Brighton Craftaganza

Big news.

537092_622330814479190_1752397547_n

I will be selling my knitted wares for the first time ever this coming Sunday (1st Decemeber) at Brighton Craftaganza.  The fair is running between 11am and 5pm in Fabrica Gallery which is on the corner of Duke street and Ship street in Brighton.  I will have on offer an array of snoods in various graphic prints.  Perfect to slip into the top of your coat to keep your neck toasty and warm against those harsh winter winds.  Here are a couple of example but there will be many more to choose from on the day.

Cowl 1PicsPlay_1385569469891PicsPlay_1385569390618

I am sharing my table with the lovely Bedroom Factory Knits purveyor of the finest bobble hats in all the land and there will be plenty of other delights to see so please come and say hello if you’re around.  

Complete: Bull City Shawl

Bull City 4Hello lovelies.  Another completed project for you.  My first ever shawl.  I made sure I picked a smallish one, and this turned out even smaller than it should be because of my poor planning.  The phrase ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ comes to mind.  One day I’ll learn that an actual full size gauge swatch is needed, especially when the yarn you are using has no convenient tag telling you “Hi, I’m a DK weight. Nice to meet you”.    The pattern called for a worsted weight so I compared it to some of the DK yarns in my stash and it just seemed a bit bigger.  But no, it’s not.  Clearly it’s just a less tightly spun DK, so now I have a shawl that doesn’t quite make it all the way around my neck…

Bull City 1But do I care?  Nah.  Because look, I can just do this,

Bull City 3So that’s alright.

The yarn is a lovely lovely tealy green colour, which I don’t think these pictures are really showing off properly.  I bought it on my trip to the Isle of Skye a few months ago, which you can see pictures of here.  The yarn shop was in Broadford and sells lots of lovely hand dyed yarns dyed by the owner.  It’s well worth a visit if you are in the area, although I have heard on the grape vine that it may not be around much longer.

The pattern is Bull City Scarf by Sarah Sipe.  It was my first time attempting a lace pattern and I really enjoyed knitting it, it was fairly quick and the chart was easy to follow.  The only thing I would change – other than the silly sizing – is the bind off which it said to do tightly.  The tightness does mean that you get that lovely crescent shape but there is no stretch and so sits a bit oddly around the neck.  This of course is only highlighted it being being too small so maybe it would less of an issue if it was full size.

Bull City 5Sorry for the crappy photo above, I just wanted to show  off the crescent shape.

Bull City 2

 

Completed: Hermione Hybrid

Naomi Socks5These socks were made for my lovely friend Naomi, a regular recipient of my hand knits including a hat for last years birthday and I think the first ever project I finished, a pair of unrecorded mitts.  As any knitters reading will agree, it is only worth giving knitted presents to people you know will appreciate the time, effort and love that goes into them.  The months of forward planning, picking out something you hope they will cherish for a long time.  These people are few and far between so well done Nom, you rule!

Naomi Socks1They were knitted with an opal sock yarn I picked up in Belfast when I was visiting this summer.  I was trying to find some Irish wool but to no avail but this yarn with its subtle colouring called out to me.  The pattern is Hermione Everyday Sock.  I really liked the basic pattern but I changed the number of stitches to 48 instead of 64 and knitted them on 2.5mm needles.  I found the pattern instructions quite hard to follow because of this so I ended up going back to the Simple Skyp Sock pattern which I know works really well and just supplemented the texture pattern.  I did go back to the pattern for the heel flap and really liked the outcome, the stitches were really easy to pick up for the instep and I like the look of the garter stitches it.

Naomi Socks3

Naomi Socks2I’ve been really slack at posting recently but I do have a few more projects that are ready to post up so stay tuned!

 

 

Complete: September Fingerless Gloves

SeptMitts2At the end of August I did a test knit for Courtney, the designer behind Pink Brutus Knits.  These mitts are her September Fingerless Gloves pattern knitted in Malabrigo Sock yarn in the colour Ochre.  These were a breezy quick knit and I had no trouble with the pattern at all.

SeptMitts3This was my first time using Malabrigo and it definitely won’t be the last.  Just look at that subtle variegation, and its just so soft!  I can imagine knitting up a whole jumper in this and never wanting to take it off.  I don’t think I would use it for socks though, I don’t think the soft drape would stand up to being trodden on all day.   Not that I’m not willing to experiment, and I do love a good house sock.

SeptMitts1

SeptMitts4It’s a thumbs up from me.

 

 

The GREAT London Yarn Crawl

The weekend just gone I was fortunate enough to head up to London for the first ever Great London Yarn Crawl.  If there was ever anything which deserved to have the prefix of  great, this was it.  A few months ago I claimed to have done a yarn shop crawl in London and I can tell you that that was nothing, and I mean nothing compared to the fantastically organised and executed yarn crawl which happened on Saturday.  Four routes, numerous amazing volunteer yarn guides, prizes to be won and of course fantastic yarn shops to browse through.

As some of you will know, although I have explicitly talked about it on here, I am planning on opening a yarn shop here in Brighton.  So along with just wanting to go to lots of yarn shops and meet some other lovely knitters, it was also a great opportunity for me to do some sneaky shop research.  Things I was particularly interested in were shop layout, what none shopping space they provided, i.e. seating areas, and also what else they sell other than yarn.

Nest

Nest

I chose the Red Route which included the shops Nest, The Handweavers Studio, Prick Your Finger and Loop.  Apart from Loop I hadn’t been to any of the other shops before.  We had about 45 minutes in each shop, which in the first shop Nest I found a bit overwhelming.  I couldn’t quite get my head around having to make a purchase decision in that amount of time so I focused on the tea and biscuits they had kindly provided at the back and took some notes of some of the small knick knack items they had.

Next up The Handweavers Studio which I already knew a bit about as they have a lot of yarn suitable for machine knitting.

Handweavers3

Hanweavers1They have a huge amount of yarns beautifully displayed but their speciality is weaving so there was also an array of fascinating looking equipment including looms, spinning wheels and crazy bits of wood which I couldn’t even begin to guess what they would be used for.  I didn’t get anything there but I know there were quite a few people who bought drop spindles and fibre.

Fibre at The Handweavers

Fibre at The Handweavers

Handweavers2Next up was Prick Your Finger, hands down my favourite shop of the day.  Quite a small shop but with a hell of a punch in terms of style and substance.

Prick Your Finger4

They work with a lot of artists who make things for the shop and also run events.  One of there more recent collaborations was with artist Lisa Anne Auerbach who worked with people from the local community to create a series of protest jumpers.

Prick Your Finger2They also of course have a lovely selection of yarns and wooden tools made by their Dad!  I will definitely be paying this place another visit soon.

Prick Your Finger1

Prick Your Finger3And lastly the one and only Loop.  No introduction needed really is there.

Loop2

Loop1By the time we got to Loop we had lost a few on the way and were all pretty pooped.  But the day was not over yet and our last stop was the Mulberry Bush pub near Waterloo where we got to meet and hang out with everyone from all the other routes.  There were A LOT of knitters all in one room, I think the bar man was a tad over whelmed.  There was knitting, drinking and prizes (I didn’t win anything unfortunately) and I met some lovely ladies.  I spent a fair bit of the evening going ‘oh I think I recognise that scarf’ or ‘have we met before’ as the wonder of ravelry upheld.

LYC2

LYC1

Good combo

Dani working on her new hat

Dani working on her new hat

And that was about it.  I stayed until the bitter end with Dani and a few others then hopped back on the train to Brighton.  And what did I buy I hear you all cry.  I did make a couple of small purchases at Prick Your Finger.  A few skeins of Knit by Numbers yarn which I will talk about more in another post and the buy of the day, this badge by Zeel also at Prick Your Finger.  There has never been a truer word said.

Moths are Wankers

Knit By Numbers

Complete: Blue Tulips

A quick picture of a skirt that’s been waiting to be made for 5 YEARS!  The pattern is the first one Jenny Gordy (of Wiksten fame) published back in 2008.  The fabric is a light linen and I have no idea where it came from but it’s been following me round for 5 years…

9540e189-fb7f-402b-9a56-5eb3175c0080

Having finished it I discovered why it’s a bit small.  I didn’t read the button placket instructions properly so it’s half the size it should be.  Ah well, it fits high waisted so I’m happy.  When my housemate gets back from her holidays I’ll put some pictures up with me actually in it, init.

Complete: I Knit Socks

Iknitsocks4

Socks socks socks, I don’t know when my sock obsession will end.  I think one of the biggest reasons for my love of socks is the need for only one ball of wool.  No need to worry about how many balls to buy  and also the colours and patterns are so diverse and I can pick out things I would never want to use for anything bigger or more visible.  These are my newest addition.  They are another version of the Skype Socks which was the pattern I used for my Opal Fruit socks. but this time I included the slip stitch pattern.  Iknitsocks3

The yarn is hand dyed merino wool from I Knit in London.  I love the vibrant colours but paired with the pattern they kind of make my head hurt.  I made a couple of mistakes, can you spot them…?

Iknitsocks1Iknitsocks2

Complete: Alska Cardigan

The moment you’ve all been waiting for… My Alaska cardigan is finally finished!

Alska1Knitted with Debbie Bliss tweed this cardigan was inspired by Rillie’s version.  I knitted the small but wanted it slightly cropped so I started the armholes after 12 1/2 inches instead of 16 1/2.  I also made the bottom rib slightly shorter.  Apart from those alterations and the fact that my mistake rib was so much a mistake that it ended up as a normal rib everything else is the same.

Alska3Alska5Thanks to my lovely friend Kate for taking these photos for me.  Considering it’s been so hot here lately I’ve already worn this several times.  The evenings are getting cooler.  I don’t want summer to end!

Alska2

Shop Crawl

I was in London last week working but because I was going to be working 12 hour days with no time to scour any wool shops (woe is me) I went down a day early.  Obsessed… yes.  First I went to Loop, the most high end beautiful knitting shop I’ve ever been to.  I’ve skulked around the shop many a time but I never get over how inspiring everything is.  The sheer amount of stock they carry is slightly overwhelming, I’m the kind of shopper that likes to look at something then go back to it when I’ve looked at everything else.  In loop however, I always forget what I was looking at in the first place.

970fb3f5-6b3d-40b0-8ee3-b7e17b700474

I then went to I Knit in Waterloo.  I’ve never been before but I’ve heard all about it thanks to the world wide webular, it’s got such a massive following I had to take a look for myself.  The shop has a great vibe, much less fuss and fancy than Loop but nice and clean and simple and of course ample amounts of lovely lovely woolly goodness!  They have their own line of hand dyed yarns and I picked up one skein of merino sock yarn.  I am So excited to see how the colours turn out! Sadly then I had to go meet a friend, not much of a crawl I know.  The others will have to wait until next time.

4cf30d2d-75fd-4302-b286-c86da876d22d

Checked Out

Although knitting is my biggest creative outlet I have been known to also dabble in a bit of sewing.  It’s something I would definitely like to do more of and I am constantly being inspired by what I see others making online via some of my favourite blogs and now on Kollabora.  Feeling recently inspired by the warm weather I decided to do a re-fashion of a checked shirt of mine which has been sitting around for years, hardly ever being worn.

This was it before.

Check shirt 01It was a fine shirt but just slightly too baggy to ever feel like it was the right occasion to wear it.  I wanted to wear it in a ‘look I’ve made an effort not to wear a t-shirt’ kind of way but it was just a bit shapeless to ever fit the bill.  So, I used a refashion tutorial from one of my favourite blogs Grainline Studio and chopped it up!  I missed out the fancy scalloped edge and shoulder cut-outs and just took in the side seams, added bust darts and finished the arm holes off nicely.

Check shirt 03It feels so much more fitted and comfortable now I’ve already worn it loads.

Check shirt 02

And as for my Alska cardigan, it hasn’t been left on a train, or dropped in the sea.  I have been slowly slowly working my way through it I’m just having a hard time getting it out when it so so sunny outside, it just feels wrong.  However, here is a sneak peak, I only have the collar and the button band to go!

8e06ba2d-3089-43ba-a406-a0b60fd68106