Monthly Archives: October 2015

Warm woolen mittens

Image_4 This little one celebrated his first trip around the sun on Monday. My baby.  Where did that year go…why did it have to go so quick?

The Owlet was completed in plenty of time, 16 owls, short rows and all. Thanks to those of you who so kindly recommended tutorials and left such encouraging messages last week. They really boosted my confidence and I felt you were rooting for me. I took the advice to try German short rows. They were so straightforward, I did that section in super quick time and was left wondering what I’d been fussing about! The underarm grafts proved just fine too although the stitches around them were a bit suspect from joining the yoke and arms in the round, sorted with a few retrospective tightening stitches!

Image_2Obligatory proud Mama shot!

After a couple of nights of birthday crown sewing I was missing my needles so decided to cast on another Milo with the precious Ginny Goldenrod yarn. I know where I am with a Milo and it will tie in nicely with the Pilot Cap I knitted with the rest of that yarn. The funny thing is that now I have knit a couple of milos I feel less excited about working on this project although working with the yarn makes it pleasurable…..So, a first for me, I have two projects on the needles!

I have cast on these simple mittens in the same Cascade 220 Pumpkin Spice as the Owlet. One down, one to go, along with an icord to keep the mittens in check!

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I may have been indulging in a bit of stash building, a-hem!  I am so lucky I have snaffled a couple of stunning skeins from Ginny’s latest yarn release. I can’t wait to receive her alpaca/silk/cashmere fingering weight yarn dyed in Muscadine. I’m thinking this would be a perfect shawl type fibre, super soft with plenty of drape. I just hope I can do the yarn justice. What are your favourite shawl patterns? I love the look of Blom and also the Cecily shawl featured in this quarters Taproot.

My husband treated me to the glorious ‘A Modern Natural Dyer‘. I find it really hard to look at books during the day but hope to feast on the eye candy and dream of future experiments over the Autumn and Winter.

I hope you have a wonderful last week of October and enjoy your Halloween celebrations. There has been a flurry of carving about these parts. I’ll be sharing more of Robin’s birthday, the crown making and the pumpkins soon. Let’s just say it gets serious then the power tools are plugged in at the kitchen table!

Joining the lovely ladies, Nicole and Ginny.

 

How big is your son?

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Chris and I have a little joke between us these days about how big Robin is. We say he is 16 owls tall because that is the number of owls that fit on the jumper I am knitting him for his birthday. His 1st birthday – on Monday! Gah! I can’t believe my baby will be one. Or that I have 16 owls to complete. Or that I will manage to graft on the under sides of the sleeves on this Owlet with all the baggy stitches there seems to be. Or that I will manage to make short rows without creating holes. Hmmmm, wondering if I can just omit the short rows but that would be cheating huh?

I know my journey into knitting is still so new (3 months new) but I want this to turn out as perfect as possible as I’m pouring so much love into it for my sweet Robin bird and he deserves it to be as good as it can be.

Wish me knitter’s luck (and please post any advice on grafting or short rows or Owlets or how to emotionally cope with the fact your baby is about to wake up a toddler!….)

Joining with Nicole and Ginny. Thank you so much for visiting. Have a beautiful week ahead.

 

Owlet

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Gah! Robin’s birthday is a week on Monday and his mama handmade gift is a long way from finished. I cast on last Thursday but have had to start over twice due to silly mistakes. This third-time-lucky version has the neatest cast on. The other two attempts I’d tried to be clever with switching needle sizes to ensure the cast on bottom was nice and stretchy.  I guess I’m grateful I made those mistakes (*teeth gritted*, i ripped out 6 inches on one of them!). The pattern calls for 16 owls round the yoke and short rows. Yikes, I have no idea what that even means!

I can do it, I can do it!

He has already outgrown his Flax although I still dress him in it for our dog walks as it keeps him warm. I’ll be making this Owlet with plenty of extra length.

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments last week. I am always so pleased to hear from you.

Joining Ginny and Nicole.

Pilot Cap

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I cast on a little Pilot Cap for Robin last week using the Ginny Goldenrod. This was a straightforward knit but there were a couple of points in the pattern where I just didn’t trust my instincts. I am so grateful that a lady I discovered on Ravelry, who I would describe as a Pilot Cap veteran, answered my questions by e mail. This pattern called for kitchener stitch and applied i-cord so I had a chance to try these techniques out.

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I am really happy with the way the hat has turned out and the yarn is such a cheerful colour. I have about 360 yards left and am pondering what to do with it. I don’t think I have quite enough for a jumper but I love the idea of a matching vest and am considering the old faithful, Milo… if I can figure the maths for using worsted weight instead of DK. He is a big baby for his age so I wondered if I knit his size but in the heavier ply yarn?

The next project will be an Owlet in Cascade 220 Superwash yarn, colour way Pumpkin Spice. The pattern and colour is so perfect for Autumn and I hope to have this finished in time for Robin’s first birthday on the 26th October. I picked a Superwash yarn because eating solids is a fun but messy business for my little urchin.

Knitting continues to be so much more than a creative outlet. I am finding kindred spirits in this virtual space all over the world and sharing their projects and worlds is wonderful. This week I have ‘met’ an English lady called Fran who is living in the Pyrenees. I love her philosophy and her writing is beautiful. Fran has started to spin her own yarn and it looks heavenly and gorgeously rustic. It has me hankering for some skeins of my own and a chunky, rustic knit pattern for my boy.

How about you. Are you enjoying immersing yourself in the season and how are your projects coming along? Please do share if you have time as I so love to hear from you. Have a wonderful week ahead.

Joining with Ginny and Nicole.

 

 

Making memories

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Last week was this guy’s birthday. Robin and I wanted to make a special present for him so we headed across to a local pottery craft studio. I thought it would make it even more special if I could record the story of the crafting session and the lovely lady who runs the studio, along with another crafter, were kind enough to oblige.gcomp

Within a few days it was ready to collect. Papa loved it (there may have been a moist eye or four on his birthday morning).

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After our morning nap we decided to head out and enjoy the beautiful warm and sunny Autumn day. Someone was very happy to discover a selection of tractors and ride on cars at our destination along with a playground.

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We had a lovely lunch in the cafe and Robin charmed everyone with his beautiful smile. There was a lot of swooning going on over him. Mind you, who could resist this cheeky grin?

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Back at home we enjoyed homemade chocolate brownies. All in all Chris said it was a most memorable and special birthday which made me very happy.

Hedgerow vinegars

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Last Summer Chris and I went slightly elderflower crazy. No dog walk in late May was complete without a carrier bag for our foraged blooms. I think we made 10 litre bottles of cordial and a lot of little bottles of champagne with our bounty. Pregnant with Robin, I was a bit cautious about the cordial after a month but Chris guzzled it through to early this year, when I think even he grew tired of it. The final couple of bottles of cordial, stored in the garage above our walking footwear, exploded into a sticky mess in late April resulting in new wellingtons and hiking boots being top of Chris’ birthday wish list (in truth they were top of my wishlist for him. Sticky feet trailing through the house do not make me happy….).

Still reeling from the clean up job, I just couldn’t find the enthusiasm for the elderflowers come May. Cue Autumn and we find ourselves foraging the same trees for the deep purple jewels, alongside the brambles for juicy, sweet blackberries, dreaming of vinegar drizzles.

The internet has lots of recipes for making these simple yet delicious vinegars. The resources I used are here and here. There is an alternative elderberry recipe here that I think we will try, although perhaps reduce the sugar. A top tip for stripping the elderberry fruit from the branches is to run a fork gently through each ‘floret’. Fruit is washed and then left to stew in vinegar for a few days before straining and warming through with sugar. I love these vinegars drizzled onto salads and roasted vegetables. Chris adds his to literally anything edible.

I have been seeing lots of posts on Instagram of yarn dyed with elderberries. Definitely on my list for next year!