I’ve been so excited about this shawl for months now, ever since I bought the green and black skein of Countess Ablaze’s yarn. It’s from The Odyssey Trail, her series of one of a kind colourways based on the Odyssey, and this colour is ‘Take your turn in order from left to right’ from book 21 of the Odyssey. I studied Latin and Ancient Greek at high school and took a module on the Odyssey when I was studying English literature at university, so I was really inspired when I discovered Countess Ablaze’s colourways. I love the last few books of the Odyssey, which cover Odysseus’s return home and I was so glad I could get some of this colourway.
The pattern is Asunder and I chose it because I thought it showed off the variegated yarn well with the dropped garter stitch, and the stripes remind me of a shield. I also chose it because there are enough rows of grey that the variegated yarn is not next to my neck when I wear it, because it’s a sock yarn and isn’t quite soft enough for me to wear next to skin. The grey in the shawl is Cascade Heritage Silk, which is a nice grey colour, and lets the green yarn stand out.
I loved knitting this so much, it was so soothing and comforting. I really enjoyed watching the yarn change colours as I was knitting it and I adore every shade of green in the shawl. As you can tell from the pictures, it’s been quite warm here, so I haven’t had a chance to properly wear the shawl, but I’m hoping there will be some cool summer nights where I can wear it round my shoulders to ward off the chill.
In the pictures, I’m also wearing my Seamwork Mesa dress which I just finished. I’m not completely sold on it, I think because I used too thin fabric so it isn’t as flattering as I liked, and the stripe matching on the gingham was pretty stressful. As usual, I added patch pockets to the front, because I can’t help it, and also I liked the way the contrasting stripes looked.
A month or so ago I completed my first shawl, Lavalette shawl, as a birthday present for my mum, and I am now thoroughly hooked on knitting shawls! For my first shawl, I picked a simple pattern just using stockinette, yarn overs and a bit of garter stitch at the borders. I did still manage to mess up the first openwork section, but I put that down partly to inexperience and partly to trying to knit on a coach to London. I ended up adding an extra openwork section to use up the last of the yarn, which is why the edge is quite wavy, but I like it like that.
The yarn is King Cole Bamboo Cotton 4ply in colourway Opal, these pictures have done a terrible job at capturing the colour and I’ve had to edit them a bit to even get near how it looks in person. I loved knitting with it, the bamboo makes it really soft to wear and it is the perfect weight for summer.
Here’s a sneak peak of the Summertide Shawl by Curious Handmade which I am knitting for the Shinybees Podcast Rewind KAL. I’m knitting it in cotton so I can wear it in warm summer evenings once it is finished.
Finally, I have a couple of other shawls I am planning. I bought a beautiful Countess Ablaze skein as part of her Odyssey Trail colourways, which I want to combine with a more neutral colour and knit into Asunder. The yarn I bought is a sock yarn which isn’t soft enough for me to wear against my neck, so I’m thinking of pairing it with Tangled Yarn’s Coast yarn, which should be pretty soft. I also want to knit a Byatt shawl, but I haven’t decided on a colour scheme yet.
My partner and I visited Budapest at the beginning of this month and in preparation I knitted a hat to wear, as the climate is usually a few degrees colder in the winter in Norwich. The pattern I used was Molly, a free hat with textured stitch and a lovely cable which continues right to the crown. I used Malabrigo Worsted in Frost Grey, as I figured it would go with most outfits, and the name was pretty appropriate.
The hat was pretty easy to knit, I decreased the stitches because my yarn was a bit thicker than suggested, which meant I had to freestyle a bit on the crown, but I made it into a spreadsheet and it went without a hitch. I really enjoyed knitting the hat, I tend to think of hats as short projects, for a couple of stints of TV watching, so I don’t mind if they require a little bit more concentration than socks. The only thing I had trouble with was the weight of the yarn coupled with using the circular needles for the body (rather than magic loop) meant my wrists hurt after a bit.
I love the finished hat so much, it’s squishy and comfy and warm, as well as looking pretty cool in its slouchy style. I wore it most of the time we were out and about in Budapest, but to be honest, the weather was much worse back home in Norwich. When we finally arrived in Norwich after our holiday was over, we had a miserable walk home from the coach station in the pouring rain. The weather hasn’t been any better since then, so I’m really glad I’ve got a new warm hat.
These socks are made in Drops Fabel Print in colourway Sea Mist and they’re finally socks for me! I didn’t realise how clever the yarn was when I started knitting with them, I just liked the colours, but as I continued the design which looks like a beach developed.
I used Susan B Anderson’s sock pattern again, with the short row heel, the first sock is made using dpns and you can see the ladders on it, so I used the magic loop method for the second sock.
For this post I figured the best photos would be some of a Norfolk beach. The ones I used are from a trip to Southwold I took last August. I love living in Norwich and being close to the seaside. I usually visit Sheringham when I want to go to the seaside as its only an hour on the train, but this trip to Southwold was with my parents when they came to visit.
We had a cold snap recently in Norwich during this unseasonably warm winter, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to roadtest a couple of hats. The first hat is Hipster by Tin Can Knits which I made for my partner, it only took a few hours as the majority is stockinette and it was ready for him to wear to work during the cold spell.
The second hat is the Heart Beanie I made for myself, I started it on boxing day with the interchangeable knitting needles I got for Christmas. I really like the Cascade Pacific wool I used for the body of the hat, it’s soft and brightly coloured, which is a win in my book. I’m using the other half of the ball to make a cabled ear warmer, that I’m about half way through.
Both of these hats were pretty easy to make and I really like how quickly hats knit up, they’re great for filling a gap between knitting or for when I want a quick win. I made some hats as presents in the run up to Christmas, but these are the first I made for me and Dave. I love hats, especially ones with pom poms, so I foresee more knitted hats in my future!
In the run up to Christmas I learnt how to knit, this may have been a bad time to learn as it meant I decided I should knit most of my Christmas presents!
I’ve tried a couple of times to learn how to knit, but I’ve always started with a scarf which I haven’t found that fun and it always ended up wonky and half finished. Someone suggested to me that I learn how to knit socks instead, as they’ve got enough parts to keep my interest and they’re fairly quick to knit up… plus everyone likes socks!
The two pairs above were Christmas presents, the first pair was for my mum, I found a lovely self-paterning wool in her favourite colours. It was the first pair of socks I ever made, and I used these instructions, which were detailed enough that even I could follow them.
The second pair was for my partner’s dad, and I used a chunky wool so it would be quick to knit. I should have followed a pattern for worsted weight wool, but instead I just guessed the number of stitches I needed, so they came out bit large.
This pair of socks for my brother’s birthday probably took me as long as both of the other pairs combined. It’s got a design made by switching between purls and knits, as I haven’t learnt how to cable yet, which meant it took so long to knit. I switched to using the magic loop method half way through the instep of the first sock, which sped them up.
I’m currently on my second sock of a pair just for me, which I am super excited for, since I haven’t actually knit myself a pair yet. I want to get them finished soon so I can wear them, but I committed myself to knitting my partner a hat first!
Agnes / Sea Wall / Moneta / Chuck
I started this year as I mean to go on, knitting on the train back from visiting friends in London. It was only at the end of 2015 that I got back into sewing and learnt how to knit, so I can’t really write a round up post, but I do want to look towards 2016 and set myself some sewing and knitting goals.
Learn how to sew jersey and knits, I wear mostly t-shirts and jersey dresses and I want to be able to learn how to sew these. I’ve just started making a Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top from Tilly’s learn how to sew jersey tops course which will hopefully be a good introduction.
Conquer my fear of zips as they confuse and scare me! When inserting an invisible zip I can’t seem to make it neat enough to really be invisible, but I can’t avoid them forever, and I know have to make mistakes to get better.
Sew a blouse or a shirt dress. I find the idea of sewing collars really daunting, I’m hoping that by setting myself this as a goal I’ll at least attempt a blouse this year.
Improve my knitting technique, I’ve only recently learnt how to knit and I want to explore different ways of knitting to make sure I’ve got the best technique I can. I currently knit using the English method of throwing the yarn and it makes my shoulder ache after a bit so I might switch to the continental method of knitting.
Learn how to cable knit, this is pretty self explanatory, but I really want to learn how to cable so I can make loads of exciting patterns. I have my eye on some of the Tin Can Knits patterns I downloaded during their 12 days of Christmas giveaway.
Knit a jumper or a cardigan. I love jumpers and cardigans and I really want to be able to knit them for myself. I got a set of interchangeable knitting needles for Christmas (thanks mum!) so I’m all set for knitting a jumper in 2016.
I hope that by setting myself some goals I can make some awesome things this year and learn loads along the way.