Off The Needles: my latest knitting project

Like many knitting and crochet devotees, I am exceptionally good at starting new projects. But I am less accomplished in the finishing-off department. That is why it is always cause for celebration when I do actually manage to cast-off, block and start using a completed piece.

This is my latest creation, the Dimitri Shawl by Steve Rousseau Designs:


Continue reading “Off The Needles: my latest knitting project”

On the hook: oodles of delicious colour

I wrote last week about my recent knitting adventures. I thought I would follow up this week with a reflection on my current crochet endeavours.

I am much less experienced with crochet than I am with knitting. This is not necessarily due to lack of time – I produced this blanket when just a young girl. Neither my Mum (proud owner of said blanket) nor I can quite remember exactly when, but we think I was 10/11ish. Since then, I have done minimal crochet, compared with all my knitting, and it has all been pretty basic. Nothing wrong with that, but I feel the time has now come to expand my crochet horizons.



I have been thinking a lot recently about the joy of colour. It is amazing how different something can look simply by virtue of a change in colour scheme. I love the way in which the ‘spirit’ of a crafted piece emerges as you gradually work on it. You can hold various yarns in your hands and imagine what they might look like when woven together. But there are always surprises when you actually get started.

So here is my latest crochet project:


It is ‘Joana’s Mandala’ by Lilla Björn Crochet. Below is the colourway on the pattern – see what I mean about the colour difference? As you can see, I am about half way through.



And I could not resist a couple of other yarny treats, which arrived today. I received this gorgeous pack of yarn to make up Janie Crow’s Mystical Lanterns blanket. I adore those colours!


I also threw in to the order these other crochet blanket patterns, which look glorious.


I can’t wait to get stuck in with all of this. But I am being good and making sure I finish that mandala first. Promise….! 😉

On and off the needles…

It is a while since I last wrote about anything woolly, so I thought I would do a bit of a round up of my recent knitting adventures.

I am generally quite a slow knitter, so it was a pleasure to buck this trend by rattling off some smaller pieces for my sister. She has alopecia universalis and was in need of some more hats to add to her growing collection. It gave me the opportunity to dive into my yarn stash and make use of various bits and pieces to produce these two beauties:

The red hat is The Yarniad’s Nola Cloche pattern. I have had this beautiful red marl yarn for years – so long in fact that I have lost the yarn collar with all the details, but I know it was from the Woolen Rabbit. It was great finally to be able to use it to make this fun period piece.

The green hat is Interweave’s Lucy Hat pattern, made with Stylecraft Special DK. I chose these colours to go with this Leventry scarf which I made last year and thought Rachel could use:


I was also able to make these fingerless mittens with some left-over WYS yarn from the Leventry project. Rachel wanted some mittens with a longer wrist section. This Purl Soho pattern was perfect, as well as being wonderfully simple!



But that’s not all! I very much enjoyed making this lace shawl, using Rowan Fine Silk for my lovely Mum:



It took me most of last year, with plenty of knitting progress made while we were on holiday in September. But it was exceptionally pleasing to work on – complicated enough to hold plenty of interest, while also being rhythmic and fairly easy to remember. This meant that I did not have to undergo too much in the way of mental gymnastics while working on it – always a bonus!

And finally, here’s a picture of a small collar being blocked. This was another ball of yarn from the bottom of my stash, also from the Woolen Rabbit. I had always been hesitant about knitting it up because it seemed too nice to use!! Anyway, I needed some knitting to take away with my on our Paris trip last autumn. So I grabbed this yarn and a copy of VeryBusyMonkey’s Geology Shawl. I have to say this was one of my favourite knits ever – and I have done a LOT of knitting over the years! The pattern is extremely well constructed and explained. There are a number of interesting stitch patterns, which emerge gradually as you work through the pattern (click on the image for a closer look). I am delighted with the result.


So what now, you may ask.

I have become increasingly frustrated with this stash of Rowan Calmer yarn, which I bought years ago for a crochet project that I changed my mind about.

I have since tried to use it for various different patterns, always feeling rather dissatisfied with the results. I decided to give it one last go before passing it on. And although it is early days, I have a good feeling about this pattern. It is a Brooklyn Tweed throw called hourglass.

As you can see, I am only just past the ribbed edge, but I am already very pleased with the feel of the yarn, the stitch definition, and a sense that this might turn out to be something rather beautiful after all. We shall see…

And I have also repurposed some cotton yarn I bought last year for a little cardigan which I could not get to work out as I wished. After several froggings, I decided to find a different pattern, so this is the start of my work on the Monterey Tee pattern. Again, I am liking this so far – we’ll see how things go. (By the way, the burgundy yarn is my provisional cast on waste yarn, but it looks pretty groovy!)

So there you have it. I must confess to being quite chuffed with all of this and look forward to sharing another update with you in due course. Meanwhile, here’s a final picture of my Mum, this time nice and cosy in a jumper I knitted possibly about 30 years ago!!

Thanks go to her and my sister for being such charming models and greatly enhancing this post! 🙂

My January Minimalism Challenge Part II

I recently wrote about my decision to embark on a minimalism challenge during January.  At that point, I had reached Day 9, having identified 45 items to pass on in some way.

Today is Day 15.  I should by now have identified a further 75 items to go (ie 10 items for Day 10, 11 for Day 11 etc).

So here is my latest collection of stuff to be moved on:


Continue reading “My January Minimalism Challenge Part II”