Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Catch Up

Just gone through my recent photos and I'm going to do a quick catch up post, some of these have already appeared on Instagram...

I'm still working on my stash-busting cosy stripe blanket, but I'm not loving the colours that I've chosen and it's very much become an 'in the background' WIP at the moment. I think I've gone too far to frog it, but I'm not over-enthusiastic to finish it either (other than to get it out of the way)...

Back in February I had a winding session with the luxury yarns I've bought at Yarndale. I haven't used any of them yet, but I have been trying to find some shawl patterns recently, so they're good to go when I'm ready.

I made Little Hare a jumper from a pattern in one of my crochet magazines. The sizing went up in years - 2 years, 4 years etc - so I chose the 4 years, knowing that it'd be a bit big on him, and it is. The pattern was aimed at beginners, and had a very simple construction - the arms are joined on to the body in a kind of 'T' shape, which means that you get a bunching of material under the armpits - not great, to be honest, I can't see him wearing this much...

On the 10th March - this happened! I watched a couple of YouTube videos showing how to cast on, knit and purl, and off I went! Practiced for a couple more evenings and then...

... actually started knitting a sock! I was naughty though, because I didn't do a tension swatch or even measure my foot - I saw that Christine (Winwick Mum, whose tutorial I was following) cast on 60, so I thought "hmm, she's very slim and has slim ankles, but I don't, so if she does 60, I'll do 80"!! I soon realised that it was going to be massive, too big even to pass off as a bed sock, so I frogged the above effort and started again, after taking the appropriate measurements.

And lo, on the 27th March, just 17 days after I'd learned to knit, I finished my very first knitted sock!

I immediately started the second (in fact, I think I started it before I finished the first)...

... tried not to poke the cat's bum with my DPNs (I was told off on Facebook that these 8inch ones are too long, and I should use 6inch)...

King Cole ZigZag but I don't know the colour

... and then there were two! My first ever knitted pair of socks! The colour isn't very exciting, but it's some sock yarn that I've had for ages so thought I might as well use it for my first pair. I have a few tension issues where I start using the DPNs instead of the circulars, but I didn't really make any mistakes, and even my Kitchener stitch went really smoothly.

So this crocheter who thought she'd never be able to learn to knit, is now a sock knitter, and a slightly obsessed one at that!

I've already finished my third sock (No. 1 of Pair No 2)...

King Cole ZigZag in 'Spring Meadow'
... and No 4 (or No.2) is on the needles. In fact, so is No.5 - I have two circular needles, so I generally have two socks cast on at the same time, but at different stages. I'll work on one until I get to a bit where I really need to concentrate (such as the heel or the toe), and if it's not a good time to do that bit, I'll work on an easier stocking stitch section of the other sock. That way I can usually do some knitting every evening (or whenever I have some spare time), and I'm managing to avoid Second Sock Syndrome!

Whilst I was working on my first sock, I treated myself to the Spring Meadow yarn above, but then a little while later I noticed that there was a Drops Sock Yarn sale on at Wool Warehouse. Well, it would have been rude not to indulge, wouldn't it?

I got the Addi short circular from Amazon, but the yarn was all from Wool Warehouse. Until I looked through my photos a few minutes ago, I'd forgotten that I'd bought the Head Over Heels yarn - it's like the woolly equivalent of finding a tenner in your pocket! Anyway, I haven't used any of this yet, but it's obviously all lined up for socks. The Fabel seems ok, but I'm not sure if I like the feel of the Delight, but I'll see how it works up into socks when I get around to using it.

After buying that little lot, I put myself on a bit of a yarn ban, which was unfortunate because a few days later I went to a new wool show, called Spring Into Wool, which was held at Leeds Grammar School. I presume they're kind of jumping on the Yarndale bandwagon, but hey, I'm all for that! The more local yarn shows the better (even if my bank balance doesn't agree). 

It took about 45 minutes to get to the Grammar School, and I arrived at 9.45 - the show was due to open at 10am. There is a very large car park, and there were already quite a lot of cars there, although there were still plenty of spaces. It turned out there were other things going on in the school which would explain the extra vehicles.

Hooky Hare came with me again :-)

After buying my ticket I was handed some free knitting patterns - the lady asked me "are you a knitter?" and I just automatically said "yes" before adding, "I've only just learned!" It felt quite strange to be able to say that I was a knitter, although looking at the patterns, I'm a long way off attempting them! 

There were a few stalls in the foyer which I had a look at, and then I walked to the main hall. It was only about 9.50 and a lot of the stallholders looked like they were still setting up; I felt like I was the only visitor walking around, and I wasn't sure if I should be in there, so I kind of wandered out and then thought "nah!" and went back in. 

There were 60 stalls, so nothing like the amount at Yarndale, and it was nice to be able to walk around and look at everything without any jostling, although it did get quite a bit busier (probably about 11.00ish). I think I walked round once, just making note of stalls I wanted to go back to, and trying to compare prices, and then I went round another two or three times, and made a few purchases. 

Since I was on a yarn ban, I'd decided to go more for accessories, mainly stitch markers, possibly knitting needles, and that's mostly what I got. I caved in and bought one ball of West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn (I think it's Mojito, from their Cocktail range) - I've had my eye on this colour for ages, and I could've got it cheaper online, but hey ho. This is the yarn that I've started Sock No 5 in, I just couldn't wait to see what it looked like. I've only done the ribbing so far. 

So this is my rather modest haul:

Stitch markers from The Woolly Tangle, A Little Bit Sheepish, Homespun Wonders (I think), and the ones in the little tin were from someone called Alice (Alice Yarns?) who was on a stall with The York Makery (I think). The WYS yarn, a couple of knitting accessories and a car air freshener from Tillyflop, which I put in the car straight away, so it's not in the photo. It had a lovely lavender smell, which sadly only lasted about a day.

Even though I didn't buy much, I really enjoyed Spring Into Wool, and I hope it's on again next year.

A few days ago, I put out a plea on Instagram for people to use the hashtag #showusyourshawls.

This is my Virus Shawl, but I haven't worn it yet, because I don't really know what to wear it with! It's black, pink and turquoise, so I feel like I should wear it with those sorts of colours, but when I try it with something blue or pink, it just doesn't look right. It's quite busy too, but I tend to wear patterned tops, so I feel like it clashes with them. It's a bit embarassing admitting that I don't know how to wear it, although I had a couple of people agreeing with me and saying that they had the same problem. I want to make more shawls, but I'm worried that I'm wasting my time (and good yarn!) on something I might never wear. So I was hoping that people might use #showusyourshawls to give me and others some inspiration (but I don't think it's taken off, to be honest).

Anyway, I think that's me caught up for a bit longer.

Bye for now,

happy hooking (and knitting!) xx

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