed the Aibhie hat in my very special Ginny yarn. It was such a lovely knit, I honestly enjoyed every stitch and highly recommend the pattern. It ended up a bit bigger than I hoped, even though I measured my head, followed the sizing recommendations AND dropped the needle size by 1 for both the brim and body of the hat.

No, of course I didn’t knit a swatch! In my defence the finished object had the correct circumference measurement. Instinctively I knew a medium would be too large for my little noggin but I didn’t trust it and thought the measurements would be a better guide than gut feel. This tale has a happy ending thanks to Operation Controlled Shrinking. A few blasts in the tumble dryer for a minute at a time and the fit was much better.

I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday and couldn’t resist sharing it here so apologies if you have already seen it. I actually think Robin’s smile is so uplifting that this is really a public service!

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Next up I am so excited to be knitting my first shawl. Selkie is Mandarines latest design and it is so beautiful. I had planned to knit Blom for my first shawl project but Selkie came along and stole my heart.  There is an image of Selkie here and here.

What makes it even better is this will be a Cross Atlantic KAL. Valerie and I will be sisters in shawls and I am so happy about this! I have picked out my colours since the swatch card arrived and am awaiting the wool delivery from Jamieson & Smith. This is going to be a very relaxed KAL as Valerie has several WIPs already, I will be achingly slow, no doubt, plus I have another Owlet to cast on for. More on that next week when the yarn arrives.

In other very exciting news I have a small parcel jetting over from Ginny containing three skeins of her yarn, courtesy of Robin. What can I say, this boy may only be 15 months old but he sure has great birthday present taste.

Joining up with Ginny and Nicole.