Complete: I Knit Socks

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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…?

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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.

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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.

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A Wee Scottish Trip

Hawthorns

A few weeks ago my friend Alice and I took an impromptu road trip to Scotland and I thought I would share some of my favourite photos.  I was somehow duped into climbing Ben Nevis, something I would never have thought I would have wanted to do.  I can’t say I would jump at the chance to do it again, but I am definitely proud of myself and really glad we did it.  To the photos…

Ben Nevis Snow

Alice's hatAfter Fort William we went to the Isle of Skye.  We camped and spent most of our time doing walks, gaping wide mouthed at the sheer beauty of the West Coast of Scotland and pinching ourselves over the unexpected blue skies and bright sunshine we were lucky enough to have the whole time.

Boats at BroadfordRoad to the CullinsSunset at DunveganIsle of RaasayCoral beaches

Absence

Hello hello.  I am sorry for the prolonged absence, I didn’t realise I’d been away so long.  I have had some quite exciting knitting related things going on recently.  The last few weeks I have been doing a bit of freelance machine work for students from various universities.  They are all in their final years doing final collections and were in need of a bit of extra help.

Student knitting1.  This amazing dress was knitted for Marlee Simandl who was studying at Central St Martin’s.  It was knitted with a mix of monofiliment (fishing wire!!) and lurex.  This odd mix of fibres did give me a bit of grief as it ladders like crazy if you drop a stitch, meaning it’s near impossible to fix once you’ve made a mistake.  Thankfully mistakes were minimal, and this was actually really fun to knit.

2.  Complex cables!  I did this jumper on the double bed chunky machine so they are more like faux cables as I was only technically only moving one stitch at a time.  This was knit using chunky silk for my lovely friend Hege Midtun Larsen who is studying in Oslo.  We studied machine knitting together in Brighton last summer and she is a very talented designer.  I was given a sneak peak of her final collection and this girl is definitely going far!

3.  Also for Hege this jumper isn’t sewn up as she was going to embroider it after I’d sent it to her.  This one was knitted in tencel which is a plant based fibre, soft and silky with a beautiful drape.

4.  Half way through knitting this jumper I realised I was actually just knitting a Newcastle United strip… TOON ARMY!  This was knitted in cotton for Drew Izard from Salisbury College who is specialising in menswear.

5. Basic cables which nearly broke my machine.  I knitted two of these panels for Jenni Temme who is also studying at Salisbury College.  They were knitted in cotton which was on the verge of being too thick for my standard gauge machine so each time I had to cross the cables I was in struggle town trying to get the carriage across.

All in all I was happy with how they everything turned out and everyone was happy with what they got in the post.  I am now going away for 10 days to work in London but I have more posts up my sleeve for when I get back including the progress of my Alska cardigan.  Stay tuned.

 

Columbia Road Flower Market

c1e05942-4bfc-4c62-85c4-61bf9afe2ce1There are so many things I was told to do and see when I lived in London that I never got around to.  Not that I just sat around for three years doing nothing, but it seems each time I go visiting I end up doing something new.  That is one of the things I love so much about London, you can never have seen it all.  In the last few months however I have been twice and both times I wished that I didn’t have to go so far home so I could actually buy some flowers.  If you have never been it is a spectacle to say the least, a true delight for the eyes and the ears.  The road is chock-a-block with sellers all shouting their patter to the passing crowds (I say passing, more like slowly herding), while further down there are numerous cafes and twee shops and galleries with buskers outside entertaining the shoppers.  If you have not been, I highly recommend it.

 

Cardi vs Jumper

I am trying to decide what to knit next…

Cardi corner2I have been eyeing up these two patterns on Ravelry for a while now.  They both happen to be Berroco patterns but on the right is Rilli’s version of their Alska cardigan, aptly named Rusty Pearly Cardi.  Like Rilli I would do a cropped version but I would stick with the original long sleeves because I always like to pull my sleeves over my hands.  And on the left we have Adiez by Cirilia Rose.  I really like the slouchy look of this cardigan but it would be a pretty big task, I’ve never done anything that big with that many cables!  But, I’ve got to start somewhere I guess.

Jumper cornerThese three are the jumper contenders.  On the left a very basic top down jumper by Clara Falk called Alex.  The only jumper I have done before was bottom up so it would be fun to try something new but keeping it simple might be a good place to start.  In the middle is a pattern called Jolee by Marie Wallin for the Rowan Cocoon Collection.  I actually have the pattern book and I am in love with the stripes, but I am not sure if the v neck might just be a little on the low side.  And last but not least, on the right is Lilalu’s version of Lemongrass byJoji Locatelli.  I think this amount of cabling would be within my capabilities and I really like wide neck.

So… what’s it to be.  Any of these would be welcome additions to my wardrobe.  Maybe I should start by finding a nice yarn.  Which one is your favourite?

 

The Last of Winter

f1a7cce9-64ec-481a-a5a6-95a6ea048162When I presented my housemate Justine with this hat for her birthday I was berated by my other housemates that winter is over, why am I still making woolly presents?  I love that as soon as February is over we all think Spring has sprung.  No it hasn’t!!  We still have weeks and months of more rain to enjoy before the spattering of sunshine in June, then back to rain.  And if I know Justine, this hat will get plenty of use rain or shine.  bcbce83b-8731-4138-bc1e-3aa19f1b95740183b37a-566f-412c-9ab5-2880f632bbd7The pattern is another popular Ravelry number, this time by Gralina Frie called Advanced Beanie.  It is free to download and I love the simple travelling cable pattern.  It was complicated enough that I didn’t get bored but easy enough that I didn’t have to keep referring back to the pattern to see what came next.  The pattern also comes with directions outlining how to move the cable stitches without having to fiddle about with a cable needle.  I ended doing it a slightly different way than described, but using the same theory of holding the stitch.  I used up the Debbie Stoller yarn I had left over from my Short Row Sweater and it was a perfect match, although I can only imagine that it may accidentally become a bit felted if rained on too much.  We will see how long it lasts.  All in all a great pattern and I think Justine likes it.

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LFW

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Photos of people taking photos

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to put these photos up from London Fashion Week, but here they finally are.  I took a couple of friends to see Martina Spetlova’s exhibition at Somerset House.  The show seemed to be a great success, the queue was half way around the building when it first opened.  We ended up milling around for an hour waiting for the crowds to die down, which meant we unfortunately missed out on the free booze but it did mean that we could actually see the exhibit once we were in there without having to fight our way to the front.  Martina was sharing the space with several other designers and displayed a video of her work.  It was a shame she did’t have live models like some of the other designers but it was still great to see my pieces in action on the big screen.  I didn’t take any pictures of Martina’s work because it was moving pretty fast but here are a few shots of the other designers work.  You can find Martina’s full collection on her website now!

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Jayne Pierson

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Tom Van Der Borght

Jane Bowler

Jane Bowler

Bas Kosters - Yes, that's a horse head

Bas Kosters – Yes, that’s a horse head

I hadn’t realised the whole thing isn’t open to the general public at all.  It makes sense if I think about it but it meant we were only on the guest list for a small area.  However, me and my friends posed as potential future exhibitors and got ourselves on a tour of the whole site!  I’m not sure the guy was completely convinced but he let us tag along anyway. I think the most fun of the whole thing was seeing the wannabe fashionistas outside ‘casually’ hanging out trying to get photographed.  Maybe I’m being mean, but it did make for some fun people watching.  Here’s a couple of famous faces…

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Me and Martina

A Short Row Sweater

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Presenting… my Short Row Sweater.  It’s backless and made of wool, not two things you’s normally put together I think but I really liked the look of this pattern when I saw it.  The pattern is a freebie on the Purl Bee blog and has a really interesting construction.  This is another project that has been sitting around for almost a year and I’m glad it’s finally off the needles.  I got this 100% Peruvian wool on sale in Fernie last winter especially for this project.  It probably wasn’t the best match, I had to use needles two sizes smaller than recommended to get the right gauge so the fabric is pretty dense and isn’t as drapy as I would like BUT it fits well and I like the colour.

fcc7b0b6-7ba4-46aa-9a55-72b4848c7a722be785f1-b047-48e3-86c6-533265bd8aa8I don’t have anything else in this sleeveless style and I can’t really imagine putting this on when I get cold so I don’t know how much use this top will get.  But we will see, it could turn out to be my spring-time essential.