ravelry

Come Join The Spoil Yourself Stitch Along (SAL)

SPOIL YOURSELF SAL!

Who's up for a bit of spoiling? Me! And, it just so happens that I'm hosting a "stitch along" starting Tuesday 1 September and running through the whole month of September, so come and join me!

We all know about knit alongs but what's a stitch along? Well, it's a bit of crafting fun! I'm inviting you to knit, crochet or sew something for our stitch along. Either do what you love or maybe try something new? 

Your project can be as big or small as you like but it has to be for you - and be something that you can wear or fling over your shoulder. You might like to choose a Truly Myrtle pattern but you're also welcome to make a project from another knitwear, crochet or sewing designer. (And double dipping - where you can use your project for more than one stitch along or kal - is positively encouraged!)

There'll be lots of fun chatter and support while you're making your project and I've got a bunch of fantastic prizes lined up for some lucky winners at the end of the month.

So - head over to the Budding Designers Downunder Ravelry group and get planning! That's where all the action will be - you don't have to be a member of the group to join in the fun but if you fancy joining, feel free :)

To kick off the Stitch Along and get you in the mood I'm offering a short discount on my patterns until Wednesday 2 September 2015. Use the code SPOILYOURSELF! to get a 15% discount on all of my shawls and hats.

Spread the word! I wonder what you'll make?


Updating Ravelry

#pommedepin cardigan update: plodding up the left side.  #pommedepinkal #knit #kal #knitting #knittersofinstagram #igknitters #yarn #yarnlove #yarnlover #yarnobsessed #handdyedyarn

I love checking out other people's project pages on Ravelry. When I'm thinking of knitting something, especially for myself, I usually have a scroll through project pages that link to the pattern I'm considering, look at photos and read comments. It can be a good way of narrowing down my choices if I'm wavering between a couple of different things.

Sometimes, the photos I find can be super inspiring. I can think of a couple of cases where I decided to knit something purely because it turned out so beautifully for someone else. Sometimes it's the project notes that convince me and I can think of a few cases where I've decided not to knit something because of the project notes I've read. A number of people may have said that the pattern wasn't clearly worded or was confusing to knit. 

Photos are also useful to see how things are constructed or how they come together. Sometimes a colourway or yarn used for a particular project gives me a good idea of what I might use for my project. Or, on the other hand, these things might give me a better idea of yarn or colours I absolutely won't try.
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Project notes can be interesting too. If I'm stuck on a pattern chances are someone else has been stuck there too and a quick look around will inevitably give me the answers I'm looking for. 

Did you know you can search for projects for a particular pattern that other knitters have found helpful? There's a drop down box on each pattern page called "filter these projects". One of the options is "all helpful projects". If you ever find something helpful, you can click "yes" next to "did you find these notes helpful?" at the bottom of project page notes too.

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Unfortunately, despite really enjoying other people's project pages and finding them so useful, I haven't been brilliant at keeping my own up to date. I've relied on blog posts to tell you about my projects and these days, my instagram photos give you a lot more information about how my knitting is progressing than my Ravelry project pages.

Well, I'm hoping that'll change. I've resolved to start writing a bit more detail in my project notes and including some of my photos from instagram. It's useful for me as well as you. I have a tendency to forget what I did in a pattern as soon as I put it down. And lately, as I pick up and finish off projects that have sat around for months and months, I've been wishing I'd made better notes for myself!

So, I've started. I think all my current projects are now listed on ravelry ... fingers crossed! I've gone back and included a few more notes and I've posted some additional photos too.

How are your ravelry projects looking? Scanty or absolutely jammed packed with useful, helpful information?


Grace Knit Along!

Silver Grace

Who's ready to cast on this Friday? Me, hopefully :)

I'm knitting like mad to finish my Flowing Lines sweater for Outfit 2 - just one and a bit sleeves to go. I'm hoping that I'll get a chance to sit down and get that first sleeve finished today because I'm housebound with a poorly Nelly and a rather excitable Tess who's thrilled she has one of the kids home on a school day.


Speaking of Outfit 2 (before I fill you in on all the knit along business) it seems to be nearly done! That's in spite of February being short and me stumbling over the sewing. I told you about my wrangles with the top - finally, after another broken twin needle, it's done. I'm not sure why the needles kept breaking on me. User error no doubt. Things improved when I sewed at a snail's pace.


Yesterday I finished up the trousers. I ended up dyeing the fabric a brick orange colour (I'll show you soon) and the Clover pattern came together pretty quickly. But, like they say, pride comes before a fall. Feeling rather happy with myself, I thought I'd have a quick try on in front of the mirror. I slipped on the top, yanked up the trousers (which I'm told by a very straight-talking 9 year old are "too tight"... hmmm) and as I pulled up the perfectly inserted invisible zip, it broke. My reaction wasn't too pretty and the kids may have been exposed to some very unsavoury language... Then, after successfully putting the slider back on, I realised the teeth were actually broken, so had to take the whole thing out. More unsavoury language. 


It's fixed now but my new zip isn't perfect by a long shot. I perhaps should have waited until I wasn't cross. But, on the plus side, I got to use my new invisible zipper foot twice and it's fab.


Silver Grace

Righto. The Knit Along. Are you in? 

For those of you who are new, we're knitting Jane Richmond's lovely cardigan Grace from her Island collection. It's a fingering (4ply) top down raglan. Do join us!

I am not a stickler for rules of any sort ;) but, the general plan is to cast on this Friday 1 March. In practice, any time you're ready would be fine :) Now, since my Grace cardigan is part of Outfit 3 of my Handmade WardrobeI'm aiming to finish mine by the end of March. You might choose to do things with your life aside from knitting, and so be it, I'm not expecting anyone else to finish by then (although if you want to, cool). How about you try to finish by 15 April? That's six weeks in total and takes in the Easter Break.

Because I like to have fun, I've organised a wee prize. Everyone that casts on and gets knitting will be in the draw to win something at the end. So far, the prize consists of yarn donated by my lovely LYS, The Sheep Shop, A voucher for Jane Richmond's patterns to the value of $15 donated by the very lovely Jane herself and a project bag, yet to be sewn, by moi. Fun huh?!

For the meantime, so that I can find you all (and we can find each other) it'd be great if you could start a Ravelry project for your Grace Cardigan and tag it trulygrace. If you don't have a Ravelry account, now's a good time to start one ;) It's free! 

We're already chatting over here about the kal - and there's some lovely yarn being swatched. So come join in!!!

Have I forgotten anything? Do tell me if I have :)

Want to know what yarn I'm using? Well, it's a silky soft silvery/grey yarn, hand dyed by The Knitting Goddess. The yarn is the same baby alpaca, silk, cashmere blend as my Audrey cardigan, so I know it's going to be light, super soft and cosy warm. Yum.


Island Review & Giveaway

Island
Rathtrevor

When Shannon asked me if I'd like to review Island, the new book that she's put together with knitwear designer Jane Richmond, I think I "whooped!". Of course I would!! This collection of five fabulous patterns first caught my eye when it was promoted with this video. (Watch that and tell me knitting isn't cool. It is so cool. And isn't the knitwear beautiful?) After seeing it, I wanted to knit every pattern.



Jane Richmond has been producing stylish hand-knitting patterns since 2009. Her latest collection, Island, inspired by Vancouver Island where she lives, is a fresh and exciting step in her design career. We're used to seeing Jane modelling her own (mostly) self-published patterns against her trade mark white backdrop. This time, Jane has used a model, a great photographer (Nicholas Kupiak) and the gorgeous backdrop of Vancouver Island. Island is also her first collection and her first book. Exciting!



Five patterns make up this beautiful collection:

Grace is a gorgeous fingering/4ply raglan cardigan knit from the top down featuring a simple but super pretty lace panel on the front and back of the yoke. Knit at a slightly looser gauge it has great drape and would be a perfect layering piece all year round;

Rathtrevor are cute long DK fingerless mitts with a beaded rib pattern that ends just below the thumb gusset (I love these little touches). Designed for an average woman's hand, they can be knit bigger or smaller by changing needle sizes;

Renfrew is a modern twist on a classic worsted weight hat designed to showcase hand-dyed yarn. It has the funkiest swirled crown and comes with instructions to knit it slouchy or as a shorter beanie, depending on what you prefer (don't panic, it's knit inside out and turned at the end to reveal the reverse stockinette);

Strathcona is a stunning, elongated V-shaped scarf knit with 100% linen. Isn't it lovely? This one caught my eye straight away. The V shape is produced by alternating the order of the bias stitch pattern and the sloped garter ends are a nice touch, mirroring the directional stitch of the scarf. Strathcona is all season pattern and would be great handbag knitting;

Arbutus is clever. It's a wonderful DK cowl knit in the round from the top down, shaped with short rows so that it looks like it's looped over your head a couple of times, but actually it's not. It is in fact three stacked rings, joined along a narrow spine which runs up the back. Knit at a loose gauge it's got lots of bounce and uses just one skein of yarn. What's not to love?





I can't decide which is my favourite. So far I've got plans (and a swatch!!) for the cardigan, and yarn for the cowl. But, since they are all so very lovely, no doubt you'll eventually see me making every pattern.

I love this book. The photos are divine, the designs are classics with fantastic details and the patterns are very clearly written. If you'd like a copy of your own you can purchase print copies through amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Digital copies of the book are available through Ravelry and you can buy each of the patterns individually there too.



But, guess what else? Jane has sent me a copy of her beautiful book to give away to one of you!

If you'd like to win Island, leave a comment telling me which pattern is your favourite, by midnight Sunday 10 February GMT. I'll randomly draw a winner and let you know on Monday 11 February.

This giveaway has now closed! 
Thank you for all your comments. We have a winner :)

Fingers crossed!



By the way, if you'd like to follow Island on it's tour, you can find it reviewed at the following blogs:

J A N U A R Y   
8th - Vancouver Yarn 
10th - KD Quilts 
14th - Canadian Living 
17th - Celtic Cast On
22nd - Canary Knits 
24th - Hey Jen Renee 
29th - The Yarniad 
31st - Knitted Bliss


F E B R U A R Y   
5th - French Press Knits   
7th - Truly Myrtle 
12th - Noodlehead 
14th - Miso Crafty 
19th - SweetGeorgia 
21st - A Playful Day




Accessories: model's own

Accessories: model's own

Accessories: model's own


Accessories: model's own

Accessories: model's own

This wee model styled herself. She loves those glasses and her latest obsession is scarves... anyway, it seemed the perfect opportunity to show you her new hat.

I came up with the design for this hat a couple of months ago. This is actually my prototype, it has been modified a little since, and I've made another couple of bigger hats for Zoë and myself which I'll show you soon. I've realised that I am a texture person. I LOVE texture in handknits. This hat is full of texture. I'm quite chuffed because the stitch pattern is very quick and easy to do. Usually this gathered stitch involves winding yarn around stitches on a cable needle and I find that so fussy and fiddly. This one doesn't. There's no cable, no winding, it's simple, fluid, and fast.

The yarn I used for this hat is totally fantastic. It's another New Zealand woollen yarn, Loyal DK by Naturally. It feels good to knit, but once it's blocked - oh my goodness. It's beautifully soft and just begs to be squeezed and worn. Delicious. The colour is pretty fab too. A bold solid which positively sings. I can't resist a colour like that :)

You can find my Ravelry project page for this hat here and I'll show you the new and improved versions soon.