Cul de sac

31 Day Challenge Day 18

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You know when you start the day with a set plan in mind and the knitting gods gently intervene? Well yesterday was one of those days. Having got some design admin out of the way I’d planned to have a play with John Arbon’s Alpaca Delight for a lacy one hank design idea. With an overall shape in mind I found a stitch pattern that might prove a great starting point for swatching and gathered needles, yarn, sketchbook and graph paper to go and knit in front of the fire. And that’s when I saw it….. Sam’s hat….. STILL unfinished…..at the bottom of my knitting bag. How did I miss that?! After all, the bag’s really not that big. But somehow, like the wardrobe through which Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan were transported into Narnia, it seems to have developed secret dark corners where a partly finished chunky hat could get completely lost.

I know I could have just made my excuses and consigned it to a pile of other WIPs but having caused me to forget it in the first place my new brain now gets wobblier if I don’t finish one thing before starting another. So, here I am nearing the end of the hat, for me, the only way out of this particular knitting cul de sac

J x

New designs and the packing begins

I’m taking a few minutes out from packing boxes to do a quick post about my 2 newest designs. Having spent the last 13 years in Scotland it’s a little surreal to be packing up everything for a return south of the Border but that time has come at last. It’s been said many times that moving house is one of THE most stressful things you can do and at my last count I’ve moved 8 times in the past 13 years. So either I cope very well with stress or I’ve been watching too many episodes of Relocation, Relocation. So now to my 2 designs…

The first is the Lozenge Lace Collar knitted in my Baby Alpaca / Silk 4ply. I didn’t feel this was deep enough to be a snood and a cowl sounds so Wintry so I opted to call this a collar instead. It’s worked in the round on a large circular needle and combines a lacy rib structure with bobbles and lozenge shaped mock cabling from where I took the name. For the cast on and cast on edges the yarn is used doubled on a slighty larger needle which creates a slightly more substantial fabric with more body than the main section worked in lace.

I’ve knitted the sample in sh V414 Lippy but you could choose from any of the 4 other colours in the range to add a real ‘pop’ of colour to an outfit whether it’s Winter or Summer.

The second design is the Uppandoon Cable Scarf knitted in my Baby Alpaca DK. I LOVE this design not just because it’s so gorgeously soft and cosy to wear but also because I really enjoyed the swatching process behind the cable stitch. I wanted a cable that would work both up and down (hence the name) the finished scarf and the resulting combination of cables, yarn overs and slipped stitches has turned out better than I’d hoped. Not only does the cable work both ways on the right side of the fabric but the ‘wrong side’ looks great too with slipped stitch verticals and reverse stocking stitch being the dominant textures.

The sample is knitted in sh 9517 Chartreuse but again there are 4 other colours in the range to choose from here

Oh yes before I go I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to Claire Kelly who was lovely enough to give me a mention on her blog Pass The Pattern here.

Hope you like these latest additions to my collection, now where’s that packing tape….

J x

On the pins this week . .

Well first of all I have to admit to tweeting  more than blogging recently which is a little lazy of me but I seem to have been up to my elbows in fruit and it was easier that way. Don’t ask about the fruit, not only do we have a neighbour who never picks his own fruit and says we’re welcome to it but I’ve definitely been watching too many food programmes and there’s now a shelf in the larder devoted to ‘Mrs Sloan’s Homemade’ produce which currently includes; apple sauce ( 2 jars ),apple & mint jelly ( 5 jars ), preserved lemons ( 1 very large jar ) and Mr Sloan’s pickled chillies ( 1 jar is MORE than enough of those ). I’ve got a kilo of onions ‘brining’ at the moment and there are pears to pickle tonight courtesy of Delia’s recipe here. Oh yes, I also made a steak  kidney pie yesterday.

Anyway, on the pins this week is a rather pretty and yes I’ll admit, blingy pair of beaded lace socks for the new collection having finished the cabled ones AT LAST on Thursday. I’ve also got a lace wrap to block and press which I’ll hopefully photograph and post some taster pictures before the end of the week.

I’m off to pickle me pears

J

On the pins

…. this week on the pins is a rather nice and new sock yarn for which I’m doing a small book of designs  to be published next month. I have to admit that I’m having a small case of ‘second sock syndrome’ but that’ll teach me to put not one, but two cables into a fine gauge sock pattern – the final result is definitely worth it though. Pics will follow when I’ve grafted the toes

J

On The Pins

I’ve normallygot SO many ideas running through my addled brain that sometimes it means nothing actually gets done – not this week though. I’m trying to be super productive having had a large on/ off / on / off  project finally confirmed as OFF last week which meant I didn’t really achieve anything. So this week I’m working with lots of lovely twinkly beads for a wee project to be launched next month, enough hints, here’s a pic and I’m off . . .

Bling on the pins this week