Sunday, 11 December 2011

December Works In Progress

Hello Everybody,

I thought I'd fill you in a little on my December Works-in-Progress. 

The first item on the agenda are my hand warmers. They're being made using another Fibre Flurry purchase from Artist's Palette Yarns. It's called Merino Cashmere DK and is 80% super wash merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. It's really soft and I love the colour. The pattern is called Midnight - with a Twist! and again, I stole the idea of making these from a friend at Cannock Crafties craft group. They are relatively simple (as long as you're not nattering too much at craft group unlike me!) and have some pretty cables on the front. I haven't finished them yet, but I have done the left hand at least! I aim to have them finished pretty soon, so watch this space.

The next project I'm currently working on is a shawl called Multnomah. It's named after Multnomah county in Oregon, USA. You learn something new every day. I think the inspiration behind the name was to do with the colour way - it was originally in a variegated green, representing the vegetation of Multnomah county! Well, my Multnomah is not in green, more of a turquoisey-blue, so maybe I should think of another name. Maybe I should go for a British county, not sure many are turquoisey-blue though. The yarn was one of the main reasons that I wanted to go to Fibre Flurry, as I knew Easyknits would be there and I was desperate to get my hands on some glittery yarn. It's all about the glitter these days, don't you know, and we even drink it at craft group! I think it's for the best not to question where the glitter ends up. Anyway, there was lots of glittery yarn as it happens but my favourite was still the Easyknits Twinkle. I bought a skein in the Frozen Lake colour way (4-ply) (currently on sale!) and a lace weight one in another colour way. I hope it turns out ok, I haven't got very far with it yet. I thought it would be a good train project because (the first part, at least) requires little thought.

I just love how it sparkles in the light!

Thistle Girl x

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Owl Hat

Hello Everybody,

Two posts in one day- wow it must be a Christmas miracle. Just wanted to tell you about a project that I'm actually quite happy with - a hat. Now, normally I have a bit of trouble with hats - getting the size and shape correct. I have had a few successes but a few failures also. One most noticeably last year when, inspired by a friend who was also making one, I decided to make a Phannie. Yes, you heard that correctly. I'll say it again, because it amuses me slightly. Phannie. Now, on Ravelry it states that over 900 people have made this so it's pretty popular. Some have turned out fab, others are er... interesting. Mine was in the 'interesting' category. I made it with some nice yarn, Freedom Spirit, in a purple/pink colour way but when I had finished it, it looked like well goodness knows what. I tried it on, and it looked even worse. I threw it across the room and then hid it. I haven't even been able to get it out to frog it. Unusually for me, I didn't even take a photo. I may traumatise you with one at some point though. Anyway, this is a very long winded way of saying that I wanted to make a hat. I wanted one that was the right size and shape and that (hopefully) no-one else on my train would be wearing. It seems everyone is wearing bear/panda/cat hats from high street chain stores, which are very cute but I wanted something different. 

So, after a bit of searching and hunting around Ravelry, I eventually settled on a hat design called Who?, which incorporates some cute cabled owls. The Ravelry page for the pattern is here (it's free!) and my Owl Hat project page is here.

I used yarn that I bought at Fibre Flurry 2011 but I can't really remember who I bought it from or what it is as it was in a bargain bin and unlabelled. I think it's an alpaca mix and approximately 4-ply, it's a hot pink vibrant colour. I use a 3.25 mm circular and after a few rows it was looking a little loose. As I was worried about going down a needle size (the pattern actually called for worsted weight and 4mm needles) as I thought the hat would be too small, I just held the yarn double which seemed to work quite well. 

The hat knitted up really quickly and only took me a couple of days. The cabled owls were really easy and stand out fairly well, although they would be more prominent in a bulkier yarn I should imagine. Although others had only put buttoned eyes on one or two owls, I thought this was the cutest bit so put them on all my owls. I also added a pompom for goo measure, although it was properly more trouble than it was worth!

Here is the finished result:

It's a slightly strange shape as it's stretched around a light! The first few rows of the ribbing are a bit looser as I didn't want to frog and start again so left them as single held yarn.

I think the buttons are pretty cute. They're quite tiny and in various shades of purple and pink with some polka dots. They're the Papermania capsules Mini Buttons and I think I mixed up a couple of packet colours. I bought them from Hobbycraft a while ago but you can get them from various places online - think they might be these ones.

So, what do you think? Has anyone else made one of these owl hats? If so, please show me. Also, I'd be interested to hear about other cute but fairly foolproof hats so I can build a collection and have a warm head all winter long. Apparently, there's also some matching hand warmers or mittens on Ravelry but I'm going to finish the pair of hand warmers that I've started first!

Thistle Girl x

Show and Tell Part One

Hello Everybody,

Well, it's certainly been a while since I last blogged hasn't it? Naughty. Winter is definitely settling in at Thistle House and we had a very frost this morning and even a few flakes of snow earlier in the week. My non-hardy plants such as my olive trees are all cluttering up my windowsills and other surfaces in the house. I'll be glad when it's warmer so they can go back outside, won't be for quite a while yet though. 

I've got a fair few things to show you, and I'll try and write as many posts as I can this week. I felt it was only right to show you the my completed (yes, you heard correctly) Baktus, as I've been working on it for nearly a year but kept on forgetting about it. As I said in a previous post, it's made with Araucania Ranco Multy, which is a little scratchy but I'm hoping it will soften up with use. It's a little tricky to photograph, as it's quite big, but I'm sure you get the gist. You can see it on my Ravelry page here

Anyway, that's it for now, I'm off to make my overdue Christmas Cards. Will post more later (hopefully).

Thistle Girl x