Sunday, 22 March 2015

SPRING SOCKS FOR OLD SNOOPS!


Well I may have been absent without leave last Sunday, but at least I do have a complete pair of socks to show you. It was my youngest daughter's 30th birthday, as well as it being Mother's Day, so I decided to jump in the car and zap down to London for the day. We spent a lovely few hours together, mooching around Islington's Upper Street (where she lives) and lunching at Balthazar Restaurant in Covent Garden, before returning to Upper Street for tea and cakes. A thoroughly lovely girly day!

Knitting progress has been very variable over the last few weeks, as school stuff has had to take priority and there has been lots of it! Nevertheless, this fine pair of socks for Old Snoops are hot off the needles this very afternoon. They enjoyed a photoshoot in the pale afternoon sunshine. I think they liked it! Old Snoops will rejoice at another pair of the very lovely handmade socks, in rather bright colours, that the dear Mrs Snoops has spent her time making for him;despite his previous resistance to any such things gracing his feet, he's now a firm convert! Well, that will need another yarn purchase then, in readiness for his next pair!

This pattern works beautifully with the self-striping yarns and produces a lovely snug fit, whilst still being a pretty mindless knit; ideal as a travelling companion, which these did indeed begin life as.


School finishes for the two-week Easter break on Friday and I can't wait to have little Sophie and Jess to stay for a few days, along with their parents and Scott the dog too, of course. Jess will be two years old on Monday 30th, so I expect we will eat cake. That makes me very happy!

After their departure, Old Snoops and I will be venturing up North to 'the cottage' for a week and hopefully we'll receive a visit from dear little Evie and her folks. She would like another hoodie, in grey and a size bigger! I have to say that grey doesn't make for the most exciting knit, but the Debbie Bliss pattern that I use for these hoodies is a quick and easy knit, so I'll just bite the bullet and rattle it out and hopefully get in done before we go. I shall deserve a really yummy skein of knitty goodness then, possibly in a lovely bright colour, to come with me 'up North'!  Socks! For me! Oh yes!


Look at these two little beauties that dropped through my letterbox this week. The Natural Dye Studio, one of favourite dyers, is sadly closing its doors in the next few weeks, so it seems only right to buy up a couple of these little beauties when they appear.

Both skeins are Godiva HT 4ply, a lovely 100% single spun merino. Above is the colour way 'Hawkridge' and below is 'Cloud Hill'. I just had to let these beauties come and live with me! You can see why, can't you?


I'll leave you with a sneaky Oscar photo that I took just now. He's snoring on the sofa, worn out after a long walk around the lake and a terrifically energetic dig in the reed beds.... twitching and letting out little tiny yelps  as he relives his funfilled day. Awww!


Sunday, 8 March 2015

ONE SOCK IS BETTER THAN NONE!



Guess what! Last week was no better. It was just busy, busy, busy! The upside is that my working week flew by in record time. The downside is so did my weekend and here we are again on a Sunday evening.



On a positive note, there has been a small smidgen of progress and Mr Snoops has one sock ready. He'd really like two ready to wear a few hours after cast-on. I don't think he really thinks very carefully about the finer points of the knitting process, do you?


I think they're turning out rather nicely, don't you? I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised at the lovely striping effect that has appeared. Mr Snoops is too!


On yet another positive note, just look at this beautiful array of crocuses in our local park today. They're hardy little things, seeming to survive despite the trampling of dogs and humans. So lovely to see!







Sunday, 1 March 2015

DREAM ON.......


Sorry I missed you last weekend, but we had been away and arrived home during the late afternoon. I had a mountain of schoolwork to do and didn't dare begin to play with 'woolly stuff', for fear of being distracted for way too long. We had a really lovely half-term, catching up with family members and seeing grandchildren.

I managed to complete Evie's little wool and silk hoodie in time. It's such a simple, but lovely pattern for a little one.


The hood lays beautifully as the edging is knit as you work the main body and hood there is minimal hood attachment to sew. 


 The bottom edging and slit sides also work well and add a lovely style to the garment. In all a great pattern! A grey version is next on the list.


I don'r often buy these sock yarns, but I have to say, I have seduced by the gorgeous colour ways of the newish PLAY selection from Opal. I first noticed them when looking in my locaL yarn store for a hard wearing sock yarn to knit a third pair for Mr Snoops. You'll see the colour way he chose below.


The yarns self-stripe and I think the colour ways are lovely. 


Here's Mr Snoops choice; a lovely bright green and purple! I managed most of the knitting on the journeys to and from Manchester.


Since then not a needle has been touched, as I've had a continuous mountain of marking and lesson preparation to get on top of all week, besides planning for school training sessions and World Book Day school events, oh and two trips out with our Year 3s. There are just not enough hours in a day.  I think it would be great to have a parallel knitting and crafting life; same number of hours and no need to do anything else. This could run alongside 'life as we know it'! Dream on Snoops!


Over on Ravelry there is a thread on the Fibre East group page encourage the using up of last year's stash purchases from the event. AHEM! Cough! Cough!


I have made a pair of socks from one of my purchased skeins, but it was the fabulous 'Easyknits' skein above that I was really desperate to get working  with. I cast on a pair of socks with it on the very day of returning from the show! Then summer holidays and other fun project ideas intervened and this beauty fell into hibernation.

On waking her up from her slumber ( yes, definitely a girl!), I realised my foolishness in thinking that pure wool would be a good idea for hard-wearing socks. Definitely not! So a couple of weeks ago I frogged and have now cast-on Anne Hanson's 'Crooked Little Scarf'. The colour way is Grape Crush. I just love this yarn and the pattern! Watch this space for progress........ oh, when Mr Snoops socks are done and Evie's little grey hoodie started and finished....and.....and.... . Okay, so pigs might fly, but you have think positively about these matters! ;-) Yes I know, dream on Snoops! That parallel universe can't be so far away. Before I know it I'll be on the way to this year's Fibre East!

Have a great week.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

TODAY IS THE DAY.......


Today is the day to cast on!!!! Look at this yummy little collection, all ready and waiting to get started on a new knit; a sweater! I love the look of these colours together and can't wait to get started. I spotted the sweater kit on the Tangled Yarn website and loved the look of the pattern. It's a  loose fitting pullover with overall texture in two different stitch patterns and offering variation in colour blocking and graded striping. It will be a challenge as it is knit from the top down and is seamless. There are only fourteen pages of pattern instructions to get to grips with!;-)


The yarn is Coast by Mabel and Ivy. Its a light fingering 3ply in 55% merino and 35 % cotton. Looking forward to knitting with it! 


As luck would have it, there is a KAL over on Ravelry, on the Tangled Yarn group page, so there will be plenty of support and encouragement on offer along the way, I'm sure.

Sadly, I musn't allow myself to cast on today, as I am racing to complete a little hoodie for Evie. We are off up to Manchester to visit our three beautiful granddaughters on Wednesday and I really want to complete it before we leave. I have the hood and both sleeves to go, before commencing the dreaded seaming. Wish me luck! Hopefully, I'll be able to show the finished garment next time:it may even be modelled by Evie herself!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

CUNNING FOLK SOCKS!


Yay! Look at these little beauties! Super speedy sock completion, especially as I have completed them during term-time. The super soft stripes yarn made for pretty addictive knitting.


This was my Christmas gift yarn from Josiekitten; Opulence Sock from the American KnitCircus Yarns. It's a fabulous blend of merino, cashmere and a little nylon for strengthening.


I used my favourite plain sock pattern from the Yarn Harlot to really show off the stripes and made the leg one inch longer, in order to maximise the graduated colour changes. I guess I would have arrived at almost solid green if my feet had been giant size!!!


LOVE!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

CHRISTMAS RE-VISITED ;-).......



Josiekitten and I didn't have a 'quiet moment' during the Christmas break to 'oooh and ahh' over our respective Christmas offerings to each other. No, the rest of the family really wouldn't 'get it'! So, Christmas came again a couple of weekends ago!  We spent a really lovely evening with Mr and Mrs Josiekitten, enjoying Mr Snoops culinary delights and then exchanging  woolly gifts.


What better delights could a girl wish for! The gorgeous 'Opulence Sock' self-striping yarn is from the American dyer 'KnitCircus'. It's 8o% merino and10% cashmere, with 10% nylon mixed for sock strength. It is fabulously soft and and scrummy and makes for pretty addictive knitting. As you can see, I didn't wait long to cast on!

The 'Three Bags Full' Russian doll's Tall Mia bag is beautiful with it's pretty complimentary lining fabric. I LOVE it! The cute little sausage dog will have to come out of his box pretty soon too; a fun knit! Last, but definitely not least, is the sweetest little sparkly cat stitch marker EVER!!! Way too lovely to use! ;-)


I made the normally 7inch leg an extra inch long, in the hope of arriving at solid green by the time I reached the toe. Unfortunately, my feet are not big enough! :-)


I'm just loving these softly shaded, snuggly stripes!


Look at the fab Project Bag too (yes, I know it's not a good yarn match); another from Michele at 'Three Bags Full'. Believe it to believe it not, this was  Christmas gift from my son (completely unprompted too, I'll have you know!)


I have already made use of my new little Russian dolls. Having frogged the 'Gabriola' socks that I had begun with this yarn once I realised there was no strengthening nylon content, so completely unsuitable for socks, I have now cast on again. This time it's Anne Hanson's 'Crooked Little Scarf' . There's not been much progress yet, but there are only so many available knitting minutes in a day! This week, that's been very few!!!!


Loving the yarn/bag colour match though!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

STEAMING AHEAD....


There's nothing like the cold, frosty winter evenings and weekends, with the log burner roaring away,  to get me settled in for a bit of worthwhile 'knitting space'.

Having enjoyed making the 'Seaside Ripples Blanket' so much, I needed another quick fix of relaxing, destressing colour goodness to get my hook into. This next venture is the 'Cosy Stripe Blanket'; another bit of clever colour play from Lucy over at Attic24.


I'm already in love with the warmth generated by the gorgeous colour mix and the easy, but very satisfying pattern; consisting solely of trebles. Just perfect relaxation! Steaming ahead!


This has been a the weekend of new beginnings that I didn't have time for a couple of weeks ago at the real start to 2015. Having wound up the little sweater for Jess, I felt free to think about some new 'cast -ons'. I've learnt the hard way, that having too many WIPs on the needles is not a good plan, so apart from my longterm 'Sock Yarn Blankie' ( shown below), I try to have no more than three projects on the go at any one time.



I had wound this amazingly beautiful yarn several months ago now,  to make socks, but had second thoughts this weekend as there is no nylon content to strengthen the fabric, so it's not really ideal for socks! Just look at those beautiful shades........ just the best colour combo (well, one of them!).



Instead, I have cast on Anne Hanson's 'Crooked Little Scarf'; a pattern that I have been wanting to knit for a while.


I'll tell you more about the gorgeous project bag next time, when I will also be able to show you the start of some fabulously lovely socks.

Right better go and cast on!