A shoal of shawls

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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.

Budapest Hat

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.

February in review

 

What I loved:

Why is it that as soon as Tasha makes something I have to have it in my wardrobe? This Agnes top in jade is absolutely lovely, and although I don’t think it will suit me as well as it suits Tasha, I still definitely need to make one myself.

I love all the versions of By Hand London’s Sarah shirt, but this one by The Wardrobe Project is one of my favourites. As one of my goals this year was to learn how to sew shirts, I’m hoping I’ll make one before 2016 is up.

These Monkey and Nutkin socks on Tin Can Knits are so fun looking, and I’m itching to make some with some Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn that’s burning a hole in my stash. Both these patterns look perfect for variegated yarn and I might just have to cast one on when I finish my Broken Seed Stitch Socks.

What I listened to:

Reply All is one of my new favourite podcasts, with this episode being one of my favourite podcast episodes ever. It’s about a mysterious figure in New York, I don’t want to say more, but it does contain selfie rat.

Srsly Podcast is the pop culture podcast from The NewStatesman, a political and culture magazine. It comes out every week and always cheers me up, and recommends lots of new films/TV shows and books. I don’t think I can chose just one episode, although their Friends special is one of their best.

What I’m planning:

Yep, I’m still planning a Moneta dress, the correct fabric has arrived and I’ve pre-washed it, so now I just have to get over my reluctance to stick together a 63 page pdf.

At the moment I don’t have any other sewing planned, but for Christmas I got a gift voucher from my partner for our local fabric shop, so I might spend it on some knit fabric and make a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

I splurged on some yarn yesterday, so I’ve decided to make this shawl in cotton, it’ll be perfect for summer and will improve my confidence with lace knitting.

Seaside Socks


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.

A Camas sew-along!

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I made a Camas top this week as part of Thread Theory’s sew-along, it’s been really nice to get into the habit of sewing for an hour or so a night, and I’m really pleased with the results.

The fabric I used is a fairly thin viscose jersey, I chose it because it drapes really nicely, something which is suggested for the Camas top. In the second picture it looks like it has a sheen to it, which it does, but only in some lights. I made the top without any adjustments except for sewing the placket together at the front and adding fake buttons. I think this was a good choice, since it’s got enough stretch to not need the buttons, and it avoids any possibility of gaping.

I really enjoyed making the pattern, the instruction booklet was easy enough to follow on it’s own, but I liked having the extra pictures from the sew-along as well. My favourite bit is definitely the gathered yokes, it adds a really nice bit of sophistication and interest to the front, but this pattern was always going to be a winner for me since it’s smart-ish while still being comfortable!

Already, I’ve got some ideas for more Camas tops brewing, I’d like to make one with contrast yolks and also I’d really like to make a cardigan in thicker jersey knit. The only really fitting adjustment I think I need to make is to make the shoulders narrower as I think the extra fabric there is pulling the yokes down at the side.

His ‘n’ hers hats

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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!

January in review

What I loved:
I’m obsessed with this jacket, I just think it would be perfect for spring and autumn as an alternative to my denim jacket. I’m definitely not experienced enough yet to sew my own jacket, but I’ve got my eye on this pattern for when I do.

This outfit has everything I want from a handmade outfit, a loose fitting but still smart dress and a practical cardigan over the top. I’ve been contemplating the Inari tee dress pattern for ages, but I think I’ll wait until the weather warms up before I sew one.

On Friday afternoon two brilliant pairs of knitted socks came up on my feed, firstly these lovely socks from Tres Bien Ensemble and then these socks from Lladybird. I love the colours of both pairs, and the stitch pattern on the Skyp socks is great! I’m now convinced I need a Zauberball in my stash, and that I should probably finish the pair of socks I started for my partner…

What I listened to:
Planet Money – I listen to podcasts a lot on my commute and when I’m at work, Planet Money is one of the podcasts that I always listen to, no matter what. I think it’s because the subject, economics, impacts everyone but is not usually so simply explained. My favourite recent episodes are Bagging a Birkin and A or B.

A Playful Day – This knitting podcast was one of my recent discoveries that came with learning to knit. Kate is a great host to listen to during a frustrating day or waiting at the bus stop in the cold, because her soothing voice always transports me to a cottage near the sea and makes me feel much better.

Tiny House Podcast – I’ve recently become obsessed with the tiny house movement, and although there isn’t as many options here in the UK, I can still daydream about living in a tiny cabin in a forest or travelling the world in a house on the back of a trailer. I would recommend the interviews with Brittany Yunker and Abel Zimmerman.

What I was up to:
I planned this section in the hopes that I could share all the fun things I’ve got up to this month, but then I remembered it was January and the most interesting thing I did was probably the evening I spent failing to play badminton. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always spend January curled up on the sofa watching TV or daydreaming about going on holiday somewhere sunny.

Mostly this month we’ve been watching The X-Files, we were trying to catch up before the new series started airing, but we haven’t quite done that. Theoretically I’ve seen the show before, but I can only remember odd episodes. That being said, I always seem to fall asleep during the mythology episodes, so that may be why!

What I’m planning:
As usual, I’m a bit late to the party, but my first project for February is a Camas blouse for the sew-along. I’ll be lagging behind a bit because I didn’t decided to do it until the sew-along had already started and I’ve only just ordered the fabric.

I have honestly been planning to make a Moneta dress for over a month but have had various problems getting hold of the fabric I wanted. Firstly it didn’t turn up so I had to get it sent again and when it did arrive it was different to the swatch I ordered, so I don’t know when I’ll actually be able to start this.

The last thing I’m planning isn’t sewing related, but my partner and I have planned a trip to Budapest for the beginning of March, so I’ll be planning what we’re going to do and see while we’re out there.